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Pelosi Introduces Bill to Form 25th Amendment Commission to Rule on President’s Fitness

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday introduced a bill to establish a commission that would rule on the president’s fitness for office.

The bill, which Pelosi introduced along with Congressman Jamie Raskin, would form a congressionally-appointed body called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, which would serve as “the body and process called for in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the offices of Pelosi and Raskin said in a statement.

On Thursday, Pelosi expressed doubts about President Trump’s health after his coronavirus diagnosis and announced that over the next day she will be discussing the constitutional measure that allows the vice president to take over if the president becomes incapacitated.

The measure is meant to “enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership” regarding the presidency.

Pelosi stressed Friday that she is unaware of Trump’s current mental fitness but said some medical professionals have cautioned that certain drugs could alter a patient’s state of mind. Trump has been prescribed several drugs since he tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of voters. But he shows the need to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi said.

“We have to give some comfort to people that there is a way to do this,” the speaker continued, “based on a medical decision again, with the full involvement of the vice president.”

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Watch live: Democrats introduce bill creating commission to rule on president’s fitness for office

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin are introducing a bill on Friday to form a commission that would rule on the president’s fitness for office in order to “enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership” in the presidency.

This panel, called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, would be “the body and process called for in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Pelosi and Raskin’s offices said in a statement on Thursday.

At the conference press conference announcing the bill on Friday morning, Pelosi insisted that the bill was not intended to determine President Trump’s fitness of office.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of voters. But he shows the need to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi said.

The 25th Amendment provides the procedure for the vice president to take over the duties of president in case of his death, resignation or inability to perform his duties. The amendment says that when the vice president and a majority either of Cabinet officials “or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” determine that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” then the vice president shall take over the duties of president.

“The 25th Amendment is all about the stability of the presidency and the continuity of the office,” Raskin said in the conference announcing the bill, noting that it was ratified on a bipartisan basis after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

“In the age of COVID-19, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans and now ravaged the White House staff, the wisdom of the 25th Amendment is clear,” Raskin continued, referring to the multiple White House officials who have tested positive for the virus. Raskin noted that the commission would be bipartisan, with members chosen by both Republicans and Democrats, and could only act in concert with the vice president.

Pelosi and Raskin’s introduction of the bill comes after President Trump was hospitalized over the weekend after testing positive for COVID-19, raising concerns about presidential succession. The White House said that Mr. Trump remained on the job even while he was at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and that there were no plans for Vice President Mike Pence to assume presidential authority. Mr. Trump returned to the White House on Monday, and returned to work at the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Raskin previously introduced a similar bill in 2017 to impanel a group of physicians and retired public officials to determine whether the president was mentally and physically fit for office.

“The 25th Amendment was adopted 50 years ago, but Congress has never set up the body it calls for to determine presidential fitness in the event of physical or psychological incapacity. Now is the time to do it,” Raskin said in a statement introducing the initial bill in May 2017.

Mr. Trump retweeted several posts on Thursday evening criticizing

House Democrats will introduce bill creating commission to rule on president’s fitness for office

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin will introduce a bill on Friday to form a commission that would rule on the president’s fitness for office in order to “enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership” in the presidency.

This panel, called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, would be “the body and process called for in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Pelosi and Raskin’s offices said in a statement on Thursday. They will formally announce the bill at a press conference on Friday morning.

The 25th Amendment provides the procedure for the vice president to take over the duties of president in case of his death, resignation or inability to perform his duties. The amendment says that when the vice president and a majority either of Cabinet officials “or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” determine that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” then the vice president shall take over the duties of president.

Pelosi and Raskin’s introduction of the bill comes after President Trump was hospitalized over the weekend after testing positive for COVID-19, raising concerns about presidential succession. The White House said that Mr. Trump remained on the job even while he was at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and that there were no plans for Vice President Mike Pence to assume presidential authority. Mr. Trump returned to the White House on Monday, and returned to work at the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Raskin previously introduced a similar bill in 2017 to impanel a group of physicians and retired public officials to determine whether the president was mentally and physically fit for office.

“The 25th Amendment was adopted 50 years ago, but Congress has never set up the body it calls for to determine presidential fitness in the event of physical or psychological incapacity. Now is the time to do it,” Raskin said in a statement introducing the initial bill in May 2017.

Mr. Trump retweeted several posts on Thursday evening criticizing Pelosi for appearing to consider implementation of the 25th Amendment.

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Debate commission co-chair defends virtual move after Trump pulls out: ‘We will be guided by the medicine’

Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf has defended the organization’s decision to move the second presidential debate, slated for Oct. 15, to a virtual setting after President Trump dismissed the idea as a “waste” of time. 

“We looked at this thing very, very carefully, and as I have said many times in this particular cycle, we will be guided by the medicine,”  Fahrenkopf said Thursday on “The Story.”

“We will be guided by those people advising us, we are not doctors. And as you know, the Cleveland Clinic has been advising us throughout. They went along with this decision.

The CPD announced early Thursday that “the second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations.” Steve Scully of C-SPAN is still set to moderate from Miami.

TRUMP SAYS HE’S ‘NOT GOING TO WASTE’ HIS TIME ON VIRTUAL DEBATE

Fahrenkopf told host Martha MacCallum there were “just too many questions as to whether or not we could present this with many, many people who would be present in Miami who would be vulnerable.”

The format change was announced six days after the president announced he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus. The positive test came a little more than 48 hours after the first debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The CPD decision was driven “not only [by] his [Trump’s] diagnosis and what happened in Cleveland but what’s happened in the White House in the last week or so [with] so many people having to be tested and quarantined,” Fahrenkopf explained.

TRUMP ADVISER BLASTS DEBATE COMMISSION AS ‘CORRUPT, COMPLICIT SWAP CABAL’

“We have 65 people who work and build these sets and so forth and in a town hall meeting we have people there. We want to make sure that everyone is safe and we will … not take a chance. That’s why we decided if we were going to have this, we had to do it virtually to make sure everyone was safe.”

Trump told Fox Business Netowrk’s Maria Bartiromo earlier Thursday that he will not “waste my time” in a virtual debate, and called the idea of sitting “at a computer” to debate his 2020 challenger “ridiculous.”

Fahrenkopf told MacCallum, however, that the president may have misunderstood the conditions of the updated virtual setting.

“The president said, ‘You don’t want that kind of debate where you’re sitting in front of a computer.’ You’re not,” he explained. “The provisions were they would sit wherever they wanted to – the president could do it from the Oval Office. There would be press people present, also with Biden, people there to make sure he wasn’t reading off a teleprompter.

“I think the president wasn’t properly briefed as to what we’re talking about when we’re talking about a virtual debate,” he said.

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When asked whether a new statement from White House physician Dr. Sean

Self-Isolating Commission Head Snubs EU Advice on COVID-19 Quarantine Length | World News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said she would leave quarantine on Tuesday after having been in contact with someone positive for COVID-19 a week earlier, despite EU recommendations of 14 days of self-isolation.

Von der Leyen is following Belgium’s rules, which have just been softened, but her decision to ignore the stricter advice from the bloc’s public health body could further weaken calls for a EU common approach to battle the epidemic.

Von der Leyen, who is 61 and is a physician by training, said she would remain in precautionary self-isolation until Tuesday evening, after a person she came into contact with on September 29 in a meeting in Portugal tested positive on Sunday.

She tested negative for the virus on Thursday and Monday.

A spokesman for the Commission declined to comment on the EU recommendation but said the length of her quarantine was in line with Belgian rules.

Belgium, which is home to the EU headquarters, shortened mandatory quarantine from 14 to seven days on Oct 1, despite having one of Europe’s highest infection rates. That was done mostly because people struggled to respect the rule which had a heavy social and economic impact, a spokeswoman for the health ministry said.

However, the country’s decision disregarded the advice of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) which in September reiterated its recommendation of a two-week quarantine for persons who had had contact with confirmed cases.

The ECDC’s guidance says quarantine could be shortened to 10 days after a negative test. The agency declined to comment on von der Leyen’s decision.

The head of the agency, Andrea Ammon, has warned that even the 14-day quarantine may not be enough, as in 3-4% of cases infections emerge after two weeks.

As infections are again rising sharply across Europe, other EU countries have also relaxed their quarantine rules, and a patchwork of national rules has emerged.

In September France shortened the duration of mandatory self-isolation to seven days. Spain, the country with the highest infection rate in Europe, cut the mandatory quarantine to 10 days, saying that most people are no longer infectious after that period.

Italy, which has currently one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, maintains a 14-day quarantine in line with recommendations from the ECDC and World Health Organization.

The European Commission has repeatedly urged the 27 EU states to better coordinate their strategies to combat the epidemic and use common criteria to assess the spread of the disease before introducing new restrictive measures.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, Editing by William Maclean)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Girls on the Run International Establishes Commission for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access

Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.
Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.
Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.

Charlotte, NC, Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Girls on the Run International (GOTRI) announced the establishment of its inaugural IDEA Commission to support inclusion, diversity, equity and access across the national nonprofit organization. GOTRI designs programming that strengthens third- to eighth-grade girls’ social, emotional, physical, and behavioral skills to successfully navigate life experiences. More than 2 million girls have participated in the program since it launched 24 years ago.

“This commission will help us deliver on our commitment to be a place where all people feel welcome, worthy and empowered,” said Elizabeth Kunz, CEO of Girls on the Run International. “Staff and volunteer leaders from throughout our organization were intentionally selected to ensure a wide range of perspectives and experiences are brought to the meaningful work of advancing inclusion, diversity, equity and access at Girls on the Run.”

The commission will be led by Juliellen Simpson-Vos, vice president of council development at GOTRI, and Ivory Patten, legal manager at GOTRI. Elizabeth Kunz, CEO, will serve on the committee to assist in strategic guidance and oversee organizational commitment. The following individuals will be serving on the IDEA Commission and developing the organization’s national IDEA vision and strategy:

Mollie Anderson, Chicago, Illinois

Melida Barbosa, New York, New York

Kathleen Cannon, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rakesh Gopalan, Charlotte, North Carolina

Tenika Hill, Riverside, California

Erica Hernandez, San Francisco, California

Rachel de Jesus, Flagstaff, Arizona

Hao Le, San Jose, California

Sonal Modisette, Seattle, Washington

Jennifer Passey, Fairfax, Virginia

Kaityre Pinder, Atlanta, Georgia

Meg Pomerantz, Durham, North Carolina

Elena Simpkins, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Megan Wolfe, Mountlake Terrace, Washington

The IDEA Commission will oversee seven subcommittees created to inform, deepen and articulate the activities and outcomes of the Commission. To learn more about the organization’s ongoing commitment to IDEA, please visit https://www.girlsontherun.org/inclusion-diversity/

ABOUT GIRLS ON THE RUN INTERNATIONAL Girls on the Run International designs programming that strengthens third- to eighth-grade girls’ social, emotional, physical, and behavioral skills to successfully navigate life experiences. Each year, more than 200,000 girls ages eight to 13 participate in communities in 50 states and Washington DC. More than 2 million girls have participated in the program since it launched in 1996. The curriculum reaches girls at a critical stage, strengthening their confidence at a time when society begins to tell them they can’t. Underscoring the important connection between physical and emotional health, the program addresses the whole girl when she needs it the most. Results show GOTRI programs inspire and empower girls to build healthy physical and mental habits that last long beyond the program. According to a longitudinal study conducted by The University of Minnesota, 97% of Girls on the Run participants said they learn critical life skills including resolving conflict, helping others or making intentional decisions; and 94% of parents reported it was a valuable experience for their