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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan has drawn widespread criticism from fellow Republicans for calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. But the conservative Michigan congressman isn’t backing down, and on Thursday, Amash took to Twitter and reiterated his call for impeachment in a thread containing at least 20 tweets — including a few discussing the role that Trump’s former 2016 campaign manager, Paul Manafort, plays in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation.

Amash covers a lot of ground in his thread, noting that two associates of the president — Manafort and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen — have both “been convicted for offering false information.” And according to Amash, “Manafort’s lack of cooperation” during Mueller’s investigation “left open some significant questions, such as why exactly he provided an associate in Ukraine with campaign polling data, which he expected to be shared with a Russian oligarch.”

With that assertion, Republican Amash is touching on something that few, if any, Democrats have been saying: that Trump, in his obstruction, may have actually been successful in covering up a crime. Mueller’s report raises a question as to why Manafort, in 2016, was sending polling data to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska via Ukraine-born political consultant Konstantin V. Kilimnik.

In his thread, Amash also noted that Mueller’s report “describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk.”

Trump, Amash writes in his thread, “had an incentive to undermine” Mueller’s probe—which “threatened to uncover information, including criminal activity, that could put Trump’s interests at risk” and “revealed criminal activities, some of which were committed by people in Trump’s orbit.”

One of those people is Cohen, who, Amash points out, is now serving a three-year sentence in federal prison for, among other things, committing a “campaign finance violation on Trump’s behalf.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is among the Republicans who reacted angrily to Amash’s call for impeachment, claiming during a Fox News appearance that Amash “votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me”—which is wrong. Amash has a very conservative voting record.

Trump himself has angrily responded to Amash’s call for impeachment, denouncing him as a “loser” and “a total lightweight” on Twitter:

Trump accused Amash of not reading Mueller’s report, but the Michigan representative has said that before calling for Trump’s impeachment, he had read the redacted version of the report in his entirety. And since the Mueller report doesn’t contain many pictures, Trump himself is unlikely to have read any part of it that hasn’t been featured on cable news.

Poll: Most Parents Oppose Rapid School Reopening

Numerous local school systems around the country are plowing ahead with plans to resume in-person instruction despite growing evidence that children are just as capable of spreading the coronavirus as adults.

Classes were set to begin on Monday in Baker County, Florida. Masks for students will be optional, not required. "It looks like it's back to normal this morning, honestly," a local television reporter observed as parents dropped their kids off in the morning. Many students wore no face coverings.

The Trump administration and the GOP have pushed for full reopening of schools for months."Schools in our country should be opened ASAP," Donald Trump tweeted in May. "Much very good information now available."

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he reiterated on July 6.

"The science and data is clear: children can be safe in schools this fall, and they must be in school this fall," demanded Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Aug. 1.

"I believe our schools can, and should rise to the occasion of re-opening for in-person education this fall," agreed Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) two days later.

"The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics agree: We can safely get students back in classrooms," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Tuesday.

But while Scalise, Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have all cited the American Academy of Pediatrics in their arguments for reopening, a new study by the group and the Children's Hospital Association raises red flags about how safe that will be.

Their report found 338,982 reported coronavirus cases in children as of July 30 in the United States. Between July 16 and July 30, the nation saw a 40% increase — 97,078 new infected children.

Last week, a high school student in an Atlanta suburb posted a photo online showing few students wearing masks in a crowded school hallway. Since that time, at least six students and three adult employees in the school have reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and the school temporarily has switched to online classes.

Another Georgia school district has already seen at least 13 students and staff members test positive since reopening a week ago.

A recent study in South Korea found that children aged ten and older spread the coronavirus at the same rates adults do. A separate study in Chicago suggested young kids might also be effective spreaders.

These contradict the false claims made by Trump and his administration that kids have an "amazing" near immunity to COVID-19.

"If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease, so few. They've got stronger, hard to believe, and I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"You got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have or I have," he told Barstool Sports on July 23. "It's amazing. You look at the percentage, it's a tiny percentage of one percent. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases. If you have diabetes, if you have, you know, problems with something, but the kids are in great shape." Children have made up nearly nine percent of all cases, even with schools mostly closed.

And DeVos incorrectly said in a July 16 interview, "More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don't get it and transmit it themselves."

In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how schools could operate more safely during the pandemic.

Trump publicly ridiculed the guidelines, dismissing them as "very tough & expensive" and "very impractical."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.