Wife of Trump’s labor secretary, who was at Barrett Rose Garden event, tests positive for Covid-19

Trish Scalia, the wife of President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, has tested positive for Covid-19, the Labor Department said Tuesday night.

The agency said in a statement that doctors performed the test Tuesday afternoon. She has “mild symptoms but [is] doing well,” the statement said.

Eugene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, tested negative Friday night, according to the Labor Department. He has experienced no symptoms.

“The Secretary and Mrs. Scalia will follow the advice of health professionals for Trish’s recovery and the health of those around them. For the time being, the Secretary will work from home while continuing to carry out the mission of the Department and the President’s agenda,” the agency said in the statement.

The secretary and his wife attended the Rose Garden ceremony last month where Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett’s confirmation hearing began this week.

Trish Scalia, in blue, sits behind first lady Melania Trump at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s introduction as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee at a White House event on Sept. 26.Al Drago / Redux Pictures file

Scalia sat behind first lady Melania Trump and next to former senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, both of whom have contracted the virus.

Trish Scalia is the latest high-profile person — which includes White House staffers, members of Congress and Trump campaign staff members — to have tested positive for the virus. More than a dozen people connected to the administration, Congress or Trump’s campaign were infected, including the first lady and the president, who has since recovered.

The Trump administration has been sharply criticized for its response to the virus, and public health experts have called the ceremony at the White House a “superspreader” event. The disease, which has shuttered businesses nationwide and sent the economy into a tailspin, has killed more than 200,000 people since the end of February. There have been nearly 8 million confirmed cases in the U.S.

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Labor Secretary Scalia’s Wife Is Latest Rose Garden Guest With COVID-19

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia’s wife has tested positive for COVID-19—becoming at least the 13th person who attended a largely mask-free White House Rose Garden event to contract the coronavirus.

Eugene Scalia et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Trish Scalia was seated next to Kellyanne Conway at the Sept. 26 ceremony to announce President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, and right behind Melania Trump.

Conway and the first lady also got infected with COVID-19, along with the president, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her underlings, and Sens, Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, along with several others.

In addition, other members of Trump’s inner circle, like adviser Hope Hicks, who were not at the event also tested positive in the White House outbreak, which put the president in the hospital.

The Labor Department said Secretary Scalia—whose father, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a mentor to Barrett—tested negative but will work from home. His wife “is experiencing mild symptoms but is doing well,” the statement said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Labor secretary’s wife, who was at Rose Garden event, tests positive for coronavirus

a crowd of people at a park: U.S. President Donald Trump announces 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett (R) as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump announces 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett (R) as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The Labor Department announced in a news release Tuesday night that Secretary Eugene Scalia’s wife, Trish, has tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement said that Eugene Scalia has tested negative so far but will work from home “for the time being.”

Both Eugene and Trish Scalia attended the Rose Garden event where President Donald Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett was his pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. They were seated in the second row, directly behind first lady Melania Trump and next to former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — both of whom would later test positive for Covid-19.

“This afternoon, doctors confirmed that U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia’s wife, Trish, tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Mrs. Scalia is experiencing mild symptoms but doing well,” the release stated.

“This evening, Secretary Scalia received a test and the results were negative; he has experienced no symptoms. The Secretary and Mrs. Scalia will follow the advice of health professionals for Trish’s recovery and the health of those around them. For the time being, the Secretary will work from home while continuing to carry out the mission of the Department and the President’s agenda.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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House approves second bill aimed at forced labor in China

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second time in two weeks, the House on Wednesday approved a bill aimed at cracking down on U.S. imports of goods made with the forced labor of detained ethnic minorities in China.

The bill would require publicly traded companies in the U.S. to disclose whether any of their goods — or any part of their supply chain — can be traced to internment camps or factories suspected of using forced labor of Muslim Uighurs or other ethnic minorities in China.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., was approved 253-163 and now goes to the Senate.

Its passage follows approval last week of a bill aimed at barring U.S. imports of goods produced in the vast Xinjiang region of northwestern China on the presumption that they were likely made with forced labor. That bill, authored by Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., was approved Sept. 22 on 406-3 vote.

If enacted into law, the two proposals could have significant ripple effects in global trade by forcing companies to avoid a region that produces 80% of the cotton in China, as well as tomatoes and manufactured goods.

Lawmakers say the measures are needed to press China to stop a campaign that has resulted in the detention of more than 1 million Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups under brutal conditions.

“If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interest, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech last week.

Wexton, whose northern Virginia district is home to one of the largest Uighur communities in the U.S., said her bill would inform investors and markets about active exploitation occurring in one of the largest ongoing human rights violations in the world.

“For years, the government of the People’s Republic of China has been engaged in the mass internment of religious minorities in the Xinjiang region,” Wexton said. The camps supply materials for some of the largest companies in the world, “and some of these products are finding their way to U.S. consumers,” including cellphones and T-shirts, Wexton said.

While the U.S. has long banned imports made with forced labor, traditional human rights monitoring efforts are thwarted in tightly controlled regions such as in northwestern China, Wexton and other lawmakers said. Travel to the area is restricted. Auditors have been detained and threatened, and workers intimidated, they said.

Wexton’s bill directs the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to issue rules requiring publicly traded company to issue yearly reports disclosing imports that originate in or are sourced from Xinjiang, because of the strong likelihood they were made with forced labor.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes both House bills, arguing they would likely cause U.S. companies to cease doing business in Xinjiang altogether. That outcome would harm legitimate producers and manufacturers, because there is no effective way to inspect and audit suppliers in the region, the chamber said.

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US House votes to ban Xinjiang imports over forced labor

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region, vowing to stop what lawmakers say is systematic forced labor by the Uighur community.

Despite opposition by US businesses, the act passed 406-3 in a sign of growing outrage over Xinjiang, where activists say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated in camps.

“Tragically, the products of the forced labor often end up here in American stores and homes,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote.

“We must send a clear message to Beijing: These abuses must end now.”

The Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act still needs to be passed by the Senate, which may have limited time before November 3 elections.

The United States already bans products made through slavery but the act would put a blanket ban on products from Xinjiang, saying that forced labor is inextricably linked to the region’s economy.

“We know forced labor is widespread and systematic and exists both within and outside the mass internment camps,” said Representative Jim McGovern, a Democrat who helped lead the bipartisan act.

“These facts are confirmed by the testimony of former camp detainees, satellite imagery and official leaked documents from the Chinese government,” he said on the House floor.

Republican Representative Chris Smith said: “We cannot be silent. We must demand an end to these barbaric practices and accountability from the Chinese government.”

Xinjiang is a global hub for cotton with one study by a labor group estimating that 20 percent of the garments imported into the United States contain at least some yarn from the region.

The act passed despite criticism from the US Chamber of Commerce, the premier business lobby, which argued that the law would prohibit legitimate commerce rather than find ways to root out products from forced labor.

After the act was introduced, the State Department issued an advisory that it said would educate US companies in Xinjiang and the Customs and Border Protection Agency said it was banning specific products traced to forced labor in the region.

McGovern criticized the efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration, saying: “These piecemeal actions fall far short of addressing a regional economic system that is built upon a foundation of forced labor and repression.”

Activists and witnesses say that China is seeking to forcibly homogenize the Uighur population in re-education camps including by restricting the practice of Islam.

China argues that it is providing vocational training to reduce the allure of extremism.

Former national security advisor John Bolton wrote in a recent book that Trump voiced support for the camps when his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping explained them to him.


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House passes bill aimed at imports tied to Uyghur forced labor

A bill aimed at shining a light on corporations benefiting from the use of China’s forced labor camps, which have targeted Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, passed the House in a 229-187 vote on Wednesday.

a group of people looking at a laptop: House passes bill aimed at imports tied to Uyghur forced labor

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House passes bill aimed at imports tied to Uyghur forced labor

The Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020 – spearheaded by Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) – would require companies that are publicly traded in the United States and do business within the region to disclose information on their supply chains, including whether their products could be made by forced labor.


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Proponents of the legislation argue it is a step in the right direction in taking a stand against human rights abuses in the region.

“This legislation is essential to protect American investors and consumers through stronger disclosure requirements alerting them to Chinese and international companies whose operations enable the mass internment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said during debate.

“It represents a clear and material risk to shared values and the corporate reputations of these companies and US investors and consumers,” McGovern added.

Critics argued that while they agree the United States needs to take action to crackdown on human rights violations, certain provisions in the bill that could place unnecessary regulatory burdens on companies. Republicans also took aim at Democrats for not having the bill go through the committee process.

“While the bill takes strong action to ensure American businesses are not complicit in China’s forced labor programs, there are outstanding concerns in the bill that may harm U.S. businesses. For instance, the bill requires public companies to file disclosures with the SEC if they imported manufactured goods or other materials that originated in or are sourced in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and disclose whether those goods originated in forced labor camps,” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) said on the floor ahead of the vote.

“These entities would also have to disclose the nature and extent of the commercial activity related to each good or material, the gross revenue, and net profits attributable, and whether they intend to continue importing the goods. China’s atrocities against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups must come to an end and we voted on that bill yesterday in a bipartisan fashion.”

The bill was brought to the floor as Republicans have repeatedly slammed Democrats over not being hard enough on China, making it a key component of their campaign strategy.

Video: U.S. House passes stopgap funding bill to avoid government shutdown (Reuters)

U.S. House passes stopgap funding bill to avoid government shutdown



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House to consider bills on Chinese goods made with forced labor, Pelosi says

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 18, 2020.

Al Drago | Reuters

Lawmakers will consider two bills next week on goods made with forced labor from China’s Xinjiang region, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday, with one that would restrict imports and another requiring publicly traded U.S. companies to make disclosures on supply chains.

“If we refused to speak out about human rights in China because of commercial interests, then we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights any place in the world,” Pelosi said.

Relations with China have become an issue in campaigning for the Nov. 3 U.S. elections, with Republican President Donald Trump running for re-election against his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. Control of Congress is up for grabs, with Pelosi’s fellow Democrats trying to retain control of the House and hoping to gain control of the Senate, where Republicans have a small majority.

Trump and his fellow Republicans have sought to portray Democrats as weak on China, which Democrats dispute.

In her remarks on China at her weekly news conference on Friday, Pelosi noted that she has been a critic of China on issues such as trade and human rights for more than 30 years.

The United States and other countries have been ratcheting up pressure on China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the remote Xinjiang region, where the United Nations cites credible reports as saying 1 million Muslims held in camps have been put to work.

China has rejected allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang and criticized the United States for meddling in its internal affairs.

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Division of Labor In Quarantine: How Being Home Affects It

Earlier this year our homes went from being the places where we’d catch a few winks and spend nights bingeing ‘Queer Eye’ to our gym, office, school, restaurant, etc. Here, a collection of stories that celebrate our homes and the integration of wellness under one roof. See More

My husband and I have lived in the same New York City apartment for five years, and it’s not a big one. With only a few hundred square feet in sum, the kitchen accounts for only a small fraction of the total real estate, which makes me wonder, dear spouse: Given the size of the space, and the thousands of meals we’ve prepared in it over the years, how can you not know where the paprika is? Let me expand. How can you not know where the paprika is, given that you already have the salt and garlic powder out, and thus clearly know where the spice cabinet is located? And how can you look me square in the face and ask if we have any rice left when I nearly never eat it, but you do bi-weekly? And, really, I’m concerned that you don’t know where the Instant Pot goes after we use it—there is only one cabinet large enough to safely house it. Did you open that single large cabinet? Did you notice an Instant Pot-size vacancy on the shelf?

I assume the answers to my personalized take on “Let me Google that for you” would all be a human incarnation of the upside-down smiley face emoji. That’s to say, my husband doesn’t want to irritate me; he’s empathetic, sensitive, smart, and kind. He’s also completely oblivious and doesn’t want to not irritate me enough to spend two minutes looking for items that are right in front of him. During our time in quarantine in our tiny apartment with a tinier kitchen, I’ve officially grown tired of being the keeper of all things we share. We’re both spending more hours than ever inside these same walls, and we’re both cooking more meals than we used to. Why is it that only one of us is capable of finding the correct size Tupperware lid for its corresponding container? (It’s me. I’m apparently the only one who can find the lid.)

According to one relationship therapist, a lot of my frustration may have to do with the unequal household division of labor in quarantine and also with emotional labor, which journalist Gemma Hartley previously described to Well+Good as “the often unnoticed labor that goes into keeping those around you comfortable and happy.” Research has long shown that women bear the burden of emotional labor at work (where they’re underrepresented), and at home (where the household division of labor is still not equal, even when both partners have full-time jobs outside of the house). So it’s not a new thing that I have about seven cartons of chicken stock at any given time because my husband doesn’t know where they are—second shelf, above

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House labor committee subpoenas NLRB over conflict of interest questions on joint-employer issues

Committee chairman Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) said that the board’s ongoing refusal to provide the documents suggests that the board is covering up malfeasance, according to a letter from Scott to the panel to NLRB Chairman John Ring.

“[T]he continued refusal to give the Committee certain documents indicate that the NLRB has something to hide regarding decisions that are likely tainted by a defective process, such as the McDonald’s case and the joint employer rulemaking,” Scott wrote in the letter, sent earlier this month. “The Committee is left to conclude that the NLRB’s sole motivation for refusing to produce requested documents is to cover up misconduct.”

The NLRB says that though it has not given the documentation over, it has offered the committee the ability to review some of the documents in private.

“The Committee knows it is not entitled to the documents it is demanding,” Ring said in a statement. “This is a made-up controversy solely for political theater.”

A spokesman for the NLRB called the subpoena “unprecedented,” in a statement, adding the “disclosure of these pre-decisional documents would discourage agency employees from providing candid advice and undermine the internal deliberations of the Board.”

The Committee disagrees, saying that it is entitled to the information that is being shielded from it.

The documentation requested involves the issue of joint employer classification, which is an issue when there is more than one employer involved, such as when one of the employers is a franchise. Joint employer labor issues could have implications for millions of workers at large corporations like McDonald’s.

The NLRB, under President Barack Obama, focused on making it easier for workers to hold joint-employers accountable for their working conditions — such as workers who work for McDonald’s franchisees seeking redress from the McDonald’s Corp. But the Trump administration has worked to narrow these protections.

The first case the committee has sought more information on was a decision made by the NLRB in December to approve a settlement between McDonald’s franchisees and workers that absolved McDonald’s from direct responsibility over workers, as a joint employer — a legal win for the company.

William Emanuel, an appointee to the board by President Trump, was asked to recuse himself by the workers’ lawyers, because he worked for a law firm that had helped set up a hotline for McDonald’s franchise owners to call for legal advice about how to respond to some of the protests by workers, according to the committee and Bloomberg Law.

Emanuel participated in the McDonald’s decision — a violation of an executive order that prohibits appointees from participating in any matter that is “directly and substantially related” to former employers or former clients, said Josh Weisz, a spokesman for the House Education Committee.

The committee also wants more information on the NLRB’s decision to hire a contractor to sort and categorize public comments on the joint-employer rulemaking process.

The NLRB board disagrees that its members have been involved in any conflict of interests.

“There is

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Watch live: Trump holds White House news conference on Labor Day

President Trump is holding a news conference Monday at the White House, as he touts the economy and jobs as millions are still out of work. The president is still facing backlash from an article in The Atlantic that alleged he called fallen soldiers “suckers” and “losers,” which he and White House officials have vigorously denied. 

“Biggest and Fastest Financial Recovery In History. Next year will be the best ever, unless a Sleepy person, who wants to massively raise your taxes, gets in. I’m which case, CRASH!!!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning.

“10.6 Million Jobs Created In Just 4 Months, A Record!!!” he also tweeted

How to watch President Trump’s news conference today

  • What: President Trump’s news conference 
  • Date: September 7, 2020 
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • Location: The White House
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN – in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device 

Mr. Trump has emphatically denied the report in The Atlantic, some details of which have been confirmed by other outlets including Fox News, that he called Americans who died at war “losers” and “suckers.” 

“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more. So, I just think it’s a horrible, horrible thing,” Mr. Trump told reporters last week.

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