Tag Archives: Coronavirus Outbreak

Ousted vaccine director files whistleblower complaint alleging coronavirus warnings were ignored

Ousted vaccine director files whistleblower complaint alleging coronavirus warnings were ignored
By Kaitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, CNN
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/newsworldpolitics/ousted-vaccine-director-files-whistleblower-complaint-alleging-coronavirus-warnings-were-ignored/ar-BB13DD0p?li=BBnb7Kz

Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, formally filed an extensive whistleblower complaint Tuesday alleging his early warnings about the coronavirus were ignored and that his caution at a treatment favored by President Donald Trump led to his removal.

Bright said in the complaint he raised urgent concerns about shortages of critical supplies, including masks, to his superiors in the Trump administration but was met with skepticism and surprise.

While Bright said some officials shared his concerns — including top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro — he describes an overall lack of action at the top of the administration even as the virus was spreading outside of China.

Bright had led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority since 2016 when he was reassigned last month to a narrower position at the National Institutes of Health.

In his whistleblower complaint, Bright says he raised concerns about US preparedness for coronavirus starting in January but was met with “indifference which then developed into hostility” by leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Later, he says he pushed back on HHS’s leadership when they sought to make “potentially harmful drugs” available for treating Covid-19, including hydroxychloroquine, which had been repeatedly touted by Trump as a potential cure despite a lack of robust testing.

“His efforts to prioritize science and safety over political expediency and to expose practices that posed a substantial risk to public health and safety, especially as it applied to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, rankled those in the Administration who wished to continue to push this false narrative,” the complaint reads.

HHS declined a CNN request to comment on the complaint.

Bright’s decision to go public with his concerns last month exposed months of turmoil inside one of the key divisions at HHS charged with responding to the coronavirus pandemic. His allegations raised serious questions about political bias creeping into the government’s response to the pandemic and the extent to which Trump’s preferences for a drug overshadowed its scientific merits.

After he initially aired his complaints, administration officials leveled a range of allegations against Bright, including accusing him of poorly managing his office, mistreating staff and failing to consult his superiors on consequential decisions. But Bright’s most recent performance review from May 2019, a copy of which was obtained by CNN, delivered rave reviews for Bright’s management of his office and included no criticisms.

His attorneys argue that Bright’s removal from his post amounts to a violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act, claiming that Bright “has engaged in numerous instances of protected activity.”

In the complaint, he says he is seeking reinstatement as BARDA’s director and asking for a full investigation.

He claims leaders at the agency were surprised by his concerns and responded slowly to the outbreak, alleging old disputes with HHS leadership — including Secretary Alex Azar and Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response — were exacerbated by clashes over the coronavirus and that he was eventually excluded from participating in meetings about the virus.

“Dr. Bright pressed for urgent access to funding, personnel and clinical specimens, including viruses, which he emphasized were all critically necessary to begin development of lifesaving medicines needed in the likely event that the virus spread outside of Southeast Asia,” the complaint reads. “Secretary Azar and Dr. Kadlec responded with surprise at Dr. Bright’s dire predictions and urgency.”

Later, Bright claims he was cut out of critical meetings for raising early alarm about the virus.

“It was obvious that Dr. Bright’s persistent demands for urgent action to respond to the pandemic had caused a ‘s**t storm’ and a ‘commotion’ and were unwelcome in the office of the HHS Secretary,” the complaint reads. “As a result, HHS leadership excluded Dr. Bright and BARDA from these recurring meetings and from the critical discussions about addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As the outbreak persisted, Bright says he came under pressure from political leadership at HHS to make hydroxychloroquine widely available after Trump repeatedly proclaimed its potential benefits during his daily White House briefings.

At one point Trump even said he would take the drug himself to protect against the disease, although researchers have said there’s no evidence of its protective effects.

In his complaint, Bright says his concerns about hydroxychloroquine reached a tipping point after drugmaker Bayer offered to donate 3 million pills to the national stockpile.

In an email, another BARDA doctor advised Bright against accepting Bayer’s chloroquine donation because “there are safety liabilities associated with the drug … accepting the donation could send a signal that we are not concerned about the risk … Accepting the donation could lead to widespread use that is not supported by any clinical data.”

Bright also raised safety concerns related to the factories abroad where some of the pills were produced that had not been inspected by the US Food and Drug Administration.

In his complaint, Bright does identify one official who he says appeared to recognize the gravity of the outbreak: Navarro, the President’s hawkish trade adviser.

“Mr. Navarro asked good questions and was prepared to take prompt action to address this impending health crisis,” the complaint reads. “Mr. Navarro clearly recognized that Dr. Bright was unable to get any traction with HHS and was, to Dr. Bright’s great relief, prepared to act.”

CNN has previously reported that Navarro raised early flags about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in memos that were circulated in the West Wing.

In a lengthy series of exhibits that was included with Bright’s whistleblower complaint, some of the memos are provided, including warnings on shortages of masks and syringes to administer an eventual vaccine.

“We may find ourselves in a situation where we have enough vaccine but no way to deliver all of it,” Navarro wrote to members of the White House coronavirus task force on February 14.

Give Me Science Over Bronze Age Superstition And Prayer Anyday

This blog is full of examples of the ineffectiveness of this Christian Bronze Age superstition and their supposed power of prayer.

I am quite sure all of the victims of the Christian pedophile priests and pastors prayed.

I am also quite sure? Victims of the mass church shootings were also praying when they were all shot down in cold blood in their churches during church services.

I also know many pray when a natural disaster hits, such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.

I am willing to bet when you study the historical records of such events as the Black Death? Many, many Christians prayed during this time also.

Now? During the Covid-19 pandemic? Here are just two examples, of which I could post many more, of Christians who believe in the power of their Bronze Age superstition of god, and the power of prayer, and how they also faired. Actually believing? Their power of prayer and their god was stronger than a virus that has now wiped out 21,942 humans and infected 554,849 people just in the United States.

Example One: Gerald Glenn: Bishop who said ‘God is larger than this dreaded virus’ dies of Covid-19
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/gerald-glenn-bishop-who-said-god-is-larger-than-this-dreaded-virus-dies-of-covid-19/ar-BB12Av3R?li=BBnb7Kz

Bishop Gerald Glenn, the pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Virginia has died, the church announced on Sunday. Glenn had tested positive for coronavirus, according to a video posted by his daughter Mar-Gerie Crawley.

In a sermon on March 22, a day before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued his executive order banning all public and private gatherings of 10 people or more, Glenn told his congregation, “I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus,” and announced he was not afraid to die.

On April 4, Glenn’s daughter posted a video, announcing that both he and his wife, Marcietia Glenn, had tested positive for coronavirus.

The church’s post announcing Gerald Glenn’s death, asked that others would allow the “First Family to grieve in their own way.”

“While they are mourning the heartbreaking earthly absence of their family patriarch & spiritual father, they also have family members who are struggling to survive this dreaded pandemic,” the church’s Facebook post read.

Virginia pastor who defiantly held church service dies of coronavirus

An evangelical pastor died of COVID-19 just weeks after proudly showing off how packed his Virginia church was — and vowing to keep preaching “unless I’m in jail or the hospital.”

In his last known in-person service on March 22, Bishop Gerald O. Glenn got his congregation at Richmond’s New Deliverance Evangelistic Church to stand to prove how many were there despite warnings against gatherings of more than 10 people

I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus. You can quote me on that,” he said, repeating it a second time to claps, saying that “people are healed” in his church.

Happily announcing he was being “controversial” by being “in violation” of safety protocols — with “way more than 10 people” at the church — he vowed to keep his church open “unless I’m in jail or the hospital.”

“I am essential,” he said of remaining open, adding, “I’m a preacher — I talk to God!”

On Sunday, his church announced “with an exceedingly sorrowful and heavy heart” that the pastor had died a week after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Example Two: Coronavirus strikes pastor, wife and over 30 others at Ark. church
By Leonardo Blair
https://www.christianpost.com/news/coronavirus-strikes-pastor-wife-and-over-30-others-at-arkansas-church.html

An Arkansas pastor who was recently struck with the deadly coronavirus along with his wife, Dena, and more than 30 others connected to his church is now warning others not to underestimate how dangerous the virus is and treat it with “wisdom and restraint.”

“There was very little in my training for the ministry that covered the full measure of what our church family has dealt with in the past few weeks,” pastor Mark Palenske of Greers Ferry First Assembly in Cleburne County said in a statement on Facebook Sunday.

“The intensity of this virus has been underestimated by so many, and I continue to ask that each of you take it very seriously. An act of wisdom and restraint on your part can be the blessing that preserves the health of someone else.”

The church didn’t immediately respond to calls from The Christian Post for comment, but Donald Shipp, a deacon of the church, told The Arkansas Democrat Gazette on Monday that at least 34 people connected with the church have tested positive for the virus and several others are still awaiting results. All of them attended a children’s event held at the church from March 5-8.

Of those who tested positive for the virus, 31 are on staff at the church or are members, Shipp said. The others are two evangelists who led the children’s event and a child who was visiting.

Palenske warned on his Facebook page that the virus is “highly contagious” and his wife got so sick she had to be hospitalized along with several other members of their church.

Score is: Science 100 Bronze Age Superstition 0

While science really cannot do anything to stop a psychotic freak from going into a church, let alone anywhere and commit a mass shooting, or stop pedophiles from raping children in a church, well we can, it is called the science of the death penalty punishment in my opinion? Science sure has proven Christians wrong far too many times. Maybe this is why many Christians, especially Fundie and Evangelicals hate Science so much?

Where Christians, during the Black Death relied on their prayers and hunting down Jews, Satan, Witches and cats they blamed for the spread of the disease? It was science that showed it was actually the cats that were saving the “witches” from the disease. That the Black Death was not caused by Satan and Witches and cats, or Jews going around poisoning the wells, it was fleas, on the rats, coming in from the Middle East and Italy and other places that was brining the Black Death to them.

When early Christians said that schizophrenic people were possessed by demons and drilled holes into their skulls, which let the supposed demons out, but actually killed many, so the Christians then buried the corpse facedown in a grave and covered it with rocks to the demon would not come out and possess another person? It was the science of psychiatry that said nope, it is not demons, it is a mental illness called schizophrenia.

And now, here we are in 2020 and we still have idiots, mental midget morons, brain-washed and brain-dead humans still thinking their Bronze Age superstition of our ignorant ancestors is still going to save them. They still believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that the power of prayer is such a failure, that under scientific research and anecdotal evidence? The successful answer rate to a prayer is? 0.002%.

And yet it is our sciences that will do what needs to be done, just like all the other times, to save humanity from this problem. Just like Jonas Salk and all the others who came up with cures for diseases, for vaccines for diseases? They will do so again.

And the Christians? Who still believe in their Bronze Age bullshit superstition? Will continue to pray to a god who is deaf to anything they get on their knees and beg for.

The mass shootings in Christian churches prove this, the continued rapes of praying children by Christian priests and pastors prove this, the continue spreading of Covid-19 and the deaths of these people who were firm believers in god and prayer prove this.

What China didn’t do to Donald Trump, Coronavirus did — THE SHINBONE STAR

This story was going to be about Donald Trump’s new persona. He tried being caring and humble for a few minutes in a daily broadcast featuring dead bodies being loaded into the refrigerated trailer of an 18-wheeler at the Elmhurst Medical Center. That’s all it took for the news media to speculate that Trump was […]

What China didn’t do to Donald Trump, Coronavirus did — THE SHINBONE STAR

Viruses and Pandemics: The Great Equalizer

What a paradox for me. Part of me is extremely sad that millions of people are going to die from this virus sweeping our planet. There are a whole lot of good, decent, kind, loving, generous humans out in the world, of all faiths and non-faiths, of all political stripes, just human beings humaine to each other, that we really need here, who are not going to be around after this is all over.

I love how our country the United States? Is in a way? Becoming much more United, not in our politics of course, Trump is ALWAYS going to be an ass and make all this as much a positive for himself than the negative it truly is for all of us. But united more on a real personal level. We have a huge national emergency going on right now and it is beautiful reading all the stories of people putting all the bullshit aside, getting together and working together to get things done and help in any way they can.

Right now? It is NOT if you are a Trump supporter or not. Right now? It is NOT whether you are a democrat, a republican, an independent. Right now? It is NOT whether you watch Fox News, MSNBC, CNN. Right now? It is NOT about going out and trolling people on the internet or spreading stupid hate. Save that shit for right now. You want to go online and spread all kinds of shit in the comment sections on Hillary and China is responsible for this or that President Barack Obama is responsible for this? Go for it. But that is a waste of your time and energy really.

Right now? It is about saving as many people and helping as many people as we can. Especially those who need it the most. It is not about just yourself right now. It is about ALL of us pulling together, just like we did after 9/11, and many other times as a country when we thought it was all going to fall apart at the seams and explode and we worked together to get it done and get it done right.

And this goes for throughout the world And this particularly goes for all those rich billionaires and millionaires who right now have proven? They do not give a flying fuck about the people who work for them and make them rich, like Jeff Bezos right now and others. Listen up you ass clowns. How many billions do you need? Do you really need the title of the rich man in the Universe?

But here is the thing. Yeah, sadly? A whole lot of good people that are on this planet, making life better for everyone? Or their own small corner of the world? Are going to die from this virus.

But for me? Here is a good thing. This virus? This pandemic? Is the greatest equalizer there is known to humanity. This bug does not care if you are rich or poor, famous or infamous, live in a billionaires mansion or a cardboard box. It does not care about the color of your skin, the religion you follow, the political party you belong to. It does not care what you watch on tv, or listen to for music, or watch for sports.

This COVID-19 is no joke.

The good thing for me truly is? That I am hoping? It will take out more of the greedy bad people who truly do spread hate and violence and anger and lies and bullshit that truly does harm the good people of our world. Especially those who harm little children. Who in this time of great national crisis, heck, world crisis, all the greedy losers like Bezos? Well…hey Jeff, you sure the hell cannot take it with you now can you, and all your billions? Sure cannot save you from a deadly virus that is taking out millions of others. So you and your greedy kind who are screwing over the workers who put those billions in your pockets who do not give a flying fuck about them? I really hope you get a good dose of Corona Virus and get off this planet.

That is the thing about The Great Equalizer viruses and pandemics. And in this case? YOU do not know when you get it, but when it hits you? You know then. And you will not know how bad you got it until it is too late and you can no longer breath as your lungs fill up with fluid.

Hell Bezos could have even offered to help with all kinds of masks etc that his companies could make. But I bet he is not doing that while others like car manufacturers are. Or plastic companies or hat companies….

And what is really scummy about him? He is literally profitting off of this pandemic and working his workers to death and he does not give a flying fuck about that.

Why is it the small business owner are the ones who have proven they have the biggest hearts and the most love for their workers while the biggest companies prove otherwise? But the Repugnants keep giving the tax breaks and handouts to the shitty companies like Amazon while screwing over the small business owners who are the best of our country and keep it going the most?

I am hoping this Great Equalizer? Takes out a whole lot more of those bad humans of this world, than us good ones.

CORONAVIRUS FLORIDA CHURCH PACKED WITH WORSHIPERS … Pastor Shuns Social Distancing

by jaymusic22
From the link by Queenies Blog
https://queeniesblog.com/2020/03/29/coronavirus-florida-church-packed-with-worshipers-pastor-shuns-social-distancing/

This is the clear and present danger … people continuing to congregate — squeezing into close quarters like sardines — and that’s exactly what happened Sunday at a Florida Church.

The River Church in Tampa was packed to the gills with worshipers who clearly were looking for hope. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who presides over the megachurch and has been reportedly defiant over social distancing, has claimed he’ll cure coronavirus just the way he did with Zika.

He has vowed he will never close his church … despite every doctor and scientist saying social distancing is the only thing that will prevent the disease from spreading even more.

The Pastor boasted his place was white-glove clean, saying, “We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place, and uh, if somebody walks through the door it’s like, it kills everything on them. If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split seconds. We have the most sterile building in, I don’t know, all of America.”

Howard-Browne said on March 17, “We are not stopping anything. I’ve got news for you, this church will never close. The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place.”

The Pastor has peddled ridiculous theories in the past, but this takes the cake.

The scariest part … all these people showed up elbow-to-elbow. If they contract the disease, they are the ones most likely to spread it, because they are clearly not practicing or understanding social distancing.

BTW … Pastor Joel Osteen, who presides over the Lakewood Church in Houston, is doing virtual services to protect his congregation.

As for Howard-Browne … well, faith is important, but seriously … risking the health and safety of the people who come to worship … really outrageous and irresponsible.

Margaret and Helen introduce the COVID19 Quarantini. It’s strong enough to make you think Obama is still President and will knock you on your ass from 6 feet away. #SocialDistancing

I am a former drunk. Haven’t touched a drop since 2005. But this? I damn well would drink right now.

Margaret, I’m sorry to say that the Social Distancing diet is fattening. My ass is almost as big as Trump’s ego, but easier to view if I do say so myself. The man gave himself a 10 out of 10 for how he has handled this. Really? Try to get tested right now. Just try. In my book the grade is zero which is also the number of tests you are going to find unless you are in another country or a professional basketball player.

Over a week ago he told us “Anyone who wants a test can get a test.” He repeated that statement more than once. That’s odd because yesterday the Governor of Texas announced that 15,000 tests would be available by the end of the week. The end of THIS WEEK. Texas has a population of 30,000,000. That’s 30 million.  1 test for every 2,000 Texans… but anyone who wants one… Math seems to be hard for the GOP.

Until this week Fox News continued to tell people it was all a Democratic hoax. But yesterday Trump said he knew it was a Pandemic a long time ago which is odd because he told everyone at his last rally that it was a Democrat “new hoax”. Either he was lying to all his supporters then or he’s lying to all Americans now. Well, I’ve got news for all those Trump supporting Fox News viewers. You are in for a real surprise when you head to the grocery store for toilet paper this week.

Trump also calls this the Chinese Virus because  finding blame for a pandemic is very Trumpian. He blames everything on Mexico, China, Obama or fake news. It’s as if he hasn’t been President for over three years. You know what Obama had to do with COVID19? Nothing. Honestly, if this really was called the Chinese Virus it would have a Trump clothing label on it and his moron of a first daughter would be trying to get it trademarked. The man has no shame and the sense God gave a goose.  My apology to geese.

A real President would have declared COVID19 a public health emergency within a week of the first US case being detected. In a fully functioning government, the first test to detect the new virus would have been approved by the FDA two days later and shipments of the new CDC test would have gone out within 2 weeks. You know – EXACTLY HOW THEN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HANDLED THE H1N1 VIRUS.

But not Donald Trump.  It’s over two months since the first case in the US and we are just now getting any type of major testing underway.  Asked whether he took responsibility for the apparent lag in widespread testing, Trump said, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a — a set of circumstances, and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time.”

Well I call BULLSHIT.  This Asshat fired the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs.  And that is a fact.  Here are some other facts:

December 31: Health officials in Wuhan, China, post a notice about investigating a pneumonia outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that it “was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.”

January 14: Two cases of Coranavirus (COVID19) reported in the US.

January 21: Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a senior CDC official handling the response to respiratory diseases, tells reporters, “We do expect additional cases in the United States and globally.”

January 22: Trump says he isn’t worried that the outbreak could turn into a global pandemic, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

January 24: Trump posts his first of many misleading tweets about the coronavirus. He praises the Chinese government for its “transparency” handling the outbreak and says, “it will all work out well.”

January 25: The WHO says there are more than 1,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

January 31: Two weeks after the first reported cases in the US, Trump administration declares a public health emergency in the United States because of the coronavirus and blocks foreigners who visited China from entering the country.

February 1: The WHO says there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 6: The WHO says there are more than 25,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 7: Trump tweets that China “will be successful” in stopping the coronavirus, “especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

February 10: At a political rally in New Hampshire, Trump mentions the coronavirus and says it “looks like, by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

February 14:  One month since first reported cases in US

February 15: The WHO says there are more than 50,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 19: The WHO says there are more than 75,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 24: Trump tweets, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

February 25: Messonnier, the CDC official, says it is inevitable that the coronavirus will spread in the US and that Americans need to prepare for disruptions to their daily lives.

February 25: Trump tells reporters during his trip to India that the virus is “a problem that’s going to go away.”

February 26: At a White House press conference, Trump contradicts the assessment from the CDC that the virus will definitely spread throughout the US. Trump says, “I don’t think it’s inevitable. I think that there’s a chance that it could get worse, a chance it could get fairly substantially worse, but nothing’s inevitable.”

February 27: The WHO says there are more than 82,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 28: At another political rally Trump tells supporters, “The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. They’re politicizing it.” Then Trump called the coronavirus “their new hoax.”

February 29: Health officials in Washington state announce the first coronavirus death inside the United States. Forty-six (46) days after the first reported cases in the US, Trump conceded that “additional cases in the United States are likely.”

March 5:  Vice President and Chief Brown Noser Mike Pence admits we don’t have enough tests.

March 6: Trump lies (again) and says “Anyone who wants a test, can get a test.”

March 14: Two months since first reported cases in the US.

March 18: Sixty-four (64) days after the first reported cases in the US and we are still asking “Where are the tests?”

March 19: Global cases approach a quarter of a million. Cases in the US approach 10,000. Over 150 Americans have died. Many Hospitals report that tests are arriving broken or with incomplete parts.

(Sidenote:  My idiot Senator from Texas, John Cornyn – the other idiot Senator from Texas I should say – says that viruses like Swine Flu are China’s fault because they eat weird food. He then goes home to have some bacon-wrapped jalapenos and bison burgers. At the same time Ted Cruz emerges from self-quarantine but admits that he was never tested. Ted Cruz doesn’t play basketball professionally and I guess beating Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t get you a free test kit.)

We are all now hoarding toilet paper and social distancing. Millions of people are sheltering in place. Schools and universities are closed. Tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers, artists, theatres, restaurants, clubs, small businesses, large businesses will go under. The stock market is heading south faster than my friends Marvin and Fannie Stein do from New York in October.  And our Supreme Leader Trump is most concerned about saving the Cruise Ship and Airline industries. The man is an asshat.

Contrary to popular belief, I was born after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.  I’m really not sure what to tell you.  I would imagine, however, that social distancing means it’s ok to drink alone.

Helen’s COVID19 Quarantini

1-part vermouth

19 parts gin

Garnished with a Vitamin C tablet

Served Chilled with Hand Sanitizer

The world is indeed a bit crazy these days, but we can all get through this together… even if that means we must be apart for a while.  I mean it. Really.

Trump to New York: You’ve Been Mean to Me, Drop Dead

Trump to New York: You’ve Been Mean to Me, Drop Dead
By Asawin Suebsaeng, Erin Banco and Sam Stein
https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-to-new-york-youve-been-mean-to-me-drop-dead?via=rss&source=articles_fancylink

Democratic governors, including Andrew Cuomo, are grappling with a coronavirus-related fear: piss off the president and risk losing his support.

As the coronavirus pandemic has deepened, Democratic governors bearing the heaviest burdens are increasingly wary that if they complain too loudly about the federal response they will anger Donald Trump and risk losing critical support during a life-or-death crisis.

The latest evidence of the delicate, sometimes impossible line that these governors have been forced to walk came Tuesday, when the president took swipes at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a televised town-hall-style program on Fox News.

“I watched Gov. Cuomo [today] and he was very nice,” the president said of the man steering the state hardest hit by the virus. Cuomo had, moments earlier, conducted a press conference in which he scoffed at how insufficient the administration’s help in procuring ventilators had been. 

“He had a choice… He refused to order 15,000 ventilators,” Trump said, referencing a recent column by Betsy McCaughey, a hardened Trump supporter and longtime health-care policy crusader on the right. “It says that he didn’t buy the ventilators in 2015 for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead.” 

Trump would go on to insist he was not blaming Cuomo. But the magnanimity was short-lived. “It’s a two-way street,” Trump said of having the feds help states with a coronavirus response policy. “They have to treat us well, too.” 

Under normal circumstances, such a screed would be cast aside as a classic bit of Trumpian shit-talking and thin-skinness. But these aren’t normal times. And Trump’s comment resonated not only for how callous it seemed but also for how manufactured the evidence was that he was citing.

A source on Gov. Cuomo’s team told The Daily Beast they believed McCaughey was referencing a 2015 New York government health report on ventilator guidelines for her column. The report’s data on ventilator need was based on numbers gathered for the 1918 influenza pandemic. The report’s guidelines went on to say that it was “not possible to accurately calculate the impact of a severe pandemic, including ventilator need” and that it is “likely that the approach used overestimates the number of ventilators that would be needed during a severe pandemic.”

President Trump “obviously didn’t read the document he’s citing—this was a five-year-old advisory task-force report, which never recommended the state procure ventilators—it merely referenced that New York wouldn’t be equipped with enough ventilators for a 1918 flu pandemic,” said Dani Lever, director of communications for Cuomo. “No one is, including Mr. Trump.”

For Trump, it was just the latest in an on-again, off-again relationship that has developed between him and the governor of the state he used to call home. The relationship between the two has changed from week to week, if not day to day, vacillating from gracious words to open hostility, depending on the news cycle. Such work-relationship dysfunction may seem abnormal, especially in the midst of a deadly, economy-tanking pandemic. But for those close to the president, it was standard operating procedure.

“If you’re good and respectful to [Trump], he will treat you the same—it’s that simple,” said one senior White House official. “The president has always said that he fights back when he needs to, and the situation with [Cuomo] is no different. If you keep that in mind, their sort of seesaw relationship during [coronavirus] doesn’t come as a surprise.”

Another person who had spoken to the president earlier this month recounted that one day Trump had mentioned in a meeting how well Cuomo was behaving and handling the crisis, only to, two days later, start bashing the governor in a different private conversation as “nasty.”

A source on the New York governor’s team said that Cuomo has tried to shrug off these temperamental swings over the last two weeks, saying Trump’s mood changes so often that it is hard to keep track. Another individual familiar with the relationship said it’s become expected that the pair will collaborate one day and the president will take a swipe at the governor for not doing enough the next, usually in the hours after the governor’s morning press conference.

Cuomo, the individual close to the governor noted, has praised the White House in addition to criticizing it on occasion. For example, when the administration facilitated the construction of hospitals and sent the Army Corps of Engineers to the state to help, Cuomo was gracious. And in press conferences, he has repeatedly thanked the president and noted that he and Trump speak often about what New York needs to battle the public-health epidemic. At other times, though, Cuomo has blasted the federal government, not necessarily Trump himself, for the delay and lack of much-needed essential medical supplies that health-care workers need to treat coronavirus patients.

That was true on Tuesday, when Cuomo said the state is in need of 30,000 ventilators and was getting insufficient help from the federal government to acquire more. The Trump administration said later that it was in the process of shipping about 4,000 ventilators to New York. But the governor’s office is still desperate for more and has called on the president to implement the Defense Production Act and order private companies to make more for the open market.

That Cuomo has made sharper demands than others is not lost on the White House. Nor is it lost as to why. His state has faced the brunt of the coronavirus crisis. And on Tuesday evening, Deborah Birx, a key member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said at a White House press briefing that people who’ve left New York City recently should self-quarantine for 14 days. “To everyone who has left New York over the last few days, because of the rate of the number of cases, you may have been exposed before you left New York,” Birx said. “Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others.”

Trump, who was at the briefing, declined to say if he’d given Cuomo advance warning about the pronouncement. “We’re talking to them about it,” the president told reporters at the White House.

But while Trump’s attention seems to be focused on parrying with Cuomo, other Democratic governors have felt the pressure to not get on his bad side as well. One of those governors has been Jay Inslee of Washington, whose state preceded New York in having to deal with a massive wave of coronavirus infections and deaths. This month, the president called Inslee a “snake” and even instructed his vice president “not to be complimentary” of him. For weeks, the governor and president did not speak, though Tara Lee, a spokesperson for Inslee, told The Daily Beast that they connected over the weekend for the first time, during which Trump told Inslee that he was not getting a medical boat he had requested but would be “getting field hospitals.”

For Democrats working for governors on the frontlines of the crisis, the lesson taken from that episode and from Cuomo is that there are two administrations to navigate: the one doing the actual crisis response, and the one that is responsive to Trump’s id. 

“It is really unclear how many decisions are made by Trump versus the actual team there. Everyone is negotiating the challenge of telling the federal government where they are falling behind versus making sure we meet the needs of our citizens by getting federal help, knowing that you risk it if you anger Trump,” said an aide to a Democratic governor involved in handling the coronavirus spread. “It’s a balance that all governors are dealing with right now. Well, not all governors. Democratic governors.” 

As they deal with that balance, Democrats say they can already see potholes ahead. Trump has said in recent days that he wants to “re-open” the economy soon—perhaps by Easter—in hopes of avoiding an economic depression. But there is little the president can do to compel states to end their decrees that people stay in place or that all non-essential businesses close. Should they not bow to Trump’s demands, the fear goes, it will set up a situation in which he may once again use the bully pulpit to, well, bully. 

“He’s been trying to kick the blame to the states… and I think this maneuver [to re-open the economy] is the same,” said one Democratic operative who works on gubernatorial campaigns. “It’s him being able to say: ‘Hey, I opened it up, it’s not my decision that your state kept the economy closed. It’s not on me that you lost your job. Blame your governor.’”