War on Women Report: Trump on U.S. Death Toll—“It Is What It Is”

The War on Women is in full force under the Trump administration. We refuse to go back, and we refuse to let the administration quietly dismantle the progress we’ve made. We are watching. 

This is the War on Women Report.


Thursday, July 30

+ Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant who worked for over five years at Trump’s hotel resort in Bedminster, N.J., has been placed in deportation proceedings. Morales first came forward about her immigration status in 2018, saying that her supervisors at the Trump resort knew her identification documents were falsified, and hired her anyways. She described the poor treatment and abusive remarks she experienced working at the Trump resort, adding that it was hurtful to see the way that Trump talks about Latin American immigrants to the public. 

“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” said Morales.

Along with Morales, many other undocumented workers formerly employed by the Trump business have been fired since coming forward.

Morales, a Guatemalan immigrant, crossed the border in 1999, after witnessing her father’s murder. She filed a petition for asylum in 2018, but was notified last week that she has been placed in removal proceedings and could face deportation, depending on the decision of an immigration judge.

Sunday, August 2

+ Trump ignored bipartisan opposition to his nomination of Anthony Tata, giving him a temporary senior Department of Defense position after the Senate canceled his confirmation hearing. Tata has been widely criticized for repeated Islamophobic and racist remarks, such as calling President Obama a “terrorist leader” and describing Islam as the “most oppressive violent religion I know of.”

On July 30, the Senate Armed Services Committee canceled Tata’s confirmation hearing, voicing bipartisan concerns about Tata’s legitimacy and ability to hold this position. Trump disregarded the decision of the Senate, which included opposition from his own party, showing a complete lack of respect for democratic practices.


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Monday, August 3

+ A keystone characteristic of Donald Trump’s presidency has been his use of false claims, narcissistic comments, and defensive language when responding to any suggestion of his shortcomings as president. This was particularly evident in his “Axios on HBO” interview with Jonathan Swan that aired on Monday. When asked about the U.S. coronavirus death toll, which has now exceeded 153,000, with 1,000 new deaths per day, Trump’s response was horribly insufficient. 

“It is what it is,” Trump told Swan, showing a complete lack of remorse fot the thousands who have died.

In an attempt to justify the high number of cases in the U.S. in comparison to the rest of the world, Trump’s puzzling response was that we have “too much” testing, blaming testing, rather than policy failures for U.S. coronavirus cases.

In the same interview, Trump failed to pay tribute to former Democratic Congress member and civil rights leader John Lewis, who passed away on July 17. When asked how history will remember Lewis, Trump’s response was to criticize Lewis for not attending his inauguration. Trump also could not agree that Lewis’s achievements were “impressive.” 

“Nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have,” said Trump.

+ Trump has repeatedly called for schools to reopen, despite clear indications that this will threaten the health and safety of students. We are seeing first hand the danger of in-person schooling in the Midwest and the South, where fall classes have already begun. In the past week, Georgia’s largest school district has already had 260 employees report that they had either tested positive for the virus, or been exposed to someone else who had. School districts in Mississippi and Indiana already have multiple students test positive since opening. 

In light of the dangers of opening schools, other large U.S. school districts have announced their plans to remain fully online. Los Angeles and San Diego announced school will operate remotely in the fall. New York City schools are considering a model of partial in-person learning. Other large cities have implemented plans for classes to begin online, with the possibility of in-person classes later on. 

As school districts grapple with how to best protect their students this school year, Trump continues to blindly call for re-opening, a strategy which does not have the best interests of students in mind. 

Tuesday, August 4

+ A poll by the Knight Foundation surveying 20,000 Americans demonstrated the results of Trump’s constant barrage of mainstream media. The poll found that although 84 percent of Americans agree that the media is very important to democracy, 49 percent believe that the media is very biased.

Moreover, 8 percent go as far as to believe that the media is trying to destroy our society. Feelings towards the media are largely divided along party lines, with close to three-fourths of Republicans expressing unfavorable opinions about the media, but less than one-fourth of Democrats feeling this way—demonstrating the dangerous influence Trump has on his supporters. 

Wednesday, August 5

Mike Pence has a long history as a proponent of the anti-abortion and anti-choice movement. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

+ VP Mike Pence joined anti-choice organization Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) on a multi-state tour, making its first stop on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. The tour plans to stop at various anti-choice organizations and health centers.

Pence has a long history as a proponent of the anti-abortion and anti-choice movement. As Indiana’s governor, he signed and supported every anti-abortion bill that crossed his desk, and before that, as a member of Congress, repeatedly introduced legislation aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood. Pence has even gone so far as to say he “long[s] for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history.” In fact, Trump’s decision to put Pence on his campaign ticket was largely a move to attract the Radical Right, including members of SBA List. 

Pence’s decision to kick off his anti-choice tour in Florida, where coronavirus cases continue to surge, is indicative of a complete disregard for the health and safety of the public. It is unfortunate to see the self proclaimed “pro-life” movement show so little care when it comes to protecting the lives of Floridians amidst the pandemic.

+ Trump took to Twitter, attacking former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who worked under the Obama administration. “Sally Yates has zero credibility,” Trump tweeted during Yates’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In her testimony, Yates corrected numerous false accusations, making it clear that the Trump team was not surveilled by the Obama administration, and neither was Michael Flynn. Trump’s attacks on Yates were not rooted in facts, and serve only to harm the justice proceedings. 

Friday, August 7

+ A much needed coronavirus relief bill continues to be delayed as White House officials fail to reach an agreement with Democratic leaders. Democrats are seeking a $3.4 trillion bill to help over 30 million Americans currently relying on jobless benefits checks and millions more who are facing the consequences of an expired eviction moratorium. Republicans, however, have proposed a much smaller aid package. The parties also remain divided in tackling issues such as funding food stamps and aid to schools. 

On Friday, in an effort to compromise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has proposed that Democrats lower their  package proposal by $1 trillion while Republicans raise it by $1 trillion, allowing the two parties to meet in the middle. 

As both sides attempt to agree on the relief package, questions have arisen regarding Trump’s involvement in the negotiations. On August 1, when White House officials claimed Trump was actively involved in negotiations, reports surfaced that he was instead out golfing.

Trump’s staff has also suggested that the president will take executive action with the relief package if significant progress is not made by the end of the day Friday. Such an outcome would likely mean that Democratic proposals would be pushed aside and the relief package could be much smaller than what is needed to help Americans through the pandemic.


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About

Marissa Talcott is a rising sophomore at Claremont McKenna College majoring in Philosophy and Public Affairs. She is a Ms. editorial and social media intern.