Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | Kaiser Health News

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Mission Accomplished? White House Release Says Trump Ended Pandemic

While the White House science office lists “ending the pandemic” in a press release of President Donald Trump’s top accomplishments, the president spends time on the campaign trail trying to change the subject away from the coronavirus crisis that is currently spiking to historic levels.

The Hill:
White House Science Office Says Trump Ended COVID-19 Pandemic As US Hits Record Cases 

The White House science office listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as the top accomplishment of President Trump’s first term, even as the U.S. has set records for new daily infections and numerous hospitals across the country are stretched to their breaking points. According to a press release intending to highlight the administration’s science accomplishments, the Trump administration said it “has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease.” (Weixel, 10/27)

As Coronavirus Cases Surge, Trump Has Another Message

With one week left in the election, President Donald Trump is perfecting his closing argument about the pandemic gripping much of the nation: Don’t worry about it. In rally after rally, tweet after tweet, Trump is encouraging his supporters and everyone else to stop talking about the coronavirus. His key message: It’s not that big of a deal, vaccines are on the way and if people get sick, most of them will survive it just as Trump and his family did. (Cook, 10/27)

Boston Globe:
‘Reckless And False’: Doctors Blast Baseless Trump Conspiracy Theory That Hospitals Are Inflating COVID-19 Deaths 

At a rally in Waukesha, Wis., on Saturday, Trump said “doctors get more money and hospitals get more money” if they report that their patients died of COVID-19, as opposed to other preexisting conditions or comorbidities. “Think of this incentive,” the president said, insinuating as he has before that the death toll from the virus is not to be trusted. He then claimed the pandemic, which has killed more than 226,000 Americans, is “going away,” even as the country approaches a third wave of infections. (Pan, 10/27)

Melania Trump Focuses On Covid And Slams Democrats For Politicizing Pandemic 

First lady Melania Trump focused on the Covid-19 pandemic in her first solo campaign event of 2020 and blasted Democrats for allegedly politicizing the pandemic. Melania directly attacked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on the coronavirus, claiming: “Now he suggests that he could have done a better job. Well, the American people can look at Joe Biden’s 36 years in Congress and eight years in the vice presidency and determine whether they think he’ll finally be able to get something done for the American people.” (Malloy and Bennett, 10/27)

One Week Out, Biden Campaign Keeps Hammering Trump On COVID Response

In the closing days of the campaign, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters continue to criticize President Donald Trump’s pandemic actions and competency. Meanwhile, voters are feeling the strain of this strange and often ugly election season.

The Washington Post:
One Week Out, Biden Imagines A Post-Trump America And The President Launches More Attacks

Joe Biden on Tuesday launched a closing campaign argument that sought to look in part beyond next week’s election, promising in a speech and two campaign ads to heal the nation and bring it together as he evoked the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt and drew mostly implicit contrasts with President Trump. Trump, in contrast, intensified his focus on his adversaries, challenging any mail-in ballots received after Election Day, suggesting the pandemic has been overstated and taking aim at two powerful Democrats, vice-presidential nominee Kamala D. Harris and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (Sullivan, Gearan and Sonmez, 10/27)

Obama Slams Trump Over Coronavirus: ‘He’s Jealous Of Covid’s Media Coverage’

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and faulted him for turning the White House into a “hot zone.” “More than 225,000 people in this country are dead. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed. Half a million jobs are gone in Florida alone. Think about that,” Obama said, speaking from Orlando as he campaigned for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. (Sullivan and Merica, 10/27)

The Guardian:
If Biden Wins What Would The First 100 Days Of His Presidency Look Like? 

If Joe Biden wins the 2020 US election against Donald Trump next week, the new president-elect will face enormous pressures to implement a laundry list of priorities on a range of issues from foreign policy to the climate crisis, reversing many of the stark changes implemented by his predecessor. But Biden’s first and most pressing task for his first 100 days in the White House would be to roll out a new nationwide plan to fight the coronavirus crisis, which has claimed more than 220,000 lives in the US and infected millions – more than any other country in the world – as well as taking steps to fix the disastrous economic fallout. (Strauss and Borger, 10/28)

In related election news —

USA Today:
Stressed About The Election? You’re Not Alone. How To Stay Calm Ahead Of Nov. 3

With the presidential election less than a week away, scores of Americans divided by their support for President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden also are united. “The commonality between us all is that we’re stressed about the election,’’ William Heckman, executive director of the the American Institute of Stress, told USA TODAY. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, which Heckman said affects mood, motivation and fear. (Peter, 10/27)

Anxiety 2020: Voters Worry About Safety At The Polls

Gary Kauffman says he does not scare easily. So when men waving President Donald Trump flags drive by his house in downtown Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he stands on his front steps and waves a banner for Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. “Sometimes I yell at them. They yell back at me,” says Kauffman, 54.Still, Kauffman is keeping a closer eye on who they are and what they’re carrying as Election Day approaches. Tension has been rising in his town, known best as hallowed ground of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle. Recently, it’s become a hot spot of angry confrontations between Trump supporters and liberal protesters. Kauffman has seen some of the Trump supporters carrying weapons. (Kellman, 10/28)

Transgender Voters Face New Election Fears 

Of the estimated 1.4 million adults who identify as transgender in the U.S., nearly a million are eligible to vote. But according to a study published by UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute in February of this year, about 42% of those voters could face barriers to casting a ballot in November, because they lack photo IDs that match their gender or their correct name. (Holder, 10/27)

Pandemic Raises, Lowers Hurdles For Voters With Disabilities

Absentee ballots can create challenges for some people with disabilities who need assistance to mark their ballots, such as the visually impaired. Most in-person polling places provide assistants to help visually impaired voters to read the ballot and make the appropriate mark. For voters who live alone, finding somebody to help fill out an absentee ballot might be difficult at a time when people are wary of being in one another’s homes. The issue of assistance with voting is particularly acute in assisted living facilities. (Povich, 10/28)

And from state races —

The New York Times:
A Chance To Expand Medicaid Rallies Democrats In North Carolina

North Carolina, a crucial battleground for the presidential race and control of the United States Senate, has another coveted prize at stake in this election, one that is drawing serious out-of-state money, dominating television ads and driving get-out-the-vote efforts. Democrats believe they have a chance of gaining control of the State Legislature for the first time in a decade, which would make it possible to expand Medicaid to cover half-a-million more low-income adults here after years of Republican resistance. (Goodnough, 10/27)

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