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OurWeek In Politics (July 8, 2020-July 15, 2020)

Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:

1. President Trump Rolls Back Landmark Environmental Law To Speed Up Approval Of Federal Projects

President Donald Trump this week announced that he will roll back the National Energy Policy Act as a way to speed up federal infrastructure product construction.

President Donald Trump announced regulatory changes to the National Environmental Policy Act on July 15, a change that will speed up approval of federal projects such as mines, highways, water infrastructure, and gas pipelines, effectively weakening what’s considered to be a landmark conservation law. President Trump announced the implementation of the newly revised regulations in Georgia at the UPS Hapeville Airport Hub, which is set to benefit from the expedited review of a highway expansion project that will allow the hub’s operations to be more efficient. Trump claimed that “mountains and mountains of red tape” slowed the approval and development of infrastructure projects, but added that “all of that ends today.” “Today’s action completely modernizes the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. We are cutting the federal permitting timeline … for a major project from up to 20 years or more … down to two years or less,” Trump said, later adding that at “the same time, we’ll maintain America’s gold standard environmental protections.”

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2. Coronavirus Hospital Data To Now Be Sent To Trump Administration Instead Of CDC

Amid a worsening Coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration this week announced that hospital data on Coronavirus patients will be directly sent to the Trump administration instead of the CDC.

Hospital data on coronavirus patients will now be rerouted to the Trump administration instead of first being sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on July 14. The move could make data less transparent to the public at a time when President Donald Trump is downplaying the spread of the pandemic, and threatens to undermine public confidence that medical data is being presented free of political interference. Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department, confirmed the change first reported by The New York Times earlier in the day, saying in a statement that the “new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.” “The CDC’s old hospital data gathering operation once worked well monitoring hospital information across the country, but it’s an inadequate system today,” Caputo said in the statement. The New York Times also said hospitals are to begin reporting the data to HHS on July 15, noting also that the “database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.”

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3. President Donald Trump signs Executive Order Placing Sanction On China For Its Hong Kong Policy

President Donald Trump this week signed an executive order placing sanctions on China for its Hong Kong policy.

President Donald Trump on July 14 signed legislation and an executive order that he said will hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong, then quickly shifted his speech in the Rose Garden into a campaign rally-style broadside against Democratic rival Joe Biden. The legislation and order are part of the Trump administration’s offensive against China for what he calls unfair treatment by the rising Asian superpower, which hid details about the human-to-human transition of the Coronavirus. The almost daily administration broadsides against China come as Trump is defending his response to the virus, despite a surge in Coronavirus cases, in the US and as he works to portray Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as weak on China. “So Joe Biden and President Obama freely allowed China to pillage our factories, plunder our communities and steal our most precious secrets,” Trump said, adding, “I’ve stopped it largely.” Trump added: “As vice president, Biden was a leading advocate of the Paris Climate accord, which was unbelievably expensive to our country. It would have crushed American manufacturers while allowing China to pollute the atmosphere with impunity, yet one more gift from Biden to the Chinese Communist Party.”

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4. Facebook Considering Ban On Political Advertising On Its Social Network

Facebook this week accounced that it is considering a ban on political advertising on its social network.

Facebook is considering imposing a ban on political ads on its social network in the days leading up to the US Presidental election in November, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. The potential ban is still only being discussed and has yet been finalized, said the people, who asked not to be named talking about internal policies. A halt on ads could defend against misleading election-related content spreading as people prepare to vote. Still, there are concerns that an ad blackout may hurt “get out the vote” campaigns, or limit a candidate’s ability to respond widely to breaking news or new information. Such an action would amount to a major change for Facebook, which has so far stuck to a policy of not fact-checking ads from politicians or their campaigns. That has prompted criticism from lawmakers and advocates, who say the policy means ads on the platform can be used to spread lies and misinformation. Civil rights groups also argue the company does not do enough to remove efforts to limit voter participation, and a recent audit found Facebook failed to enforce its own voter-suppression policies when it comes to posts from President Donald Trump.

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Matthew Rosehttp://ourpolitics.net
Matt studies and analyzes politics at all levels. He is the creator of OurPolitics.net, a scholarly resource exploring political trends, political theory, political economy, philosophy, and more. He hopes that his articles can encourage more people to gain knowledge about politics and understand the impact that public policy decisions have on their lives. Matt is also involved in the preservation of recorded sound through IASA International Bibliography of Discographies, and is an avid record collector.

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