CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Reckless Pandemic Response Puts Arizona Health, Jobs, and Social Security at Risk
297,000 Arizonans would lose health coverage if the ACA is repealed.
2.8 million Arizonans with preexisting conditions would have their protections stripped away.
Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump will travel to Prescott and then Tucson, Arizona, to hold two rallies in airplane hangars at Prescott Regional Airport and Tucson International Airport. The events will be the 11th and 12th scheduled in-person rallies following the revelation of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis on October 2. Rather than quarantine for the two-week period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trump has continued to downplay the pandemic and put Americans at risk by holding nine in-person rallies last week—and by attending an indoor church service with aides Kayleigh McEnany and Hope Hicks, who also tested positive for COVID-19 in the past month, during which they did not wear masks.
Even after being hospitalized with the greatest care in the world, Trump told the country not to let the virus “dominate your lives,” despite the more than 219,000 lives lost in the United States due to the president’s failed pandemic response and his lying to the American people about the true danger of the virus since February. Following his recovery using treatments unavailable to the general public, Trump falsely claimed to be immune to the virus despite failing to disclose when he last tested negative. More than 6,800 Americans have died from the coronavirus since the president promised to provide the “unbelievable medicine” he took at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center free of charge. And just last Thursday at an NBC town hall, he continued to disregard the truth by attacking the effectiveness of masks with an inaccurate claim and discouraging his supporters from wearing masks.
Now with Arizona passing more than 231,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 5,800 dead, Trump’s recklessness and lies are putting Arizonans at risk. In the first 2020 presidential debate, Trump claimed that there has been “no negative effect” from his rallies. However, at least two have been linked to surges in cases: His rally in Tulsa was tied to a record increase in COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma as well as the death of Herman Cain, while his rallies in Minnesota have been linked to 23 people infected with COVID-19, two of whom have been hospitalized. Trump himself likely contracted the virus at an unsafe event with supporters at the White House.
In the absence of federal leadership or any national testing plan, the virus continues to spread; and uncertainty has created wildly unstable economic conditions in Arizona. Amid this economic instability, Trump cut federal unemployment insurance by $300 initially and now has let that relief run out, leaving Arizona single-parent families with one child on a modest budget facing a shortfall of $3,274 per month, according to a recent Center for American Progress analysis. More than 168,948 Arizonans are still receiving some type of unemployment benefit. In total, 122,200 fewer Arizonans were employed in August compared with February—a 4.1 percent decline.
Instead of leading the country out of the pandemic and protecting vulnerable seniors, Trump has continued his longtime assault on Social Security by calling for the termination of a large portion of its dedicated funding source—payroll taxes. Trump’s proposal, according to Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen Goss, would wipe out the Social Security Trust Fund by 2023. Approximately 1.4 million Arizona residents—19.2 percent of the state’s population—are Social Security beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, Trump has maintained his commitment to striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in court. If the Trump-backed lawsuit to repeal the ACA succeeds, 297,000 state residents could lose health coverage and 2.8 million Arizonans with preexisting conditions could face higher premiums or be barred from coverage during the pandemic.
Learn more about how the Trump administration’s policies have hurt Arizona families and put them at risk below.
Profits and wages
Claim: “Jobs will leave from other countries and come into the United States … and our poorest citizens will get new jobs and higher pay.” – Donald Trump in Prescott Valley, October 4, 2016
Reality: President Trump promised voters that he would prioritize the interests of the middle class. Instead, he’s prioritized the wealthiest Americans and corporations.
- President Trump has the worst jobs record in history and is the only president to have lost net jobs on his watch.
- Trump blocked a federal minimum wage increase for Arizona workers. Approximately 1,040,000 state workers were denied a pay increase, resulting in more than $928 million in lost wages.
Claim: “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. [Dreamers] got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs.” – Donald Trump, November 28, 2016
Reality: For years, including as president, Trump has vilified immigrants, portraying them as a burden on the nation’s economy and as a U.S. security threat. However, each year in Arizona, Dreamer households pay $285 million in federal taxes, pay $181 million in state and local taxes, and provide $1.5 billion in spending power to their communities.
Claim: “Great health care for far less money. That’s going to happen.” – Donald Trump in Phoenix, March 19, 2016
Reality: The Trump administration is trying to repeal the ACA through the courts with no replacement. If successful, the Trump administration will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, and end protections for people with preexisting conditions. In Arizona:
- 2.8 million residents with preexisting conditions would lose protections if the Trump-backed lawsuit to repeal the ACA succeeds.
- 297,000 residents could lose coverage if the ACA is repealed.
Claim: “We are going to cut taxes for middle-class families by hundreds of billions of dollars.” – Donald Trump in Phoenix, October 29, 2016
Reality: Eighty-three percent of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut goes to big corporations and the rich. Many Arizona families are getting stuck with the bill.
- 211,560 Arizona families paid more in taxes last year due to the Trump administration’s tax bill.
- For the 2019 tax year, the average tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of Arizona earners was $45,030. The average tax cut for the middle 20 percent was $670.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Zahir Rasheed at email@example.com.