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Robert Trump

Robert Trump: brother of president Donald Trump dies aged 71 – The Guardian

Donald Trump’s younger brother, Robert Trump, died on Saturday night aged 71 after being hospitalised in New York, the president said in a statement.

The president on Friday visited his brother in hospital after White House officials said Robert had become seriously ill. Officials did not immediately release a cause of death.

“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” Donald Trump said in a statement. “He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.”

The youngest of the Trump siblings had remained close to the 74-year-old president and, as recently as June, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family that unsuccessfully sought to stop publication of a tell-all book by the president’s niece, Mary.

Robert Trump had reportedly been hospitalised in the intensive care unit for several days that same month.

Both longtime businessmen, Robert and Donald had strikingly different personalities. Donald Trump once described his younger brother as “much quieter and easygoing than I am” and “the only guy in my life whom I ever call ‘honey’”.

Robert Trump began his career on Wall Street working in corporate finance but later joined the family business, managing real estate holdings as a top executive in the Trump Organization.

“When he worked in the Trump Organization he was known as the nice Trump,” Gwenda Blair, a Trump family biographer, told the Associated Press. “Robert was the one people would try to get to intervene if there was a problem.”

Robert Stewart Trump was born in 1948, the youngest of New York City real estate developer Fred Trump’s five children.

The president, more than two years older than Robert, admittedly bullied his brother in their younger years, even as he praised his loyalty and laid-back demeanour.

“I think it must be hard to have me for a brother but he’s never said anything about it and we’re very close,” Donald Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal.

“Robert gets along with almost everyone,” he added, “which is great for me since I sometimes have to be the bad guy.”

In the 1980s Donald Trump tapped Robert to oversee an Atlantic City casino project, calling him the perfect fit for the job. When it cannibalised his other casinos, though, “he pointed the finger of blame at Robert”, said Blair, author of The Trumps: Three Generations that Built an Empire.

“When the slot machines jammed the opening weekend at the Taj Mahal, he very specifically and furiously denounced Robert, and Robert walked out and never worked for his brother again,” Blair said.

A Boston University graduate, Robert later managed the Brooklyn portion of father Fred Trump’s real estate empire, which was eventually sold.

Once a regular boldface name in Manhattan’s social pages, Robert had kept a lower profile in recent years. “He was not a newsmaker,” Blair said.

Before divorcing his first wife, Blaine Trump, more than a decade ago, Robert Trump had been active on Manhattan’s Upper East Side charity circuit.

He avoided the limelight during his elder brother’s presidency, having retired to the Hudson Valley. But he described himself as a big supporter of the White House run in a 2016 interview with the New York Post.

“I support Donald one thousand percent,” Robert Trump said.

In early March of 2020 he married his longtime girlfriend, Ann Marie Pallan.

The eldest Trump sibling and Mary’s father, Fred Trump Jr, struggled with alcoholism and died in 1981 at the age of 43. The president’s surviving siblings include Elizabeth Trump Grau and Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal appeals judge.

Authors Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher described Robert Trump as soft spoken but cerebral in Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President: “He lacked Donald’s charismatic showmanship, and he was happy to leave the bravado to his brother, but he could show flashes of Trump temper.”

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CDC's Robert

CDC’s Robert Redfield: After pressure on school reopenings from Donald Trump, changes ‘not a revision’ of guidelines – USA TODAY

, USA TODAY
Published 12:23 p.m. ET July 9, 2020 | Updated 3:56 p.m. ET July 9, 2020

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The President and the CDC disagree on the guidelines for reopening schools.

USA TODAY

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pushed back on the idea that the organization was revising its guidelines on reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic at the behest of President Donald Trump but said the CDC instead was providing “additional reference documents.”

Dr. Robert Redfield made the comments Thursday in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America and said the documents are for parents and caregivers and for schools and teachers on how to “better monitor for symptoms” and how to use face masks.

“I think it’s really important,” Redfield said. “It’s not a revision of the guidelines. It’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidance that we put forth.”

Highlights of guidelines: What are the CDC school guidelines Trump wants changed amid COVID-19? 

Opinion:  Trump’s plan to reopen schools is dangerous for students and teachers

On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany reiterated Redfield’s comments in the interview and confirmed that the former guidelines were not being scrapped.

“Well I think Dr. Redfield was noting – he doesn’t plan to rescind the current guidance that’s out there,” McEnany said, speaking to reporters. “It will be supplemental guidance. But these are not requirements and not prescriptive –  was the way he characterized the initial guidance and he said that this guidance should not be used as a reason for schools not to reopen. We all have the same goal here, and it’s for schools to reopen because the health of the child absolutely depends on it.”

Redfield’s comments came one day after Trump posted a couple of messages on his Twitter feed, expressing his displeasure with the CDC guidelines on school reopenings. The opening of schools has become a central issue for Trump in recent days, and he has continued to put pressure governors to make it happen in the fall.

“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” Trump wrote Wednesday. “While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”

It followed another message in which Trump compared the situation in the U.S. to Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and “many other countries” and threatened to cut funding if schools are not reopened.

In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020

Those countries, however, have largely contained the coronavirus and reported manageable new confirmed case totals on Tuesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University: Germany (279), Denmark (10), Norway (11) and Sweden (283).

The U.S., on the other hand, saw a record 60,021 confirmed new cases reported on Tuesday.

Most education funding comes from the state and local levels, but the federal government provides billions through grants for low-income schools and special education programs.

Trump allies in some statehouses already are taking steps toward reopening schools.

For example, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is requiring K-12 schools to reopen in August, despite the rising infection rates that have followed the reopening of the Sunshine State. In Arizona, schools will delay reopening for in-person classes this year until at least Aug. 17. 

Also on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence said in a press conference at the U.S. Department of Education that the “CDC is going to be issuing a new set of tools, five different documents that will be giving even more clarity on the guidance going forward.”

Redfield stressed on Good Morning America that the CDC provides “guidances” and that they’re “not requirements” that schools must follow.

“My position is that the public health of the students of this nation is best served by getting these schools reopened,” Redfield said. 

When pressed during Good Morning America on whether the CDC’s providing the reference documents was because of political pressure from Trump, Redfield sidestepped the question and said instead that the agency is “continuing to work with local jurisdictions to take the portfolio of guidance that we have given to make them practical for their schools to reopen.”

Contributing: Michael Collins, David Jackson and Courtney Subramanian

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