This piece was originally published in the October 19, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“He’ll listen to the scientists.”
— Trump, basically quoting a Joe Biden ad at a rally last night
Cases are spiking in nearly every state. But Trump is still pressuring states to reopen schools with no national plan — and since the start of the school year, 12 teachers have already died from COVID-19.
IN THE NEWS
- Trump trashed Dr. Anthony Fauci and complained about the inconveniences of the pandemic on a call with his campaign staff this morning. “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” he told his staff before joking that Fauci is “500 years old.” (Fauci is 79 — just five years older than Trump.)
- In his remarks, which quickly made their way to the press, Trump bemoaned the limitations that COVID has put on his campaign events and travel, suggesting that his supporters are tired of having to cope with the changes we’ve all had to make to avoid spreading the virus. “People are tired of COVID,” he said, brushing off the pushback his dangerous mid-pandemic rallies have received. “I have these huge rallies.”
- If you’ve been paying any attention to the news since March, it’s likely that you are, in fact, tired of COVID-19. It’s exhausting and stressful and anxiety-inducing to live like this, and exponentially more so for those who’ve lost a loved one to the virus. But as tiring as this year has been, most of us understand the importance of precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding crowded spaces. And worst of all, we know that Trump has done nothing but prolong, and often worsen, the impact of the pandemic in the United States.
- Right on cue, Trump is in Arizona today for two more dangerous, mid-pandemic rallies. He held a whopping nine in-person rallies last week alone. Over the weekend, he attended an indoor church service with aides Kayleigh McEnany and Hope Hicks, none of whom wore masks. Like Trump, McEnany and Hicks also tested positive for COVID-19 less than a month ago.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States. On Friday, new cases reached their highest point since late July, with nearly 70,000 new cases reported nationwide in a 24-hour span. According to NPR’s count, the seven-day daily average is now upwards of 56,000 cases a day, an increase of 30% from two weeks ago. More than 36,000 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
- Both parties in Obergefell v. Hodges — the 2015 Supreme Court case which made marriage equality the law of the land — are teaming up to oppose Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. The unlikely duo of plaintiff Jim Obergefell and defendant Rick Hodges were joined by three U.S. senators in calling for the Senate not to move forward with Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, citing concerns about the rightward tilt of the court and the potential impact on LGBTQ+ people.
- Over the weekend, we learned of several developments related to cases before the Supreme Court. Today, the Court announced that they will hear two cases regarding Trump’s immigration policies — one challenging his use of congressionally-denied funds for border wall construction, and the other objecting to Trump’s cruel Return to Mexico policy, which the ACLU says is causing “irreversible harm” to asylum seekers.
- The Court will also hear a Trump administration plan that could change the way undocumented people are (and have always been) counted in the census, and consequently, whether they’re taken into account when counting population for congressional districts. Legal experts say it’s unclear how the government would even determine how to count or not count undocumented people, as the government doesn’t have comprehensive, location-based data about citizenship status. All that to say: There’s a lot at stake in the upcoming confirmation votes in the Senate.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Unions Are Democratically Organized, Corporations Are Not by David Madland, Malkie Wall, Danielle Root, and Sam Berger (CAP)
- Trump’s den of dissent: Inside the White House task force as coronavirus surges by Yasmeen Abutaleb, Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Robert Costa (Washington Post)
- Beyond Policing: Investing in Offices of Neighborhood Safety by Betsy Pearl (CAP)
- District Boundaries Affect Racial Representation at Michigan Community Colleges by Bradley D. Custer (CAP)
- The White House Coronavirus Cluster Is a Result of the Trump Administration’s Policies by Thomas Waldrop and Emily Gee (CAP)
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