DNC RELEASES NEW SPANISH LANGUAGE TV AD IN FL: ‘This Is Not a Test’ (‘Esto no es una prueba’)

30 Jul

The DNC War Room released a new Spanish language television ad in Florida today, “This Is Not a Test” (“Esto no es una prueba”) to call out Donald Trump for gambling with children’s health and safety. Trump is trying to force schools to fully reopen before they’re able to do so safely, despite coronavirus cases surging across the country, because he thinks it will help with his reelection.

The ad will run in the Miami media market starting today, targeted to reach Latino parents with school age children and teachers as part of a six figure buy.


Experts, scientists, teachers, and parents know that Trump can’t be trusted to decide when schools should reopen. It’s Trump’s fault that the outbreak got this bad in the first place. Trump should focus on getting the virus under control, and stop trying to force schools to reopen before they’re able to do so safely.

“Donald Trump has put Florida families in an impossible position. Parents shouldn’t have to stay up at night worried that the president of the United States is compromising their kids’ safety. Children shouldn’t be exposed to a deadly virus, or risk passing the virus to their parents, grandparents, and loved ones. Trump will do anything to help his reelection chances. He can’t be trusted to make this life-or-death decision for our children. It’s time for a leader who will protect Florida kids, and give families and teachers the support they deserve. It’s time for Joe Biden,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez.

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DNC on Trump Threat to Delay the Election

30 Jul

In response to Trump tweeting a threat to delay the election, DNC War Room senior spokesperson and advisor Lily Adams released the following statement:

“Trump’s threat is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract from today’s devastating economic numbers that make it clear his failed response to the coronavirus has tanked the U.S. economy and caused tens of millions of Americans to lose their jobs. Trump can tweet all he wants, but the reality is that he can’t delay the election, and come November, voters will hold him accountable for his failures that have led to catastrophic consequences for the American people.”

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DNC on Today’s Economic Numbers

30 Jul

In response to today’s release of second quarter GDP numbers and weekly unemployment claims, DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement: 

“It didn’t have to be this bad. We are in the sharpest economic downturn on record, and are heading in the wrong direction because of Trump’s failed leadership. A historic drop in GDP, an economy in recession, 19 straight weeks of more than 1 million Americans filing for unemployment, states forced to shut down again as new cases skyrocket, over 150,000 American lives lost, and over 100,000 businesses closed for good

“The only thing more jaw-dropping than these numbers is the incompetence that caused them. Donald Trump inherited a strong economy on the rise. And what did he do with it? He torpedoed it. While Trump continues to claim that the economy is doing tremendous and predicts a rapid recovery, millions of Americans are struggling because he put his ego ahead of our public health, downplayed the virus, and continues to rush to reopen without ensuring it is done safely. Our country is in an economic crisis that Trump keeps making worse. America simply can’t afford four more years.”

GDP fell by an unprecedented 32.9% annualized rate last quarter — more than three times the previous record.

Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. economy contracted at a record 32.9% annual rate last quarter and weekly jobless claims rose to 1.43 million, amid signs of a slowing recovery.”

Yahoo’s Alexis Keenan: “At 32.9%, Q2 annualized contraction marked by far worst plunge ever recorded, based on BEA data spanning back to 1947. Before the pandemic, the worst GDP print on record was in the first quarter of 1958, when GDP fell 10.0% on an annualized basis.”

Unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row, with an additional 1.4 million Americans filing initial claims for unemployment. The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits rose by the most in over two months as states pause or rollback reopening plans due to the surge in COVID-19.

Bloomberg: “Initial claims through regular state programs rose to 1.43 million in the week ended July 25, up 12,000 from the prior week, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. There were 17 million Americans filing for ongoing benefits through those programs in the period ended July 18, up 867,000 from the prior week — the largest increase since early May.”

New York Times: “It was the 19th straight week that the tally exceeded one million, an unheard-of figure before the coronavirus pandemic. And it was the second weekly increase in a row after nearly four months of declines, a sign of how the rebound in cases has undercut the economy’s nascent recovery. Claims for the previous week totaled 1.42 million.”

CNN: “In total, 30.2 million Americans claimed jobless benefits in an array of programs for the week ending July 11.”

Many business closures have now become permanent and millions of jobs are not coming back at all.

Washington Post: “The economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic has entered a new phase, with permanent business closures now outnumbering temporary ones, new data shows.”

New York Times’s Peter Baker: “More than 15,000 restaurants in America have closed permanently during the pandemic and as many as 10% of independent operators could shut by year’s end.”

Associated Press: “Nearly half of Americans whose families experienced a layoff during the coronavirus pandemic now believe those jobs are lost forever, a new poll shows, a sign of increasing pessimism that would translate into roughly 10 million workers needing to find a new employer, if not a new occupation.”

Manufacturing was in a recession last year and fell even more sharply with the pandemic. As of June, nearly 300,000 factory jobs were lost since Trump took office.

New York Times: “After increasing in the first two years of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the number of manufacturing jobs flatlined last year and fell sharply with the pandemic. As of June, there were nearly 300,000 fewer factory jobs in the United States than there were when Mr. Trump was inaugurated.”

Despite Trump’s promises, millions of jobs were lost under his watch and job growth actually slowed even before the pandemic hit.

FactCheck.org: “7.8 million jobs have been lost — including 7,100 coal mining jobs and 274,000 manufacturing jobs.”

FactCheck.org: “Even in February, when employment was at its highest, Trump was far behind the pace needed to fulfill his campaign boast that he would be ‘the greatest jobs president that God ever created.’ Up until then, the average monthly gain under Trump had been 185,000, while the average monthly gain during the four years before he took office was 216,000.”

AP Fact Check: “Trump never managed to achieve the rates of economic growth he promised in the 2016 campaign. The U.S. economy was not the world’s best in history when this started.”

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Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Simon Conway of The Joe Pags Show

30 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Via Teleconference

QUESTION:  We’re across the nation on some amazing radio stations.  Of course, we’re on your iHeartRadio app, and we’re at joepags.com.  I’m Simon Conway, I’m in for Joe, and it is an absolute honor to welcome our Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the show.  How are you, sir?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Simon, it’s great to be with you.  I’m doing well.  I hope you’re doing well also.

QUESTION:  I’m doing very well.  It’s always good to talk to you.  It seems that our thoughts, however, are pretty much captivated in terms of what you’re doing with China once again.  I’ve got like a pile of China stories I could talk to you about.  Is this occupying nearly all of your time, or are there other countries we have to concern ourselves with?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  There are – look, there are many challenges that are presented to American national security, but none today that rival the scope and the scale and the duration of the challenge that President Trump identified back in the campaign in 2015 and 2016.  He talked about this threat.  It’s been out there for decades, politicians of both political parties ignored it, and President Trump’s been prepared to take it on.  We’ve allowed the risk level to become too high now; we have to rebalance this.  We have to be clear-eyed about the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses, and the Trump administration is well underway in doing that.

QUESTION:  So we – you and I have talked before about the way they’ve been treating their Muslim population.  Now we discover the Chinese Communist Party is reportedly forcing people of faith to renounce their Christian beliefs and replace religious symbols with imagery and portraits of Chairman Mao and current President Xi.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  There is enormous risk to believers of all faiths inside of China.  You – we talked about the Uyghurs in the west when we last spoke, right, the kinds of conditions that we haven’t seen since the 1930s in terms of the human rights violations.  But you rightly point out Christians have been under pressure inside of China for an awfully long time, it is only getting worse.  And then recently we’ve now seen reporting that the Chinese went so far as to hack Vatican websites in order to get a jump on negotiations with the Vatican about the appropriate role for the Catholic Church inside of China.  Look, it’s a report.  What we know is this threat, the Chinese Communist Party threat, this is what totalitarian regimes do.  They can’t allow religious freedom because people of conscience understand that those freedoms that they value would be at risk.  The party understands that the things that they want to keep people from doing would be a risk if they permitted (inaudible) kind of exercise of individual conscience rights.

QUESTION:  Let’s talk about your speech at the Nixon Library.  I’ve been there, by the way; everybody should go.  It’s a fascinating place, it really is.  Let’s talk about that.  Right almost at the beginning you were recognizing Chinese dissidents who were actually at the library.  How much – that you can give us without endangering anybody – how much intelligence are they supplying to us that’s useful?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So I – Simon, I’ll answer that this way:  We, in every country with which we’re engaged, talk to people all across the spectrum.  We always speak with government leaders, we speak with business leaders.  The Chinese, when they’re here in the United States, they speak with people from the Republican Party and the Democrat Party.  We want to make sure we’re reaching out to all the various voices from China, and not just those who represent the one-party state, the Chinese Communist Party.  And so we have conversations with them, they share their experiences, we take those on board.  And we can see, we can see from the experiences that many of those have, that this is a place that has all the core elements of what General Secretary Xi described as socialism with Chinese characteristics.

QUESTION:  The Nixon Library is an interesting choice.  Next year, of course, is the 50th anniversary since Henry Kissinger went on a secret mission there; 2022 will be the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s trip itself.  It was a very different world then, wasn’t it?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We were thrilled to get the invitation from the Nixon Library to come give this set of remarks.  It was indeed a very different world 50 years ago.  And the opening – President Nixon was a very wise, very capable foreign policy student.  He knew, he described what he was doing – he knew the risks and the opportunities.  He said I hope I’m not creating a “Frankenstein.”  And here we are.  And the sad thing is, at least since 1989, at least since Tiananmen Square, we have known the threat to American national security and jobs all across America that are gone because of Chinese intellectual property theft.

We need to rebalance this relationship.  We need to take a policy that says no longer can we simply conduct commercial operations and ignore everything else.  We’ve seen enough promises broken that we know we must distrust and verify, a little turn on the phrase that President Reagan had used, because this is a regime that hasn’t told the world the truth about so many things, including the virus that we’re all suffering now that began in Wuhan.

QUESTION:  Right.  There’s a lot of people still wearing masks, I believe you pointed out.  But perhaps more importantly than the mask thing, we’ve also got to look at the restrictions of freedom in places like Hong Kong.  We see headlines every day, don’t we?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yes sir, and the next – the next big marker will be a set of elections scheduled for – goodness – a month and half from now on September 6th.  So these are elections for the legislative council.  They must proceed on time.  They must be held.  The people of Hong Kong deserve to have their voice represented by the elected officials that they choose in those elections.  There – Hong Kong law that they proceed.  If they destroy that, if they take that down, it will be another marker that will simply prove that the Chinese Communist Party has now made Hong Kong just another communist-run city.

QUESTION:  So as you rightly point out, it’s – both sides of the political aisle have just let China get away with murder, frankly.  You talk about the – our intellectual property.  I live in a state, Iowa, where we caught Chinese individuals quite literally digging seed out of our ground.  We caught them red-handed doing it.  So there is no – it’s not just CDs and movies from Hollywood.  I mean, that is Iowa’s lifeblood, and Iowa feeds the country, if not the world.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Goodness, we’ve seen this.  We’ve seen their attempts to steal the vaccine technology.  We’ve seen their efforts to steal blueprints and engineering for our most important defense systems and equipment.  You talked about it in the world of food science and agriculture.  This is a broad-based effort not to build out their economy, not to educate their people, not to train them and compete like freedom-loving nations do, but rather to choose to do it a different way – to steal, to lie, to conduct espionage for commercial benefit, and then dump that on the world with state-sponsored enterprise.  This is not a party – the Chinese Communist Party is not a party that understands that the rule of law should be the prevailing set of norms for the next century, and it is the American responsibility to meet – to lead a democratic alliance to ensure that it is and that the next century our kids, our grandkids will live in a world that is governed by a set of rules that has created so much wealth and so much prosperity here in the United States.  And Donald Trump gets that.

QUESTION:  You talk about the fact that we marginalized Taiwan while we were engaging China, but China was coming here “into our press conferences” – I’m quoting you now – “our research centers, our high schools, our colleges, and even into our PTA meetings.”

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yes, it’s quite remarkable.  This is the activity here on the home front.  You’ve seen us take a number of responses, most recently the closure of the den of spies which was the Chinese consulate in Houston; not only that State Department action, but you saw the action that the Department of Justice and the FBI took in indicting some people who were engaged in that kind of espionage.  The Chinese Communist Party is here working to influence and undermine our democracy.  We can’t let it happen.

QUESTION:  I just want to talk about Joe Biden on China, because he’s very interesting.  He – I’m paraphrasing the former vice president at this point, but he said China is indeed a bad actor, but we’re going to carry on dealing with them.  It was almost like a business as usual thing with him.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, this has been the mode for a couple of decades.  Certainly was the model for the eight years that the vice president was in office under President Obama, where there was this idea that if you just traded more, if you just engaged more that they would change their behavior.  All the while they were stealing our stuff and destroying millions of jobs here in the United States and creating enormous risk and security issues where they took an island in the South China Sea and the Obama-Biden administration did nothing in response.

We’re turning that tide.  We’re turning it around.  We’re building out a global alliance of democracies.  I think the world has come to see the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses.  I hope that both political parties can see it that way as well.

QUESTION:  And sir, before I let you go, because we’re fast running out of time here:  So we’re being tough now, quite rightly, long overdue – decades overdue, some people would say.  We’re doing this.  What’s the fallout?  I mean, trade-wise, we’re obviously seeking other markets.  How important is it that we have a proper relationship with China, and does this force them to the table or does it just make them more aggressive towards us?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Weakness breeds risk and strength is respected with respect to the Chinese Communist Party.  So you can see that in how China has responded to President Trump just being candid, just being honest.  This isn’t about being angry.  This is about rebalancing a relationship that has fallen out of balance over 40 years and demanding that the Chinese Communist Party participate on the global stage in the way that we demand every country does.  If they’ll simply do that, then we’ll find places we can work together.  If they don’t, the United States is going to be vigorous about ensuring that not only the United States but other countries around the world participate in the international marketplace and in the international national security space in a way that reflects the things that will protect Americans each and every day.

QUESTION:  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it’s an absolute honor to talk to you.  Thank you for giving us the time.  I really do appreciate it, sir.  You have yourself a great rest of the day.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, Simon.  Blessings to you.  So long.

QUESTION:  Take care.  Bye-bye.



Moroccan Throne Day

30 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States and the American people, I wish a joyful Throne Day to his Majesty King Mohammad VI and to all Moroccans.

The U.S.-Morocco friendship is founded upon the shared values of coexistence and interfaith dialogue and an appreciation for the importance of stability and economic opportunity.  Over the course of the past year, we have continued to work together to create a more peaceful and prosperous Africa.  We also commend King Mohammed VI for his support to fellow African countries as they address the challenges posed by COVID-19.

I extend my congratulations to his Majesty the King and the Moroccan people on this auspicious anniversary.



Vanuatu National Day

30 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I offer best wishes as you celebrate your National Day on July 30.

For forty years, the United States and the Republic of Vanuatu have worked together to advance shared priorities that include maritime security, good governance, and strong people-to-people relations.  There is no greater testament to our friendship than the 863 Peace Corps volunteers who have made Vanuatu their home over the last thirty years.

As your nation marks its 40th year of independence, the United States celebrates with you, even as we look forward to many more years of partnership and collaboration.


Amid Mixed Progress, More Diversified Finance, Investment in Data Key for Advancing Sustainable Development, Deputy Secretary-General Tells World Bank Board Meeting

30 Jul

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the World Bank board meeting on progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in New York today:

G7 High-Level Transportation Principles in Response to COVID-19

30 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America, as President of the G7, on the conclusion of discussions with G7 partners on restoring confidence in transportation and travel.

Begin Text:

Recognizing the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and acting in response to the G7 Leaders’ Statement issued on March 16, 2020, G7 experts launched an initiative to reinvigorate the global interconnected transportation system.

The G7 set forth key objectives to address all modes of transportation– air, land, and sea.  They noted the importance of working together in a transparent way, communicating collective efforts, and helping to restore confidence in travel and tourism.  They stressed the need for coordination between governments, industries, and international organizations to:

  • ensure global transportation routes and supply chains remain open, safe, and secure;
  • restore consumer and passenger confidence;
  • underscore the importance of transportation and critical infrastructure workers as “essential” employees;
  • integrate evolving public health considerations into transportation and travel; and
  • recognize the importance of transportation in facilitating repatriation efforts.

To support global coordination, the G7 will share this document with the G20, other key international partners, and relevant international organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization.

The G7 endorsed the following high-level principles to:

Transportation Safety, Security, and Health

  1. ensure unwavering commitment to safety, security, and public health;
  1. restore passenger and transport operators’ confidence in the health safety of travel through globally compatible public health measures that incorporate the latest scientific and epidemiological understanding of COVID-19;
  1. recognize that the health posture is ever-changing, such that mitigation measures should be based on health and risk-based criteria to allow for continuous monitoring and adjustments of mitigation measures as appropriate; and to avoid unnecessary burdens on the public or industry;
  1. communicate clear and transparent messages to the public on the nature and purpose of the actions being taken in an effort to reduce confusion and restore confidence;

Economic Growth and Recovery of the Interconnected Transportation Systems

  1. underscore the importance of compatible requirements imposed on transportation in response to COVID-19 in order to avoid a global patchwork of health safety measures and to minimize market access barriers and burdens on transportation operators;
  1. maintain connectivity and global supply chains to facilitate the movement of essential goods, medical products, equipment and agricultural goods;
  1. enhance overall systemic resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for all modes of transportation of passengers and goods;
  1. promote innovative digital solutions to advance seamless interconnectivity to accelerate recovery;
  1. recognize transportation as a driver of economic recovery, and aviation’s particular role, in revitalizing global economic growth, travel, and tourism;

International Coordination and Transparency

  1. ensure that any restrictive public health-related measures on travel and transportation resulting from COVID-19, are:
    • responsive, targeted, transparent, proportionate, temporary, and non-discriminatory;
    • risk-based, continuously reviewed, monitored, and adapted as appropriate;
    • compatible with international best practices; and
    • consistent with obligations under international agreements;
  1. share best practices and technological advancements on common challenges such as prevention, sanitization, and cleaning protocols;
  1. promote global coordination among governments and between governments, international organizations the private sector, other key stakeholders;
  1. encourage information sharing regarding repatriation efforts so that citizens may travel to their home countries;
  1. recognize these principles do not alter the sovereign right of a state to take actions to protect its safety and security, consistent with international obligations;

Protection and Treatment of Air Crews

  1. promote a closely coordinated international approach to the treatment of air crews, consistent with recognized public health standards in order to avoid impacts on aviation operations, and to alleviate burdens on air crews, including testing, quarantine requirements, travel to and from their worksite, and immigration restrictions that apply to other travelers;
  1. recognizing that air crews must abide by their employer’s health requirements in their course of duty, to avoid subjecting crew to additional invasive testing;
  1. facilitate or expedite screening for crews and ensure that health screening methods are as non-invasive as possible, for the countries where these measures are required;
  1. continue to support the urgent repatriation of air crews in lieu of quarantine, as circumstances may warrant;
  2. highlight the importance of safeguarding crew rest, with adequate layover facilities and access to food and amenities made available to ensure the continued safety of aviation operations; including for crews operating pre-positioning, ferry, or non-revenue flights;
  1. maintain close contact and coordination with the aviation industry to get updated information on current issues affecting air crews during the COVID-19 pandemic;

Protection and Treatment of Seafarers

  1. encourage discussions among relevant countries in response to COVID-19 outbreaks at sea;
  1. promote an international approach to the treatment of maritime crews in order to alleviate burdens on seafarers, including testing, quarantine requirements, travel to and from their worksite, and immigration restrictions that apply to other travelers;
  1. consider designating maritime crew, and workers requesting to cross a border for the purpose of performing vessel construction, repair, refit, maintenance or inspection/certification, as essential workers to facilitate cross border movement for those that are asymptomatic;
  1. promote a safe and secure workplace for seafarers and their access to prompt and adequate medical care both on board and on shore;
  1. support the repatriation of discharged seafarers to their home countries and travel of new crew members to their ships in order to facilitate crew changes; and
  1. maintain close contact with the maritime industry in order to ensure the exchange of relevant information affecting seafarers and the operation of international shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

End text.