“Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire.”

This piece was originally published in the August 31, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

42 minutes

The amount of time Republicans spent talking about the pandemic across nearly 11 hours of Republican Convention programming last week

As millions of people reel from the devastation of Hurricane Laura, remember: Trump raided $44 BILLION from FEMA’s disaster relief fund, leaving Americans at serious risk.

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  • Trump is headed to Kenosha, Wisconsin tomorrow following the police shooting of Jacob Blake and subsequent killing of two protesters by an armed 17-year-old white supremacist. Trump reportedly has no plans to meet with Jacob Blake’s family and has not reached out to them in any capacity since Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police. Local leaders have repeatedly asked Trump not to visit, noting that his presence can only make things worse. It’s not hard to understand where they’re coming from. This afternoon, Trump’s spokesperson refused to condemn the white supremacist who shot and killed two people in Kenosha last week. He’s spent the last week doing more of the same: inciting violence, tweeting things like “LAW AND ORDER!”, and sprinkling blatantly racist tropes throughout his convention speech.
  • As they prepare for the inevitable uproar likely to result from Trump’s visit, Kenosha officials are still grappling with the crises that started it all. The ACLU is calling for Kenosha’s police chief and sheriff to resign after a series of disturbing and deeply offensive actions following the two shootings that they say “uphold and defend” white supremacy. According to the ACLU, sheriff’s deputies “fraternized with white supremacist counter-protesters” ahead of last Tuesday’s deadly shooting and “allowed the shooter to leave as people yelled that he was the shooter.” To make matters worse, the city’s police chief seemingly blamed victims for their own deaths, saying that “perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened” if protesters hadn’t been there. He also framed the suspect — a white supremacist militant accused of killing two people — as having used firearms to “resolve whatever conflict was in place.”
  • Joe Biden traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today to share his vision for the country and speak to the Trump administration’s failure to handle the ongoing crisis. “The job of a president is to tell it straight from the shoulder. Tell the truth,” he said. “To be candid. To face facts. To lead, not to incite.” Biden argued that this administration is “incapable of telling us the truth, incapable of facing the facts, and incapable of healing” at a time when America is, by all measures, in dire need of stable leadership.

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  • Public health experts are speaking out against the Centers for Disease Control’s new guidelines on coronavirus testing. The guidelines, which were released last week, recommend that only people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. As we know, some patients who have contracted the coronavirus never present any symptoms, which is part of the reason it’s so difficult to contain. Experts disagree with these new CDC guidelines, arguing that testing as many people as possible is critical to understanding the scope of the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease expert, said he is “concerned” and “worried” about the new guidelines and that he was not consulted in their development. Fauci, who recently had surgery on his vocal cords, noted that he was literally under anesthesia for the procedure during the meeting at which the guidelines were finalized.
  • The U.S. passed 6 million confirmed coronavirus cases today. This follows a weekend in which the country topped 180,000 coronavirus deaths. It can be difficult to think about, but the truth is that there’s no end in sight unless something changes drastically. And with Trump still denying the reality, shirking expert advice, and holding what looked like a super-spreader event in the making on the White House lawn last week, it’s hard to picture a way out of this pandemic. We can’t help but notice the irony in Trump hosting an overwhelmingly maskless event in his backyard after repeatedly feigning concern about anti-racism protests at which the vast majority of attendees have followed mask-wearing guidelines.
  • Actor Chadwick Boseman passed away this weekend after a four-year battle with colon cancer. As an actor, he portrayed iconic Black figures — James Brown, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall, to name a few. But Boseman’s legacy will forever be as T’Challa, the title character in Marvel’s groundbreaking film Black Panther. More than just another action movie, Black Panther was perhaps the most prominent and widely celebrated Black-centric production in modern cinematic history. Even after his passing, Boseman will undoubtedly remain a real-life superhero to millions of kids and adults alike. His passing has resurfaced discussions of racial inequities in our health care system: Black people are more likely to have colon cancer, a fact made worse by disparities in screening and treatment. Chadwick Boseman was just 43 years old.


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