A new report in Vanity Fair reveals a White House task force led by Jared Kushner abandoned a nationwide coronavirus testing plan in the spring for political reasons. One public health expert in frequent contact with the White House’s official coronavirus task force said, “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy.”
In news from Capitol Hill, negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill remain at a standstill. Republicans are refusing to support renewing a program to give unemployed workers an additional $600 in benefits. The enhanced benefit expired on Friday.
In other news from Washington, Democratic Congressmember Raúl Grijalva has tested positive for COVID-19, just days after he chaired a meeting attended by Republican Congressmember Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask and later tested positive. In a statement, Grijalva said, “While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously.”
Meanwhile, CNN is reporting the Republicans are considering barring journalists for the first time from attending the upcoming scaled-down Republican National Convention, citing health concerns.