Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

May 27, 2020


Coronavirus and Trump

The Right to Safe, Accessible Voting

Democratic Party Fighting for Americans


Trump’s Unemployment Disaster

Trump’s Dangerous ACA Lawsuit

Trump’s Fragile Economy


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. As we near 100,000 deaths, Trump spent last weekend tweeting and golfing. Our country has nearly 30% of the world’s confirmed cases and deaths, despite having less than 5% of the world’s population. Despite Trump’s claims, 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 downplayed the threat and failed to prepare. Trump’s administration delayed purchasing PPE and relied on unproven vendors that further slowed equipment delivery. Trump’s failure to secure supplies forced the vast majority of U.S. nurses to dangerously reuse PPE. President Obama gave Trump a response playbook, an NSC pandemic office, and a program literally called PREDICT that tracked new coronaviruses in China — all of which Trump dismantled. Trump’s team even killed a rule written by the Obama administration that would have helped protect health workers during pandemics like COVID-19. Trump ignored more than a dozen early warnings about the coronavirus from U.S. intelligence agencies throughout January and February.

  • Trump continues to contradict and muzzle his own public health experts. Trump said he is taking hydroxychloroquine, which several studies link to an increased risk of death, and falsely denied the FDA’s warning about the drug. Trump refuses to wear a mask in public and mocks those who do. Trump’s White House delayed CDC from issuing a global travel advisory and allowed about 66,000 European travelers a day to stream into American airports, which became the largest source of infections in the U.S.

  • Trump is putting American lives and livelihoods at risk to further his political interests. Trump threatened to “override” governors who keep restrictions on houses of worship after seeing his poll numbers falling with evangelicals, even though the CDC only issued “non-binding public health guidance.” Facing catastrophic job losses, Trump and the GOP have dragged their feet on another relief bill and Trump has no plan to get Americans back to work. Trump’s testing failures and downplaying of the crisis are responsible for an unemployment crisis that other countries have avoided.

  • Trump has failed on testing. Trump’s new testing plan remains woefully inadequate by leaving responsibility with states and denying the current testing shortage exists. There is bipartisan agreement from senators, health officials, and a majority of Americans that we need dramatically more testing, but Trump falsely claims we have enough. Trump wants Americans to go to work without the widespread testing and contact tracing that protects him in the White House. To get America back to work, Trump must fix the testing shortage he created.

  • Trump is failing communities of color, whose lives and livelihoods are disproportionately at risk. Black and Latino Americans are dying at far higher rates than white Americans, and are three times as likely to know someone who has died of COVID-19. The number of working Black and Latino business owners plummeted by more than 40% and 32% from February to April, compared to a 22% drop among all business owners — perhaps because only 12% of Black and Latino business owners say they have received the relief aid from the Trump administration. The Hispanic unemployment rate is a record high (18.9%), and Hispanic and Black Americans are the most likely to report being laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus.

  • Trump’s corrupt recovery has 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. Loans have even gone to landlords and others who are prohibited from receiving funds. Meanwhile, Trump’s failed implementation of a child hunger program has left millions of families unable to purchase food. 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.

  • 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 airlines forced his hand and 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. Now, while Trump tries to scapegoat the WHO, China is trying to fill the void created by a lack of American global leadership.

The Right to Safe, Accessible Voting

Background: Last week, Trump threatened to withhold funding from Michigan and Nevada for expanding access to mail-in voting during a pandemic.

  • Trump’s threats against Michiganders and Nevadans are reprehensible but unfortunately not surprising. Trump will do anything in his power to prevent more Americans from voting — up to and including threatening to illegally withhold congressionally appropriated funding to states.

  • Trump is attacking states’ efforts to expand voting access because he’s afraid he’ll lose in November if everyone can vote.

    • Trump himself told us so: “Republicans can’t win an election” if they let more people vote. That’s because Republicans’ agenda is deeply toxic with so many Americans.

  • There is nothing illegal or fraudulent about voting by mail. In fact, it is a necessity to ensure Americans are able to exercise their most fundamental right during this pandemic.

    • What may be illegal, and is certainly unethical, is withholding congressionally appropriated funding from a state in an attempt to prevent citizens from voting. 

    • Numerous studies have shown that all types of voter fraud in the U.S. are extremely rare, and Trump’s own voting rights commission found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

  • Nevada’s predominantly vote-by-mail primary election was ordered by a Republican secretary of state, who Democrats are fighting in court to ensure voters also have the option to vote in person should they choose to.

  • Trump complained about Michigan sending absentee ballot applications to voters who already have the constitutional right to vote by mail, but didn’t threaten several Republican-controlled states — including Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia — that are doing the same.

    • Mailing absentee ballot applications to voters is something the Republican National Committee has said it has no problem with! Just last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said, “I don’t really have an issue with absentee ballot request forms being sent out to voters.”

  • What Trump’s tweets make crystal clear is that he and the Republican Party are restricting Americans’ right to vote, while the Democratic Party is fighting to protect that right.

    • The vast majority of Americans support expanding vote-by-mail, and even Trump’s campaign pollster found Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to provide funding to expand absentee voting options in November.

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.

  • House Democrats passed the HEROES Act — bold legislation to protect Americans’ lives, livelihoods, and the life of our democracy. While Trump, McConnell and Republicans would rather let states go bankrupt and children go hungry, Democrats are fighting for additional relief for American workers and families.

  • 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 Unemployment Disaster

  • 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 passing the buck, saying “nobody blames me” for the crushing unemployment, but it is his fault.

  • Trump failed to prepare us for this pandemic and we now have the worst economic shock in a generation — not as an inevitable result of coronavirus, but as a result of his failure to lead and contain the coronavirus. He ignored warnings from intelligence officials, refused to push China for transparency, failed to ramp up testing or secure essential supplies, and consistently downplayed the crisis.

  • 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’s Dangerous ACA Lawsuit

  • 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. Trump and Republicans still have no plan to keep Americans covered.

  • Americans are relying on our health care system now more than ever before as about 27 million Americans have lost their employer-provided insurance during the coronavirus outbreak, 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 is promoting new safety requirements for 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 April by the most in over a century. 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 two largest ever monthly declines in March and April. 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 had to 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

  • No labels