The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus, Protests, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 75,193 new cases and 1,178 new deaths. 

There are at least 4,137,411 total U.S. cases registered and at least 145,860 deaths.

  • Approximately 60 percent of restaurants that have had to shut down during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have permanently closed their doors.
  • Eighteen states set single-day case records over the last week. 
  • Covid-19 hospitalizations fell slightly across New York state.

The state reported a 1.05% infection rate after 71,466 people were tested and 750 of those were positive. The state recorded a total of 10 Covid-19 deaths.

  • A New Jersey judge ruled that the state government may forcibly close Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, which had stayed open despite state orders to close due to Covid-19 concerns.

The gym has also been ordered to “not obstruct [state health authorities] in any way from carrying out the terms of this order.”

  • Rutgers football has halted its voluntary workouts due to six recent positive cases of the novel coronavirus and the entire program has entered quarantine.
  • Pennsylvania reported 1,054 cases and 13 deaths. 
  • Maryland reported 1,288 new cases, the highest daily count of new cases since May 19.
  • Georgia reported 3,787 new cases reported, fewer than the state’s record of 4,813 new cases on Friday. There were 53 new deaths.
  • Florida reported 12,115 new cases and 124 additional deaths. Florida has now surpassed New York in total coronavirus cases. 
  • Covid-19 hospitalizations in Florida have increased by 79% since July 4. 

Fifty hospitals in Florida have no ICU beds available.

Another 42 hospitals have 10% or less ICU capacity available.

  • At least 600 Florida teachers have requested living wills as they prepare for schools in the state to reopen even as coronavirus numbers swell.
  • Anti-gay Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R), who has referred to coronavirus as a “hoax” and called mask mandates “draconian,” is now hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Texas reported 8,112 new cases and 168 new deaths.
  • Arizona reported a two-day uptick in coronavirus cases. The state had 3,357 positive coronavirus cases Friday and reported 3,748 positive cases Saturday.

The state reported 144 deaths Saturday, the second highest day recorded in the state. Last Saturday, the state reported 147 Covid-19 deaths.

  • Washington expanded the requirement for face masks to any indoor public and non-public setting where social distancing cannot be maintained

Protests/Race Relations

  • A group of military veterans, self-described as  “Wall of Vets,” joined Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland as part of an effort to protect them from Department of Homeland Security forces.

The veterans were masked and goggled, some wore black hoodies emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter,” others attire designating their service branch, many held signs expressing opposition to recent attacks on demonstrators.

  • Seattle protesters threw rocks, bottles, and fireworks at officers. Others set fire to a portable trailer and a construction site, police said in a series of tweets.

At least 45 people were arrested on charges of assaulting officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. Three officers were injured, including one who was hospitalized with a leg injury caused by an explosive. Police described the protests as riots.

  • Rick Wiles, a prominent pastor and conspiracy theorist called on President Trump to use “hollow-point bullets” against protesters in Portland.

While addressing  Mark Meadows, Wiles called on the president to make use of bullets purchased by federal agencies during the Obama administration.

“[White House Chief of Staff] Mr. Meadows, please tell President Trump that he is now in possession of Obama bullets — 2 billion ‘Bama bullets. You’re in possession of them now,” Wiles said. “You got the ‘Bama bullets and you can put down the [insurrection] … you can put it down. You have the ‘Bama bullets in your hands.”

“‘Bama bullets” refers to conspiracy theories among conservatives about a government takeover during the last administration. Ammunition was “hoarded” by Obama “to round up Christians and constitutionalists under President Hillary Clinton.”

  • As the national anthem was being played prior to the WNBA’s season-opening game between the Seattle Storm and the New York Liberty, all players from both teams returned to their respective locker rooms as a sign of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • The House and Senate this week both passed versions of the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to rename bases and other property that are named after Confederate leaders. The Senate bill would require changes in three years, while the House bill would force changes in one year.

In an interview, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) said, “We’re going to see to it that provision doesn’t survive the bill,” Inhofe told the Oklahoman. “I’m not going to say how at this point.”

“I spoke to highly respected (Chairman) Senator @JimInhofe, who has informed me that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!),” Trump tweeted. 

Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA if the final version that reaches his desk requires name changes.

Presidential Campaign

  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is seen as the favorite as Joe Biden nears a decision on his vice presidential pick. Many see the California lawmaker as the least risky pick for Biden, who is under pressure to select a woman of color as his running mate, and someone who would be prepared to be president on day one.
  • The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which runs the 40th president’s library near Los Angeles, demanded that President Trump and the Republican National Committee quit raising campaign money by using Ronald Reagan’s name and likeness.

“It was simply handled with a phone call mid-last week to the RNC, and they agreed to stop,” Reagan Foundation chief marketing officer Melissa Giller said in an email Saturday.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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