Newswire : New Coronavirus vaccine requires ‘trust’ of African American community

Doctor measures vaccine dose

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

News that Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without previous infection arrives as the United States continues to realize record-breaking new cases.
For the first time on Thursday, November 12, the country surpassed 150,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. The total number of cases soared past 10.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Both California and Texas have recorded more than 1 million total cases, while states like Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey have seen significant rises in COVID infections.
The most recent available statistics show that the District of Columbia has more than 18,500 total positive cases and 657 deaths. Washington, DC health officials have administered nearly 572,000 COVID tests to roughly 272,000 residents.
More than 242,000 people have died in the United States since the declaration of the outbreak of the pandemic in March. Health officials have expressed that the new vaccine offers real hope for the future.
“It is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, offered in a news release.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most, with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity, and economies struggling to reopen,” Dr. Bourla remarked.
He continued: “We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
Pfizer has maintained a strategic partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, offering insight on various rare diseases like sickle cell that disproportionately affect the African American community.
Dr. Kevin Williams, the Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer’s Rare Disease unit, periodically writes a column in the Black Press to help keep the African American community informed.
According to information posted on the CDC’s website, clinical development is a three-phase process. During Phase I, small groups of people receive the trial vaccine. In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded, and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended. In Phase III, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the first in the United States to generate late-stage data. An analysis of individuals that received two injections of the vaccine, spaced three weeks apart, revealed more than 90 percent fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 when compared to those who received the placebo.
The results are significant because health and science experts have stated that they expected a vaccine to yield an effective rate of no more than 70 percent.
In spite of this good news, many in the African American community continue to take a wait-and-see approach. “Somehow, scientific, education and community leaders must reassure a skeptical community of color that the vaccine will help and protect them,” said Gina Harper.
She created an urban garden in New York after growing up on a farm in Oklahoma. “Perhaps the best way would be to prove the point by exemplifying members of the Black community who have taken the vaccine and remained healthy,” Harper remarked.
The Pfizer vaccine clinical trial “went out of its way in their recruitment and enlarged their initial population of 30,000 to almost 44,000 to recruit more people of color,” stated Dale Yuzuki, a biotech executive and author of “COVID-19: From Chaos to Cure. The Biology Behind the Fight Against the Novel Coronavirus.”
“It is certainly a focus within the National Institutes of Health, where they are sensitized to the acute needs of minority populations and their justified suspicion of government-sponsored public health programs.”
Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, one of the world’s foremost immunologists and president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., is a recent appointee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s commission that will ultimately approve the Pfizer vaccine and any others.
Hildreth, an African American, insists that any vaccine must have the confidence of Black people. “I’ve made the decision that I’m going to participate in one of the vaccine trials. The trust issue cannot be overstated,” Dr. Hildreth said.
“We have to have more trusted messengers and more trusted opinion leaders to make this work.”

Newswire: ‘How did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?’

Black man with vote mask

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Juan Williams posited that he’s a Black man born in a Latin country and grew up in a Spanish-speaking family. The author and Fox News political analyst then stated a head-scratching fact that many still find difficult to rationalize.
“It stuns me to see that President Trump set a record last week by attracting the highest percentage of the non-white vote of any Republican presidential candidate in the last 60 years,” Williams wrote in an editorial for The Hill.
Perhaps must stunning, lamented Williams, “How did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?”
Although an overwhelming majority of Black men, 80%, voted for President-elect Joe Biden, support for the Democratic presidential ticket reached a new low among Black men in 2020, according to the NBC News poll of early and Election Day voters.
In the same poll, 8% of Black male voters were reported to have cast their ballots for alternative candidates.
In Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, of all Blacks casting ballots, 95 percent of Black men and 96 percent of Black women chose him, NBC News reported. Four years later, Black women’s support remained at 96 percent for Obama’s 2012 re-election. However, the black male vote decreased to 87 percent.
In 2016, when the nominee was Hillary Clinton, Black men dropped even further to 82 percent, while Black women’s support for Clinton remained high at 94 percent. Biden came close to matching that this year, garnering the support of 91 percent of Black women.
“It’s a trust issue. I view the Black community’s relationship with the Democratic Party, for example, as sort of like a domestic violence relationship,” Demetre Coles, a 25-year-old African American who lives in Waterbury, Conn., told NPR.
Coles told the outlet he voted for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins because Coles couldn’t connect with Democrats or Republicans. “We’ve been giving our vote to them loyally for 55, 60 years, and we have got nothing in return,” Coles remarked. And as for the Republican Party, I don’t feel as if they care about me at all. It’s just more blatant.”
While Coles expressed a reason for casting his ballot for an alternative candidate who had virtually no chance to win, his declaration didn’t explain why so many other Black men voted for Trump.
“Black men are hurting. Political parties mostly forget them, and then there’s this anger — whether it’s right or misguided — towards Biden for the 1994 Crime Bill,” said Unique Tolliver, a New York-based mathematician.
The 1994 Crime Bill, which was authored by then Senator Biden, and signed by President Bill Clinton, was crafted to address rising crime in the United States. The law contained numerous crime prevention provisions, including the controversial “three strikes” mandatory life sentences for repeat violent offenders.
The law, which also called for funding community policing and prisons, disproportionately punished African American men, and most observers said it caused mass incarceration.
“But, what Black people [today] fail to understand is that, at the time, there were all of these Black people, including the clergy, who supported the bill,” said Lenora Turner, a California-based psychologist.
“So, with Black men still smarting over that bill and holding it against Biden, and Trump repeatedly spreading the falsehood of how much he’s done for the Black community, you had quite the storm brewing among Black male voters,” Turner offered.
“You also had respected strong Black men like Ice Cube — even though he said he didn’t endorse Trump — swaying Black men. I know that makes it sound like Black men don’t have a mind of their own, but think about what Ice Cube came out and said. He said the Democrats told him we’d talk later while Trump ‘listened’ and agreed to institute some of Cube’s initiatives in the President’s overall plan.”
Still, as Juan Williams noted in his editorial, Trump’s racism toward Blacks and Latinos is so well-established. “It’s sad to say, but a lot of Black and Latino voters, especially the men, got distracted by Trump’s boasts and bling,” said Williams.
Half of all Americans in a June 2020 YouGov/Yahoo News poll said outright that he is a racist, and another 13 percent could only say they are “not sure” whether he is a racist or not.
A Quinnipiac University poll in July 2019, found that 80 percent of Black people and 55 percent of Latinos said Trump is a racist. A Fox News poll in July 2019 found 57 percent of Americans agreed that Trump has no respect for racial minorities.

Eutaw City Council moves forward, secures help with finances and operating water system

Tommy Johnson take oath of office as new Police Chief of Eutaw on Nov. 2, from Judge Josh Swords; his wife holds Bible.

By John Zippert,
Co-Publisher
The new Mayor and City Council of Eutaw met for its first regular meeting on November 10, 2020 at the Carver School Community Center gymnasium. The City Council held an Organizational Meeting on November 2nd after they were sworn-in to handle procedures and appointments.
Mayor Latasha Johnson said that she had spent most of the past week learning about the operation of the City’s water system and securing a needed permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which had expired in the Spring of the year.
Mayor Johnson indicated that she had received help from Kathie Horne of Rural Water Management, a consulting firm, that the previous mayor had barred from working at the City Hall. “We worked most of last week and weekend with ADEM to secure the permit to operate our water system. We were about to incur fines of $10,000 a day for being out of compliance but we have resolved this issue,” said Johnson.
Johnson, City Clerk Kathy Bir and Assistant Clerk Joe Lee Powell have worked with Rural Water Management, the computer softwear company that handles the water billing and others to begin to unravel the billing and water loss problems of the Eutaw Water System.
Powell said, “By January 2021, we should have a pretty good handle on the water meters, billing and revenues; in November, we billed for over $90,000 water, sewer and garbage bills. We are also enforcing a “no cash policy” which means residents must pay their bills with checks or money orders.”
Johnson presented a proposal from former City Council member, attorney and financial management consultant to York and Livingston, Ralph Liverman, to provide financial management services to the Eutaw City Council including preparing a budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, monthly financial reports, a four-year capital and infrastructure improvement plan and budget. Council approved this agreement with Liverman, which will cost no more than $1,500 a month.
The Council appointed Mayor Latasha Johnson as “City Water Superintendent” for a compensation of $800 month in addition to her salary as Mayor. When asked, how the City was going to pay for all these expenses, Mayor Johnson said, “We have found and deposited over $30,000 in checks and cash this week, that was casually lying around in the office, in drawers and cabinets. Also, we are expecting better revenues from the Water Department, as we straighten it out and there are some positions we discontinued and will not fill, until we are sure we can afford them.”
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Received a proclamation from Alabama Governor Kay Ivy extending the state “Safer at Home” health order, which includes mandatory mask wearing, from November 8, 2020 to January 7, 2021. Councilwoman Tracie Hunter suggested that the City check with local businesses and urge them to enforce the mask mandate because some are not requiring mask wearing.
• Agreed to advertise available city positions for 3 weeks in both local newspapers. The positions include: Utility Clerk, Assistant Utility Clerk, UCR Clerk and Assistant Clerk, Water/Sewer Workers and Street/Garbage Workers.
• Approved a new City employee pay scale which will raise wages for most employees.
• Approved purchase of an overnight deposit bag for Merchants and Farmers Bank.
• Agreed to celebrate Veterans Day (November 11) as a paid holiday for city employees.
Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson introduced has staff of new officers and said all would wear unforms rather than other forms of dress.
Mayor Johnson asked Council members with resident’s complaints about streets, drainage and other concerns, to put them in writing and submit them, so she and the city staff can be sure to respond and correct any problems.
Councilwoman Jacqueline Stewart asked that the City Council members be informed between meetings of any new hires for city positions so that they would know before their constituents questioned them about new people.
Councilwoman Valerie Watkins asked for a training in Robert’s Rules of Order, so they would know the proper way to make motions and conduct city business.
Councilwoman Tracie Hunter asked the audience “To pray with us and for us and be patient as we learn how to be a good City Council.”

COVID-19

As of November 11, 2020 at 11:30 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 208,637 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(10,860 more than last week) with 3,201 deaths (195 more than last week)
Greene County had 362 confirmed cases,
(8 more cases than last week),
with 17 deaths
Sumter Co. had 514 cases with 21 deaths
Hale Co. had 843 cases with 30 deaths

Commission selects Summerville as Chair, approves raises for general fund employees

Comissioner Roshanda Summerville selected as
Chairperson and Allen Turner as
Vice Chairperson

At its regular monthly meeting, held Nov. 9, 2020, the Greene County Commission selected Commissioner Roshanda Summerville as Chairperson for 2020-2021 fiscal year and Commissioner Allen Turner as Vice-Chairperson as part of its annual re-organizational process. The vote was three-two with only Commissioners Turner, Cockrell and Summerville voting for the nominees.
The organizational process also requires the commission to set its meeting schedule. The body unanimously agreed to keep the same schedule of second Monday of the month at 3:30 pm. The commission will continue to govern its operations under the Rules of Procedures of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA). The body also approved utilizing the Fund Balance Policy in accordance with GASB 54 (Governmental Accounting Standards).
The commission will also maintain the same signatories for its banking operations, including check signing.
The commission chairperson has the obligation of appointing commissioners to head various committees related to its operations. This duty was tabled. The commission approved a budget revision which includes a 3% salary increase for county employees under the General Fund.. This goes into effect with next pay period. At the commission’s work session the previous week it was noted that elected officials are not included in the 3% raise.
In his financial report for October, CFO Macaroy Underwood reported claims paid for the month totaled $530,381.46. This included payroll at $220,413.8; other accounts payable at $231,993.16; fiduciary at $77,974.50. Claims paid electronically totaled $68,609.93. Bank totals are as follows: Citizen Trust Bank – $3,893,208.48; Merchant & Farmers Bank – $2,664,274.46; total investments – $1,074,695.32. No report was available for Bank of New York.
In other business, the commission approved the proposal from Dynamic Civil Solution for surveying and engineering services for bridge replacement on County Road 60 over Little Creek.

Greenetrack, Inc. Charities distribute $71,000 for October, and $1,000 scholarship award

The non-profit charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack in Eutaw, AL, E-911 Communication Services, the Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and Woman to Woman, Inc., provided charitable contributions, for the month of October, to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
A total of $71,100 dollars was divided and given to the following charities:
Greene County Board of Education ($13,500); Greene County Hospital ($7,500); Greene County Commission ($24,000); City of Eutaw ($4,500); City of Union ($3,000); City of Boligee ($3,000); City of Forkland ($3,000); and Greene County Ambulance Service ($8,000).
Woman To Woman, Inc. distributed the Greenetrack $1,000 scholarship to Tyleshia Porter, a 2020 graduate of Greene County High School.
The following non-profit groups received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Poole Memorial Library, Greene County Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, PARA, Greene County Housing Authority Youth Involvement, Children’s Policy Council, Reach, Greene County DHR, Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and the Society of Folk Arts and Culture.

Newswire: Democracy takes a beating in elections across the African continent

Democracy takes a beating in elections across the African continent


Nov. 1, 2020 (GIN) – Foul play may have been the winner in recent national elections in Tanzania, where the ruling party swept up an overwhelming majority of parliamentary seats and the leaders of both top opposition parties lost theirs.
 
Citing “seditious language”, the election commission suspended the campaign of opposition challenger Tundu Lissu. Heavily armed police blocked his entire convoy for hours as he headed to launch new offices earlier this month. In similar fashion, opposition candidate Seif Sharif Hamad was arrested on Oct. 29, soon after holding a press conference in Zanzibar.
 
Zitto Kabwe, a leader of Hamad’s ACT-Wazalendo party, complained on Twitter: “Police have arrested the whole ACT leadership and one of the leaders was beaten to near death. We are not sure if he is still alive and he is in custody.”
 
With almost all votes counted, President John Magufuli of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party is claiming victory with 12.5 million out of 15 million votes cast while candidate Lissu of the Chadema party chalked up only 1.9 million.
 
“We’re calling for fresh elections and the disbandment of the electoral commissions that participated in the fraudulent elections”, Lissu told the Financial Times. Tanzania Elections Watch, a regional whistleblower, called the election “the most significant backsliding in Tanzania’s democratic credentials.”
 
Tanzanian lawyer and Magufuli critic Fatma Karume tweeted that Thursday was the president’s birthday. “He is going to get the present he has always wanted: No opposition in #Tanzania,” she said.
 
In another heavily contested election, Guinea’s electoral commission declared incumbent President Alpha Conde the winner of last week’s presidential election with 59 percent of the vote. Restrictions on internet and phone usage had sparked violence that led to the deaths of nearly two dozen people.
 
In Guinea’s neighbor to the south, President Alassane Ouattara has claimed victory despite weeks of street clashes over the president’s bid for a third term. Ouattara won all 20 of the districts announced by the electoral commission with results from the other 88 districts expected shortly.
 
Christopher Fomunyoh, a Cameroonian scholar with the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, opined grimly: “Democratic trends have reversed and there are now fewer democracies in Africa than 20 years ago… Many countries in Africa are falling short in their efforts to consolidate constitutional rule as to presidential term limits, laws on elections, civic space and political party activity.”
 

Newswire : Dave Roberts becomes second Black manager to win the World Series

Dave Roberts, Manager LA Dodgers

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the champions of baseball in large part because of a masterful managerial job by Dave Roberts, who becomes just the second African American skipper to win the World Series.
The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, the first-time Major League Baseball held the Fall Classic at a neutral site.
“It feels great,” proclaimed Roberts, who joined Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays as the only Black managers to lead their team to a world championship. Gaston’s Blue Jays won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993.
The title is the seventh in franchise history for the Dodgers and first since 1988. It marked the second celebration in less than a month for a Los Angeles professional sports team – the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat on October 11 to win the NBA championship.
The victory also comes 33 years after then-Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis appeared in a controversial and racially-charged interview on ABC News’ “Nightline” with Ted Koppel.
During the mostly forgettable 1987 broadcast, Campanis infamously told a live audience why he believed African Americans couldn’t succeed in managing a Major League Baseball team.
“No, I don’t believe it’s prejudice,” Campanis blasted when Koppel asked the reason for the lack of African American managers in baseball. “I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.”
When Koppel responded by questioning whether Campanis believed that, the Dodgers’ boss didn’t relent. “Well, I don’t say that all of them, but they certainly are short. How many quarterbacks do you have? How many pitchers do you have that are black?” Campanis demanded.
To his credit, Koppel shot back: “I gotta tell you, that sounds like the same kind of garbage. That really sounds like garbage, if – if you’ll forgive me for saying so.”
Unrelenting, Campanis volleyed: “No, it’s not garbage, Mr. Koppel, because I played on a college team, and the center fielder was Black, and the backfield at NYU, with a fullback who was Black, never knew the difference, whether he was Black or white, we were teammates. So, it just might be – why are Black men, or Black people, not good swimmers? Because they don’t have the buoyancy.”
Roberts, like Gaston before him, proved his so-called buoyancy. With a deft-touch, Roberts guided the Dodgers from a 2-0 and 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.
Just 14 teams out of 89 in baseball history have come back to win a best-of-seven series after dropping three of the first four games.
Since 1992, 11 Black men have managed Major League Baseball teams, including Dusty Baker, who came out of retirement this year to manage the Houston Astros to the American League Championship Series.
Roberts’ success is already legendary. Since he took over the Dodgers in 2016, he’s guided the team to three National League Championships. Now, he’s delivered the ultimate prize, defeating the relentless and talented Rays in just six games.
Roberts has compiled an impressive 436-273 won-loss record for a Hall-of-Fame like .615 winning percentage.
After a COVID-shortened but challenging 60-game regular season and an extra playoff round that culminated into a world championship, Roberts said he’ll let it all sink in. “It means a lot for me personally, of course,” Roberts exclaimed as his players doused him and each other with champagne.
“But for the Dodgers organization, the franchise where they’ve always been forward-thinking and groundbreaking as far as race and color barriers,” Roberts continued.
“So, for the Dodgers and for me to be the manager of this ball club to bring a championship back to Los Angeles, I think it’s well beyond bigger than

Newswire : Police kill yet another Black man as people cast final votes Nov. 3

By Hazel Trice Edney

The 6100 block of Locust Street in west Philadelphia’s neighborhood where Walter Wallace was shot and killed by police Monday (photo by Kimberly Paynter, WHYY)


TriceEdneyWire.com) – As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden campaign in key states in final days of the 2020 presidential race, yet another Black man was shot and killed by police Monday afternoon, Oct. 26.
The Philadelphia police shooting of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a reportedly mentally ill man holding a knife as his mother tried to calm him down when the police arrived on the scene, is the latest of a string of police killings of Black people that had already risen as a major campaign issue. The family had reportedly called emergency for an ambulance for Wallace – not police.
In a video taken by a by-stander, Wallace appears to be agitatedly walking around and then toward two police officers who were screaming, “Put the knife down!” Wallace walked toward the police; then collapsed in a hail of bullets.
A woman can be heard wailing with shock and grief. A man can be heard saying, “They just killed him in front of me…Y’all ain’t have to give him that many shots.”
Protests broke out immediately as citizens ran toward the dying man and the police in shock and anger.
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., in a CNN interview, pleaded for the violence to stop, saying “It will leave a bad scar on my son with all this looting and chaos…This is where we live, and it’s the only community resource we have, and if we take all the resource and burn it down, we don’t have anything.”
Local TV stations showed both looters and protesters in the streets daily. The Pennsylvania National Guard was called in by Gov. Tom Wolf as police continued to clash with protestors. Mayor Jim Kenney has promised a full investigation. “I have watched the video of this tragic incident,” Kenney said in a statement. “And it presents difficult questions that must be answered.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said there would be a release of more information in a few days. Outlaw said the officers who killed Wallace were not carrying stun guns. They have not explained why the police did not try to restrain the mentally ill man in another way.
Repeated police killings of Black people have already been a strong issue in the presidential campaign. The most recent controversial killings have been of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., Brianna Taylor in Louisville, Ken., and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
“Our hearts are broken for the family of Walter Wallace Jr., and for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost,” said a statement issued by Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death. It makes the shock and grief and violence of yesterday’s shooting that much more painful, especially for a community that has already endured so much trauma. Walter Wallace’s life, like too many others’, was a Black life that mattered — to his mother, to his family, to his community, to all of us.”
Biden and Harris also walked the fine line of scolding violent and unlawful protestors.
“At the same time, no amount of anger at the very real injustices in our society excuses violence. Attacking police officers and vandalizing small businesses, which are already struggling during a pandemic, does not bend the moral arc of the universe closer to justice. It hurts our fellow citizens,” they said. “Looting is not a protest; it is a crime. It draws attention away from the real tragedy of a life cut short. As a nation, we are strong enough to both meet the challenges of real police reform, including implementing a national use of force standard, and to maintain peace and security in our communities. That must be our American mission. That is how we will deliver real justice. All Donald Trump does is fan the flames of division in our society. He is incapable of doing the real work to bring people together.”
A Trump Administration statement issued by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany leaned to the comfort of the police and blamed Democrats for the chaotic reactions.
“The riots in Philadelphia are the most recent consequence of the Liberal Democrats’ war against the police,” the White House statement said. “Law enforcement is an incredibly dangerous occupation, and thousands of officers have given their lives in the line of duty.  All lethal force incidents must be fully investigated.  The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results.  In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system.  We can never allow mob rule.  The Trump Administration stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots.”
Meanwhile, church organizations, civil rights groups and activists around the country have for months galvanized get out to vote efforts with a large focus on police reform because of the out of control police shootings, the Coronavirus pandemic, health care, economic justice and other issues of racial inequality.
The release also said that Bishop Barber is “among more than 1,000 clergy members, religious scholars and other faith-based advocates who signed a unique statement supporting a comprehensive path to a ‘fair and free election’ and urging leaders to accept the ‘legitimate election results’ regardless of the winner in November.”