Tag: election law

Background Briefing: May 20, 2020


Republican Governors Assist Trump by Undercounting Covid Deaths

We begin with the efforts underway by Trump and his loyal governors like DeSantis in Florida, Kemp in Georgia and Ducey in Arizona, to engage in deliberate efforts to undercount their states’ Covid-19 deaths. An expert in what influences the morbidity and mortality experience in the adult population, Mark Hayward, a professor of sociology and research associate at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas, joins us to discuss the firing of Florida’s top Covid-19 data scientist whose dashboard has been universally praised by researcher and the White House’s Dr. Birx. Then we have the flagrant example of Georgia Governor Kemp’s Department of Health releasing a doctored graph showing a decline in deaths by resorting the dates to create the illusion of a lower death count.  And in Arizona, Governor Ducey won’t name nursing homes where seniors are dying because it is bad for business. With public health professionals warning the country’s deaths from the coronavirus are already undercounted and the real numbers are at least 25% higher, it remains to be seen whether Trump will succeed in continuing the undercounting throughout the election as the bodies pile up. Meanwhile the Reality TV stuntman’s daily distractions continue to divert the press’s attention away from his bungling, whether it is his dubious claim he’s taking an unproven malaria drug or his response to the fact that the U.S. has a third of the world’s Covid cases and over a quarter of the deaths, when he actually said that the appalling statistics are “a badge of honor”. We are left to ponder whether belief, no matter how bizarre, now trumps facts in our divided country.

Fact-checking Trump’s Attacks on Mail-in Ballots in Nevada and Michigan

Then we explore another of the daily dose of demonizing democratic norms from a president entirely focused on his reelection which increasingly will have to rely on voter suppression and Russian help. With Trump attacking voting by mail with false claims and absurd charges against Nevada and Michigan, a state facing disastrous flooding for which a normal president would be offering aide and comfort, we speak with an expert on election law, Justin Levitt, Associate Dean for Research and a Professor of Law at Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles. He joins us to fact-check Trump’s false charges and unconstitutional demands.

How the Pandemic Has Destroyed the Myth of American Exceptionalism

Then finally we speak with Karen Greenberg, Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University’s School of Law about her article at Tom Dispatch, “Covid-19 is Destroying the Myth of American Exceptionalism“. She joins us to discuss the dangerous path we on as Trump escalates his campaign attacks on China which could lead to a military clash in the South China Sea while at the same time his crass perversion of diplomacy has allowed China a win on the world stage at the WHO assembly where threats and bullying from the U.S. allowed China to escape responsibility for starting the pandemic.