What happens if you've already submitted your ballot early, and change your mind?
What happens if you've already submitted your ballot early, and change your mind?
Two highly effective coronavirus vaccines are now on the horizon, but the next challenge for federal, state and local leaders will be distributing a vaccine equitably so that communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic can have access.
First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Israeli aircraft on Sunday struck multiple sites in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired earlier from the Palestinian territory, Israel's military said. While several militant groups operate out of the Palestinian enclave, Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all rocket fire out of the territory and usually strikes Hamas targets in response. The Israeli military said in a statement that fighter jets and attack helicopters hit two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure and a Hamas naval forces training compound.
I live in a democracy. But as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself longing for the type of freedom I am seeing in China. People in China are able to move around freely right now. Many Americans may believe that the Chinese are able to enjoy this freedom because of China’s authoritarian regime. As a scholar of public health in China, I think the answers go beyond that.My research suggests that the control of the virus in China is not the result of authoritarian policy, but of a national prioritization of health. China learned a tough lesson with SARS, the first coronavirus pandemic of the 21st century. How China flattened its curveBarely less than a year ago, a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, with 80,000 cases identified within three months, killing 3,000 people. In late January 2020, the Chinese government decided to lock down this city of 11 million people. All transportation to and from the city was stopped. Officials further locked down several other cities in Hubei Province, eventually quarantining over 50 million people.By the beginning of April, the Chinese government limited the spread of the virus to the point where they felt comfortable opening up Wuhan once again. Seven months later, China has confirmed 9,100 additional cases and recorded 1,407 more deaths due to the coronavirus. People in China travel, eat in restaurants and go into theaters, and kids go to school without much concern for their health. Juxtapose that to what we are experiencing in the U.S. To date, we have confirmed over 11 million cases, with the last 1 million recorded in just the last one week alone. In September and October, friends from China sent me pictures of food from all over the country as they traveled around to visit friends and family for the mid-autumn festival and then the seven-day National Day vacation week. I envied them then and envy them even more now as Americans prepare and wonder how we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. What China learned from SARSWe Americans are told that the freedoms Chinese now enjoy come at the expense of being subject to a set of draconian public health policies that can be instituted only by an authoritarian government. But they also have the experience of living through a similar epidemic.SARS broke out in November of 2002 and ended in May of 2003, and China was anything but prepared for its emergence. It didn’t have the public health infrastructure in place to detect or control such a disease, and initially decided to prioritize politics and economy over health by covering up the epidemic. This didn’t work with such a virulent disease that started spreading around the world. After being forced to come to terms with SARS, China’s leaders eventually did enforce quarantine in Beijing and canceled the week-long May Day holiday of 2003. This helped to end the pandemic within a few short months, with minimal impact. SARS infected approximately 8,000 worldwide and killed about 800, 65% of which occurred in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese government learned from SARS the important role public health plays in protecting the nation. Following SARS, the government improved training of public health professionals and developed one of the most sophisticated disease surveillance systems in the world. While caught off guard for this next big coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, the country quickly mobilized its resources to bring the epidemic almost to a halt inside its borders within three months. What can the US learn from China?Knowing that there were no safe or proven treatments or an effective vaccine, China relied on proven nonpharmaceutical interventions to conquer the epidemic. First and foremost was containing the virus through controlling the sources of infection and blocking transmission. This was accomplished through early detection (testing), isolation, treatment and tracing the close contacts of any infected individual. This strategy was aided by the three field hospitals (fancang) the government built to isolate patients with mild to moderate symptoms from their families. Strict quarantine measures were also central to preventing the spread of this epidemic, as it was with the SARS epidemic in 2003. This was paired with compulsory mask-wearing, promotion of personal hygiene (hand-washing, home disinfection, ventilation), self-monitoring of body temperature, universal compulsory stay-at-home orders for all residents, and universal symptom surveys conducted by community workers and volunteers. What else could the US have done to be prepared?SARS exposed serious weaknesses in China’s public health system and prompted its government to reinvent its public health system. COVID-19 has exposed similar shortcomings in the U.S. public health system. To date, however, the current administration has taken the exact opposite approach, devastating our public health system. The Trump administration made major cuts to the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last budget submitted by the Trump administration in February 2020, as the pandemic was beginning, called for an additional reduction of US$693 million to the CDC budget. This affected our ability to prepare for a pandemic outbreak. In the past, this preparation included international partnerships to help detect disease before it reached our shores. For example, the CDC built up partnerships with China following the SARS epidemic, to help contain the emergence of infectious disease coming from the region. At one point the CDC had 10 American experts working on the ground in China and 40 local Chinese staff, who mostly concentrated on infectious disease. Trump started slashing these positions shortly after taking office, and by the time COVID-19 broke out, those programs were whittled down to a skeleton staff of one or two. [Research into coronavirus and other news from science Subscribe to The Conversation’s new science newsletter.]The Declaration of Alma Ata guaranteed health for all, and not just health for people governed under a specific type of bureaucratic system. The U.S. has been, and can be, just as dedicated to protecting the health of its people as China under its authoritarian government. We demonstrated this during the Ebola epidemic, with the launch of a whole government effort coordinated by Ron Klain, who has been appointed White House chief of staff under President-elect Biden.This effort, which included a coordinated response with both African nations and China, improved preparedness within the U.S. and ultimately helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. A reduction in funding for our public health infrastructure, under the Trump administration, was a divestment in the health of the American people and should not have happened. A new administration that places public health at the helm, once again, will I hope prove to us that health is not just something that can be protected under an authoritarian government, but is in fact a right for all.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University.Read more: * Poor US pandemic response will reverberate in health care politics for years, health scholars warn * Experts agree that Trump’s coronavirus response was poor, but the US was ill-prepared in the first placeElanah Uretsky does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Outgoing Republican Steve King has long history of offensive remarks
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to discuss details of a landmark meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia that reportedly took place over the weekend. An Israeli cabinet minister said on Monday that such a meeting did take place and also marks the first publicly confirmed trip to the kingdom by an Israeli leader. Two radio stations in Israel initially reported Netanyahu had secretly flown to Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. When asked about the meeting itself on Monday, Netanyahu wasn't willing to give away any specifics. "Are you serious? Friends, throughout my years I have never commented on such things and I don't intend to start doing so now. I can only tell you that really, throughout my years as prime minister, I didn't spare any effort to strengthen the state of Israel and to expand the circle of peace and thank God we manage to do it with our neighbors, with the Emirates, with Bahrain, with Sudan and I hope this circle will always expand." Saudi Arabia's foreign minister added some further mystery by denying reports that a meeting even took place. Pompeo has been leaning on Saudi Arabia to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and establish formal relations with Israel. The reconciliation between Israel and the Gulf states is largely built on shared concerns about Iran - and potentially - whether U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will wind back Washington's regional policies. News of the meeting came a day after Netanyahu said in a speech -- in an apparent message to Biden -- there should be no return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal abandoned by Trump.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is speaking out against President Trump's attempt to get state legislatures to "dismiss the will" of voters, calling this idea "inconsistent" with a democratic society.The Pennsylvania Republican on Monday reiterated his belief that Trump should "accept the outcome" of the 2020 election that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden after exhausting all of his legal options in the key battleground state. Toomey also slammed the president for calling on state legislatures to overturn the results of the election due to baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud."The idea that a sitting president would try to, I don't know, pressure, cajole, persuade, state legislators to dismiss the will of their voters and select their own group of electors and send them to the Electoral College, it's completely inconsistent with any kind of truly democratic society," Toomey told CNBC. "So that shouldn't be going on, in my view."After holding a meeting with Michigan lawmakers at the White House on Friday before the certification of the vote in that state, Trump called on the "the Courts and/or Legislatures" to "do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our elections." Those Michigan lawmakers who Trump met with, however, after the meeting said they haven't "been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan," a state Biden was projected to win.Toomey previously shot down Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania during the election, saying he's not aware of "any significant wrongdoing." And over the weekend, after a key Trump campaign lawsuit was dismissed in Pennsylvania, Toomey congratulated Biden and said Trump "should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process." > Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who endorsed, campaigned for and supports Trump, says the time has come: "At some point, you exhaust those possibilities. I think the president has reached that point in PA, he appears to have reached that point in GA, Michigan wasn't even close..." pic.twitter.com/wlyzUD2Ydz> > -- The Recount (@therecount) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com I was wrong about Mitt Romney Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump'
A panel of human rights experts working with the United Nations said Monday that former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan and has urged “compensation” for him from the Japanese government. The Japanese government denounced the report as a “totally unacceptable” viewpoint that will change nothing in the country's legal process. In its opinion published Monday, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Ghosn’s arrest in Japan in late 2018 and early 2019 was “arbitrary” and called on Japan’s government to “take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Ghosn without delay.”
Loeffler is currently campaigning in a high-stakes race that could determine control of the Senate at the start of President-elect Joe Biden's term.
Nearly 200 mailings found delivery times of up to two weeks. Those delays could have affected election, as COVID-19 led to millions of mailed ballots
Anthony Sabatini’s comment sparks demands for his resignation
A group of Republicans, including Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) are launching a lawsuit -- in the hopes of blocking the certification of Pennsylvania's election results -- that claims a state law passed in 2019 allowing for universal mail-in voting is unconstitutional. If that were the case, mail-in ballots would be invalidated, likely swinging the state back to President Trump.> Here is the complaint introduction from the Commonwealth Court filing /5 pic.twitter.com/OdF3hdUpwS> > -- Matt Maisel (@Matt_Maisel) November 21, 2020The lawsuit quickly drew heated criticism, including accusations that Kelly (who was just re-elected himself) and the other plaintiffs are "openly rejecting democracy and the rule of law," but many observers were simply perplexed. For starters, the bill was passed over a year ago, raising questions as to why its constitutionality wasn't brought up between then and now. Plus, it was pushed through thanks to a majority GOP state legislature, with only one Republican member of the state House voting against it, while GOP senators backed it unanimously. > In the lawsuit, filed this morning in Commonwealth Court, plaintiffs say Act 77 is "unconstitutional," and "implemented illegally." They argue it's an illegal attempt to override limitations on absentee voting, and needed to go through a constitutional amendment first /3> > -- Matt Maisel (@Matt_Maisel) November 21, 2020More stories from theweek.com I was wrong about Mitt Romney Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump'
Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and two other activists were taken into custody Monday after they pleaded guilty to charges related to a demonstration outside police headquarters during anti-government protests last year. Wong, together with fellow activists Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow, pleaded guilty to charges related to organizing, taking part in and inciting protesters to join an unauthorized protest outside police headquarters last June. “I am persuaded that neither prison bars, nor election ban, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism,” Wong said, ahead of the court hearing.
The number of new coronavirus infections in France rose by 17,881 on Saturday, lower than the 22,882 reported on Friday.. The health ministry also reported 276 new deaths from the virus in hospitals over 24 hours, against 386 on Friday. On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron will give a speech to the nation about the virus situation and may announce a partial relaxation of nationwide lockdown rules which have been in place since Oct. 30.
The star presenter is making Indian TV news louder and more aggressive than ever before.
President Trump lost his bid for re-election by 6 million votes and counting, and 74 electoral votes, and his legal team is consistently losing its court battles to disqualify President-elect Joe Biden's voters. And yet he persists, even as a growing number of Republicans are urging him to concede — or at least allow the Biden team to start its transition. So why does Trump keep slogging on? One theory being pushed by some of his supporters and allies is revenge."Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation," CNN reports, citing a source familiar with Trump's thinking. Pointing to "those who he claims undercut his election by pointing to Russian interference efforts," Trump "has suggested it is fair game to not recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect.""Will anyone be honest enough to acknowledge that most of what is happening right now has more to do with payback for how the Democrats behaved after 2016 then [sic] about legitimate claims of fraud in the election?" asked Erick Erickson, a sometime Trump critic on the right. Washington Post columnist Daniel Drezner responded by efficiently dismantling this "false equivalence between 2016 and 2020."The simpler explanation is that Trump always alleges fraud when he loses — and even when he wins — and that's just who he is: a sore loser.> Not just the 2016 Iowa caucuses, but popular vote in 2016, Arizona Senate race in 2018, and the results in 2012, when Trump was tweeting from the sidelines. It's not "revenge for the Russia investigation," Trump just says everything he loses was stolen. https://t.co/ZpViWOCpKh> > — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 21, 2020The Washington Post complied a highlight reel of Trump's fraud claims.One piece of evidence bolstering this theory comes from Trump himself, who told CNN's Chris Cuomo in August 2015 that National Review's Rich Lowry is "probably right. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I'm not happy if I'm not winning. And I am a whiner. And I'm a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win."More stories from theweek.com I was wrong about Mitt Romney Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump'
As Azerbaijan regains control of land it lost to Armenian forces a quarter-century ago, civilians who fled the fighting decades ago wonder if they can go back home now — and if there's still a home to go back to. An estimated 600,000 Azerbaijanis were displaced in the 1990s war that left the Nagorno-Karabakh region under the control of ethnic Armenian separatists and large adjacent territories in Armenia's hands. During six weeks of renewed fighting this fall that ended Nov. 10, Azerbaijan took back parts of Nagorno-Karabakh itself and sizeable swaths of the outlying areas.
Iran on Sunday vowed to defeat any Israeli attempt to harm its role in Syria, saying the era of "hit and run" attacks by Israel there was over, days after Israel carried out air strikes on Syrian army and Iranian paramilitary targets in the country. Israel, which views Tehran as its biggest security threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets and those of allied militia in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad and his forces against rebels and militants since 2012. On Wednesday, an Israeli military spokesman said eight targets were attacked, including an Iranian headquarters at Damascus international airport and a "secret military site" that served as a "hosting facility for senior Iranian delegations when they come to Syria to operate".
While witnesses described the shooter as a white man in his 20s or 30s, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said the suspect is an Hispanic teenager.
Undaunted by a Pennsylvania judge's withering dismissal of a plea to discount millions of mail-in votes, the Trump campaign turned its attention to another battleground state and demanded a second recount in Georgia. The move was the latest shot in a salvo of legal cases with Donald Trump still showing no sign of accepting that he lost the election. On Monday Michigan's four-member Elections board is due to meet to ratify their results, with one of the two Republicans indicating he could vote against doing so. The demand for a Georgia recount came hours after Judge Matthew Brann described the challenge to the Pennsylvania result as without merit. Alleging irregularities in the way ballots were treated across the state, the Trump campaign had asked the court to prevent millions of mail-in ballots being counted.