Jan 10, 2019

The American crises Trump has ignored

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump, and vast parts of the federal government, have been consumed with caravans, walls and a border “crisis” since at least Oct. 16. While the definition of a crisis is highly debatable, the extent of other problems with wider reach and much higher death tolls is not.

Why it matters: The border is a big deal, and the problems are real, but often lost in the shutdown madness is whether the crisis is bigger than other wrongs and injustices impacting American lives.

  • Since Trump's Oct. 16 tweet about the caravan, 547 people have been shot in Chicago, and 111 people have been killed, according to data from the Chicago Tribune.
  • 86 people were killed in the Camp fire in Paradise, Calif. Trump did visit after the fires — but he's now blaming California for not exercising "proper Forest Management" and threatening to cut off emergency aid to the state.
  • An average of around three men are killed every day in the U.S. by police officers, according to one estimate in the American Journal of Public Health — which would mean around 255 American men had been killed by law enforcement since Oct. 16.
  • There's no real-time data on deaths from the opioid crisis, but with 67,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. every year, according to CDC, it's likely that roughly 16,000 Americans have died of drug overdoses — including opioids — since October.
  • Suicide rates continue to climb, year over year, despite a healthy economy.
  • Seven U.S. military officers were killed in Afghanistan since Oct. 16, including six combat deaths. Trump signaled a strategic shift but never addressed the nation about it. 
  • In Syria, at least 191 civilians were killed by the U.S.-led coalition between Sept. 10 and Nov. 17, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

And rather than address a devastating report by government scientists in November on the economic impacts of climate change, Trump simply said he doesn't believe it.

The big picture: Per CNN, there are already 31 active declared national emergencies in the U.S., similar to the kind he's thinking of declaring to build his border wall without Congress.

  • These national emergencies, which allow the president to use special powers to respond to a pressing danger, have ranged from imposing sanctions on foreign nations that interfere with U.S. elections to holding accountable those in Yemen threatening the peace or security of the nation.

Be smart: Imagine if Trump invokes emergency power to build the wall and the Supreme Court ultimately backs him. Future presidents could unilaterally impose their will broadly — because a crisis is in the eye of the beholder. 

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 855,007 — Total deaths: 42,032 — Total recoveries: 176,714.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 186,265 — Total deaths: 3,810 — Total recoveries: 6,910.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful" on Tuesday, with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans. The White House and other institutions are observing several models to help prepare for when COVID-19 is expected to peak in the U.S.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 31 mins ago - Health

Paying rent in a pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health