Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: President Donald Trump, via

March 13, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – After issuing a national emergency declaration today, President Donald Trump in a rare moment of bipartisan agreement urged Congressional Republicans to pass economic relief legislation authored by House Democrats.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi negotiated the economic relief deal with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin following days of plummeting stock prices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act,” Trump tweeted, adding that the measure should be voted on tonight…I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES!”

The action comes after sharp criticism of the president and his administration from top health officials and his presidential campaign rivals, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, for the administration’s slow response in recent months and failure to distribute adequate numbers of tests to impacted states.

The legislation would:

  • Provide two weeks paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave,
  • Extend unemployment insurance for workers furloughed due to coronavirus,
  • Boost food assistance for needy families including seniors, students, and funds for food banks.

Trump’s emergency declaration frees up some $40 to $50 billion in Federal Emergency Management Aid to help states deal with the coronavirus crisis. It also allows Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to waive laws in order to allow telehealth services, allowing for remote doctor visits and hospital check-ins. Limits on the numbers of beds and length of stays in hospitals can also be waived, along with rules on what areas of hospitals can be used to treat patients as the number of cases mounts. Doctors from other states could also be allowed to provide services.

In addition, Trump announced plans to set up drive-through testing of motorists in their vehicles, such as outside pharmacies, an action being tested currently in New Rochelle, New York. 

Trump also said he hopes to provide aid to the hard-hit cruise line industry, with some cruise lines shutting down cruises for 30 to 60 days. In addition, he indicates he will order a temporary halt to interest payments on student loans, though not on loan principle. 


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


It may not be accurate.

Life News, an anti-abortion site, not a media outlet, reported that. Pelosi has said the opposite was the case -- that Trump's administration tried to insert anti-abortion language into the bill. We don't have access to negotiations between the White House and the House to know what's accurate, but since Trump said he'd sign the version the House passed it is likely that it does not include any abortion funding.


It is absolutley accurate

and those reports of her attempts come directly from multiple senior White House officials, including Steve Mnuchin and Kevin McCarthy. You won't report on it, because it doesn't suit your narrative.

I trust them

a hell of a lot more than those who publish "news" on this site. I also don't expect politicians on either side to be impartial, but I do expect it from a site that claims to unbiasedly represent "All Of East County". If you're happy with the one sided reporting that dominates this site eat cake, Don! I intend to hold their feet to the fire.

Bias is a fact of life in the news,

whether it's in the White House, or ECM, or in the minds of bloggers. There's no escaping bias. So nobody's bias is sanctified bias including yours. The ECM editor gives us the opportunity (which regular news sources don't) to express our own opinions, and publishes them . You are endangering that right with your personal attacks against some bias which doesn't suit you. . . . I've been blogging for fifteen years and during this time I have seen a serious decline in blog-sites that allow comments. And I have been blocked for commenting on many sites because of my comments, including Facebook. (My FB comment "didn't meet community standards.") My comments never included personal attacks on the blog-master, but I've seen where that did happen and the comments option was deleted. In an case there are many blog-sites now without comments. No comments allowed, just the writer's opinion. . . .So we're fortunate that comments are allowed on ECM but that right isn't a given if the editor throws up her hands and says "no more." . . IN FACT GIVEN YOUR PERSONAL ATTACKS I WOULDN'T BLAME HER IF SHE DID. . .That would hurt us all. . . Got it 8East? You have the right to express your opinions here, a wonderful feature, but your selfish personal attacks endanger that right for all of us. . . Please stop with your silly hold her feet to the fire, or start your own website to do so. You don't own this one.

Easy Tiger...

While I appreciate your opinion on this, albeit sanctimonious, you’ve missed an important point and one I’ve been consistently trying to make. All I’m asking for is equal representation in the political section of this site, that's it. The articles she chooses to publish, and the Op-Ed’s that get written are consistently one sided and you know it. I have screenshots and PDF printouts going back prior to the current administration even taking office that will substantiate my claim. I enjoy much of what this site offers, I enjoy the local alerts, I enjoy the local reporting, but I don’t enjoy the biased political section. All I’ve ever lobbied for, was better representation for conservatives, that’s it. The editor clearly doesn’t like Trump, or any other Republicans, I get it, and she’s entitled to her opinion, but that opinion cannot, and should not, influence what gets reported here in politics, because it shows bias. Am I suggesting she can’t publish any negative Trump articles? Absolutely not, and I’m aware there are plenty to choose from, but there are equally as many that will carry a positive viewpoint as well, which you won’t find here. It’s a simple mathematical fact that there are just as many readers out there who support our current administration, as there are those who don’t. There’s a lot more to East County than the Old Guard in Liberal La Mesa, and we should all be represented equally. There's an important fact here that never gets brought up, this site operates under the IRS rules that govern 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and those rules clearly state that any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization shall not engage in political activity which shows bias, or they risk having their tax-exempt status revoked. So, if you're concerned about losing another soapbox Don, I'd suggest you too encourage the editor to do a better job of truly representing "all of East County".

You're wrong again, 8East.

ECM (like CNN and Fox, for two examples) has the perfect right to use its media in any way it chooses, and is under no obligation to meet your arbitrary ideas of fairness. The First Amendment has no such requirement, it's only " freedom of speech." People should not be forced to voice issues in a way that only suits you. . . . Furthermore, ECM gives you the right to express your opinions, a rare service on the web these days as I have said before. . . .So my advice to you (and to ECM) is to continue to express the issues the way you see them, which after all is the basis of blogging. If we all had the same opinions it would be a pretty dull world, not one I would cherish. Out of such a dialogue the truth will come, even if won't be what any one party thought it was given the facts. . . ."Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through church and state, through poetry and philosophy and religion, til we come to hard bottom and rocks in place, which we call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake. . "-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I'm not wrong, Don.

And I’m sure Miriam is painfully aware of that fact. Neither Fox News, or CNN are non-profit organizations, and thusly they are not subject to the same rules that apply to ECM. If you’re actually interested, here’s a good overview of the rules governing the 501(c)(3)’s: Political Activity and Nonprofits – 501(c)(3)s Beware! I’ll say it one more time, just so we’re crystal clear, the only changes I’ve repeatedly asked for are to be represented equally in the Politics section of this site. I’m not interested in taking away anything from anyone, just leveling the playing field for all political parties and candidates repeatedly mentioned throughout the publications on the site. Based on the rules above, I don’t think this is a huge ask, it’s a simple matter of fairness.

You're still wrong, 8East,

especially because you are given the opportunity to provide "fairness." . . .The US Constitution is crystal clear: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech." ECM editor Miriam Raftery is enjoying freedom of speech, as we all should, with some exceptions such as yelling fire in a theater and personal attacks (which you have done). ECM enables you to enjoy your freedom of speech by disagreeing. What could be fairer. And it's all legal because ECM is not participating in political campaigns. . . . As in your linked source: . . .ECM can "Educate the public on issues and generally encourage participation in the political process, Make presentations on your organization’s issue to platform committees, campaign staff, candidates, media, and the general public and Educate all candidates and political parties on your issues." ECM can't "Endorse or oppose a candidate—implicitly or explicitly, Contribute money, time, or facilities to a candidate and Coordinate activities with a candidate." . .Publishing the faults of politicians is a civic duty and does not constitute participating in a political campaign in any way. . . .So your playing field has been leveled, and Ms Raftery is free to her own opinions, to educate the public on issues, as we all are. No IRS agent can remove that basic freedom which we all enjoy, and which in the case of ECM is a valuable civic duty. I may (and do) disagree with Miriam sometimes, but I fully accept her right to say what she thinks, and you should too. Plus we have the bonus of making her publish our disagreements! What could be grander than all being able to enjoy our rights as free Americans, one and all.

I'm guessing you didn't read it

because I'm certain your reading comprehension is better your previous comment would suggest. There is without a doubt bias political reporting that takes place regularly on this site, and that is forbidden under the rules that govern non-profit organizations. I mean all you have to do is look at today's recent posts! Rah-rah Campa-Najjar, Boo Issa, Boo Trump, it never ends, even during our current crisis! Its very simple, "Nonprofits are made up of individuals – employees, officers, board members, and volunteers. Each of those individuals has a first amendment right to express his or her political views. Where a nonprofit has to be careful, however, is when the individual expresses his or her views in a way which could be attributed to the nonprofit." Fortunately, you and I don't have to argue over the semantics of these regulations, its not up to us to decide, its the IRS who enforces these rules. Any whistleblowers wishing to notify the IRS of noncompliance of the rules governing 501(c)(3) organizations can file complaints with the IRS here by filling out form 13909: IRS Complaint Process - Tax-Exempt Organizations

You're guessing wrong, as usual, 8East.

It's free speech -- live with it. I've quoted the source you provided -- I'm guessing you haven't read the source yourself. ECM is expressing free speech on people in the news, and is not participating in political campaigns. Understand?. . .Meanwhile why don't quit you mindless yapping and just complain to the IRS. What are you waiting for? Let them tell you that you don't know what you're doing, acting lawyer and all.