In a certain way, you could say

Trump made some “remarks” yesterday at a coronavirus briefing with airline bosses, which the White House duly transcribed for us.

In a certain way, you could say that the borders are automatically shut down, without having to say “shut down.”  I mean, they’re, to a certain extent, automatically shut down. 

Impressive, isn’t it? We’re in good hands. But then he gets to the important part.

But it’s affecting the airline business, as it would.  And a lot of people are staying in our country, and they’re shopping and using our hotels in this country.  So, from that standpoint, I think, probably, there’s a positive impact.  But there’s also an impact on overseas travel, which will be fairly substantial.

That’s the important thing – people are stuck in the US because of a disease outbreak, so they’re forced to spend more time in OUR HOTELS, thus causing more money to go into the pockets of people who OWN HOTELS, which is pretty much the most important consideration on the planet. Yay disease outbreak, more $$$$$$$$ for Donnie!

Then he hands it over to Pence, who mostly says how awesome Trump is and how everything good was his idea.

So, Mr. President, as you said, it is a whole-of-government approach, but in a very real sense, it’s a whole-of-America approach.  And I’ve already expressed, and I know you feel a great deal of gratitude to our partners in industry and in the airline industry for acting on your priority to put the safety and health of the American people first.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good, Mike.  Thank you very much.  I just want to add, if I might — and to go a little bit further — the Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing.  And we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.  That was a decision we disagreed with.  I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason it was made.  But we’ve undone that decision.

The Times reported on that last “remark” and said it’s a crock.

It was not entirely clear what he was referring to. Health experts and veterans of the government during Mr. Obama’s presidency said they were unaware of any policy or rule changes during the last administration that would have affected the way the Food and Drug Administration approved tests during the current crisis. Moreover, if there were, Mr. Trump did not explain why his administration did not change the rules during its first three years in office.

In other words he told a big ol’ lie.

Mr. Trump appeared intent on focusing attention on the Obama administration at a time when his own handling of the outbreak has come under intense criticism. He made a point of using the former president’s name in comments to reporters during a White House meeting with airline executives, called to discuss the economic effect of the virus.

Among other things, critics have pointed to the dismantling of a White House effort set up by Mr. Obama to respond to global health emergencies. The officials involved have left and not been replaced over the past two years, a point made by Obama administration veterans in recent days.

So obviously the thing to do is say some vague handwavey shit about “a decision on testing” and then use the word “detrimental,” which will surprise everyone so much they’ll forget to notice the handwaving.

Michelle Forman, a spokeswoman for the Association of Public Health Laboratories, whose members had complained that the Food and Drug Administration took too long to approve their tests, said there were some discussions during the Obama administration about whether to tighten restrictions on laboratories that developed their own tests, but “nothing was ever put into place.”

She said the association, which represents state and local government labs, was not aware of any Obama-era rules that changed how the labs were regulated or how applications in a public health crisis were reviewed.

Yeah but Trump knows. He does. He has inside dope. He knows what NOBODY else knows, including anyone who was in the Obama administration.

Dr. Sharfstein said that the Trump administration hindered itself by giving first approval for a coronavirus test to the C.D.C., which meant that private labs could not conduct testing for clinical reasons without their own approval.

“They didn’t have to do it in the first place,” he said. “They’re reversing a decision that they themselves made.”

Oh so they’re correcting their own unnecessary rule about testing. And saying it was Obama’s. Well that’s fine, nothing wrong with that. Standard operating procedure.

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