The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus, Racial & Social Justice, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 48,694 new cases and 515 additional deaths. 
  • In a racially charged early morning tweet, President Trump accused the press of failing to report coronavirus outbreaks in other nations as cases surge in the U.S.

“Big China Virus breakouts all over the World, including nations which were thought to have done a great job. The Fake News doesn’t report this. USA will be stronger than ever before, and soon!” Trump tweeted.

NOTE: Trump has repeatedly claimed the high numbers in the U.S. are the result of more testing, but the positivity rate has remained high as well, averaging 8 percent over the past seven days. 

  • When asked about why the U.S. has not been able to stop the coronavirus spread, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said, “Across America right now, people are on the move,” she said. “And so all of our discussions about social distancing and decreasing gatherings to under 10 — as I traveled around the country, I saw all of America moving.”

Birx added that the U.S. is in a “new phase” of the pandemic and called on all Americans to wear masks and to practice social distancing and proper personal hygiene. 

“What we’re seeing today is different from March and April,” she said. “It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas. And to everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus.”

  • White House coronavirus testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said the anti-malaria drug touted by President Trump is not beneficial as a coronavirus treatment. “At this point in time, there’s been five randomized-controlled, placebo-controlled trials that do not show any benefit to hydroxychloroquine, so at this point in time, we don’t recommend that as a treatment,” he said.  “Right now, hydroxychloroquine, I can’t recommend that,” he added.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected the prospect of extending $600 unemployment benefits throughout the the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the payments led to some out-of-work Americans being “overpaid.”
  • Doug Pederson, the head coach of the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles, has tested positive for Covid-19. 
  • New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Céspedes decided to opt out of the season “for Covid-related” reasons.
  • Tennis star Nick Kyrgios announced that he will not play at the upcoming US Open due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 36 crew members on Norwegian Arctic cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen have tested positive. As a result, 387 passengers from two July expeditions on the cruise ship have been asked to self-quarantine.
  • New Jersey reported 331 new cases and six additional deaths. 
  • Florida reported 7,047 new cases and 62 additional deaths.
  • Fifteen state-supported Covid-19 testing sites will reopen Monday after closing because of Tropical Storm Isaias. 
  • Miami-Dade students will continue virtual learning until at least October.
  • At least 46 Ohio bars and restaurants have been cited for violations related to Covid-19 since May. 
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced 463 new cases and two new deaths. Of the new cases, 11 were in children age 5 or younger. 
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) told CNN the state will not shut down bars and restaurants despite the recent spike in cases because “so far we have not seen any correlation between an increase in cases and lifting of restrictions.”

Protests/Racial and Social Justice

  • Colorado is declaring racism a public health crisis after employees inside the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment put pressure on its top health official to address the issue.
  • Protesters gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico to demonstrate against the Trump administration for deploying federal law enforcement to the city like those that were used  in Portland, Oregon.
  • U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe will host a conversation on the cultural, social and political climate in the United States in an HBO special featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “1619” founder Nikole Hannah-Jones, and comedian Hasan Minhaj.
  • Three members of Allentown’s city council say they support a resolution to censure two other council members over their participation in Black Lives Matter protests.

The resolution demanding a censure and no-confidence vote against council members Ce-Ce Gerlach and Joshua Siegel stems from alleged conflicts of interest for participating in the protests in the city, raising questions about their objectivity in matters related to the city’s police department

Trump Administration

  • Seven Marines and one sailor who went missing following a training accident off the coast of Southern California are presumed dead. 
  • The Pentagon has not regularly assessed risks posed to contractors by climate change, potentially jeopardizing the department’s ability to carry out its mission, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. 
  • Microsoft said it would continue to pursue acquiring TikTok after speaking with President Trump, who seemed to be backing off a pledge to ban the app.
  • President Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft. 
  • Retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, the controversial Trump administration pick for a top Pentagon post, has formally withdrawn his nomination to be the Defense Department undersecretary of defense for policy and has been designated “the official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.” 

Presidential Campaign

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will not attend the Republican National Convention in North Carolina, saying in a letter to the RNC chairwoman that his top priority remains combatting the coronavirus pandemic in his home state.
  • President Trump vowed to challenge a bill approved Sunday by the Nevada legislature that would expand mail-in voting in the state for the November general election. Trump accused Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), who is expected to sign the bill into law, of using the novel coronavirus to “steal” the election and make it “impossible” for Republicans to win in Nevada.

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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