Latest orders from the Trump administration: Slow down mail delivery. Reject DACA applications. Stop reporting COVID-19 numbers publicly. Here are the details:
Slowing down the mail: Trump appointed a new Postmaster General. He just ordered a slowdown in first class mail delivery, The Washington Post reports:
“Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers if it delayed letter carriers from their routes, according to internal USPS documents obtained by The Washington Post and verified by the American Postal Workers Union and three people with knowledge of their contents, but who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution….
“The first memo says the agency will prohibit overtime and strictly curtail the use of other measures local postmasters use to ameliorate staffing shortages.
“Even a common method for mail delivery — ‘park points,’ in which letter carriers park their mail trucks at the end of a street, deliver mail items by foot for several blocks, then return to the trucks and drive on — is under scrutiny. The document bans carriers from taking more than four ‘park points’ on their routes and claims ‘park points are abused, not cost effective and taken advantage of.’”
Saying No to DACA: Diego applied for DACA status when last month’s Supreme Court ruling allowed DACA to continue. Most immigration applications take a long time to process. Not this time: immigration officials promptly rejected his application. NPR reports:
“Diego was born in Puebla, Mexico, and moved to Michigan with his mother and brother as a young child. He was too young to sign up for DACA when the Trump administration moved to end the program in 2017. Now he’s heading into his senior year of high school in a suburb of Detroit, and hoping to apply to college. …
“”That’s insane. That’s a violation of the order,’ said Bill Ong Hing, professor of law and Director of the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic at the University of San Francisco. …
“‘Legally, there’s no basis to reject any new applications,’ Hing said. ‘I’m very upset and disturbed that this is an example of politics reigning over law.'”
Stop Tracking COVID-19: [republished and updated from yesterday’s post] In its continuing war on science, the Trump administration ordered hospitals to stop sending information on coronavirus infections to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Instead, they ordered that the data be sent to the highly politicized Department of Health and Human Services. And, just in case you think that’s not bad enough, the White House said it will cut off supplies of needed Personal Protective Equipment and drugs to hospitals unless they comply.
“Hospitals and acute/post-acute medical facilities should report daily capacity and utilization data through only one of the methods below, to the Federal Government. …As of July 15,, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site. Please select one of the above methods to use instead.” [Emphasis in the original]
The CDC makes information publicly available. The New York Times reports that will not be true any longer:
But the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.
“’Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak,’ said Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.”
The HHS database will be run by a private company, TeleTracking.
“Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, has raised questions about the TeleTracking contract, calling it a ‘noncompetitive, multimillion-dollar contract’ for a ‘duplicative health data system.’”