Know Your World
The 2MT is the voice of Generation Z
Written by @ameliezilber // @twominutetimes
Political & International Update

Mr. President, are you there? It's me, Coronavirus. 

There are now over 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with three U.S. states declaring an official state of emergency and 89 countries with confirmed cases of infection. 

The World Health Organization raised its death rate estimate of the virus to 3.4%, making apparently clear the drastic nature of the spreading illness, while U.S. based agencies are struggling to address the growing outbreak without the federal support they need.

Trump continuously downplays the emergency and gravity of the virus, spewing false information on live TV by saying he has a “hunch” the mortality rate is actually a “fraction of 1%,” and suggesting it’s no big deal for infected people to go work. Comparing the virus to the regular flu and neglecting the reality of corona's significantly higher mortality rate, Trump is devaluing the necessity of important safety and sanitary cautions, putting millions at risk. 

On a better note,
Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced measures to guarantee paid sick leave in response to the virus. Because so many workers, particularly in the restaurant and service industries, rely so heavily on their wages, workers are being forced to choose between showing up to work sick or missing a paycheck. Which, as you can imagine, is a disaster for containing a pandemic.

The proposed bill would require all employees seven days of paid sick leave and provide 14 additional days during a public health emergency. 
This is the type of policy we need to be seeing in Congress. With the 2020 election quickly approaching, voters need to keep this in mind – vote for candidates who have yours and the public’s best interest in mind. 

Eyes on the Prize

Last week's Super Tuesday election had major impacts on the future of the Democratic race for the presidency. 

  1. The results provided serious clarity to a seemingly long-unclear race: Biden and Sanders are now the undisputed front-runners and will likely engage in an intense fight for more delegates. 
  2. Warren, Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Klobuchar all dropped out this week, leaving Sanders, Biden and Gabbard as the remaining Democratic candidates. 

At the end of the day, whether you’re a Biden Democrat or a Bernie supporter or somewhere in between, if you can’t support whomever the nominee is, and as a result, we get four more years of Trump, his victory is on our apathetic hands.

Madness. Just Absolute Madness. 

The Trump Admin. plans to start taking DNA samples from migrants crossing the border or held in detention to include them in a federal crime database. 

In 2005, as a response to the 2001 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a law giving the government more authority to DNA-test and fingerprint criminals. 

Trump is now taking that a step further and requiring immigration officers to collect cheek swabs from what could end up being hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants taken into federal custody each year. These people aren’t necessarily criminals, however. Thousands of immigrants taken into federal custody are simply just applying for asylum in the U.S or entering the country through legal ports of entry. 

The move brings into the debate about immigration policy a civil-rights issue; by expanding the government’s DNA database – the one that primarily contains samples from people accused of committing serious crimes – most immigrants will be considered criminals. 

So we can’t test people for coronavirus but we’re totally on top of widespread DNA collection of immigrants… k. 

A Case of Tragedy
After six hours of peace talks, Russia and Turkey finally agreed to a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province on Thursday. Read what happened in Idlib here. 

Tensions in the region reached a breaking point during the month of February when rampant violence overtook the scene and over 1 million Syrians were forcefully displaced from their homes. 

The ceasefire is, like many previous Syrian truces, unlikely to hold, however. The suffering won’t stop and hundreds of thousands of terrified people will remain cut off from adequate humanitarian relief and medical aid; the deal won’t solve the refugee crisis, nor will it bring justice to victims of horrific war crimes; the agreement will not put into serious discussion the Syrian government’s determination to retake control of “every inch” of the last free, rebel-held province. 

Though the ceasefire will postpone heartbreaking violence, the war is by no means coming to an end. 
Donate to help the refugee crisis here. 
Copyright © 2020 Two Minute Times, All rights reserved.

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