April 10, 2020 
The coronavirus is upending all aspects of our lives, including our elections. Nearly twenty states have  postponed their primarie s to safeguard their citizens' health. There is already concern about November's general election and how we will vote.

This week Wisconsin held their primary, despite intense efforts by the state's Governor to postpone the primary. Wisconsin's Republican-majority state Supreme Court ruled the election would go ahead as planned. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against extending the deadline for absentee ballots - effectively cutting many voters out of the process.

The GOP is using coronavirus as yet another tool to disenfranchise voters. Fear of getting sick, plus the potential for groups of people gathering at polling places, keeps voters home.

We can't even be assured that polling places will even be open. Election judges, who we count on to run ord erly polling places, are generally older in age and of the highest risk if they contract coronavirus. In states that did not postpone their primaries, polling places were closed because election judges did not want to work, forcing longer lines at other locations - another danger.

Universal vote-by-mail is the only way to ensure safe and fair elections in November. However, the GOP sees anything that expands voting rights as a threat. The party has committed itself over the past decade to suppressing voter turnout with voter ID laws and other punitive measures.

Trump has complained that if there was a national expansion of early voting and voting by mail, "you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again."

Filling out a ballot at home also affords people more time to think about their vote. A researcher at Rice University found that that voters spent about three and a half minutes when they went to a voting booth, but took about two days to complete a ballot they had received at home.

Maybe that's the real issue. The GOP doesn't want voters to have to think about Trump. Maybe, just maybe, they won't vote for him.

Call Congress at 202-224-3121. Urge your Senators and Representative to enact and fund national vote by mail.

Safe voting matters.

While the current outbreak has most of us staying home, we have some upcoming virtual events we can all join.

Virtual Events in Support of former VP Joe Biden

Tuesday April 14
5:30 pm ET
Interactive Virtual Fundraiser with Tony Blinken, Nick Burns & Julie Smith

Tuesday, April 21
6:00 pm ET/3:00 pm PT
Women for Biden with
Dr. Jill Biden & Ashley Biden

No Gatherings or Flights Until September: How Israel May Be Planning to Exit

Israel is expected to begin easing some restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus following the Passover holiday, but will reportedly continue to limit gatherings and international flights until September Leisure and entertainment venues such as cafes, restaurants, malls, theaters, event halls and sports stadiums will stay closed during the first stage of the exit, while gatherings, including in synagogues, were expected to remain forbidden until September.
Continued Reading

Zoombombing: New Frontier of Anti-Semitism?

While The Temple was hosting classes on Zoom, as it does every day lately, a few people dressed in black started popping up on screens with anti-Semitic backgrounds in two of the classes. "They start shouting anti-Semitic slogans about Jews, use the 'n' word, and in both cases shouting, 'allahu akbar'  (God is most great, in Arabic)," said Senior Rabbi Peter Berg.
Continued Reading

Red States Are Exploiting Coronavirus to Ban Abortion

While America's attention has been consumed by the coronavirus crisis, politicians who have long wanted to do away with abortion rights have seized their chance. Since the pandemic began, governors in several red states have tried to use it as an excuse to ban abortion, lumping pregnancy termination in with elective procedures like cataract surgery and joint replacements that need to be postponed to save precious medical equipment. Abortion, perhaps needless to say, can't simply be put off until this catastrophe is over, but as of this writing, a court has allowed the ban in Texas to go into effect.
Continued Reading

Trump's Evangelical Supporters Want China to Pay a Price for Coronavirus

As the U.S. death toll from the viral respiratory disease surged past 10,000 this week, the president's top religious allies joined a choir of voices urging him to punish China for its furtive mismanagement of Covid-19. Interviews with top evangelical leaders, many of whom have been in frequent contact with the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, revealed a growing consensus that something must be done to hold China accountable and that Trump should take the lead in defining a suitable punishment.  
Continued Reading

The Coronavirus Crisis Threatens 2020 Voting Rights, Abortion, Other Civil Liberties, Watchdogs Say

The coronavirus pandemic, like any extreme crisis, is forcing tough choices between the competing values of safety and liberty. Already, the pandemic has presented challenges in four main areas, says David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU: voting rights, prisoner rights, disability rights, and-somewhat unexpectedly-abortion rights.  
Continued Reading

Trump Enables Jared Kushner's Coronavirus Task Force, Revealing the Dangers of Nepotism      

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is running a shadow coronavirus response task force . He's doing it off the books, with closed-door meetings and private email accounts . Recently,  The Atlantic reported that  a company co-founded by Kushner's brother - which used to be partly owned by Jared - developed a government website to direct Americans to coronavirus testing sites at the government's request . The website was created and then, for reasons that remain unclear, never went public.
Continued Reading

Biden Says Coronavirus May Force Democrats to Hold 'Virtual' Presidential Convention    
The Democratic Party already postponed its convention from July to August last week, citing worries over the outbreak that has prompted a majority of U.S. states to order their residents to stay at home to contain the disease's spread.  "We may have to do a virtual convention," Biden said on ABC's "This Week" program. "I think we should be thinking about that right now ... We may not be able to put 10, 20, 30,000 people in one place."
Continued Reading

U.S. 'Wasted' Months Before Preparing for Coronavirus Pandemic    
After the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel  coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal  stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.  A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.  
Continued Reading

Queen Elizabeth II's Rare Address to the British Public Is Making People Emotional      
Queen Elizabeth II just gave a rousing speech in response to the coronavirus pandemic, attempting to reassure U.K. residents with a rare, televised address to the nation. However, her words seemed to speak to everyone facing this difficult, unprecedented time.  "I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time," the queen  said. "A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all."
Continued Reading

Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.

Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at info@jacpac.org. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.

The Last Word
" America's story is one of ordinary people doing extraordinary things given half a chance. This virus is tough. But together and as a nation - we're tougher."

Joe Biden

Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
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