White House sued over lack of sign language interpreters


Washington, Aug 4 (IANS): A lawsuit has been filed against the White House over the lack of a sign language interpreter at the US administration's COVID-19 briefings, according to media reported.

The lawsuit was jointly filed in a district court in Washington, D.C. by the National Association of the Deaf and five differently-abled Americans, The Hill news website reported on Monday.

It accuses President Donald Trump's administration of a First Amendment violation and the plaintiffs have argued that the captions carried on video of the events lack details that would be conveyed by a sign language interpreter.

The lawsuit further said that Trump "stands alone in holding televised briefings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic without ever having provided any ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation".

"This means that not only are (deaf and hard of hearing) Americans being denied the opportunity to understand any communication from the President of the US during this critical time, they are also being denied the opportunity to access information, analysis, and updates from Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx".

The White House is yet to comment on the development, said The Hill news report.

Trump resumed the daily coronavirus briefings in July after they were suspended earlier this year following wide criticisms against the President for unscientific suggestions he made, including injecting bleach into the body to kill the virus.

  

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