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Deborah Birx warns Covid-19 now ‘extraordinarily widespread’ in US – live

William Barr was hungry. “Mr Chairman, could we take a five-minute break?” the attorney general asked Jerry Nadler of the House of Representatives’ judiciary committee. “No,” retorted Nadler, his hearing almost done. Barr responded sardonically: “You’re a real class act.”

It was pure Barr: a proud, combative, unflappable and unapologetic partisan warrior in the loyal service of the White House.

During the five-hour session on Capitol Hill in Washington this week, Barr made clear why he has been dubbed Donald Trump’s faithful protector and personal henchman. He defended using federal forces in US cities, denied giving Trump’s allies favorable treatment and demurred on issues such as foreign election interference or whether November’s poll can be postponed.

For critics, it was proof positive that Barr’s unswerving loyalty to the president has torn down the wall that separates the White House and justice department and ensures law enforcement operates independent of politics. Some believe he now poses an existential threat to democracy itself.

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According to one congressional candidate for America’s House of Representatives, Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement are a screen “for pedophilia and human trafficking”.

Another has claimed the US has a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out”, while several others running for national office have posted cryptic memes hinting at a powerful global elite that must be abolished.

These believers in QAnon, a conspiracy theory labelled a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI, are all running for national office – not as fringe independents, but as Republican candidates.

In some cases they have been backed by Republican money, and promoted by Donald Trump himself, and in certain Republican heartland states, the QAnon candidates are even likely to be elected in November.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, from Georgia, is among the QAnon supporters with the best chance of winning in November. She has also been the most strident with her beliefs.

“Q is a patriot,” Greene said in 2017, referring to her belief in the conspiracy theory’s anonymous online poster who claims to have knowledge of a secret ring of powerful, deep-state sex-traffickers and pedophiles, and is said to be a part of the Trump administration.

“He is someone that very much loves his country and is on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump. He appears to have connections at the highest levels.”

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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