Trump kicks off risky campaign tour to an underwhelming crowd as cases spike in dozens of states

This piece was originally published in the June 22, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

“SO I SAID TO MY PEOPLE, SLOW THE TESTING DOWN PLEASE.”

Trump, seemingly admitting that he ordered his staff to slow down coronavirus testing

Photo by Arseny Togulev on Unsplash

The U.S. coronavirus death toll passed 120,000 today, and new cases are on the rise in at least 23 states. Arizona, where Trump is planning to visit tomorrow, just reported a 29% spike in hospitalizations compared to the previous week. Nearly 85% of the state’s ICU beds are in use.

How is Trump responding to these red flags? Speaking this weekend to an underwhelming crowd, which filled just about a third of the Tulsa venue, he touted his desire to slow down coronavirus testing because, in his own words, “when you do testing to that extent…you’re going to find more cases.”

Watch this 81-year-old grandmother condemn Trump’s failed coronavirus response, then share on Twitter and Facebook:

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Ahead of Trump’s visit to Phoenix tomorrow, the city’s mayor announced that his event will be excluded from the citywide mask-wearing policy. Our leaders should be setting an example for Americans by following expert guidance to wear face coverings in public — not requiring local officials to make exceptions for their reckless behavior.

IN THE NEWS

  • Following Trump’s admission that he may have intentionally held back on testing, Senate Democrats accused Trump of failing to distribute nearly $14 billion in coronavirus testing and tracing funds. “While it has been months since these funds were first appropriated,” wrote Senators Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray in a statement, “the Administration has failed to disburse significant amounts of this funding, leaving communities without the resources they need to address the significant challenges presented by the virus.”
  • Attorney General Bill Barr is under scrutiny once again, this time for ousting the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who had investigated some of Trump’s top allies and associates. Multiple members of Congress issued renewed calls for Barr to resign or be impeached. “Whether this is payback for Berman’s past independence, or a new effort to obstruct pending investigations, we do not know,” said House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff. “But Congress must find out.”
  • Under pressure from the public and Congress, the Treasury Department announced on Friday that it would finally release some data on the businesses that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The long-awaited disclosure will include information about loans of $150,000 or more, which amounts to about 75% of PPP recipients, according to the administration.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • As the federal government under Trump’s leadership dangerously continues to shift back to normal, post-coronavirus operating status, an upcoming deadline is looming: The federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire on July 24. Experts estimate nearly 26 million Americans will have trouble making their rent payments by September, and a recent snapshot of census data showed that 44% of Black tenants have little or no confidence that they’ll be able to make their next payment. Housing advocates and members of Congress are sounding the alarm on this impending crisis-within-a-crisis, but Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has provided little insight as to his plan for the millions of renters who could potentially face eviction when the moratorium expires.
  • A noose was found in the Talladega, Alabama, garage of Bubba Wallace — NASCAR’s only Black driver — on Sunday. Wallace has been the leading voice behind NASCAR’s recent decision to ban confederate flags and symbols at games. Wallace said in a statement that the racist and hateful act “serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.” NASCAR and the Justice Department are both investigating the situation.
  • According to a new survey of labor unions, the United States has the worst record on workers’ rights among major developed countries. According to the rating system, the score of 4 received by the U.S. indicates the presence of “systematic violation of rights” and is only one step above the worst possible rating: “5 (No guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law).”

WHAT WE’RE READING (AND LISTENING TO)

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This piece was originally published in the June 22, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

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