President Trump refused to reopen enrollment for the Affordable Care Act for the dozens of states where people unemployed because of the pandemic also lost company-provided health insurance.
Trump increased anti-drug patrols, saying last month, “This will impact the coronavirus because people are trying to get in.”
The White House intensified border restrictions and asylum claims March 20 by bypassing court-ordered due process and immediately deporting people entering the nation without documents, causing Andrew Selee, Migration Policy Institute director, to comment, “The coronavirus may go away, but there’s a chance you could see these measures stay in place long after epidemic begins to recede.”
Six states used the COVID-19 virus as an excuse to restrict abortion, and though judges stopped such moves in Iowa, Ohio and Oklahoma, an appeals court covering Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas on April 7 upheld the effort.
The National Labor Relations Board in March referred to the coronavirus when it suspended all union elections. After a backlash from organized labor and others, the NLRB reversed its decision in April.
U.S. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler on March 26 eliminated enforcement of environmental standards for the duration of the pandemic.
A drastic reduction in fuel-efficiency standards (which even the auto industry opposes) was finalized March 31 while most of the nation was riveted on pandemic news.
Trump stepped up his defiance of checks and balances, last month firing two inspectors general and criticizing a third after signing the CARES Act rescue bill but issuing a signing statement disputing anyone supervising how funds are disbursed, commented, “I’ll be the oversight.”
Voting is jeopardized. Some states postponed primaries; Wisconsin ran an election despite dangers to voters.
Last, but far from least, Attorney General Williams Barr in mid-March asked Congress for the power to indefinitely jail suspects without trial during emergencies such as the coronavirus crisis.