Will Midwest COVID Flare Curtail Trump Rallies?
News on the president's re-election campaign covers COVID fears, Donald Trump's focus on "immunity," promised prescription drug discount cards and Medicare claims.
Rising COVID-19 Cases Raise Worries About Trump Rallies
The Trump campaign is facing criticism for holding packed outdoor rallies and some indoor events where people don’t wear masks, even as cases of COVID-19 increase in most states ahead of an anticipated winter surge. Outbreaks are particularly bad in midwestern states like Wisconsin, where the Trump campaign has ramped up its efforts as he seeks to win a second term. Wisconsin is one of the key states the president needs to win to secure four more years. (Hellmann, 10/21)
Former Supporter: Trump 'Super-Spreader Events' Are 'Scaring The Dickens Out Of Folks'
A former Trump supporter's advocacy group is erecting billboards near the president's rallies, dubbing them COVID-19 “superspreader” events and claiming they're causing concern for residents of rural communities. Christopher Gibbs, an Ohio farmer, voted for President Trump in 2016 but now argues that the trade war with China has hurt his industry and that Trump's rallies are endangering public health. As president of advocacy group Rural America 2020, a “non-profit that advocates for policies that benefit agriculture,” Gibbs says he is fighting to fix issues that most affect rural communities. (Polus, 10/21)
The Fear Behind Donald Trump’s Obsession With Immunity
Donald Trump has been talking a lot of late about immunity. “I’m immune,” he told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News six days after his release from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had received treatment after falling ill with the coronavirus. “The president,” the president added, “is in very good shape to fight the battles.” (Kruse, 10/22)
The New York Times:
Trump Promised Seniors Discount Cards For Prescription Drugs. They May Be Illegal.
A month ago, President Trump surprised much of his own government when he announced in North Carolina that he would soon send $200 discount cards to more than 30 million older Americans to offset the cost of prescription drugs. The promise set off a scramble among health and budget officials unaware that such a policy was being considered. At first, they rushed to figure out whether such a legally and logistically complicated plan could be delivered in October, as Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, had vowed in an interview the day of the speech. ... Now, less than two weeks before the election, officials acknowledge that Medicare recipients will not be getting their $200 cards this month. (Sanger-Katz and Weiland, 10/22)
Kaiser Health News and Politifact:
Trump Says He Saved 2 Million Lives From COVID. Really?
President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed to have saved 2 million lives from COVID-19 through his actions to combat the disease. ... Where did this number come from? And is there any truth to the idea that Trump is responsible for saving 2 million lives from COVID-19? Since Trump continues to use it to claim success, we decided to look into it. (Knight, 10/21)
Trump's Misleading Medicare Boast
In a Florida speech about senior citizens, President Donald Trump made misleading comparisons of Medicare costs under his administration and his predecessor’s. Trump claimed “premiums for Medicare health plans went up” under the Obama administration, but his administration “lowered Medicare Advantage premiums” by 34%. He is talking about premiums for Medicare Advantage, a private Medicare option, that most Medicare beneficiaries don’t pay. For those who do pay them, the average national Medicare Advantage monthly premium went up by all of 46 cents under then-President Barack Obama. (Robertson, 10/21)
In other elections news —
Tampa Bay Times:
It’s The Pandemic, Stupid: Florida Election Comes Down To COVID-19, Strategists Say
Democrats, buoyed by gains in the 2018 elections, at one point saw the future of Obamacare — with health coverage for millions of Floridians at stake — as a driving issue in this year’s campaigns. But with less than two weeks left before the Nov. 3 general election, Republican and Democratic strategists say the election isn’t about broad policy issues like health care, the environment, gun control or immigration. (Sexton, 10/22)
Is There A Nurse In The 'House'?
During this presidential election year, several nurses have joined the race for public office, vowing to use their expertise to improve the nation’s health. Incumbent Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) is working to retain her seat as the youngest Black woman ever elected to the United States Congress. She serves along with long term Rep. Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who is also running for reelection. They are the only two nurses currently serving in the United States House of Representatives. More nurses across the country hold seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate in their respective states. (Janice Phillips, 10/21)