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

Remember Ivanka Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention? In it, she proposed policies that lined up more with the Democratic platform than the Republican one: equal pay for equal work, affordable child care, and workplace equality for mothers. As proof that her father would support these measures, she pointed to his business record and his personal ability to “see potential in others.” But, despite her efforts to shore up support for her dad, his campaign has had a tough time appealing to women. Today was no exception.

Surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes appeared on CNN Monday morning to discuss the spread of Zika in Florida and Sen. Marco Rubio’s opposition to abortions for pregnant women infected with the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause microcephaly.

“This is a very, very devastating disease,” Hughes said, “But this is nothing new. We don’t have the research. We don’t know what Zika is going to do. And Senator Rubio is doing the correct thing.”

It is unclear what she means by “nothing new,” since the virus has only recently appeared on American soil, and although treatments are still in development, its effects are welldocumented.

Hughes’ comment will only further hurt Trump’s popularity with the fairly consistent majority of Americans who support the legality of abortion in all or most cases (including 54 percent of moderate conservatives). It also compounds Trump’s previous problems with abortion and gender-related comments. On March 30, he called for “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions — a measure opposed even by the National Right to Life Committee. He rolled back his statement soon afterwards.

The businessman’s previous remarks about women have also hurt his popularity. According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, Hillary Clinton leads among female voters by 23 percentage points.

The CNN interview soon devolved into a shouting match with Democratic commentator Maria Cardona over the merits and faults of Obamacare. But it is worth noting that despite his long-held opposition to abortion, Rubio was one of a handful senators spearheading the stalled effort to pass a bill for combating Zika. However, the bill on the table in the Senate, which is currently on recess, blocks funds for Planned Parenthood.

Photo: YouTube/Raw Story

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been claiming that COVID-19 has been mostly defeated in the U.S. — which is laughable in light of how much infection rates have been surging, especially in Sun Belt states. But according to Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Team Trump has found a new coronavirus talking point: claiming that Americans can learn to live with the pandemic and the ever-climbing death count.

According to Abutaleb and Dawsey, the "goal" of Trump's White House and campaign allies "is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year, and the economy will continue to improve. White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House's thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations."

A Trump Administration senior official, quoted anonymously, told the Post that Americans will "live with the virus being a threat." And a former Trump official, according to the Post, said of Trump's allies, "They're of the belief that people will get over it, or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on — and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day."

Figures from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore show that the coronavirus pandemic continues to be quite deadly — especially in the United States. As of Monday morning, July 6, Hopkins was reporting a worldwide COVID-19 death count of more than 534,800 — and almost 130,000 of those deaths were in the U.S.

Biden's campaign has been asserting that the former vice president has a much better track record than Trump when it comes to pandemics. Democratic strategist and Biden campaign adviser Ariana Berengaut told the Post, "From really January on, Vice President Biden has been laser focused on the rising risk to the American people presented by this pandemic. You can almost imagine them side by side — Trump's leadership and Biden's leadership…. Trump has no plan for tomorrow, no plan for a week from now; so, there is absolutely no plan for the fall, and that's what encapsulates the whole arc of that contrast."

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, told the Post that Trump's coronavirus response has been and continues to be an abysmal failure.

Garin asserted, "Trump is increasingly defined in voters' minds by his failing response to the coronavirus crisis, and virtually every action and position he's taken have been wildly out of sync with where the public is at on what should be done. Biden now has a remarkable opportunity to contrast himself with this failure of leadership that a large majority of voters see so clearly."