This piece was originally published in the September 23, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“I believe you’re alone in that.”
— Dr. Anthony Fauci, responding to Sen. Rand Paul after he invoked bogus science on coronavirus immunity at a Senate hearing today
More than 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus.
That’s more than the entire population of Green Bay, WI. And Charleston, SC. And Tallahassee, FL. And Tempe, AZ. And many more.
Imagine all of those people — gone.
IN THE NEWS
- Just one of the three officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor was indicted on charges of “wanton endangerment” today. Taylor was killed in March when officers executed a no-knock warrant on the wrong apartment, ultimately bursting in and fatally shooting her while she was sleeping. The charges announced today aren’t even directly related to Taylor’s killing — rather, they’re about the stray shots officers fired into a neighboring apartment. This inadequate announcement follows a months-long national outcry to hold these officers accountable for this tragic and unjust killing.
- It’s difficult to imagine how much pain Breonna Taylor’s loved ones must be feeling in this moment. As Atlantic writer Clint Smith III said following the announcement this afternoon, “This is the grief that so many Black Americans experience in moments like these. The mourning of a person that we’ve lost — and all that makes that person fully human — and the mourning over a system that allows these deaths to keep happening.” Bernice A. King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said that she is praying for Taylor’s family today — “because they knew and loved her before her name became a hashtag.”
- Trump is set to announce his nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy on Saturday evening. Mitch McConnell has managed to get near-unanimous support from his Republican caucus for rushing Trump’s nomination and confirmation process, oddly without even knowing who the nominee is, thanks in no small part to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham. You can check where your senator stands here.
- From what we’ve heard thus far, Trump’s nominee is likely to be one of two women — Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa. Both are currently judges on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits, respectively. Among their other qualifications that might appeal to Trump’s agenda are their disdain for Roe v. Wade and their indication that they’d be open to ruling against the Affordable Care Act (read more about Coney Barrett and Lagoa). Trump’s shortlist couldn’t be any clearer: This is a battle for the health care of millions of Americans, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions and access to safe and affordable reproductive care.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Trump will stop in Jacksonville, Florida tomorrow for another not-so-socially-distanced rally, marking his sixth event of this kind in the last week. Despite the U.S. passing 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump recently claimed that coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” and “only” elderly people with preexisting conditions, despite having said on tape months ago that “it’s not just old people.” His disregard for the virus puts more than 4.9 million Floridians over the age of 65, and the greater community, at risk. We learned today that at least one person who attended Trump’s September 10 rally in Michigan has since tested positive for COVID-19.
- The Justice Department is planning another federal execution this week under Bill Barr’s cruel leadership. The execution of Christopher Vialva, who is incarcerated for a crime he committed as a teenager, will be the first execution of a Black man since Barr took over. Barr directed the Department of Justice to resume executions earlier this year after a nearly twenty-year hiatus.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- America’s Health Care Is Under Existential Threat by Andy Slavitt and Nicholas Bagley (New York Times)
- Conviction, Imprisonment, and Lost Earnings: How Involvement with the Criminal Justice System Deepens Inequality by Terry-Ann Craigie, Ames Grawert, Ames Grawert, Cameron Kimble, and Joseph E. Stiglitz (Brennan Center)
- How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Faith Communities by Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, Maggie Siddiqi, and Samantha Behar (CAP)
- How the Department of Education Prioritized Private School Vouchers Over Responding to COVID-19 by Neil Campbell (CAP)