The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

  • A report from the CDC says New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus may be thousands of fatalities worse than the official tally kept by the city and state.
  • President Trump backed Pennsylvania residents who oppose restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state and accused Democratic governors of leaving such measures in place “for political purposes.”

Trump Tweeted: “The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!”

NOTE: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has a 69% approval rating from Pennsylvania residents for his handling of the coronavirus in his state. 

  • The White House has directed all West Wing staff to wear masks at all times in the building, except when they are at their own desks.The shift in protocol comes days after two White House staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. One is a military member who serves as one of President Trump’s personal valets, and the other is Vice President Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller.
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro disparaged the media’s coverage of the staggering 14.7 percent unemployment rate in April caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That was a pity party yesterday on the Sunday shows,” Navarro complained on “Fox and Friends,” singling out CBS News “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan, ABC News “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos and “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

“This is not the Great Depression,” the White House official continued. “Anybody who thinks this is the Great Depression doesn’t understand either history or economics.”

Navarro claimed that President Donald Trump had built “the strongest and most beautiful economy” before the virus took hold.

  • Hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old malaria medicine touted by the president as a coronavirus treatment, showed no benefit for thousands of patients hospitalized in New York.

There was also no noticeable advantage for patients that took the drug paired with the antibiotic azithromycin, according to hotly anticipated research published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

President Donald Trump had repeatedly championed hydroxychloroquine from the press briefing stage, saying it had “tremendous promise” and was safe because “it’s been used for a long time.”

  • President Trump abruptly left his coronavirus news conference in the Rose Garden after tense exchanges with two female reporters, one of which, who was Asian American, asked him why the statistics surrounding the virus are a “global competition” to him.
  • President Trump boasted that the U.S. has “prevailed on testing” — despite public health experts’ warnings that millions more tests per week are needed to safely reopen the country.

The president claimed, “We have met the moment, and we have prevailed.”

NOTE: The U.S. has the most coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, and is still nowhere near performing enough testing to safely open our economy. The U.S. ranks 29th in per capita. 

Other Administration News 

  • The Justice Department announced that it is reviewing all of the evidence in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery and considering whether federal hate crime charges are warranted. Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man, was fatally shot in February while jogging just outside the port city of Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault last Thursday, after video of the incident sparked outrage over the handling of the case.
  • Stone prosecutor Jonathan Kravis blasted Attorney General Barr’s meddling in the Stone and Flynn cases: “In both cases, the department undercut the work of career employees to protect an ally of the president, an abdication of the commitment to equal justice under the law.”
  • Nearly 2000 Justice Department officials have signed onto a letter calling for Attorney General William Barr to resign over what they describe as his improper intervention in the criminal case of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The letter, signed mostly by former career officials in the department, accuses Barr of joining with Pres. Trump in “political interference in the Department’s law enforcement decisions.”

  • Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for an American diplomat’s wife accused of killing a British teenager by driving dangerously.

Anne Sacoolas invoked diplomatic immunity after a crash in Northamptonshire in August that killed 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn near a British military base that houses U.S. troops.

Sacoolas was allowed to leave the United Kingdom following the incident, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January rejected an extradition request from the British government. She is alleged to have been driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of the crash.

  • President Trump declined to name the crime he believes former President Obama committed, as he was pressed on a string of critical tweets he sent over the weekend accusing his predecessor of committing the biggest political crime in history. Trump has amplified his attacks on the Russia investigation in the days since the Justice Department moved to drop charges against his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours,” Trump told Washington Post reporter Phil Rucker.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, CBS News, CNN, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Vanity Fair, Washington Post

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