President Donald Trump has officially declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency. In doing so, be potentially unlocks federal funding to numerous regional outbreaks, much to the relief of state health officials around the country.
But there is a dark side. According to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, a national emergency declaration also grants Trump a broad package of new executive powers — some of which are clearly ripe for abuse against the American people.
“Federal law gives Trump vast emergency powers in times of pandemic,” wrote Gerstein. “He could direct the quarantine of people arriving in the United States who exhibit certain symptoms or even if they’re just suspected of having the virus. He could have the federal government detain individuals if their illness might wind up crossing state lines. And under regulations revised and reissued just before Trump entered office, the government can stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease. Some even interpret the statute as meaning a president could deploy the military to cordon off a city or state.”
Many experts appear to be aware of the risk of giving Trump such powers.
“We can’t divorce this from the context of a president who has shown a willingness to abuse emergency power,” said the Brennan Center for Justice’s Elizabeth Goitein.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) similarly warned of what could happen. “As other steps are considered, the president must not overstep his authority or indulge his autocratic tendencies for purposes not truly related to this public health crisis.”
‘They just fired on us’: Horrifying videos of cops ‘using journalists for target practice’ in Minneapolis
Journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis reported on being targeted by police on Saturday.
Multiple reports -- including live coverage on CNN -- showed police firing rubber bullets at journalists.
It’s open season on the media for the cops in Minneapolis. Evil. https://t.co/ZR3Nnf9ofH
— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 31, 2020
‘Out of touch’ Trump is ‘detached from the difficult reality the country is living’: ex-GOP lawmaker
According to a report from the New York Times' Peter Baker, Donald Trump has done nothing in the past week but fan the flames of discord at a time when the country is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 in the U.S. and protests have broken out in the streets over police brutality.
According to one former GOP member of the House, the president is completely detached from what is going on in America.
Andrew Cuomo denounces police violence: ‘The names change, but the color doesn’t’
At Saturday's press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) sharply condemned police brutality against Black men in an emotional speech.
"We tend to look at these situations as individual incidents. They're not individual incidents," said Cuomo. "When you have one episode, two episodes, maybe you can look at them as individual episodes. But when you have 10 episodes, 15 episodes, you are blind or in denial if you are still treating each one like a unique situation."
"We have an injustice in the criminal justice system that is abhorrent. That is the truth," said Cuomo. "It doesn't make me feel good to say that. I'm a former prosecutor ... and it's not just George Floyd. You look back even in modern history in my lifetime. This started with Rodney King. Rodney King was 30 years ago. We suffered in this city through Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Eric Garner. How many times have we seen the same situation? Yes, the names change, but the color doesn't. And that is the painful reality of this situation. And it's not just 30 years. It is this nation's history of discrimination and racism dating back hundreds of years."