Anthony FauciAnthony FauciState AGs highlight racial disparities in early coronavirus data Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Trump downplays need for widespread testing before reopening economy MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said he expects a “real degree of normality” by the November elections as a partisan battle breaks out over voting by mail.
“I would hope that by November we would have things under such control that we could have a real degree of normality. That’s my interest and my job as a public health person,” Fauci, a leading member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, said Friday on MSNBC.
The remarks come as Democrats and Republicans feud over the viability of expanding mail-in voting in the November election.
The GOP, led by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn’t ‘drop dead’ if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom’s license MORE, have claimed that mail voting is particularly susceptible to fraud and could affect the general election, though have offered no evidence to support their claims.
“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”
Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans. @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
However, Democrats have fired back that voting by mail could be an alternative to in-person voting that could allow people to vote without putting themselves at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have a different value system about what voting means to a democracy,” House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi calls for investigation into reports of mistreatment of pregnant women in DHS custody Wisconsin highlights why states need a bipartisan plan that doesn’t include Democrats federalizing elections Pelosi defends push for mail-in voting: GOP ‘afraid’ to let people vote MORE (D-Calif.) said during a call with reporters Thursday. “Clearly, we want to remove all obstacles to participation.”
The debate over mail-in voting was revived this week when Wisconsin held its primaries after its governor’s efforts to postpone the races were shot down by a series of court rulings. Videos emerged of long lines and understaffed polling stations, raising concerns over the impact COVID-19 had on the safety of voters who went to cast ballots in person.
Trump is weighing how and when to reopen the country, with some officials saying that businesses could expect to reopen in May, though pubic health experts have warned that reopening the country too early could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.