New York, Washington, D.C., Portland OR, and Seattle might soon lose urgent federal health funding in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Politico.
Donald Trump calls them “anarchist cities” — all led by Democrats — and deems them unworthy of millions of dollars for coronavirus relief, HIV treatment, screenings for newborn infants and more.
Some city officials and other critics call it nothing more than political payback, with the most weakest and most vulnerable citizens taking the biggest hit from the most powerful man in America.
The four cities, where there was widespread support for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year, “could lose funding for a wide swath of programs that serve their poorest, sickest residents after the president moved last month to restrict funding, escalating his political battle against liberal cities he’s sought to use as a campaign foil,” Politico says, citing documents it obtained.
The Department of Health and Human Services “has identified federal grants … among the nearly 200 health programs that could be in line for cuts” in the final weeks of the presidential campaign and amid the resurgent pandemic, Politico says.
The current “third wave” of the pandemic has driven the number of Americans testing positive for the coronavirus well past 8 million (8,282,666) and the number of deaths to more than 220,000 (221,247), the Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Tracker reported on Wednesday.
The HHS list “includes 185 programs that touch on everything from Trump’s own initiative to end HIV transmission by the end of the decade to the opioid crisis … research into lung diseases … hearing screenings for newborns in D.C.the District of Columbia” and more.
Officials in New York City and Seattle, along with the United States Conference of Mayors, are threatening to take legal action if the administration moves to block funds.
“The threats to Democratic-led cities is an example of how [Trump] has not only disregarded the plight of the Americans he’s nominally supposed to be leading, but also actively sought to make some of their lives worse,” says Vanity Fair. “But that’s how the president has governed.”
“Trump has never seen himself as president of the United States,” Republican strategist Stuart Stevens, a Trump critic, told the New York Times last month. “He’s a gang leader, and you are either in his gang or you are the enemy.”