House speaker Nancy Pelosi just held a press conference announcing the House intention to create a Commission on Presidential Capacity that would exist to evaluate the health of the president in a time of crisis and assess whether a transition of power to the vice president would be suitable.
Pelosi answered a question about what indications does she believe prove that Donald Trump has an “altered state of mind” from Covid-19 and his subsequent treatment.
“Clearly he is under medication. Any of us who is under medication of that seriousness is in an altered state,” Pelosi said
“He has bragged about the medication that he has taken, and again, there are articles by medical professions saying this could have an impact on judgment.”
Because Congress is currently not in a legislative session, a commission cannot realistically exist for the rest of the year. US representative Jaime Raskin, speaking with Pelosi at the press conference, defended introducing the legislation now.
Raskin said that the pandemic has highlighted Congress’ need to set up an “institution” that can evaluate the health of the president in extreme circumstances,
“We’ve got to think of this in Constitutional terms. This is why we need to set up an institution composed on a bipartisan fashion, bicameral fashion that will be able to make judgments five months from now, five years from now, 50 years from now, whenever it might be.”
Jaime Raskin, a Democratic US representative from Maryland, said that the Commission on Presidential Capacity” will have 17 members, 8 members will be medical personnel and the other 8 will be high-ranking former members of the executive branch. The members of the commission will be bipartisan and will choose a chair to lead it.
Because Congress is not in legislative session, meaning no serious consideration of the measure can happen until the spring, the bill is Nancy Pelosi’s way of highlighting the uncertainty around Donald Trump’s health and the spread of Covid-19 in the White House. Raskin said that he wishes that Congress has moved to make the commission earlier.
“It’s not about the election at all,” she said, adding that “people want to know” about a president’s health. “We have to give some comfort to people that there is a way to do this.”
Nancy Pelosi unveils House Commission on Presidential Capacity
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill where she is slated to give further details about a bill that would invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which allows Congress to interview when a President is not able to conduct duties of the office.
On Thursday, Pelosi teased a bill that invoked the amendment, but said that more details will be provided on Friday.
Pelosi and other Democrats have voiced concerns about the uncertainty around the president’s health in the midst of having Covid-19 and receiving subsequent treatment.
“There are those who say that the steroids had an impact on people’s thinking,” Pelosi said in an interview on Wednesday. “If you have the coronavirus, it has an impact as well.”
Republicans have already voiced their dissent against the bill, with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell calling it “absolutely absurd”.
We’ll be tuning into the press conference and will provide live updates here.
Broadway will stay dark until May 30, 2021, the Broadway League announced this morning, extending its reopen date by four months.
The announcement means that Broadway shows will have been shut down for over a year over the course of the pandemic, having closed down on March 12, 2020 as cases started to surge in New York City. At the time, 31 shows were running, including 8 shows that were in preview, according to Broadway World.
Individual productions will decide when to resume performances once the shutdown is lifted. Broadway League says there are nearly 97,000 workers who will remain out of work until the theatre district is reopened.
Good morning, this is Lauren Aratani taking over for Martin Belam.
Just over 7 million Americans have casted their votes for the general presidential election, according to the US Election Project, which has been monitoring mail ballot activity.
The data confirms that an unprecedented number of Americans will be casting their ballots by mail this year. Around the same time in October 2016, about 430,000 people had cast their votes by mail.
Using data from over 30 states, Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida, has been keeping track of early voting reports that states release ahead of Election Day on November 3.
While most states do not include party registration information with their data, nine states include that information, including California, Florida and Ohio, a major swing state. In the nine states with data on 2.9 million early voters, 1.6 million are registered Democrat while 714,000 are Republicans. Over 500,000 of those voters are registered independents.
Associated Press report that the mother and sisters of a Black teen who was killed by a suburban Milwaukee police officer have been arrested by police who were cracking down on protesters out after a curfew following a decision not to charge the officer.
Alvin Cole’s mother, Tracy Cole, and his sisters, Taleavia and Tristiana Cole, were arrested about 8:30pm Thursday along with several others in a church parking lot in Wauwatosa, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing multiple witnesses.
Cole family attorney Kimberley Motley tweeted that Tracy Cole was arrested “for peacefully protesting” and “ended up in the hospital.”
Motley later tweeted that Tracy and Tristiana Cole were released from the hospital. Details on why they were at the hospital weren’t immediately known.
A Facebook livestream that captured only audio of Tracy Cole was made by a third daughter, the newspaper reported. On a recording of it, Tracy Cole could be heard screaming in pain as she was being arrested, saying police injured her arm, hit her in the head and used a stun gun on her.
Wauwatosa police tweeted Thursday night that “several” people were arrested, and said one woman requested medical attention and was taken to a hospital.
The city was under a 7pm curfew during a second night of protests after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm decided not to charge Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah, who is also Black, with the shooting death of Cole, 17, in February outside Mayfair Mall.
According to investigators’ reports, Cole had a gun and fired it. Chisholm said it appeared he shot himself in the arm. Officers said Cole refused commands to drop the weapon, prompting Mensah to fire.
Motley, the Cole family attorney, has said she plans to file a federal lawsuit against Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah.
The death of Alvin Cole was the third fatal shooting by Mensah in the last five years. Mensah shot and killed Antonio Gonzales in 2015 after police said Gonzales refused to drop a sword. A year later Mensah shot Jay Anderson Jr. In that case, Mensah found Anderson in a car parked in a park after hours.
Mensah said he saw a gun on the passenger seat and thought Anderson was reaching for it, so he shot him. Mensah wasn’t charged in either shooting.