Perez, Sperling, MN Worker: Trump’s Mismanagement of Coronavirus Continues to ‘Wreak Havoc’ on the Economy

8 Aug

Today, DNC Chair Tom Perez; Gene Sperling, former director of the National Economic Council; and Michael Browne, a worker in Minnesota who was laid off due to the pandemic, discussed the July jobs report, Trump’s mismanagement of COVID-19, and the sharpest economic decline since the Great Depression.

DNC Chair Tom Perez:

“Donald Trump’s mismanagement of this crisis continues to wreak havoc on our economy and devastate millions of families. We all want to see Americans get back to work as soon as possible and in great numbers. Yet the pace of job growth slowed considerably in July. 4.8 million in June, to 1.8 million jobs in July… For an unprecedented 20th consecutive week, more than a million Americans have filed first-time claims for unemployment. During the depths of the Great Recession … we never had one week, let alone 20 weeks of one million first-time claims for unemployment during the depths of the Great Recession. This is a catastrophic problem.”

“What is so frustrating about this is that it didn’t have to be this bad… And the problem that we have here, and the reason we still have double digit unemployment and catastrophic job loss, is this president simply doesn’t have a plan. And we will not solve this economic problem until the president solves the pandemic problem. But he has simply thrown up his hand, and given up.”

Gene Sperling, former director of the National Economic Council:

“So many other major countries who have gone through this have been able to do it without coming near the extraordinary unemployment numbers we have. Most recently, South Korea is at 4.3 percent unemployment. The last from Japan, 2.9 percent. The last from Germany, 6.2 percent. Latest from Australia, 7.4 percent. The point is that countries where their leadership took on the coronavirus with a serious public health response have taken some hits, but not nearly the level, the depth and level, that we have in the United States. The singular reason why we are talking every month about double-digit unemployment … the reason we are talking about still being 13 million jobs below where we started, has been the failure and almost unique incompetence of leadership of President Trump in dealing with this crisis.”

Michael Browne, a worker in Minnesota who was laid off due to the pandemic:

“I have a three-year-old and my wife is pregnant with twins, so not only at the time we lost our job we also lost our health care. … Since then we’ve kind of been draining our personal savings and our retirement. There’s been massive anxiety planning for a twin birth, amid the pandemic.”

“The biggest tragedy to me is that we all saw this coming, and it all could have been prevented. Today we’re left with a shortage of masks, hand sanitizer, PPE, and it takes a week to get an unreliable test result back. And I’m just left scratching my head saying, ‘Is this what America being great really looks like?’ This failed economic response has cost us, the American people, $2 trillion we’ve spent in just four months. And I have to ask, what do we have to show for it? But we have one preventable American death every 80 seconds. And that’s absolutely unacceptable to me. I thought we elected a businessman or that’s the line being given, and given the last four months, what CEO wouldn’t be fired given these circumstances? It’s just clear that Trump has a complete and total lack of empathy for what people are going through. And that’s all summed up by his reaction to being presented with basic facts around the tragedy: ‘It is what it is.’”

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In The Battlegrounds: Marking 55th Anniversary of The Voting Rights Act, Democrats Call Out GOP Voter Suppression

7 Aug

As the United States celebrated the 55th anniversary of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, Democrats highlighted the ongoing fight for free and fair voting access and called out Donald Trump and Republicans’ voter suppression efforts across the country. See for yourself:

In Arizona: 

Arizona Democratic Party Political Director Quiana Dickenson: “Fifty-five years ago, civil rights icons like Congressman John Lewis were beaten and bloodied in the struggle to pass the Voting Rights Act, which gave us the power to fight back and build a better, more representative democracy. Today, those protections have been gutted by Republican voter suppression efforts and decisions like Shelby v. Holder, which have rolled back so much of the progress we’ve made. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, Donald Trump is making partisan attempts to suppress Americans’ right to vote for his own political benefit.”

In Florida:

Rep. Val Demings: “Democrats in the House have passed legislation to restore this important law, but Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are once again putting their own interests ahead of the American people by refusing to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The best way for my Republican colleagues to honor Rep. John Lewis is to support his life’s work by protecting the right to vote.”

In Georgia: 

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams: “Georgia Democrats know, like Mr. Lewis taught us, that our vote is the most powerful tool we have in a democratic society – that’s why Donald Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot are spreading lies about this election and making it harder for people to vote. While Congress fights to pass a new John Lewis Voting Rights Act, Georgia Democrats are fighting hard to protect the vote at every step of the electoral process, and we will hold Republicans accountable for trying to stop the people from making their voices heard.”

Rep. Hank Johnson: “Before the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, state legislatures, counties and cities — particularly in the South — could enact foul practices to stop our people from making our voices heard — all too similar to the dangerous voter suppression tactics Republicans embrace today. John Lewis shed blood for the Voting Rights Act, and his legacy had an immediate and lasting impact of making sure Black Americans could participate and be a part of this country’s political system. Now, it has never been more important that we pass a new Voting Rights Act to protect our democracy for the next generation, and honor John’s legacy by voting to get Donald Trump out of office.”

In Michigan: 

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes: “Fifty-five years ago today the Voting Rights Act was signed into law. Often described as the most successful piece of civil rights legislation, it provided nationwide protection for voting rights for every American. Seven years ago, the Supreme Court gutted that law. Congress and specifically, the U.S. Senate, have an opportunity to right this wrong, and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act … By not moving this legislation, Mitch McConnell and the Republican-led Senate are once again standing in the way of progress and engaging in one of the worst forms of government sanctioned voter suppression.”

In Nevada:

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy: “Voting by mail is safe, secure, and essential to protecting the right to vote in the midst of Trump’s failed pandemic response. Trump’s baseless lawsuit rings hollow when you realize that he and his inner circle have a long history of voting by mail. Once again, Trump and his wealthy, well-connected friends are playing by different rules, while trying to force working families to risk their health and safety to make their voices heard … With the passage of AB4, Nevada Democrats ensured no Nevadans must choose between their health and their constitutional right to vote. As Congressman John Lewis said, ‘the vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society.’”

In New Hampshire: 

State Senator Melanie Levesque: “The right to vote is a foundation of our democracy. That’s why, more than half a century ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. This historic legislation was a triumph for the voters who were subject to generations of discrimination, and for the activists who sacrificed everything for equality at the ballot box, courageous Americans like Congressman John Lewis — may he rest in power. But today, that progress is under attack. Some politicians, driven by desperation, are deliberately trying to stop or make it harder for certain groups of people to vote. But what I believe is that when more people vote, democracy wins.”

In North Carolina:

North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin: “The passage of the Voting Rights Act was a landmark, hard-fought victory for activists and civil rights leaders across the country. But years of attacks against this law have stripped away many of its essential protections. Here in North Carolina, we need those protections now more than ever. The Republican assault on voting rights over the last decade has been devastating to our democracy and underlines just how fragile these rights can be. North Carolina Democrats will always fight back against voter suppression efforts, and the best way to do that is by restoring the Voting Rights Act to ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans.”

In Ohio:

Rep. Joyce Beatty: “55 years ago today, the Voting Rights Act became law, capping off a centuries’ long fight to ensure equal access to the ballot box for ALL Americans. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a key section of VRA. Now, @GOP is blocking efforts to restore it. Our work is far from over.”

Rep. Marcia Fudge: “Civil rights leaders like John Lewis shed blood to secure passage of the Voting Rights Act, signed into law 55 years ago today. With voter suppression tactics on the rise, we must ensure every person has access to the ballot box. We need the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act NOW.”

In Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania Democratic Party Vice Chair and State Senator Sharif Street: “55 years ago today, we declared as a nation that the right to vote is the central pillar of our democracy, and it must be defended. But right now, extremists like Donald Trump and his enablers are attacking that right for Pennsylvanians … Trump and Pennsylvania Republicans have filed a voter suppression lawsuit to limit voting by mail and subject Pennsylvania voters to predatory poll watching. This would not only put the health and safety of voters and poll workers at risk — it would suppress the voices of Black and Brown communities in particular. It’s nothing more than a cheap attempt to rig the election in their favor — and Pennsylvania Democrats are fighting back in court. It’s shameful that 55 years after the passage of the VRA, we must still keep up the fight for voting rights, but we will never back down when the voices of Pennsylvanians are under attack.”

In Texas: 

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa and Vice Chair Carla Brailey: “Since the Voting Rights Act was gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court,  Trump and Texas Republicans have taken every opportunity to make voting more difficult for Latino, Black and other voters that the VRA was created to protect … Texas Democrats know that our democracy thrives when more people participate, not less … We will continue to fight to preserve the legacy and promise of the Voting Rights Act until every eligible Texan can cast their ballot.”

In Virginia: 

Virginia Democrats Voter Protection and Expansion Director Alyssa Pooler: “The Voting Rights Act was a major step forward in our nation’s long effort to guarantee fair access to the vote — an effort that Donald Trump and his Republican allies seek to reverse every single day. In the midst of a pandemic that is out of control due to the president’s disastrous leadership, it’s important to protect the right to vote with legitimate, secure methods like absentee by mail voting that can save Virginians’ lives. Trump’s insistence of baselessly undermining public confidence in our elections is a real danger to democracy.”

In Wisconsin: 

Wisconsin Democrats Spokesperson Philip Shulman: “Wisconsinites know better than most just how malicious Republicans’ efforts around the fundamental right to vote have been. From passing archaic voter I.D. laws, drastically limiting early voting, requiring a witness signature while still in the midst of a pandemic, to targeting voter purges in majority Black and Brown communities, Wisconsin Republicans have struck at the heart of democracy every chance they have gotten. Democrats remain steadfast in our support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, of expanding access to vote by mail, and vow to fight any effort to disenfranchise voters across the Badger state.”

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DNC on July Jobs Report

7 Aug

After the U.S. Department of Labor released the latest jobs and unemployment numbers, DNC Chair and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez issued the following statement:

“Donald Trump’s mismanagement of this crisis continues to wreak havoc on our economy and devastate millions of families. More than 30 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment relief, and over 16 million Americans are unemployed. Today’s jobs report reflects a slowdown in hiring after Trump’s failure to contain the virus forced many states back into lockdown. America is hurting, and we’re still 12.9 million jobs under where we were in February.

“It didn’t have to be this bad. And it doesn’t have to stay this bad. Not if we take decisive action to elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. Americans have lost millions of jobs under Donald Trump. And on November 3, Donald Trump is going to lose his job in the White House.”

16.3 million Amerians are unemployed and the pace of job growth slowed considerably in July.

U.S. News: “Total unemployment fell by 1.4 million to 16.3 million.”

Fox Business: “The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July even as a wave of new coronavirus cases forced most states to pause or reverse their reopenings, causing a slight pullback in hiring. Still, the payroll increase reported Friday by the Labor Department was well below the 4.8 million jobs created in June, which was the highest recorded.”

The unemployment rate is higher than any period since WWII at 10.2%, and would be even higher if not for ongoing misclassification issues in the data. 

Politico: “The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in July, the Labor Department reported Friday. That’s down from a peak of 14.7 percent in April, but still far above the 3.5 percent rate in February before the coronavirus pandemic led to mass economic shutdowns across the country.”

As many as 31.3 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment relief, and more than 55 million have sought relief since mid March.

Reuters: “The number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell last week, but a staggering 31.3 million people were receiving unemployment checks in mid-July, suggesting the labor market was stalling as the country battles a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases that is threatening a budding economic recovery.”

USA Today: “More than 55 million Americans have sought jobless benefits since state shutdowns began in mid-March.”

For an unprecedented 20th consecutive week, more than a million Americans have filed new unemployment claims.

ABC News: “For 20 straight weeks, the number of Americans who have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance has topped 1 million. This unprecedented streak of weekly jobless claims has shattered all historical records.”

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

Politico: “The U.S. economy crashed in historic fashion this year — shrinking at a nearly 33 percent annualized pace in the second quarter — as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged businesses and sent joblessness soaring.”

National Public Radio: “The economic shock in April, May and June was more than three times as sharp as the previous record — 10% in 1958 — and nearly four times the worst quarter during the Great Recession.”

More than 100,000 small businesses have closed for good, with Black-owned businesses  shutting down at twice the rate.

Washington Post: “More than 100,000 small businesses have closed forever as the nation’s pandemic toll escalates”

Bloomberg: “Black-owned small businesses are twice as likely to shutter as small businesses overall during the coronavirus pandemic … Data show a 41% drop in the number of active small business owners who are Black from February to April, compared to 22% of owners overall, according to the study. Latinx business owners fell by 32%, while Asian business owners dropped 26% and white business owners retreated 17%.”

Trump and Republicans let enhanced unemployment benefits expire for tens of millions, and pushed a plan to slash benefits by more than 40% on average.

Wall Street Journal: “Lapse in Extra Unemployment Benefits to Hurt U.S. Recovery, Economists Say”

CNBC: “GOP relief plan slashes unemployment benefits by 43% for average worker”

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DNC Statement on Donald Trump, Jr.’s and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s Fundraiser in The Hamptons

6 Aug

Ahead of today’s fundraiser hosted by Donald Trump, Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle in New York, Democratic National Committee spokesperson Will Baskin-Gerwitz released the following statement:

“When 750 New Yorkers were dying every single day four months ago from COVID-19, Donald Trump was promising that the pandemic was ‘going to go away.’ When hundreds of thousands of working New Yorkers lost their jobs this summer, Donald Trump’s response was that ‘our economy is starting to do really well.’ So of course the Trump family is only back in New York to dine with out-of-touch mega-donors — ordinary voters don’t want to see their failures, hear their excuses or have to think about them one second after voting Trump out this November.”


Promise: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” [CNBC Interview, 1/22/20]

Promise: “We are marshalling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.” [Oval Office Address, 3/11/20]

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Trump Says Coronavirus Will ‘Go Away’ As One American Dies Every 80 Seconds

6 Aug

Trump still does not grasp the severity of this crisis. He continues to downplay the coronavirus and says it will “go away,” despite the U.S. having the worst outbreak in the world, now averaging one death every 80 seconds, and still experiencing testing problems that further hinder our ability to contain the virus.

Trump doubled down last night saying the coronavirus will “go away like things go away,” despite the U.S. averaging one death every 80 seconds.

TRUMP: “It’s going away. No, it’ll go away like things go away, absolutely. It’s no question in my mind it will go away.”

NBC News: “Over the last seven days, a grim new COVID-19 calculus has emerged: one person died every 80 seconds from the coronavirus in America. And the pace at which those 7,486 people died appears to be accelerating, a new NBC News tally revealed Wednesday.”

Trump misleadingly points to cases abroad to downplay the virus, but the U.S. has the worst outbreak in the world because of his failed response.

Washington Post: “With bad coronavirus news at home, Trump points misleadingly to rising cases abroad”

CNBC: “The U.S. has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world: ‘The numbers don’t lie,’ Dr. Fauci says:

New York Times: “Yet even with all of these problems, one country stands alone, as the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained outbreak for more than four months: the United States. … President Trump has said the virus was not serious; predicted it would disappear; spent weeks questioning the need for masks; encouraged states to reopen even with large and growing caseloads; and promoted medical disinformation.”

States are still experiencing testing delays, which discourages Americans from getting testing, causing the number of tests to drop and further hindering our coronavirus response.

Axios: “Fauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays ‘totally unacceptable’”

Associated Press: “U.S. testing for the coronavirus is dropping even as infections remain high and the death toll rises by more than 1,000 a day, a worrisome trend that officials attribute largely to Americans getting discouraged over having to wait hours to get a test and days or weeks to learn the results.”

Trump is still struggling to fully grasp the severity of this crisis after he attended his first coronavirus task force meeting since April.

CNN: “President Donald Trump was still struggling to fully grasp the severity of the coronavirus pandemic during a task force meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins: “This was President Trump’s first formal task force meeting since April, per a source.”

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Pence’s Poor Predictions

6 Aug

Americans are only too aware of how inaccurate Trump’s predictions about the coronavirus have been — from claiming it was “totally under control” to saying it “miraculously goes away.” It’s clearer than ever that his deputy has an equally atrocious record of making predictions.

Pence pushed for a meatpacking plant in Colorado to remain open, promising to provide testing resources for employees. That promise was not kept, and now that facility has 300 infected workers.

Washington Post: “When local health officials moved to close one of the country’s biggest meatpacking plants amid a major coronavirus outbreak in April, Vice President Pence and one of the nation’s leading health officials pushed to keep the plant operating, against the advice of top local and state health officials, according to records and interviews.”

The Denver Channel: “The Vice President, speaking at a White House briefing, acknowledged the JBS outbreak and promised to help. ‘Our team is working with the governor to ensure that we flow testing resources,’ Pence said … Now less than a week from the scheduled reopening of the plant, promises from the White House and JBS management have not been kept.”

Washington Post: “Since then, three plant workers have died of covid-19, bringing the total number of employee deaths from the virus to six, according to state health officials. All told, about 300 employees have tested positive, making the plant the site of Colorado’s third-largest outbreak.”

Pence visited a school in North Carolina and touted it as at the “forefront” of school reopenings. Now, a campus in the same school network had to quarantine all fourth grade students and teachers.

News & Observer: “Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited an Apex private school on Wednesday that Pence said was ‘in the forefront of reopening schools in America.’”

ABC News: “Fourth graders at a school in North Carolina have been asked to quarantine for 14 days after a student there tested positive for COVID-19 … Thales Academy, a network of private non-sectarian community schools with eight locations in North Carolina, made the news last week after Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited a classroom and applauded the school for reopening.”

Pence repeatedly overpromised and underdelivered on the amount of PPE the Trump administration was providing to front line workers.

ABC News: “Pence on Thursday said there has been a vast increase in the supply of medical face masks, despite complaints that health care providers currently lack enough necessary protective equipment to treat a surge of novel coronavirus patients.”

Wall Street Journal: “Pence has overstated the amount of coronavirus-related medical equipment distributed by a Trump administration program on multiple occasions, according to public data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Pence promised supplies for nursing homes, but some shipments included poorly-made, unusable PPE.

ABC News: “Mike Pence promised gear for nursing homes, but some of what arrived was subpar, organizations say”

ABC News: “Federal shipments of protective gear touted by Vice President Mike Pence as part of an effort to provide vital support to the nation’s nursing homes beleaguered by COVID-19 have at times included flimsy cloth masks and ‘trash bag’-like gowns that fail to meet even basic infection control standards … even as Pence posed for camera crews unloading boxes of the supplies.”

NBC News: “Nursing home executive to Pence: Enough photo ops”

Pence said the economy was roaring back, but we’ve just had our 20th straight week with more than 1 million unemployment claims.

Associated Press: “Pence says US economy bouncing back despite troubling signs”

ABC News: “’Nothing compares’: Unemployment filings top 1 million for 20th straight week”

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Trump Visits Ohio To Sell His Tariffs That Didn’t Help Workers & Falsely Tout His Manufacturing Record

6 Aug

Today, Trump is in Ohio to talk about manufacturing and tout Whirlpool as the “poster child’ for his tariffs. But the tariffs Trump imposed to help Whirlpool cost consumers $1.5 billion a year and boosted corporate profits while doing little to save jobs. And despite his promises, Ohio has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs under his watch, even before the pandemic hit.

The washing machine tariffs Trump imposed to help Whirlpool cost consumers $1.5 billion a year and more than $800,000 per job created.

Wall Street Journal: “President Trump’s tariffs on imported washing machines cost U.S. consumers about $1.5 billion a year, according to new research. The paper released Monday found the tariffs raised the price of washing machines by 12%.”

New York Times: “And while the tariffs did encourage foreign companies to shift more of their manufacturing to the United States and created about 1,800 new jobs, the researchers conclude that those came at a steep cost: about $817,000 per job.”

Washing machine tariffs boosted Whirlpool’s corporate profits at the expense of consumers—and Whirlpool avoided paying any federal income taxes in the first year under Trump’s tax law.

Wall Street Journal: “Whirlpool posted increased profitability in North America, its largest market, as higher prices and cost-cutting measures offset lower volumes. The company sold 7.8 million products in North America during the quarter, a 3.8% decline.”

CNBC: “The study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank, covers the first year following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act championed by President Donald Trump, which was signed into law in December 2017… The following companies had effective rates of 0% or less, according to the report: … Whirlpool”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Whirlpool was the “poster child” for the success of Trump’s trade policies even though the company raised prices on consumers and laid off workers.

Fremont News-Messenger: “A high-ranking economist in the Trump administration on Wednesday called Whirlpool a triumph of the president’s trade and tariff policies.  Peter Navarro, director of trade and manufacturing for the White House, spoke at a dial-in press conference one day before the president visits Clyde’s Whirlpool plant, the largest employer in Sandusky County, on Thursday.  ‘This is a very special trip for me and the president because Whirlpool really is the poster child for the astonishing success of Trump trade policy,’ Navarro said.”

Navarro claimed there had not been any “dire consequences” of tariffs on washing machines as analysts had warned, but consumer prices spiked.

NAVARRO: “I guess my point here would be that we’ve already seen the impacts of the tariffs. Remember, we imposed tariffs on solar panels and dishwashers many months ago. Donald J. Trump had the courage and vision to do that. We haven’t seen any of these dire consequences you mentioned.”

Wall Street Journal: “President Trump’s tariffs on imported washing machines cost U.S. consumers about $1.5 billion a year, according to new research. The paper released Monday found the tariffs raised the price of washing machines by 12%.”

Whirlpool struggled in the months after Trump imposed washing machine tariffs because his untargeted steel and aluminum tariffs more than offset the benefits.

Wall Street Journal: “Business there appears to have slowed in the past few months. Whirlpool paused operations at the Clyde facility for a few days each around the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, according to workers, suppliers and Scott Black, the town’s mayor.”

CNBC: “Shares of Whirlpool, the U.S. based washing machine giant who was once in favor of stricter trade controls for its own industry, posted their worst day in over 30 years after executives blamed rising steel and aluminum costs for diminished quarterly earnings.  ‘Global steel cost has risen substantially and, particularly in the US, they have reached unexplainable levels,’ Whirlpool CEO Marc Bitzer told shareholders during a conference call Tuesday.  Whirlpool stock fell 14.5 percent Tuesday, its worst day since October 19, 1987.”

Wall Street Journal: “Nearly six months later, the company’s share price is down 15%. One factor is a separate set of tariffs on steel and aluminum, imposed by the U.S. in March and later expanded, that helped drive up Whirlpool’s raw-materials costs. Net income, even with the added benefit of a lower tax bill, was down $64 million in the first quarter compared with a year earlier.”

Trump promised to bring factories and jobs back to Ohio.

TRUMP: “The era of economic surrender is over. We are going to fight for every last American job. It’s time to remove the rust from the rust belt—to usher in a new industrial revolution. We are going to do it.”

TRUMP: “Jobs will return, don’t you like the sound of that? Incomes will rise and new factories will come rushing onto our shores.”

TRUMP: “I said, those jobs have left Ohio. They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back. Don’t move, don’t sell your house.”

Instead, Ohio lost 44,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year. And even before the pandemic, Ohio had its worst employment year in 2019 since the Great Recession, losing 12,500 jobs overall, including 5,500 in manufacturing.

Toledo Blade: “The state had regained 58,000 manufacturing jobs by June, but was still down 44,000 manufacturing jobs from June, 2019.”

Columbus Dispatch: “New revisions made 2019 the worst year for employment in Ohio since the Great Recession.  Ohio’s employment picture is off to a rough start in 2020.  And that’s before any economic fallout the coronavirus might cause.  Employers cut 6,300 jobs in January, led by steep losses in government and in the professional and business services sector, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Friday.  Counting January’s losses, the state now has 12,500 fewer jobs than it did a year ago, the state data shows, making 2019 the worst year for employment in Ohio since the Great Recession.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics: January 2019-January 2020: Ohio lost 5,500 manufacturing jobs.

Toledo Blade: “Donald Trump was speaking directly to Ohioans during the 2016 election when he vowed to bolster the U.S. economy and reinvigorate domestic manufacturing in places where jobs had long since disappeared overseas. But when he returns here Thursday, it’s to a state confronting unemployment on level with the 2008 Great Recession, the loss of thousands of jobs at factories in the past year, and a still-raging health emergency that’s killed more than 3,500 Ohioans.”

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Trump Lies About Coronavirus Threat to Children as He Pushes for Schools to Reopen Without Necessary Safety Measures In Place

6 Aug

Yesterday, Trump continued to lie about the threat of coronavirus to children as he pushed schools to reopen without putting in place comprehensive guidelines that would allow them to reopen safely. Medical experts, educators, and parents have sounded the alarm on Trump risking children’s health and safety, but he’s ignored them — as more and more children are getting infected.

Instead of outlining a plan to safely reopen schools, Trump, in an interview with Fox & Friends yesterday, continued to wrongly claim that children are “almost immune” to coronavirus. 

TRUMP: “If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease. … They don’t have a problem. They just don’t have a problem.”

Trump has been pushing these claims even as new research and reports directly debunk it. 

CNN: “Two teens in Florida die of coronavirus complications”

CNN: “Researchers in South Korea have found that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit Covid-19 within a household just as much as adults, according to new research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

New York Times: “Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found.”

AP Fact Check: “Trump’s statements overlook severe COVID-19 illnesses and some deaths of children in the U.S., even though kids in general tend to get less sick from it than adults do. He also glosses over the fact that kids can spread disease without showing symptoms themselves.”

As Trump ignores the advice of experts again and pushes states to reopen schools without the necessary safety measures in place, the lives of students, teachers, and their families are being put at risk.

CBS News: “Two suburban Atlanta school districts that began in-person classes Monday with mask-optional policies face more questions about COVID-19 safety protocols after on-campus pictures showed students packed shoulder-to-shoulder. The day after school resumed, one school announced a second grader tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the child’s teacher and classmates to be sent home to quarantine for two weeks, CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports.”

Washington Post: “A Mississippi town welcomed students back to school last week. Now 116 are home in quarantine.”

And across the country, teachers and other school staff are worried about being put at risk by returning to school without safety measures in place. 

NPR: “When it comes to going back to the classroom, 77% of teachers are worried about risking their own health. Robin Stauffer is one of them. She’s taught high school English for four decades, most recently in Katy, Texas, a suburb west of Houston. She says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted, and she has a strong sense of mission ‘to be the type of teacher that I wish I would have had when I was in public school, to kind of right the wrongs that I experienced.’ But she’s also 66 years old and has diabetes, both of which make her more vulnerable to the coronavirus. According to the U.S. Department of Education, almost 30% of teachers are 50 and older, putting them in a higher-risk category for the virus.”

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DNC on Voting Rights Act Anniversary

6 Aug

On the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation Karen Carter Peterson released the following statement reaffirming the Democratic Party’s commitment to protecting every eligible American’s right to cast a ballot:

“55 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. It was a historic and hard-fought victory fueled by activists and civil rights leaders across the nation, by those who marched for freedom and organized for justice, who faced down billy clubs and baseball bats for the right to make their voices heard at the ballot box. John Lewis was one of those leaders. From Freedom Summer to Bloody Sunday, he risked his life for what was right. While we mark this year’s anniversary of the Voting Rights Act without one of its greatest champions, we must carry on his fight.

“Today, the Voting Rights Act is a shell of what it was on the day it was signed. The Supreme Court eviscerated key provisions in 2013 that helped protect against discrimination and secure the sanctity of the ballot for voters of color. Democrats in the House have passed legislation to restore this landmark law, but due to Republican obstruction, it has yet to be considered by the Senate. And with less than three months until Election Day, the Republican voter suppression machine is in full swing. In the middle of a global pandemic, Donald Trump and GOP leaders have made it their mission to silence as many voters as possible, especially in communities of color.

“Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people can participate, not fewer. We will keep fighting to end discrimiantion at the ballot box, expand access to vote-by-mail, and restore critical parts of the Voting Rights Act. In the words of Barack Obama, the best way to honor the lives of John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and all of the heroes we’ve lost is by revitalizing the law they were willing to die for. That starts with electing Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.”

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Less Than Three Months To Election Day, Democrats Turn Out In Droves Across The Country

5 Aug

Democrats turned out in massive numbers across the country for yesterday’s primaries, sparking a historic surge in mail-in voting and securing key victories including Medicaid expansion in Missouri. While ballots continue to be counted, one thing is clear: less than three months to Election Day, Democrats are energized and eager to vote.

In Arizona:

In Kansas:

In Michigan:

  • MI Dems: Michigan Democrats See Enthusiasm in August Primaries. “Tuesday’s primary results continue to show increased enthusiasm among Democrats heading into November … key Democratic base counties saw spikes in turnout over August 2016 primaries. Wayne County turnout increased by over 115%. Washtenaw County saw over 100,000 voters, an increase of over 165%. In Genesee County, turnout nearly doubled, increasing by 96%. The increase in absentee voting was especially pronounced in counties that supported Clinton, with a 223.8% increase.”

In Missouri:

In Washington:

  • In Washington’s nonpartisan gubernatorial primary, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee currently leads his closest Republican challenger by 35 percentage points.

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