There is never anything normal about the Trump presidency.

Every day brings bizarre and/or shocking revelations that would have scandalized any other presidency, and would certainly have spurred Republicans to shrieking revolt had any of them happened during Obama.  But of course, none did.

Yesterday we learned that the most recently fired Inspector General (for the State Department) was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not only for misusing his office for personal business, but also for Pompeo’s role in an 8-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia that took place under an emergency declaration by Trump, done in order to bypass Congress–whose approval Trump could not get.  Firing IG’s to obstruct justice is just the kind of seedy, unethical ploy that has typified Trump’s regime and his cabinet.  It may or may not have broken laws, but it was unethical and deeply antithetical to the separation of powers and the spirit of Democracy. And would have lit a firestorm of controversy and concern from Congress in prior administrations.

We were also told yesterday by Trump that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for ten days as a prophylactic measure to protect from Covid.  It was worth wondering if Trump had Covid, but it was equally worth questioning whether or not Trump was being truthful.  He’s lied so often, in so many ways, that he may just be distracting us from his Covid response failure or his new IG scandal, or he may be pretending to take hydroxychloroquine to save face after weeks of pushing the drug and then being humiliated by the medical establishment when the drug was found in a trial to make Covid outcomes worse, not better. Is paranoid (and germophobic) Trump so obtuse that he would risk his health in this way?  Hydroxychloroquine depresses your immune system and can cause lethal heart problems, particularly in people who are obese. As Speaker Pelosi warned about Trump yesterday:

“I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: ‘Morbidly obese,’ they say.”

Cue the Trump Twitter tantrum in three, two, one…

Despite Trump’s catastrophically deficient response to the pandemic, we received a few glimmers of good news yesterday.

Sorrento Therapeutics announced that it had made a significant breakthrough in a short-term preventive antibody treatment for Covid.  The treatment could potentially protect a person from Covid for up to two months, which could be a life-saving advance for front-line and essential workers, as well as people with special vulnerabilities.  Here’s an article by Adele Peters in Fast Company:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90506158/this-biotech-company-says-its-coronavirus-antibody-treatment-blocked-100-of-infections-in-lab-tests

We also learned yesterday that Moderna’s Phase 1 clinical trial of an antibody vaccine had positive early results.  The vaccine appears to have generated neutralizing antibodies at levels resembling those of people who have recovered from coronavirus.  Here’s a report in CNN Health from Elizabeth Cohen:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/health/coronavirus-vaccine-moderna-early-results/index.html

Obviously these results are preliminary, and we are still months away from a “game changer” at the very least.  But science is working hard to find a path out of the pandemic. Meanwhile, we have to continue to take physical distancing seriously and wear masks when out in public.  The numbers might be going down but the virus is still circulating.  And many more people are currently infected than in early March, so if we “went back to normal” the cases and deaths would come roaring back worse than before.

On the local front, Rep Delgado is holding his tenth telephone town hall on Thursday, May 21st, at 4:30pm.  To join his call, dial 855-905-3295 at 4:30 on Thursday.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

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