Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. President Donald Trump Proposes Delaying Presidential Election Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
President Donald Trump explicitly floated delaying November’s presidential election on July 30, lending an extraordinary voice to persistent concerns that he will seek to circumvent voting in a contest where he currently trails his opponent by double digits. Hours later, President Trump seemed to acknowledge the move was meant to be a “trial balloon” of sorts primarily to inject uncertainty into an election he appears determined to undermine, though he did not entirely back away from the notion of a delay. Trump has no authority to delay an election, and the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting. Lawmakers from both parties said almost immediately there was no likelihood the election would be delayed and even some of Trump’s allies said his message reflected the desperate flailing of a badly losing candidate. Yet as toothless as it was, Trump’s message did provide an opening, long feared by Democrats, that both he and his supporters might refuse to accept the presidential results. In questioning it ahead of time, Trump is priming those in his camp to doubt the legitimacy of whatever outcome emerges in the first weeks of November.
2. US Economy Declines Nearly 33% In The Second Quarter Of 2020
The US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate from April through June, its worst drop on record, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said on July 30. Business ground to a halt during the pandemic lockdown inbeginnign in early March of 2020, and America plunged into its first recession in 11 years, putting an end to the longest economic expansion in US history and wiping out five years of economic gains in just a few months. A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of declining gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy. Between January and March, GDP declined by an annualized rate of 5%. But this is no ordinary recession. The combination of public health and economic crises is unprecedented, and numbers cannot fully convey the hardships millions of Americans are facing. In April alone, more than 20 million American jobs vanished as businesses closed and most of the country was under stay-at-home orders. It was the biggest drop in jobs since record-keeping began more than 80 years ago. Claims for unemployment benefits skyrocketed and have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. While the labor market has been rebounding since some states began to reopen, bringing millions back to work, the country is still down nearly 15 million jobs since February.
3. 2020 Election: Joe Biden To Accept Democratic Nomination Virtually As DNC Scales Back 2020 Convention
Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to formally accept the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination at his party’s convention due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic National Committee said on August 5. Biden will accept his nomination virtually from his home state of Delaware, the DNC said. The other scheduled speakers, including Biden’s eventual running mate, will now address the convention, remotely through Zoom as well, the committee said, a move that, in effect, makes the event all-virtual. “From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first. We followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves. And that’s the leadership Joe Biden will bring to the White House,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. Perez said that the decision to make the August 17-20 convention all-virtual came after “ongoing consultation with public health officials and experts” who he said “underscored the worsening coronavirus pandemic.”
4. Trump Campaign Sues Nevada Over Mail-in Voting Plan
The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on August 3 against the state of Nevada over its plan to send absentee ballots to all active voters this November in a major expansion of mail-in voting in the battleground state. “The RNC has a vital interest in protecting the ability of Republican voters to cast, and Republican candidates to receive, effective votes in Nevada elections and elsewhere,” the lawsuit, filed by the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party, said. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the country, some states have looked to expand mail-in voting options ahead of November’s election. President Donald Trump, however, has falsely claimed that expanded mail-in voting will lead to fraud in the election.