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Coronavirus live news: Trump storms out of press briefing as US deaths pass 80,000 | World news

11.11pm EDT 23:11 The New York Times reports that Dr Anthony Fauci, the leading US expert on infectious diseases and a key member of the White House coronavirus taskforce will on Tuesday tell the US senate that reopening the economy early risks “needless suffering and death”. The New York Times writes: Dr. Fauci, who has

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In other US news: Obamagate.

What started ‘Obamagate’?

On Friday, former US president Barack Obama expressed disquiet at the justice department dropping charges against Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in early 2017 for lying about conversations with the Russian ambassador. On a recording obtained by Yahoo News, Obama warned that the “rule of law is at risk”. He also described Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as “an absolute chaotic disaster”:

So Trump took the moral high ground and kept a dignified silence?

Not quite. He spent Mother’s Day diving into the rightwing fever swamps and unleashing a barrage of tweets and retweets assailing his predecessor. One said simply “OBAMAGATE!” (the suffix “gate” is a frequently used play on the Watergate scandal that toppled President Richard Nixon).

Another linked to a post that declared, “Barack Hussain Obama is the first Ex-President to ever speak against his successor, which was long tradition of decorum and decency.” Trump added: “He got caught, OBAMAGATE!”

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‘Don’t ask me. Ask China’: Trump clashes with reporters then abruptly leaves press briefing

More now on that Trump presser earlier:

Trump has frequently been criticisied for adopting a particularly harsh or patronising tone at press conferences to women in general and women of colour in particular.

Tara Setmayer, a political commentator, tweeted: “Another disgraceful, racist, temper tantrum by Trump b/c he was asked a pointed question by @weijia… Trump can’t handle smart, assertive women.”

Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California tweeted: “Dear @realDonaldTrump: Asian Americans are Americans. Some of us served on active duty in the U.S. military. Some are on the frontlines fighting this pandemic as paramedics and health care workers. Some are reporters like @weijia. Stop dividing our nation.”

Earlier at the briefing, Trump claimed that the US’s testing capacity is “unmatched and unrivalled anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close”. More than 9m tests have now been performed, he said, and where three weeks ago roughly 150,000 per day were done, the total is now 300,000 per day and will go up.

Elon Musk announced on Twitter that Tesla would resume production at its northern California factory on Monday afternoon, in defiance of a local public health order designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules,” the billionaire CEO tweeted. “I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Musk’s announcement followed a weekend of escalating threats by the entrepreneur against the county that is home to Tesla’s only car factory in the US, in the city of Fremont. On Saturday, Tesla sued Alameda county, alleging that the local public health order violated California’s constitution. Musk also threatened to move its headquarters and “future programs” to Texas or Nevada “immediately” and suggested that the company may not continue to “retain Fremont manufacturing at all”.

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Susan E. Lopez

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