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January 1, Trump Halts Funding For WHO



This Day in History | 1947

Jackie Robinson joins the starting lineup for the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first America’s first black Major League Baseball player.

Good Morning Middle Americans, 

Well he’s done it now. President Trump has halted U.S. funding for the UN’s World Health Organization amid differences regarding China’s influence over the organization.  The move is already receiving partisan backlash. It reminds us of the president’s prior resistance to NATO member countries and their failure to step up to the plate. In the end Trump got them to pony up. As for the WHO – it’s a massive bureaucratic organization and the facts remain clear that they relied too heavily on data that was filtered through the Chinese Communist Party. Now they are going to pay. The Chinese provide a fraction of the amount that the US provides to the WHO. Expect to hear a lot of partisan doctors and media complaining about the move. In the end, the WHO needs the US. And now they are about to find that out. 

If you stimulus check is late, you might have President Trump to blame. Several reports say he halted the printing of the checks to make sure his name was included on them. If you ask us, it’s dumb. It’s not his money. It’s our money. We the taxpayers. 

Well, President Obama has finally endorsed Joe Biden, and we are hearing that Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement could come today. The pandemic seems to be unifying Democrats. In addition to throwing his support behind Biden, former President Barack Obama also ripped into Republicans for ‘not trusting science’ while ignoring his administration’s failure to take a lesson from the Bush White House’s pandemic warning. 

Finally, we are all still trying to find out exactly where this virus came from. We got some new information from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Yesterday. While he says it’s most likely that the virus spread naturally, he cannot rule out that it was created in a lab. Hmm… 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon 

Trump Says He Will Halt WHO Funding, Pending Review

(NPR) – President Trump says he will halt U.S. funding of the World Health Organization while his administration reviews the organization’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

“Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump said Tuesday in a briefing at the White House.

“As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability,” he said. “One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”

Trump said that the review would take 60 to 90 days and that a “very thorough investigation” is underway.

It’s unclear whether the president has the authority to unilaterally halt funding for an international institution such as the WHO. Congressional Democrats have argued he doesn’t.

But The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the White House budget office has concluded that Trump has several options for withholding the funds without congressional approval, including ordering agencies to reroute the money to other related purposes.

Read more here

Stimulus Checks Delayed? Trump Requires U.S. Treasury to Print His Name on Them

(Newsweek) – Late Monday evening, the U.S. Treasury Department ordered the Internal Revenue Service to print President Donald Trump’s name on the stimulus checks it is sending to millions of Americans nationwide, reports The Washington Post.

The Treasury Department’s order could cause the checks to be delayed by several days or longer, senior agency officials told the publication.

The unprecedented decision will mark the first time in history that a president’s name has ever appeared on an IRS disbursement. Usually, presidents’ names don’t appear on checks issued by the Treasury Department in order to keep such payments non-partisan.

His name will appear on the memo line appearing left side of the stimulus check.

Read more here

Obama’s Back and He’s Bashing Republicans for their Pandemic Response

(Business Insider) – Former President Obama had some particularly stinging words for Republicans in his 12-minute video endorsement of his former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

In addition to throwing his support behind Biden, Obama tried to offer consolation to a nation battling the coronavirus pandemic.

It later culminated into some of Obama’s most direct criticism of President Trump and Republicans — without ever naming his successor.

“One thing everybody has learned by now is that the Republicans occupying the White House and running the US Senate are not interested in progress. They’re interested in power,” Obama said.

He went on: “They’ve shown themselves to be willing to kick off millions off their health insurance and eliminate preexisting condition protections for millions more, even in the middle of this public health crisis, even as they’re willing to spend a trillion dollars on tax cuts on the wealthy.”

Find out more here

Joint Chiefs Chairman: U.S. Intel Investigating Whether Coronavirus Leaked from Wuhan Lab

(Washington Times) – U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether the coronavirus may have leaked from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.

Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the nation’s most senior military officer, told reporters at the Pentagon the initial assessments indicate the coronavirus causing the global pandemic appears to have been a “natural” event arising from animal-to-human transmission.

However, he noted published reports that the origin may have occurred as an escape from a research laboratory.

“It should be no surprise that we’ve taken a keen interest in that and we’ve had a lot of intelligence agencies take a hard look at that,” Gen. Milley said. “I would just say at this point it’s inconclusive although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural. But we don’t know for certain.”

The comments by the four-star general are the first time a senior American government official publicly raised the prospect that the virus may have originated from a Chinese laboratory.
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