Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden yesterday to announce sanctions on China for their treatment of Hong Kong, but after five minutes Trump turned the presser into a campaign event, rambling and babbling and railing repeatedly on challenger Joe Biden while defending his own response to the raging pandemic.
It’s illegal to campaign on Federal property, so Trump’s speech essentially broke the law, and no other president has ever used the Rose Garden for campaign purposes, but since this is the zillionth time Trump has broken a law or betrayed his oath or violated the constitution or ignored long-standing traditions or abused ethics standards, the feckless GOP will do and say nothing. If Obama had used the Rose Garden to campaign against a rival, Fox News and the RNC would have melted down with rage, and Republicans in Congress would have held hearings. But under dear leader Trump, their “principles and values” have evaporated, leaving only a craven lust for power at any price.
Another Republican caught breaking the law yesterday was Steve Watkins, Congressman from Kansas. The local DA filed three felony charges and a misdemeanor against Watkins including obstructing law enforcement and providing false information, voting without being qualified, unlawful advance voting, and failing to notify the DMV of a change of address. Voter fraud does exist in the United States, but it’s usually the Republicans committing it.
Coronavirus continued to explode in the Sun Belt, making Trump “look bad,” so he decided yesterday to require states to report Covid infection data directly to his administration, bypassing the CDC. Trump is trying to control (and distort) the numbers to obscure his catastrophic failure to respond to the pandemic, and it won’t matter to him that the rates of cases, spread and death of the pandemic in different localities are critical tools in fighting the outbreak. Trump has to prop up his sagging image, even if more Americans suffer and die as a result. Here’s coverage of Trump’s outrageous and dangerous move in the NY Times:
There was some tentative good news yesterday on the pandemic front. Biotech company Moderna announced that their coronavirus vaccine had passed Phase 1 trials. All of the volunteers who received it showed immune responses with no major side effects. So the vaccine moves onto the final stage of human testing to determine if it’s safe in the longer term and effective in combating infection.
There was also good news for American colleges. The Trump administration reversed course and decided not to prevent international students from coming to America to study even if they are not required to be on campus for all or part of their year. Trump’s original policy was denounced by a large majority of universities and legally challenged by a coalition of schools–but the Trump team decided not to fight.
In late breaking news last night, former Senator Jeff Sessions lost his primary bid to seek his old Senate Seat. Former Auburn football coach and Trump favorite Tommy Tuberville beat Sessions to take on incumbent Democrat Doug Jones in what will be the toughest battle for any Senate Democrat. Alabama is still a solidly Red State.