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Here’s why Mike Pence is the worst person to put in charge of the coronavirus task force

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the task force to combat the coronavirus pandemic, touting him as a former governor experienced with health care.

In reality, though, Pence’s record on health care policy is extremely checkered — and his fitness to lead up such a task force is questionable.

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When Pence was governor of Indiana, he oversaw an entirely preventable AIDS disaster in Scott County. Pence dragged his feet on implementing a recommended needle exchange program, out of a religiously motivated belief that doing so would make him a party to intravenous drug use — even though studies show clean-needle programs do not increase drug use. By the time Pence finally relented and let the program go forward, over 200 people had contracted HIV – in a county of less than 24,000 people.

Since Pence became vice president, he has been one of the administration’s foremost architects of health care policy. Several staffers and advisers from his Indiana days came with him to the Department of Health and Human Services, like Secretary Alex Azar, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Medicaid and Medicare Administrator Seema Verma — and they have spent a great deal of energy imposing their ideological beliefs against the interests of public health. Verma, for example, spearheaded a push for states to require Medicaid recipients to provide proof of employment to keep their coverage, a policy which led to tens of thousands of people being kicked off the program in Arkansas alone.

Just about the only health care policy Pence enacted that had any positive effect was expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in his state as governor — and even then, he has since endorsed Republican bills that would have savagely cut that same coverage.

Trump has, in short, put a man who has made a career of denying health care to the poor and sick in charge of preventing the spread of a catastrophic infectious disease.


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Democrats win another voting rights victory as absentee restrictions struck down in South Carolina

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On Monday, voting rights attorney Marc Elias reported that a federal court has blocked a restriction on absentee ballots for the upcoming South Carolina primary.

The ruling undoes a requirement that mail-in ballots be accompanied by a witness.

BREAKING: @DCCC, @TheDemocrats, and @scdp score major voting rights victory in South Carolina. Federal Court blocks witness requirement for absentee ballots in June primary.

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GOP ripped for refusing to remove Trump from office: ‘Folly of that failure becomes clearer by the day’

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Republicans seeking to keep control of the United States Senate were harshly criticized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for failing to remove President Donald Trump from office during impeachment.

"For four years now, as both a candidate and president, Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked America’s voting system, falsely claiming voter fraud any time it suited his needs. In a new low, last week he threatened the federal funding of two states over their reasonable moves to facilitate mail-in voting," the newspaper noted in an editorial published online on Memorial Day. "What does it say that the head of the world’s leading democracy is so intent on undermining that democracy?"

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Fox News commentator slammed for mocking Joe Biden’s decision to wear a mask

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On Monday, during his observance of Memorial Day, former Vice President Joe Biden donned a face mask in accordance with CDC guidelines — a contrast with President Donald Trump, who has frequently refused to wear a mask even in some places that require them.

But Fox News senior analyst Brit Hume went out of his way to mock how Biden looked wearing it.

This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today. pic.twitter.com/9l1gw1ljBE

— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 25, 2020

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