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Ex-Bush official slams ‘selfish’ Republicans who have endangered America by politicizing masks

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On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, former George W. Bush White House official Karen Hughes laid into Republicans who have treated face masks as a political issue.

“I live in Austin, where our state pushed to reopen absent clear communication and guidelines about the concerted individual and collective actions that would be essential to reopening safely,” wrote Hughes. “When leaders said ‘We are open for business,’ too many citizens heard ‘Life is back to normal.’ Although some Republicans are now speaking up, for weeks there were mixed or no messages about everyone’s personal responsibility to don a mask in public.” As a result, Texas is seeing an explosion of cases, and Gov. Greg Abbott has had to issue a statewide mask order.

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“With some infected individuals, the coronavirus can lurk undetected, for days or weeks, without any sign or symptom that they are carriers,” wrote Hughes. “Wearing a mask is not about protecting you; it protects others from the possibility that you are exhaling virus particles at them. A recent University of Washington study projected that 33,000 fewer people will die by October if 95 percent of us wear masks in public.”

“That is reason to label failure to wear a mask as what it really is: an incredibly selfish act that puts other people’s lives at risk,” continued Hughes. “Like yelling ‘fire!’ in a packed theater or brandishing a loaded gun in a crowd, failing to don a mask greatly increases the risk that one person will endanger others. Wearing a mask is also an important reminder that life is not normal and that a deadly disease stalks our society and we all need to take other precautions, including social distancing, regular hand-washing and minimal face-touching.”

Much of the polarization on masks was fueled by President Donald Trump, who for weeks refused to wear one in public. Only this week did he reverse course and tell advisers he now likes the way he looks in a mask.

“While wearing a mask is not a political issue, it is a moral one,” concluded Hughes. “The choice and stakes are clear: the minor inconvenience of donning a mask vs. potentially threatening other people’s lives. The options are not equal on any scale of duty, honor, citizenship, or service to God and others. Amid a deadly viral pandemic, wearing a mask is the only responsible course of action.”

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

Maddow reveals the ‘shocking sign’ the White House may be betting Trump is going to lose in 2020

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow returned from vacation to host the Tuesday evening edition of her MSNBC show.

Maddow noted, "in 91 days we all get to decide if the guy who's currently in charge of how we're responding to this epidemic should stay in the job for four more years or if Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do better at this."

"It's honestly hard to know what it will be like for a president to stand for re-election with 200,000 dead Americans as a key metric from his first term, while he asks for a second term, but we're going to talk tonight about how some of that is going to work and some of what we can see coming down the pike," she explained. "And a lot of it is very worrying, in terms of the institutions of our democracy and what we count on to keep us a constitutional republic."

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Trump may break with ‘presidential norms’ and give GOP convention speech from the White House lawn: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Republicans are exploring the possibility of President Donald Trump giving his presidential re-nomination speech from the South Lawn of the White House.

"The decision to stage the most high-profile political event of Trump’s reelection campaign at the national seat of presidential power would be just the latest break by Trump in presidential norms, which have historically drawn clear lines between official business of the president and campaign events," reported Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey. "People involved in the planning said that no final decision had been made on the location of the Republican convention’s celebratory events. Trump abandoned plans to hold the full convention in Charlotte, and later Jacksonville, Fla., over concerns that large crowds could spread the novel coronavirus."

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NYT editorial board slams McConnell for blocking stimulus with ‘political charade’ as he goes on vacation

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On Tuesday, The New York Times editorial board tore into Congress for going on vacation while crucial unemployment benefits and stimulus lapsed for millions of Americans.

"Preventing this widespread suffering should be the top priority for lawmakers," wrote the board. "Instead, the Republican-led Senate dragged its feet for months on another aid package. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion relief plan in mid-May. It took until July 27 for the Republican Senate leaders to offer their anemic, $1 trillion counterbid, which everyone seems to have a problem with, albeit for differing reasons."

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