In Trump and Biden, reality and fantasy collide on Thanksgiving

The solidarity that President-elect Joe Biden called for in a speech on Wednesday sounds like a distant dream compared to the state of affairs in Washington, where Trump is sinking deeper into his bunker. The president immediately denies his electoral defeat and implores the loyalists to fight it. And the federal government and Congress are indeed AWOL, leaving millions of Americans to fend for themselves in the midst of medical and economic disaster.

In this odd interregnum between Biden’s victory and Trump’s departure, the lame president and the new president have taken remarkably, though not surprisingly, different paths.

Trump is wrapped around the axis of his delusional attempt to reclaim a presidency that is drifting out of its grip with each passing day. He oscillates between grievances and chimeras, without thinking of the destruction in his path. Biden, operating in the world as it exists, has scrupulously built a government on hold. And in the two days since a Trump-appointed person allowed the formal transition to begin, Biden’s team has begun to examine the rusting nuts and bolts of the besieged institutions he will inherit.

Biden’s reality and Trump’s fantasies collided the day before Thanksgiving.

First, we learned that weekly jobless claims had climbed to 778,000, more than three times their pre-pandemic average. Trump, meanwhile, only canceled plans to attend a charlatan circus billed as an election fraud “hearing” by Pennsylvania Republicans in Gettsyburg until after his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was exposed – to new – to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Giuliani showed up anyway and Trump called, his delusions audible through a speaker and a microphone.
The president attacked the courts, which almost unanimously rejected his outlandish claims, the Democrats, with even more absurd lies, and called – about whom it was difficult to tell – to overturn the election results. Hours later, he granted a pardon to loyalist Michael Flynn, his briefly tenured national security adviser who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about conversations with the then Russian ambassador.

Subsequently, Trump invited Republicans from Pennsylvania to the White House for a West Wing meeting, two sources told CNN. This is a revival of a bet the president attempted with two top Michigan state lawmakers GOP, who visited Washington last week, for a debrief the president hoped would give more than fuel to his baseless allegations of electoral fraud. But he received none, and Republicans quickly issued a statement affirming the truth – that they had “not yet been informed of any information that would change the outcome of the Michigan election.”

Galaxies far away

Biden urges Americans to re-engage in pandemic fight during Thanksgiving speech
In Delaware, about 120 miles and several psychic galaxies away from Gettsyburg Disorder, Biden made a sober appeal for caution and resolve in the face of spiraling crises.

“I know the country has grown weary of the fight. But we have to remember that we are at war with the virus, not with each other. Not with each other,” Biden said. “This is the time when we must strengthen our thorns, redouble our efforts and re-engage in the fight.”

As he did during the campaign, Biden channeled his own grief – at the loss of his first wife and baby girl in 1972, and the death of his son from brain cancer a little earlier. five years – in an effort to appease grieving Americans. .

“It’s really hard to care,” Biden said of the jaw-dropping sight of an “empty chair” where a loved one once sat. “It’s hard to give thanks. It’s even hard to think of looking forward, and it’s so hard to hope for. I understand. I will think and pray for each of you this Thanksgiving.

Earlier today, future First Lady Jill Biden was spotted dropping bags of merchandise at a food bank in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where the Bidens spend the holidays. This small gesture underscored the vast challenges facing so many, whose lives are financially devastated by the pandemic, who have turned to increasingly solicited charities to temporarily meet their basic needs.

And Vice President-elect Kamala Harris tweeted a Time article chronicling the crisis, saying: “Food banks across our country are struggling to meet demand due to COVID-19. Please know that when @JoeBiden and I are in the White House, we will tackle food insecurity and resolve this crisis. ”

“No one should go hungry in America,” she added.

A Washington Post survey of Census Bureau data from late October and early November found that food insecurity was increasing at a frightening rate. One in 8 Americans reported not having enough to eat the previous week, a figure that rose to 1 in 6 in households with children.
CNN Impact Your World: How You Can Help Fight the Hunger Crisis

Kellie O’Connell, CEO of Lakeview Pantry in Chicago, described the painful scenes as hard-hit families come to seek help, often for the first time.

Describing a family of four who had used up their savings, O’Connell told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin about the feelings of shame that often come with having to seek help.

“They came to our house so they could put food on their table for Thanksgiving,” she said. “One of the parents stayed in the car because they were a little embarrassed about how they were getting food. And it’s really difficult.”

Growing queues outside food banks have become a bitter mark of this miserable season.

Congress still stuck on emergency plan

The fate of the stimulus looks grim as lawmakers turn to spending deadlines

On the horizon: no more pain. An estimated 12 million people will lose the expanded unemployment benefits provided by a federal relief program adopted in March. The prospects for a second round of federal stimulus in the near future appear bleak. There is a government funding deadline in a few weeks, which could give lawmakers an opportunity to budget for new aid. But a Democratic-backed House revival, first passed in May, then updated in early October, is languishing.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take it back and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far refused to consider smaller and piecemeal legislation. The stalemate has left desperate American workers increasingly adrift and thrown entire industries on the brink of collapse.

The absence of a central and organizing figure in the White House has also started to raise concerns about the processes in place for the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. In a mirror of the chaos of this spring, when local leaders were left to bid against each other for ventilators and personal protective equipment, the senior state health official of Illinois said that the federal government had previously told him that it could not meet an initial request for 400,000 doses.

“We’re still waiting to see answers, and maybe understand why, but it looks like the initial attribution that we thought we were ready to release – that number has gone down,” Dr Ngozi Ezike told Nia-Malika Henderson from CNN. “So as a result all the states are going to receive a lower amount.”

Fight the wave

`` Tired of being sad.  Financial stress from Covid wreaks emotional havoc

As Washington is tied up and the coronavirus spreads at record rates, one of the nation’s largest health care providers, the Mayo Clinic, has announced it is recruiting staff from outside the country. State and called on retirees to return to work to fight the outbreak of the virus. in Minnesota.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University had reported 178,752 new cases nationwide and 2,207 deaths. This follows the more than 2,100 deaths linked to Covid-19 on Tuesday, then the highest number in a single day since May. Public health experts fear the millions of people who travel Thursday to spend time with family – indoors and unprotected – could trigger a new wave of infections.

“It is potentially the mother of all big-air events,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, former White House medical team adviser, told CNN this week.

In the shadow of these disheartening statistics and dire warnings, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation extolling the “service and sacrifice” of “first responders, medical professionals, essential workers, neighbors and ‘countless other patriots’.

He then began to promote behavior that would put them all at risk.

“I encourage all Americans to come together,” said Trump, “in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for our many blessings.”

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