Speaking in Pennsylvania, Trump also defended overseeing the world’s highest coronavirus death toll, saying 200,000 Americans amounted to “doing it right” because the mortality rate could potentially have been far higher.
Meanwhile, legal experts have raised concern over the extent of “secret” powers available to the presidency that could render the office “virtually dictatorial” should they be activated in the event of a national emergency being declared.
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‘The odds of Joe Biden beating Donald Trump show there’s still all to play for’
For Indy Voices, James Moore surveys what the bookmakers are saying on this two-horse race.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 12:02
‘Naked ballots’ could invalidate thousands of votes in Pennsylvania and cause chaos
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to void so-called “naked ballots” mailed without envelopes that conceal the voter’s identity could cause “electoral chaos” and protracted legal battles, state election officials have warned.
The decision – part of a series of rulings that extended vote-by-mail deadlines, allowed ballot drop boxes and removed Green Party candidates from the ticket – could force as many as 100,000 votes to be tossed out in a state that Trump carried by just 44,000 more votes than his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Another slim margin, with thousands of ballots cast but determined invalid, could prevent a Biden victory in the state.
“While everyone is talking about the significance of extending the mail-ballot deadline, it is the naked ballot ruling that is going to cause electoral chaos,” Lisa Deeley, who chairs the Philadelphia commissioners office, wrote in a letter to state lawmakers on Monday.
She warned that the court’s decision could create a post-election scenario “the likes of which we have not seen since Florida in 2000.”
Alex Woodward has more on this.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 10:34
New testing standards for coronavirus vaccines mean approval unlikely before election day
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to announce tougher standards for the authorisation of a coronavirus vaccine this week, which will make it unlikely for one to be approved by election day.
The agency is expected to issue the guidance later this week, in order to boost public trust in the process, as it moves closer to being able to decide on a potential vaccine, according to The Washington Post.
President Trump claimed at a campaign rally earlier this month that a vaccine will be approved by the US election on 3 November, but two of his top scientific advisers have said that it is unlikely that one will be ready, as trials will not have collected enough data by that point.
Dr Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of vaccine development programme Operation Warp Speed, told NPR in early September that an approval is “extremely unlikely but not impossible,” while US surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams said it is “improbable”.
James Crump has more on this.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 10:43
Pennsylvania rally images reveal packed venue and half maskless crowd as Trump mocks Biden for social distancing
Here’s Matt Mathers to survey the alarming scene for the president’s latest mass gathering, which frankly must have looked like a free buffet to Covid-19.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 12:07
Trump lashes out at widow Cindy McCain for Biden endorsement
The president is up bright and early to harangue his deceased enemy’s wife for backing his election rival.
He follows that by retweeting an absurd call from his pal Tom Fitton’s Judicial Watch pressure group for Ilhan Omar to be investigated – for extremely vague “potential violations of law” – continuing to target the Muslim congresswoman to please the far-right members of his support base.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 12:31
Trump impeachment defender describes Kyle Rittenhouse ‘as a little boy out there trying to protect his community’
The 17-year-old Kenosha shooting suspect was excused on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last night by YouTuber Dave Rubin and none other than Pam Bondi, ex-Florida attorney general turned Trump impeachment lawyer.
Rittenhouse stands accused of killing two protesters with an AR-15 following unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the Wisconsin town in August and is anything but a “little boy”.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 11:16
John McCain’s widow endorses Biden in snub to Trump
Joe Biden received another prominent Republican endorsement on Tuesday, with Cindy McCain, the widow of Arizona senator and Vietnam War hero John McCain, announcing her support for the Democratic nominee.
Mrs McCain wrote on Twitter: “We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost… There’s only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is Joe Biden.”
The late John McCain, the Republican Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, was known for his acrimonious relationship with Trump, who notoriously mocked the veteran pilot for being shot down during the conflict in South East Asia and held captive for six years.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 11:47
Barack Obama: Ousting Trump is about ‘whether or not our democracy endures’
The 44th president has issued a new video on support of his former deputy and does not mince his words.
Here’s Justin Vallejo’s report.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 10:39
HR McMaster says Trump ‘making it easy for Putin to meddle’
Also speaking to CNN on similar grounds was the president’s former national security adviser (replaced by John Bolton in 2018) HR McMaster, who told Jake Tapper that Trump makes Kremlin election interference on Facebook more likely every time he engages in deliberately divisive messaging.
“Putin doesn’t create these divisions in our society, he doesn’t create these doubts, he magnifies them, and we just have to be really careful to not be our own worst enemy,” McMaster said.
Interestingly, this came just after Trump had plugged his forthcoming new memoir (along with tomorrow’s pulp fodder from Matt Gaetz and “Judge” Jeanine Piro).
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 10:26
Ex-US Russia adviser says world regards Trump’s America as ‘object of pity’
Fiona Hill, who you will remember from her barnstorming performance at the House impeachment hearings last November, has been talking to CNN about Washington’s loss of face under Trump.
She cites the “bungled handling of Covid, on top of race relations, on top of our political polarisation and the spectacles that we’re presenting to the outside world” as key factors.
Here’s Madeline Roth’s report.
Joe Sommerlad23 September 2020 10:17
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