Trump’s Coronavirus Approval Hits Record Low As New Cases Hit Record High

25 Jun

Approval of Trump’s coronavirus response has hit a record low as new coronavirus cases hit a single-day record high. After saying he wants to do less testing and recklessly holding a rally in the middle of a pandemic, it’s clear why.

New coronavirus cases hit a single-day record high yesterday.

Washington Post: “Across the United States, 38,115 new infections were reported by state health departments on Wednesday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 34,203 set on April 25. Texas, Florida and California led the way, with all three states reporting more than 5,000 new cases apiece.”

Approval of Trump’s coronavirus response fell to the lowest level on record.

Reuters: “American approval of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped to the lowest level on record, the latest Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows, as new COVID-19 cases surged and Trump was widely criticized for suggesting he wanted to slow down testing.”

ABC News: “Approval of Trump’s coronavirus response underwater, as he returns to campaign trail: POLL”

After saying he ordered a slowdown in testing, Trump is ending federal funding for numerous testing sites by the end of this month.

CNBC: “The Trump administration will end federal funding for 13 community-based coronavirus testing sites by the end of June as part of a previously announced plan to extend financial support for Covid-19 testing across the nation by other means.”

After Trump ignored health experts to hold an indoor campaign rally, at least eight members of his advance team contracted Covid-19 and dozens of Secret Service agents have been forced to quarantine.

CNBC: “Two members of a campaign advance team who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Oklahoma on Saturday have tested positive for the coronavirus, the campaign said Monday. The new test results bring the tally of advance team members for the Tulsa event who have tested positive for Covid-19 up to eight.”

Washington Post: “Dozens of Secret Service officers and agents who were on site for President Trump’s rally in Tulsa last week were ordered to self-quarantine after two of their colleagues tested positive for the novel coronavirus, part of the fallout from Trump’s insistence on holding the mass gathering over the objections of public health officials.”

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25 Jun

Today the Democratic National Committee is releasing a Michigan-specific version of its new advertisement highlighting Donald Trump’s failed record on trade. The ad, entitled “Played,” highlights the devastating impact of Trump’s reckless trade policies on Michigan workers and farmers.

“Trump 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. And Trump’s go-it-alone tariffs inflicted pain on Michigan 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 cheap guitar,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “Working families in Michigan — and across the country — can’t afford four more years of Trump losing to China.”

The spot is part of the DNC’s new push highlighting Trump’s record on trade and China nationally and in key battleground states — including a virtual event this week in Michigan with Mayor Pete Buttigeg, DNC Chair Tom Perez and MDP Chair Lavora Barnes. The DNC also held events this week in Pennsylvania with Senator Elizabeth Warren and with Wisconsin farmers.

Earlier this month, the DNC also released polling from six battleground states, including Michigan, detailing how voters in these states disagree with Trump’s handling of China during his administration .

The ad will reach voters in Michigan and generate hundreds of thousands of impressions as part of the DNC’s six-figure campaign over the course of five weeks to hold Trump accountable.



Announcer: Trump said he’d get tough on China. He didn’t get tough — he got played.

Announcer: Trump lost a trade war that he started.

Announcer: Farmers, bankrupted. Steel workers, betrayed. And manufacturing, in a recession.

Announcer: Donald Trump lost.

Announcer: And Michigan can’t afford for more years of losing.

Joe Biden: I’m Joe Biden and I approve this message.

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MEMO: Trump Moves Forward With Health Care Repeal Case That Would Take Health Care Away From Millions During A Pandemic

25 Jun


TO: Interested Parties

FROM: DNC War Room

DATE: Thursday, June 25, 2o20

RE: Trump Moves Forward With Health Care Repeal Case That Would Take Health Care Away From Millions During A Pandemic

Today, Trump’s Department of Justice and Republican attorneys general will submit briefs in California v. Texas to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. During the worst health crisis of our time, Trump and Republicans are fighting to strip protections from as many as 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions and take health care away from 20 million Americans.

Americans are relying on our health care system now more than ever before, and the ACA is one of our most critical tools to protect Americans from the consequences of the coronavirus. Now, as more than 20 million Americans are unemployed, Trump and Republicans are moving full steam ahead with their lawsuit.

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 get the health care they need and helped keep them from being bankrupted just because they get sick. But even as Trump quietly relies on key provisions in the ACA to fight the spread of the virus, he and Republicans will stop at nothing to take the entire law away.  

In the midst of a global pandemic, the ACA is one of our most critical tools.

  • Comprehensive Coverage: The ACA established what are known as “essential health benefits,” mandating coverage of services like prescription drugs and hospitalization. Coronavirus testing and treatment are essential health benefits and must be covered by all ACA-compliant plans. 
  • Access To Critical Vaccinations Without Cost Sharing: Once a coronavirus vaccine is developed, the Affordable Care Act will almost certainly cover the coronavirus vaccine without cost-sharing, because it requires plans to cover all vaccinations recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). 
  • Protections For As Many As 133 Million Americans With Preexisting Conditions: Under the ACA, insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against those with preexisting conditions by denying them coverage or charging higher rates.
  • Coverage for 20+ Million People: Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. People with insurance are much more likely to see a doctor when they are sick and to get the treatment they need. 
  • Increased CDC Funding: The Affordable Care Act established the CDC Prevention and Public Health Fund, which helps states prepare for disease outbreaks. 
  • Medicaid Expansion: Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid to vulnerable populations. More than 17 million Americans now have coverage through Medicaid expansion. Importantly, Medicaid’s funding structure allows funds to increase in response to a public health emergency like coronavirus.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals: The ACA significantly reduced uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $12 billion, or roughly 30 percent. As hospitals face an influx in coronavirus patients, it is critical that they are paid for the treatment they provide.

Even as he tries to destroy the law, Trump has been forced to rely on key provisions of the ACA to fight the spread of coronavirus.

  • Essential Health Benefits: The Trump administration urged health insurers to make testing free by considering it an “essential health benefit,” despite simultaneously arguing in court to overturn this protection of the ACA.
  • Medicaid Expansion: Trump championed cuts that would kick millions of people from its rolls, the Trump administration is now playing catch-up and has approved state waivers making it easier for poor Americans to get care through Medicaid. But the administration’s coronavirus response is weakening Medicaid by skimping on aid for Medicaid providers to the benefit of large medical systems.
  • Nursing Home Inspections: The Trump administration announced new initiatives to protect nursing homes but has continued pushing forward with rolling back regulations aimed at preventing infections from spreading in nursing homes.

Trump will keep lying to Americans about protecting their health care — but he has already broken his biggest health care promises.

  • Fewer Americans Covered: Trump promised that whoever “wanted health care” would have it under his administration, but the Trump-backed lawsuit could cause more than 20 million Americans to lose their insurance.
  • Rising Health Care Costs: Trump promised he would put a stop to rising health care costs and even reduce them — but his lawsuit would raise out-of-pocket costs for premiums and prescription drugs.
  • No Preexisting Condition Protections: Trump promised to support preexisting condition protections and said that costs for people with preexisting conditions would be “much lower” under his leadership — but his lawsuit would end these vital protections.
  • Gutting Medicaid Access: Trump promised to protect Medicaid — but his lawsuit would end access to Medicaid for millions of Americans enrolled through the ACA’s expansion program.

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10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared over; vigilance against flare-ups and support for survivors must continue

25 Jun

Today marks the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This long, complex and difficult outbreak has been overcome due to the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), a multitude of partners, donors, and above all, the efforts of the communities affected by the virus. 

WHO congratulates all those involved in the arduous and often dangerous work required to end the outbreak, but stresses the need for vigilance. Continuing to support survivors and maintaining strong surveillance and response systems in order to contain potential flare-ups is critical in the months to come.

"The outbreak took so much from all of us, especially from the people of DRC, but we came out of it with valuable lessons, and valuable tools. The world is now better-equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed, and effective treatments identified,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We should celebrate this moment, but we must resist complacency. Viruses do not take breaks. Ultimately, the best defence against any outbreak is investing in a stronger health system as the foundation for universal health coverage.”

The outbreak, declared in North Kivu on 1 August 2018, was the second largest in the world, and was particularly challenging as it took place an active conflict zone. There were 3470 cases, 2287 deaths and 1171 survivors. 

Led by the DRC Government and the Ministry of Health and supported by WHO and partners, the more than 22-month-long response involved training thousands of health workers, registering 250 000 contacts, testing 220 000 samples, providing patients with equitable access to advanced therapeutics, vaccinating over 303 000 people with the highly effective rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine, and offering care for all survivors after their recovery.

The response was bolstered by the engagement and leadership of the affected communities. Thanks to their efforts, this outbreak did not spread globally. More than 16 000 local frontline responders worked alongside the more than 1500 people deployed by WHO. Support from donors was essential, as was the work of UN partner agencies, national and international NGOs, research networks, and partners deployed through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. Hard work to build up preparedness capacities in neighbouring countries also limited the risk of the outbreak expanding.

Work will continue to build on the gains made in this response to address other health challenges, including measles and COVID-19.

“During the almost two years we fought the Ebola virus, WHO and partners helped strengthen the capacity of local health authorities to manage outbreaks,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“The DRC is now better, smarter and faster at responding to Ebola and this is an enduring legacy which is supporting the response to COVID-19 and other outbreaks.” 

As countries around the world face the COVID-19 pandemic, the DRC Ebola response provides valuable lessons. Many of the public health measures that have been successful in stopping Ebola are the same measures that are now essential for stopping COVID-19: finding, isolating, testing, and caring for every case and relentless contact tracing. 

In DRC, community workers were provided with training and a smartphone data collection app that enabled them to track contacts and report in real time rather than fill in laborious paper reports. Even when violence locked down cities, the community workers, many of them local women, continued to track and trace contacts using the application, something that was crucial for ending this outbreak.

While this 10th outbreak in DRC has ended, the fight against Ebola continues. On 1 June 2020, seven cases of Ebola were reported in Mbandaka city and neighbouring Bikoro Health Zone in Equateur Province and an 11th outbreak was declared. WHO is supporting the government-led response with more than 50 staff already deployed and more than 5000 vaccinations already administered.

WHO salutes the thousands of heroic responders who fought one of the world’s most dangerous viruses in one of the world’s most unstable regions. Some health workers, including WHO experts, paid the ultimate price and sacrificed their lives to the Ebola response. 

WHO thanks the many partners who supported the Government-led response

Note to Editors

WHO thanks the donors who provided funding to WHO for the Ebola response under the Strategic Response Plans: 

African Development Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, China, Denmark, ECHO, European Commission/DEVCO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Paul Allen Foundation, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Susan T Buffett Foundation, UK DFID, UN CERF, USAID/OFDA, US CDC, Wellcome Trust, World Bank, World Bank Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility. 

Several donors also provided funding to the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies in recognition of the critical role the fund has played in responding to the Ebola outbreak.


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.