While a lot of bombshell stories in the Trump era have been unpredictable, this one was not. Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Bruce Dart said on Wednesday that the president’s recent rally in the city “likely contributed” to the surging outbreak of COVID-19, the Associated Press reported.
“In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots,” he said.
The president’s campaign had hyped that more than 1 million people had expressed interest in attending the event; in the end, only about 6,000 people reportedly attended the indoor arena that could seat nearly 20,000. Despite the lackluster showing, the crowd was more than large enough to spread the virus and result in many new infections.
Dart explained that the department’s policy prevents it from identifying areas where the virus has been contracted — a baffling practice that would seem to limit the ability to warn people about their potential exposure. But it’s already been reported that members of President Donald Trump’s team were exposed to the virus in connection with the event.
Herman Cain, an ally of the president who attended the rally, was also recently hospitalized with COVID-19. This suggests it’s possible he either contracted the virus at the event or he attended it while potentially infectious himself. A statement on his Twitter account said: “There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus.”
At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, a reporter asked Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany about the president’s refusal to require masks at his rallies.
“The director of the Tulsa Health Dept said that the president’s rally very likely contributed to a surge of coronavirus cases in the city,” he said. “I’m wondering first, why the president continues to not require masks at rallies, considering we’ve seen the public health outcomes that come from it?”
“The president’s been operating in accordance with CDC requirements, recommended but not required,” McEnany said. “But as he said recently, if he weren’t tested every day, and if he was in a situation where he couldn’t distance, he would wear a mask. We hand them out — they’re handed out by the campaign, rather, at these events, and there’s ample hand sanitizer, and it’s people’s individual choice as to whether to go.”
“Do you have a response to the Tulsa health director?”
“I would just say that I have no data to indicate that on my end, but it’s the decision of individuals whether to go,” she replied. “We encourage the wearing of masks, as the president said if he couldn’t distance he would, but it’s the individual choice of the person.”
Q: “The dir. of the Tulsa Health Dept said the president’s rally likely contributed to a surge of coronavirus cases… why… continue to not require masks at rallies?”@PressSec: “The president’s been operating in accordance w/ CDC requirements, recommended but not required.” pic.twitter.com/7b3p6igY1a
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 8, 2020
Supreme Court mail-in voting ruling raises alarm: Democrats may ‘never win another national election’
A divided Supreme Court rejected a Pennsylvania Republican effort to curtail mail-in voting, but experts say the Democratic victory may be short-lived — and confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be a "disaster for Democrats."
With Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's three liberals, the court split 4-4 to reject a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block an order from the state's Supreme Court allowing mail-in ballots to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day — even if they do not have a clear postmark. The tie left the state decision in place, which Democratic lawyers hailed as "great news for voting rights."
Trump can ‘rage from the balcony’ but he ‘will not succeed’: Dem super lawyer promises to protect the vote
President Donald Trump has a lot of options available to him when it comes to his attempt to steal the election. That doesn't mean they'll work, however.
In an interview with Democratic "super-lawyer" Bob Bauer, "The Circus's" John Heilemann listed a few scenarios for Trump trying to steal the election.
"We already have an electoral infrastructure -- a voting system -- that is not always adequately resourced or supported," Bauer explained. "You take that system, you layer on top of it a pandemic, you lay on top of that destructive behavior by one of the major political parties who espouses this kind of nonsense, and you add on top of that the internet-distributed misinformation plays, and that just means that the task that you have to address these contingencies is much larger than it's been as a structural matter any time in the past."
Will American elections ever again be legitimate?
Only an established, legal “right to vote“ can defeat Republican voter suppression.
Republican politicians and conservative commentators are shocked, shocked! that Chief Justice John Roberts would say that people who voted before election day in Pennsylvania but their ballots were delayed by Lewis DeJoy’s sabotage of the Post Office should have their vote counted.
Increasingly, this election is coming down to the simple question of how effective 40 years of concerted Republican voter suppression efforts will be.
Their main strategy, particularly since George and Jeb Bush got together in 2000 to use a Texas felon list to purge 90,000 Black people off voting roles in Florida, has been removing the names of people who are legitimate voters.