The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 44,927 new cases and 1,018 additional deaths.
  • Dr. Chris Murray, a researcher behind the new projection of 415,000 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. by January, said Americans should begin to brace for a “a very deadly December.”
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he disagrees with President Trump’s claim that the country has rounded “the final turn” on the COVID-19 pandemic, and warned Americans not to get complacent heading into the fall.

“I have to disagree with that, because if you look at … the statistics, they are disturbing. We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day. And the deaths are around a thousand.”

  •  Fauci said that it will be “well into 2021” before the country returns to a level of normality resembling pre-coronavirus times.
  • The country’s response to the pandemic would have been very different if it was less politically divided, Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday. “You can’t but notice the divisiveness.“

Comparing the pandemic to the 9-11 tragedy, Fauci noted, “we pulled together…and really came together as a nation – which hopefully we can do now within the context of this historic pandemic that we’re going through.”

  • “Imagine you were an alien who landed on Planet Earth, and you saw that our planet was afflicted by an infectious disease, and that masks were an effective way to prevent the spread, and yet when you went around you saw some people not wearing them, and some people wearing them, and you tried to figure out why, and it turned out, it was their political party,” National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said. “And you would scratch your head and think, ‘This is not a planet that has much promise for the future, if something that is so straightforward can somehow get twisted into decision-making that really makes no sense.”
  • President Trump is now not just downplaying the coronavirus – he’s resorting to absurd historical allusions about great World War II leaders to try to disguise his culpability in 190,000 American deaths.

Trump ridiculously invoked former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a Thursday night rally, claiming that like them, he had tried hard to calm public panic in a dark hour.

It was a historically illiterate gambit, since unlike Trump in the pandemic, both statesmen leveled with their people about grave national crises.

  • “As he was playing down the virus to the public, Trump was not confused or inadequately briefed: He flat-out lied, repeatedly, about science to the American people,” H. Holden Thorp, the editor of the leading academic journal Science, wrote in a fiery new editorial  “These lies demoralized the scientific community and cost countless lives in the United States.”
  • Young children infected with COVID-19 can still transmit the virus and infect adults, even if they are asymptomatic, according to a new report from the CDC.
  • Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced one staff member on an unnamed team tested positive for Covid-19 out of the 11,669 tests administered to players and staff members through Sept. 10.

MLB has not had a player test positive for 12 consecutive days and 20 of the last 21 days.

  • NFL player Josh Bellamy was arrested this week on charges that he fraudulently obtained a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, which was meant to help small businesses survive closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Danuel House, Jr. of the Houston Rockets has been instructed to leave the NBA’s campus bubble in Orlando after it was concluded he had violated the league’s health and safety protocols by having an unauthorized guest in his hotel room for “multiple hours.”
  • A new analysis found that  college campuses are fueling the largest coronavirus outbreaks across the United States. Of the 25 hottest outbreaks, communities with dominant schools and thousands of recently-returned students represent 19 of them.
  • Executives at America’s largest bank are calling its senior managers back into the office after months of remote work, according to a person familiar with the plans.

JPMorgan Chase conducted calls with senior managers in its sales and trading unit in London and New York Wednesday, the person said. Those managers have been asked to return to the offices starting Sept. 21, with some exemptions allowed.

  • A New York high school student was suspended this week after he attended classes in-person on his designated remote learning day, with the student later arrested after he continued to show up to school in protest. The Suffolk County Police Department became involved and arrested him for criminal trespassing for unlawfully entering school grounds.
  • Cases of Covid-19 are climbing among New Jersey residents between the ages of 19 and 24. With a positivity rate of 6%, this population now has the highest percent positivity in the state. 
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said the state will enter phase 3 of reopening – allowing restaurants, churches, salons, spas and gyms to reopen at 75% occupancy with social distancing required.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • The University of Michigan-Dearborn on Wednesday issued an apology for creating segregated online student “cafes” that the school intended to use to promote discussions on race and diversity. The school said it meant to create a safe space for “students from marginalized communities” by creating a separate “non-POC Cafe” and a cafe for “marginalized racial/ethnic/cultural communities.”
  • The police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., late last month boosted support for the Black Lives Matter movement with a new poll finding 57 percent of respondents saying that they supported the “current nationwide protests and demonstrations against systemic racism and racial injustice.”
  • Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler has ordered the city’s police to stop using tear gas for crowd control in a policy change he said is “effective immediately.”
  • New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was ripped on social media after he wrote that “there wasn’t a mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence” following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

“My mosque burned down,” one Twitter user responded. 

“Every Arab-American kid I knew growing up, including me, remembers being called a terrorist at school, even jokingly, and being ashamed of our language/culture,” wrote another.

  • ICE reportedly used a flight charter service reserved for the transportation of detainees to move tactical teams to Washington, DC to help quell protests on June 2. They justified the flights by purposefully transporting detainees from facilities in Arizona and Florida to an immigration jail in Virginia, a transfer that ultimately contributed to a coronavirus outbreak at the facility.
  • Four Houston police officers were fired on Thursday after an investigation determined they used “objectively unreasonable” force by shooting 21 additional rounds at an emotionally distraught man who was on the ground after the officers had already shot him three times.
  • Investigators at the Department of Homeland Security declared that a Secret Service agent used “reasonable” force when he choke-slammed Time magazine photographer Christopher Morris to the ground at a Trump rally in February 2016.
  • The parents of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery shared heartfelt video messages thanking tennis star Naomi Osaka for wearing face masks with their children’s names emblazoned across them while playing in the U.S. Open to raise awareness about racial injustice.

Trump Administration

  • The Treasury Department has withheld roughly $3.7 million over four years from the New York City Fire Department’s fund for its 9/11 first responders. 

“Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to COVID-19, and we’re not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes,” said the director of the FDNY’s World Trade Center Health Program.

  • The Republican led Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating a recent whistleblower complaint from a Department of Homeland Security official who alleges he was pressured to alter intelligence reports to align with President Trump’s rhetoric.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows argued that a House investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is politically motivated, but signaled that DeJoy will cooperate with the probe nonetheless.
  • Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a longtime aide to US Attorney John Durham, has reportedly resigned from the Justice Department’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation amid worries over political pressure from Attorney General Bill Barr.
  • The federal budget deficit surpassed $3 trillion through August and is on track to be the largest in the country’s financial history, according to official Treasury data released Friday. The figure is well over double the largest previous record of $1.4 trillion in 2009 during the financial crisis.
  • A former federal judge tasked with arguing against the Department of Justice’s decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn said Friday that the move stemmed from President Trump’s efforts to influence the prosecution on behalf of his former national security adviser.

“There is clear evidence that this motion reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system.”

  • The Trump administration on Friday issued a proposal to collect DNA and other biometric data from US citizens sponsoring immigrants. The agency also is pushing to expand the term “biometrics” to add requirements for “iris image, palm print, and voice print.”

Presidential Campaign

  • The nonprofit 9/11 Day blasted President Trump for not suspending his reelection campaign on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, instead running campaign ads across the country. 

“The anniversary of 9/11 is not a day for campaigning and divisiveness, and must never be. For so many, it is a day of reflection, prayer, service, and national unity,” the nonprofit said.

  • In a major reversal, a federal appeals court ruled that people with felony convictions in Florida must pay court fines and fees before they can vote. The decision overturns a lower court ruling that found the law imposed an unlawful “pay-to-vote system.”
  • A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Texas Democratic Party’s efforts to expand mail-in voting in the state, siding with the state’s Republican leadership.
  • President Trump said that he would “very quickly” stifle riots on Election Night if Democrats organize protests against his victory, suggesting he would do so by employing a law allowing him to deploy active-duty troops domestically.

“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want.”

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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