The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

8/10

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 54,590 new cases and 1,064 additional deaths.
  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates lamented the United States’ coronavirus “testing insanity,” which he said had caused the country to fall behind the rest of the world, much of which has begun reopening after flattening infection growth.

“A variety of early missteps by the U.S. and then the political atmosphere meant that we didn’t get our testing going,” Gates said. “It’s nonsense that any sort of travel ban we did was at all beneficial. That doesn’t pass the common sense test… and now we’ve executed our lockdowns nationwide with less fidelity than other countries.”

  • Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) blasted the unemployment benefits included in President Trump’s coronavirus executive actions, calling it an insufficient “country club fix” that will cut payments for millions of Americans. He added that it’s an “urban lie” to suggest that people receiving benefits are choosing not to work.
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended President Trump’s recent executive actions when pressed about why the president wasn’t present for negotiations with Congress and instead at his golf club. Navarro claimed that Trump is the “hardest working president in history and he “works 24/7 in Bedminster, Mar-a-lago, the Oval Office or anywhere in between.”
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended President Trump’s coronavirus executive actions, claiming that Democrats would be responsible for delaying assistance to Americans if they challenged them in court: “If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hard working Americans that are out of a job because of COVID, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”
  • Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, in a policy reversal, are now requiring customers to wear masks inside stores.
  • Eighty-two percent of K-12 teachers said in a new poll that they are concerned about holding in-person classes in the new school year, and 66 percent would rather teach their classes remotely.
  • North Paulding High School, the high school in Georgia that gained viral attention last week after photos emerged showing students, many without masks, in packed hallways says it will temporarily move to online learning after it was discovered multiple students and faculty contracted COVID-19 following its first week of classes.
  • MLB has postponed the St. Louis Cardinals’ three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, scheduled to begin Monday, due to recent positive Covid-19 test results. The Cardinals have now had 13 consecutive games postponed.
  • New York had the lowest one day positive infection rate since the start of the pandemic. New York had an infection rate of 0.78%.
  • Over 353 cars were stopped at New York City “quarantine checkpoints” in the first three days after being established. Approximately 1,100 masks were distributed as well.
  • Georgia reported 3,177 new cases and 13 additional deaths.
  • South Carolina reported 1,011  new cases and additional 18 deaths.
  • Florida reported 6,190 new cases and 77 additional deaths. This marks the thirteenth consecutive day the state has reported more than 6,000 cases in a single day.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) pleaded with residents to wear masks during a press conference Sunday, calling it “common sense.”  His statement comes after announcing new rules on Friday designed to better enforce mask requirements and give local authority guidelines to enforce compliance.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) tweeted a picture of a crowded beach Sunday, saying that the crowds and “reckless behavior” will make the city shut down parks and the lakefront.
  • Texas reported 4,789 new coronavirus cases and 116 additional deaths.
  • Nevada reported 811 new coronavirus cases and 8 new deaths. A concerning 11.3% daily positivity rate was reported
  • California’s Department of Corrections reported a San Quentin State Prison employee is the eighth to die from Covid-19.

Trump Administration

  • President Trump denied reports the White House had reached out to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem about adding his face to Mount Rushmore, but he said “based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!”

Presidential Campaign

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he wants President Trump to deliver his nomination speech “miles and miles away” from the White House grounds in a recent interview.

The White House chief of staff’s remarks come after the president indicated last week that he might deliver his nomination speech from the White House after he had backtracked from plans to give the speech in Jacksonville. 

  • White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that the U.S. is aware of efforts from foreign adversaries to interfere in the U.S. 2020 elections, claiming that “there will be severe consequences for any country that attempts to interfere with our free and fair elections.” The comments came after a U.S. intel official said China, Russia and Iran were actively working to meddle in the election.
  • President Trump has used official White House travel to visit swing states and give de facto campaign speeches in front of friendly audiences in recent weeks, as he blurs the lines between governing and campaigning during a pandemic that has halted large-scale rallies.
  • Former first lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich will reportedly be featured speakers on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, representing a broad ideological cross-section that looks to symbolize presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s push for unity in his race against President Trump.

Protests/Racial and Social Justice

  • A blistering letter from DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton demands answers from the Trump administration about the Secret Service’s treatment of two Black moms at the National Mall who say they were handcuffed, separated from their young crying babies, and that an officer pointed a rifle at the head of one of the women for roughly 45 minutes before officers eventually let them go.
  • The Louisville Metro Police Department has announced it will be clamping down on protest caravans as demonstrations have continued in the city over the past few months following the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

The department said all “pedestrians must stay out of the streets” going forward and that “cars and pedestrians will not be allowed to block intersections for any length of time.”

  • NBCUniversal has parted ways with NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy after allegations of homophobic, sexist and racist behavior that also included claims Telegdy cultivated a toxic work environment.

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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