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May 12, 2020


COVID-19 Accommodations for Primaries and Convention

Coronavirus and Trump

April Jobs Report

Trump Politicizes Justice Department

The Right to Safe, Accessible Voting

Democratic Party Fighting for Americans


Trump’s Dangerous ACA Lawsuit

Trump’s Fragile Economy


COVID-19 Accommodations for Primaries and Convention

Background: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) will meet today to take up accommodations to state primaries and the convention.


  • The RBC will take up waivers submitted by states parties who are having their primaries after the June 9 deadline or electing their delegates after the June 20 deadline. Those states include:

    • Kentucky (moving primary to 6/23)

    • New York (moving primary to 6/23)

    • New Jersey (moving primary to 7/7)

    • Delaware (moving primary to 7/7)

    • Louisiana (moving primary to 7/11)

  • For these five states whose waiver requests will be considered, the allocation of pledged delegates will not be changed. Each state will maintain the allocation that was in place when their plan was found to be in compliance with the rules.


  • In addition, the RBC will take up a resolution in order to confirm that the Democratic National Convention Committee has maximum flexibility to plan a safe event that guarantees every delegate can accomplish their official business without putting their own health at risk.

  • This will give the convention team the authority to make the necessary changes to the format, size, date or other aspects in order to conduct a safe convention.

  • During this critical time, when the scope and scale of the pandemic and its impact in August remain unknown, convention planners are exploring a range of contingency options to ensure all delegates will be able to cast ballots and accomplish their business, regardless of their ability to travel and participate in person.

  • Protecting the health and well-being of our host community in Wisconsin and everyone involved with the convention will drive every decision convention planners make as they put plans in place for August.

  • In the coming weeks, the Democratic Convention team will remain in constant communication with federal, state, and local public health officials—and will follow their guidance to determine how many people can safely gather in Milwaukee this August.

  • Democrats remain inspired by the people who live and work in Milwaukee and remain committed to hosting this historic moment in their hometown. The city of Milwaukee has been an incredible partner and we couldn't be more committed to highlighting Wisconsin as a key battleground state when we host our convention there this August.

Coronavirus and Trump

  • Trump ignored warnings, downplayed the severity of this crisis, and failed to prepare for months, allowing the coronavirus to spread rapidly and undetected. Now we’re paying the price. More than 80,000 Americans have already lost their lives, forcing Trump to raise his estimate for the disease’s death toll yet again. Our country leads the world in confirmed cases and deaths, supply shortages continue to ravage our health care system, and workers have lost their jobs at an unprecedented pace. The crisis is worse because of Trump.

  • Trump now claims to have “prevailed” on testing, but the reality is he has made the testing crisis worse. Trump still hasn’t given states the testing capacity they need, every American who wants a test still can’t get a test, and he is only now taking steps that should’ve happened weeks ago. Trump wants Americans to go to work without the widespread testing and contact tracing that protects him in the White House. Trump’s limited targets are insufficient and we are nowhere close to hitting the testing levels experts agree we need to reopen safely. To get America back to work, Trump must fix the testing shortage he created.

  • Trump is knowingly putting American lives at risk to further his political interests. He is claiming “mission accomplished” and declaring the worst of the pandemic over while infections continue to rise across most of the country and the virus spreads through the White House. Trump admitted that he was in a rush to reopen the country even if it caused unnecessary deaths.

  • Trump has repeatedly muzzled science and ignored the truth. Trump is blocking top health officials from testifying before the House. Trump’s White House buried a CDC report with step-by-step guidance to help local authorities reopen. Trump gave responsibility for securing critical medical supplies to “inexperienced volunteers” led by Jared Kushner instead of health or military experts, exacerbating problems obtaining supplies. Trump’s administration has been charged by a whistleblower of “cronyism,” retaliation, and putting politics ahead of science. By ignoring experts and working to further his political interests instead, Trump has worsened the crisis.

  • Trump downplayed the threat and failed to prepare. Trump ignored more than a dozen early warnings about the coronavirus from U.S. intelligence agencies throughout January and February. For months, Trump lied about the severity of the disease and failed to get states and hospitals supplies. Trump’s administration squandered critical time and turned down an offer in January to make nearly two million additional N95 masks a week. Trump’s chaotic leadership and decision to force states to go at it alone has made it more difficult for them to get the supplies they need.

  • Trump admitted that he rolled over for China. Trump ignored warnings that China was withholding data, refused to call out Beijing on its coronavirus response, and delayed taking action out of fear of upsetting his trade deal that has gone largely unfulfilled. On two occasions in January, Trump ignored advisers who urged him to press Xi Jinping for more transparency. Trump didn’t restrict travel with China until more than three dozen other countries had already done so, and more than 400,000 people flew from China to the U.S. with little if any screening in the first two months after the outbreak was disclosed.

  • Trump has consistently put big corporations first — letting large corporations and companies with ties to him get hundreds of millions of dollars in loans instead of the small businesses that need them to survive. The Trump administration is lending $500 billion to big corporations without requiring them to save jobs or limit payouts to CEOs or shareholders. Trump has failed small businesses, and in particular rural, minority, and women-owned small businesses, with his administration’s rollout of the small business Paycheck Protection Program.

Main Messaging

  • Trump’s failed leadership and mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak has endangered Americans and significantly worsened a severe public health crisis.

  • The Chinese Government: Trump Bought the Chinese Government’s Obvious Spin and Turned a Blind Eye to the Danger

    • Instead of acting early, Trump ignored months of warnings and praised China in an effort to secure a weak trade deal that has gone largely unfulfilled.

      • While China covered up the coronavirus outbreak, Trump praised the Chinese government in January, saying, “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.” And in February, Trump said of President Xi, “I think he’s handled it really well.”

    • Trump touts banning travel from China as evidence he took the crisis seriously, but nearly 400,000 people flew to the U.S. from China in Trump’s month of inaction after the coronavirus outbreak was disclosed, and Trump didn’t act until more than three dozen other countries had already restricted travel from China.

      • Even after the belated restrictions, 40,000 people have arrived from China and screening at U.S. airports has been “porous,” “spotty” and “haphazard.”

    • Trump ignored warnings about a potential PPE shortage and sent 18 tons of PPE to China and encouraged millions of dollars of medical supplies to be exported that we now desperately need in the U.S. and are paying marked-up prices for.

    • Trump dismantled our ability to watch for emerging threats in China, and then failed to adequately press the Chinese government to allow CDC officials into China to investigate the novel coronavirus.

      • Trump slashed more than two-thirds of CDC staff operating in China, including a post held by a key expert who had been embedded in China’s disease control agency. The eliminated staff could have alerted the U.S. and the world to important information about the growing outbreak, and helped China contain the outbreak earlier.

      • Trump ended a pandemic early-warning program that trained scientists in China, including the lab in Wuhan that identified the novel coronavirus, and other countries to detect and respond to pandemics.

  • Corporate Favoritism: Trump Went Soft on Corporations

    • Trump squandered critical time instead of using the Defense Production Act to ramp up production and coordinate distribution of medical supplies — worsening the dangerous shortage of essential PPE and testing supplies.

    • Trump’s White House continues to prioritize helping allies, often favoring friendly businesses for contracts and political allies when allocating critical resources.

    • Tens of millions of dollars in loans intended for small businesses have gone to companies with ties to Trump, including the fossil fuel industry.

    • In Trump’s swamp, former Trump campaign and administration officials are getting rich lobbying to get companies coronavirus relief funds and exemptions to regulatory hurdles.

    • Trump’s administration is lending $500 billion to big corporations without any conditions requiring them to save jobs or limit payouts to CEOs and shareholders.

    • Trump removed the inspector general charged with overseeing the CARES Act and indicated he may ignore some of the oversight and transparency safeguards demanded by congressional Democrats.

    • Trump’s administration has been charged by a whistleblower of “cronyism,” retaliation, and putting politics ahead of science.

    • Trump’s administration botched the rollout of the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program, failing to provide clear guidance on the lending process or clarity on who was eligible and allowing large corporations to scoop up funds.

    • Weeks after applying, millions of small businesses still haven’t gotten their loans as big corporations and companies connected to Trump get loans instead.

  • Americans deserve better — a well-coordinated, whole-of-government, fully-funded response to this public health crisis and a president that prioritizes their safety and economic security.

April Jobs Report

  • Instead of taking steps to prepare for the economic downturn from coronavirus, Trump downplayed the threat of coronavirus and the economic fallout that would result from his complete mismanagement of the crisis. Now he’s brushing off tens of millions of Americans losing their livelihoods as “no surprise” and “fully expected.”

  • More than 20 million Americans lost their jobs in April, wiping out a decade of job gains in a single month, and the unemployment rate tripled to 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. It didn’t have to be this bad.

  • Trump failed to prepare us for this pandemic and we now have the worst economy in a generation — not as a result of coronavirus, but as a result of his failure to prepare and contain coronavirus.

  • There are very real consequences to the laundry list of Trump’s ill-preparedness and bad policy. More people are sick, more people have died, and there is exponentially higher disruption to our economy and lives.

  • We can’t trust Trump to rebuild our economy because we’ve already seen what his failed leadership looks like – an arbitrary and politically motivated effort that does not do nearly enough to protect workers. We’ve suffered the consequences. We know he’s not fighting for us. Americans deserve better.

Trump Politicizes Justice Department

Background: Last week, the Trump administration dropped criminal charges against Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. Lead Mueller prosecutor Brandon Van Grack withdrew from the case minutes before the government filing.

  • Trump and Barr’s politicization of justice knows no bounds. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia and the evidence against him is overwhelming, but Barr is dropping the case to continue covering up for Trump.

  • Overruling the special counsel is outrageous and shows Barr’s lack of respect for the rule of law. The dismissal of charges by a politicized DOJ do not exonerate Flynn — they just incriminate Barr.

  • This is just the latest example of Trump’s politicization of DOJ:

    • Barr intervened to take control of multiple legal matters that involved Trump or his associates, including Roger Stone. Barr ordered prosecutors to seek a shorter sentence for Stone, prompting four prosecutors to withdraw from the case.

    • Barr set up a process for Rudy Giuliani, who is under investigation by DOJ, to pass information intended to help Trump politically to the department.

  • It’s clear that Trump has not learned any “lessons” after Senate Republicans voted to acquit him of abuse of power, and he’s more emboldened than ever to use the presidency to serve his personal and political interests.

The Right to Safe, Accessible Voting

  • As our country deals with the uncertainty and risks of COVID-19, it is especially critical to provide safe, accessible, and secure voting to all eligible Americans — voters should not be forced to make a difficult choice between their health and safety, and exercising their fundamental democratic right to vote.

  • We urge states to implement a variety of critical reforms that will make voting easier and safer for voters and election officials — like expanding vote-by-mail, increasing early-in person voting so voters don’t have to worry about crowding and long lines, ensuring people who need assistance returning their ballots can receive it, and other commonsense reforms like drop boxes that make it safe and convenient for voters to drop off their ballots.

    • The vast majority of Americans support expanding vote-by-mail to allow voters to safely cast their ballots in November, and even Trump’s campaign pollster shows Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to provide funding for states to expand absentee voting options in November.

  • Republicans like Trump are engaging in these voter suppression tactics because they know their agenda is out of step with voters. Trump himself told us why they’re so committed to making it harder to access the ballot box: Republicans are afraid they’ll “never” win another election if they let more people vote. That’s because their agenda is deeply toxic with so many Americans.

Democratic Party Fighting for Americans

  • Trump calls Democrats the “Do Nothing Party.” The reality is that Democrats in Congress have actually done a lot, but Trump has opposed their legislation, and Senate Republicans blocked the bills, despite broad support from voters.

  • Congressional Democrats strengthened interim legislation to support small businesses and secured additional funding for testing and PPE. Democrats are now working on CARES 2, which will put the lives of Americans, their livelihoods, and the life of our democracy first.

  • Here's a look at some of the many bills House Democrats have passed:

    • The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

    • The Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    • The SHIELD Act to better protect our elections from foreign interference.

    • The Raise the Wage Act to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    • The American Dream and Promise Act to provide hardworking immigrants a much deserved pathway to citizenship.

    • The Equality Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    • A package of bills to protect people’s access to health care and help make prescription drugs more affordable.

    • A bill to restore net neutrality.

    • The Climate Action Now Act to take action to protect our climate and create economic opportunities.

    • Legislation to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act.

    • Legislation to require background checks for all gun sales.

    • Legislation to help close the gender pay gap.

    • Historic anti-corruption reform.

  • While Democrats are working for the American people, what has Trump done lately?


Trump’s Dangerous ACA Lawsuit

Background: Last week, Democratic attorneys general led by Xavier Becerra, and the House of Representatives submitted opening briefs in California v. Texas to defend the Affordable Care Act.

  • During the worst health crisis of our time, Trump says he wants to “terminate health care under Obamacare” as he and Republicans seek to strip protections from as many as 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions and take health care away from 20 million Americans.

  • Americans are relying on our health care system now more than ever before, and the ACA is one of our most critical tools to protect Americans from the consequences of the coronavirus.

    • Comprehensive Coverage: The ACA established what are known as “essential health benefits,” such as prescription drugs and hospitalization. Coronavirus testing and treatment are essential health benefits and must be covered by all ACA-compliant plans.

    • Access to Critical Vaccinations Without Cost Sharing: Once a coronavirus vaccine is developed, the Affordable Care Act will almost certainly cover the coronavirus vaccine without cost-sharing, because it requires plans to cover all vaccinations recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

    • Protections for as Many as 133 Million Americans With Preexisting Conditions: Under the ACA, insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against those with preexisting conditions by denying them coverage or charging higher rates.

    • Coverage for 20+ Million People: Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. People with insurance are much more likely to see a doctor when they are sick and to get the treatment they need.

    • Increased CDC Funding: The Affordable Care Act established the CDC Prevention and Public Health Fund, which helps states prepare for disease outbreaks.

    • Medicaid Expansion: Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid to vulnerable populations. More than 17 million Americans now have coverage through Medicaid expansion. Importantly, Medicaid’s funding structure allows funds to increase in response to a public health emergency like coronavirus.

    • Key Support for Rural Hospitals: The ACA significantly reduced uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $12 billion, or roughly 30 percent. As hospitals face an influx in coronavirus patients, it is critical that they are paid for the treatment they provide.

  • Even as Trump tries to destroy the ACA, he has been forced to rely on key provisions of the law to fight the spread of coronavirus.

    • Essential Health Benefits: The Trump administration urged health insurers to make testing free by considering it an “essential health benefit,” despite simultaneously arguing in court to overturn this protection of the ACA.

    • Medicaid Expansion: After championing cuts that kicked millions of people from its rolls, the Trump administration is now playing catch-up and trying it easier for poor Americans to get care through Medicaid. But the administration’s coronavirus response is weakening Medicaid by skimping on aid for Medicaid providers to the benefit of large medical systems.

    • Nursing Home Inspections: The Trump administration announced new initiatives to protect nursing homes but has continued pushing forward with rolling back regulations aimed at preventing infections from spreading in nursing homes.

  • The ACA is more popular than ever for one simple reason: it works. The ACA has significantly reduced the number of uninsured and helped Americans get the health care they need and aren’t bankrupted just because they get sick.

Trump’s Fragile Economy

  • Trump created a fragile economy that was especially vulnerable to the downturn that has resulted from the coronavirus outbreak.

    • Despite his promises, the gap between the richest Americans and everyone else grew bigger than ever under his watch, making it more difficult for working Americans during this economic downturn.

    • Once the coronavirus hit, Trump’s lies and failed response only made things worse.

  • The coronavirus outbreak is hurting sectors that were already stretched to their breaking point by Trump’s reckless trade policies and broken promises: 

    • U.S. factory output plummeted in March by the most in 75 years. But manufacturing was already in a recession for the entirety of 2019.

    • Farmers were struggling because of Trump’s reckless trade policies and false promises about increased purchases. While Trump continued to claim he had saved U.S. agriculture, farm bankruptcies increased by nearly 20 percent in 2019 and farm debt had already been forecast to hit a record high this year.

    • Retail sales suffered the largest ever monthly decline in March. But the retail industry had already cut more than 75,000 jobs last year and closed more than 9,300 stores.

  • Trump’s economic policies benefited the rich while leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak:

    • About half of Americans were already living paycheck to paycheck and many worry daily about being able to pay their bills, as household debt hit a record high of $14 trillion at the end of 2019.

  • Trump’s economy is built on shaky foundations of short-term stimuli and corporate debt:

    • Corporations racked up $19 trillion in debt that made the economy more vulnerable to a downturn after spending the money they got from Trump’s tax cuts on stock buybacks for themselves and their wealthy shareholders. Despite Trump’s promises, corporations did next to nothing to boost workers’ paychecks.

  • Trump’s short-sighted economic policies weakened some of the tools available to fight the downturn:

    • Despite inheriting a strong economy, Trump racked up $1 trillion deficits by pushing massive tax cuts that didn’t provide a sustained economy boost to benefit workers like he promised.

    • Trump forced the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates because of his reckless trade policies, leaving it with little room to lower rates even further and half as much firepower as it did going into the last recession.

Democratic National Committee, 430 S Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA

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