DNC on Trump Calling for College Football to Return

10 Aug

In response to Trump pushing for college football to be played in the fall, DNC War Room spokesperson Daniel Wessel released the following statement:

“Americans can blame Donald Trump when they don’t have college football this year. The Big Ten is expected to cancel its season, and others are looking to do the same, after Trump’s failed response allowed the coronavirus to get out of control. Instead of coming up with a plan to contain the virus and ensure sports can return safely, Trump is willing to put more lives at risk by recklessly tweeting for college football to proceed as scheduled.

“More than 160,000 Americans have died, over 5 million have been infected, and the economy is in a deep recession because Trump refuses to listen to experts, continues to downplay the virus, and still has no plan to steer us out of this crisis. The American people know that Trump is at fault when their lives can’t return back to normal.”

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Perez, Dean: Trump Lied When He Promised Not to Cut Social Security and Medicare

10 Aug

On a DNC War Room press call today, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and former Governor Howard Dean discussed Trump’s latest threat to Social Security and Medicare funding. Trump has repeatedly promised not to cut Social Security or Medicare, but by signing his payroll tax suspension executive action, he is cutting off the main source of funding to these programs — breaking his promise to millions of seniors across the country.

The press call follows the release of a new video by the DNC War Room blasting Trump for lying about protecting Social Security and Medicare.

DNC Chair Tom Perez:

“Since the beginning of this administration, Donald Trump has broken promise after promise, from jobs to health care to immigration. One of his biggest broken promises was his assurance that he would defend Social Security and Medicare. We know now that that was another lie. Social Security and Medicare are the bedrock of the middle class. … As a former trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds when I was the Secretary of Labor, I can speak with authority about the importance of the payroll tax deduction in funding the Medicare and Social Security trust fund. They are indispensable.

“Now, Trump is making this situation even worse by going after their retirement security, which he said earlier this year would be a priority in a second term. While he breaks yet another promise to American voters, Democrats are fighting to protect and expand Social Security, to make sure we protect Medicare, so that people can retire with dignity. We’re proud to be the party that created Social Security and championed Medicare and Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and we will continue to champion the economic dignity and retirement security every American deserves by electing Joe Biden, and his historic running mate.”

Former Governor Howard Dean:

“I want to know what John Cornyn thinks about this. I want to know what Cory Gardner thinks about this. I’d like to know what Susan Collins has to say about this. And I’d like to know what Thom Tillis has to say about this. I’d be very interested to see what the Kansas Republicans have to say about this and what Joni Ernst has to say about this, because they are guilty. Not one of them has had the nerve to stand up to Donald Trump’s chicanery and flim-flam nonsense the entire time Donald Trump has been president.

“So this is not just about Donald Trump. This is about trust in the American people, for the people to put the people into power who conceived of these programs and get the people out of power who will not stop trying to attack them. It’s just another cynical attack out of 50 years of cynical attacks on Social Security and Medicare. We’re not putting up with it, and I’m betting American seniors don’t put up with it.”

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NEW DNC VIDEO: Trump Said He’d Protect Medicare & Social Security. He Lied.

10 Aug

Trump has only made the coronavirus crisis worse by ignoring medical experts, downplaying the threat of the virus, and jeopardizing the health of vulnerable Americans, including seniors. And now, by signing an executive order that threatens the main source of funding to Social Security and Medicare, Trump is making clear he lied when he promised to protect these programs.

The American people want Trump to come up with a plan to combat the coronavirus — not threaten the programs they rely on.


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More Than 97,000 Children Test Positive for Coronavirus As Trump Continues to Downplay the Pandemic

10 Aug

Trump continues to downplay the threat of coronavirus to children as he forces schools to reopen without the necessary guidelines and resources to keep them safe. New reports make it clear that students, teachers, and their families are at risk and experts urge him to implement comprehensive safety measures.

Trump has wrongly claimed that children are “almost immune” to coronavirus, despite more than 97,000 children testing positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July.

CNN: “More than 97,000 children in the US tested positive for coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report says. The report, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, said in those two weeks, there was a 40% increase in child cases across the states and cities that were studied.”

And new research continues to debunk Trump’s claims by finding that children are at risk for contracting and carrying coronavirus. 

Wall Street Journal: “Several studies and reports published in recent weeks found coronavirus infections among children of all ages at places ranging from schools to camps to homes. Other research suggested that kids, especially older ones, can be a driving force behind transmission. And some researchers found children carry high levels of Covid-19’s genetic material in their upper respiratory tract,which doesn’t mean they are transmitting the virus but that they potentially could.”

NPR: “While most children who catch the coronavirus have either no symptoms or mild ones, they are still at risk of developing “severe” symptoms requiring admission to an intensive care unit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report released Friday. Hispanic and Black children in particular were much more likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19, with Hispanic children about eight times as likely as white children to be hospitalized, while Black children were five times as likely.”

Bloomberg: “The study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed pediatric hospitalization data for 576 cases in 14 states. It found that about eight children are hospitalized for every 100,000 infected, compared with more than 164 adults per 100,000. But between March and July, the hospitalization rates of children increased steadily, with Black and Latino children hospitalized at a higher rate. Among 208 hospitalized children with complete medical chart reviews, a third were admitted to an intensive care unit. One died and 12 needed invasive ventilation.”

New coronavirus cases are reported after schools in Georgia have been forced to close or quarantine when students and teachers tested positive after the schools reopened without a comprehensive plan in place to ensure the safety of children, and teachers, and their families. 

CNN: “Georgia school seen in photo of a crowded hallway will briefly move to online learning after reporting 9 cases of Covid-19”

CNN: “At least 260 students and eight teachers from a suburban school district in Atlanta, Georgia, were quarantined after multiple students and teachers tested positive for Covid-19 during the first week of school. In statements posted on its website, the Cherokee County School District reported positive cases in at least 11 students and two staff members. Students and staff who had possible exposure with a positive case have been told to quarantine for two weeks. The students were from the county’s elementary, middle and high schools.”

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Trump Executive Actions Won’t Actually Do Anything To Help Struggling Americans

10 Aug

Trump tried to take a victory lap after giving up on negotiations and signing legally dubious executive actions, but they will do little to boost the economy or provide any actual relief to workers and small businesses already struggling because of his failed coronavirus response.

TRUMP’S ACTIONS DON’T HELP SMALL BUSINESSES: Trump’s executive actions provide no direct aid to struggling businesses.

New York Times: “But the patchwork of moves was less significant than what the president described in his news conference, and the plan appeared unlikely to have immediate, meaningful impact on the sputtering economy, in part because it provided no direct aid to struggling businesses.”

TRUMP’S ACTIONS COULD HURT SENIORS: Trump’s executive action could jeopardize Social Security and Medicare.

CNN: “President Donald Trump’s executive action deferring, and possibly forgiving, payroll taxes could leave Social Security and Medicare on even shakier ground… Trump signed an executive action Saturday deferring the employee portion of payroll taxes — 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare — for workers making less than $100,000 a year through the rest of 2020.”

TRUMP’S ACTIONS WON’T HELP WORKERS: Trump cut federal unemployment benefits in half, which workers won’t see any time soon, and even Trump’s own aides admit his actions would do little to help many struggling Americans.

New York Times: “But they are likely to do little to deliver cash any time soon to Americans hit hard by the recession.”

New York Times: “And as Mr. Trump’s own aides concede, the orders will not provide any aid to small businesses, state and local governments or low- and middle-income workers.”

USA Today: “It lowers the weekly bonus to $400 from the extra $600 that expired in late July, with states being asked to cover 25% of the costs. That means the federal government will provide $300 a week. And it could take months for states to implement.”

TRUMP’S ACTIONS DON’T STOP EVICTIONS: Trump’s executive action only directs agencies to “consider” stopping evictions and wouldn’t apply to the vast majority of renters—many of whom are at risk.

Politico: “Trump’s eviction ban would leave most tenants in peril”

Washington Post: “The plan related to housing only makes suggestions to federal agencies but does not halt evictions nationally.”

Bloomberg: “One-Third of American Renters Expected to Miss Their August Payment.”

TRUMP’S ACTIONS WON’T BOOST THE ECONOMY: Trump’s executive actions will have no meaningful impact on the economy or provide the second round of stimulus checks he promised.

New York Times: “A series of executive actions will provoke lawsuits but is unlikely to stoke faster growth in an economy that has cooled this summer.”

New York Daily News: “Trump signs executive order on coronavirus relief without $1,200 checks after rambling attack on Democrats.”

TRUMP’S ACTIONS PROVIDE NO AID TO STATES: Trump didn’t provide any aid to state and local governments, which could result in more layoffs and states choosing not to provide enhanced unemployment.

New York Times: “The orders will not provide aid to states and local governments, whose tax revenues have plunged as a direct result of the contraction in economic activity brought on by the virus. Without more money from the federal government, states and local governments will almost certainly have to cut their budgets and lay off workers, increasing the ranks of the unemployed.”

Washington Post: “But states would have to contribute $100 a week to each worker’s check, with the federal government putting up the rest. Beyond the legal questions surrounding the maneuver, many states are facing severe budget deficits as they fight the coronavirus, and several economists and lawmakers said governors may be unlikely to sign onto the program.”

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DNC Statement on Trump Campaign’s Jackson Fundraiser

10 Aug

Ahead of the Trump campaign’s fundraiser in Jackson, Wyoming today, Democratic National Committee spokesperson John Weber released the following statement:

“Wyomingites don’t need the Trumps parachuting in for a high-d0llar fundraiser. They need tests, personal protective equipment, and a president with the capacity to lead. But nearly seven months after Donald Trump promised that the virus was ‘totally under control,’ the pandemic is still getting worse every day. Working families can’t afford four more years of this incompetence.”


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 Threatens Social Security After Already Struggling With Seniors

10 Aug

After already losing ground with seniors because of his failed coronavirus response, Trump took it a step further this weekend by signing an executive action that threatens Social Security, which he said he’ll make permanent if he’s reelected.

Trump’s executive action could jeopardize Social Security, and if he is reelected Trump said that he would permanently cut the taxes that fund it.

CNN: “Coronavirus has already dealt a blow to Social Security’s finances. Trump’s payroll tax holiday could make it worse”

CNN: “If he’s reelected, Trump said, he plans to forgive the taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll taxes.”

Trump has already lost ground with seniors as a result of his failed coronavirus response — now he’s making it worse.

Washington Post: “Trump’s frantic new effort to win back seniors is already failing”

NBC News: “Trump has lost his senior advantage. And that could cost him in November.”

Trump previously suggested cutting Social Security and Medicare would be on his agenda if he wins reelection.

JOE KERNEN: “Entitlements ever be on your plate?”

TRUMP: “At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I– it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things.”

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Russian Decree Targeting RFE/RL and Voice of America in Russia

10 Aug

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The United States is deeply concerned by the recent draft decree published by Russian authorities targeting U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM)-funded entities in Russia. For more than 70 years, Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) have been vital sources of independent news and information for the people of Russia. This decree will impose new burdensome requirements that will further inhibit RFE/RL’s and VOA’s ability to operate within Russia, compounding the significant and undue restrictions these outlets already face. We remain troubled by the ongoing crackdown on independent press in Russia and call on Russia to uphold its international obligations and OSCE commitments to freedom of expression. We urge the Russian government to reconsider these actions, which will further damage the bilateral relationship.



Member States adopt the Global Strategy for TB Research and Innovation at 73rd World Health Assembly

10 Aug

Member States have adopted the global strategy for TB research and innovation through an unprecedented silent-written procedure of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) last week. The global strategy was developed to support efforts by governments and other partners to accelerate TB research and innovation, and to improve equitable access to the benefits of research in line with the commitments made in the WHO End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration to End TB and the political declaration of the United Nations high-level meeting on TB. The development of the strategy was requested by Member States during the 71st WHA with a view “to make further progress in enhancing cooperation and coordination in respect of tuberculosis research and development”.

Four major areas for action are highlighted in the strategy: creating an enabling environment for TB research and innovation; increasing financial investments in TB research and innovation; promoting and improving approaches to data sharing; and promoting equitable access to the benefits of research and innovation. In the spirit of fast-tracking efforts to end TB, a prerequisite for success is that all stakeholders make concerted efforts and collaborate. Hence, the strategy also makes the case for a unified and aligned response in which key national and international partners and affected communities support Member States by undertaking the investments and partnerships that are necessary for accelerating innovation. The primary audiences for the document are Member States, particularly ministries of health, science and technology, finance and education.

“Research and innovation are vital if we are to break the stronghold of TB - the world’s top infectious killer -that continues to claim millions of lives each year. This global strategy will guide Member States and other relevant stakeholders in translating political commitments on TB research and innovation into concrete action backed by investment, as an integral part of efforts to end TB” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme “We welcome this renewed commitment by Member States at a time where the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many gaps in TB service provision that need to be addressed through innovation”.

Under the leadership of WHO, the strategy was developed during the past two years through a consultative process with Member States including managers of national tuberculosis programmes (NTPs) and other officials from within and beyond ministries of health such as ministries of science and technology; the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Tuberculosis (STAG-TB); the WHO Global TB Research Task Force; representatives of civil society and affected communities; research funding institutions; and other stakeholders in TB research and innovation. The strategy has also benefited from an open web consultation, where extensive comments were received on a zero draft of the strategy.

The Assembly also passed a resolution requesting WHO to provide a report on the implementation of the strategy to WHA, biennially until 2030.  The resolution also called for the support of the scientific community, international partners and other relevant stakeholders to undertake research and innovation aligned to the needs of the countries most affected by TB; to strengthen public-private partnerships; and to facilitate knowledge sharing. Furthermore, it requested WHO to provide technical and strategic assistance to Member States in the implementation of the strategy.

“This resolution reflects Member States’ recognition of research and innovation as a key priority for ending TB, and their commitment to take concerted action to address unmet needs. It will help pave the way for the successful implementation of the strategy,” said Dr Matteo Zignol, a.i. Unit Head, Prevention, Care and Innovations at WHO’s Global TB Programme.