Live Blog: COVID Taskforce Briefing – Trump’s 70-day deadly delay will feature prominently

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Live Blog below


5:00 PM EDT Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing


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Today should be a doozy, Navy secretary resigns, Navarro memo, Pentagon IG fired, among other possible topics. The unhingery should be at a max in today’s episode of the Trump Show (now with extra kayfabe).

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— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) April 7, 2020

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— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 7, 2020

President Donald Trump has upended the panel of federal watchdogs overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus law, tapping a replacement for the Pentagon official who was supposed to lead the effort.

A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort. But Trump on Monday removed Fine from his post, instead naming the EPA inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog in addition to his other responsibilities.

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That decision, which began circulating on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, effectively removed Fine from his role overseeing the coronavirus relief effort, since the new law permits only current inspectors general to fill the position.

“Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,” Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon inspector general’s office, confirmed. She added that Fine will return to his Senate-confirmed post as principal deputy inspector general of the Pentagon.

Fine’s removal is Trump’s latest incursion into the community of independent federal watchdogs — punctuated most dramatically by his late Friday ouster of the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, whose handling of a whistleblower report ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment.

Trump has also begun sharply attacking Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, following a report from her office that described widespread testing delays and supply issues at the nation’s hospitals.

“Another Fake Dossier!” Trump tweeted, mentioning Grimm’s tenure as inspector general during the Obama administration. He didn’t mention, though, that Grimm has been serving as a federal watchdog since 1999, spanning administrations of both parties.

www.politico.com/…

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Expect this lie today:

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— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) April 7, 2020

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— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 7, 2020

From yesterday:

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