White House Ignores Local Mandates, Giving Virus a New Hold in D.C.

WASHINGTON — In recent months, as coronavirus cases rose around the country, the nation’s capital and most of its surrounding suburbs managed to bring infection rates down, through strict preventive laws and a largely compliant population.

But the recent outbreak at the White House and on Capitol Hill underscored how difficult it is for a city with almost no control over the federal government — and where senior officials have sometimes worked at counter purposes on containing the virus — to sustain progress.

An event on Sept. 26 in the Rose Garden, after which a number of officials including President Trump tested positive for the virus, violated the city’s mandates limiting the size of gatherings and requiring masks. Because the White House is on federal property, however, it is exempt from such rules. Guests at the event may well have ventured into the city, but the White House has refused to comply with a municipal request for help with contact tracing. The city had its highest number of positive cases on Monday — 105 — since June, though city officials say it would take several days to determine any trend.

At least one testing site in Washington reported that those seeking a test doubled to 600 on Monday as residents responded with concern to the cases stemming from the White House and Capitol Hill.

The federal government’s disconnect from the city in which it operates, and where many of its staff members live, was perhaps best demonstrated last weekend when a number of White House officials, some of them senior, frantically called officials at the office of Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland for help getting tested. Mr. Hogan has been lauded for his management of the crisis. But the White House officials apparently were unaware of the city’s numerous and rapid testing sights.

More than 40 senators, about evenly divided between the two parties, and numerous Capitol staff members have sought coronavirus tests since late last week, when it became clear the White House was a hot spot for transmission and three Republican senators — Mike Lee of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — tested positive for the virus. Nearly half of all senators are 65 or older, and the House is not much younger.

The cases stemming from the White House will not increase the official number of positive cases, city officials said, because the White House has not shared positive test results with state or local health agencies. City officials said they would be closely monitoring infection trends for several days to see if the Capitol and White House cases affected the city’s overall infection rate.

“The District of Columbia takes seriously its role as the seat of the federal government and would not infringe on the essential functions of government,” said John Falcicchio, the chief of staff to Muriel E. Bowser, Washington’s mayor. “However, better coordination would allow for a more robust response in this public health emergency.”

Even more concerning

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The White House medical team isn’t giving straight answers on President Trump’s health

The White House physician, surrounded by a group of other doctors, emerged just before noon on Saturday from Walter Reed medical center to give a sunny update on President Donald Trump’s condition after his positive Covid-19 diagnosis.



a group of people posing for the camera: White House physician Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley giving an update to the press about President Donald Trump's health as he is being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for Covid-19 on October 3, 2020.


© Pool
White House physician Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley giving an update to the press about President Donald Trump’s health as he is being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for Covid-19 on October 3, 2020.

“This morning the President is doing very well,” said Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, adding: “The President is fever-free for over 24 hours.”

Roughly half an hour after that rosy assessment, came this from a “source familiar with the President’s health” speaking to the print and TV pool reporters, “The President’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Uh, what? It’s not hard to reconcile what Conley said about Trump’s current condition with what the “source familiar with the President’s health” said mere minutes later. It’s impossible to reconcile the two statements.

And the net result is that the public has no real idea what condition Trump is actually in. Does he have a very mild case of the virus as spokespeople and allies — and Conley — have suggested since we learned he was positive for coronavirus early Friday morning? And that he was taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution? Or are there real concerns that Trump’s condition is far more serious, as the use of an experimental Regeneron polyclonal antibody cocktail — not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration — and the eerie background quote suggest?

There’s simply no way of knowing, which is the problem. The President of the United States is the single most powerful person in the country — and one of the most powerful in the world. The specifics of his current health matter for a number of reasons, but chief among them is — if he is indeed sicker than Conley is letting on — maintaining the continuity of government.

Contributing to the uncertainty is the fact that Trump has long obfuscated when it comes to his medical health prior to coming into the White House in 2017. In fact, we know less about his health than we do any modern president.

Consider this: Trump released zero medical records when he ran for president in 2016. What he did release was a letter from Dr. Harold Bornstein, his longtime personal physician, that asserted simply: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”

Which, of course, is crazy. Bornstein had never examined any past president. So his ability to claim that Trump would be the “healthiest individual” ever to be president is roughly equivalent to my ability

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Homeslice in Covent Garden is giving away 500 pizza slices TODAY

If you’re still deciding what to have for lunch today, may we suggest pizza? Even better, free pizza. In some great news, Homeslice, one of the city’s finest pizza purveyors, is reopening its Neal’s Yard branch today – and it’s giving away free slices to celebrate.

Between noon and 1pm, there will be 500 slices up for grabs. That’s a lot of pizza. You can take your pick from three toppings: margherita; salami, rocket and parmesan; and mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seeds, chilli flakes, chives and soy truffle (which can also be made vegan).

The giveaway applies to takeaway only and it’s strictly one slice per person (all you ‘can I get one for me friend?’ types). The slices come from Home Slice’s 20-inch pizzas, so they are properly massive and definitely qualify as ‘lunch’ just on their own. Obviously you’ll need to follow social-distancing guidelines too, so no shoving to get your slice of the pie, okay? See you in the queue!

Looking for places to eat out? Hackney’s Towpath Café has reopened (and it’s doing dinner).

Get ready for the heatwave on Monday with these park-friendly tipples.

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Homeslice in Covent Garden is giving away 500 pizza slices

If there’s one thing that’ll perk up a Monday lunchtime, it’s pizza. Even better, free pizza. It’s great news, then, that Homeslice, one of the city’s finest pizza purveyors, is reopening its Neal’s Yard branch this Monday (September 14) – and giving away free slices to celebrate.

Between noon and 1pm, there will be 500 slices up for grabs. You can take your pick from three toppings: margherita; salami, rocket and parmesan; and mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seeds, chilli flakes, chives and soy truffle (which can also be made vegan).

The giveaway applies to takeaway only and it’s one slice per person. The slices come from the restaurant’s 20-inch pizzas, so they are massive and definitely qualify as ‘lunch’. Obviously you’ll need to follow social distancing guidelines too, so no shoving to get your slice, okay? See you in the queue!

Looking for places to eat out? Hackney’s Towpath Café has reopened (and it’s doing dinner).

Get ready for the heatwave on Monday with these park-friendly tipples.

Share the story

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What Does a House Painter Consider When Giving an Estimate?

An estimate is the first step for a house painter towards clear communication with your client about the painting project. The painting work comes in different sizes and shapes. The same is true for the estimations of painting. The estimates may vary in style depending on the project. A well-written quote can help you win the job and help the customer clearly understand the estimate in the scope of a house painting project. Here are some of the things a house painter may consider when giving an estimate

Site visit

A good house painter prefers and visits the site before starting your assessment. There may be factors that will increase the price, such as the poor condition of the walls. You will need more paint if you cover the dark walls. Several decorative walls and different colors will take longer. He may ask the customer if they just want to paint the walls or the ceiling and the doors. Moreover, the house painter will ask the clients if they will provide the paint unless they need a specific mark and if the colors should be mixed by size. Asking these questions in advance helps them to be more accurate about the cost estimation. If you have no experience of hiring a house painter, you can ask your family and friends for good recommendations.

Paint type and quantity

The price of paint can range from $ 20 to $ 80 per gallon, depending on the brand and its quality. Contractors typically pay up to $ 45 per gallon, depending on the supply of paint. House painter need some materials for external coating work such as primer, masking tape, paper masking, tape, masking plastic, etc. The quantities of materials depend largely on the amount of preparation required. More preparation means more caulking and more primer. It also depends on the number of existing windows and the amount of roof and brick if you do outdoor work: more than anything else means more paper and plastic masked.

The labor required

It can be difficult to estimate the work because the elements are numerous. Several layers of paint are needed; there may be trees in the way, windows are difficult to paint, like compact windows or it is difficult to place ladders to paint the ceiling or stairs and many other things like these. A house painter will consider the labor required to perform a certain task while giving you an estimate for the painting project. He knows the skills and expertise required to perform a specific house painting task.

A professional house painter knows everything about safety. There are common accidents that can cause injuries during a painting project. Hiring a professional painter will keep you away from these potential problems and you will get good results in a reasonable amount. Experienced and professional paint contractors may not offer the same price as their counterparts, but this ensures that they will offer high-quality paint that will last for years.

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