Earth, Coronavirus, Covid-19, World, Hygiene, Pandemic
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As I write this, a ferocious hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. The damage to life and property in Louisiana and Texas (and elsewhere) is likely to be extensive (though in the news headlines, the storm was overshadowed this week by coverage of the Republican National Convention and another police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake). In America, our government and corporate overlords purport to disbelieve that climate change is real—or that things like a global pandemic or newly intense storms could possibly be caused by global warming. Yet the evidence is all around us.

In fact, the powers that be know very well that climate change is real. They are lying to the public to protect their own short-term interests—i.e., their personal wealth and power.

This is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject, but a brief reminder of why addressing climate change is critical, and how the current pandemic should spur us to urgent action. I include some links at the end if you’d like to do some more in-depth reading.

Pandemics and Climate Change

Viral epidemics and pandemics arise, in part, due to climate change. As human activity—including logging, mining, farming, deforestation, housing construction and more—encroaches further into previously uninhabited areas, animals are forced into closer proximity to areas populated by humans. This increases the chances for viruses to jump from animals to humans. Large-scale livestock farming also leads to the spillover of infections from animals to people. The result is that “[a] catastrophic loss in biodiversity, reckless destruction of wildland and warming temperatures have allowed disease to explode.

A human population that has quadrupled in the space of one century has also caused people in some parts of the world to eat a wider variety of animals, which may have facilitated the ability of certain germs to jump from animals to human hosts. However, factory farming of animals is also thought to create the risk of deadly pandemics.

Hurricanes are Bigger and Badder Thanks to Global Warming

There is evidence that hurricanes are getting stronger, intensifying more rapidly and even producing more rain as a result of a warming world. It has also been documented that hurricanes have occurred more frequently in the North Atlantic since the 1970s.  Typhoons in the Northern Pacific have also been intensifying.

The reason is simple: the oceans take in nearly all of the excess energy created by global warming—having absorbed an estimated 93 percent of the increase in the planet’s energy inventory since 1971. Warmer ocean temperatures help power storms, and increase the atmospheric water vapor content as well. Sea levels are also rising as the oceans warm, and higher sea levels give coastal storm surges a higher starting point when storms approach the shore. Coastal development and growing population density along coastlines makes such storms more dangerous to humans.

Wildfires Are Worse Because of Climate Change

Climate change is also a key factor in the increase and extent of wildfires in the western United States. Fire has always been a natural part of nature, and is beneficial to certain ecosystems. The risk of wildfires depends on a number of factors, including “temperature, soil moisture, and the presence of trees, shrubs, and other potential fuel. All these factors have strong direct or indirect ties to climate variability and climate change.” With forests drier than ever, the number of large fires in the western United States doubled between 1984 and 2015.

Scientists believe that the current fires in California are largely due to climate change—including hotter temperatures, less dependable precipitation and snowpack that melts sooner, leading to drier soil and parched vegetation. Here again, overdevelopment increases the risk to people, and also increases ignition sources that spark fires in the first place.

Global Migration is Also Spurred by Climate Change

This phenomenon doesn’t get as much attention as it should, but climate change is also a major driver of human migration. Migration from the global south to the global north—whether it be from Latin America to the United States, Southeast Asia to the Middle East, or Africa to Europe—is driven by many factors (including poverty, violence and persecution), but we ignore climate change at our peril.

People can become refugees—internally displaced—overnight as a result of cyclones, tsunamis, typhoons and hurricanes. Resource scarcity (including competition for food and water) and desertification of formerly arable parts of the planet also drive migration. The World Bank has estimated that Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia together will generate 143 million more climate migrants by 2050.

What Can We Do?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been a quickly moving preview of how the more slowly moving (but even more urgent) climate change crisis will destroy our human habitat if we do not act quickly and decisively. While the impact of COVID-19 was more sudden, we should not become complacent about a planet that is warming up more quickly than we wish to acknowledge.

I’m no expert and don’t have the answers to how we can stop the upcoming climate change disaster. But there are a few obvious things we can all do now:

  • Decrease or eliminate our consumption of meat. Large-scale factory farming of animals is not only cruel, it is environmentally destructive.
  • Re-use and recycle. Let’s buy less and re-use more.
  • Make climate change a key voting issue. Call, write and text your representatives on environmental issues. Support candidates who put fighting against climate change front and center.
  • Support organizations whose mission is to influence policymakers to enact sensible climate-focused legislation.

These are easy and obvious. But rather than listening to me, I’d recommend that you seek out experts and advocacy groups that have concrete suggestions about what we can do as individuals (especially those of us privileged enough to live comfortable lives in prosperous countries) and what policymakers need to be encouraged to do before it is too late. Below are links to groups you might want to check out.

Any readers more knowledgeable about the environmental movement should feel free to post additional links in the comments (or concrete suggestions for what individuals can do), and I’ll update this blog post accordingly. (global grassroots climate movement)

Clean Air Task Force (US NGO)

Climate Emergency Fund (US NGO)

Climate Interactive (Think Tank)

Coalition for Rainforest Nations (intergovernmental organization)

Environmental Defense Fund (US nonprofit advocacy group)

Friends of the Earth (US NGO)

Greenpeace International (Int’l NGO)

Natural Resources Defense Council (US NGO)

Rainforest Foundation US (US NGO)

World Wildlife Fund (US NGO)

See also:

Sigal Samuel, “Want to Fight Climate Change Effectively? Here’s Where to Donate Your Money” (, Dec. 18, 2019)

Experts’ Picks: Protecting the Environment (Charity Navigator, last visited Aug. 27, 2020)

Links to Selected Further Reading

Jeff Berardelli, “How Climate Change is Making Hurricanes More Dangerous” (Yale Climate Connections, July 8, 2019).

Aaron Bernstein, “Coronavirus, Climate Change, and the Environment: A Conversation on COVID-19 with Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE”  (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, last visited Aug. 27, 2020)

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “Wildfires and Climate Change” (last visited Aug. 27, 2020).

Henry Fountain, “Climate Change is Making Hurricanes Stronger, Researchers Find” (New York Times, Aug. 23, 2020)

Beth Gardiner, “Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change” (Yale Environment 360/Yale School of the Environment, Mar. 23, 2020)

Abrahm Lustgarten, “How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease” (ProPublica, May 7, 2020)

Abahm Lustgarten, “The Great Global Migration” (New York Times, July 23, 2020)

Eric Lutz, “The Trump Administration is Just Flat-Out Lying About Climate Change” (Vanity Fair, Mar. 2, 2020)

Naomi Oreskes, “The Trump Administration’s Biggest Climate Lies” (The Nation, Nov. 12, 2019)

John Podesta, The Climate Crisis, Migration and Refugees (Brookings Institution, July 25, 2019)

Renee N. Salas, et al., “The Climate Crisis and Covid-19 — A Major Threat to the Pandemic Response” (New England Journal of Medicine, July 15, 2020)

Sigal Samuel, “The Meat We Get From Factory Farms is a Pandemic Risk, Too” (Vox, Aug. 20, 2020)

Sonia Shah, The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020).

Union of Concerned Scientists, “Hurricanes and Climate Change” (June 25, 2019)

Union of Concerned Scientists, “The Connection Between Climate Change and Wildfires” (Mar. 11, 2020).

Alan Weisman, “Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Mother Nature’s Revenge?” (Boston Globe Magazine Apr. 22, 2020)


The Post Office is actually mentioned in the U.S. Constitution! It is a venerable institution that plays a key part in uniting a large country like the United States.

I don’t have to tell my vast reading public (all five of you!) that Dictator Donny is trying to destroy the U.S. Postal Service in order to keep Democrats from voting. After all, he has said so publicly. The USPS even wrote to 46 states in July to warn that mail-in ballots for the presidential election may not be delivered in time to be counted.

The attempt to destroy the ability of the Post Office to function on the eve of the presidential election is just one of Trump’s many blatant, destructive and unconstitutional attempts to destroy democracy and rig the election. (As my 82-year-old mother said to me the other day, there is at least one thing Donny has said that is actually true: that the 2020 presidential election will be the most rigged election in history—except of course he is the one rigging it.)

There is a lot of information floating around about what people can do to help save the Post Office, and preserve the right to vote by mail, but the information is scattered and difficult to find and to vet. So I am bringing together in one place a list of actions you can take if you think it’s wrong that our own government is deliberately slowing down the mail; deactivating, removing, and disassembling multimillion-dollar mail sorting machines (and perhaps even destroying them, as Rachel Maddow reported on August 14, though I have not been able to confirm that anywhere else); and even removing mailboxes from street corners to keep you from being able to safely vote by mail in the midst of a deadly pandemic (though of course the Trump Administration denies this is the reason, and says that removing underused mailboxes or those in need of repair or subject to theft is simply business as usual).

BREAKING NEWS: Before I could finish this blog post, the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, announced on August 18 that he would suspend the Postal Service’s so-called “cost-cutting measures” until after the November election. This shows that pressure works!  (It doesn’t hurt that a coalition of states was getting ready to file a lawsuit charging that the changes could undermine the election.) Nonetheless, you may still want to let your government representatives know where you stand. After all, this doesn’t mean that DeJoy is going to reverse the damage that has already been done. And there is still the issue of providing governmental funding for the Post Office—which the House is coming out of recess to address, but which the Republican-led Senate and the President are loathe to do.

If you have other information about concrete steps people can take to help save the Post Office or ensure the right to vote, please provide them in the comments. I’ll keep updating this blog as I am made aware of additional relevant resources.


I’m sure these mail boxes were only removed because they were old and will be replaced promptly!

Contact Your Representative and Senators

Write to your member of the House of Representatives and to your U.S. Senators to register your complaint about what has been happening to the Post Office. This is important even if your Representative or Senator agrees with you. They keep track of constituent messages, and it helps if they are able to say that they have heard from x number of a constituents. If they don’t hear from you, they won’t know you care about this issue.

You can find your Representative here.  (When I put in my address, it actually pulled up three possibilities, so the search engine isn’t perfect. If the same thing happens to you, you can look at this Congressional Districts Map to get a more accurate result.) When you get to your Representative’s home page, there should be a contact link. If you prefer to call (also very effective!), you can find phone numbers of every member of the House of Representatives here.

You can find your Senators here. If you click on the link for a Senator’s name, you’ll arrive at their home page, where there should be a contact link. You can also find contact details for all U.S. Senators here.

You can also use a platform such as those provided by Indivisible or the American Postal Workers Union to find and call or write to your representative.

Don’t want to call or write? Go to this link and you can easily make a video, post it to social media and tag your representative.

Update: Here is a really easy way to contact your representatives. Text USPS to 50409 (which will put you in touch with RESISTBOT), and it will help you generate a letter to your representatives to demand protection for the US Postal Service. Just follow the prompts! It took me less than two minutes (including some waiting time at the outset—I guess they’re seeing a lot of interest!). Note that you can also use RESISTBOT to contact your representatives about any other issue you like.

Send an Email to the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service.

These people all seem to have something in common, but I just can’t put my finger on what it is.

The U.S. Postal Service is governed by a Board of Governors. Members of the Board are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The Governors, in turn, select the Postmaster General (at least in theory—does anyone think Trump had nothing to do with installing DeJoy, who was a major donor to his campaign?).

Let’s flood their email boxes with messages asking them to save the Post Office. This really shouldn’t be a partisan issue—Republicans and Democrats alike should be aghast at what is happening. One acquaintance of mine sent the following message:

Here are the relevant addresses that you can cut and paste into an email:

Robert Duncan:

John Barger:

Ron Bloom:

Roman Martinez:

Donald Moak:

Wiliam Zollers:

Should You Buy Stamps to Support the Post Office?

For several months, as the financial crisis facing the Postal Service has become all the more dire, there have been many calls for people to buy stamps as a way of injecting funds into the USPS. It’s a nice idea, but financially it won’t make a dent in the need.

Sadly, there are no stamps that actually look like this.

Part of why the USPS is in such bad shape is that in 2006, Congress passed a law requiring the agency to fund 75 years of retiree health benefits—in essence funding benefits for people who have not yet even been born. However, buying stamps isn’t enough to bail out the Post Office. As one expert has explained, “If Americans were to buy 1 billion first class stamps — about 4 per household — it would constitute a resounding vote of confidence and support. On the other hand, it would generate only about $500 million [in revenue]. Most observers believe the post office needs an immediate injection of $25 billion. Only Congress can make that happen.”

Still, it’s a nice idea, and if nothing else it’s a way to show your support. And precisely because most of us rarely use stamps anymore, it’s nice to have some around the house when you suddenly need one on an urgent basis. You can buy stamps online at


Join a Phone Bank or a Texting Platform to Help Get Out The Vote

Texting is an effective way to reach voters these days and there are many organizations that provide platforms that let you send texts from your computer. Phone banks are still around, too, and you can participate from home (though personally I never answer calls anymore unless I recognize the number, and I think that’s true of a lot of people nowadays). There are also organizations that can guide you in engaging in social media campaigns, provide the technology for you to make your own video, or use volunteers in other capacities.

These online and phone “campaigns” aren’t necessarily partisan. In some cases, you may simply be contacting people with neutral reminders to, for example, respond to the census, or register to vote.

Here are just a few organizations to check out:

When We All Vote (nonpartisan organization with a mission to increase participation in voting)

Election Protection – 866 Our Vote (national, nonpartisan coalition working year-round to protect the right to vote)

2020 Victory Team (sponsored by the Democratic National Committee)

Resistance Labs (progressive grassroots organization with a mission to stop Trump and rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up)

Indivisible (progressive grassroots organization working to beat Trump and save democracy)

Biden-Harris Virtual Phone Banks (allows you to make calls to voters on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign)

Plan Your Vote

In her speech on the first night of the Democratic convention, Michelle Obama advised people going to the polls on November 3 to plan ahead: wear comfortable shoes, bring a bottle of water, bring a brown bag dinner and maybe even a breakfast.

In other words, whether you vote in person or by mail, voting is not going to be easy this year. Polling places may be closed, understaffed or disorganized; the Postal Service may not deliver ballots in time; and all manner of voter suppression efforts will be in full swing. If you plan to vote by mail, it will be critical to mail in your ballot (or take it to a drop box or to the Board of Elections office) as soon as you possibly can.

Let’s flatten the curve!

For all of these reasons, it will be important to plan how you are going to vote. Will you vote in person? Will you depend on the mail? Will you attempt to drop off your absentee ballot at your local Board of Elections office (and if so, will they be prepared to accept your ballot)?

Below are some resources that may help.

How to Vote In The 2020 Election: A state-by-state guide to voting in the age of COVID-19 (FiveThirtyEight)

Plan Your Vote: How to Vote by Mail and Register to Vote in Each State (NBC News)

If You’re Young, Consider Becoming a Poll Worker on November 3.

Approximately 60 percent of the people who work in the polls on Election Day are over 60 years old, which means they are in the highest-risk group for COVID-19. So this year, there are efforts to recruit young people, who are not as susceptible to the virus, to take their place.

If you or a friend or family member are young and would like to help by becoming a poll worker, go to this link to get started. You will be helping to ensure that the polls are well-staffed, and safe for voters.



10 Things to Know About Trump’s Post Office Scandal (


File:Senator Harris official senate portrait.jpg

Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his prospective Vice President has Republicans all in a tizzy because they clearly fear that she will be a very effective running mate. Harris checks so many diversity boxes—female, African American, South Asian, Jamaican, child of immigrants and more—that Republicans are right to be scared of how successfully she is likely to appeal to multiple demographic groups who will identify with her personal story. And this is not even to mention that she is whip-smart, an experienced campaigner, and a skilled former prosecutor who will clearly and effectively lay out the case against four more years of Whiney Donny and Sycophanty Mikey.

So naturally, Republicans are questioning both the legitimacy of Harris’ claim to be African American, and even whether she is a “natural-born citizen” (or even a citizen at all!) who is eligible to be Vice President. Because after all … what else they got besides racism?

So let’s set the record straight.

Is Kamala Harris African American?

In immediate response to the announcement of her selection as Biden’s running mate, the right-wing blogosphere went crazy with suggestions that Harris is somehow falsely assuming the identity of African American because her Black father was born in Jamaica, not in the United States.

Nowhere has it been decreed to my knowledge that to be African American you must be a direct descendant of persons held in chattel slavery in the United States. (Okay, there is an American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) movement that advocates for a narrower, lineage-based identity based on the experience of having descended from Africans who were enslaved in the United States, but Harris has never claimed to be ADOS.) You may recall that Barack Obama, too, was sometimes criticized (by both Blacks and whites) for not being “black enough.” But let’s get real. We still operate under the “one-drop rule” in the United States. Harris is at least partially descended on her father’s side from people who originated in Africa, and she is an American. If she herself has decided that this makes her an African American, then that’s the end of the story.

Interestingly, Harris wrote in her autobiography, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, that her Indian mother (who basically raised Kamala and her sister alone after her parents divorced when Kamala was eight years old) “understood very well she was raising two black daughters. She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya and me as black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident black women.”

For this reason, her mother made a point of embedding herself and her daughters in the Black community in the East Bay area of California where they lived in the 1960s and early 1970s, including participating in civil rights marches, attending a Black Baptist church in Oakland, and being active members in local community organizations in the predominantly Black neighborhood where they lived. When it came time to choose a college, Harris decided to attend Howard University, the famous historically Black university in Washington, D.C. So to the extent that being African American is also a cultural identity, there is no doubt that this is where Harris has always lived. According to an article in the Washington Post, “Harris grew up embracing her Indian culture, but living a proudly African American life.”

What if Harris is a Descendant of Slave Owners?

Critics have also sought to undercut Harris’ African American bona fides by claiming that she is a descendent of “Jamaican slave owners.” Specifically, the infamous Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian-born, far-right political provocateur, said on Fox News on August 11, 2020 that “Kamala Harris seems to be descended less from the legacy of, let’s say, Frederick Douglass, than she is from the legacy of the plantation itself.”

Seriously?  Let’s take a closer look.

In 2018, Harris’ father, Donald J. Harris, wrote an article in 2018 for Jamaica Global (a website for the global Jamaican diaspora) in which he disclosed that he was descended from a prominent slave owner in Jamaica. Though it has not been definitively confirmed, there is indeed evidence to suggest that Kamala Harris had an Irish great-great-great-great-great grandfather named Hamilton Brown who owned slaves in Jamaica. Harris’ father wrote about his roots going back, in his lifetime, to his paternal grandmother, Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown) and his maternal grandmother, Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan).

Miss Chrishy (left), Donald Harris’ paternal grandmother, and Miss Iris (right), Donald Harris’ maternal grandmother (pictured with a young Kamala). [Both pictures from Donald Harris’ article in Jamaica Global.]

It is bitterly ironic that anyone could believe that this somehow “discredits” Harris’ claim to self-identify as African American. (Whose permission does she need, anyway?) I’m not sure what the Irishman Hamilton Brown looked like, but I’m guessing his complexion was somewhat fairer than those of Harris’ two great-grandmothers on her father’s side, who both appear to be of mixed African and European ancestry. Did Republicans miss the memo about white slave owners routinely fathering mixed race children through coerced sex with enslaved African women? Have they not heard of Sally Hemings?

This ridiculous argument doesn’t deserve another second’s attention.

Birtherism Again?  Really?

As an immigration lawyer whose day job is spent interpreting, arguing and applying U.S. immigration and nationality laws, the “birtherism” argument waged against Barack Obama (largely by none other than Donald Trump) would get me especially incensed.  Well, birtherism is raising its ugly head again, this time wielded against Kamala Harris.

In an opinion piece published in Newsweek on August 12, 2020, John C. Eastman, a California law professor who really should know better, raised the question of whether Kamala Harris is a “natural born citizen” (a requirement for holding the position of either President or Vice President) since her parents were both immigrants, and it was unclear whether they had naturalized as U.S. citizens before she was born. For the record: their immigration status at the time she was born on U.S. soil is irrelevant, unless they were diplomats who were not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. government. (Spoiler alert: they were not diplomats. Her mother was a cancer researcher and her father is an economist.)

Newsweek subsequently published an “Editor’s Note” in response to readers having complained about this apparent attempt to ignite a racist conspiracy theory, writing, “Dr. Eastman was focusing on a long-standing, somewhat arcane legal debate about the precise meaning of the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ in the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment. His essay has no connection whatsoever to so-called ‘birther-ism,’ the racist 2008 conspiracy theory aimed at delegitimizing then-candidate Barack Obama by claiming, baselessly, that he was born not in Hawaii but in Kenya.” No, of course it doesn’t.

In any case, the damage was done. In fact, a few days earlier, a Facebook post along the same lines had already gone viral.

Facebook did not take the false claim down, but it did add links to a number of fact-checking articles to clarify that there is no truth to the claim that the fact of having foreign-born parents disqualifies Harris from serving as Vice President or President (since the VP’s first job is to be ready to serve as President if the President dies or is incapacitated).

To be clear: the United States recognizes two forms of birthright citizenship: jus soli (Latin for “right of the land”), meaning citizenship by right conferred on anyone born on U.S. soil, and jus sanguinis (“right of the blood”), or citizenship by descent, i.e., by virtue of the U.S. citizenship of one’s mother or father, regardless of one’s place of birth. Even if Harris’ parents were not yet naturalized citizens at the time of her birth, she was born on U.S. soil—in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964—and was thus a U.S. citizen at birth.

Barack Obama, of course, was relentlessly attacked by the right wing on “birtherism” grounds, even though he, too, was born in the United States and was therefore a U.S. citizen at birth, end of story. (See the Fourteenth Amendment.) The idea was to suggest that our first Black president was somehow an “illegitimate” president—and these similar attacks against Harris reveal a similar discomfort (no, a better word is rage) among some white people at the fact that a person who is not white can ascend to the highest office in the land. It’s despicable and it’s racist.

On a final note, I’ll just mention that the closer call when Obama was running against John McCain in 2008 was always McCain himself, who due to an odd gap in the law was actually not a U.S. citizen at birth, but acquired U.S. citizenship retroactively thanks to Congressional action granting citizenship to certain children born of U.S. citizen parents in the unincorporated Panama Canal Zone before it was an official U.S. territory. I actually think this was part of the genesis of the birther movement against Obama: it was a deliberate attempt to deflect attention from McCain’s potential ineligibility for the presidency by pointing to the Black guy with the Muslim middle name and the Kenyan father. 

In typical fashion, Trump is now promoting the phony “birther” story about Harris. He is also trying to dub Harris “Phony Kamala.” But we all know who the real phony is.


If Trump’s intentions weren’t clear, just listen to his lawyer!

On Saturday, August 8, Donald Trump signed four new executive orders (actually, three separate memoranda and one order) by which he purports to solve the Congressional deadlock on extending COVID-19-related relief. He claims he can do so by, unilaterally, providing executive authority for extended supplementary unemployment payments, an eviction moratorium, a further suspension of student loan payments and, while he is at it, a suspension of the payroll tax for certain taxpayers.

Trump asserts that, as president, he has the authority to do these things simply through the power of the Sharpie. But these orders are (1) evil, and (2) little more than political theater designed to shore up his support in the upcoming election. In other words, it’s all another big lie, dressed up in the pomp and circumstance of a presidential signing ceremony.

Political Theater

Let’s start with my second contention. I say that this is all nothing but political theater because Trump doesn’t actually have the authority to do what he is pretending to do.

Under the U.S. Constitution, only the House of Representatives has the power to tax and spend money for the federal government.  (We know the president hasn’t read the Constitution, but you should. See Article I, Section 7, Clause 1: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”) Similarly, the president is not permitted to draw money from the Treasury unless Congress has specifically passed a law allowing him to do so for a specific purpose. (See Article I, Section 9, Clause 7, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”)

The House of Representatives actually has tried to appropriate funds that would, among other things, extend the $600 supplemental unemployment payment. Way back in May (seems like a lifetime ago), the House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which would have provided billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief, but Mitch McConnell has not allowed the Senate to consider it, much less to vote on it.

This gave Trump the opportunity to swoop in and appear to show that—in the infamous words he uttered in his Republican nomination acceptance speech in July 2016—“I alone can fix it.” Moreover, in doing so he and the Republicans are trying to convince the public that executive action was needed because “Congress” didn’t act to help suffering Americans, when in fact the Democratically-controlled House did act, while the Republican-controlled Senate decided to go on vacation.

One of the other memos extends the deferment of student loan payments through December 31, which is a good thing, as far as it goes (the CARES Act deferment would have expired on September 30). As for evictions, Trump issued an executive order which basically says, yeah, the relevant federal agencies should see what they can do to help. Which is probably nothing.

Why Are These Actions Evil?

So how does Trump say he will pay for all these things? This is where the evil comes in.

Trump proposes to use his emergency powers to divert $70 billion from the Department of Homeland Security’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to provide unemployed workers with $300 per week on top of what they receive from the state in which they live. But for expenditures from the DRF, states are required by law to contribute 25%, so he is depending on already cash-strapped states to find that money. States also have to provide an additional $100 per week from the money they already received pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, assuming it has not been spent already. (Note that even in the unlikely event all of these stars were to align, the total would only be $400, as opposed to the $600 per week the unemployed received under the CARES Act.)

Whether this will actually result in any additional payments to the unemployed is an open question. Many states, which are losing tax revenues and are precluded by law from running deficits like the federal government can, may simply be unable to come up with the money. (Or perhaps this is the Senate’s evil plan, since McConnell has floated the idea of allowing states to file for bankruptcy, presumably because he assumes this would affect mostly blue states.)

Trump is also directing the Secretary of the Treasury to defer payroll taxes as of September 1 on taxpayers making less than $104,000 per year. Though not stated explicitly in the memo, this is clearly meant to put more money in the pockets of those lucky enough to have jobs. (To make this clear: this does nothing for the more than 50 million Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since March.) The Secretary is also ordered to “explore avenues, including legislation, to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes deferred pursuant to the implementation of this memorandum.” In other words, though payroll taxes are only being “deferred” for now, the medium-term plan is to eliminate the requirement that such deferred taxes ever be paid. (See below for the long-term plan.)

Why are these presidential acts evil? First, because they set the stage for what Trump hopes to do in his second term.* One major goal is to get rid of the payroll tax altogether. Remember, the Social Security system is funded by the payroll tax! Those are your tax dollars (plus tax payments from employers) that are supposedly being put away for future retirement. It has long been a Republican goal to get rid of Social Security. This is a step toward achieving that long-term plan. Moreover, Medicare is partially funded by payroll taxes as well. Would you like to have reasonably affordable health insurance once you’re retired? Then you might want Medicare to survive a few more years.

This tweet has it just about right.

I would also contend that diverting disaster funding is foolhardy, especially during hurricane season in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

The real danger—the real evil—lies precisely in the political theater surrounding these “orders.” The White House surely knows that all of these directives will be challenged in the courts. As such, they are unlikely to have any practical impact. The real impact, to my mind, is the fact that Trump issued these orders at all. By doing so, he is going well beyond the “unitary executive” theory so beloved by Attorney General William Barr, under which the president has expansive powers to control all aspects of the Executive Branch. Here, he is also seeking to extend his power over a key function of the legislative branch, which is to make laws deciding how our tax dollars are to be spent. This is a dangerous, perhaps unprecedented, power grab. Don’t forget: Trump has (falsely) said that the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want”.

If you read the actual documents, they are replete with rhetoric about how the virus that is the cause of all this trouble began in China (which is relevant to … what, exactly?), and how the Trump administration has been such a raging success in every way. But they do little to accomplish the goals Trump claims to be solving with the flick of a pen. All they do is take us one step further down the road of autocracy.

As always, I recommend the informative daily newsletter by historian Heather Cox Richardson for more depth and detail (available on Facebook, on or via email subscription). She wrote about these presidential orders in her newsletter of August 8, 2020.


* But please, dear god—no, I should say “dear voters”—don’t let Trump win a second term!

*  *  *  *  *


Heather Long, “Here’s what’s actually in Trump’s four executive orders,” Washington Post (Aug. 9, 2020).

Heather Cox Richardson, “Trump to the Rescue: Executive Orders Galore,” Moyers on Democracy (Aug. 9, 2020).


This blog post was inspired by this Twitter post by Dr. Willow Lung-Amam, an Associate Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. See also

It has long been understood that the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)—which is an important part of the college application process in America—is culturally, socioeconomically and racially biased. But I, too, was literally “today years old” when I learned that the SAT was created by a eugenicist, Carl Brigham, whose purpose was to demonstrate that whites were naturally intellectually superior beings.

The SAT, like the similar American College Testing (ACT) test and other so-called “standardized tests,” purports to measure innate intellectual ability—aptitude rather than knowledge per se. Because all college applicants take the same test, the idea is that test scores should be more objective than, say, high school grades, since an “A” in one high school may be easier or more difficult to obtain than an “A” in another high school. But standardized test questions are anything but objective. To give just one example, research has shown that some of the SAT’s verbal questions favor white students because they reflect cultural expressions commonly used in dominant (white) society, so that white students have an advantage simply by virtue of growing up around white people.

Other research has demonstrated a clear correlation between family income and SAT scores, with students from wealthier families scoring higher. This is generally attributed to test preparation, which makes a demonstrable difference in test scores but can be out of reach of low-income families. Students from high-income families also typically have access to better educational opportunities, including better-financed public schools, not to mention private schools or expensive extracurricular educational experiences.

None of this is news. But in the I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-know-this-before category, it turns out that in its origin, the SAT test was never even meant to be objective. The father of eugenics, Francis Galton (who coined the term in 1883), was also the father of a number of modern statistical methods. Galton “used his statistical acumen to test and measure the physiological and psychological behaviors of white European men, with the long-term goal of determining which ones were fit to reproduce.” Building on Galton’s work, Carl Brigham, a professor of psychology at Princeton, created the first scholastic aptitude test (based on IQ tests that had been used by the U.S. military) in 1926, with the avowed goal of upholding an American racial caste system. It was also meant to show the superiority of certain kinds of white people during a time of increased immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe: those with Nordic and Anglo-Saxon genetic roots were expected to score better, and thus be shown to be superior to, Jews.

In terms of upholding a racial caste system in the United States, it certainly seems to have worked, hasn’t it? Ironically, Brigham later disavowed the SAT, and wrote in an unpublished manuscript in 1930 that test scores measure not innate ability but are, instead, “a composite including schooling, family background, familiarity with English and everything else, relevant and irrelevant.”

Why has it taken American colleges—many of which are just now dropping standardized test scores as an admissions requirement—so long to get the memo?

Imagine if, instead—as historian Ibram X. Kendi has put it—“we measured literacy by how knowledgeable individuals are about their own environment: how much individuals knew all those complex equations and verbal and nonverbal vocabularies of their everyday life? What if we measured intellect by an individual’s desire to know? What if we measured intellect by how open an individual’s mind is to self-critique and new ideas?”

This needs to be the goal.

*  *  *  *  *


Sidney Fussell, “The Problem With the SAT’s Idea of Objectivity,” The Atlantic (May 18, 2019).

Scott Jaschik, “New Evidence of Racial Bias on SAT,” Inside Higher Ed (June 21, 2010).

Ibram X. Kendi, “Why the Academic Achievement Gap is a Racist Idea,” African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) (Oct. 20, 2016).

Ibram X. Kendi, “Why Standardized Tests Have Standardized Postracial Ideology,” American Association of University Professors (Nov.-Dec. 2016).

Nicolas Lemann, “The Great Sorting,” The Atlantic (Sept. 1995).

Catherine Rampell, “SAT Scores and Family Income,” New York Times (Aug. 27, 2009).

John Rosales, “The Racist Beginnings of Standardized Testing,” National Education Association (NEA) (2019).

Joseph A. Soares, “#FAIL: The SAT Rebrand,” Aljazeera (Mar. 19, 2014).

David Shenk, “The Man Who Turned Darwin Into a Determinist,” The Atlantic (Nov. 24, 2009).

Thomas Toch, “The Meritocracy’s Caste System: What’s Good and Bad about the SAT,” The Brookings Institution (Dec. 1, 1999).


Image (and text below) courtesy of the Immigration Justice Campaign and the American Immigration Council


What’s happening: Nearly a hundred families are held by ICE in detention facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania, simply because they came to the US seeking safety and a better life. After COVID-19 was confirmed in family detention, a federal judge ordered ICE to release all children in its custody. But the problem is, the judge can’t order the parents’ release too. As it responds to this court order, ICE can act on its legal authority to release the families together, as it has historically done. Or…ICE can choose to keep parents locked up indefinitely while releasing their children, or ask parents to choose to stay together as a family in detention—an awful, no-win situation for migrant families. We can’t stay silent as this happens. ICE has the choice to do the right thing.

Action: Collectively throughout the day on Thursday, August 6, we will barrage the social media accounts of ICE and DHS leadership with hundreds if not thousands of comments from our movement demanding ICE and DHS to #FreeTheFamilies. They will only release families together if they feel the cost of sustained outrage and activist pressure.


Leave (several!) comments on the most recent post across these accounts:

Sample messaging (but do personalize your comments too!):

EnglishEspañolKreyòl AyisyenFrançais
#FreeTheFamilies from detention so they can be #SafeAndTogether#LiberenALasFamilias en detención para que puedan estar #SegurosYJuntos#LageFanmiYo retire yo nan detansyon pou yo ka an #SekiriteEpiReteAnsanm#LibérezLesFamilles en détention pour qu’elles puissent être #EnsembleEtEnSécurité 
Staying detained in danger with your child or separating from them indefinitely all during a pandemic…that’s a situation no parent should have to face #FreeTheFamilies #SafeAndTogetherPermanecer detenidos en peligro con sus hijos o separados de ellos indefinidamente durante una pandemia…es una situación que ningún padre ni madre debería enfrentar #LiberenALasFamilias #SegurosYJuntosRete fèmen nan kacho ak ak pitit ou oswa an danje ou ka separe ak yo pou toutan pandan yon pandemi … se yon sitiyasyon okenn paran pa ta dwe retwouve l ladan #LageFanmiYo #SekiriteEpiReteAnsanmÊtre détenu avec votre enfant ou être séparé de lui indéfiniment pendant une pandémie…c’est une situation qu’aucun parent ne devrait avoir à affronter #LibérezLesFamilles #EnsembleEtEnSécurité 
The fate of families in detention rests in your hands. To ask parents to separate from their kids or stay detained indefinitely is no choice at all. #FreeTheFamilies #SafeAndTogetherEl destino de las familias descansa en tus manos. Pedirle a los padres que se separen de sus hijos o permanezcan detenidos no es una opción. #LiberenALasFamilias #SegurosYJuntosSò fanmi ki nan detansyon yo chita nan de pla men w. Mande yon paran swa pou l separe ak pitit li, oswa li rete fèmen nan kacho pou toutan gen tan, ni youn ni lòt pa w chwa serye. #LibereFanmiYo #SekiriteEpiReteAnsanmLe sort des familles en détention est entre vos mains. Demander aux parents de se séparer de leurs enfants ou de rester en détention indéfiniment, ce n’est pas un choix. #LibérezLesFamilles #EnsembleEtEnSécurité 
Families can’t remain detained any longer as COVID-19 spreads like wildfire. Nor should parents be left behind in detention without their children. #FreeTheFamilies #SafeAndTogetherLas familias no pueden permanecer detenidas por más tiempo mientras que COVID-19 se propaga como un fuego descontrolado. Los padres no pueden ser dejados atrás en detención sin sus hijos. #LiberenALasFamilias #SegurosYJuntosFanmi yo pa dwe rete fèmen nan detansyon lè COVID-19 ap vale teren potre dife nan chan kann. Ni paran yo pa dwe rete dèyè nan detansyon san pitit yo. #LibereFanmiYo #SekiriteEpiReteAnsanmLes familles ne peuvent plus être détenues tant que la COVID-19 se répand comme une traînée de poudre. Les parents ne devraient pas non plus être détenus sans leurs enfants.#LibérezLesFamilles #EnsembleEtEnSécurité 

Link to this toolkit: 

Graphics to promote action–download here

Disclaimer: Commenting on these public accounts may catch the attention of internet trolls. Be sure to adjust your account settings to protect your privacy and safety.


Image courtesy of Shuttershock.

These last few months have been a wake-up call for white people about the pervasiveness of our society’s structural racism. (I say “for white people” because for Black people and other people of color, this is not news.) There is a lot to think about in terms of how even—or perhaps especially—those of us white folks who consider ourselves to be progressive and nonracist can help dismantle barriers that may have been invisible to us. It’s not enough not be racist. We need to become actively antiracist.

Today, as part of my own journey toward becoming antiracist, I’m going to share some commonly used words or phrases that have racist origins or connotations. No, not the obvious words (the N-word, “uppity,” or the like) that no self-respecting liberal would ever dream of uttering. But there are numerous words and phrases in English that turn out to have deeply racist roots, or that have developed racist connotations over the years. I discuss a few of them here. Some of them I’ve long known, and some I have just learned about recently.

When a word or phrase may not have had a racist origin but has taken on racist undertones through usage over the years, I think white people have to follow the lead of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color): if they say the word is racist and hurtful, we must take them at their word.

Please feel free to let me know of other troublesome words or phrases I may have missed by leaving a comment.

*  *  *  *  *

Articulate. The word itself is not racist. But using it to describe a well-spoken Black person is racist. It implies surprise at the fact. Just don’t say it.

Blackball, blacklist, black magic, blackmail, black mark, etc.  All of these terms racialize the use of “black” to describe things that are bad or wrong. They reinforce the notion that black=bad and white=good.

Cakewalk. This term refers to something that is an easy victory, but it originated as a dance that enslaved Black people performed on plantations, where owners would hold contests in which slaves would compete for a cake. The dance, and the phrase, was later popularized through minstrel shows

Cat got your tongue? American slave owners often used a whip called a “cat-o’-nine-tails” to flog victims. The pain was so intense that those on the receiving end couldn’t even speak. Asking the victim “cat got your tongue?” was thus an especially cruel taunt.

Eskimo. European settlers in North America used this word—thought to come from the French word esquimaux (referring to a person who makes the nets for snowshoes)—for the indigenous people living in the Arctic region, who mostly called themselves Inuit. Many colonists used it in the mistaken belief that it meant “eater of raw meat,” connoting barbarism and violence, which means it was deliberately meant to be offensive.

Fuzzy wuzzy. This was originally a term used by British colonial soldiers in the 1800s to refer to members of an East African tribe, and later became a derogatory way to refer to African people’s hair texture.

Gyp or jip. To be “gypped” is to be shortchanged or swindled. But the word comes from “gypsy,” which itself is an offensive term referring to the Romani people, who face widespread discrimination across Europe.

Grandfather clause or grandfathered in: According to a decision recently published by the Massachusetts Appeals Court, “‘grandfather clause’ originally referred to provisions adopted by some states after the Civil War in an effort to disenfranchise African American voters by requiring voters to pass literacy tests or meet other significant qualifications, while exempting from such requirements those who were descendants of men who were eligible to vote before 1867.” I can’t believe I didn’t know this before.

Long time no see. This is a common phrase in American English—I’ve used it myself when meeting up with someone I haven’t seen in a long time—but it may have originated as a way to mimic Chinese or Native American speech patterns in English.

Lynch mob. The literal meaning is fairly obvious, but when not used literally this term can be offensive when used to describe situations that fall far short of the murderous, racist violence that lynch mobs actually perpetrated. Think, for example, of Clarence Thomas describing the congressional hearing in which Anita Hill testified about how he had sexually harassed her as a “high-tech lynching,” or Donald Trump likening his impeachment to a “lynching.”

Master bedroom/bathroom, master/slave. While it’s not clear whether the owner’s bedroom in southern plantations during the slavery era was called a master bedroom, the real estate industry is gradually retiring the term, using the word “primary” instead. Similarly, many tech engineers in computer technology, who have used “master/slave” terminology to describe software and hardware components where one process or device controls another, are now replacing that with “primary/replica.”

Mumbo jumbo. Typically used to suggest that someone is talking nonsense, this derives from contempt for the religious rituals that enslaved Africans brought with them to America—in the Mandinka language, Maamajomboo describes a masked dancer in a religious ceremony. (Note, too, that Little Black Sambo’s parents were named Black Mumbo and Black Jumbo.)

Nitty gritty. This phrase may have its origin in the slave trade, referring to the detritus found in the bottom of slave ships once the enslaved people had been removed from the hold. “Nit” may refer to the parasitic insect of the same name that would likely have been abundant in the abhorrent conditions in the ships making their way across the Middle Passage. Grits, of course, are the inexpensive, coarse-ground grains that were used to feed enslaved people.

No can do. Meaning “I can’t do that,” this is a 19th-century phrase that mocked Chinese immigrants’ speech patterns in English.

Off the reservation. Commonly used to describe someone who is deviating from the norm, this phrase originally referred to Native Americans who refused to accept the limitations on their mobility caused by the creation of reservations where the government forcibly moved them. Historically, Native Americans who were found “off the reservation” were often killed.

Paddy wagon. This was 19th-century slang for the horse-drawn vans police used to round up drunk Irish immigrants. I hadn’t heard this phrase for a long time, until Donald Trump used it when he was exhorting police to be rough when throwing “thugs” into the back of a “paddy wagon.” (See also thug below.)

Peanut gallery. In the days of vaudeville, cheap seats—in the back of a theater, or on a balcony—were called the “peanut gallery.” These were the seats where Black patrons were forced to sit.

Picnic. Some have contended that the word “picnic” has racist origins, but the story is a bit more nuanced. Folk etymology suggests that the word comes from “pick-a-nig,” referring to racist lynchings where a Black person was randomly “picked” and hanged for the entertainment of whites. However, etymologically the word is much older and derives from the French pique-nique, referring to a social gathering where each attendee brings food (from the verb piquer, “to sting” or “to bite,” which may have referred to a leisurely style of eating). Nonetheless, the fact that African Americans were often lynched in settings that were picnic-like, for the entertainment of white people, means that the word “picnic” carries racist connotations for many Black folks in the United States.

Sold down the river. Referring to some kind of devastating betrayal, the origin of this term was literal, not metaphorical. It was commonly known during the slavery era that conditions for enslaved people were increasingly brutal the farther south one went down along the Mississippi River. Thus a person who was “sold down the river” was being sold into inhumane, brutal conditions that often ended in death.

Thug. The word itself—meaning a violent criminal—may not be inherently racist. It comes from a Hindi word, thuggee, derived from ṭhag (ठग), which means deceiver, thief or swindler. (Thugs were professional thieves and assassins who operated in India from the 14th through the 19th centuries.) However, given how the word is now being used by right-wing media and politicians to describe just about every Black victim of racist violence, let’s assume it is being used as a substitute for the N-word, and never use it to refer to any person of color.

*  *  *  *  *


Scottie Andrew and Harmeet Kaur, “Everyday words and phrases that have racist origins,” CNN (July 7, 2020).

Blacks, Picnics and Lynchings,” Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia (Jan. 2004).

Olivia Eubanks, “Here are some commonly used terms that actually have racist origins,” ABC News (July 30, 2020).

Megan Garber, “The History of ‘Thug’: The surprisingly ancient and global etymology of a racially charged epithet,” The Atlantic (April 28, 2015).

Rebecca Hersher, “Why You Probably Shouldn’t Say ‘Eskimo’,” NPR (Apr. 24, 2016).

Alex Nelson, “These 8 common words and phrases have connotations you might not know about,” Pendle Today (July 6, 2020).

Azi Paybarah, “Massachusetts Court Won’t Use Term ‘Grandfathering,’ Citing Its Racist Origins,” New York Times (Aug. 3, 2020).

Brittany Wong, “12 Common Words and Phrases With Racist Origins or Connotations,” Huffington Post (July 8, 2020).


Image credit:

When Mary Trump started writing her very interesting book, Too Much Is Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, one of her biggest fears was that the Narcissist-in-Chief would be responsible for loss of life by wittingly or unwittingly starting a war. At the time, she had no idea that he would be responsible for a huge number of American deaths through his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But neither Mary Trump nor many other observers have focused on what I firmly believe to be true: that Trump is not just responsible for the thousands upon thousands of COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Trump is, in fact, largely responsible for the entire global pandemic, and the millions of deaths, untold suffering and economic devastation that will ultimately result from it.

It has been widely reported that the White House ignored the pandemic response plan the Obama Administration left for the new administration. The Trump Administration later dismantled the federal government’s pandemic response team (the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense) in May 2018.

Around the same time, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before the U.S. Congress that “[w]hen you have a respiratory virus that can be spread by droplets and aerosol … there’s a degree of morbidity associated with that, you can have a catastrophe.” He went on to say, “We’ve experienced in [the] real world those types of things. The one we always talk about is the 1918 pandemic which killed between 50 and 100 million people.” Dr. Fauci couldn’t have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet he basically predicted the COVID-19 pandemic—and nobody in the Trump Administration listened.

Relatively less attention, however, has been paid to the fact that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had a U.S. public health official—a medical epidemiologist—embedded in China’s disease control agency until the Administration eliminated the role in 2019.

The American expert, Dr. Linda Quick, “was a trainer of Chinese field epidemiologists who were deployed to the epicenter of outbreaks to help track, investigate and contain diseases,” according to an article from the Reuters news agency. She was forced to leave her post—officially known as Resident Adviser to the U.S. Field Epidemiology Training Program in China—as the result of a bitter U.S.-China trade dispute that erupted in July 2019, during which it was announced that her position would be defunded and eliminated as of September 2019.

Had Dr. Quick remained in her position in China, she might have served as a valuable liaison between Chinese and U.S. officials when early signs of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in China’s Wuhan province in November 2019—the virus that causes the disease that has been dubbed COVID-19 (CO standing for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” “D” for disease, and “19” for 2019, the year the virus and the disease emerged).

This is only speculation, of course, since there have been suggestions (which the Chinese government has disputed) that China was also negligent and delayed letting the rest of the world know about the gravity of the virus that emerged in Wuhan. But it’s possible that if Dr. Quick (or someone else in her position) had remained in China, she could, in fact, have alerted not only the U.S. but the rest of the world about the virus weeks earlier than Chinese officials did—and months earlier than the Trump Administration notified the American public. If so, the entire course of what became a worldwide pandemic could potentially have been suppressed.

For this reason, I say that the entire global COVID-19 pandemic is Donald Trump’s fault. I won’t even get into his Administration’s deplorable “response” (if you can call it that) to the crisis in the United States, where we have four percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s COVID-19 cases.

Suffice it to say that the man has blood on his hands.

*  *  *  *  *

SOURCES AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING (more or less in the order in which these topics are addressed above):

Mary Trump, Too Much Is Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man (Simon & Schuster, 2020).

Obama team left pandemic playbook for Trump administration, officials confirm,” NPR (May 15, 2020).

Beth Cameron, “I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.”, Washington Post (Mar. 13, 2020).

Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly, “Was the White House office for global pandemics eliminated?”, Washington Post (Mar. 20, 2020).

Marisa Taylor, “U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak,” Reuters (Mar. 22, 2020).

Video clip, “Fauci in 2028: ‘influenza-like respiratory virus … is the one that keeps me up at night,” C-Span, June 15, 2018 (where he says, “[w]hen you have a respiratory virus that can be spread by droplets and aerosol … there’s a degree of morbidity associated with that, you can have a catastrophe. We’ve experienced in [the] real world those types of things. The one we always talk about is the 1918 pandemic which killed between 50 and 100 million people.”). See also

China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO,” Los Angeles Times (June 22, 2020).

China rejects report that it delayed COVID-19 information sharing with WHO,” Reuters (June 3, 2020).

Scottie Andrew, “The US has 4% of the world’s population but 25% of its coronavirus cases,” CNN (June 30, 2020).


This video about the Trump Administration’s pandemic response is satire. But is it really?