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Donald Trump condemned for Covid stunt ‘insanity’ as US approaches 7.5m cases – US politics live

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Maeve Reston brings us this analysis of the current situation for CNN, saying that the White House has had its focus on the optics, while leaving the US in the dark about what is really happening with the president. She writes:

For much of this year, Trump has spun an alternate reality about the dangers of coronavirus — disputing science and the efficacy of masks, downplaying the risks to the American people, and making false statements about how 99% of coronavirus cases in America are “totally harmless” or that the virus “affects virtually nobody.”

He encouraged his aides and advisers to live in that dangerous fantasy land, pushing his luck to the limits as late as this past week when he again recklessly gathered thousands of unmasked Americans at his political rallies and packed the top officials in government into a Rose Garden ceremony for his Supreme Court nominee. All the while, White House officials embraced the fallacy that administering rapid coronavirus tests frequently at the White House could provide a shield of immunity.

The White House Management Office sent its first staff-wide email Sunday night since Trump tested positive for coronavirus early Friday morning. Until then, staffers had gotten no word about whether to come into work or to remain home given that several of their colleagues tested positive. Stunningly, the email, which was viewed by CNN, states they should not contact the White House testing office if they have symptoms.

With the US rapidly approaching 7.5m confirmed coronavirus cases, it isn’t just the virus itself causing problems, but also the knock-on effects. Michael Sainato has been reporting for us on how the pandemic has worsened the opioid addiction crisis in the US:

Destiny Rozek, 22, of Holbrook, New York on Long Island has struggled with opioid addiction for the past four years, a struggle she said has worsened during America’s coronavirus pandemic.

Rozek explained that several detox facilities have closed and coronavirus safety protocols have limited the assistance several other facilities once provided. She went to a detox facility several weeks ago, but was discharged after a couple of nights because they needed space in the ward.

Related: ‘There was nothing to help me’: how the pandemic has worsened opioid addiction

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