The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The Health Department’s politically-appointed communications aides have reportedly demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports on the status of the coronavirus pandemic, frequently complaining that the agency’s report would undermine President Trump’s optimistic messaging about COVID-19.
  • The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca announced Saturday that they are resuming a trial in the U.K. of an experimental coronavirus vaccine after the trial was paused this week to probe a “potentially unexplained illness” in one of the participants.
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani blasted New York City leadership this week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, asserting that those in charge are “killing this city.”

“They’re overdoing it; they’re overdoing it now,” Giuliani said. “You go talk to the people in these restaurants, and they’re leaving in droves.”

  • YouTube has temporarily demonetized the account of popular pranksters known as the NELK Boys after they allegedly traveled to Illinois State University and threw massive parties encouraging students to violate coronavirus restrictions.
  • Major League Baseball is considering a postseason bubble plan in California and Texas.
  • Local health officials are urging Michigan State University students to self-quarantine after 342 students tested positive for coronavirus, calling the spike in confirmed cases “an urgent situation.”
  • Attendees at a Nevada campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Saturday appeared to not be social distancing, and few people were seen wearing face masks.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • A majority of Americans say in a new poll that they think it is appropriate for professional athletes to kneel during the national anthem in protest and use their platforms to speak out on social issues, a substantial shift in public opinion since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in 2016.
  • Fox News Host Tucker Carlson compared warnings about climate change to “systemic racism in the sky” while reporting on the ongoing wildfires on the West Coast. 

“In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky. You can’t see it, but rest assured: it’s everywhere and it’s deadly.”

  • A group of 19 Black families in Georgia has purchased nearly 97 acres of land to create a “safe haven for people of color.” They intend to create a new city on the land named “Freedom Georgia” and while the city is not meant to be for Black people exclusively, it will be “pro-Black in every way.”
  • More than a dozen companies have announced plans to add at least one Black director to their boards within the next year to better reflect the diversity of the customers they serve.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art has named Patricia Marroquin Norby to an associate curator position, the first Indigenous person to hold the position full time.

Trump Administration

  • David Legates, a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware known for questioning climate science, has been hired for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • A Washington state man who caused a commotion at the White House in 2018 by confronting Secret Service agents with a sword has officially pleaded guilty in court to assaulting special agents. In the bizarre incident, the man’s family said he was a huge Trump fan trying to meet the president to deliver him smoked salmon.

Presidential Campaign

  • Twitter flagged another tweet from President Trump in which he urged voters to show up at polling sites in North Carolina this election cycle to ensure that their mail-in votes are counted: “We placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our Civic Integrity Policy, specifically for encouraging people to potentially vote twice.”
  • Long-time Donald Trump confidant, and convicted felon, Roger Stone said that the president should declare “martial law” to seize power if he loses what Stone characterized as an already corrupt election. 

The results will only be legitimate if the “real winner” — Trump — takes office, regardless of what the votes say, Stone declared. A loss would apparently be justification for Trump to use force to take over the nation.

  • Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is threatening to sue the U.S Postal Service over pre-election mailers sent out across the country with general information about requesting mail-in ballots because they could potentially confuse voters. Colorado is one of five states that conducts elections predominantly by mail, sending ballots to all registered voters without them having to request one.
  • The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Action Fund is throwing its support behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, vowing that the ticket is “committed to seeing immigration reform across the finish line.” 

“We chose decency over mean-spiritedness, inclusiveness over racism, democracy over plutocracy,” CHIRLA Action Fund President Angelica Salas said.

  • Vice President Pence will no longer attend a fundraiser next week in Montana hosted by a couple who has shared social media posts supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
  • Members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis are raising “serious” concerns about some states’ ability to hold safe and secure elections during the pandemic, saying Florida, Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin run the risk of significant problems this year because of inadequate polling places and shortages of poll workers.

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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