Donald Trump might still be leading in the polls among Republican presidential candidates, but some very powerful and wealthy donors are snubbing the Donald. The Koch brothers are "denying him access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings of grassroots activists or major donors," reports Politico.
One might think that the real estate mogul would be a perfect candidate for the Koch Brothers. Politico reports David Koch and Trump have had a "long and cordial relationship" and "a raft of former Koch operatives" are currently running Trump’s presidential campaign. Not to mention, you can't be more of a climate denier than Donald Trump. Sure, the Republican field is awash with candidates like Jeb Bush giving the tired climate denier stance of "I'm not a scientist," but even he admits "the climate is changing, and we need to adapt to that reality.”
On the other hand, the Donald is adamant in his denial:
Record cold temperatures in July - 20 to 30 degrees colder than normal. What the hell happened to GLOBAL WARMING?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2014
NBC News just called it the great freeze - coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2014
Any and all weather events are used by the GLOBAL WARMING HOAXSTERS to justify higher taxes to save our planet! They don't believe it $$$$! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2014
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Trump is a seemingly perfect candidate for the Koch brothers, who, along with their network of hundreds of conservative mega-donors have spent millions of dollars funding candidates and campaigns that deny climate change and fight renewable energy programs. But "the Koch operation has spurned entreaties from the Trump campaign to purchase state-of-the-art data and analytics services from a Koch-backed political tech firm called i360, and also turned down a request to allow Trump to speak at an annual grassroots summit next month in Columbus, Ohio, sponsored by the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity," reports Politico.
Trump was also not invited to the upcoming annual summer conference hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the umbrella group in the Kochs’ brothers massive political network. Some of the top GOP presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and even long-shots such as Carly Fiorina, will be in attendance.
"A spokesman for i360 declined to comment on why the company, considered the leading supplier of voter data and analytics on the right, refused to provide services to Trump’s campaign," says Politico. But the Koch-backed Latino-voter-targeting outfit LIBRE Initiative shed some light on why the Koch network is snubbing Trump. "A spokesperson pointed to a statement from the group’s president denouncing Trump for his inflammatory statements about Mexican immigrants and called him out as an inconsistent conservative 'who has gotten ahead through sensationalism,'" Politico reports.
The Kochs freeze out Donald Trump http://t.co/eg755DykRy
— POLITICO (@politico) July 29, 2015
Trump has come under fire for many of his comments, even among conservatives, like when he accused Sen. John McCain of not being a real war hero. Politico reports many in the Koch network were "offended" by his comments.
The Koch network will play a very important role in the 2016 presidential race as they plan to spend a staggering $889 million. But "while Trump’s campaign could certainly benefit from the network’s data and grass-roots reach, he doesn’t need its cash in the same way that his rivals do," says Politico. Trump has an estimated net worth of $3 billion and he is funding his campaign out of his own pocket.
“The good news is that Donald Trump doesn’t need the Koch brothers, and he can do this perfectly without their assistance,” Josh Youssef, who’s chairing Trump’s campaign in Belknap County, New Hampshire, told Politico. Of the Koch network, Youssef said: “Their motivations are clearly not to break the mold of political insider-ship. Their goal is to keep the wheel spinning. Trump’s bad for business for them.”
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
Should Kids Go Back?<p>While these guidelines may help get some schools to reopen, many people don't think children should go back to school over fears they could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents.</p><p>In a <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> commentary, <a href="https://www.md.com/doctor/william-raszka-md" target="_blank">Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr.</a>, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Vermont Medical Center, argued that schools should open because school-aged children are far less important drivers of COVID-19 than adults.</p><p>But he says the risk and benefit is not equal among all students ages 5 to 18.</p><p>"Elementary schools are arguably higher priority for face-to-face schooling, since younger children are at lower risk for infection and transmission, and since parental supervision of younger children's distance learning may be particularly challenging," added Sorensen, who penned a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767411" target="_blank">June article in JAMA</a> with reopening tips. "That means middle and high schools are more likely to emphasize distance learning."</p><p>Specific student populations, such as special education students and students with disabilities, would also benefit greatly from more time spent in face-to-face environments, Sorensen said.</p>
What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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