Pandemic and Trump/Political News (mid-March 2020 through January 20, 2021 - Inauguration Day)
Final days of the Trump administration (January 1-20, 2021)
January 20: In final hours of his administration, Trump issues 73 pardons and 70 sentence commutations, including pardons for former strategist Steve Bannon and rap musician Lil Wayne. (CNN)
January 19: Trump prepares for military-style farewell event, early in morning of Joe Biden's Inauguration Day.
January 16: CNN poll finds that Trump's approval rating has reached record low, but other polls suggest it's changed little since the January 6 riot in the Capitol.
January 15: Five days before the end of his term, Trump is Impeached by House of Representatives. Ten Republicans join the full complement of Democrats to approve a single article of impeachment against Donald J. Trump, charged with "incitement of insurrection."
January 10: House speaker Nancy Pelosi to seek resolution asking vice-president Pence to invoke 25th Amendment, in quest to remove Trump from office before his term ends. In latest ABC News/Ipsos poll, 56 percent of Americans say they want Trump removed, versus 43 percent who do not. Average of polls in recent days finds that half of respondents wants the president removed by impeaehment, 25th Amendment, or resignation; 43 percent oppose.
January 10: New video of rampage at Capitol on January 6 shows rioters changing "Hang Mike Pence." Several are seen striking a fallen police officer with pole-like implements -- one of which holds an American flag.
January 9: House of Representatives prepared one article of impeachment, on the grounds of "incitement of insurrection." At least 200 members are expected to support the move. A day later, Republian Senator Pat Toomey joins Lisa Murkowski in calling for Trump's removal.
January 8: Twitter cuts off Trump's account permanently, based upon "the risk of further incitement of violence." (The New York Times
January 8: House Speaker Pelosi issues report on speaking to Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about "possible precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike." Later in day, Pelosi threatens impeachment if the president fails to resign "immediately."
January 8: CNN reports that Trump is "headed for impeachment. again." Vice-president Pence reportedly declined to consider 25th Amendment path. Shortly afterward, sources are reporting that articles of impeachment could be introduced as early as Monday, January 11.
January 7: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warns that if the vice-president does not pursue 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, Democrats will move toward impeachment.
January 7: Various Trump administration officials are resigning, including Secretaries of Transportation and Education.
January 7: During the day following Trump-incited mob assault on U.S. Capitol, rapidly-growing number of officials and others, including Republicans, call for a second impeachment of the current president, or for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. The Wall Street Journal calls for Trump to resign. His term officially ends on Januazry 20, when Joe Biden becomes the president. Trump is reportedly looking into pardoning himself as well as family members, along with Rudy Giuliani, before leaving the White House.
January 6: In wake of chaos, Twitter temporarily locks Trump's account because of incendiary tweets. Facebook and Instagram take similar actions.extending to the end of his term. Trump issues minute-long video calling on rioters to disperse, but his remarks keep repeating baseless claims that election was stolen from him. "We love you," Trump assures the culprits. "You're very special."
Former NJ governor Chris Christie charges that Trump's statement amounted to "one step forward and two steps back." Numerous critics, including lawmakers, refer to events at Capitol an "insurrection" and and an attempted "coup."
January 6: Pro-Trump mob invades U.S. Capitol, smashing windows, roaming the halls -- even occupying and vandalizing some legislators' offices. Lawmakers are evacuated from Capitol by officers with guns drawn, as protest turns violent. One woman is shot and killed during the chaos. Two days later, House is preparing to introduce articles of impeachment
January 6: Hours after Georgia runoff election, Raphael Warnock is declared the victor, giving Democrats 49 seats in U.S. Senate. Race between Jon Ossoff (D) and David Perdue (R), which could shift control of the Senate, is close to dead-even; but Ossoff is deemed the winner later in the morning, giving the Senate a 50-50 split.
January 5: In a tweet, Eric Trump vows to work to defeat every Congressional Republican who fails to support the preident's unfounded fight to overturn the presidential election. (CNN)
January 3: The Washington Post publishes excerpts from taped phone conversation between Trump and Georgia's secretary of state, in which the president demands that the state official "find" enough (11,780) Trump votes to overturn the election, "because we won." During the hour-long call, Trump issues vague threat about a "criminal offense."
January 1: Federal judge dismisses lawsuit filed against Mike Pence, which sought to grant the vice-president authority to interfere with election results. (CNN)
News Briefs from the Pandemic Period (mid-March through December, 2020
December 31: Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill – first time in his administration.
December 31: Sen. Mitt Romney calls Trump administration's vaccine distribution plan "unrealistic."
December 31: According to CNN, at least 140 U.S. Representatives intend to vote against accepting the Electoral College vote count. A total of 196 Republicans serve as Representatives in the current (116th) Congress; the 117th Congress will replace it in January.
December 30: Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) announces intent to object to Electoral College vote count on January 6 – a move that will delay final certification of Joe Biden as president-elect. CNN notes that additional Republican Senators are expected to concur.
December 28: Congress overrides Trump's veto of defense bill. More than 100 Republican in House of Representatives vote against the president.
December 28: Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) sues Mike Pence in attempt to strengthen the vice-president's role in announcing result of Electoral College vote. Rather than the usual ceremonial role, the lawsuit would give the VP greater power, even to the point of deciding the election in Trump's favor. (CNN)
December 27: Trump signs Covid relief bill a day after official deadline, avoiding potential veto override by Congress..
December 26: Supplemental unemployment benefits end at midnight, as Trump refuses to sign Covid relief bill, insisting on changes.
December 23: Trump vetoes National Defense Authhorization Act, causing Congress to plan override of his decision. Though not specifically threatening a veto, the president also continues to insist on changes to the Covid relief bill passed by Congress. Critics, including some Republicans, warn of harsh consequences for million of Americans suffering economic hardship due to virus.
December 22: After months of wranglng within Congress to create and pass a Covid "stimulus" bill, Trump demands an amendment before agreeing to sign it into law. Instead of $600 direct payments to most Americans, he wants to raise the amount to $2,000.
December 22: Trump issues first of what CNN calls an expected "flurry" of pardons, including two men who pleaded guilty in connection with the Mueller investigation that led to the president's impeachment. The early list includes two former Congressmen and four Blackwater guards.
December 21: Outgoing president "threatens 30-day reign of destruction" for his final month in office, accordingi to CNN.
December 20: Centers for Diseae Control (CDC) issues guidelines on prioritizing Covid vaccinations, starting with frontline workers (medical, grocery, postal) and the elderly (75-plus). Meanwhile, several coutries cancel flights from Britain due to emergency there of swifter-spreading variant of the virus.
December 20: After weeks of discussion, Senate and House reach agreement on $900 billion Covid relief package, including $600 checks sent to individuals and $300 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits. Critics charge that the amount falls far short of what is needed to deal with rampant hunger and evictions across the country.
December 19: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo names Russia as likeliest culprit in massive cyberattack against U.S. government agencies and corporations. Trump downplays the attack, while suggesting that China may be responsible.
December 18: Trump aides meeting in White House to discuss overturning the election reportedly wind up in an Oval Office "shouting match" over methods. Michael Flynn, recently pardoned by Trump, promotes invoking martial law to keep the president in power, perhaps by having the military rerun the voting in "battleground" states. Trump wishes to appoint ardent conspiracty theorist Sidney Powell to investigate the election.
December 14: All electors vote in accord with vote totals in their respective states, making Joseph R. Biden Jr. the official president-elect.
December 14: First vaccinations for Covid-19 are given to the most vulnerable Americans, led by health care workers. Vaccination of everyone who wants it is not expected until March or April, at the earliest. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 15 percent of Americans do not intend to be vaccinated. In earlier polls, far more people said they would or might decline.
December 12: CDC advisers vote to recommend use of Pfizer vaccine. FDA commissioner, Dr. Stevem Hahn, soon approves emergency use of vaccine, permitting nationwide distribution to begin.
December 11: Supreme Court declines to hear suit brought by Texas against four states that Joe Biden had won in the presidential election, stating that Texas lacked standing to present such a case against election rules in other states. Called the most important case in American history by Trump, the lawsuit was backed by attorneys general in 17 Repubican-led states, as well as by a majority of Repubicans in House of Representatives.
December 11: TIME Magazine names its Person(s) of the Year: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
December 11: CNN reports that Trump's chief of staff orders head of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve vaccine today, or resign.
December 8: Arizona Republican party (@AZGOP) sends two tweets asking Trump supporters if they are prepared to die as part of the challenge to the presidential election result. (CNN)
December 8: Health board in Boise, Idaho adjourns meeting in reponse to protesters outside the building and at homes of board members. (CNN)
December 7: The New York Times reports that in late summer, Prizer offered additional Covid vaccine doses to the U.S. The Trump administration declined. As a result, inoculating most Americans may be delayed until summer 2021.
December 7: Trump declares that the presidential election was "like from a third world nation," as he continues his battle to have the result overturned in his favor. Despite a string of losses in court, he said "I think the case has been made." After informing his weekend rally audience that "You know, we won Georgia," he advised reporters that "in politics, I won two.... Two for two."
December 5: Trump reportedly pressured Republican governor of Georgia, in phone call, to overturn that states' election results, giving the president the victory he seeks. Speaking to supporters in Georgia, Trump continues his ongoing, baseless rant claiming massive fraud. Despite vital runoff in January for two Republican Senators, which could shift the power balance in the Senate, some backers of the president are urging Republicans not to vote because of the (alleged) rampant fraud.
December 1: Attorney General William Barr states that Department of Justice has "to date" found no evidence of widespread election fraud that could change the result. Results from all six close-vote states that Trump has accused of massive fraud have now been certified.
November 28: Trump uses his first TV interview since the election to push hard on allegations of a fraudulent election that he won, even suggesting that the FBI and Department of Justice might be involved. (ABC News)
November 26: Speaking to reporters for the first time since the election, Trump admits that it's a "very hard thing to concede," because there was so much fraud. While advising that he will leave the White House if he's lost, he declines to commit to attending the Inauguration of Joe Biden.
November 24: White House authorizes president-elect Biden to receive daily briefings. Pennsylvania and Nevada certify their election results. Despite near-total losses in court, Trump still refuses to concede and continues to pursue legal options to overturn the vote, while accepting Biden's victory "for the good of the country."
November 23: President-elect Biden names the first members of his cabinet. Former presidential candidate and Secretary of State John Kerry will be the special presidential envoy for climate.
November 19: Survey of Trump voters shows that 77 percent believe Joe Biden won the presiidential vote by fraudulent means. As Trump persists in claiming victory due to a "rigged" election, another survey has determined that more than half of his supporters believe that the president won the November 3 election.
November 18: After receiving phone calls from the president, the two Republican ballot-count overseers in Detroit attempt to rescind their vote for certification – but the decision to certify Biden remains. Trump also calls Republican state legislators in Michigan, inviting them to the White House. In addition to continued claims of rampant fraud, Trump appears likely to try and persuade several states to dismiss their duly-elected participants in the Electoral College, and appoint replacements who favor the president.
November 18: President-elect Biden warns that among other risks to the nation, delaying the presidential transition will impede distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, as they become available. He later refers to the president's delaying tactics and attempt to overturn the vote as "incredible irresponsibility."
November 17: Trump fires top cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, in charge of U.S. election security, in response to a statement that the contradicted the president's claims of voter fraud. Krebs had declared that the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He also had called one of Trump's conspiracy theories "nonsense." (PBS)
November 17: The two Republican members of election canvassing board in Detroit try to block certification of vote. Backlash develops quickly, prompting officials in Wayne County, Michigan to certify the vote for Biden.
November 17: Georgia's Republican security of state asserts that in a phone conversation related to the state's vote recount, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) implied that the secretary could disqualify ballots with mismatched signatures, in specific localities. Graham admits that he'd contacted election officials in several states where the vote was being challenged by Trump allies. Critics decry his action as interference with the vote count, but Graham later insists that he'd done nothing wrong, but was merely requesting information about the process. (PBS)
November 16: The New York Times reports that Trump asked advisers about options for launching a strike against Iranian nuclear facility.
November 13: After six days of silence following announcements by news organizations that Joe Biden won the election, Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden. During those remarks, he threatens to deny access to a coronavirus vaccine to the state of New York. Despite a string of losses in court, the president continues to pursue legal challenges to the vote, insisting that victory was "stolen" from him.
November 13: Reacting to alleged stifling of conservative views on Facebook and Twitter, including labeling of false statements made by the president, Republicans are turning to Parler – a rival social-media platform that welcomes right-wing comments.i
November 12: Startling rise in number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths prompts state and local officials to ramp up protective measures. Chicago's mayor, for one, issues stay-home advisory, effective for 30-day period, and implores residents to forgo family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day.
November 10: Asked about tranfer of power to the president-elect, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells reporters "there will be a smooth transmission to a second Trump administration."
November 10: Despite acknowledging lack of voter fraud evidence, Attorney General Bill Barr authorizes Justice Department to investigate "specific instances" of allegations of irregularity.
November 10: CNN reports that out of 53 Republicans in the Senate, only four have congratulated Joe Biden on his victory: Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Ben Sasse. Some are openly backing the president's legal challenge to the vote; several say he should not concede the election; and the rest have been silent.
November 9: Number of Covid-19 cases in a single day in the U.S. sets record, topping 165,000. Cases are rising in all 50 states. Some experts believe actual numbers are considerably higher than official totals.
November 9: Trump fires Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Many of the president's opponents fear that he will use the final two-plus months of his presidency to make drawtics moves, in a vengeful effort to undercut president-elect Biden
November 8: A day after news organizations declare Joe Biden the president-elect, Donald Trump continues to pursue legal actions to challenge the vote, likely leading to the Supreme Court. Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski have ackinowledged Biden's victory, but many other Republicans have remained silent on the subject. CNN reports that Trump aides have tried to encourage the president to accept defeat, but his sons push him to fight on.
November 6: For the third day in a row, number of new Covid cases in a single day sets a record, topping 128,000. One-day death toll in U.S. exceeds 1,000 for fourth day in a row. (Washington Post)
November 6: In a video posted on Twitter, Facebook, and You Tube, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon calls for the beheading of Dr. Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray. You either "get with the program,"he said, "or you are gone." Twitter has permanently suspended his account, according to CNN.
November 6: Three days after Election Day, five states have not yet submitted vote totals. Various sources report that Biden is edging closeer to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
November 5: As the nation awaits presidential election results, Covid-19 cases in a single day set record: 102, 831 on Wednesday, November 4. Vote totals from five states are still being counted: Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona,and Nevada.
November 4: At mid-day, half a dozen states are still considered too close to call. Soon, CNN and other sources declare Biden the winner in Wisconsin; a little later, Michigan adds to Biden's total. Biden is leading in two of the remaining states: Arizona (11 electoral votes) and Nevada (6 votes). Winning both would bring Biden to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Electoral College.
November 3: Joe Biden spends final campaign day in Scranton, PA, his boyhood home and a state that could determine the winner. Donald Trump has had a remarkably busy final week, hosting as many as five rallies in a single day.
November 2: CNN reports that photo of Joe Biden on a plane without a mask, tweeted by Trump ally, has gone viral. Trouble is, the photo was taken prior to the pandemic. Republican tactics to restrict the vote count around the country include attempting to invalidate nearly 127,000 votes in Houston, and halt count of early votes in Las Vegas.
November 1: CNN notes that only four states are "trending down" in number of Covid cases. Meanwhile, medical experts are investigating whether Covid-19 follows the same principle as other viruses: that the amount of virus entering a person, and whether it does so all at once or over a period of time, may determine whether that individual is asymptomatic, becomes mildly ill, or suffers from a serious illness.
October 31: Biden campaign cancels event in Texas, because vehicles holding a mob of Trump supporters - some armed - surrounded a Biden campaign bus on the Interstate, reportedly trying to slow it down and bring it to a halt. Instead of decrying the incident, Trump responds by sending out a video of the encounter, with the caption "I LOVE TEXAS." He also refers to the participants as "patriots," insisting they "did nothing wrong." FBI is said to be "investigating" as possible harassment. (CNN)
October 31: Researchers from Stanford University suggest that Trump rallies could be linked to 30,000 Covid cases and 700 deaths. Investigators extrapolated from a statistical model, studying 18 Trump rallies held during summer.
October 30: At Michigan rally, Trump claims – with zero evidence – that doctors are inflating death rates from coronavirus, to make more money for themselves. (CNN)
October 30: New Covid cases set U.S. record: nearly 100,000 in a single day.
October 29: On Fox TV, Donald Trump Jr. castigates media for focusing on Covid deaths, asserting that the total number amounts to "almost nothing." During the most recent week, the virus claimed 4,863 American lives, according to the World Health Organization.
October 27: At a rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Donald Trump claimed that his campaign had to find an alternative rally site, because of Covid-19 rules enacted by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf. According to CNN's Chris Cillizza, he then issued a veiled threat: "I'll remember it, Tom," if your state needs federal aid.
October 26: Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed as Supreme Court Justice. Voting is along strict party lines, with 52 Republicans voting to confirm and 48 Democrats in opposition. Critics are enraged by the rush to confirmation, days before the election. Four years earlier, President Obama had been blocked from nominating Merrick Garland, some eight months prior to the 2016 election.
October 25: Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, tells reporters they "can't control the virus." Leading Democrats charge that this amounts to surrender, abandoninig the crisis. Meanwhile, Trump continues to insist that the Covid-19 has "rounded the corner" and will soon be gone – at a time when new cases per day have reached record levels in many states.
October 25: At least five Pence aides have tested positive for coronavirus, including his "body man" (who is with him regularly). Yet, Pence declines to self-quarantine for two weeks, but instead continues on the campaign trail. After hosting three rallies in one day, he suggests that he might be doing as many as five per day in the final week.
October 24: Proposed limitation on for J1 (exchange visitor) visas could threaten some 12,000 doctors with expulsion from the U.S. This prospect comes at a time of pandemic, when medical practitioners are urgently needed - and will be in ever greater demand if/when the second wave of coronavirus hits its peak. Such visas allow doctors, scholars and other high-skill persons to live in America while studying or training. (CNN)
October 22: Trump and Biden debate onstage in Nashville, under new rule. For two minutes after the moderator poses a question, only the microphone of the person answering is active, ensuring an uninterrupted response. After both parties have responded, both microphone are active for follow-up period. Trump is far more civil than in first debate. Interruptions, fierce personal attacks, and falsehoods hardly are absent , but the president is considerably more restrained.
October 20-21: Trump abruptly halts interview with CBS's Lesley Stahl for the 60 Minutes program, telling her "you have enough." Asked at the outset if he was ready for "tough questions," the president replied: "No, I'm not." Repeatedly doubting her fairness, Trump especially disdained questioning about the coronavirus. Later, after threatening to post the interview online prior to its airing on the CBS TV show, he did exactly that - along with a separate interview Stahl conductred with vice-president Pence.
October 20: "Suburban women, will you please like me," Trump pleads, expanding upon his courting of specific voting groups. "I saved your neighborhood.... I don't want to build low-income husingnext to your house."
October 19: With two weeks to go before the election, early voting is taking place in every state, but several states do not yet offer in-person voting. More than 27 million voters have already cast ballots.
October 17: Striving to capture their vote at one of his rallies, Trump tells suburban women: "You're supposed to love me." He promises to keep them safe, falsely charging that Democrats will encourage undesirable persons to overwhelm suburban enclaves. Recent polls show that his popularity among suburban women and senior citizens has wand.
October 12: "I feel so powerful," Trump tells his Florida rallygoers as they crowd together - despite worrisome rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths, "I'll walk into that audience... I'll kiss everyone ... I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and the - everybody. I'll just give everybody a big, fat kiss." During the final three weeks of his campaign, the president plans at least one rally each day. (CNN)
October 10: Cleared by his primary physician to end isolation and resume activities, Trump prepares to host three rallies during the coming week. The president's doctors have declined to say whether he has tested negative for the coronavirus.
October 10: Despite uncertainty about the contagion level of Trump's case of Covid-19, the president speaks from the balcony of the White House, with hundreds of guests gathered on the lawn. The second presidential debate has been cancelled, because Trump refused to participate in a "virtual" version.
October 9: Responding to arrests of 13 men for plotting to kidnap and possibly execute the governor of Michigan, Trump attacks Governor Gretchen Whitmer for failing to thank him for federal efforts to thwart the plot. Trump also renewed his attacks on Whitmer for her lockdown orders, intended to reduce Covid-19 infections.
October 8: Thriteen men are arrested for plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in an effort to overthrow the state government. The governor has been harshly criticized for imposing allegedly harsh lockdown regulations during the pandemic.
October 8: Reacting to Donald Trump's behavior since being treated for Covid-19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to introduce a bill that would give Congress a role in determining whether the 25th Amendment can be enacted to remove the president from office, based upon inability to do the job properly. (CNN)
October 7: Vice-president Pence and Senator Kamala Harris debate in Salt Lake City. Though debate is far more civil than presidential debate a week earlier, talking well past time limites and interruptions were frequent - especially by Mr. Pence.
October 7: Though his Covid-19 infection remains potentially active, Trump goes back to work in the Oval Office. Critics assert that his doctors are not supplying full and accurate information on the president's condition.
October 7: In an editorial, New England Journal of Medicine condemns Trump administrastion for its handling of coronavirus pandemic, recommending that it be "voted out," but not endorsing any candidate. (CNN)
October 7: According to a draft of an investigative report by the inspector general of the Justice Department, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions promoted migrant-family separation, regardless of childrens' ages. Top officials said "we need to take away children," The New York Times reported.
October 6: Back at work in the White House, Trump ends negotiations with congressional Democrats on the stimulus bill, announcing that they will resume after he wins re-election. Millions of out-of-work Americans have been without econoic relief since July, when the previous stimulus ground to a halt.
October 5: "Don't be afraid of Covid," Donald Trump tweets as he prepares to leave the hospital and return to the White House - though his true physical condition remains uncertain. On two occasions, he was given supplement oxygen. He also received a powerful steroid in combination with another medication, previously given only to people with serious cases of Covid-19. Critics condemn his statement as irresponsible.
October 5: Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's press secretary, is latest member of White House team to test positive for coronavirus. Analysts believe the outbreak resulted from recent gathering in the Rose Garden to celebrate nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Few masks and little social distancing were evident at the event. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had helped prep the president for debate, also tested positive and has been hospitalized.
October 5: White House insists that appropriate precautions were taken for Trump's short Sunday ride past cheering supporters, accompanied by two Secret Service agents wearing protective gear. Other agents have decried the outing. It "should never have happened," one member of the first family's detail told CNN, adding that riders in the parading SUV would now have to be quarantined.
October 4: In the midst of his treatment for Covid-19, Trump leaves Walter Reed hospital to participate in a brief motorcade, waving to amassed supporters from an SUV. "This is insanity," said one attending physician. "The irresponsibility is astounding," putting each passenger in that vehicle at risk "for political theater." According to a White House spokesman, Trump's medical team had deemed the outing "safe to do." (CNN)
October 3: Several White House aides have tested positive for coronavirus, including former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien. So have three Republican Senators, which could affect the Supreme Court nominating process. Decisions have not yet been made about the two additional presidential debates scheduled in October.
October 1: Presidential adviser Hope Hicks tests positive for Covid-19, leading Trump to initiate "quarantine process." Ms. Hicks traveled with the president a day earlier. (The New York Times)
October 1: House of Representatives approves $2.2 trillion stimulus, developed by Democrats. Eighteen Democrats voted with the Republicans, against the bill. (CNN)
October 1: Trump condemns "all white supremacists," including the Proud Boys – a far-right extremist group known for violence – two days after declining to do so during the presidential debate. (CNN)
September 30: Reacting to the chaotic violation of agreed-upon rules at the first presidential debate – mostly by Donald Trump – The Commission on Presidential Debates proposes changes for the upcoming three events. The initial debate was marred by continuous interruptions, ignoring of time limits, belligerent personal attacks, and other unprecedented behavior. Numerous critics have branded the encounter between the president and Joe Biden as the worst debate in American history.
September 29: Presidential debate quickly descends into chaos, despite efforts of moderator Chris Wallace to maintain order and follow rules. Afterward, numerous critics blast Trump for refusing to denounce white supremacists, and for insisting that the upcoming election is "rigged" and being "stolen" by Democrats, among many other belligerent and baseless remarks. For weeks, he has been insisting that Democrats can win only by fraudulent acts.
September 27: Tax return data obtained by The New York Times reveals that Trump paid no federal income tax in 10 of the past 15 years, and paid only $750 in 2016 and 2017s. The president quickly brands the report "fake news."
September 26: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court, following death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a week earlie. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had quickly vowed that "Trump's nominee would receive a vote" in the Senate, prompting furious backlash from Democrats.
In 2016, McConnell blocked a Senate vote on President Obama's Court choice, Merrick Garland, on the grounds that a national election was to take place late that year. Now, Trump and the GOP-led Senate are eagerly trying to force such a vote, despite the brief time frame before the November 3 election.
September 24: Responding to a reporter's question, Trump expresses doubt that the November 3 election can be "honest." He also refused to commit to a peaceful transition if he should lose, stating once again that he will "see what happens." Continuing his claim that mail-in ballots lead to fraud, he added that “there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”
September 22: Two senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have indicated that they oppose a rushed vote to seat a repacement for Justice Ginsburg, but other Republicans - including Mitt Romney - are set to comply with the president's call for a quick confirmation. Trump has vowed to nominate a woman, naming his choice later this week. The Senate has 53 Republicans, and a simple majority is needed for confirmation.
September 22: As total Covid-19 deaths in U.S. reach 200,000, Trump praises his own response to the pandemic, claiming that there might otherwise have been 10 times that many and, in speech to U.N. delebates, blaming China for "unleashing" the virus. Earlier, he'd given himself an "A+" for his response, versus a "D" for public relations related to the subject. The president also repeated a false claim that Covid-19 seldom affects young people.
September 21: Trump asserts that Congressional Democrats may have dictated the note left by Justice Ginsburg to her granddaughter, stating her wish that her replacement not be voted on until after the election. Despite total absence of evidence, the president names three Democrats as possible culprits: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and "Shifty Schiff" Representative Adam Schiff tweeted a response, writing that "this is low. Even for you." (CNN)
September 21: Department of Justice labels three cities – New York, Portland, and Seattle – "anarchy" jurisdictions. (CNN)
September 17: Biden campaign ad appears to show Trump, at a February 28 rally, calling Covid-19 a "hoax." CNN reports that as edited, the ad combines two brief video clips from his speech, 56 seconds apart, blending the words in a misleading manner.
September 16: Attorney General William Barr proposes bringing legal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, for allowing establishment of a "police-free zone" within the city. At a college event, Barr compared a possible virus-triggered national lockdown to "house arrest," calling it the "greatest intrusion on civil liberties" in American history, apart from "slavery." (CNN)
September 14: At a California briefing on the wildfires that have devastated the West Coast, Trump disdained the position of climate scientists. "I don't think science knows, actually," he said.
September 13: Despite barring of gatherings with more than 50 people in Nevada, Trump holds huge indoor rally in Las Vegas.
September 13: Reacting to Biden's statement on Trump's alleged disparaging of fallen U.S. troops, the president warns that "now I can be vicious. I can be really vicious." Attacks on Biden include assertions that he is the "worst candidate in history," and "he doesn't know he's alive."
September 12: The New York Times reports that "political appointees" within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) have frequently asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "to revise, delay and even scuttle" Covid-19 reports that they considered "unflattering to President Trump."
September 10: Among other startling claims at campaign rally, Trump advises that Joe Biden "will destroy your protections for pre-existing conditions," whereas he would preserve them. Critics assert that the truth is precisely opposite: that Trump has consistently attempted to destroy those protections, whereas Biden has supported them. (CNN)
September 9: Based upon 18 taped interviews with the president, new book by Bob Woodward reveals that Trump knew about the imminent danger of Covid-19 in February, but deliberately chose to downplay the peril, saying he didn't want to "create panic." Joe Biden and other critics respond angrily to what they consider Trump's gross misleading of the public.
September 8: Campaigning in North Carolina, Trump advises rally attendees to become poll watchers on November 3, continuing to accuse Democrats of rampant voter fraud. "Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do," he warned. Election experts have long insisted that historically, voter fraud in U.S. is rare. CNN alleged that in his attacks on Joe Biden, Trump made "at least 10 false or misleading claims" on such topics as gun control, Covid-19 response, and border issues.
September 8: U.S. Department of Justice seeks to defend the president against defamation lawsuit initiated by one woman who claim he'd assaulted her in the 1990s. If so, taxpayers would be paying his legal costs. Trump denies ever having met the woman.
September 7: During impromptu briefing at White House, on Labor Day, Trump tells a reporter to remove his face mask; he declines. Instead of delving into labor issues, the president devotes much of the briefing to attacks on Joe Biden (calling him "a stupid person") and Kamala Harris, for questioning safety and efficacy of a vaccine that might be produced too hurriedly. He also suggests that top military officers promote wars to boost profits on defense-contractor companies. One CNN reporter notes Trump's "foul mood" during the briefing.
September 4: Trump asserts that coronavirus is "rounding the corner." Dr. Fauci and other top medical experts disagree.
September 3-4: In The Atlantic magazine, editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg reports that in 2018, Trump privately disparaged members of military who were killed or injured in action, calling them "losers" and "suckers." Joe Biden replies with fury, asserting that if the claim is true, his late son Beau was no "sucker." Although the story was based on four anonymous sources, its author has a sterling reputation as a journalist, and several major news outlets have corroborated the claim.
September 3: Trump urges North Carolina voters to cast mail-in ballots, but also go to polling places on Election Day. Facing immediate criticism and warnings from election officials that voting twice is a felony, the president advices that a second ballot could be submitted if an inquiry reveals that the mailed version has not yet been counted.
September 3: CDC officials announce that a Covid-19 vaccine might be available early in November, or even in late October. Critics are dubious about the timing, just before the November 3 election.
September 1: During visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin - site of shooting of Jacob Blake by police officer - Trump builds upon his "law and order" message and appears to defend 17-year-old who shot and killed two protesters.
September 1: Two Black pastors attending roundtable in Kenosha are asked by reporter if police violence is systemic racism. Trump interrupts to answer for them, with his own opinion. The pastors never get to answer. (CNN)
September 1: In Fox News interview, Trump equates police officer's use of excessive force to a golfer who "chokes" while trying to make a short putt. (CNN)
August 30: The New York Times reports that in 2017, U.S. Department of Justice secretly restrained investigation into Trump's ties to Russia.
August 30: Protests for racial justice take place around the U.S. and the world over the weekend. London's event, supporting Black Lives Matter, is called the "million peoplr march."
August 30: After Trump announces intent to visit Kenosha on September 1, some top officials, including Wisconsin's governor, urge him to cancel the trip. Critics fear that rather than instill calm, the president's harsh "law and order" tone will worsen the situation. In one of a storm of tweets, Trump referred to counter-protesters, many of them armed, as "Great Patriots."
August 29:Intelligence agency to halt briefings on election security to Congressional committees, despite warning early in August that Iran, China, and Russia plan to interfere in U.S. election. Trump cites information "leaks" as reason for the change. (CNN)
August 28: General Mark Milley, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, advises Congress that U.S. military will not help setlle any dispute over result of November election. (CNN)
August 27: Trump delivers 70-minute acceptance speech from White House, described by PBS' Amna Nawaz as "riddled with misinformation and misleading statements."
August 26: 17-year-old, arrested for shooting of three protesters (two of whem fatally) in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is under investigation for possible ties to a vigilante group. Earlier, a person claiming to head a militia sent warning to local officials that 3,000 backers were ready to take part in confrontation with protesters, backing the police. Protests have taken place daily, following the shooting of Jacob Blake -- shot seven times in the back by a police officer, according to video of the incident.
August 24 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revises testing guidelnes, stating that Covid-19 tests should not be necessary for person with no symptoms, even if they're been in contact with infected individuals. Critics charge that the revision resulted from pressure by Trump administration officials.
August 20: Heightening his claim of rampant voter fraud, Trump said in a Fox News interview that he intends to have "sheriffs and law enforcement" at polling places in November. Previously, the Trump campaign had announced that "tens of thousands of volunteers" will be assigned to poll-watching duty. Democrats charge that he is attempting voter suppression. (CNN)
August 20: In addition to decrying mail-in voting, Trump has expanded his allegation of a rigged election to include ballots inserted in a non-postal drop box. "So who is going to 'collect' the ballots, he asked, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation?" (CNN)
August 19: Asked by reporter about QAnon, which promotes conspiracy theories that claim progressives belong to a "satanic cult" of "pedophiles and cannibals," Trump says he doesn't know much about them, but "these are people who love their country." Furthermore, "they like me very much [and] I appreciate that."
August 18: Reacting to pressure from Democrats, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announces that heavily-criticized changes at Postal Service will not take place until after the November election.
August 17: CNN reports that voters in North Carolina are receiving absentee-ballot request forms with Trump's face on them, along with political slogans, sent by Republican committee.
August 14: Two top political appointees at Centers for Disease Control (CDC) resign. Both had been criticized by White House for insufficient loyalty. (CNN)
August 13: HuffPost reporter asks Trump if he "regret(s) all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” After asking who the journalist was referred to, the president turned to another reporter with a question. As of July, Trump had made more than 20,000 false or misleading statements, as compiled by The Washington Post.
August 13: Trump opposes supplemental funding for United States Postal Service, which needs it to ensure timely delivery of mail-in ballots. Critics blast the president for attempting to undermine the Postal Service for political gain.
Even though Trump insists (without evidence) that mail-in voting results in rampant fraud, CNN reports that he and his wife already requested mail-in ballots for the November 3 election.
August 11: Shortly after Kamala Harris is announced as vice-presidential candidate, Trump takes to Twitter to launch his first personal attacks on her, including claim that she and Joe Biden are "socialists" eager to move the country far to the left. Critics counter that both are "establishment" Democrats..
August 9: The New York Times reports that the White House has reached out to South Dakota's governor, inquiring about the possibility of adding Trump to the four presidents featured on Mount Rushmore. (CNN)
August 8: Citing lack of progress from Congress, Trump signs four executive orders related to economic stimulus, including a suspension of the "payroll tax." Paid by workers, that tax funds Social Security payments to senior citizens and the disabled.
August 8: Some 250,000 bikers are expected at the annual rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Masks are not required, and few bikers are likely to take any precautions against Covid-19 infection.
August 8: Trump abruptly halts news conference whtn a reporter estions his claim to have signed the Veterans Choice bill. (CNN)
August 7: CNN 8/7: During impromptu news conference at his New Jersey golf club, Trump accuses Democrats of "cheating" on election, because of their attempted negotiation with Republicans regarding the stimulus extension. CNN's Daniel Dale calls this claim "nonsense."
Trump also says he intends to issue an executive order requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, claiming that "this has never done before." President Obama included such a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which Trump and Republicans have been trying to kill for years, branding it unconstitutional.
August 7: Democratic proposal for $2 trillion compromise on stimulus payments is immediately rejected by Republicans, leading negotiators to "walk away" from a possible deal. Trump is being advised to issue executive orders on the subject. (CNN)
August 6: Trump's advisors "had to be careful what options you gave him," said one of them. As reported by CNN, they feared that if given any military options, the president might order an attack and start a war. They even "warned adversaries" of this concern.
August 6: Interviewed by Geraldo Rivera, Trump insists that he made no mistakes in his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. "I think we've done an unbelievable job," he said. (CNN)
August 6: Joe Biden, comparing Latinx to Blacks, said that unlike most African-Americans, Latinx are very diverse. Despite his history of racially-charged statements, Trump wasted no time hitting back on Biden.
August 5: "This thing's going away," Trump insists about the coronavirus. "It's going away now. Like things do." Furthermore, children are "almost immune from this disease." In real-world studies, kids of color have been found to be far more likely to test positive than white youngsters.
August 5: Trump warns that his opponent, Joe Biden (a devout Catholic), will "take away your guns" and religion, and "hurt God." He's "against God, he's against guns," Trump added.
August 3: Dr. Deborah Brix, the White House coordinator of coronavirus task force, warns that Covid-19 is "extraordinarily widespread." Trump quickly tweets attack on Dr. Birx for the first time, calling her "pathetic" and insisting that "we're doing very well ... we have done as well as any nation."
July 31: "Nobody Likes Me," Trump whines, attributing his loss in popularity to his personality. Meanwhile, Senate leader Mitch McConnell suggests that Republican Congressonal candidates can distance themselves from Trump, if necessary for their own election prospects. (CNN)
July 30: Trump tweets suggestion that November election be postponed, even though he lacks authority to set voting date. Pushback is swift, even from some Republicans in Congress.
July 29: Trump requests that nearly 12,000 troops start to leave Germany, after decades of deployment there. Critics assert that the move, which will cost billions and take years, is motivated by the president's animosity toward Germany, a long-standing ally,rather than national security.
July 29: As Senate and House of Representatives fail to agree on extension of special unemployment benefits, an estimated 26 million Americans (including children) lack sufficient food. (PBS NewsHour)
July 27: Six mayors send letter to White House to remove unwanted, unwelcome federal agents from their cities. Supplied by the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies, the clandestine agents have clashed with protesters. Critics charge they are escalating tensions rather than easing them.
July 27: Republicans issue two-pronged proposal to provide economic stimulus payments to families: (1) issue $1,200 checks to most, but not all, Americans; and (2) continue special benefits for workers collecting unemployment benefits, but reduced from $600 to $200 per week.
July 25: Congress fails to renew $600/week unemployment benefit.
July 25: Federal agents in Portland have become active blocks away from the federal buildings they were charged with protect. "Walls" of moms and of veterans have lined up between protesters and the federal force. (The New York Times)
July 22: Portland's mayor is among those hit with tear gas, while speaking with protesters. A day later, Trump says he could send as many as 50,000 to 75,000 federal agents into American cities. After acknowledgin that they would have to be invited to help by local authorities, he adds that "At some point ... something stronger" will be necessary. (CNN)
July 22: Despite pleas from mayors and governors to keep clandestine federal agents out of their cities, Trump announces intent for "surge" of officials, starting with Chicago. Critics have blasted White House for excessive force employed in Portland, with unbadged, camouflaged employees from various federal agencies grabbing protesters off street and forcing them into vans, while releasing tear gas.
July 20: Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a face mask, and announces intent to revive coronavirus briefings. Despite rises in Covid-19 cases in at least 39 states, he continues to oppose a national requirement for wearing masks.
July 20: Unless Congress acts, supplemental unemployment benefits ($600 weekly) are scheduled to end on August 1.
July 19: Interviewed by Fox News' Chris Wallace, Trump claims U.S. has one of lowest Covid-19 mortality rates. According to Johns Hopkins University, it's the eighth worst, just behind France and Chile. Asked if he would accept November's election result, Trump declined to give a specific answer, stating that "you dont know until you see."
July 18: Trump administration seeks to cut billions of dollars from a relief proposal that includes funding for coronavirus testing and contact tracing. The proposal was drafted by Senate Republicans. (The New York Times)
July 18: CNN reports that Trump, citing Covid-19 concerns, plans to hold phone-based town hall meetings for supporters, substituting for traditional rallies. The area's U.S. attorney is calling for investigation.
July 17: Activists charge that masked, unbadged, camouflage-wearing federal officials have been arresting peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon.
July 16: New Covid-19 cases in U.S. set record: 77,255 in 24 hours. More than 940 patients die in a single day, breaking another record. Earlier in week, Florida alone saw 15,299 new cases in one day.
July 16: Georgia's governor bars cities in his state from enacting their own laws requiring use of face masks.
July 15: Mary Trump's book, Too Mucn and Never Enough: How my family created the world's dangerous man, sells 950,000 copies on first day of availability.
July 13: As 37 states see increases in number of new Covid-19 cases, Trump steps up attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who many consider the most popular and respected medical expert on the virus. Trump continues to insist that the pandemic is under control and schools must reopen, while Dr. Fauci warns of even more dire outbreaks ahead and the risks of reopening too rapidly.
July 11: For the first time, the president wears a face mask in public, while visiting wounded service mambers at Walter Reed hospital. (CNN)
July 11: Only five states are showing a decline in number of new Covid-19 cases. Arizona has been hit hardest, followed by Florida and Texas. Trump and his allies continue to downplay the pandemic, but infections disease experts warn of dire weeks ahead. Number of new cases in U.S. reached record high twice in preceding week, according to CNN.
July 10-11: Trump commutes sentence of Roger Stone, a personal friend convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the commutation "an act of staggering corruption."
July 9: Supreme Court rules that while Trump is not immune from subpoena in New York, U.S. Congress is barred from obtaining his financial records at present time.
July 8: Trump threatens to cut federal aid for schools that fail to reopen in the fall semester, after calling guidelines from Centers for Disease Control "very tough" and "expensive" to comply with. Despite his displeasure, CDC declines to revise them. (CNN)
July 8: Lt. Col. Andrew Vindman, a principal witness in Trump impeachment hearing, resigns from the military. His lawyer cites "bullying, intimidation, and retaliation" led by the president.
July 6: Fox News host Tucker Carlson launches cruel attack against Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), calling her a "coward" and "fraud" who hates America. One of several women being considered as a vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Duckworth lost both legs during the Iraq War, while serving as a helicopter pilot. CNN notes that her alleged transgression consisted of suggesting a national discussion on removing monuments to the country's 'founding fathers."
July 6: "Tell-all" book by Mary Trump, the president's niece, will be published on July 14, two weeks earlier than planned. Simon & Schuster has released back-cover text, in which Ms. Trump – a clinical psychologist writes that "Donald is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning, or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in & synthesize information." (CNN)
July 6: Supreme Court rules unanimously that Electoral College members who violate pledge to vote for a state's popular-vote victor may be punished.
July 4: Contradicting most medical experts, Trump asserts that 99 percent of Covid-19 cases are "totally harmless." Nearly one-third of states, especially in south and west, have shown increases in number of cases.
July 3: For two days in a row, number of new Covid-19 cases in U.S. sets record. Meanwhile, Trump heads to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota to "celebrate" July 4th with supporters. About 7,500 are expected to attend, with no social distancing arranged and face masks optional. Addressing the crowd, Trump charged that leftist protesters have undertaken a "merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children," intent on a campaign to "end America."
July 1: Responding to a plan to paint the words "Black Lives Matter" in large letters on the pavement ahead of Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump calls that phrase a "symbol of hate," insisting that the action would be "denigrating this luxury Avenue." (CNN)
June 29-30: Dr. Anthony Faluci, the well-known infectious-disease expert, says he won't be surprised if the number of new cases daily reaches 100,000. As many states see new infections breaking records, Trump insists there are merely "embers that need to be put out," calling his leadership of the pandemic "phenomenal" and referring to himself in a tweet as "THE LONE WARRIOR." He is among few officials of either party who refuse to wear a mask or endorse wearing one. Covid-19 cases are rising in 36 states, and some are cutting back on re-opening steps. (CNN)
June 29: In one weekend, Trump retweets two allegedly racist videos. One shows a Florida senior citizen in a golf-cart parade, shouting "White Power." The second features a couple pointing weapons at what The New York Times describes as "peaceful black protesters." The first ad was deleted after three hours, as a spokesperson claimed Trump was unaware of the man's racially-charged words.
June 29: A Trump campaign ad, running on Facebook and Twitter, quotes three prominent Democrats, whose words appear to condone political violence. Dissecting the videos, CNN reported that each one took brief phrases spoken by the three Democrats, about completely different subjects, stringing them together – backed by video clips of violent behavior – to totally distort the meaning of what actually had been said at an earlier time.
June 26: Vice-president Pence declares that virus response and economy are going well, while total number of Covid-19 cases in a single day reaches record high. Several states that re-opened in recent weeks have now backtracked, imposing at least some of previous lockdown guidelines. (CNN)
June 23: At rally in a Phoenix megachurch, Trump speaks to what Politico called a "packed crowd" of some 3,000 students. Despite a local ordinance requiring face covering, few attendees wore masks. In his talk, the president described Democrats as intolerant, "totalitarian," and "vicious" in stifling dissents, adding that they let anyone vote, "even if they're not citizens."
June 20: Trump rally in Tulsa draws fewer than 6,200 supporters, according to that city's fire department – far short of the 19,000-plus that were anticipated. Protests near the site are peaceful. The Trump campaign had claimed that a million people sought tickets for the event. During his two-hour speech, Trump boasts that he had requested a reduction in Covid-19 testing, reacting to the large numbers of new cases that were being discovered daily. An administration official soon informed CNN that the president was "obviously kidding," but critics, including former vice-president Biden, expressed outrage.
June 19: In morning Tweet, Trump threatens activists planning to protest at his Tulsa rally, promising rougher treatment than they may have faced at previous events. Despite having declared acceptance of "peaceful protesters" not long ago, he now lumped them with "anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes." (CNN)
June 18: Revealing book by former national security adviser John Bolton to be placed on sale June 23. Early comments describe some of its contents as "explosive." Another book, to be published in July, was written by Dr. Mary L. Trump, a niece of the president who has a doctorate in psychology. Titled Too Manu and Not Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, to's said to focus on Donald Trimp's early years.
June 14: Protests continue in cities across the country. Some events are promoted, with evident irony, as marking Donald Trump's 74th birthday. Through the past week, massive "Black Lives Matter" demonstrations have been taking place not only in U.S., but in France, England, Japan, and other nations.
Please Click Here for brief report on Chicago protest.
June 12: Police shooting of black man in Atlanta sparks intense protest, destroying the Wendy's drive-through restaurant where the incident occurred.
June 12: After strong blowback from critics, Trump reschedules rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma for Saturday, June 20. Initially, the event was set for a day earlier; but June 19, dubbed "Juneteenth," celebrates the end of U.S. slavery. In 1921, a white mob killed hundreds of black residents of an affluent neighborhood, known as "Black Wall Street." Trump wants the venue to be packed, stating that social distancing would not look good. Face masks will be available, but not required.
June 11: General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologizes for joining in Trump's photo-op in front of a Washington D.C. church, after federal officers had used force to clear the path of peaceful protesters. Not only did Gen. Milley walk with the president, he wore a battle uniform.
June 9: Trump tweets baseless allegation that Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old protester who was hospitalized with serious injury after being pushed to the ground by two Buffalo, NY police officers, might be an "antifa" provocateur. The president also suggested that the assault may have been faked. According to friends, Mr. Gugino was a gentle, longtime activist with ties to such peace-seeking non-profit organizations as the Catholic Worker Movement. Except for Mitt Romney, no Republican Senator called out the president for what critics are condemning as a shockingly irresponsible assertion. (The New York Times)
June 8: National Bureau of Economic Research announces that the U.S. has been in recession since February, following the longest economic expansion in the nation's history. (CNN)
June 8: Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), walking with protesters honoring George Floyd, stresses the importance of understanding that "Black Lives Matter."
June 7: Retired general Colin Powell, former secretary of state under George W. Bush, declares that Trump has not been an effective president, as reported by CNN. Powell also charges that the president lies "all the time." He did not support Trump in 2016, and will vote for Democrat Joe Biden in November. Several days earlier, legendary conservative columnist George Will joined the small but growing group of noted Republicans who will not support Trump's re-election.
June 6: The Washington Post says protests over death of George Floyd are not only "broadest in U.S. history," but "are spreading to white, small-town America."
June 6: Nationwide protests for racial justice continue into second weekend, along with a memorial service in George Floyd's North Carolina birthplace. Recent protests have been accompanied by far less looting and violence, but critics continue to decry chaos in Washington D.C. when federal officers used tear gas and flash grenades to drive peaceful protesters away from area where Trump would be walking. Because of massive crowds and lack of social distancing, health experts advise protesters to be tested for Covid-19.
June 5: Retired general John Kelly, Trump's former chief of staff, warns that voters must consider each presidential candidate's character and ethics, making sure that they "represent all of their constituents, not just the base."
June 4: Trump uses Twitter to share letter written by his former lawyer John Dowd, which refers to protesters at the White House as "terrorists." Citing no evidence, Dowd claimed that "the phony protesters ... were not peaceful and are not real." They use "idle hate-filled students to burn and destroy." (CNN)
June 4: In cities across the country, protesters gather to honor George Floyd, 10 days after the 46-year-old was killed by a police officer's knee pushing down on his neck. The Rev. Al Sharpton delivers a eulogy at a memorial service in Minneapolis, asserting that racism has effectively "kept your knee on our neck." Most recent protests for social justice have been peaceful, avoiding the violent actions that marred a number of events in the days – and especially, nights – following Mr. Floyd's death.
June 3: Retired Gen. James Mattis, previously Trump's secretary of defense, issues harsh denunciation of the president's call for using force against protesters, and for proposing use of active-duty military to deal with demonstrations.
June 1: White House security forces attack peaceful protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and what are dubbed "flash bangs," clearing the area so Trump can walk to a photo-op at a nearby Episcopal Church, where he is pictured holding up a Bible. (CNN)
June 1: During conference call with state governors, Trump declares that many of them are "weak," demanding that they escalate use of force in order to "dominate" protesters. If they don't, he warned, they would look like "jerks." CNN reports that Trump has deemed himself the "law and order president."
May 30: In a tweet, Trump threatens protesters at White House with the prospect of "the most vicious dogs, and ominous weapons, I have ever seen." He also denied knowing that his earlier comments about "looting" and "shooting" had a racist origin. In an early response to protests that began in Minneapolis, following the brutal death of George Floyd, the president referred to protesters as "THUGS" (his capitalization). (CNN)
May 29: As Trump's feud with Twitter continues, the president turns to Facebook and Instagram to deliver threatening message to Minneapolis protesters: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." CNN, whose crew members had been arrested, describes Trump's words praising the Minneapolis police as "glorifying violence."
May 28: Following death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man held to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer, protests break out and turn violent, soon expanding into several additional cities. As the officer's knee pressed on his neck, Mr. Floyd repeatedly cried out, "I can't breathe," and was heard calling for his deceased mother.
May 27: Twitter places "fact-check" label on two of the president's tweets. In response, Trump threatens to "strongly regulate," if not "shut down," social media platforms. (CNN)
May 25: On Memorial Day, for the 266th time in his presidency, Trump plays a round at one of his golf courses - his first such outing since March. During his 2016 campaign, he often attacked former president Obama for playing golf rather than working at the White House.
May 21: Trump tours Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where all visitors are required to wear a face mask. Though he'd brought a dark blue mask along (evidently featuring the presidential seal), he refused to wear it when any cameras were present. According to CNN, company chairman Bill Ford said wearing a mask is "up to him." Dana Nessel, Michigan's Attorney General, called Trump's failure to be masked "incredibly disrespectful" to the state, warning that in the future, he would no longer be welcome.
May 20: Latest predictive model determines that if lockdown had taken place a week (perhaps two weeks) sooner, some 36,000 lives might have been saved. Trump quickly responded, insisting that he was among the first to grasp the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and take action. By action, he referred to his order to bar Chinese persons from entering the U.S.
May 20: All 50 states have partially reopened, or plan to do so by Memorial Day. State rules vary, but such businesses as restaurants and gyms may be permitted to operate, albeit with certain requirements about such protective measures as face-mask usage, social distancing, and limited occupancy in a facility. Critics continue to insist that reopening too soon will permit the number of infections to increase, paving the way for a "second wave" later in 2020.
May 16: Trump fires Stephen Linick, Inspector General for the State Department, claiming that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told him to do so. This was the fourth firing of an IG in recent weeks.
May 15: Trump revives "Obamagate" conspiracy theory, charging that agents for the former president had spied on Trump's campaign and demanding an investigation.
May 14: In past week, another 2.9 million workers apply for unemployment benefits, bringing total to 36 million.
May 14: Nearly every state is at least partially reopening, despite warnings from top medical experts that doing so too soon is likely to produce disastrous escalation of Covid-19 infections. Meanwhile, protesters, some of them armed, are demanding that the country reopen fully so people can go back to work and resume receiving paychecks.
May 12: Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell claims that Barack Obama failed to leave the incominig president a plan for dealing with a pandemic. CNN reports that he actually left a "69-page playbook." Later in week, McConnell admits his mistake.
May 12: Supreme Court hears case that could require the president to release his tax returns. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, cases are dealt with via phone and video, not in the courtroom in Washington.
May 7: Trump announces that the coronavirus task force is expected to disband soon, having been so effective at dealing with Phase 1 of the government's response to the pandemic. In an editorial, The New York Times described this reaction as a declaration of "mission accomplished," calling to mind President George W. Bush's comparable declaration regarding the Iraq War. Early in May, the U.S. Covid-19 death toll topped 70,000. Facing blowback from critics, Trump modified his statement, indicating that the task force would simply be refocused.
May 5: Writing for The New York Times, Charles Blow notes that flow of migrants, worldwide, has been shrinking considerably – including those crossing Mexico to reach the U.S. border.
May 1: Trump moves to remove Christi Grimm, Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. In her capacity as an overseer, according to The New York Times, Grimm had issued a report "revealing the dire state of the nation's pandemic response." Grimm was not the first overseer of the administration to be removed from duty. Additional Inspectors General would soon face a similar fate.
April 20: Trump tweets his intent to issue Executive Orde to "temporarily suspend" all immigration to the U.S., citing the "invisible enemy" as the motivation for this decision.
April 19: Protests erupt around U.S., seeking to "reopen" the country quickly, halting shelter-in-place orders. Some protesters are armed. Critics chastise Trump for fomenting the protests, tweeting two-word exhortations to "Liberate" three states (Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia) from restrictions on daily life, contradicting recommendations from medical experts.
April 14: Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker says he has "given up" on receiving assistance from the federal government to deal with the pandemic. "We have gotten very little help from the federal government," he added. The president has insisted that the states, not the federal government, are responsible for dealing with the Covid-19 virus. (CNN)
April 14: Trump announces that the U.S. will halt funding for the World Health Organization, pending an investigation into the global body's early responses to the Covid-19 crisis.
April 13: In what CNN calls a "grievance-fueled appearance," Trump "lashes out" at media, state governors, and others with a startling level of anger and venom, reacting to critics of his "handling" of the coronavirus crisis. "Trump erupts in Covid-19 briefing," the headline read, claiming that he, as president, has "total authority" to control re-opening of the country. His briefing included playing a video that CNN described as "propaganda-like." Scrutiny of his statements and actions in January-February, into early March has been growing.
"Everything we did was right," Mr. Trump insisted, adding that "the president's authority is total." Legal experts were quick to disagree, based mainly on actual wording in the Constitution.
April 12: The New York Times reports that "Trump was warned early and often" about the development of the coronavirus, before finally taking it seriously. According to the paper, the president "was slow to absorb the scale of the risk and focused on his message and the economy." A related article spelled out specific missteps in the administration's early responses.
CNN quoted Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top medical adviser to the president, admitting that "earlier mitigation efforts in U.S. would have saved lives."
April 9: In third week of shutdown, following Super Tuesday primary vote, another 6.6 million workers file for unemployment compensation, bringing the three-week total to a shocking 16 million.
April 7: During his daily press briefing, Trump revives the debunked claim of massive voter fraud, especially in California. Some recent op-ed pieces have brought out the prospect of Republicans acting to postpone, or cancel, the November election.
April 7: Senator Bernie Sanders suspends his presidential campaign, leaving former vice-president Joe Biden as the presumptive Democrat nominee.
April 6: Amid growing criticism of White House delay in taking Covid-19 virus seriously, Trump announces his hope to halt U.S. funding for the World Health Organization. The Washington Post claims that intelligence agencies formally warned Mr. Trump in early January, but adequate response did not emerge until 70 days had passed. Officials assert that as early as November 2019, the administration was warned about the prospect of a pandemic resulting from the virus emergence in China.
March 29: U.S. House Speaker criticizes Trump's response to the coronavirus crisis. As the president "fiddles," Nancy Pelosi said, "people are dying." (CNN)
March 25: CNN reporter Jake Tapper shows tape of Trump statement from February, asserting that the president gave Americans a "false sense of security" regarding the coronavirus. Critics have alleged that Trump continued to deny the dreadful prospects of the expanding virus through February, not taking it seriously until mid-March.
March 25: More than 200 people die from Covid-19 - the deadliest day yet- New York City has become the epicenter of the crisis, in terms cases and death. (CNN)
March 25: Trump states that he wants to see businesses open and people back at work, "raring to go," by Easter. Churches should be "packed" with people on Easter Sunday, he says, at least in some parts of the country. Nearly all public health experts reportedly warn that a forced return to normalcy, easing back on "social distancing" and other steps to try and keep the virus at bay, would be disastrous.
March 24: Following several days of tense negotiations in Senate, Trump signs bill for "stimulus" plan that will distribute $2 trillion to American workers as well as to business, in attempt to compensate for job losses and massive business downturn. Individuals and families should receive checks by early May (if mailed); or sooner, if direct deposit is used.
March 17: A string of proposals to deal with the virus and its economic repercussions emanates from the White House and government officials. The list includes the possibility of sending a check to every American, to help pay bills during the crisis as layoffs mount. Plans to "bail out" corporations that are suffering huge losses, including airlines and hotels, also emerge as the stock market sinks.
Later, when the program to send $1,200 checks is enacted, Trump insists that his signature be included on each paper check.
Quick Look: Early Days of Covid-19 in the U.S.
Late in 2019, when the coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China, few could have imagined the impact it would soon have on the rest of the world, including the U.S. As the number of cases - and deaths - grew in China and the virus reached into Europe, many Americans - including Donald Trump - dismissed or ignored the potential danger to humanity, worldwide. Not until the virus (now called Covid-19) began to sicken Americans, sometimes resulting in death, did the tendency toward denial begin to evaporate.
Finally, in mid-March, the president began to react in accord with the magnitude of the crisis. By then, New York City was going into lockdown, elderly residents of a Seattle nursing home were dying, and some cities began to take drastic action to keep the virus from spreading. The governor of Illinois, for one, ordered that all bars and restaurants close for the duration, except for takeout orders. Americans were emphatically warned to maintain "social distance," staying at least six feet away from all other people. Elderly persons, and those with health issues (especially respiratory conditions) were strongly advised to stay home. Lacking clear directives from the federal government, state and local officials initiated their own orders or admonitions to the public. Meanwhile, hospitals were running out of protective face masks, ventilators, and available beds.
Writing in The New York Times on March 18, 2020, Jennifer Finney Boylan may have painted the most pointed picture of the coronavirus pandemic: "The world we lived in has vanished – slowly, and then suddenly. Even if we manage to defeat the coronavirus, that world will not return."
Back To Tirekicking Today Home Page