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Weekly Lists

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
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August 29, 2020

Week 198

This week, the Republican Party held its convention — which was likened to a Trump convention — a four-day span of shocking broken norms, and possibly multiple violations of the law. Gone were names familiar to the Grand Old Party, replaced by Trump loyalists and his family members. Republicans, for the first time 1856, didn’t even produce a platform! Instead, the convention was akin to a reality television show, starring Trump every night, full of lies, misinformation, and an alternative reality in which the pandemic was over.

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August 22, 2020

Week 197

This was the longest weekly list, and it was simply exhausting. The Democrats held a very successful first virtual Democratic National Convention, while Trump spent the week advancing lies and conspiracy theories about voting to undermine the election. Polls continue to show he will lose by a wide margin.

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August 15, 2020

Week 196

This week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden chose his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, the first Black and Asian American vice presidential candidate. An oddly unprepared Trump campaign and Republican Party reacted with a deluge of sexist and racist attacks, including shameful accusations of “birtherism.” Trump also threw his support behind a House candidate who espouses the QAnon conspiracy theory and is openly racist, raising serious concerns again about the future of the Republican Party.

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August 08, 2020

Week 195

This week U.S. intelligence revealed Russia is actively interfering in the 2020 presidential election, with a goal of harming presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Democratic leaders pressed NCSC Director William Evanina to inform the American people, while Republicans, reminiscent of 2016, tried to obfuscate intelligence by publicly claiming it was unclear Russia was helping Trump, and using the whataboutism that other countries, China and Iran, were also interfering.

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August 01, 2020

Week 194

This week, for the first time, Trump publicly floated the idea of delaying the November election, drawing swift condemnation from Democrats and a mild rebuke from Republican leadership. The co-founder of conservative Federalist Society said in an op-ed that Trump should be removed if he tries to follow through. Undeterred, Trump spent the week continuing to sow doubt about the results of the “rigged” and “most fraudulent” upcoming election. His U.S. Postal Service appointee meanwhile took steps to slow the flow of mail ahead of the expected surge of mail-in and absentee ballots in less than 100 days.

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July 25, 2020

Week 193

This week, as the coronavirus raged out of control, passing 4 million U.S. cases and 145,000 deaths, Trump resurrected his daily coronavirus briefings — by himself, with no health officials. He also sought to divert attention to Portland, Oregon, where alarming images of unmarked federal law enforcement were seen shoving and tear-gassing growing crowds of Black Lives Matter protestors. Reporting indicated Trump has purposefully picked Portland to create imagery and video content of a culture war, which he continues to flame. 

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July 18, 2020

Week 192

This week, as the coronavirus raged out of control in many states, Trump sought to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, with several members of the regime publicly attacking Fauci’s credibility. Reporting indicated Trump had lost interest in the pandemic, with an adviser telling the Post, Trump’s “not really working this anymore. He doesn’t want to be distracted by it” — as the country hit a daily record 77,000 new cases. 

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July 11, 2020

Week 191

This week, the pandemic continued to worsen, with many states seeing new highs and the death toll starting to rise. By week’s end, the U.S. registered an unthinkable nearly 70,000 new daily coronavirus cases. Amid the surge, issues that plagued the April wave of cases in New York and elsewhere, like shortages of PPE and testing, reappeared, making it clear the federal government had done nothing to address or plan for a new surge. Trump continued to deny the severity of the virus, falsely claiming “99 percent of [cases] are totally harmless,” and then pushing for schools to reopen. 

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July 04, 2020

Week 190

This week the coronavirus spread further out of control, topping 50,000 daily cases for three consecutive days — more than 10,000 higher than the early peak in April. Trump continued to largely ignore the pandemic, refuse to wear a mask, and make the most trusted source of information, Dr. Anthony Fauci, less accessible, leading to confusion in the patchwork of state responses.

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June 27, 2020

Week 189

This week started with a humiliating return to the campaign trail for Trump, as a mere 6,200 supporters showed up for his rally in Tulsa, after the campaign bragged more than one million had registered. Trump’s poll numbers continue to sag amid his mishandling of the pandemic and racial justice protests. Instead of rising to the challenge, Trump reverted to drumming up racism and division — resulting in even the conservative Wall Street Journal Editorial Board warning he was in danger of not only losing to Democrat Joe Biden, but also taking the Republican Senate down with him.

This week the coronavirus pandemic got out of control in several states that reopened without proper precautions. Trump ignored the record number of daily cases, repeatedly lying that the increase was due to an increase in testing.

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