Vanity Fair: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”

Vanity Fair: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”. “Six months into the pandemic, the United States continues to suffer the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the developed world. Considerable blame belongs to a federal response that offloaded responsibility for the crucial task of testing to the states. The irony is that, after assembling the team that came up with an aggressive and ambitious national testing plan, Kushner then appears to have decided, for reasons that remain murky, to scrap its proposal. Today, as governors and mayors scramble to stamp out epidemics plaguing their populations, philanthropists at the Rockefeller Foundation are working to fill the void and organize enough testing to bring the nationwide epidemic under control.”

ProPublica: After a Year of Investigation, the Border Patrol Has Little to Say About Agents’ Misogynistic and Racist Facebook Group

ProPublica: After a Year of Investigation, the Border Patrol Has Little to Say About Agents’ Misogynistic and Racist Facebook Group. “The Border Patrol vowed a full accounting after ProPublica revealed hateful posts in the private Facebook group. Now congressional investigators say the agency is blocking them and revealing little about its internal investigation.”

‘They didn’t run the plays’: Ex-officials say Trump administration didn’t use pandemic ‘playbooks’ (ABC News)

ABC News: ‘They didn’t run the plays’: Ex-officials say Trump administration didn’t use pandemic ‘playbooks’. “President Donald Trump proclaimed in late March that “nobody knew there’d be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion.” Confronted with criticism of a lethargic national response, he lamented ‘a system we inherited’ from past administrations. The problem with both statements, according to former public health officials, is that prior administrations not only “knew there’d be a pandemic,” they planned for it – extensively.”

The Hill: House Democrats find Trump officials overpaid for ventilators by as much as $500 million

The Hill: House Democrats find Trump officials overpaid for ventilators by as much as $500 million. “A report from Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee released Friday finds that the Trump administration overpaid by as much as $500 million for ventilators and was slow to respond to an offer to accelerate shipments in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. The report finds that the Trump administration paid the manufacturer Philips $15,000 per ventilator, more than any other American purchaser. Some purchasers buying as few as just one ventilator negotiated prices down to as low as $9,327 per ventilator, the report said.”

CNN: Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected

CNN: Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected. “It’s a sign that the Trump administration has abandoned its plan to extend the window for counting the nation’s population, which it earlier said needed to be longer because of the coronavirus pandemic. To be counted, households must complete the survey by September 30, rather than October 31, as the Census Bureau had announced when it adjusted plans due to the virus. The bureau will also end its labor-intensive efforts to knock on the doors of households that have not filled out the survey online, by paper form, or by phone.”

NBC News: Diplomats plead with State Department not to rush return to offices

NBC News: Diplomats plead with State Department not to rush return to offices. “More than 500 State Department employees are privately pleading with the Trump administration to pull back its decision to send up to 80 percent of its staff members in Washington back to work in person after an employee who works near Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office tested positive for the coronavirus this week.”

Washington Post: Trump administration is crippling international Internet freedom effort by withholding funds, officials say

Washington Post: Trump administration is crippling international Internet freedom effort by withholding funds, officials say. “The Trump administration is withholding $20 million in funding approved by Congress for a U.S. Internet freedom organization, forcing the cutoff Friday of tools used by tens of millions of people worldwide to access the Internet and uncensored news through the Voice of America, officials said. The head of the Washington-based Open Technology Fund said Thursday that it is being forced to halt 49 of the fund’s 60 Internet freedom projects. The move, according to the head of the fund, affects about 80 percent of the group’s work helping human rights and pro-democracy advocates, journalists and others in 200 countries.”

ProPublica: How the Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Keep Relief Money That Was Supposed to Go to Workers

ProPublica: How the Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Keep Relief Money That Was Supposed to Go to Workers. “Flying Food didn’t just lay off [Gebrish] Weldemariam. The Chicago-based company, one of the largest airline caterers in the country, has pink slipped more than 2,000 other workers since March. The cuts left the vast majority of its workforce out of a job at facilities in California, Chicago, Virginia and the New York City area, according to the union UNITE HERE, which represents Flying Food workers. Then in June, the Flying Food was approved to receive $85 million from the Trump administration from a pandemic relief program that was intended to preserve those very jobs.”

NPR: Irregularities In COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raise New Questions

NPR: Irregularities In COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raise New Questions. “An NPR investigation has found irregularities in the process by which the Trump administration awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a Pittsburgh company to collect key data about COVID-19 from the country’s hospitals. The contract is at the center of a controversy over the administration’s decision to move that data reporting function from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which has tracked infection information for a range of illnesses for years — to the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program. “A federal watchdog reported Tuesday that it has identified $250 million in taxpayer-subsidized coronavirus loan funds given to ‘potentially ineligible recipients,’ pointing to a strong likelihood of widespread fraud in an important but troubled economic assistance program. The Small Business Administration’s office of inspector general launched numerous investigations after receiving more than 1,000 hotline complaints about potentially fraudulent transactions, according to a report released Tuesday. It also criticized the agency for allegedly failing to put in place internal controls to prevent abuse.”

ABC News: As coronavirus threatened invasion, a new ‘Red Dawn’ team tried to save America

ABC News: As coronavirus threatened invasion, a new ‘Red Dawn’ team tried to save America. “A group of public health and national security experts who sent some of the earliest and most dire warnings to officials across the Trump administration about the gathering coronavirus crisis is now offering a searing assessment of how the federal government blundered through the critical first months of a lethal outbreak.”

Slate: Everything, Um, Unusual About Kodak’s Trump-Assisted Pivot to Pharmaceuticals

Slate: Everything, Um, Unusual About Kodak’s Trump-Assisted Pivot to Pharmaceuticals. “Kodak’s stock peaked as high as $60, and investors traded 272 million of its shares on Wednesday, up from its previous daily average trading volume of 125,000. Much of this activity came from day traders using the investing platform Robinhood. Before Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, approximately 9,300 Robinhood users had Kodak in their portfolios; by noon on Wednesday, that number rose to more than 72,000. Many financial analysts are warning, however, that a lot of things don’t quite add up about Kodak’s sudden bout of success on the stock market. Taken all together, this week has been a particularly fishy Kodak moment.”

NPR: Irregularities in COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raises New Questions

NPR: Irregularities in COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raises New Questions. “An NPR investigation has found irregularities in the process by which the Trump administration awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a Pittsburgh company to collect key data about Covid-19 from the country’s hospitals. The contract is at the center of a controversy over the Administration’s decision to move that data reporting function from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which has tracked infection information for a range of illnesses for years — to the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Fauci: Some messages from Trump’s COVID-19 task force don’t match reports from ‘the trenches’ (Good Morning America)

Good Morning America: Fauci: Some messages from Trump’s COVID-19 task force don’t match reports from ‘the trenches’. “As the COVID-19 pandemic surges within the United States, the Trump administration’s task force leading federal efforts to slow the spread of the virus continues to relay some optimistic messages in its meetings. But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the task force as the nation’s top infectious disease expert, those claims do not always match the reports he receives from the front lines of the crisis.”

CNN: Trump’s national security adviser tests positive for Covid-19

CNN: Trump’s national security adviser tests positive for Covid-19. “President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to an official familiar with what happened. O’Brien’s diagnosis marks the highest-ranking Trump administration official known to have tested positive. It’s unclear when O’Brien last met with Trump. Their last public appearance together was over two weeks ago during a visit to US Southern Command in Miami on July 10.”