Apr 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin's GOP speaker defends holding election while draped in PPE

Wisconsin's state Speaker Robin Vos (R) defended the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision to host primary elections Tuesday in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, telling a reporter with The Journal Times: "You are incredibly safe to go out."

Why it matters: Vos made the comments while donning a mask, gloves and protective gown, an image that underscored the health concerns that many have expressed about Tuesday's elections.

  • The speaker, who was working as an election inspector at a polling place in Racine County, said that election officials gave him the protective gear and said it was "mandatory to wear it."

What he's saying: "You can come to a polling place and do it safely. You have the ability to do curbside voting," Vos said. "People have to use their own best judgment."

  • "They have to make sure that if they're compromised in any way or worried about the safety of their family, they do it really smartly. But I look at what's happening here today and it really makes me proud," he added.

The big picture: Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order attempting to delay the state's primary election on Monday, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck it down and ruled that the election must go on as scheduled. Republicans refused to work with Evers to delay the election and are seeking to win a key state Supreme Court race.

Go deeper ... In photos: Wisconsin votes as coronavirus crisis intensifies

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business