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Roundtable: Democracy In Crisis?

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, We...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Washington.

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President Trump's comments that he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election raises alarms, a man dies after contracting COVID-19 while in federal jail in downtown San Diego, and the fallout continues over San Diego's disastrous purchase of 101 Ash Street building.

Aired: September 25, 2020 | Transcript


Michael Smolens, columnist, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Max Rivlin-Nadler, reporter, KPBS News

Andrew Bowen, reporter, KPBS News

KPBS Roundtable airs on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. on KPBS Radio and at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV. Encore presentation Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on KPBS TV.

Threat to Democracy

President Trump said this week he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, continuing to claim, without evidence, that there is wide-spread mail-in ballot fraud. Though a number of Republican leaders said there would be an orderly transfer of power, they did not direct their responses to the president by name. Democrats and political scholars warned that Trump's comments were a threat to democracy.

Contracting COVID-19 While in Jail

Since the pandemic began, outbreaks of COVID-19 in San Diego and across the nation have been common in confined places where people are not free to come and go, like nursing homes, Navy ships, and in jails and prisons. Earlier this week, Victor Cruz, who was serving an eight-year sentence for methamphetamine possession, died after contracting COVID-19 while in the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown San Diego. He was one of 196 positive cases of coronavirus at the facility.

RELATED: Court Filing: COVID-19 Outbreak At San Diego Jail Due To Careless Handling Of Infected Inmate

Fallout of 101 Ash Street Controversy

A third top San Diego official is out as the scandal continues over the city’s now-infamous deal to take over the former Sempra Energy office building at 101 Ash St., downtown. Kris Michell, the city's chief operating officer, announced her resignation Monday. The city signed a lease-to-own agreement to move employees into the building but the discovery of asbestos contamination rendered the building virtually useless. The city has stopped making rent payments.

RELATED: San Diego’s Chief Operating Officer Resigns Amid 101 Ash Street Debacle

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Roundtable is a lively discussion of the week's top stories. Local journalists join host Mark Sauer to provide insight into how these stories affect residents of the San Diego region.

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