More on Trump with Covid, senator also tests positive

Donald Trump is experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for Covid. He will continue to work at this stage, but he and his staff will separate themselves from vice president Mike Pence and his staff – Pence will take over presidential duties if Trump becomes incapacitated.

Trump has been acting as if Covid is virtually over and not a risk. here’s a Twitter timeline:

That was a fund raising dinner after he knew his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive.

Senator Mike Lee has also tested positive to Covid. Three days earlier he had met with the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Lee says he will isolate for ten days but will be back at work in time to deal with the Supreme Court nomination.

The US sharemarket started down on Friday but has recovered.

RNZ: Pence negative, Trump has mild Covid symptoms – White House

US President Donald Trump has mild symptoms of Covid-19 after he and his wife, Melania, tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House says.

Vice President Mike Pence, next in line for the Oval Office, has tested negative for Covid-19, hours after Trump announced that he was infected, Pence’s spokesperson said.

Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the president was “on the job” and “in good spirits”, adding that he expected him to make a quick recovery.

Officials said the process of tracking all the president’s contacts in recent days was ongoing, adding that Trump was considering how he might address the nation or otherwise communicate with the American people later today.

Contact tracing will be a big job.

Yesterday, the first couple said they intended to self-isolate after one of Trump’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive. Soon afterwards, they too received positive test results.

But there has been criticism of Trump’s decision to go to a fundraiser attended by dozens of people in New Jersey on Thursday, apparently when officials already knew about Hicks’s symptoms.

Testing positive will impact on Trump’s ability to campaign, and should also impact on his attitude to Covid and the current state of the virus in the US, but that’s not a given with Trump.

I presume this will rule out at least one of the presidential debates.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is next in line of succession after Pence. She said on Friday that she had been tested for Covid-19 and should know her results soon.

In response to Trump’s positive diagnosis, she said: “This is tragic. It’s very sad. … Going into crowds unmasked and all the rest was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen.”

Before the positive test announcements:

After the announcements:

Biden praying for Trump is an odd image.

A burn from within the family:

The president’s niece, Mary Trump, who wrote a scathing book about her uncle, had this message: “I reserve my sympathy, empathy, and despair for those who are sick and for those who have died because they were misled, lied to, or ignored.”

CNN: GOP senator on Judiciary panel tests positive for Covid-19 days after meeting with Trump’s nominee

Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, announced Friday he tested positive for Covid-19, just days after meeting in person with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday.

Barrett tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere.

Lee, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Friday that he took the test Thursday, and would “remain isolated” for 10 days. He said he has “assured” Senate Republican leaders that he will “be back to work” to join the Judiciary panel to advance Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Ten days is a short isolation time for someone with Covid, and presumes that he will recover and test negative quickly. Most people with Covid only suffer from mild symptoms, but some are unlucky and suffer from severe and extended problames, and over 213,000 in the US have been very unlucky.

Covid continues to cause major disruptions. There are currently over 300,000 recorded new cases a day around the world , with over a million recorded deaths in total.

“Civil rights of neighbouring property owners”

A stoush between Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland councillor Mike Lee illustrates problems with both the housing problems in Auckland and the hijacking of the RMA by NIMBYs.

Patrick Gower: Govt, Auckland Council at odds over housing

Housing Minister Nick Smith has attacked an Auckland Councillor, calling him a “Nimby” for blocking a housing development.

A corner in Herne Bay is a small battlefield in the war between the Government and Auckland Council over how to speed up housing supply. The Government wants 70 apartments built there, but Auckland Councillor Mike Lee is trying to stop it, and that’s got Dr Smith angry.

The Government has designated the site of the old Gables pub a “special housing area”. That allows for fast-tracked development, with between four to seven of the apartments “affordable housing”. It’s about getting more housing into inner-Auckland’s “urban intensification”.

But neighbours don’t like it, and, local councillor Mr Lee is on their side. Mr Lee wrote earlier this year, saying the development was “overriding the civil rights of neighbouring property owners”.

Lee seems to be ignoring the rights of property owners to develop their properties. If councillors oppose new housing developments because neighbours don’t like them then it’s no wonder Auckland has a major housing problem.

Dr Smith responded, saying he found Mr Lee’s position “ironic”, “odd” and “part of the problem”.

“We cannot have that sort of Nimbyism. That’s at the core of where Auckland has gone wrong. That’s why I’ve politely written back to Mr Lee and said ‘actually, you are being a hypocrite’.”

The problem of using one’s ‘rights’ to oppose what other people do with their own property is a not confined to Auckland.

In Dunedin it has not been uncommon for ‘neighbours’ – people living kilometres away – to use the RMA to oppose applications to build on properties because they don’t want the landscape to be ‘degraded’.

They have been successful in stopping the civil rights of owners to do what they want to with their properties.

And it’s about to get worse if proposed changes to the new district plan go through (objections are currently being heard).

Someone in the council has drawn lines on maps of the city on the 100 m contour line in many areas, and they are saying that if you want to build a house above this altitude you are  restricted in what you can build (size and appearance) and need to apply through the RMA to be able to build.

This is supposedly to retain the ‘character’ of the city  – so people won’t have to look at houses on hills. Despite the fact that a lot of Dunedin suburbs are already built up hills.

So in other words NIMBYs who already have houses on their properties don’t want other people to be able to build what they want on their own properties.

It’s no wonder Dunedin is stagnating – except for on the Taieri where ex councillors have been able to subdivide some of the best farmland in the area.

It’s no wonder Auckland has a housing crisis if people, especially councillors, are opposing the building of new residential properties.

And it’s no wonder the Government is getting frustrated with Auckland and with the RMA.