DNC on GOP Filing SCOTUS Briefs to Take Health Care Away From Millions

25 Jun

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement as Donald Trump and Republican-led states filed briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act and end health care protections for as many as 133 million Americans:

“Donald Trump and Republican leaders are at it again. Today, they filed briefs at the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act and take health care away from 20 million Americans, as well as protections from as many as 133 million people with preexisting conditions. We’ve seen this movie before, and the sequel is even worse. Americans are dying every day, but instead of helping our communities, Trump wants to take away their care during a global pandemic. The cruelty of this administration knows no bounds.

“The ACA is more popular than ever for one simple reason: it works. The ACA has significantly reduced the ranks of the uninsured; it’s helped Americans can get the health care they need and helped keep them from being bankrupted just because they get sick. That’s why the Obama-Biden administration signed it into law a decade ago. Democrats have beaten back the GOP’s attempts to destroy the ACA before, and we’re going to do it again by electing Joe Biden the next president of the United States.”

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Sustained decline in sleeping sickness cases puts elimination within reach

25 Jun

Countries endemic for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, continue to report fewer cases, indicating that the disease is well on course for elimination as a public health problem by the end of this year.

The latest data show that only 980 cases were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, which include the numbers for both the rhodesiense1 and gambiense2 forms of the disease.

There were 864 cases of gambiense HAT, which is the chronic and more prevalent form of the disease, last year compared with 953 cases in 2018 – continuing a sustained downward trend – representing a drop of slightly above 9% in one year,” said Dr José Ramón Franco-Minguell, Medical Officer, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. “It follows the pattern of the past 2 years and is consistent with data captured in previous years.

The total combined number of both forms of the disease in 2018 was 977 cases. The slight increase in cases is due to a higher number of rhodesiense HAT cases (the lesser prevalent disease form) in Malawi.3.

Continued decline

In 2000, there were 26 550 confirmed cases reported to WHO. Sustained control efforts reduced the number to below 10 000 for the first time in 50 years in 2009 – a reduction that continued to 7129 cases in 2010, 2800 in 2015 and now to its current level, which represents a 96% reduction during the past 20 years.

This achievement is largely due to the hard work and efforts of national control programmes and to an array of committed stakeholders and the support of WHO,” said Dr Gerardo Priotto, Medical Officer, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. “Added to this is the long-standing collaboration of Sanofi and Bayer HealthCare who have generously donated medicines and facilitated other initiatives,4 including training of personnel to improve control and patient-screening activities over the past 20 years.

WHO cautions that the world should not repeat the mistakes of the past and become prematurely complacent.

Elimination as a public health problem in 2020 is an intermediate step,” said Dr Franco-Minguell. “We need to do much more to reach the sustainable elimination of transmission (zero cases) for gambiense HAT in 2030 as targeted in the new WHO NTD road map.

Achieving the 2030 goals will require maintaining the commitment of disease‐endemic countries and of donors as well as integrating control activities into health systems. These efforts should be supported by the development of improved tools, adoption of innovative disease control approaches and effective coordination of work by stakeholders to ensure synergy of efforts.

1Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense HAT (r‐HAT) is a zoonotic disease transmitted by tsetse flies from wild and domestic animals. It is found in eastern and southern Africa.
2Trypanosoma brucei gambiense HAT (g‐HAT) is mainly an anthroponotic disease that accounts for more than 98% of all HAT cases. It is found mainly in western and central Africa.
3In Malawi, an important increase in the number of cases was reported in the last months of 2019 around Vwaza Marsh and Nkhotakota wildlife reserves, where the diversity of wild animals is considered to be the main potential reservoir of the disease.
4WHO provides the antitrypanosomal medicines free of charge to endemic countries through public–private partnerships with Sanofi (pentamidine, melarsoprol, eflornithine and fexinidazole) and with Bayer HealthCare (suramin and nifurtimox). The medicines are conditioned and shipped in collaboration with MSF-Logistics. 


More protection for our seas and oceans is needed, report finds

25 Jun
The Commission adopted a report on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) which reveals that, while the EU's framework for marine environmental protection is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious worldwide, persistent challenges remain, such as excess nutrients, underwater noise, plastic litter, and other types of pollution as well as unsustainable fishing.


In Pennsylvania, Senator Elizabeth Warren Joins DNC Chair Tom Perez, PA Democrats to Slam Trump for Broken Economic Promises

24 Jun

PITTSBURGH — Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined DNC Chair Tom Perez and Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair Nancy Patton Mills for a virtual press conference focused on Trump’s failed trade policy with China and his broken promises to Pennsylvania voters on the economy.

The event was part of the DNC’s new push — including a new television spot in the Pittsburgh market — highlighting Donald Trump’s broken promises on trade, and how his failure to stand up to China has cost jobs and hurt working families in the Keystone State.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate reached 16.1% — the highest level in more than 40 years — during the month of April as Trump’s failed coronavirus response has ravaged Pennsylvania’s economy. Pennsylvania’s economy was especially vulnerable to the current crisis due to Trump’s erratic trade policy and failure to stand up to China. Trump ran for president promising that he’d bring back manufacturing jobs, and yet three Pennsylvania manufacturing hubs—Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Harrisburg—are in the top hardest hit by Trump’s erratic trade policies.

DNC Chair Tom Perez: “This reckless trade war with China has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and decimated family farms. He said he’d get tough on China, but he didn’t. Trump clamored for a trade war with China and said that it would be easy to win, but he lost that trade war. His  go-at-it-alone strategy on tariffs inflicted terrible pain on Pennsylvania workers, not China. Instead of forcing China to the table to negotiate a trade deal that protected us, China smelled Trump’s desperation and played him like a fiddle. […] Not only did Donald Trump’s ‘phase one’ trade deal fail to boost purchases of U.S. exports, phase one failed to even stop the bleeding by getting exports back to where they were before his damaging trade war. And China won’t come close to purchasing the $50 billion a year in U.S. agriculture that Trump promised. American workers, farmers, and consumers have been decimated.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren: “This is a moment of crisis for our nation and for the entire world. The president’s lack of response to the pandemic has wrecked our economy and it’s led millions of worker families to be without work. Nowhere has this been clearer than in Pennsylvania. […] This economic downturn is just the tip of the iceberg for working families in Pennsylvania.”

PA Democrats Chair Nancy Patton Mills: “We now know that it didn’t have to be this bad. Had Donald Trump taken the coronavirus seriously, had he not failed for China’s propaganda, or had he put the needs of the American people ahead of his own political pursuits, thousands more Pennsylvanians would still be alive and millions would still have their jobs. […] And while we’re now witnessing a once-in-a-generation crisis, we can’t forget that families across the Commonwealth have been feeling the pain of Donald Trump’s policies since his first day in office. Much of the pain is a direct result of Trump’s failed trade war with China — an erratic, reckless policy that continues to plague Pennsylvanian businesses as we speak.

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Trump Claims To Be Tough On China — Then Why Do They Want Him To Win?

24 Jun

Don’t believe Trump’s tough talk. Trump got played by China and has repeatedly done more to help them than hurt them. It’s no wonder China wants Trump to win reelection.

People with ties to the Chinese state poured hundreds of thousands into Trump’s reelection campaign to try to influence him. 

Wall Street Journal: “Soon after Donald Trump took office, people with ties to the Chinese state poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his re-election bid to get close to and potentially influence the new president.”

Trump got played by China and failed American farmers who became collateral damage in his reckless trade war.

New York Times: “Within two years of President Trump’s taking office, one of his key political constituencies — America’s farmers — were reeling from his trade war with China. Mr. Trump had waged his fight to try to eliminate the trade deficit with China and bring manufacturing back to the United States. But American farmers — among the country’s largest exporters, and a key part of the president’s political base — soon became collateral damage in that effort.”

Trump got in the way of his own administration officials, preventing them from crafting tough on China policies.

New York Times: “As national security officials and some trade advisers in the Trump administration tried crafting get-tough-on-China policies to address what they viewed as America’s greatest foreign policy challenge, they ran into opposition from an unexpected quarter. President Trump himself was undermining their work.”

Trump has allowed China to expand its global influence and aided its efforts to dominate global industry.

Washington Post’s Monkey Cage: “Trump’s decision to pull U.S. out of WHO will boost China’s influence”

Bloomberg: “Interviews with nine current and former Chinese officials point to a shift in sentiment in favor of the sitting president, even though he has spent much of the past four years blaming Beijing for everything from U.S. trade imbalances to Covid-19. The chief reason? A belief that the benefit of the erosion of America’s postwar alliance network would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability.”

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: “Keeping out high-skilled foreign workers will hamstring U.S. innovation, aiding China’s effort to dominate artificial intelligence, semiconductors and biotech. The winners will be China’s national champions including Huawei, Baidu and Tencent.”

It’s no wonder China is rooting for Trump to win reelection. Trump has repeatedly done more to help China than he has to harm them.

Bloomberg Opinion: “Why would the government of China — a country that President Donald Trump has hit with tariffs and sanctions, blamed for the coronavirus pandemic, and labeled as the greatest threat to American security — reportedly be rooting for Trump’s re-election in 2020? Perhaps because Chinese officials realize what former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s recent tell-all book underscores: The damage Trump is doing to U.S. power and the global democratic community outweighs any harm he is doing to Beijing. Another four years of Trump will magnify that damage, so the 2020 election is taking on historic importance in determining the shape of the modern world.”

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EU budget 2021: An annual budget focused on European recovery

24 Jun
The Commission has today proposed an EU budget of €166.7 billion for 2021, to be complemented by €211 billion in grants and approximately €133 billion in loans under Next Generation EU. Together, the annual budget and Next Generation EU will mobilise significant investments in 2021 to address the immediate economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, kick-start a sustainable recovery and protect and create jobs.