Rachel Maddow Interviews Lieutenant General Todd Semonite
On Friday, the President did something unexpected: He tweeted out praise for Rachel Maddow.
It was unforeseen, because Rachel doing anything Trump would appreciate was spectacularly unlikely.
The MSNBC host isn’t known for her love of the Commander-in-Chief.
But in Trump’s view, apparently, for a period of time Thursday, she was right as rain.
He made it known:
“Thank you to Rachel @Maddow for putting our Military on full display, and showing how GREAT a job the Federal Government is doing!”
Additionally, he gave props to General Todd Semonite — chief of the United States Army and the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
“Also, a special thanks to General Semonite, a Patriot of the highest order and a truly talented engineer and builder!”
Thank you to Rachel @Maddow for putting our Military on full display, and showing how GREAT a job the Federal Government is doing! Also, a special thanks to General Semonite, a Patriot of the highest order and a truly talented engineer and builder! pic.twitter.com/JRQlNpLbxv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
Rachel featured the general as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is mobilizing to convert large non-medical buildings into makeshift hospitals.
Todd explained the advantage of working with structures already up to code, as opposed to constructing new buildings, which would take too long.
He ran down the kind of venues the Corps is using:
“There’s really four different standard designs. And that’s the real beauty of what we’re trying to offer to states here. We don’t have time to site-adapt every single one and redesign every single facility. So we’re really going into a college dorm or hotel, or we’re going into a large sports arena or a convention center. Those two type facilities are either gonna be COVID or non-COVID.”
The general said it’s “up to the state and the local mayors to decide what they want.”
Buildings boasting smaller rooms — and more of ’em — are much more coronavirus-friendly:
“[I]t’s very, very hard to take an arena capability, like [New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center] and to be able to make it COVID-compliant. … It’s relatively easy to go into a confined room — like a college dorm or a hotel — and then be able to modify that just enough to be able to put…a patient in there, to be able to put a COVID patient in.”
So how many conversions are we looking at for the moment? It’s over a hundred:
“Tonight, we’ve got 103 different assessments we’re doing in 50 different states in eight different territories. I think we’ve got about 78 done right now.”
The military man pointed out that time is of the essence, so he’s telling not asking:
“This is not where I ask our guys, ‘How long do you need to do it?’ This is where you gotta tell them, ‘You got two and a half weeks,’ ‘You’ve got three weeks.'”
And each area has its own projected needs, at its own predicted time:
“Every single governor knows exactly when his peak is, and if we can’t get these projects completed, then we’ve missed this very, very valuable window to be able to step up and to be able to take care of that shortage.”
To me personally, it’s comforting to know the military’s involved in all of this. They know how to get things done.
And good on Rachel for having on General Semonite, for spotlighting the good deeds being done to protect the American people.
Lastly, it’s nice to see the host talk about something other than a certain Eastern European and Northern Asian transcontinental country.
That — by the way — is why I’m surprised to see Maddow and Trump on the same page.
For a great big while, she was a really, really, really huge fan of that whole Russia thing:
As it turned out, that was COVID — conspiracy video.
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