Trump touts healthcare plan, unveils executive orders » President Trump highlighted his vision for America’s healthcare system while stumping in North Carolina Thursday.
TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. Thank you.
Speaking to supporters in Charlotte, Trump again stated his desire to replace Obamacare with a GOP-authored plan. But he said his administration has improved the Affordable Care Act—doing away with its most unpopular provision, the individual health insurance mandate.
But he also committed to keeping the most popular part of the law.
TRUMP: The historic action I’m taking today includes the first ever executive order to affirm it is the official policy of the United States government to protect patients with preexisting conditions, so we’re making that official.
The president said he was also signing executive orders aimed at preventing surprise medical bills among other things.
And he highlighted a new regulation to allow pharmacies and states to buy prescription drugs from Canada at a lower cost.
He also vowed to mail prescription drug cards worth $200 each to more than 30-million Medicare recipients. Critics slammed that announcement as a naked political maneuver to curry favor with seniors.
Minutes after Trump left the podium, Democratic rival Joe Biden tweeted—quote … “The Trump Administration says ‘the entire ACA must fall.’ They are arguing to strip millions of Americans of health care in the middle of a pandemic. We can’t let him win.”
Lawmakers vow peaceful power transition with Trump noncommittal » Lawmakers from both parties assured the public on Thursday that there will be a peaceful transfer of power if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November.
That after Trump stirred controversy by declining to commit to such a transfer.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney told reporters…
ROMNEY: There’s no question but that all the people who have sworn to ensure that there would be a peaceful transition of power, including the president.
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on Twitter, stating, “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
At the White House on Wednesday, a reporter pressed the president on whether he’ll accept the results of the election. Trump responded by again questioning the legitimacy of the election with expanded mail-in balloting.
TRUMP: Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster.
REPORTER: I understand that, but people are rioting. Do you commit to making sure there is a peaceful transferral of power?
TRUMP: Well, get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transition, frankly. There will be a continuation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted his response, calling it—quote—“very sad” that the president “would place in doubt the idea of the peaceful transfer of power.”
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary sought to clarify the president’s words.
MCENANY: The president will accept the results of a free and fair election.
But she did not say the president would commit to trusting that the upcoming election will be free and fair. McEnany reiterated that he wants to—quote—“get rid of mass, mail-out voting,” which he has predicted will lead to increased voter fraud.
Jobless claims tick up » The number of Americans filing for unemployment aid rose slightly last week to 870,000. That as the pandemic continues to squeeze employers.
Some newly laid-off Americans are facing delays in receiving benefits as state agencies step up efforts to combat fraudulent claims. Pennsylvania has found that up to 10,000 inmates are improperly receiving aid.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits declined to 12.6 million. The steady decline in that figure over several months reflects that some of the unemployed are returning to work. But in other cases it means workers have exhausted their jobless aid, which last six months in most states.
Mo. governor tests positive for COVID-19 » Another governor has tested positive for the coronavirus.
DAWSON: Right now I feel fine, no symptoms of any kind. But right now we’ve just got to take the quarantine procedures in place.
Missouri’s Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced Wednesday that both he and his wife, Teresa, have COVID-19.
A spokeswoman said Teresa Parson had experienced mild symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion.
Gov. Parson postponed several events through the remainder of the week. He and his wife had been traveling around the state. A photo posted Tuesday on the governor’s Facebook page showed both he and his wife wearing masks.
Some have criticized the governor for opposing a public mask mandate in Missouri.
Belarus government arrests hundreds protesting Lukashenko inauguration » In Belarus, police have detained hundreds of demonstrators during protests against the country’s authoritarian leader. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Security forces used water cannons to scatter thousands of demonstrators while detaining nearly 400 more people. Dozens were injured in clashes with police.
Alexander Lukashenko was unexpectedly sworn in to his sixth term as president after an election the opposition says was rigged.
Thousands of Belarusians flooded the streets to protest Lukashenko’s inauguration, which took place without advance public notice.
Belarus’ Interior Ministry said Thursday that police detained 364 people. Most are still jailed awaiting court hearings.
But anti-government rallies continued in Minsk Thursday despite the crackdown—as hundreds of people chanted and formed human chains in solidarity.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.