The Ripcurrent: Covid in the Oval Office, Tax Returns, Presidential Debate

Abbie Blake and Viviane E. Kim News Oct 04, 2020

This week was certainly a turbulent one on all fronts – economically, politically, and socially. With the country in disarray and the future uncertain, facts are ever more important. Read on for more...

Trump contracts COVID-19

President Trump has recently contracted Covid-19, along with First Lady Melania Trump and many other White House staff members. It’s suspected that he contracted the virus from Hope Hicks, an adviser with whom Trump had been traveling with days prior to her confirmed infection,  or at a large gathering for his Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Since then, many other White House staff members have been confirmed to have the virus.

President Trump has been transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He’s under close watch as his health could easily decline due to factors such as age and weight. He also rarely wore a mask, which would have resulted in inhalation of a larger amount of Covid-19 particles. As of now, the President is in stable condition, according to his doctors during a press briefing.

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-Abbie Blake

Presidential Food Fight

The first presidential debate of 2020, which went down on Tuesday night, was characterized by President Trump’s new tactic: constant interruption. Throughout the 90 minute debate, the President interrupted his opponent, Joe Biden a whopping total of 73 times, according to CBS news, as compared to Biden’s 22 times. The Former Vice President entered the debate, trying to keep his cool, but erupted a few times, slinging insults back at the President by calling Trump a “clown”, “the worst president America ever had” and repeatedly claiming that “[Trump] doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” The president also went in for more personal attacks, repeatedly calling Biden a “socialist”, attacking his son’s business dealings in Ukraine, and claiming “I have done more in 47 months than you [Biden] have in 47 years.” He continued to attack Biden’s intelligence, and claimed that Biden “probably plays more” golf than he does. Little policy was discussed, and the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, reprimanded the president several times as Trump tried to shift the blame on Biden. Biden notoriously blew up as Trump did not allow him to answer the questions -- first saying “Donald, would you just be quiet for a minute?” and later, “Will you shut up man?” The president defended his handling of the coronavirus, calling it a “phenomenal job” and claiming that millions of lives would have been lost under Biden. He called it “the China virus” and “the China plague” several times and did not take responsibility for issues like mask mandates and his decision to hold large rallies during the pandemic with no social distancing. In a notable moment, the president refused to outright condemn right-wing groups, instead saying, “Proud Boys, stand back, and stand by.” Trump continued his war on the election, saying “this is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen.” Biden had one thing to say - “This is so unpresidential.”

-Viviane Kim

Trump’s Tax Returns

The New York Times recently uncovered parts of Donald Trump’s tax returns. The documents were obtained legally from unidentified sources and revealed key holes in the President’s claims about his wealth and financial standing. In 2016 and 2017, the president paid only $750 in federal income tax, far less than the average middle class American. At the same time, he was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to foreign countries like Turkey and the Philippines. The documents also reveal a flaw in the president’s narrative. While he often portrays himself as a prosperous deal maker, the records show that he loses millions of dollars a year in businesses that he runs, and has millions of dollars in debt due in the near future. In fact, the reason why the president paid little or no income tax for many years was because of his immense annual losses. The report also raises questions about the president’s conflict of interest and the possible influence of foreign creditors on his foreign policy.

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-Viviane Kim

Abbie Blake

Abbie, a junior, writes for The Ripcurrent and News columns. An aspiring journalist, she loves coming up with different ideas and then writing about them. She also enjoys painting and stage crew.

Viviane E. Kim

Viviane, a sophomore, is Editor-in-Chief of The Current. She's an aspiring pianist, flutist, artist, and activist. She has won several writing competitions and performed with the SBU Orchestra.

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