Let Dr. Fauci do his job

This piece was originally published in the October 20, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

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“I just want to do my job and take care of the people of this country.”

— Dr. Anthony Fauci, a class act

Coronavirus cases are spiking once again in nearly every state as the U.S. lurches toward a third peak.

Trump’s chaos has a deadly price.

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  • It turns out that attacking a charming 79-year-old career infectious disease expert in the middle of a pandemic isn’t a good strategy. As they often do, most Republicans have kept quiet about Trump’s baseless criticisms of Dr. Anthony Fauci. But a handful of them are speaking out in support of Fauci in a rare split with Trump. A low bar, but one that their colleagues have yet to reach.
  • This all started when Fauci appeared on 60 Minutes over the weekend. During the program, he shared that he now has to travel with a security detail after his family started receiving death threats related to his national prominence and frequent divergence with Trump. In other 60 Minutes news today, there’s this.
  • A deadlocked Supreme Court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to extend the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots last night. Per last night’s ruling, Pennsylvania ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day can be counted as long as they’re postmarked by November 3.
  • While the ruling is a win for accessible and fair elections in the short term, it’s terrifying to think about how this would have played out with Amy Coney Barrett on the court. The 4–4 vote was split down ideological lines, with the exception of Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the three liberal justices in upholding the extension. Election law experts have expressed concerns over the fact that the existing right-leaning justices voted as they did — and especially so with another conservative up for confirmation in a number of days.

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  • A new study indicated that nearly 8 million more Americans are living in poverty now than in May. The study found that while the direct federal financial support from the CARES Act did help, its benefits didn’t last long. When that aid did expire, many Americans weren’t able to stay afloat without it.
  • The final debate might just be the strangest of them all. Both candidates will have two uninterrupted minutes — during which their opponent’s microphone will be muted — to speak on each topic before diving into unmuted, longer-form discussions. NBC’s Kristin Welker will moderate. Stay tuned for updates and more details ahead of Thursday night.
  • The National Security team over at CAP released a comprehensive report that details how the next administration should approach national security policy. Check out the full report here, and explore the interactive database of policy recommendations here.


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