GOP & police reform bill; US public on reopening; Biden's lead on Trump

Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective:


What is the status of the federal police reform bill?

Well, the House has passed a bill already and the Senate has their own version. The big differences between the two is that the Senate bill doesn't ban chokeholds. It doesn't ban no knock warrants. And it allows qualified immunity for police to continue. Senate Democrats have said this is unacceptable. The bill cannot be fixed and have refused to even allow it to come to the floor of the Senate for debate. Not a great moment in U.S. congressional history. And it looks like this isn't going to happen.


Three and a half months into lockdown. Where does the American public stand on reopening?

Definitely reopening activity has gotten Americans out of their houses. In April, mobility data showed that about 19 percent of people visited friends and family, so far in June it's more like just around 50 percent have visited friends and family. People are moving around more. There's more activity in places where coronavirus cases are spiking. But public opinion polling also shows that people are willing to stay at home. Eighty percent of Americans say they will stay at home if ordered by the CDC or their governor or if there's a spike in cases or a decrease in hospital capacity. So people are still scared about the virus even as life returns to normal.

How durable is Biden's lead over Trump?

Well, this is really the million-dollar question for the election year this year. A lot of bad polls for President Trump recently. A poll came out today showing him down by three points in Ohio, which he won by 10 points in 2016. And another poll showing him down by 13 points nationally to former Vice President Biden. Long summer ahead of us there. Still four and a half months left in this campaign. A lot can happen. Two factors I think, may work in President Trump's favor. The first is former Vice President Biden's age, which has yet to really be exploited on the campaign trail. And I expect President Trump to make an issue out of that. And the second is any backlash from the recent protest movements and the tearing down of statues in the streets, which President Trump is also going to be keenly attuned to. However, with a bad economy and these bad poll numbers, he's certainly the underdog right now. He's got a lot of ground to make up.

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A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

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Donald J. Trump and CorOnaVirus decide to hit the road together across the USA. Will DJT and COV discover they are more alike than different? Will their interests diverge? #PUPPETREGIME

Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on US politics.

Where are US-China relations in this battle over TikTok and what is happening?

Well, this may seem like a minor deal. It's a video sharing app that the president has given 45 days to sell to a US entity or get banned in the United States. But along with WeChat, these are two of China's most successful technology companies that the US has now banned from entry into the United States and potentially banned from being used on operating systems that rely on US software inside China. So, this is a huge escalation in the geotech war between the United States and China. China for a long time has not allowed Google and Facebook and other American applications to be fully operative inside their borders. And now the US is stepping up against Chinese technology companies. The reason is that there's concerns among the US government about these tech, these apps data security practices. Members of the military, high ranking government officials aren't allowed to have these on their phones because there's concern about what China does with the data that they can harvest from those phones. This is a real warning sign to other Chinese technology companies that they may not be welcome inside the American market unless they can prove in some way, they are totally independent from the Chinese government and the Chinese military. Expect a lot of escalation in this area over the coming months and years.

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In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.