Things That Matter

Several Republicans And White House Officials Test Positive For Covid After Amy Coney Barrett Event

Update October 8, 2020

Covid-19 is still a very real threat to American lives and several Republican politicians and President Trump allies are learning the hard way. Since the Rose Garden event to announce Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The event is now being considered a superspreader and the White House is a Covid hotspot.

This was the scene at the Amy Coney Barrett nomination event in the Rose Garden.

At least ten people have tested positive for Covid-19 after the Rose Garden event attended by more than 200 people. The virus has suddenly torn through the Republican Party and those in President Trump’s close orbit. Thirty-four people connected to the White House have tested positive for the virus.

The number is much higher than originally known according to internal FEMA documents that show a potential coverup of the true number. USA Today is attempting to identify everyone who was at the Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett to help with contact tracing. The White House is not properly contact tracing the superspreader event.

Some of those infected include Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, First Lady Melania Trump, Kellyanne Conway, President of Notre Dame Rev. John Jenkins, Evangelical Pastor Greg Laurie, Chad Gilmartin, and Karoline Leavitt. Those were just from the Rose Garden event.

Amy Coney Barrett already has a nickname because of the event.

That’s right. People are already calling Amy Coney Barrett the Contagious ACB. The nickname is two-fold as it calls out the event that caused so many people to contract Covid-19 and is in homage to the beloved Notorious RBG.

Original: President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are now part of the more than 7,000,000 Americans who have contracted Covid-19. The virus, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, has spread worse in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. While some have shown sympathy, other Americans are using the president’s words against him.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

The news comes after President Trump’s disastrous performance at the first presidential debate in Cleveland Sept. 29. According to reports, President Trump and the first lady tested positive after traveling with senior aide Hope Hicks, who also tested positive.

“This is tragic, it’s very sad, but it also is something that, again, going into crowds unmasked and all the rest is sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on MSNBC’s Live with Stephanie Ruhle. “It’s sad that it did, but nonetheless hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about.”

Vice President Joe Biden offered sympathetic words to the First Family during this difficult time.

There is concern that President Trump, if pre-symptomatic while at the debate, might have exposed Biden. The two presidential nominees spent 90 minutes debating maskless on stage. The Biden campaign has not released information on whether or not the presidential hopeful has been tested for Covid.

Senator Kamala Harris joined Biden in wishing the Trumps a speedy recovery tweeting, “Doug and I join Joe Biden and Dr. Biden in wishing President Trump and the First Lady a full and speedy recovery. We’re keeping them and the entire Trump family in our thoughts.”

The unsurprising infection of the Trumps is highlighting the need for stricter and better health standards to combat the virus.

Representative Joaquin Castro pleaded with fellow Congresspeople who have had contact with President Trump to stay home. In response to Covid-19, the House of Representatives implemented proxy voting which allows for members to vote without being in the chambers. It wasn’t long until Republican House members joined in a lawsuit to end the practice.

“Remote voting by proxy is fully consistent with the Constitution and more than a century of legal precedent, including Supreme Court cases, that make clear that the House can determine its own rules,” Pelosi said in a statement when a federal judge dismissed the GOP’s case. “The nation is in the middle of a dangerous pandemic, and the House of Representatives must continue to work.”

Critics of the president have come out in force to call out his behavior against mask-wearing.

President Trump has a long and recorded history of speaking out against masks. The president has politicized the Covid-19 crisis and has called on his own supporters to refrain from wearing masks. A narrative has grown that accuses President Trump and his rallies to be superspreaders because the GOP won’t require masks at the rallies.

Some of the president’s staunchest allies are aghast at the responses from some of the president’s critics.

Shortly after the news broke that the Trump were infected with Covid-19, #ItIsWhatItIs started trending on Twitter. The hashtag echoes President Trump’s own words from a recent interview. During an explosive interview on Sept. 3, Trump was asked about the staggering death and infection rates that eclipsed the rest of the world. Trump responded that the 150,000 deaths at the time were unavoidable, despite scientists and health experts disproving that theory.

“They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is,” Trump said defensively when pressed by Jonathan Swan for Axios on HBO. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”

To counter that narrative, people are sharing a video of Trump mocking Hillary Clinton when she was suffering from pneumonia.

President Trump’s diagnosis has set off concern throughout the Senate. The president recently spent a lot of time with Amy Coney Barrett before and after nominating her for the Supreme Court vacancy. Judge Coney Barrett has then spent a lot of time with various Senators leading up to the eventual confirmation hearing. Many in the U.S. government are urging those who have been in contact with Trump and his team to take the necessary precautions and quarantine until they can be tested.

READ: Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

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What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

Culture

What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

fidmart85 / cantstayput / Instagram

Politics is a tricky topic for families and friends, especially when you are on opposite sides of the aisle. It’s hard not to take things personally when it comes to how those closest to you vote. Those feelings have been heightened since 2016 when President Donald Trump won on a campaign based on fear and hate. His rhetoric has never changed and his words and policies are having a real impact on the lives of millions, including me and my husband.

My family is a Cuban family living in Florida. They fit the description in more ways than one. They are a close-knit unit always visiting each other and having mini family reunions for every occasion. Covid changed that for a while but over time they have safely created a bubble with themselves. I am one of three in my immediately-extended family to leave Florida so they don’t see my life on a daily basis. I can only imagine that living in Florida would change that.

With the 2020 elections in just days, I have had some hard conversations with my family about things they’ve never understood or asked about. As a gay Latino man living in the U.S., my life hasn’t always been easy and safe. I grew up in a rural town in the Florida panhandle where it was not okay to be visibly and audibly Latino nor gay.

I was 16 when I had my first run-in with violent homophobia. I was at a keg party and I was pouring a beverage. A college student came up to me and asked if I was gay. Knowing the importance of self-preservation, I immediately said no. Without missing a beat, the man sucker-punched me in the face, called me a faggot, and ran to a waiting car that sped off.

My parents never heard that story. I lied to them when they noticed the welt on my face and told them I got elbowed at cheerleading practice. I know. I was a cheerleader and my parents couldn’t see I was gay. It was safer for me to lie and not let my parents know I was targeted for being gay, something they were in no place to accept are Cuban immigrants living in a rural, conservative southern town.

That moment instilled in me a fear that I live with to this day. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I always function at the level that I can be attacked at any time for being gay. President Trump’s rhetoric and administration has made that worse.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, I felt safe for the first time in a long time. I know that comes with some privilege, but it was the first time in in my gay life that I felt safe to be who I was. I came out to my parents. I became involved in politics to get people elected. I traveled as an openly gay man. I was no longer living in the shadows.

The 2016 elections shattered the feeling of safety and peace for me and my friends. Suddenly, all of us were on the chopping block as our rights and dignity were under attack again. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 reminded me of how much hate there still was for people like me and the Trump campaign was fanning those flames. I was scared. My family didn’t understand why.

Most of my family voted for President Trump that year. It was a knife through the heart to know that most of my family was not concerned about my own safety and dignity. For them, President Trump’s election was more important than the very real threat he posed to millions of people.

I remember confiding in my family my fear that President Trump would try to eliminate marriage equality, won just one year before. I was made to feel like I was being dramatic. My husband and I got married the Friday after Thanksgiving because we just did not trust what the administration would do.

Four years later, Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito signaled that they want to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that made my marriage legal. How? With the help of Amy Coney Barrett, who was rushed in with just days left till election day. Marriage equality became law of the land in a 5-4 ruling.

This blow to the LGBTQ+ community comes after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that LGBTQ+ people cannot be fired for being LGBTQ+. The ruling in June stated that LGBTQ+ were included in the Civil Rights Act under protection from discrimination based on sex.

The lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court to make discrimination against me legal was drafted by the Trump administration. The man my family voted for wanted to make me less than everyone else.

One of the first cases before the majority conservative court that could erode LGBTQ+ rights is Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case, which will be heard the day after the election, will decide if private agencies that receive government dollars can refuse people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and even religion. How is this happening in the U.S. in 2020?

I am also a recently diagnosed diabetic. The Trump administration has been a hostile enemy of the Affordable Care Act since day one. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, has become increasingly popular with Americans, especially now during the pandemic.

Another case being heard on behalf of the Trump administration is a case to dismantle the ACA once and for all. This would throw millions of people off of their healthcare and would leave millions more with pre-existing conditions without healthcare.

A vote for Trump is a vote to strip people of necessary and life-saving healthcare. We have all read the horror stories of people dying of diabetes because they couldn’t afford their insulin. The Trump administration wants us to go back to those days. The court case could force numerous people to die from treatable and manageable diseases for the sake of profit over lives.

Republicans have no plan to replace the ACA. However, they have continued to lie to the American people and claim that they do.

There are several communities under attack right now. Black lives are at stake. Abortion rights are at stake. Healthcare is at stake. Immigrant rights are at stake. Trans lives are at stake. LGBTQ+ rights are at stake. Our standing in the world is at stake. The soul of our nation is at stake.

Under this current administration, I have seen my friends live in fear that they will lose rights. I have watched friends grapple with the understanding that they have lost rights.

My family claims to care for me, and I am sure that on some level they really believe that. However, as a gay Latino man living in the Trump administration, I have grown resentful. I resent that their votes are costing me and my friends their human dignity. I resent that their vote exacerbated the ongoing pandemic that has cost more lives than it should have. I resent that they ask why I don’t visit despite voting to limit my rights and freedom.

To my family members who have voted against this administration, thank you. Thank you for standing by my side. Thank you for understanding what is at stake for me and my marriage. Thank you for rebuking an administration that has caused unnecessary harm to millions of innocent people.

It is not too late to have your voice heard. Go vote. Millions of us are relying on you using your voice to determine the future of this nation.

READ: Remembering The Victims Of The Orlando Shooting, Many Of Whom Were Latino

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Marco Rubio Writes Letter Asking For TPS For Venezuelans After Republicans Voted Against It

Things That Matter

Marco Rubio Writes Letter Asking For TPS For Venezuelans After Republicans Voted Against It

Stefanie Reynolds / Getty Images

The Trump administration is letting Temporary Protected Status expire for hundreds of thousands of people. A lot of these people have been here for years and have started families and businesses. Republicans voted against TPS for Venezuelans so Sen. Marco Rubio is now asking Trump to do something about it.

Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter to President Trump asking for TPS for Venezuelans.

It is a break from the usual tactic of ignoring TPS needs in Florida by Haitians, Hondurans, and Salvadorans. These people are at risk of losing their TPS after the Trump administration decided to let those protections expire. Venezuelans started fleeing the South American country when the economy started to collapse. Many of them have settled in South Florida.

People immediately started to call Sen. Rubio out for his glaring inaction for years.

Venezuelan nationals have been coming to the U.S. for years to escape the terrifying situation in Venezuela. An economic downfall led to millions of Venezuelans going without food, school, medicine, and other necessities. The crisis was an international fascination as Venezuelans took to the streets and were killed for protesting against their government.

Senate Republicans refused to vote on a bill last year to provide TPS to Venezuelans.

In August 2019, Senate Republicans had the chance to vote on a bill that would have protected Venezuelans living in the U.S. A bill in the Democrat-led House passed but the Senate bill stalled because of Senate Republicans. The failure by the Senate to pass the bill has left Venezuelans vulnerable to deportation back to the country they fled.

“Not this week, I don’t anticipate movement on it,” Rubio told the Miami Herald back then. “I anticipate hopefully getting the administration to do something. That’s what we’ve been working on behind the scenes here, we’ve made a little progress on it. We have 17 votes already scheduled this week, a bunch of nominees, the spending bill, the veto override. The votes this week have already been scheduled.”

During this time, the Trump administration has quietly been deporting Venezuelans back.

Venezuelans nationals have been deported back to President Nicolás Maduro’s brutal regime. With no economic prospects, the deportations are sending people to their deaths as one in three Venezuelans aren’t getting enough food. This is just one of the many issues compounded on the Venezuelan people after years of economic and political turmoil.

Venezuelans are also pointing out how Sen. Rubio waited until after Amy Coney Barrett to fight for TPS.

Senate Republicans recently confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The confirmation was rushed to secure a conservative majority on the court and went against the wish of the American people. A majority of Americans preferred that the Senate wait until after the election.

There are four days left until the elections and every vote matters. Make sure you get out there and make your voice heard.

READ: The RNC Wants You To Think Biden-Harris Policies Are Socialist, These Cuban And Venezuelan-Americans Think Otherwise

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