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CORONA WATCH--The holy mantra of health professionals was coined about 2,500 years ago by the Greek physician Hippocrates: “Do no harm.”

Of course, that was before corporate healthcare took charge and asserted a new guiding ethic: “Jack up profits.”

Putting this in practice, America’s largest and richest hospital chains rushed to the front of the COVID-19 bailout line this spring to pull $15 billion from the government’s emergency fund. They pocketed the taxpayers’ money despite sitting on tens of billions of dollars of their own cash reserves.

But hold your nose, for it gets much stinkier.

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CORONA WATCH--In an exclusive interview that aired on NBC Nightly NewsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Lester Holt that “it’s always a possibility” that he could reimpose a stay-at-home order to combat the spread of Covid-19. But adds, “if it doesn't soar up, I don't think we'll have to close further.”

Plus, he tells Holt “there's not a lot of regrets” in his handling of the coronavirus crisis in his city adding that Los Angeles was the “first to have masks. We were the first to have public testing for people without symptoms. The first to surge kind of an equity officer and focus on the African American community.”

More of the interview heard on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt  

Interview Highlights:

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CORONA WATCH--President Donald Trump speaks to the press at the White House on July 27, 2020

The U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic has harmed the country's standing in the world, with observers calling the policy choices of President Donald Trump to handle the disease "ridiculous" and "shocking" as the crisis exposes the deep flaws in the American system.

"People are stunned about the effect of incapable leadership," German Marshall Fund vice president Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff told the Washington Post

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CORONA WATCH--There’s no other way to say it, so let me just speak frankly. Thanks to Donald Trump’s stunning lack of leadership, America’s in a state that can only be described as free fall. Rarely in history has a nation descended into chaos, depression, despair, and mass death at all. But this fast? It’s unprecedented — outside of true authoritarian implosions, that is.

How bad are things in America? Unbelievably, shockingly, incredibly bad. Let’s begin with Coronavirus, and then proceed through economics, to politics and society.

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CORONA WATCH--Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland slammed President Donald Trump's early response to the coronavirus pandemic as "hopeless" in an editorial published Thursday in The Washington Post, elaborating on his efforts to secure testing kits and prevent deaths of residents in his state. 

Hogan's strong criticism of the President's response comes as the number of coronavirus cases accelerates across the US and as states take preventive measures into their own hands on how to slow spread. Hogan, who is chairman of the National Governors Association, has called for more help for the states and has openly pushed back on Trump about the pandemic, including the President's claims about the availability of coronavirus testing. 

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CORONA WATCH--I have to warn you, don’t read this if you’re already panicked, stressed out, or anxious. It’s one of the most depressing things I think I’ve ever written, and I’m not exactly known for writing cheery missives.

Here’s a bitter truth: Covid is exploding out of control in America. Today was the worst day so far: the daily rate is reaching 70,000 a day. That’s getting perilously close to 100K per day — the number north of which a society will simply begin ceasing to function in basic ways, systems from healthcare to employment to banking breaking down, juddering apart, coming done, stalling and plummeting into freefall.

So. Let’s cut to the chase.

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CORONA WATCH--A boat taking part in a boat parade for the re-election of President Donald Trump passes by Point State Park on the Allegheny River on July 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Roughly 30 boats and a group of 50 supporters along the shoreline showed up for the event though over 10,000 people had signed up online for the event. (Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Donald Trump said last Thursday’s jobs report, which showed an uptick in June, proves the economy is “roaring back.

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CORONA WATCH--On Tuesday, Anthony Fauci sat in a Senate hearing room that had been reconfigured for social distancing and listened, mask at hand, as Patty Murray, of Washington, described the consequences of America’s failure to manage its pandemic. The tally of cases was soaring in a majority of states, particularly in the South and West; Murray, speaking by video, quoted a C.D.C. official who had warned that there was “too much virus to control in the U.S.” Murray stated the obvious: “Our strategy hasn’t worked.” What, she asked, did the federal and state governments need to do to turn the numbers around?

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CORONA WATCH-Just how badly has America — or the Trump administration and the Republicans — botched Coronavirus?

You know things are bad. But only some global context reveals just how staggeringly bad they really are.

America had 41,000 new Coronavirus cases yesterday. That’s an all-time high. As in, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March. America hasn’t flattened the curve — it’s still marching relentlessly upwards.

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CORONA WATCH--To prevent a dangerous new virus from having its way with humankind, you might take a page from the Chinese warrior king Sun Tzu, and think like the enemy. (Photo above: LA Times.)

Imagine you are a coronavirus, in a form never before seen by humans. Your goal is simple but wildly ambitious: invade and hijack the cells of a new host and multiply for as long it takes to establish your spawn in at least one other new host.

Repeat until there are no humans left to infect.

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CORONA WATCH--Bartenders over the weekend began mixing drinks, gyms turned on elliptical machines and nail salons began polishing away as Los Angeles County reopened more of its economy even as coronavirus cases continued to rise.

The county, a hotbed of COVID-19 in California, now has reported more than 3,000 deaths and 80,000 confirmed cases. The rising case numbers have sparked some worry about whether the economy is reopening too quickly and that easing stay-at-home orders could cause new outbreaks.

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CORONA WATCH--The United Nations announced Thursday that at least 75.9 million people were forcibly displaced as of the end of last year. (Photo: Houssam Hariri/UNHCR)

A United Nations report revealed Thursday that an unprecedented 79.5 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced by the end of last year "as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events seriously disturbing public order" and now face the added threat of the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened millions and killed hundreds of thousands across the globe.

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