It’s official: President Donald Trump has colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the Democrats can relax. This “quid pro quo” is that Russia is sending the US a planeload of medical supplies to battle the coronavirus, and hoping the US will eventually reciprocate if need be; plus more of today’s top stories in conservative politics.
Collusion of a different kind: Russia sends planeload of medical equipment to US
Democrats may start freaking out because President Donald Trump has been speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin again. But before the Dems rush out and hire a spy to create a dossier, they should know that the two leaders had “a perfect call” that will result in the US receiving some desperately needed medical supplies and equipment in the battle against coronavirus.
On Monday, Trump and Putin had a phone conversation, the result of which is that Russia decided to pack a plane with medical supplies which it is sending to the United States to help with the shortages America is facing.
“And I have to say, we’ve had great relationships with a lot of countries,” Trump said, referring to the cooperation America is receiving internationally. “China sent us some stuff, which was terrific. Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”
On Tuesday, the Russian Embassy posted on its social media channels: “Russia may send a plane with medical equipment and protection gear to the United States already on Tuesday.”
Reuters clarified in a later report that the plane from Russia actually took off early on Wednesday.
Quid pro quo?
Russia has indicated a “quid pro quo” of sorts. They would like the US to reciprocate sometime in the future if needed.
The Russian embassy tweeted: “Importantly, when offering assistance to the American colleagues, President Putin is guided by the following consideration: when manufacturers of medical equipment gain momentum they will be able to reciprocate if need be.”
Russia now seeing a coronavirus spike
Russia, up until now, has seen a very small number of coronavirus cases, but that appears to have changed in the past few days as the numbers are spiking.
As of Wednesday morning, Russia jumped up to 11th in the world for the number of new cases, with 440.
These numbers could be an indication that the coronavirus pandemic is only now beginning to gain a foothold in Russia, where the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 have increased to 2,777, with 24 deaths.
Sen. Scott calls for probe of WHO for China cover-up
When it comes to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States contributes far more money than any other nation in the world. The US contributes nearly 15% of the WHO’s annual budget.
Many are incensed at the lavish praising WHO officials recently bestowed upon the Chinese government, including touting Beijing’s “openness to sharing information.”
This is despite growing evidence that the Chinese government downplayed the outbreak which began in Wuhan, China in late November 2019.
On Tuesday, Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida called for a congressional investigation to determine whether the WHO purposely pushed misinformation from Beijing to help “cover-up” the extent of the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott pointed to the failure of the WHO to call out the Chinese government for its cover-up in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, as most of the world already knows that Beijing silenced doctors, refused International cooperation, and kicked reporters out of the country.
“They [WHO] need to be held accountable for their role in promoting misinformation and helping Communist China cover up a global pandemic,” Senator Scott said in a statement.
“We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it — and the WHO never bothered to investigate further.”
“Their inaction cost lives,” Scott added.
Lawmakers take action to rescind stimulus for Kennedy Center after it lays off musicians; calling on Pelosi to do the right thing
Republican lawmakers were never happy about having to concede to Democrats and give $25 million to the Kennedy Center as part of a compromise to get the coronavirus stimulus relief bill passed.
But even after this huge influx of cash to the Kennedy Center, it announced it was going to lay off nearly 100 orchestra members anyway.
Now, 14 legislators have co-sponsored a bill to revoke the Kennedy Center’s $25 million bailout.
House Minority Steve Scalise (R-LA), a co-sponsor of the bill, is leading the charge to take away the funding and give it “back to the American people.”
“If an organization is receiving assistance from the federal government, we expect them to take care of their workers,” Scalise said. “As we take further Congressional action to fight the Coronavirus’ devastating impact on families and our economy, I call on Speaker Pelosi to finally put the American people, not special interests, first.”