The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 44,315 new cases and 940 additional deaths.
  • Two prominent groups of scientists who regularly advise the government warned of “alarming” political interference in the work of scientists and public health experts contributing to the government’s Covid response.
  • CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield announced the majority of Americans remain susceptible to the virus.

Redfield said preliminary results on the first round of a study by the agency show more than 90% of the population is susceptible.

That means more than 295 million Americans could still get infected with the virus. Thus far, around 7 million Americans have reportedly contracted the virus. 

  • People in their 20s now account for more COVID-19 infections than any other age group, according to a new analysis from the CDC. The findings suggest that young people are not as immune to the virus as some previously thought, and that young adults are contributing to the community spread of the virus, including to people at high risk for more severe illness.
  • New York will conduct its own review of virus vaccines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, sowing further doubts about a federal process he said he doesn’t trust.
  • An estimated 870,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, up from the previously weekly figure, as the U.S. struggles to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its economic devastation.

While the labor market is showing signs of picking up, the pace at which it is improving has slowed, and some indicators are even hinting at backsliding.

  • A Virginia health official is seeking to block President Trump’s campaign rally on Friday, arguing that the event is expected to draw thousands of attendees in violation of Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order banning gatherings larger than 250 people.
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) echoed a widely debunked claim that the number of COVID-19 deaths has been inflated across the country. The conspiracy theory downplaying the extent of the coronavirus pandemic has also been pushed by President Trump, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS).
  • Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and a conservative legal advocacy group are suing Gov. Kay Ivey (R) over the state’s coronavirus guidelines, arguing that stay-at-home orders, restrictions on businesses and churches, face mask rules and more “are simply against our rights secured by the Constitution of the United States.”
  • The Pac-12 will play football starting later this year, after officials reversed a decision to postpone the season because of the pandemic.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey is under intense scrutiny for a photo posted on social media of two students mocking George Floyd’s death.

In the photo, one person is wearing a police badge and a red “Make American Great Again” hat and another is wearing an ape mask and getting a knee to the back of the neck.

  • The man accused in the shootings of two Louisville Metro police officers, Larynzo D. Johnson, 26, of Louisville, was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer.

His arrest report says Johnson used a handgun to fire at police multiple times before fleeing. A witness pointed Johnson out to police who took him into custody.

  • Officer Robinson Desroches and Major Aubrey Gregory, the two Louisville Metro Police Department officers shot Wednesday evening, are expected to recover from their injuries
  • Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Breonna Taylor’s family, says he believes the Kentucky Attorney General’s investigation into her death was a cover-up.
  • “I’ve been lost for words today!” NBA star LeBron James said about the Louisville grand jury’s decision in the Breonna Taylor case. “I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad! We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not, but dammit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted!”
  • Two reporters for the conservative publication The Daily Caller were arrested during protests in Louisville on Wednesday, according to their editor. They will be charged with breaking curfew and unlawful assembly after they allegedly failed to comply with police orders and return to the designated “observation area.”
  • Louisville Metro Police declared an unlawful assembly downtown Thursday night  “due to protesters breaking windows” on Fourth Street. A citywide curfew is in effect from 9 p.m. ET to 6:30 a.m.
  • Several hundred protesters marched through New York City tonight and chanted Breonna Taylor’s name.
  • One protester was injured on Wednesday night after a pickup truck drove through a group of protesters marching in Buffalo, N.Y.

Video captured by WKBW shows the truck accelerating toward a group of people in the street before there is an audible bang. Protesters are heard screaming, and several are seen attempting to run after the truck as it drives away from the scene.

  • One man has been detained by Denver Police after he allegedly accelerated his car into a group of people during a protest. They demonstrators were marching against a Kentucky grand jury deciding not to bring any charges against police officers in the killing of Breonna Taylor.
  • A woman in New York City has been charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment after being caught on video throwing a bottle and yelling a racial slur at a Black runner.
  • A police officer in Seattle was placed on administrative leave after video footage showed him walking his bike over  the head of a protester lying in the street.

Trump Administration

  • President Trump and the first lady were greeted by boos and chants of “vote him out” from the gathered crowd paying respects to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • A federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe alleging that he was fired in 2018 as an act of political retribution at the behest of President Trump.
  • President Trump announced that he has signed a symbolic executive order aimed at protecting people with pre-existing conditions  — even as he takes fire from top Democrats over a lawsuit seeking to overturn ObamaCare.
  • “President Trump’s bogus executive order on pre-existing conditions isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on. It is an insult to every family with someone with a pre-existing condition that President Trump thinks he can get away with this farce,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, taking aim at an executive order the president has claimed will protect patients with pre-existing conditions.
  • President Trump said at a Florida campaign rally that he’s “no longer angry” at GOP Sen. Mitt Romney over his impeachment vote earlier this year because he is supporting a Senate vote on Trump’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee: “Even Mitt’s on board. It’s a good thing to see.”
  • EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sought to portray some of the agency’s most significant regulatory rollbacks and rules governing regulation from power plants, vehicle emissions and methane emissions as environmentally friendly.

Many of the rules are expected to provide significantly fewer emissions reductions than Obama-era rules that they replaced.

  • Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that US Postal Service mail-sorting machines dismantled earlier this year would not be put back together amid a spike in mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A Department of Homeland Security whistleblower’s testimony to House investigators has been postponed a second time as his attorney awaits a top secret security clearance that he now accuses DHS of slow-walking in order to “prevent the deposition.”
  • Mary Trump is suing her uncle, President Trump, and his sister and late brother over allegations they committed fraud in order to deprive her of her interests in the Trump family business and enrich themselves.

Presidential Campaign

  • Senate Republicans gently pushed back today against President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November election.⁣ Many suggested in statements this morning that this year’s election would be no different than previous ones and reiterated that the Constitution guarantees that whoever loses must cede the presidency. But no one condemned Trump directly by name, and they declined to weigh in on whether it was appropriate for the president to suggest he won’t leave office.⁣
  • Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said that he offered grants to election officials in nearly 6,000 counties previously covered by the Voting Rights Act.

“Today I sent a letter to nearly 6,000 elections officials and county commissioners in states formerly covered by Voting Rights Act Section 5 inviting them to apply for grants, funded by me, to reopen polling centers and improve voting access,” Schwarzenegger tweeted. 

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is positioning himself as a key surrogate for President Trump weeks before the election, an almost unheard-of role for the US’s top diplomat but one the former Republican congressman has embraced as part of his own future political ambitions. 

“Campaigning for President Trump with taxpayer resources is just the latest example of Secretary Pompeo’s willingness to break the law and put his political interest above our national interest,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) wrote in an email to The Hill.

  • Two recently retired four-star officers who served under President Donald Trump have joined a group of nearly 500 national security leaders in endorsing Joe Biden and condemning the commander in chief they served.
  • Jennifer Pritzker, a billionaire who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Trump in 2016, made a $2,000 donation to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden last month.
  • President Trump claimed Fox News host Chris Wallace is “controlled by the radical left” and won’t press Democratic nominee Joe Biden during the upcoming presidential debate. 

“He will ask tough questions of me and it will be unfair, I have no doubt about it.”

  • The U.S. election system is resilient enough that voting and vote-tallying can continue even if hackers breach one of its components, Homeland Security’s cyber arm and the FBI said in their latest attempt to soothe worries about Election Day.
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray is casting doubts on concerns raised by some Republicans that mail-in voting could increase the chances of voter fraud, assuring lawmakers that widespread voter fraud efforts from a foreign adversary would be a “major challenge.”
  • A strong majority of Americans support amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system. A new Gallup survey found that 61 percent support the idea.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s