The Mid-Hudson region finally met a series of Covid benchmarks over the weekend and was allowed yesterday to enter Phase One of Governor Cuomo’s re-opening plan.  Mid-Hudson includes the following counties: Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Sullivan, Rockland, Putnam & Westchester.  Phase One permits a number of industries to re-open, including construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and wholesale trade.  It also allows an array of stores that sell retail goods to open for curbside pickup, delivery and in-store pickup under certain restrictions and guidelines.  Here’s a link to the exact guidelines for businesses:

https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase

Keep in mind that social distancing guidelines are still firmly in place, and masks must be worn in enclosed public spaces and any situation where six-feet of distance can’t be maintained.

One person who never follows guidelines and refuses to wear a mask is Donald Trump, whose recklessness was called out yesterday by Joe Biden.  Trump complained that mask wearing was “politically correct,” falsely suggesting that wearing a mask was motivated by politics rather than scientific study, personal health, and concern for others. Talk about toxic mask-ulinity! During a TV interview Biden called Trump “an absolute fool,” and said, “this macho stuff…it’s costing people’s lives.”  Asked if wearing a mask was a sign of strength or weakness, Biden answered “it’s a sign of leadership.”

Trump continued his daily Twitter tantrum yesterday, calling Speaker Pelosi crazy, accusing Democrats of rigging the upcoming election, bragging that only 100,000 or so citizens will die from Covid, and re-tweeting a post that accused TV host Joe Scarborough of murder.  Leaks from the White House claimed that Trump was raging all weekend long about his horrible poll numbers and how unfairly he’s been treated.  And when Trump is stressed, he lashes out and rages.  Even though Trump has violated Twitter’s Terms Of Service on multiple occasions, Twitter continues to refuse to kick him off. Yesterday, however, they began to add a fact-check link to some of his most dishonest tweets urging users to investigate his claims.  Twitter has done a horrible, timid, uneven job of policing Trump’s tweets, but this is a start.

Thomas Friedman pointed out something significant in the New York Times yesterday that might have merely slipped under the radar amid all of Trump’s chaos and scandal.  The Saudi man who shot up a military base last December and killed three sailors was, according to the FBI, an Al Qaeda operative and was carrying out a foreign-planned special operation with the support of others.  The attack was the first successful terror attack on US soil that was planned abroad since 9/11, all on Trump’s watch.  Here’s a link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/opinion/mike-pompeo.html

Friedman notes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been unusually silent about the attack, even though Pompeo was one of the most strident and vocal critics of Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi. He stayed on the Benghazi crusade for a long time, railing and wailing about the deaths and tragedy that occurred on Clinton’s watch.  But on Pompeo and Trump’s watch, we have a terror attack on American soil that the White House was totally oblivious to.  And now, Pompeo’s silence reeks of hypocrisy.

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

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