Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Acting Early, Leading Forcefully, Winning Approval

🎬 VIDEO OF THE DAY: America is winning together

President Trump didn’t wait to take action on Coronavirus, from imposing swift travel restrictions on China to organizing a White House Task Force in January. 

These early moves—which at the time drew criticism from some in Washington as an “overreaction”—have allowed America to slow the spread of the deadly virus today.

🇺🇸 “Every one of us has a role to play in winning this war.”

Together, America has mounted a full-scale response to the pandemic. In the Rose Garden yesterday, a number of CEOs joined the President to explain how they’ve transformed their own companies to help fight the virus:  As great American businesses step up, citizens across the country are doing their part to slow the spread, too. “The choices and sacrifices we make will determine the fate of this virus and, really, the fate of our victory,” President Trump says.

READ: “What we at the FDA are doing to fight Covid-19”

POLL: Americans want better from their news media

A majority of Americans—60 percent, according to Gallup—support the President’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. A slightly smaller majority, 59 percent, approve of Congress’ handling of the crisis. The poll was conducted before President Trump signed the bipartisan CARES Act, which is supported by 77 percent of U.S. adults. 

In fact, nearly all of the institutions surveyed by Gallup earned high marks from the public. Americans approve of the efforts by hospitals, state governments, schools, daycares, Federal agencies, and employers to confront the global outbreak together.

There was one exception: the news media. A majority of Americans, 55 percent, disapprove of how the media has handled the Coronavirus response.

Facts and results matter, especially during a crisis. Leaders across the country are putting politics aside to get to work. President Trump and Congress have joined forces on several major emergency-relief bills. Governors are implementing crucial public safety measures. Businesses are repurposing factories to make more masks and other medical supplies available.

Many in the media, however, continue to put ratings before country. Last month, Politico and others spread the false story that President Trump called the Coronavirus “a hoax.” This misinformation came after the Administration had already taken crucial steps to combat the pandemic, including travel restrictions on China in January.

Other pundits have actively rooted for the American response to fail. “On Friday March 20, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said President Trump was lying when he said the U.S. Navy hospital ships would arrive in Los Angeles and New York City in the near future” to help treat patients, Chrissy Clark wrote for The Federalist yesterday.

“Exactly a week later, the USNS Mercy arrived in the Port of Los Angeles.” And yesterday, the USNS Comfort docked at Pier 90 in New York City.

Washington pundits and reporters must start listening to the American public more and to each other less. As the country fights this Coronavirus together, timely and trustworthy information is essential. The news media should prioritize facts and constructive debate—not obsessive attacks on this President based on false narratives.

Americans have had enough, and they’ve said so clearly. It’s time to hear them. 

Photo of the Day

Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, delivers remarks during a Coronavirus briefing in the Rose Garden | March 30, 2020

Understanding President Trump's 'Tough Love'

When I think of how President Trump's daily COVID19 briefings, two words come to mind: tough love.
Tough love is described as the kind of love that expects you to take responsibility for your own actions. It's also love expressed in an unsentimental manner which challenges you to give your all.
The lyrics of the song Tough Love by Avicii say "give me tough love and a lesson to learn."
The  President is hoping that the vast federal bureaucracy, our elected leaders and each of us individually will learn important lessons from this crisis -- lessons that will hold us in good steed going forward; lessons that will help us deal with future crises and prevent another one of this monumental scale.
It's important to note that you can practice tough love and cheerlead at the same time. And the President has started every one of his daily briefings with positive news, gratefulness and encouragement for the whole country. His remarks are peppered with superlatives and visions of a better day.
As a hugely successful salesman, Trump is very good and honing in on a message and hammering away at it again and again. Let's look at some of the words and phrases he's been using:

No one has ever seen anything like this before.
The President uses this phrase to express both the magnitude of the problem and the persistent, menacing nature of the virus itself. It's his way of reminding the county that we are in uncharted waters and that reality always looks more obvious in hindsight than in foresight.

We're learning so much.
This is Trump's way of saying that we're not only making progress every minute of every day but what we're learning now is neither fleeting  nor transitory. It's an investment in our path forward, both tomorrow and years from now.

These are incredible people.
The President uses this phrase repeatedly in reference to  the members of his task force, first  responders, medical professionals, law enforcement, scientists, business leaders and ordinary Americans  who are pitching in to make a difference. It's his way of thanking them and publicly acknowledging their efforts.

We'll get through this.
These four words (that cannot be said enough) have become a sort of mantra and, in TrumpSpeak are almost always followed by "and we'll be back, bigger and better than ever." In Donald Trump's world a setback  is merely a setup for a comeback. But the comeback must always be way bigger and more spectacular than what preceded it.

I'm very proud to be  your President.
Embracing the paternal role of the Chief Executive, the President is telling the country that he understands how tough this is and he appreciates the good job we're doing every day. It's what he calls "very special" and the pride that he says he feels is as close to sentimentality as he's likely to get.

President Trump speaks in simple and direct terms --  the sort of everyday language that ordinary Americans can relate to.  He wasn't necessarily elected to comfort or soothe. He was elected to shake things up and make America great again. He'd be the first to remind you that pre coronavirus, he already accomplished much of that.  Now, he's gotta do it all over again.  If anyone can pull off such a Herculean feat, Trump can.

Testa: Let's Protect NJ Corrections Officers

To better keep corrections officers and their families safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey State Senator Michael Testa called to enact a variety of measures to help slow the spread in state prisons.

“New Jersey is not doing enough to keep our corrections officers safe from coronavirus,” said Testa (R- Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic). “While hundreds of inmates are free to go, corrections officers still must show up to work, day in and day out, to maintain the safety and security of our communities. Enhancing precautionary measures against this evolving pandemic, such as enacting smarter social distancing policies, will keep officers and their loved ones at home safe from COVID-19.”

Testa is proposing multiple courses of action to help keep New Jersey’s state corrections officers safe, including:

1. Implement better social distancing.

2. Stop prison transfers from North Jersey to Cumberland County.

3. Stop unnecessary gym time.

Cumberland County has one of the highest inmate populations within New Jersey.

The President of PBA Local 105, William Sullivan, expressed similar sentiments. In a press release, he recently stated, “We walk the states toughest beat serving behind the walls of our state institutions. We cannot afford to have a major outbreak in our prisons. They need to secure our facilities ceasing all transfers and reducing movements to a bare minimum to protect not only our officers but the inmates we are tasked with the care and custody of.”

“When corrections officers leave work and go home, they are potentially exposing their families to whatever diseases they come in contact with, including COVID-19,” added Testa. “We need to do everything in our power to keep our corrections officers out of harm’s way. Implementing common-sense safety measures in state prisons, such as restricting the movement of prisoners, will help prevent the unnecessary spread of coronavirus.”

Monday, March 30, 2020

Biden Is Making No Sense Whatsoever!

Stories You'll Want To Read Right Now!

“For over three years, our administration has been fighting hard for your success, rolling back the red tape to ease regulations, launching the ‘Pledge to America’s Workers’ to champion more workforce opportunities in this economic boom and fighting for the forgotten man and woman,” Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump writes in The Kansas City Star.

“Now, more than ever, we stand with you and we are committed to helping you through this uncertain time. Friday, President Donald Trump took the boldest action in history to provide emergency relief for American workers and families — and to preserve our nation’s small businesses.”

Click here to read more.
“President Donald Trump visited Naval Station Norfolk Saturday to see off the USNS Comfort as it headed to New York with medical staff and hospital beds to combat the coronavirus pandemic . . . The plan is for the ship to take patients needing hospital care that are not infected with the virus, freeing up much-needed space in the city’s hospitals,” Gary Harki reports for The Virginian-Pilot. 
“President Trump on Sunday said the U.S. will make three times more ventilators over the next 100 days than it typically produces in a year. Speaking from the White House, Mr. Trump said the pace of production will depend on companies that he is asking—or compelling, through the Defense Production Act—to prioritize federal orders for the life-saving machines,” Tom Howell Jr. writes in The Washington Times. 
“Venezuela’s authoritarian Nicolás Maduro is even more evil than the world knew: He’s not just driving his own country to ruin, he’s apparently a global drug kingpin, too. The US Justice Department last week indicted Maduro and four of his lieutenants on drug-trafficking, money-laundering and corruption charges,” the New York Post editorial board writes.

And Now For Today's Special Chuckle!

Free Meals For Needy Philly Kids . . .

Children and youth who are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can obtain free meals thanks to Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (NDS) sponsored feeding sites. 

NDS has partnered with 24 sites throughout the region to ensure children have access to nutritious meals at no cost. All breakfast and lunch options provide students with their daily requirement for calories and key growth nutrients. Each site features a “grab and go” delivery system respecting and following all directives and guidelines provided by government and health department officials.

Information on NDS’ feeding sites for children including days, locations, and hours of operation can be found by visiting a dedicated link on the NDS website at http://nutritionaldevelopmentservices.org/covid19/#feedingsites The page will be updated regularly with information about additional feeding sites as they become available. 

For forty-six years, NDS’ mission has been to serve children and those in need with healthy food. NDS accomplishes its mission in two distinct ways: by administering the federally-funded child nutrition programs and through the privately supported Community Food Program. 

Note: For more information about Nutritional Development Services (NDS), please visit http://nutritionaldevelopmentservices.org/ . NDS is an equal opportunity service provider.

The Latest Numbers From New Jersey . . . .

From a state official who happens to be a  facebook friend:

Today’s New Jersey numbers.
Total cases: 16,636
Total new cases today: 3,847
Total deaths: 198
Total new deaths today: 37
Total negative tests: 25,224

New business guidelines

Auto dealerships can open for online sales with curbside delivery of vehicle.

Realtors - 1 on 1 showing permissible, open houses are not ok

Firearm retailers are permitted to reopen by appointment only pursuant to federal guidelines.

COVID-19 Cases by County
Bergen County:
2,482 Positive Test Result(s)

Essex County:
1,564 Positive Test Result(s)

Hudson County:
1,314 Positive Test Result(s)

Union County:
1,213 Positive Test Result(s)

Middlesex County:
1,123 Positive Test Result(s)

Passaic County:
1,091 Positive Test Result(s)

Monmouth County:
1,030 Positive Test Result(s)

Ocean County:
874 Positive Test Result(s)

Morris County:
720 Positive Test Result(s)

Somerset County:
349 Positive Test Result(s)

Mercer County:
249 Positive Test Result(s)

Camden County:
200 Positive Test Result(s)

Burlington County:
178 Positive Test Result(s)

Sussex County:
113 Positive Test Result(s)

Gloucester County:
89 Positive Test Result(s)

Hunterdon County:
79 Positive Test Result(s)

Warren County:
68 Positive Test Result(s)

Atlantic County:
29 Positive Test Result(s)

Cumberland County:
12 Positive Test Result(s)

Cape May County:
9 Positive Test Result(s)

Salem County:
3 Positive Test Result(s)

The Optics Of It All: How's Murphy Doin'?

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (second  from left) at a St. Patrick's Day
parade in North Jersey on March 9. 
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has been getting lots of face time these days.
In fact, it's hard to access any media without seeing or hearing from or reading about Murphy.
He' all there, all the time. So much so that there's no "period, full stop" as Murphy would say.
Since New Jersey is number two in the nation for coronavirus cases, the Governor's high visibility makes sense. Plus, the Governor must be given much credit for sheer stamina as he's just come off cancer surgery and we all wish him well and are cheering for his speedy recovery.
Which brings us to the question: From a PR standpoint, how is Murphy doin'?
Well, he's definitely following some tried and true crisis communication rules: stay visible; give frequent updates; bring in a team of experts; remain in command.
But in a moment such as this when the state and its leader are engulfed in a prolonged emergency situation, Murphy is bound to be compared to his predecessor, Governor Chris Christie. 
Who can forget Chris Christie during superstorm Sandy? Christie literally rewrote the book on crisis communication. His famous "get the hell off the beach" command became a worldwide soundbite.
Christie seemed to be everywhere at once: cheering flood-ravaged Jerseyans; commandeering the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi; dominating social media; comforting those who lost their homes; prodding Congress to act and even seemingly throwing politics to the wind by cozying up to President Obama to accelerate federal action. Christie acted instinctively with passion and determination and he took risks to carry out his mission. And the optics were unforgettable. In fact, Christie's distinctive Navy blue fleece pullovers (he reportedly had 27 of 'em) became so iconic that they were lauded by the fashionistas of Vanity Fair.
A second drawback for Murphy comes in the form of the non-stop performance of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, or "The LuvGov," as he has been dubbed by some. Cuomo has so dominated the media that many are suggested that he could somehow supplant the hapless Joe Biden as the Democrats' eventual 2020 presidential nominee. At the very least, some feel that Biden (notwithstanding his promise to pick a woman) will accept Cuomo as his running mate.
Cuomo's relentless briefings are all over the place. Watch his dark, penetrating eyes dance as he shifts from anger to sorrow to resolve to compassion to admonition to gratitude and so on. Listen to his voice and take note of his cadence as his speech ebbs and flows. Pay attention as he tells stories and appears to reveal bits and pieces of himself. It's like some kind of spontaneous Grand Opera. And it's gained national and even international attention.
Among public officials in the midst of this growing calamity, Andrew Cuomo is the new diva. His bulldog features notwithstanding, he appears to be a solid hit with suburban women even though in certain quarters he's most surely tagged a "drama queen." And since Cuomo is an impeccably-credentialed liberal, he gets automatic kudos from the media.
So, here's Murphy stuck with the legacy of Christie and in the shadows of Cuomo. Christie haunts him with a tough act to follow while Cuomo curses him with spillover coronavirus cases from New York that permeate the atmosphere like stale leftovers. What's a guy to do?
Murphy's not a politician by nature. And he doesn't really come across as a people person. He's a former ambassador and high-stakes investor who lives in a waterside mansion and has vacation homes in Europe. He's seems to be accustomed to a more rarified, deferential atmosphere.
In the middle of all this he can come across as authoritarian and dismissive at times, like when he issues sweeping edicts or invites doomsday scenarios. For example, it was a mistake to allow the state's top health official to say of the virus "we're all going to get it." That's an immediate invitation to widespread panic. And Murphy should have probably avoided getting into a spat with a leading Second Amendment advocate over the state's decision to close gun shops. But the Governor is an ardent progressive who seems to weave his ideology into every aspect of his stewardship. The point is that ideology and crisis style leadership don't mix because ideology binds. And, it thwarts the sort of flexibility that effective leadership requires under these ever-changing circumstances. Indeed, Murphy arguably had a chance to show adaptability by permitting gun sales under New Jersey's already stringent rules and he blew it.
Don't look for unnecessary combat. Be flexible. Don't cling to dogma. Don't fuel fear or trigger panic. All of these rules of crisis communication generally serve a leader well at a time like this. Don't Murphy's advisors know this?
To be fair, it's not like Murphy can rush to the frontlines of the battle. He can't hug victims. He can't pat courageous health care workers on the back. He can't go into the trenches and foxholes of this ongoing war. And he was right to both blast and take swift action against an alleged "Corona Party" in Ewing where 47 people reportedly gathered. That's the kind of opportunity Murphy can take advantage of.
In the end, you can be sure of this: Murphy will use whatever visuals he can gather from this crisis to bolster his re-election campaign next year, even weaving in the kind words he's been getting from President Trump --  a man who The Governor has never treated fairly. And second, Murphy will cry poor once this crisis ebbs and pivot to his favorite topic, taxes -- including calls for a millionaires' tax, a boost in the sales tax, an end to homestead rebates and a bunch of other levies.
Or, as any big-government, tax-happy progressive will tell you: Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Watch And Listen: 'Impressive, A Team, All Hands On Deck!'

Once again, here is Fauci speaking out and setting the record straight in his own words.
They're "working together" as a team.
The entire team effort is "impressive."
He "can't imagine" anybody doing more.
The President listens to and follows his recommendations.
There is no rift!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

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