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Will face all political storms: Uddhav amid Kangana row

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Will face all political storms: Uddhav amid Kangana row

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Facing flak from detractors on both political and coronavirus fronts, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said a conspiracy is afoot to malign Maharashtra.

“Whatever political storms come, I will face… I will fight coronavirus too,” Thackeray said in a televised public address.

A day after COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra crossed the 10-lakh mark, Thackeray said his government has done effective work to tackle the pandemic.

Speaking in the backdrop of political criticism over demolition of actress Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow in Mumbai and the way his government handled the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, Thackeray assured people that he would fight the political crisis too.

“I will have to remove the mask of chief minister to respond to politics. I don’t speak doesn’t mean I don’t have answers,” Thackeray said.

 

Speaking on the state government’s “Mission Begin Again” campaign during the pandemic, Thackeray said his administration effectively tackled the COVID-19 situation, cyclones and floods and will also deal with the political storm with people’s support.

Thackeray said the pandemic is showing no sign of a respite and the virus is spreading in rural Maharashtra as well. “But the number of patients recovering is also more. Facts and figures show that if detected early, all patients recover fast,” he said.

Asking people not to take the pandemic lightly, he said wearing masks, observing physical distancing, avoiding crowding and face-to-face contact with people is the only option as of now.

“We have slowly started to open up under Mission Begin Again. Some people think they can indulge in politics as part of Mission Begin Again. There is a conspiracy to defame and malign Maharashtra,” he said.

He said the state government also reached out to the affected people during Nisarga cyclone and the floods in east Vidarbha and provided relief.

“Over 29 lakh farmers have benefited through the farm loan waiver scheme and Rs 700 crore have been disbursed towards relief and rehabilitation of those affected by the Nisarga cyclone,” he said, adding Rs 18 crore have been given as immediate relief for floods in Vidarbha.

Thackeray said his government was doing its best to deal with all challenges.

“We should share our responsibilities to make the “my family, my responsibility” campaign (against coronavirus) which begins on September 15 a success. This war can be won only with people’s wholehearted support,” he said.

It is not feasible for the government to undertake check-up of each and every one of the 12 crore populace of the state, he said.

The Supreme Court’s interim stay on implementation of the Maratha quota was unexpected, Thackeray said.

The Maratha quota bill was unanimously passed by the state legislature and the legal team hired by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government was arguing in the apex court, he said.

Thackeray appealed to Maratha organisations to refrain from holding protests and demonstrations during the pandemic.

“The government is firmly with the cause of justice to Maratha community and is working on how to proceed ahead. I have spoken to Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis who is in Bihar now and he has assured the BJP’s complete support,” he said.

A decision on extension of the lockdown would depend on how the people follow the pandemic protocols, he said.

“While using public transport, don’t speak, avoid face-to-face contact,” he said.

On criticism that he doesn’t venture out, Thackeray said , “I have been using technology to reach out to all parts of the state to review the pandemic situation and issue directives.”

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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