Trump tells governors to open churches, synagogues and mosques IMMEDIATELY and orders CDC to deem them ‘essential’ – The Sun

PRESIDENT Donald Trump ordered governors to open churches, synagogues and mosques immediately.

"Today I'm identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogues and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services," Trump said at the White House Friday.

"I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," he added.

"If there is any question, they're going to have to call me but they're not going to be successful in that call."

The President criticized governors who deemed "liquor stores and abortion centers" essential, but not places of worship.

"It's not right," he said at the press conference. "So I'm correcting this injustice."

"These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united."

More to come.

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Blame governors for the coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: Goodwin

An article in Nowhere Magazine several years ago explored the ways ancient cultures dispatched the elderly, a practice known as senicide. Author Justin Nobel recounted several gruesome rites that made the Inuit habit of putting Granny on an Arctic ice floe seem humane.

At one point, Nobel mentioned that his own grandparents had moved “to a fancy nursing home in the suburbs of New York City.”

That made me shudder.

If they are honest, historians judging the American experience during the coronavirus pandemic will excoriate our barbaric failure to protect the elderly. We think of ourselves as civilized, but mindless policies and bureaucratic indifference turned many nursing homes and rehabilitation centers into killing fields.

At least 28,000 residents and workers in long-term care facilities already have died from the ­virus, according to a New York Times analysis done more than a week ago. That represented one out of every three COVID-19 deaths recorded in the United States at the time and was likely an undercount because of reporting lags and varying state methods.

This massacre of a helpless population shames America and Washington must find out why it happened and who is responsible. Elderly people in these institutions could not protect themselves, and because most states banned visitors early in the outbreak, the institutions, their regulators and elected officials were fully obligated to shield them against infection.

They failed miserably.

The Times found 14 states where more than half of total deaths occurred in facilities for the elderly. It was 55 percent in Connecticut, 57 percent in Colorado, North Carolina and Kentucky, 58 percent in Virginia, 59 percent in Massachusetts, 61 percent in Delaware, 66 percent in Pennsylvania, 73 percent in Rhode Island and 80 percent in West Virginia and Minnesota.

The states with the most nursing-home deaths, New York and New Jersey, didn’t make the list because of so many other deaths, yet more than 10,000 people died in their facilities. The 5,500 nursing-home deaths in New York are more than the total deaths in all other states except New Jersey.

Many if not most could have been avoided. The earlier outbreaks in Asia and Europe demonstrated that the elderly were easy prey for the virus, doubly so when they have underlying health conditions. Everybody knew that.

Florida got the message and implemented a model response. Despite its vast enclaves of long-term care homes, it reported ­under 750 deaths in them, or slightly more than one for each of its 615 facilities.

The striking contrast between Florida on one hand and New York and New Jersey on the other can be traced largely to policy decisions by their governors. Gov. ­Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey issued almost identical orders in late March requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients being discharged from hospitals. The orders barred the homes from even asking if the patients had the virus, lest they be discriminated against.

Those politically correct orders quickly became death sentences as infections spread like wildfire.

Florida, thankfully, followed a different path. Gov. Ron DeSantis said his state moved early to protect the elderly because statistics from South Korea showed “that not all age groups were equally at risk” and that most deaths happened to “folks 65 and up.”

As a result, he allowed his nursing homes to reject hospital referrals who were still infected. More recently, Florida started sending infected residents in the opposite direction, from nursing homes to hospitals.

“Our goal is to keep the virus out of our facilities,” one Florida nursing-home CEO told the Sun-Sentinel. “Hospitals are more concerned about their beds.”

Because Cuomo and Murphy had the same information as ­DeSantis, their ruinous actions ­remain inexplicable. They can’t say they weren’t warned.

On March 8, Dr. Thomas Frieden, former head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote on CNN that “nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are ground zero.” On March 18, the CDC, in a study of the nation’s first large outbreak, in a nursing home in Kirkland, Wash., told health officials, “Substantial morbidity and mortality might be averted if all long-term care facilities take steps now to prevent exposure of their residents to COVID-19.”

Yet seven days later, Cuomo issued his infamous March 25 order that said, “No resident shall be ­denied readmission or admission to NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”

Six days after that, on March 31, Murphy used similar language in his order. Although it allowed carve-outs that enabled some facilities to dodge the bullet, the mandate had disastrous impacts overall, with more than 5,000 deaths recorded in New Jersey’s long-term homes.

One of the worst is the state-run Veterans Home in Paramus, which has recorded at least 72 deaths. A man who lost his 91-year-old Army-veteran father there was quoted as saying the home should be demolished and replaced with a memorial park. “It’s like a mass shooting,” he said.

Despite the surging death count, Cuomo defended his directive for more than six weeks. He reversed himself only last Sunday, ruling that patients must test negative before hospitals can send them to nursing homes. Yet he insisted that the initial policy “worked.”

If more than 5,000 dead was success, what would failure look like?

Cuomo’s reversal included forcing nursing homes to test staff and administrators twice a week, at the homes’ own expense. There was no explanation why testing was not required all along, or how it would work when labs say they cannot process the needed 410,000 weekly tests.

Despite the enormous consequences of Cuomo’s arbitrary decision-making, only a few New York lawmakers have dared to call for investigations about what went wrong.

Nursing-home executives, meanwhile, complain privately that Cuomo should have known his mandate would be a killer, but they were never consulted and got no notice before being swamped with infected patients. As one owner put it, long-time residents began “dropping like flies” soon afterward.

These same executives will not go public with their complaints because they fear Cuomo will punish them with fines and take their licenses. Some see the sudden testing regime and a probe he started with the state attorney general as a way to blame them for his mistakes.

All the more reason why federal officials with nothing to fear must step in and find the facts. A designated US attorney, for example, could use a grand jury to demand answers about why so many elderly people were put in harm’s way despite the warnings and simple common sense.

As for witnesses willing and eager to come forward, the feds should start with grieving families. For each of the 28,000 dead, there are relatives whose stories of heartbreak and rage will move the nation.

The families want answers and they want action. They deserve both.

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Democrat governors from 6 states, including NY, launch ‘re-opening task force’ hours after Trump tweets that HE decides – The Sun

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and five other state leaders launched a coronavirus "re-opening task force" on Monday – hours after President Trump said that's his decision.

The six northeastern governors – all Democrats – also include lawmakers from New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Delaware.


Cuomo said any plan to reopen must be driven by data and experts, "not opinion and politics."

"I don’t believe we wind up with a fully common strategy," he said.

"You have different states in different positions."

Cuomo's New York has been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other state, with nearly 200,000 cases and 10,000 deaths.

“The reality is this virus doesn’t care about state borders, and our response shouldn’t either,” Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said, according to The New York Times.



New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy added that "we cannot act on our own. We must be smart & tactical in how our region comes out of this, or else we’ll be right back to square one."

However, "acting on their own" is not an option, according to Trump.

"….It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons," he tweeted.

"With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue.

"A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!"


When asked about Trump's comments, Cuomo said, according to NBC: "I would say let’s see what the federal government's plan is."

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said “we can put together a system that allows our people to get back to work."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Delaware Gov. John Carney are also part of the task force.

A total of 570,000 people in the US have been infected with the coronavirus.

Gov. Cuomo has said the reopening must be done carefully and gradually.

“You’ll start to open that valve on the economic activity, and you’ll turn that valve very slowly reopening the economy, more essential workers, do it carefully do it slowly and do it intelligently,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

New York state's 671 new deaths on Sunday marked the first time in a week that the daily toll dropped below 700.

“This virus is very good at what it does. It is a killer,” Gov. Cuomo said Monday.

U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that parts of the country could gradually reopen as early as next month.

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