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‘More lies,’ says Sanders as Trump vows to ‘save’ Social Security just one day after threatening cuts

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“As a candidate, Trump said he’d protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Now he has an obligation to tell the American people: ‘I was lying. It was all just a campaign ruse.'”

Just over 24 hours after threatening to cut Social Security at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering of global elites in Davos, President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to “save” the New Deal-era program from supposed Democratic efforts to “destroy” it—prompting Sen. Bernie Sanders to accuse the president of peddling “more lies.”

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“Democrats are going to destroy your Social Security,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!”

Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate and long-time advocate of Social Security expansion, responded by pointing in a tweet to Trump’s 2020 budget proposal, which called for $25 billion in cuts to Social Security and trillions more in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

In a separate tweet late Thursday, Sanders posted a video contrasting the president’s comments at Davos with then-candidate Trump’s pledge in 2015 to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from cuts backed by Republicans in Congress.

“As a candidate, Trump said he’d protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Sanders wrote. “Now he has an obligation to tell the American people: ‘I was lying. It was all just a campaign ruse.'”

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As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, the Trump administration is currently pursuing changes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that, if implemented, could terminate crucial benefits for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people.

The public comment period on the administration’s proposed rule change—which would make it more difficult for people with disabilities and other serious ailments to receive Social Security payments—ends Jan. 31. Comments can be left here.

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Opponents of the rule change, from progressive advocacy groups to the tens of thousands who have left public comments on the rule change, warned that it would have deadly consequences for those who rely on Social Security benefits to afford basic necessities.

“Donald Trump and his advisers know that this will kill people, and they do not care,” Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, told Common Dreams. “Every current and future Social Security beneficiary must band together to defeat this horrific proposal, or else all of our earned benefits will be next.”

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration is also in the process of crafting separate SSDI changes that would “tighten eligibility requirements for disability benefits, especially for older Americans.”

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“The proposal being prepared by the Social Security Administration would revise eligibility for disability benefits based on age, education, and work experience,” reported the Journal, which viewed a draft of the plan. “Those factors determined the eligibility of about 500,000 people in 2017, according to the latest available data. More than eight million people currently receive disability payments.”

Social Security has become a major topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, with Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) hitting former Vice President Joe Biden over his decades-long record of advocating cuts to the popular New Deal-era program.

“Let’s be honest, Joe,” Sanders tweeted earlier this week. “One of us fought for decades to cut Social Security, and one of us didn’t.”

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All US Navy ships in the Pacific near countries with coronavirus ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days

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CNN National Security reporter Ryan Browne tweeted Thursday that the U.S. Navy has ordered all of its vessels in the Pacific that have been near countries with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, "to remain at sea for at least 14 days before pulling into another port in order to monitor sailors for any symptoms of the virus."

Health experts have said that the two-week period should give enough time for infected people to become aware that they are sick.

The highly-contagious disease has spread very quickly in South Korea and California after public exposure. The first person verified with "community-spread" transmission was identified just outside of Sacramento, California.

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Markets are ‘getting ready for something worse’ amid coronavirus chaos: Expert

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," business analyst Richard Quest said that the United States is not likely on track for a recession at the moment — but that if the coronavirus outbreak explodes within the country, it could destabilize the economy into a tailspin.

"The 1,190-point drop today, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Over the past week, the Dow Jones has dropped 3,581 points since last Thursday alone ... could the U.S. economy now go into recession if the coronavirus spreads here in the United States?"

"Right, the qualifications of that is the last bit of your question: If it spreads in the United States," said Quest. "At the moment, there's no reputable economist that is forecasting a global recession or a U.S. recession if the status quo is maintained, i.e., periodic expansions of this with just a few more cases. However, if there was a full-scale outbreak and you start looking at large parts of the U.S. economy being shut down, no question about it. A recession would be on the cards."

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Trump tried to reassure America — and the stock markets had the biggest one-day drop in history

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In a muddled, dishonest, rambling news conference from the White House press briefing room President Donald Trump for over an hour talked to reporters Wednesday evening about coronavirus, in an attempt to stave off three days of market near-collapse. He lied. He twisted the truth. He displayed little grasp of basic facts. He didn't let the experts run the show.

He instilled no confidence Wednesday night. In fact, the DOW futures dropped as Trump began speaking:

Dow Futures dropped when Trump said the market fell 2k points because of the Dem debate pic.twitter.com/cvbviB2l9a

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