This piece was originally published in the November 18, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“I’m not quite sure I know what opacity means. It probably means you can see, right?”
— Rudy Giuliani, representing what’s left of the Trump campaign in federal court yesterday
What do NBC, ABC, the Associated Press, Fox News, and dozens of Republican politicians have in common?
They’ve all accepted the reality that Trump’s presidency is about to end.
IN THE NEWS
- This morning — as the U.S. surpassed 250,000 COVID-19 deaths, almost exactly a year after the first known case of the virus was reported — Pfizer released additional promising results from their coronavirus vaccine trials. The company announced that the vaccine is 95% effective overall and 94% effective in seniors, who are at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19. This latest data from Pfizer is the only set of complete test results from a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine so far. The company said they plan to apply for expedited consideration from the Food and Drug Administration, which handles vaccine authorization, “within days.”
- Elections officials in Michigan convened a chaotic virtual meeting yesterday that ultimately resulted in the certification of presidential election results in the state’s largest county. The Wayne County Board of Canvassers, a four-member panel equally split along partisan lines, drew national attention late last night when its two Republican members refused to certify the results in time to meet the state’s deadline. Their reasoning for this was, to put it lightly, not great.
- At one point during the meeting, Republican member Monica Palmer said she would be open to certifying results for everywhere in the county except for Detroit. She offered no factual basis for this idea. It’s worth noting that nearly 79% of Detroit’s residents are Black, something that was certainly not lost on the local civil rights leaders and hearing attendees who quickly called out Palmer’s racism. After hours of public uproar and objections from nonpartisan experts and Democratic elected officials, the Republicans finally agreed to certify election results for the entire county.
- There’s one last bit of this story that you don’t want to miss. In a clip from last night’s hearing that has now gone viral, this Michigan resident shared his take on the situation, rightfully blasting the two Republican members for their actions and their history of racist and conspiracy-laden posts on social media.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Trump fired a career intelligence official last night via tweet, which is hopefully (but not likely) the last we’ll see of that. Chris Krebs, who until yesterday led the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was widely respected for being a rare bright spot in a sea of reprehensible Trump administration officials.
- Krebs had been outspoken about the legitimacy and security of the recent election, for which he’d spent years helping prepare state elections systems to ensure they were equipped for potential foreign attacks. Krebs also spearheaded a “rumor control” campaign to combat online election disinformation (more of this, please!) and maintained an active presence on Twitter, where he often fact-checked bogus claims. The final straw for Trump was a recent DHS statement in which Krebs described the 2020 election as “the most secure in American history.”
- President-elect Joe Biden spoke with more foreign leaders yesterday in the wake of his victory. Among those on the receiving end of these most recent calls were the Prime Ministers of India and Israel, as well as the Presidents of South Africa and Chile.
- As progressive Facebook pages shift their focus to the presidential transition, Trump and his supporters are sticking to their narrative of refusing to accept the election results. And what’s worse? The only posts from progressive pages last week that came close to reaching as many people as Trump regularly does were a bit of a fluke — they were from former President Obama promoting the release of his new book. Obama is one of the only progressive figures who garners a level of engagement on Facebook that’s anywhere near that of the top conservative pages.
- 49 out of the top 50 conservative Facebook posts last week came from Trump’s account, 34 of which contained disinformation about the election.
Read more on the Facebook gap between progressives and conservatives and the rapid spread of election disinformation in today’s edition of What’s Trending?, and subscribe here to get it in your inbox.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Cancel Thanksgiving by James Hamblin (The Atlantic)
- Pramila Jayapal: “Lindsey Graham Must Resign” by Lucy Diavolo (Teen Vogue)
- Millions Will Lose Unemployment Aid This December Unless Congress Acts Fast by Arthur Delaney and Igor Bobic (HuffPost)
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