The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 45,405 new cases and 892 additional deaths.
  • Coronavirus cases are rising in 22 of the 50 U.S. states, according to a Reuters analysis.
  • President Trump, along with Republican lawmakers Joni Ernst and Roger Marshall, have all pointed in recent days to the widely debunked conspiracy theory that coronavirus deaths in the United States are lower than the official count, even as the U.S. averages about 1,000 deaths per day from the disease.
  • The Williamsville Central School district near Buffalo, New York delayed the beginning of its school year on Friday for students learning remotely, releasing a statement blaming the move on dozens of resignations and sick leave requests from teachers in the district.

The Williamsville Teachers’ Association blasted the superintendent’s statement, noting that only six members of the district’s teaching staff had resigned and pointing out that the number also included dozens of retirements the district was notified about before March of the last school year.

“So we are expected to believe that four teachers retiring and six teachers resigning in the past five months causes the district to be unable to provide remote learning?”

  • President Trump suggested Sunday that the Big Ten conference could go ahead with its football season without participation from schools in three states as some players and parents have called for the season to resume.

In a tweet, Trump wrote: “Big Ten Football is looking really good, but may lose Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland because of those Governors’ ridiculous lack of interest or political support. They will play without them?”

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot several times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, called for his supporters to “stick together” and to recognize that their lives could be taken away from them at any moment. 

“I just want to say, to all the young cats out there and even the older ones, there’s a lot more life to live out here man,” Blake said while speaking from a hospital bed in a video that was posted by his family’s attorney.

  • Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson (D) will proclaim Sept. 29 “#BeLikeBo Day” in honor of Botham Jean, a Black man who was fatally shot in his own apartment by an off-duty officer who said she entered his unit by mistake in 2018.
  • President Trump on Sunday threatened to withhold funding from California schools incorporating The New York Times’s 1619 Project in their classrooms.

“Department of Education is looking at this,” Trump tweeted in response to an anonymous post claiming the Times series had been “implemented … into the public schools” in California. 

“If so, they will not be funded!” he added.

  • The third season of “Star Trek: Discovery” will introduce the franchise’s first gender nonbinary and transgender characters when it airs next month.

Trump Administration

  • The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief said that reporting about President Trump’s comments denigrating fallen U.S. service members has only just begun, noting he expects “more reporting to come out about this and more confirmation and new pieces of information in the coming days and weeks.”
  • President Trump railed against billionaire philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, over her ties to The Atlantic.

Trump tweeted: “Steve Jobs would not be happy that his wife is wasting  money he left her on a failing Radical Left Magazine that is run by a con man (Goldberg) and spews FAKE NEWS & HATE. Call her, write her, let her know how you feel!!!”

  • Five former employees of the company Postmaster General Louis DeJoy used to run said they were encouraged to donate to Republican candidates and were later reimbursed.

While encouraging donations is not necessarily illegal, reimbursing campaign contributions is a violation of federal and state election laws. The federal law has a five-year statute of limitations, but there is no statute of limitations for the state law.

  • A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to temporarily stop efforts to wind down the collection of data and processing of timelines for the 2020 Census, a win for civil rights and advocacy groups who claimed the administration’s new plan violated their constitutional rights by risking an inaccurate Census count.
  • A federal judge in Washington has ordered the Trump administration to temporarily resume issuing diversity visas to immigrants through the U.S. visa lottery system, noting in his decision that foreigners who win diversity visas are seeking a “better life for themselves and their families” and don’t deserve to be “caricatured as common criminals.”
  • The National Weather Service said Los Angeles County saw its highest temperature on official record Sunday after a high of 121 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded in the San Fernando Valley.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump has commandeered $58.4 million in campaign donations for legal and compliance fees, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The president has treated campaign coffers like his own “piggy bank,” sending millions to law firms for whatever battle he wants to fight, including some protecting his own interests, according to the Times.

The legal fees are in addition to the contributions that Trump is funneling into his own pockets by charging his campaign and the Republican National Committee for lodging, event space and catering. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf resort collected around $400,000 in just two days for a campaign event earlier this year. As of last year, his businesses had collected nearly $17 million since he launched his first presidential campaign.

His campaign is also paying Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump, and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, $180,000 a year each for work, HuffPost has reported.

  • More than 9 in 10 voters surveyed in the poll — 92 percent — said they believe civil unrest will be an important issue in the November election.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly said he told President Trump his criticism of mail-in voting will hurt Republicans in the upcoming election. 

“I tried to show him … you know who is most afraid of COVID? Seniors. And if they’re not going to go vote, period, we’re screwed,” McCarthy told an Axios reporter.

  • The cast of “The Princess Bride” is reuniting for a virtual table read to raise money for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The virtual event will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 13, four days before absentee ballots are scheduled to be sent out across the state.
  • Several top state officials are warning presidential election results could drag out this year, with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson saying “we should be prepared for this to be closer to an Election Week as opposed to an Election Day.”

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  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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