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America Coronavirus

President Donald Trump And First Lady Melania Have Tested Positive For Covid-19

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania have tested positive for the coronavirus. A staggering announcement after Trump and his administration spent the past six months downplaying the severity of the pandemic that has now claimed the lives of over 200,000 Americans. Trump just recently poked fun at Joe Biden during the first presidential debate for always wearing a mask, days before announcing his diagnosis. 

Trump has adamantly and publicly shared his beliefs that the coronavirus “would disappear and die out,” despite the fact that it continues to infect millions of individuals worldwide.  Trump and Melania both took to Twitter on Monday to share the news with the world.

“Tonight,@FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

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Sean Conley, the physician to the president, recently released a memo claiming that the president and first lady are both still doing well at this time, and the White House medical team will be “maintaining a vigilant watch” on the two as the president continues to carry out his duties in office. 

Trump has since cancelled his busy schedule of in-person events that were geared to begin this Friday, which included a roundtable discussion with a group of his supporters at the Trump hotel in DC. According to guidelines from the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trump is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus due to his age, 74, and the fact that he’s medically overweight. A majority of the individuals who have died due to the virus in the US have been over the age of 50.

Should something happen to the president in the coming weeks, the Constitution’s 25th amendment states that the vice president, Mike Pence, would take over his responsibilities as “acting president.” Pence himself has been getting tested for Covid daily, and as of Friday October 2nd, he remains negative. 

Many were quick to take to social media to express their lack of sympathy for the president’s diagnosis, especially considering he’s been holding massive indoor campaign rallies despite his own administration’s policies against them. Those rallies led to spikes in case numbers in their given areas to no one’s surprise after images from the events showed little to no social distancing occurring and barely any facial coverings in the crowd. Joe Biden took to Twitter on Friday morning to wish Trump well on his recovery:

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“Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”

Trump has also been getting tested regularly since the pandemic first began impacting the US in March. It was that same month that Trump played down the threat of the virus, despite almost every other country in the world completely shutting down in response to its initial spread. In an interview published by Bob Woodward this month, it was revealed that Trump knew what he was doing in terms of downplaying the virus’ threat, claiming that he “wanted to always play it down because [he] didn’t want to create a panic.”

Daily Covid-19 briefings occurred from March to April but then ended abruptly after Trump became fixated on using chemical disinfectants and ultraviolet light as a treatment for humans. His focus also remained solely on reopening the economy, hence the multitude of businesses and events that have remained open and occurring all summer despite the massive amounts of healthcare workers urging Americans to just stay home and wear a mask. He insisted that the rising number in Covid cases in the US was due to an increase in testing, and claimed that if we stopped testing people as often as we were, the case numbers would go down. 

Trump also was adamant about making sure all schools and universities reopened for the fall semester, despite the fact that his administration shut down all schooling in March after only a couple thousand cases appeared. If anything, the president’s diagnosis should be a massive wake up call to all Americans that this pandemic is no where close to over, and with an election coming up in November, it’s essential to think about the people you want making policies on all levels of government (local, state, federal).

Colorful Music

Bob Mould Criticizes America With Comeback Album ‘Blue Hearts’

Bob Mould has been spending the past few weeks quarantined in his sealed San Francisco home as toxic smoke fills the California air, which is just one of the many thematic elements that makes up his new album, Blue Hearts.

American Flag Waving (1)

Trump Defies His Administration’s Health And Safety Procedures With Indoor Campaign Rally  

President Donald Trump spoke to thousands of his supporters in an indoor Nevada venue this Sunday, despite the Governor and his own administration’s numerous health and safety procedures put in place to avoid gatherings of this size. Trump has been hosting a series of outdoor rallies within the past few months in order to keep his campaign going in the midst of a global health crisis, however, this weekend’s most recent event showed just how seriously Trump and his administration are actually handling this pandemic. 

The event was in Henderson, Nevada, inside a facility of Xtreme Manufacturing, and as it was being planned government officials predicted it would be violating the state’s restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people. Trump has already received major backlash for his administration’s mishandling of the pandemic, and as the death toll in the US hits nearly 200,000, an indoor rally of more than 6,000 individuals shows that Trump isn’t exactly listening to his country’s thousands of healthcare providers. 

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This also isn’t the first indoor rally that Trump has hosted during the pandemic that’s led to some major controversy, and even worse, and increase in case numbers. Back in June Trump hosted a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which made headlines for its underwhelming attendance. However, two weeks after that rally the city of Tulsa saw a massive spike in coronavirus cases. The cases were able to be directly linked to the rally after multiple campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive as well. 

About 6,200 individuals attended the rally this past Sunday, and while that number may seem staggering to those of us who have been quarantine, the attendance was actually projected to be much larger; Trump blamed the “low” number of supporters on “radical protesters and intense backlash from the media,” regarding hosting a large gathering in the middle of a pandemic. 

The City of Henderson warned the Xtreme Manufacturing venue ahead of the rally that they would be violating numerous state and nationwide regulations if they chose to host the event. Spokesperson Kathleen Richards recently spoke with the media about the preliminary warnings they tried to issue to get the event cancelled. 

“The City of Henderson has issued a compliance letter and verbal warning to the event organizer that the event planned would be in direct violation of the state’s Covid-19 emergency directives.”

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Large live events must also now be pre-approved by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, however, the city never received notice that this rally was approved prior to it occuring. This could potentially lead to Xtreme Manufacturing losing their business license. When questioned about this rally before its occurrence, the Trump administration remained relatively general with all their answers. 

They claimed that every attendee would get their temperature checked and would be provided a mask that they would only be encouraged to wear. However, when one checks Xtreme Manufacturing’s website, their Covid-19 restrictions seem even stricter than the state’s: “We have restricted meetings and gatherings to no more than 10 people in large areas, and when possible, to attend meetings by telephone or video conferencing.”

No spokesperson working for the company/venue has offered any sort of explanation regarding the rally yet. However, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolat took to Twitter to blast the president for his irresponsibility regarding this event. 

“Trump’s reckless and selfish actions are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada. The rally is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves.”

Other members of Joe Biden’s administration also called out Trump for his lack of plan to fix the pandemic, and lack of acknowledgement that it’s actually as serious as it is. Other locations that previously were planning on hosting Trump rallies in the future have since cancelled due to state limitations on crowd sizes.

Stop Police Brutality Sign

Donald Trump Signs Executive Order On ‘Police-Friendly Reform’

Trump is expected to present an executive order to the White House that would create a national database of police misconduct, this way officers with a history of overly aggressive behavior can’t be transferred to another department to avoid public scrutiny.

White House

Trump Losing Major Support For His Handling Of Covid-19 and ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protests

As the United States battles two major pandemics, the coronavirus and systematic racism, the citizens of America are condemning president Trump for his complacency in both of these health crises that are killing thousands of Americans in very different ways.

Immigration

Trump Plans To Suspend Immigration Into The U.S. Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

President Donald Trump announced this past Monday that he will be signing an Executive Order that would suspend all immigration into the United States in order to prevent further economic damage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

American Flag

Trump Believes America Will Reopen Its Economy “Very Soon,” Health Officials Aren’t Convinced

This past Friday, president Donald Trump delivered a speech in which he optimistically told the public about the Unites States’ efforts to combat the coronavirus, as well as the many ways in which he plans to recover the economy once this is all over.

Impeachment 2

Trump’s Impeachment Looks at President Trump’s View on Friendship

Next week will see President Donald Trump go on trial to defend the accusation that he offered $400 million in military aid to the Ukraine if they gave him information he could use on his political enemies.

And although it is only Trump’s “deal” with the Ukraine that is on trial, it seems that a new story regarding his world view is appearing in the media, making America’s strong relationships with its allies seemingly being based on how much money he can get from them, such as larger subsidies for US troops based in locations including South Korea.

Trump had also bragged about the fact that Saudi Arabia had placed $1 billion into a US bank account in an attempt to gain a detachment of US troops – a claim that has been declared untrue.

And while it seems that Trump is only out to get as much money as he can from his new found “friends,” he is also restricting them too. He has threatened European allies with 25% auto tariffs if they did not enforce a dispute mechanism against Iran with regards to the nuclear deal. He also threatened to take action against Iraq that would “make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame” if the country evicted US troops from the country, as is their sovereign right.

This came alongside the news that Baghdad had been warned by the US that its central bank’s account in New York could be frozen, which was seen as a clear attack to destroy their economy.

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It is actions like these that make many think that if this is the way America treats its friends, they may end up lonely soon. It has also been noted that by having a foreign policy purely designed to increase the country’s wealth goes against the United States’ mission to make the world safer for democracy.

As is always the case, Trump has his supporters who cannot see anything wrong with what he is doing. Trump’s announcement that the world has been “ripping off” America has been seen by many as exaggerations, however many others agree with him saying that creating deals with other countries is the way America has always worked.

Several text messages have been released by the House Intelligence Committee and have thrown a new name into the Ukraine issue. Robert F. Hyde – Connecticut’s congressional candidate – had sent texts where he seemed infuriated with then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Texting Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, Hyde said, “she had visitors.” Before adding “Hey broski tell me what we are doing what’s the next step.”

In retaliation to the messages being released Hyde’s Twitter account for his election campaign appeared to renounce Parnas as “some dweeb we were playing with” while Adam Schiff, House Intel leader was dismissed as a “desperate turd.”

Yet despite Trump’s dubious ways of keeping his friends happy he seems keen to be rebuilding his relationship with China.

Following on from the recent trade war with China, which saw many of China’s technology giants including Huawei being banned in the country as well as TikTok being banned from all US military, it seems that the two countries have been working towards a deal that should keep both countries happy.

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Trump’s trade deal with China was reported during the week and if Trump’s assurances that President Xi was watching on TV in Beijing is to be believed, the Chinese President would have been shocked with what he heard in the 40 minute tirade Trump delivered to Chinese leaders, CEOs, cabinet members and lawmakers as well as the world’s media. Trump was keen to announce that the impeachment is a “hoax,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer “tosses and turns” and is unable to get a good night’s sleep as well as other facts that many were not expecting to hear.

He continued to thank President Xi who is “a very, very good friend of mine” before explaining that “we’re representing different countries. He’s representing China, I’m representing the US, but we’ve developed an incredible relationship.”

Following on from Trump’s fallout with Iran many countries in the Gulf and Europe fear retaliation. The President’s unpredictable behavior alongside his habit of off-the-cuff speeches has left many governments concerned that although the American President will react when American lives are at stake, he may not be so supportive if regional interests are under attack or even merely threatened.

A great example is Trump’s reluctance to react when Iran allegedly attacked vital Saudi oil facilities last year. Although America has declared that one of its policy priorities is to protect Saudi Arabia there clearly are conditions. Ilan Goldenberg from the Center for a New American Security is an expert on Middle East issues and said there are two sides to these “battles.”

“On the one hand, they are happy that Trump is willing to sanction and pressure and take Iran down a notch.” However it appears that “they are nervous that he is unsteady and goes too far… No one really knows what Donald Trump will do”

Whatever Trump does decide to do, it is unclear whether being his friend is beneficial to you or not.

Democratic Party

New York Times Endorses Both Warren and Klobuchar for Democratic Nominee

Just days before the first votes are due to be cast in Iowa, the New York Times has announced that, in an unusual move, the editorial board has decided to endorse two candidates for the Democratic nominee. The two candidates, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, are the only two women candidates remaining in the race, and while their policy platforms differ in a number of ways, the editorial board has come to the conclusion that both candidates are equally qualified to beat Donald Trump in November and serve in the office of the presidency for the next four to eight years.

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The editorial board arrived at their conclusion by holding interviews with each of the major candidates vying to become the Democratic nominee, and found that although the public perceives the contest as being split between progressives and moderates, in reality the different candidates’ views on fundamental issues are strikingly similar. All of the top candidates, for instance, want to expand access to health care far beyond what the government has provided in the past, and each candidate has a vision for the federal government that differs sharply from the way it is run today. Indeed, as the Republican party increasingly slides towards authoritarianism in deference to Trump, the Democratic party as a whole has moved to the left, as positions that were once considered radical like Medicare-for-All have become mainstream.

While the editorial board acknowledges that the issue at the forefront of most voters’ minds is the question of who is able to beat Mr. Trump, it also believes that no one really has the ability to foretell which candidate is most able to do so. Instead, the editorial board focused on which candidates would be most effective at repairing the Republic and embracing new ideas, and the most competent candidates in these two regards were considered to be Klobuchar and Warren. Though both Sanders and Warren represent the progressive wing of the party, the editorial board considers Sanders’ age and health to be a major concern, and considers his approach to his policies to be too ideologically rigid. While the editorial board recognizes Sanders’ contribution of progressive ideas to the party, it feels that Warren has a better understanding of the fundamental issues that plague the country and how best to approach them.

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The second endorsement, Amy Klobuchar, was picked for her experience and effectiveness as a politician. According to the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Klobuchar is the most productive senator in the Democratic field when it comes to bills passed with bipartisan support, and while she is billed as a moderate by most voters, the editorial board feels that Amy Klobuchar might have the best chance of enacting a progressive policy agenda as president. Despite being labelled a moderate by the media, Klobuchar embraces a number of progressive policies, including transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. While the editorial board was concerned about reports of how Klobuchar treats her staff, it nonetheless considers Klobuchar to be the most competent and effective “moderate” candidate in the field.

2020 Presidental Election

Tonight’s Democratic Debate Last Before Voting Begins in Ohio

In what may very well make for one of the most contentious nights of the primary process thus far, six of the country’s top Democrats will share a stage in Des Moines tonight, each debating to convince the American voter that they are the most qualified candidate to beat Donald Trump in November. The debate comes amid multiple, highly consequential stories surrounding the Trump administration; not only is Nancy Pelosi planning to hold a vote to send impeachment managers and the articles of impeachment to the Senate tomorrow, but the president recently made perhaps the most significant foreign policy decision of his presidency by ordering the death of the Iranian general Qasem Suleimani, taking Iran and the United States to the brink of war. 

And as if that weren’t enough, the debate follows accusations that Sanders told Warren in a 2018 meeting that a woman can’t win the presidency, a claim that Sanders vehemently denies as he accused Warren’s staff of lying and contradicted Warren’s retelling of events. Questions about the details of this meeting and the stark divide between the two candidates’ claims on the subject will likely emerge tonight among questions on a bevy of other topics.

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As the primary process has continued, the field of Democrats who qualify for the debate stage has narrowed to just six, including two women and no one of color. Andrew Yang, the only non-white candidate who qualified for the last debate, did not meet the requirements for this one, resulting in a field totally lacking in racial diversity, much to the chagrin of progressive members of the party. Questions concerning racial justice are likely to arise tonight, and while Democrats onstage will surely lament the lack of candidates of color among them, their comments about race are likely to be considered with scrutiny among non-white voters, many of whom are disappointed about the lack of diversity remaining among the front-runners.

Given the questions about the potential for conflict in the Middle East and the country’s desire to avoid war with Iran, Sanders and Biden are likely to butt heads over their differing votes in 2002 about the invasion of Iraq; Biden voted for the attack while Sanders, famously, voted against it. The decision to invade Iraq was based on the false claim that there existed weapons of mass destruction in the region; none were found, and the Iraq war is now largely considered to have been a mistake. Biden has previously defended his decision to vote in favor of the Iraq War, arguing that it was the best decision to make given the information that was available at the time. Sanders has accused the former vice president of having poor judgment in his decision on Iraq before and will likely do so again, and Biden will likely attempt to justify his choice rather than admit a mistake and apologize for it, in keeping with his prior comments on the matter.

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At this relatively-early point in the primary, Biden remains the clear leader, with Sanders gaining momentum thanks to strong poll numbers in Ohio and a massive fundraising haul of $34.5 million last quarter. While Biden consistently polls better than any other candidate, Sanders has perhaps the most loyal and energized coalition of voters, many of whom contributed small-dollar donations to the campaign, allowing for more ad buys, staff, and local organization. Biden’s performances in recent debates have been given mixed reviews, and although he’s consistently been placed center-stage as the unambiguous front-runner, he has failed to make himself the center of attention in past debates, with that honor going to contenders like Senator Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. 

Given the presence of billionaire Tom Steyer on the debate stage, who has gained popularity by investing his massive personal fortune into his presidential campaign, the question of campaign finance reform is likely to be introduced. The two progressive candidates have made a point of demonstrating that they are not beholden to wealthy donors by refusing to accept their contributions. Sanders has spoken consistently of the importance of not taking money from large corporations, instead relying on small individual contributions, a strategy that has proven financially successful for him, and Warren has called out Buttigieg for meeting with wealthy donors in “wine caves,” a comment that led the former South Bend mayor to accuse her of hypocrisy. Given the fact that former candidate Senator Harris has cited a lack of funds in her decision to drop out of the race, Steyer is likely to be looked at with extra scrutiny tonight as he may be called on to justify the financial aspect of his campaign.