The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • The U.S. reported 46,295 new cases and 1,024 additional deaths. At least 6,913 Americans died this week as a result of COVID-19.
  • The number of people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus globally surpassed 23 million on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. JHU is reporting more than 801,000 people have died from the virus.

The United States has the highest numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world.

  • The World Health Organization said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach.
  • President Trump accused the FDA of making it difficult for drug companies to test possible coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics on people.

“The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!” Trump tweeted.

  • Schools across the U.S. are facing shortages and long delays, of up to several months, in getting this year’s most crucial back-to-school supplies: the laptops and other equipment needed for online learning, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The world’s three biggest computer companies, Lenovo, HP and Dell, have told school districts they have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops, in some cases exacerbated by Trump administration sanctions on Chinese suppliers, according to interviews with over two dozen U.S. schools, districts in 15 states, suppliers, computer companies and industry analysts.

  • Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA) announced on Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Pennsylvania Republican said that he is complying with health guidelines and postponing public events following his diagnosis.

  • Springfield, Massachusetts police are looking for a man who allegedly gave a Walmart shopper a “Covid hug.” 

The suspect, whom the victim had never seen before, took an item out of his hand and then gave him a hug.

“Just giving you a Covid hug. You now have Covid,” the suspect said before laughing and walking away, according to the Springfield Police Department.

The victim is a cancer survivor, the police department said, adding that the suspect did the same thing to several other customers.

  • New Jersey reported its lowest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations since March 24.
  • Georgia surpassed 5,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • A 6-year-old girl from Hillsborough County became the youngest person to die from coronavirus complications in Florida.
  • The number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in Mississippi dropped below 1,000 for the first time in two months.
  • Covid-19 hospitalization rates in Los Angeles County are the lowest since April.

Trump Administration

  • Maryanne Trump Barry was serving as a federal judge when she heard her brother, President Trump, suggest on Fox News, “maybe I’ll have to put her at the border” amid a wave of refugees entering the United States. At the time, children were being separated from their parents and put in cramped quarters while court hearings dragged on.

“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”

Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”

Barry also said at one point, “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel,” according to the audio scripts and recordings.

According to the Washington Post, Barry said to Mary: “He went to Fordham for one year and then he got into University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams.” “No way!” Mary responded. “He had somebody take his entrance exams?”

Barry then replied, “SATs or whatever…I even remember the name. That person was Joe Shapiro,” Barry said.

  • The U.S. was further isolated over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran with 13 countries on the 15-member U.N. Security Council expressing their opposition, arguing that Washington’s move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.
  • The House on Saturday passed legislation that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from making any changes to its operations that could slow delivery of mailed-in ballots for this fall’s elections.

It would also provide $25 billion for Postal Service operations, which is an amount originally recommended by the agency’s board of governors. House Democrats also included the funding in the $3.4 trillion coronavirus relief package that they passed in May.

  • A California Superior Court judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $44,100 to Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, to reimburse her attorneys’ fees in the legal battle surrounding her nondisclosure agreement.
  • TikTok plans to sue the Trump administration over its executive order banning transactions between U.S. companies and the popular video-sharing app as well as its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Federal authorities on Saturday forced demonstrators away from a plaza near a federal building as dueling demonstrations in Portland by right-wing and left-wing protesters turned violent. No arrests were reported.
  • A Kansas City police sergeant has been indicted on a felony charge of third-degree assault after he allegedly kneed a 15-year-old boy on his neck and head and forced his head into the pavement while the teenager repeatedly said “I can’t breathe,” a Missouri prosecutor announced Friday.
  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said she will veto City Council-approved proposals that would include reducing the police department by as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition.
  • Westerly, Rhode Island Police said Friday that they caught two people red-handed trying to vandalize a statue of Christopher Columbus.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the two had been among a group that tried to spray paint on the Columbus statue across from town hall at around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

  • Someone sprayed black paint on a giant mural of George Floyd at the Minneapolis intersection where he died in May. A Minneapolis police spokesman said the department hasn’t taken any reports about the vandalized mural.

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

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