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

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 53,923 new cases and 1,088 additional deaths. Twelve of the last fifteen days have seen deaths in excess of 1,000. Two of the sub-1,000 days were Sundays when states’ reporting of numbers is traditionally lower.
  • The United States has now recorded more than 5 million people infected.
  • Five hundred seventy children in America, most of them previously healthy, have experienced an inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19 called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C. Most became so ill that they needed intensive care, according to a new report from the CDC.
  • A new report by the CDC reveals that Hispanic and Black children have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic at a disproportionate rate, underscoring how minority communities across the country have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that the chances of scientists creating a highly effective vaccine — one that provides 98% or more guaranteed protection — for the virus are slim.
  • President Trump announced he was issuing multiple executive actions designed to provide relief to millions of financially struggling Americans after talks between his aides and Democratic leaders on a new pandemic relief package broke down this week.

Speaking from his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, Trump said his orders would provide $400 per week in unemployment benefits, which is $200 less than the supplemental benefit that expired at the end of July. States will cover 25% of the costs while the federal government will cover 75%.

Trump also said he would suspend payments on some student loans through the end of the year, protect renters from being evicted from their homes, and instruct employers to defer certain payroll taxes through the end of the year for Americans who earn less than $100,000 annually.

It’s unclear where Trump will get the money to pay for the actions and whether they will face legal challenges.

  • Several GOP senators voiced discomfort regarding President Trump’s issuing of four executive orders meant to address the economic fall out of the coronavirus and bypassing Congress.

Some members of the president’s party took issue with the move, asserting that Congress should be legislating.

  • An official from a northeastern state run by a Democratic governor laughed on Saturday when asked about President Donald Trump’s executive action asking states to pay 25% of the $400 unemployment relief.

“We don’t have that money,” the official said.

The official went on to say they were not given a heads up on this executive action and that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, their funds are completely tapped.

  • Tens of thousands of motorcyclists swarmed the streets of Sturgis, SD on Saturday for an annual rally despite objections from residents — and with little regard for the coronavirus.

The herds of people overran every street in town, making no effort to keep six feet apart. Few masks could be seen, and free bandannas being passed out were mostly folded, or wrapped around people’s heads.

  • Johns Hopkins University is moving to remote learning and reducing undergraduate tuition by 10 percent for the fall term.
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst backtracked on a previous plan to let students enrolled in online classes live on campus. Just weeks before the semester is scheduled to begin, the university said only a small subset of students “enrolled in essential face-to-face classes” would be allowed into dorms and dining halls.
  • Officials at Harvard said that they plan to allow up to 40 percent of undergraduates, including the entire freshman class, to return to campus for the fall, but that all instruction would be delivered online.
  • The Mid-American Conference has postponed its entire fall sports season, becoming the first FBS conference to make the drastic decision because of ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
  • South Carolina reported  1,178 new cases and 67 additional deaths.
  • In a new “Fight the Spread” campaign, South Carolina health officials are encouraging residents to fight the spread of Covid-19 as evidence increases about “high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious.” 

Residents are urged to wear masks, practice social distancing and get tested.

The state’s current positivity rate is 15.9%,

  • Illinois reported more than 2,000 new Covid-19 positive cases for the second day in a row. The 2,190 new cases are the highest daily reported number since May 24.
  • Wisconsin reported 1,165 new cases –  its highest single-day number. 
  • Texas reported 6,959 new cases and 247 additional deaths.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) extended his disaster declaration for all Texas counties. 
  • Texas’ 7-day Covid-19 positivity rate has risen to 19.41% — the highest average since the pandemic began.
  • California reported 7,371 new cases and 178 additional deaths.

Trump Administration

  • TikTok has plans to sue the Trump administration over President Trump’s executive order on Thursday that targeted the Chinese-owned app, a person with direct knowledge of the pending complaint told NPR.

NPR’s source said that the wildly popular video app could file the lawsuit as early as Tuesday, adding it will be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where the company’s American headquarters is located.

  • White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin clashed in front of President Trump on Thursday before he signed an executive order requiring the Chinese parent company of TikTok, called  ByteDance, to sell the app within 45 days or see it banned in the U.S.

Aides present at the meeting told the Washington Post that Mnuchin pushed for tech giant Microsoft to look into purchasing TikTok while Navarro pushed for a complete ban of the app in the U.S. and accused Mnuchin of being too soft on China, leading to their argument in front of the president. 

Sources described the interaction to the Post as a “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.

  • Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups came out against  retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, President Trump’s pick for ambassador to Germany, after a series of past controversial remarks about the Holocaust, Jews and use of force against civilians were unsurfaced this week. 

Presidential Campaign

  • Joe Biden blasted President Trump’s executive order to cut payroll taxes as “a reckless war on Social Security.”

“He is laying out his roadmap to cutting Social Security,” Biden said. “Our seniors and millions of Americans with disabilities are under enough stress without Trump putting their hard-earned Social Security benefits in doubt.”

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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