This piece was originally published in the October 6, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“He cares nothing about the suffering of families like mine.”
— Kristin Urquiza, who lost her dad to COVID-19, reacting to Trump’s tweet last night in which he encouraged people not to let the disease “dominate” their lives.
The average family of four making $30,000 pays more in income taxes than a self-proclaimed “billionaire.”
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IN THE NEWS
- Trump announced today that he is cutting off negotiations for another coronavirus stimulus bill. In a tweet this afternoon, he said he would be waiting until after the election to resume discussions on another round of support for the American people, ordering the Senate to focus exclusively on his rushed Supreme Court nominee instead. His logic doesn’t make sense, even if we’re assuming he’s operating with good intentions — should there be a party shift in either chamber this November, the makeup of Congress wouldn’t change until January anyway. The last stimulus package has already expired, and McConnell has been sitting on a House-passed proposal since May.
- Trump’s refusal to negotiate another round of support comes on the heels of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s call for Congress to do just that. Failing to pass another stimulus bill will mean another month without necessary financial support for working and out-of-work people, millions of whom are still struggling to make ends meet nearly eight months into this pandemic. Experts estimate that the halt in talks will result in ~40% of restaurants closing in the next 6 months, thousands more layoffs, and a permanent income cut of ~50% for 30 million unemployed workers.
- Over 100,000 Americans have been laid off or furloughed in the last week as workers face a bleak economic future — and now, a future with no hope of another stimulus bill in sight. Notable employers who announced layoffs last week include Regal Cinemas, Disney, American Airlines, United Airlines, Shell, Allstate, and Dow Chemical. Losing a job during this unprecedented recession is difficult enough. But for many, a job is worth so much more than being able to pay rent. Watch this flight attendant give a tearful goodbye to the passengers on her final flight before being laid off.
- Meanwhile, a new report from Public Citizen reveals that Trump granted $425 billion in federal contracts to corporations responsible for offshoring 200,000 American jobs during his presidency. The report outlines how Trump has done the opposite of what he promised on the campaign trail, where he pledged to end offshoring. According to the report, eight out of the top ten firms receiving government contracts during the Trump presidency have been government-certified as having offshored jobs.
- If you were hoping Trump might learn a lesson from contracting the coronavirus himself, we have some bad news for you. A contagious Trump returned to the White House last night, despite his doctors telling the public hours earlier that he was not yet “out of the woods.” Following a brief flight back from Walter Reed, Trump — who, again, is an active COVID-19 patient — removed his mask and posed for the news cameras while a nearby photographer captured his stunt. The footage was later used in a propaganda-like video posted on social media which portrayed Trump as “a triumphant hero.”
- The White House stunt, along with a number of Trump’s tweets from yesterday, was understandably infuriating for survivors of COVID and those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic. As hundreds of Americans are still dying from COVID every day, Trump is taunting the severity of the disease, playing down its significance for his own ego. But on top of being insulting, it’s dangerous.
- Trump’s return to the White House puts staffers at risk — and not just the ones we see on TV every day. Countless unnamed housekeeping staff and other non-political employees at the White House will be risking their lives by coming to work each day because this man chose to return there instead of being treated in a hospital, where health care workers are prepared to handle COVID patients like him.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Senior members of military leadership, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are quarantining after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for coronavirus. The Coast Guard official who tested positive was at a briefing last week with the Joint Chiefs, who met with Trump two Sundays ago. For context: The group’s meeting with Trump took place just one day after the Supreme Court nomination event in the Rose Garden, which is potentially the nexus of the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House.
- This morning, Trump tweeted out another lie about the seasonal flu, wrongly comparing it to coronavirus and probably confusing many people in the process. We figured we’d take this opportunity to read up on the different symptoms of the two diseases, how to distinguish between them, and their (actual) impact. First of all, more people have died from COVID-19 than in the past 5 flu seasons combined. Coronavirus is also much more contagious than the flu and presents a different combination of symptoms. You can read more about the different signs of the two here.
- The most important thing to know about the two diseases is that they’re coinciding this year — and it’s up to us to protect ourselves from both. Experts warn of a “twindemic” when the flu season hits its peak in the coming months while coronavirus is still prevalent. All that to say: Don’t forget to get your flu shot!
- Police in Texas shot and killed a Black man whose lawyer says he was trying to stop an assault. On Saturday night, a white officer tased, then shot 31-year-old Jonathan Price as he attempted to break up an ongoing assault. The officer who killed Price has since been arrested on suspicion of murder, on the grounds that the killing was not “objectionably reasonable.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
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