Sunday, August 23, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He put a dangerous COVID-19 spin on his usual voting lies.

Trump lost a lawsuit today to prevent Pennsylvania officials from putting out collection boxes for ballots. This is a common form of early voting that allows voters to drop off absentee ballots, rather than stand in line at a polling place, or risk them being delayed past the deadline in the mail.

With the airborne COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread where people are gathered in large numbers indoors—for example, at polling places—and Trump openly admitting that he is trying to prevent the USPS from being able to handle the expected surge in absentee ballots, many states are turning to collection boxes. 

That appears to be why Trump lashed out today in a tweet so inaccurate that Twitter was forced to hide it as both vote suppression and COVID-19 disinformation.

In other words, Trump is claiming that touching a collection box is more dangerous than standing in line—possibly for hours—at a polling place.

This is not a theoretical risk. When voters in the heavily Democratic city of Milwaukee were forced to stand in long lines at a small number of polling places to vote in April, it led to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Cities have been hit first and hardest by the pandemic, which has led to closing of polling places, which makes it harder and more dangerous to vote in person.

Who cares?

  • Nobody tries this hard to suppress the vote in an election they think they can win honestly.
  • Americans should not have to choose between their health and their basic constitutional rights.