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Author: Common Dreams

New documents reveal meatpacking industry fought against implementing minimal COVID-19 safeguards

Documents obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and published on March 4 reveal how leading players in the meatpacking industry, one of the hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, fought the minimal efforts imposed by the Trump administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in meat processing plants last spring. As Public Citizen put it, “these docs are utterly damning.” Responding to Public Citizen’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the USDA handed over documents (pdf) showing that: In April 2020, officials in the North American Meat Institute protested USDA’s decision...

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Review of Trump-era coronavirus guidance confirms extensive political manipulation of pandemic response

A top-to-bottom review of Trump-era coronavirus guidance has identified public health recommendations issued under the banner of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were “not primarily authored” by agency staff or backed by the best existing scientific evidence. Ordered by current CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the review (pdf) was seen as confirmation of widespread fears that the Trump administration — members of which repeatedly downplayed the severity of the pandemic—manipulated guidance coming out of the nation’s leading public health agency to make it fit with the White House’s views and political objectives. In September, Politico reported that...

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Wave of voter suppression laws reveal the deep roots of Jim Crow ideology in the GOP’s drive to autocracy

“The United States of America has open wounds.” – Deborah Scott Ever since its founding, the United States has been attempting to build a society around those wounds, on the belief that hyped-up language, “all men are created equal,” can paper over deep wrongs. If you put the ideal in writing, you can ignore its absence in real life. Writing for a publication of St. Joseph’s Parish in Wilmington, Deborah Scott noted that, except for Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, “the United States reigns supreme when it comes to legislation and traditions that have undergirded systemic and racially...

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Trumpedemic: America’s death toll and economic loss is a direct result of the sabotaged COVID-19 response

An economy devastated. One in twelve Americans sickened. Millions hospitalized. One half million dead. As we mourn more than 500,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19, we should remember that their deaths were not the inevitable results of a pandemic, not unavoidable acts of God. Most of the dead would likely be alive today—most of the suffering America has endured could have been avoided—but for Donald Trump. In our year of the plague, Trump went from neglect and incompetence to sabotaging the national response, causing massive death. A cynical and self-absorbed man, Trump saw a lethal contagion only an...

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Senator Ron Johnson forces reading of the 628-page coronavirus relief bill in cynical stunt to delay vote

Senator Bernie Sanders accused Senate Republicans on March 4 of showing “contempt” for working class Americans after Senator Ron Johnson delayed a vote on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill by forcing Senate floor staff to read all 628 pages of it out loud. Reading the entire bill could take as long as 10 hours. While claiming that he felt bad for making Senate clerks read the entire bill, Johnson (R-WI) attempted to justify his action by saying that “so often we rush these massive bills that are hundreds, if not thousands, of pages long.” “Nobody has...

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NAACP uses Reconstruction Era Anti-KKK Law in lawsuit against conspirators of Capitol attack

The NAACP, Rep. Bennie Thompson, and a leading civil rights law firm on February 16 sued former President Donald Trump, his attorney Rudy Giuliani, and right-wing groups for allegedly conspiring to incite last month’s deadly attack on the United States Capitol. The suit — filed by the civil rights group and the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — accuses Trump, Giuliani, the Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers of directly violating the Enforcement Act of 1871 by attempting to prevent Congress from performing its official duties on...

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