Today’s Top Stories: May 19, 2020

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The Lede

Trump probably lied about taking malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine.

(CNN) The fragile foundation of evidence-based reality shoring up Donald Trump’s life and presidency just got even more tenuous.Trump’s admission that he was dosing up on hydroxychloroquine, an unproven and possibly harmful therapy to ward off the coronavirus, appears to conflict with the codes of medical science and is a stunning development given his position.

“Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it,” Trump told shocked reporters when he made the disclosure about a malaria drug he has all but dispensed from the bully pulpit. Trump’s medical choices and the risks he chooses to take are his personal business. But he is not an ordinary citizen, and his use of the therapy sends a conflicting message to Americans told by the US Food and Drug Administration that it is not proven to work against Covid-19 and could be counterproductive.

The President’s preventative pitch even prompted the anchor on duty at the friendly confines of Fox News to warn that some viewers could die if they followed his example. It was not the only moment on Monday when Trump’s personal and political priorities brought him into a collision with evidence. He grouched that Attorney General William Barr said he’s not inclined to pursue criminal charges in a false conspiracy theory against former President Barack Obama and Trump’s 2020 foe, Joe Biden.

“I think if it was me they would do it,” Trump said.


Trump threatens to permanently cut WHO funding, leave body if changes aren’t made within 30 days


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Carrier sidelined by coronavirus heads back to sea this week

First Coronavirus Vaccine Tested in Humans Generates Immune Response, Appears Safe

Taiwan ‘disappointed and angry’ about being excluded from WHO meeting, says it is developing its own coronavirus vaccine

Worldwide:

  • 4,834,449 up from 4,737,299 confirmed infections yesterday.
  • 319,147 up from 315,622 confirmed deaths yesterday.

US stats:

  • 1,509,202 up from 1,486,742 confirmed infections yesterday.
  • 90,373 up from 89,564 confirmed deaths yesterday.

Politics

Former judge to argue against DOJ in Flynn case next month

Trump will not invite Obama to White House for traditional unveiling of the most recent ex-president’s portrait – White House portrait unveiling may be the latest casualty of the political divide

Trump threatens to permanently end WHO funding, says he is taking hydroxychloroquine

Biden hires Chávez granddaughter to help on Latino outreach


Economy

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testify before Congress this morning.

Powell, Mnuchin testify on coronavirus relief: live blog

Upcoming economic reports this week:

  • Monday – Home Builders Index up to 37 from 30. Good news? Yes.
  • Tuesday – Housing Starts way down to 891,000 from 1,276,000 in the last report.
  • Thursday – Jobless claims
  • Thursday – Leading Economic Indicators

Source

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