Trump Admin. Refuses to Disclose Corporate Recipients of $500 Billion in Coronavirus Bailout Funds

Progressive critics and advocacy groups are responding with alarm and anger to the Trump administration’s refusal to disclose the names of more than 4.5 million companies that have collectively received over $500 billion in corporate bailout money through a federal program created to provide businesses with relief from the coronavirus pandemic.

The over $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by Trump in March established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $349 billion in funding for forgivable loans. After the initial capital ran out in just 13 days, lawmakers approved $310 billion more

Common Dreams

Trump Has Crippled the CDC — It’s About Him and His Re-Election Effort

‘We’ve been muzzled’: CDC sources say White House putting politics ahead of science.

A senior official inside the CDC told CNN that the agency also alerted the White House to the virus’s rapid spread across Europe, but that “the White House was extremely focused on China and not wanting to anger Europe … even though that’s where most of our cases were originally coming from.”

“The CDC … were part of the mistakes with the early problems with testing, and it seemed like after that, they weren’t trusted as much,” said James Curran, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a former CDC official. But, he added, “there’s no place in the world that has more epidemiologists and scientists studying respiratory infections. … We need them now.”

CNN

Coronavirus: Republicans Engage in Lies, Deception, Withholding of Information

Arizona disbands team of health experts.

Hours after Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona, accelerated plans to reopen businesses, saying the state was “headed in the right direction,” his administration halted the work of a team of experts projecting it was on a different — and much grimmer — course.

On Monday night, the eve of President Trump’s visit to the state, Ducey’s health department shut down the work of academic experts predicting the peak of the state’s coronavirus outbreak was still about two weeks away.

Florida withholds medical examiner info.

“The Department of Health is telling the medical examiners it cannot release this information that the medical examiners have been releasing on a regular basis,” said Barbara Petersen, president emeritus of the First Amendment Foundation, an open-government watchdog in Tallahassee.

“For whatever reason, our governor is trying to hide information — first about nursing homes, and now from medical examiners. They are trying to paint a rosy picture by refusing to provide us accurate information that allows us to make informed decisions about the health and safety of our families,” Petersen said.

How Trump turned ventilators into a form of patronage

A seemingly innocuous tweet President Donald Trump posted about Colorado receiving ventilators from the government actually raises troubling questions about the extent to which the president is using lifesaving medical equipment as a form of political patronage.

On Wednesday Trump announced that he was sending 100 ventilators to Colorado — a development he credited to a request from a Republican senator facing an uphill reelection campaign this year, Cory Gardner.

Vox

Related:

Denver Post: It’s the worst imaginable form of corruption — playing political games with lives.

Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018

Thanks in part to the #GOPTaxScam, Amazon pays no taxes for the second year in a row, despite over $11 billion in profits.
Yahoo

Related:

From Robert Reich:
Who really benefited from Trump’s tax cuts?
Pfizer –> Donations to GOP: $16M Tax cut received: $39B
GE –> Donations to GOP: $20M Tax cut received: $16B
Chevron –> Donations to GOP: $13M Tax cut received: $9B
It’s socialism for the rich in exchange for campaign cash.

Also from Robert Reich:

Since 2009, the combined wealth of the members of the Forbes 400 list has more than doubled from $1.3 trillion to nearly $3 trillion.
Meanwhile, their taxable income has fallen from 27% to 23% over the same time.
They are worth more than ever, but paying less.
Tax the rich.

More Proof of Another Republican Big Lie (“Tax Cuts for Corporations Will Boost Jobs and Help the Working Class”)

Remember what Republicans called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”?

As you know (if you’ve been paying attention), the “Jobs” part of the Republican bill was a huge lie.

Corporations didn’t generally invest in their companies, their workforce, or create jobs. They spent BILLIONS buying back shares to boost the stock price (executives’ bonuses get a boost when the company’s stock price goes up).

Five companies blow $55 billion in Q1 to prop up their own shares.

Wolf Street

The Supreme Court just said federal courts can’t stop partisan gerrymandering

“Partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts,” Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the Court’s other four conservatives, wrote in the 5-4 Rucho v. Common Cause decision. “Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”

Vox