The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Protest News

  • Mourners gathered for a final public memorial to George Floyd in his hometown of Houston for a six-hour viewing at The Fountain of Praise Church. His killing has sparked global protests over police mistreatment of communities of color.
  • Bail has been set at $1.25 million for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd.
  • Democrats unveiled a broad police reform bill, pledging to transform law enforcement. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would ban chokeholds, limit qualified immunity, establish a national database to track police misconduct, require body cams, and prohibit certain no-knock warrants.
  • The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has confirmed reports and viral video showing law enforcement officers in Minneapolis slashing the tires of parked cars during recent protests over the death of George Floyd. The department claimed this was done to stop vehicles “driving dangerously at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement.

One video from a journalist covering the protesters shows all four tires of his rental vehicle were slashed along with tires on cars surrounding his in the parking lot.

  • President Trump and his allies on Monday lashed out at activists and some Democrats for their support of the “defund the police” movement, seeking to draw a contrast with the administration’s embrace of law enforcement amid nationwide protests.

“There won’t be defunding. There won’t be dismantling of our police, and there’s not going to be any disbanding of our police. Our police have been letting us live in peace, and we want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there,” Trump said during a meeting with law enforcement officers and police chiefs at the White House, adding that he believes “99 percent” of officers are “great people.”

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that the White House has no regrets about how federal law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square the week prior.

“There’s no regrets on the part of this White House,” McEnany said at a briefing Monday afternoon. “I’d note that many of those decisions were not made here within the White House. It was [Attorney General William] Barr who made the decision to move the perimeter. Monday night Park Police had also made that decision independently when they saw all the violence in Lafayette Square.”

NOTE: According to all reports, the protest Monday night was peaceful.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer are demanding President Trump reopen Lafayette Square to the public, saying it currently resembles a “militarized zone.”

The two Democratic leaders sent Trump a letter on Monday, insisting he “tear down these walls, reopen Lafayette Square,” which is located across the street from the White House, so that the public can “gather there for you and all the world to hear their voices.”

  • A Virginia man who allegedly drove his truck into a crowd of peaceful protesters over the weekend is an “admitted leader” of the Ku Klux Klan, officials said Monday. 

Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor described the man, Harry Rogers, 36, as “a propagandist of Confederate ideology.” A “cursory glance” at his social media and his own admissions to authorities revealed that he was a leader of the white supremacist group.

  • Contradicting the president’s claim that he only went to inspect the bunker earlier in the day, Attorney General Barr told Bret Baier that President Trump went to the bunker that Friday evening because of the protests outside the White House. “Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can’t have that in our country.”

Administration News

  • The U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February, according to The National Bureau of Economic Research, which announced that a 128-month expansion officially ended then. The expansion, which had begun in June 2009 after a recession, was the longest on record.
  • U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Germany “shake the pillars of the transatlantic relationship”, Peter Beyer, the German coordinator for transatlantic ties, told Reuters on Monday.
  • Freddy Ford, a spokesman for former president G.W. Bush, told The Texas Tribune that Bush would steer clear of speaking publicly on his presidential vote and called The New York Times assertion false.

“This is completely made up,” Ford said in an email. “He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.”

It is unclear whether Bush will instead be voting for Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival. Both of the Bush brothers — and their parents, former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush — said in 2016 they didn’t vote for Trump.

  • The President plans to resume campaign rallies within the next two weeks. The Trump team expects to face criticism for large crowds, but says the support of packed protests will make them easier to defend.
  • President Trump released an analysis from McLaughlin & Associates, a pollster allied with his campaign, seeking to knock down recent surveys showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the White House. 

“I have retained highly respected pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, to analyze todays CNN Poll (and others), which I felt were FAKE based on the incredible enthusiasm we are receiving,” Trump tweeted. “Read analysis for yourself.”

“This is the same thing they and others did when we defeated Crooked Hillary Clinton in 2016. They are called SUPPRESSION POLLS, and are put out to dampen enthusiasm. Despite 3 ½ years of phony Witch Hunts, we are winning, and will close it out on November 3rd!”

  • Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is now “open” to renaming the service’s 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, an Army official told POLITICO, in a reversal of his previous position.

“The Secretary of the Army is open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic,” said Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky Monday.

As recently as February, the Army said the service had no plans to rename the facilities

  • The Netflix original comedy “Space Force,” which is based on the new branch of the military launched by President Trump, reportedly obtained trademark rights for the name before the government.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show secured trademark rights to “Space Force” in multiple places, including Europe, Australia and Mexico, while the Air Force owns only a pending application for registration in the United States. That means the show has more confirmed trademark rights than the U.S. military.

  • Over the past month, the Trump campaign has spent slightly more than $400,000 on cable news ads in the Washington, D.C., area. The Trump campaign said the ad buys were an attempt to reinvigorate and reassure the president’s supporters in the nation’s capital. However, two knowledgeable sources – one a Trump campaign adviser, the other an individual close to the president – said the ads had another purpose as well: to put the president himself at ease.

These sources also said the campaign is hoping to counter-program recent ads by the Lincoln Project, a super PAC run by a group of dissident conservatives, that have driven the president to public outbursts.

  • In an interview, retired Admiral Bill McRaven, the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, best known as the Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, said, “This fall, it’s time for new leadership in this country — Republican, Democrat or independent.” He continued,  “President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief.”

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion.

A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels.

  • New research from the University of California, Berkeley finds that shutdowns and other interventions prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the United States and that the policies had “large health benefits.”

The eye-popping numbers illustrate that the shutdowns, while controversial and onerous, were effective at slowing the spread of the virus, the study says.

  • The Trump administration has not disbursed over 75% of the $1.6 billion in Covid humanitarian aid approved by Congress back in March. 

In March, lawmakers approved $1.6 billion in pandemic assistance to be sent abroad through the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development.

As of last week, $386 million had been released to nations in need. Of that, only a meager $11.5 million in international disaster aid had been delivered to private relief groups, even though those funds are specifically meant to be rushed to distress zones.

  • A top World Health Organization official on Monday said that it appears “very rare,” for an asymptomatic person with coronavirus to transmit the virus to another person, a potential bit of good news in the fight against the virus. It marks a major turn from past warnings that suggested asymptomatic people were spreading the virus.
  • More than 136,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus across the globe on Sunday, a new apex that has officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) warning that the worst of the pandemic is still ahead.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of confirmed cases is rising rapidly in South America and South Asia, which accounted for three-quarters of Sunday’s new cases.

  • Exactly 100 days since its first case of coronavirus was confirmed, New York City, which weathered extensive hardship as an epicenter of the worldwide outbreak, is set to take the first tentative steps toward reopening its doors on Monday. As many as 400,000 workers could begin returning to construction jobs, manufacturing sites and retail stores in the city’s first phase of reopening.
  • Russia is partially reopening its borders for several kinds of trips, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced in a Monday meeting with the country’s coronavirus response council. Russians will be able to travel abroad to care for relatives, undergo medical treatment, to work or study. Foreigners will also be able to enter Russia for medical purposes.
  • Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that satellite data and internet search traffic indicate that the coronavirus pandemic may have begun in Wuhan, China, months before authorities alerted the World Health Organization.

Study authors told ABC News that analysis of data from as far back as October of last year indicated a surge in vehicle traffic around hospitals in the city, a spike that coincided with a rise in internet search traffic for “certain symptoms that would later be determined as closely associated with the novel coronavirus” from residents of the city.

“Something was happening in October,” Dr. John Brownstein, the study’s leader, told ABC. “Clearly, there was some level of social disruption taking place well before what was previously identified as the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic.”

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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