Trump Just Told Governors to Get Their Acts Together on COVID-19. Pot, Meet Kettle.

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On Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter to urge governors to buck up and start testing residents for the coronavirus. “No excuses!” he wrote.

There’s a lot to unpack in this latest presidential deflection of responsibility. The failure to make coronavirus tests widely available months ago is perhaps the most colossal mistake among the Trump administration’s many bungled coronavirus responses. To date, there have been 2.8 million coronavirus tests administered in the United States, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That’s less than 1 percent of the population—a lower per capita rate than other countries. So while it’s technically true that the US has tested more people than other countries, the suggestion that we’re leading the world in testing rates—something Trump has repeated—is not. 

Even members of Trump’s administration agree that national surveillance testing hasn’t gone well: Asked by Science Magazine what went wrong in the US response, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “Obviously, testing is one clear issue that needs to be relooked at. Why were we not able to mobilize on a broader scale?” Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to pull back funding for testing centers across the country, prompting bipartisan uproar and a reversal of the plan. 

The tweet comes a day after a bombshell New York Times story details the many ways in which top administration officials attempted to sound the alarm bells and urged the president into action in January and February.

As for gearing up with face masks, it’s unclear where the president expects this protective equipment to be coming from: just last week the administration informed Congress that the the federal government’s emergency stockpile was depleted and states wouldn’t be receiving more shipments of personal protective gear. 

On Friday, Trump announced that the administration was now encouraging the use of non-medical face masks, and then clarified, “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.” He went on, “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens—I just don’t see it.”

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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