Coronavirus pandemic and election-year politics collide, eroding trust in science

The positive development immediately became entangled in election-year politics, with President Trump repeatedly making false and exaggerated claims about the new therapeutics. He called them a cure, which they’re not. He said he was about to approve them — a premature promise given that the FDA’s career scientists are charged with reviewing the applications.

This has been the 2020 pattern: Politics has thoroughly contaminated the scientific process. The result has been an epidemic of distrust, which further undermines the nation’s already chaotic and ineffective response to the coronavirus.

The White House has repeatedly meddled with decisions by career professionals at the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other science-based agencies. Many of the nation’s leading scientists, including some of the top doctors in the administration, are deeply disturbed by the collision of politics and science and bemoan its effects on public health.

“I’ve never seen anything that closely

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Changing tax law may have made home trust unnecessary

Dear Liz: I was told my father’s house did not qualify for a step-up in tax basis at his death because he had put the house in a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). With your recent column mentioning the step-up when a home is inherited, I’m wondering if I paid unnecessary taxes.

Answer: In at least one sense, you may have.

Qualified personal residence trusts were a popular technique when the estate tax exemption limit was much lower. (Currently the limit is $11.58 million per person, but 20 years ago it was $675,000.) Putting a home in this kind of trust essentially froze its value for estate tax purposes while allowing the person who created the trust to continue living there for a certain length of time. At the end of that period, ownership of the home was transferred to the heirs and the person who created the trust had

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Thai Government Has Lost Public’s Trust, Banned Leader Says

(Bloomberg) — One of Thailand’s most high-profile critics said the government was facing a “perfect storm” of protests and economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic, predicting it would not last the full term after losing the trust of its people.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the former leader of opposition Future Forward Party, was banned from politics for 10 years after a court ordered the group’s dissolution for breaching financing rules in February. He has repeatedly denied the charges.

“In time of political, economic and health crises, if you can’t command trust of the people, how can you run the country?” Thanathorn said in an interview in the capital, Bangkok, on Monday. “You can’t even find a finance minister. It means no one has confidence in you.” The previous minister quit due to health reasons on Sept. 2 after less than a month into the job and has yet to be

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