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Critics were outraged when President Trump named Vice President Mike Pence to head a task force overseeing the nation's response to the Coronavirus.

They pointed to Pence's handling of the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana when he was governor.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noticed a spike of new HIV cases clustered in Scott County in March 2015.

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Nearly 200 people tested positive for HIV in small time period in tiny area of the US. The HIV outbreak was eventually traced to intravenous drug users sharing dirty needles.

The CDC and the local health department suggested a needle exchange program similar to the one in California that allowed IV drug users to exchange their dirty needles for clean ones.

But Pence, a devout Christian, had his doubts about enabling intravenous drug users by giving them needles to feed their habit.

After pressure from the CDC, he eventually issued an executive order allowing a program in Scott County before signing a law allowing the state to approve the program for counties on a case-by-case basis.

But critics said Pence's action was too little too late.

They claim Pence dragged his feet for a year - allowing more drug addicts to contract HIV and hepatitis C.

Greg Millett, director of public policy at amfAR, said Indiana's HIV outbreak would have been "entirely preventable" if Pence had only acted sooner.

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Pence took credit for Indiana's successful needle exchange program in an interview with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

"We worked the problem early in the year from a law enforcement standpoint, from a health standpoint. I don't believe in needle exchanges as a way to combat drug abuse, but in this case we came to the conclusion that we had a public health emergency, and so I took executive action to make a limited needle exchange available."

Needle exchanges were illegal in Indiana before Pence changed the law. The needle exchange program now operates in nine of Indiana's 92 counties.

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Angela Rye had some choice words for Trump supporters such as the group of Black political and religious leaders who prayed over the U.S. President after he held a meeting to celebrate Black History Month on Thursday.

The group of about 2 dozen Black leaders and Pastor Paula White lay hands on President Trump and prayed over him in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Afterwards, he did not answer reporters' questions about the stock market's worst loss in almost nine years on Thursday.

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The group of prayer warriors included activist Candace Owens, Pastor Darrell Scott, Martin Luther King Jr's niece Alveda King; Terrence Williams, and Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, otherwise known as pro-Trump activists Diamond and Silk.

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CNN political commentator Angela Rye attacked Black people who continue to show strong support for the president.

"Shame on you," said Rye during a segment on CNN's "Tonight."

"I think Donald Trump does not have a strong record to stand on as it relates to black unemployment. He has Barack Obama's record to stand on with that, and I think that at some point, black folks have got to look themselves in the mirror..."

She added, "Instead, you want to give Donald Trump kudos for throwing Cheez-It bits at you and then criticize the people who have spent their careers doing things for the betterment of black people and black society. And I would just say at that point, if you still go over to Donald Trump after that, shame on you. Period."
 

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President Trump announced on Wednesday he is appointing Vice President Mike Pence to head a task force to confront a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

As President Trump said, "The risk to the American people remains very low" since the common flu virus is far deadlier than the coronavirus outside of Asia.

The typical flu virus kills an average of 40,000 people a year in the U.S. There are no coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

"We're ready. We're ready for anything," Pence said. "We're all in this together. This is not the time for partisanship. This president will always put the health and safety of America first."

The Coronavirus (known as COVID-19) has not yet hit the U.S. as hard as it has hit Asian countries.

So far, there are 60 confirmed cases in the U.S. and no deaths.

The coronavirus enters the body by attaching to ACE2 receptors. ACE2 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) is an enzyme that is expressed predominantly in the heart, kidneys and testicles.

East Asians and Caucasian men have more ACE2 enzyme receptors and are more at risk for Coronavirus infections.

The risk of infection is lower for Black people of African descent, women and white Europeans.

According to health experts the coronavirus is highly contagious and can enter the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes as well as inhaled into the lungs.

Mucous membranes lines various openings of the body including the eyes, inner nose, inner ears, inner lips, mouth, vagina, urethral opening and the anus.

Unlike our skin, mucous membranes are porous and allows the passage of gas, liquid or microscopic viruses into the bloodstream.

The coronavirus is smaller than the HIV virus, which means COVID-19 can easily enter the body through openings such as the eyes, mouth and nasal passages.

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When treating patients infected with COVID-19, medical personnel must wear face masks and eye protection shields (such as this one) to protect against the virus entering the body through the eyes, mouth and nose.

If you think you have been infected with Coronavirus, the CDC advises you to stay home to prevent spreading the virus. Wash your hands frequently, and drink plenty of fluids.

Piedmont's WellStreet Urgent Care Clinics in Atlanta and surrounding suburbs sent out a newsletter to educate patients about the coronavirus.

The following are excerpts from the newsletter:

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus infection?

The symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. However, many infected people will have rather mild symptoms, like a sore throat. While it is unclear why some people deteriorate, most of those infected with Coronavirus recover fully after a mild illness.

How is Coronavirus spread?

The virus spreads through contact with another infected person. It may take 2-14 days for someone to become ill after being exposed to the Coronavirus. This time frame is called the incubation period. As you may already know, while there are sporadic cases in many countries throughout the world, the vast majority of infections remain in China. For that reason, if you have NOT traveled to China within the past 14 days or been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus infection, you are highly unlikely to have the disease.

What should I do if I get a fever and cough?

While things can certainly change, for now, you are far more likely to have influenza or another type of respiratory infection. At Piedmont Urgent Care, we can evaluate and test for flu and other infections. There are treatments available that can help shorten the duration of flu and reduce symptoms. And if needed, we can check for pneumonia with a chest x-ray.

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President Trump announced he will hold a Coronavirus press conference this evening, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned the virus outbreak in the US will be bad.

Trump will hold a press conference from the White House at 6 PM ET.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter.com after the Democrats said he was dragging his feet on handling the coronavirus.

Trump attacked the liberal media for "panicking the markets" following two straight days of heavy selling on Wall Street.

The president said he his working hard to respond to the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus, including considering appointing a coronavirus czar to lead the battle to contain the outbreak.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. is 57, including 36 who came from the infected Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The coronavirus was reportedly developed in a level 4 biohazard laboratory in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak which began in December.

The virus uses ACE2 receptors to enter the human body. Some people have more ACE2 receptors and are more vulnerable to the infection than others. The risk for infection is low for those who have less ACE2 receptors.

Health experts ask people who have a mild case of coronavirus to stay home to prevent infecting others. There is no cure and no vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.

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Instagram trolls forced Oprah Winfrey to turn off her comments after the conviction of her good friend Harvey Weinstein.

Oprah, 66, turned off her comments after a Manhattan jury found Weinstein guilty of 2 out of 5 sex assault charges on Monday.

Weinstein, 67, suffered chest pains after the verdicts were announced. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he is in stable condition and confined to a wheelchair.

Oprah's IG followers were unable to leave comments under her posts after the verdict. But she turned her comments back on by Tuesday morning.

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did respond to a reporter's questions about her good friend, Weinstein.

Clinton, who is in Berlin promoting her new Hulu documentary, said the verdict "speaks for itself."

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The former first lady was a bit defensive when asked about Weinstein's donations to both of her failed presidential campaigns.

"He contributed to Barack Obama's campaign and John Kerry's campaign and Al Gore's campaign and everybody's campaign," she said.

She denied knowing about Weinstein's predatory behavior with Hollywood starlets desperate for roles in his films.

"How could we have known? He raised money for me, the Obamas, for Democrats in general."

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President Trump called Weinstein's conviction "a great victory for women." He claimed he was never a fan of the disgraced movie mogul.

But he noted that Weinstein and former first lady Michelle Obama were great friends.

"The people who liked him were Democrats," said Trump. "Michelle Obama loved him, loved him. Hillary Clinton loved him," the president said during a press conference in New Delhi.

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President Trump's friend and advisor Roger Stone was sentenced to three years and 4 months for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. But he may never see the inside of a prison.

Stone walked out of the courthouse with a big smile on his face after the sentence was handed down on Thursday.

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, said she rejected prosecutors' demands for nine years - but not because of outside pressure.

Four prosecutors walked off the job last week after the Department of Justice and President Trump intervened, saying the nine years demanded by the prosecution was unfair.

He is out on bail as his lawyers plan to file for a retrial on the basis that the jury foreperson, Tomeka Hart, was an anti-Trump activist who often tweeted leftwing Russia collusion posts on social media.

It also emerged that Judge Berman Jackson denied a request to strike a potential juror who was an Obama-era press official with anti-Trump views.

President Trump has dropped hints that he will pardon Stone.

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Rod Blagojevich says he's a "freed political prisoner" after President Donald Trump commuted his prison sentence on Tuesday. The former Illinois governor was convicted of corruption for attempting to sell former President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.

Trump commuted Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence after the former governor had served eight years in prison. Blagojevich appeared as a contestant on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice television show. The two men have remained friends.

Blagojevich, who is a Democrat, praised Trump and called himself a "Trumpocrat."

"He didn't have to do this," Blagojevich said. "He's a Republican president. I was a Democratic governor. Doing this does nothing to help his politics."

Blagojevich held a press conference outside his Chicago home on Wednesday morning. As he spoke, he repeatedly wiped blood from his chin with tissue and apologized to the news media, saying he cut himself while shaving.

"I'm bruised, and I'm battered and bloody," he said. "Long time since I shaved with a normal razor and it takes a little bit of practice. Sorry about this blood."

His wife, Patti Blagojevich, and their two daughters stood beside him as he spoke to reporters. He marveled at how tall his youngest daughter had grown. She was 8 when he went to prison.

Blagojevich, 63, was the Illinois governor from 2003 until he was impeached and removed from office in 2009. He was convicted of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to Obama's "preferred candidate #1" Valerie Jarrett.

Blagojevich allegedly tried to curry favors from Obama in exchange for appointing Jarrett to Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Trump granted clemency to 11 convicted felons on Tuesday, including Blagojevich and junk bond kingpin Michael Milkin.

Trump has not ruled out pardoning his longtime friend and advisor Roger Stone after he is sentenced in federal court on Thursday.

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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks reportedly pleaded with President Donald Trump for weeks to give her back her job that is currently held by Stephanie Grisham.

31-year-old Hicks was willing to leave her $1 million a year job as communications director at Murdoch's Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News. She reportedly said taking the job at Fox was "a mistake."

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Trump, 73, reportedly declined to rehire one of his longest-serving advisers - and for good reason.

Hicks, pictured with Trump in 2018, abruptly left the White House amid rumors that Melania Trump, 49, objected to her presence around her powerful husband. It doesn't help matters that Hicks resembles a younger Melania.

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To keep the peace in the White House's private residence, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner stepped in and offered to re-hire Hicks himself. Kushner, 39, is married to Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, 38. They share three children.

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In a statement on Thursday, Kushner (pictured with Ivanka) said Hicks will be implementing the President's agenda. Her official title will be counselor to the president, and she will work closely with Kushner on Trump's reelection campaign.

Anti-Trump critic Andrew Laufer, a civil rights attorney, claims he knows the real reason Hicks is back in the White House.

"Was just told by one of my contacts that the actual reason why Hope Hicks is being brought back to the WH is due to Trump's declining mental state," he tweeted.

Another Twitter user echoed Laufer's statements by claiming Hicks was being brought back due to Trump's "worsening dementia."

Hicks is not a licensed therapist. Neither is Laufer.

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Money isn't everything. Former White House aide Hope Hicks left a coveted $1 million/year job with Murdoch's Fox Corp. to return to her gig at the White House.

Hicks, 31, will return to the White House in the next few weeks, according to published reports.

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Hicks' abrupt exit from the White House in 2018 raised eyebrows, amid reports that Melania Trump felt uneasy about the younger woman's presence around her powerful husband.

Hicks was one of Trump's original cabinet members from 2016 when he defeated Hillary Clinton in a landslide victory. Trump is very fond of Hicks and speaks very highly of her.

Hicks leaves behind her $1 million-a-year job as head of communications for Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News.

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Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg wants voters to think he was an unrepentant racist until he decided to run for president of the United States.

Bloomberg is backtracking after he declared minorities were responsible for most of the crime in his jurisdiction when he was mayor.

In recently unearthed audio tapes, the 77-year-old billionaire defended his policy of aggressively policing minority neighborhoods.

In a 2015 speech at the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg said he needed to get guns out of the hands of individuals who are "male, minority, and between the ages of 15 and 25."

He said statistics of violent crimes committed by armed individuals were down during that period because police were ordered to throw young Black males "up against the wall and frisk them."

He admitted "we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods... because that's where all the crime is."

Clips from the speech went viral on Tuesday. President Trump tweeted one of the audio clips, before deleting his tweet. "WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!" Trump wrote.

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Bloomberg is offering $150 to "influencers", such as pseudo-singer Beyonce, who make positive posts about him on social media and blogs.

"All the money in the world can't undo this," tweeted Trump's re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale, who quoted Bloomberg: "The way you get guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the wall."

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Last week, Bloomberg's camp aired a campaign ad featuring former President Barack Obama endorsing the NY billionaire who, like Obama, favors gun control in minority neighborhoods.

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President Trump deleted a tweet calling presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg a "total racist." Trump posted, then deleted, a tweet along with audio of Bloomberg discussing New York's "stop-and-frisk" policy that reduced violent crimes in his city.

In the war of billionaires, Trump tweeted, then deleted: "WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!", according to published reports.

Trump rarely ever deletes a tweet. Some political analysts say it is an indication that someone in his inner circle warned him that he went too far.

In a statement to The Wrap, the former New York mayor said, "President Trump's deleted tweet is the latest example of his endless efforts to divide Americans. I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should've done it faster and sooner."

In the audio linked to Trump's tweet, Bloomberg praised the policy and suggested that the majority of the people who were stopped by police were white. He hinted that the perpetrators of violent gun crimes were not white.

"95 percent of your murders, murderers and murder victims, fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops: They are male, minorities 16 to 25. That's true in New York. It's true in virtually every city."

Bloomberg apologized in his statement to The Wrap. "I regret that and I have apologized. I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities."

But Black Twitter noted that Bloomberg, at age 77, is too old to change his racist thought process, now that he is running for president.

Trump's re-election campaign manager, Brad Perscale, also tweeted #BloombergIsaRacist. Perscale did not delete his tweet.

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The Senate acquitted President Trump by a majority vote on both articles of impeachment on Wednesday. The Senate voted 52-48 not guilty on article 1 and 53-47 not guilty on article 2 of impeachment.

Senators stood at their desks and shouted their verdicts during a roll call vote on Wednesday, Feb. 5. It was only the third impeachment of a sitting President in U.S. history. The others, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, were both acquitted in the Senate.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, switched sides and voted to convict Trump on the 1st article of impeachment.

Saying "I had to follow my conscience," Romney told Chris Wallace on Wednesday that he decided to vote to convict Trump on abuse of power.

"I believe that the act he took, an effort to corrupt an election is as destructive an attachment on the oath of office and our Constitution as I can image," Romney said.

"It is a high crime and misdemeanor within the meaning of the Constitution, and tat is not a decision I take lightly. It is the last decision I want to take."

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered Trump supporters when she ripped up her copy of President Trump's State of the Union Address before he was done speaking last night.

Pelosi, who is still angry over her failed impeachment bid, tore up Trump's speech after he addressed the nation and the two chambers of Congress on Tuesday night.

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Afterwards, Pelosi held up the torn papers to cheers from her fellow Democrats.
 

 
"What is wrong with her?" asked Kellyanne Conway, political counselor to the President. "Who mutters to themselves during the State of the Union?" Conway referred to Pelosi as "an incorrigible child" for ripping up Trump's speech.

In response to criticism that Trump "snubbed" Pelosi, who offered a handshake after he had already turned away from her, Conway said Trump simply didn't see Pelosi's hand.
 

 
Among Trump's critics was openly homosexual actor Billy Porter, who labeled Trump's U.S. presidency as "one of the biggest crises of my lifetime" in his LGBT+ State of the Union address on Tuesday.

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The Pose star's speech for Logo's second annual event came just hours before President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address to the nation.

In his hard-hitting speech, Porter targeted topics such as Trump's ban on transgender people enlisting in the U.S. military, and a rule that allows healthcare professionals to refuse medical procedures to LGBT+ people.

"Last year, I told you that the state of our union is strong,” he began. "While it certainly has been battered, our union is far from broken. Now, in 2020, our responsibility as citizens has been more evident," Porter said.

Urging viewers to use their feet to vote in 2020 to bring an end to Trump's time in the White House, Porter continued:

"Donald J. Trump has painted himself as a friend of the LGBTQ community, while revealing his true colors at every malicious turn. This heinous violence against trans people, which disproportionately affects trans women of color is nothing short of an epidemic. We must confront it as a community and as a country, and we must elect officials who recognize it for the crisis that it is."

Porter concluded: "The fate of the entire country is in the balance. I know it sounds dramatic, but if now is not the time for drama, chile, when is?"

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President Trump was dragged on Twitter.com when he congratulated Super Bowl champs Kansas City Chiefs, saying they made the great state of Kansas proud.

After realizing his error, the President deleted his tweet and rewrote it: "Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game and a fantastic comeback under immense pressure. We are proud of you and the Great State of Missouri. You are true Champions!"

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It probably would be an unforgivable error if Kansas City wasn't the third largest city in the state of Kansas.

How many people who are not Kansas City Chiefs fans (your auntie included) would make the same mistake?

Remember when former President Obama said he campaigned in 57 states in the US? No one made a big deal out of it because Obama wasn't born in the U.S.

But because it's Trump who made a simple error, that most of us would've made, the trolls took delight in roasting him on social media.
 

This is an open post where you can discuss any subject matter. This post will not be censored or moderated. Disqus may automatically moderate certain words considered offensive. There are no rules in Open Posts. So enter at your own risk.

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The Kansas City Chiefs rallied late in the 4th quarter to win Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers in Miami on Sunday. But the biggest story to emerge from the Super Bowl was non-sports related.

President Donald Trump is facing backlash over his 30-second Super Bowl commercial featuring Alice Marie Johnson, the grandmother who served 21 years of a life sentence for cocaine possession.

Johnson, 64, was given a life sentence for a non-violent offense, thanks to former President Bill Clinton's three strikes law.

Johnson is now an advocate and paid speaker touting Trump's criminal justice reform around the country.

In the Super Bowl ad, Johnson enthusiastically thanked Trump for giving her a new lease on life after she was released from prison.

Social media is furious that Trump took the credit for Kim Kardashian's work advocating for Johnson's release.

They argue that West and her team of lawyers did most of the heavy lifting to secure Johnson's freedom, while Trump only lifted his pen to grant clemency after Kardashian pleaded her case in the Oval Office in 2018.

Former Rep. Bakari Sellers was among Trump's vocal critics on Sunday, tweeting, "That ad was offensive AF," he tweeted before adding, "The "I freed a Negro" ad."

But a Trump supporter wrote, "So, what else is new? President Trump gets criticisms and backlash no matter what he does."

Another wrote: " Of course Democrats and Progressives are offended...This President did something when their President (Obama) did nothing."