The Past 24 Hours or So

10/5

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 38,267 news cases and 361 additional deaths. 14,198 patients are receiving critical care. 
  • President Trump hid results of his first positive COVID-19 test on Thursday while awaiting the results of a second test that would later also come back positive, and knew at the time of a Fox News interview that he had tested positive while discussing Hope Hicks’s diagnosis.
  • Trump’s doctor says he didn’t admit yesterday that Trump was put on oxygen because he was trying to be publicly upbeat. “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the illness in another direction.”
  • The President is being given dexamethasone, one of the physicians treating Trump says. It’s an indication his condition is worrying, as the drug shouldn’t be given to anyone who isn’t ill enough to justify the downsides of taking steroids, doctors say.
  • President Trump briefly left Walter Reed medical center quarantine to drive by a group of supporters.
  • “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity,” tweeted an attending physician at Walter Reed Medical Center where Trump is being treated for coronavirus.

“The irresponsibility is astounding.”

  • President Trump’s medical team said that he could be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as early as Monday and continue his treatment for COVID-19 at the White House.
  • Both Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for Covid-19 on Sunday.
  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday.
  • There is little clarity about how the White House is contact tracing and alerting those who may have been exposed to Covid-19 at events and gatherings Trump attended, leaving the work to the individuals themselves and ramping up the risk of spread.
  • The President is furious with chief of staff Mark Meadows after the top West Wing official contradicted the White House physician’s assessment Saturday of Trump’s health, two sources with knowledge of the situation say.
  • A senior adviser to Trump’s reelection campaign claimed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden uses face masks as a “prop,” two days after the President was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed temporarily closing all schools and non-essential businesses in nine zip codes that have seen Covid-19 test positivity rates above 3% for at least seven consecutive days.
  • The White House has given New Jersey health officials a list of at least 206 people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus at a fundraiser event attended by President Trump in Bedminster last week
  • Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine says the White House didn’t contact him about potential Covid-19 exposure in his state after Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland.

Trump Administration

  • President Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star was destroyed again late last week when a person dressed in a Hulk costume took a pickaxe to it.
  • EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a letter that California may require a waiver from the Trump administration to implement an executive order aimed at ending the sale of gas-powered cars in the state by 2035.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Gay couples commandeered the Proud Boys hashtag on Twitter over the weekend after President Trump told the violent far-right group to “stand by” in last week’s presidential debate. Now, if you search the hashtag in the social media platform, users will find hundreds of photos from gay couples celebrating their love

Presidential Campaign

  • FBI agents in the Dallas field office are warning of the likelihood that far-right extremists will use the presidential election as a “flashpoint” to further sow anti-government sentiment through rhetoric and potential violence.
  • Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s deputy campaign manager said that the former vice president will participate in the next presidential debate with the “necessary” safety precautions in place after President Trump recently tested positive for coronavirus.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

10/3 — Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 49,713 new cases and 835 additional deaths. 14,166 patients are receiving critical care.
  • President Trump went ahead with a fund-raiser at his golf club in New Jersey on Thursday, appearing before hundreds of supporters both indoors and outdoors, after Hope Hicks tested positive, the White House has acknowledged.
  • White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claims White House operations deemed it safe for the president to travel to New Jersey for his fundraiser yesterday after Hicks tested positive.
  • McEnany confirmed that the White House is not changing the coronavirus safety procedures
  • President Trump told veteran journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year that he was not worried about contracting COVID-19.
  • Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins, who was at the White House on Saturday and was criticized for not wearing a mask and shaking hands, has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who was at the White House on Saturday, has tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms. He will isolate for the next 10 days.
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) who was at the White House on Saturday, has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the second GOP senator  to be diagnosed with the virus.
  • Former longtime adviser to President Trump Kellyanne Conway, who was at the White House on Saturday, has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • President Trump did not participate on a call with the nation’s governors as was scheduled. VP Pence filled in for the ailing president. 
  • An internal memo from the White House Correspondents Association board to reporters said there are “two additional cases of COVID-19 at the White House.”
  • Another memo states:  “[A] member of our press corps tested positive today.” This person was last at the White House on Saturday (the day of the SCOTUS event) and traveled on Air Force One for the PA rally that night. The journalist showed symptoms yesterday.
  • Trump’s campaign announced: “All previously announced campaign events involving the President’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed.”
  • Chris Wallace, on Fox News, says Cleveland Clinic staff asked everyone in the debate hall to wear masks. Biden’s family did, Trump’s family didn’t. When clinic staff offered Trump’s family masks, the family waved them away.
  • Three White House reporters have tested positive for COVID-19 after President Trump confirmed he was diagnosed with coronavirus. Several other White House journalists are getting tested for the virus and self-isolating.
  • White House physician Sean Conley announced that President Trump “remains fatigued but in good spirits” and received a cocktail of polyclonal antibodies after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • President Trump was given a dose of Remdesivir at Walter Reed hospital after White House doctors recommended the antiviral drug to treat his COVID-19 infection.
  • President Trump tweeted a pre-recorded video message thanking Americans for their support as he battles COVID-19, the first time he has been heard from since sharing news of his diagnosis.

“I think I’m doing very well but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” Trump said.  “The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much. I appreciate it. I will never forget it.”

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a member of President Trump’s debate prep team, said nobody in the room was wearing a mask while helping him prepare.
  • The Trump campaign did not notify Joe Biden’s team that the president had tested positive for coronavirus just two days after their first debate. Biden officials learned of the news through the media.
  • Joe Biden and his wife have both tested negative for coronavirus.
  • President Trump’s Supreme Court pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus over the summer, but has since recovered.
  • At least 11 employees at the Secret Service facility in Maryland reportedly tested positive coronavirus in August following training sessions and a graduation ceremony where no social distancing was practiced.
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) blasted Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during his testimony before lawmakers on Friday over the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“You can’t give me any numbers about the increases that are taking place. You don’t even know where those increases are taking place, and you come here today to testify with this paltry testimony that you’re giving us and you expect us to be happy,” Waters said.

Trump Administration

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is launching an unprecedented billboard campaign highlighting immigrants who have been labeled “at-large immigration violators.” The signs will target migrants released by local law enforcement and who the agency claims “may post a public safety threat.”
  • The Census Bureau announced Friday that it will continue conducting its count across the country through the end of the month, after a lengthy court battle with a federal judge.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave one of his clearest signals that he intends to hold a vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination before the upcoming November election  — vowing to tee up the vote as it comes out of the Judiciary Committee.
  • Top House lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to turn over documents on how it used $1 billion in coronavirus relief funds, after top defense officials reportedly used most of the funds for jet engine parts, body armor and other military equipment instead of medical supplies.
  • President Trump vowed that he will overturn an attempt to make the Navy SEALs official ethos more gender neutral, blasting the move as “ridiculous.” The proposed changes include revising “common man” to “common citizens,” “Brave men” to “Brave SEALs” and more.
  • The House passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the sprawling QAnon conspiracy theory, though 18 Republican lawmakers voted against the measure in the 371-18 vote.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill placed a corrections officer on administrative leave without pay this week after he allegedly used a racial slur to describe a Georgia inmate on suicide watch. Correction officer Gregory Hubert Brown was placed on the leave after “he called a inmate on suicide watch a ‘crazy N-word’ in front of other inmates and another Correctional Officer.”

Presidential Campaign

  • When Joe Biden delivered remarks in Michigan on Friday, there was one major difference from his previous speeches: He spoke with a mask the entire time. The former vice president took the extra precaution after President Trump and first lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is taking down all negative ads and will only promote positive messages after President Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Next week’s debate between Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will take place as scheduled after President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • The Trump campaign is moving his scheduled in-person rallies to virtual events or temporarily postponing them after the president tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a Republican bid to reinstate a pair of Arizona voting restrictions that were struck down by a lower court as racially biased.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

10/2

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 45,727 new cases and 946 additional deaths. 14,190 patients are receiving critical care.
  • The president and first lady tested positive for COVID-19
  • Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s closest aides, has tested positive for the coronavirus. She traveled with Trump multiple times this week.
  • Trump tweeted: “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!’
  • Another 837,000 Americans filed for unemployment claims last week. In addition,  650,120 claims were filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that Congress created to help workers who wouldn’t usually be eligible for benefits, such as the self-employed.

Adding these together, there were 1.4 million total first-time claims for benefits last week.

  • Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said if its COVID-19 vaccine is proven safe and effective, it could be available to the general population by late March or early April.
  • Loss of smell and taste are a strong sign that someone is infected with Covid-19, according to new research.
  • A study analyzing more than 38 million articles about the pandemic between Jan. 1 and May 26 that were published in English-language media around the world found President Trump was “likely the largest driver of the COVID-19 misinformation “infodemic.”
  • A newly released study from the CDC found that between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5, weekly COVID-19 cases among adults aged 18-22 increased 55 percent nationally as young people returned to colleges and universities.
  • A new study has found that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that President Trump said he took to ward off coronavirus, did not prevent COVID-19 among health care workers.
  • House Democrats have approved a massive, $2.2 trillion package of coronavirus relief, putting new pressure on Senate Republicans to move another round of emergency aid before the upcoming election.
  • More than 19,000 Amazon workers have contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic, the company revealed in an update on testing released Thursday.
  • States across the country are lifting restrictions on bars and restaurants despite public health experts warning they are a leading source of coronavirus transmission as the country braces for a fall surge.
  • A 19-year-old college student at Appalachian State University in North Carolina died on Monday night from Covid-19 complications.

Chad Dorrill, an apparently healthy second-year student, was living off campus and taking all of his classes online when he developed flu-like symptoms earlier this month. 

  • The NFL announced the Tennessee Titans have additional members of the team who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The league had originally planned to reschedule Sunday’s postponed Titans game with the Pittsburgh Steelers for this coming Monday or Tuesday but now says the game will be slated for later this year.

  • Despite a recent uptick in coronavirus cases, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) would be shocked if another statewide lockdown was needed. “I will be profoundly saddened and I will say shocked if we have to shut the whole place down again,” the governor said. “I just don’t see that.”

Murphy said the recent flare ups in Lakewood are troubling. Lakewood’s test positivity rate on Saturday was 27%. The statewide positivity rate for the same day was 3%, the highest it has been since July.

  • The Pennsylvania House voting session was canceled Thursday after a representative tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Maryland on Thursday reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time since March 28.
  • Ohio health officials observed that 11 counties had a very high spread, or “red counties,” which is more than what the state had in September.
  • Wisconsin reported a grim new milestone Thursday — 27 people died of COVID-19 Wednesday. That is the highest death count on record for the state.

The state is also reporting a record high of at least 683 COVID-19 related hospitalizations,

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced Thursday a new order that allows out-of-state health care workers to practice in the state following “alarming trends” in coronavirus cases.

“The longer it takes for everyone to take Covid-19 seriously, the longer this virus will linger. Right now we can’t live like we’re back to the way things used to be,” Evers said.

  • Wisconsin teachers unions are requesting that virtual learning be implemented from kindergarten through college across the state due to the increase of new Covid-19 cases, according to a release from Milwaukee’s teachers union. 
  • The CEO of a defense contractor in Hawaii has been charged with fraud and money laundering in connection with the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The US Attorney’s office says Martin Kao inflated the payroll figures of his company, Navatek LLC

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Detective Myles Cosgrove, one of the officers involved in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor is crowdsourcing a fundraiser for his retirement. The fund has already raised more than $40,000.
  • The organizer of a rally against policy brutality in Southern California is facing attempted murder charges after she alleged drove into a crowd of counter protesters supporting President Trump with “the intent to kill.”
  • Internal documents from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by NBC News reportedly show that law enforcement officials were directed to make sympathetic comments about Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused of killing two people during racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August.

One set of talking points sent to Homeland Security officials directed them to say that Rittenhouse “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners.”

An additional document with talking points told officials to say that news outlets were improperly labeling the anti-government Patriot Prayer group as racist.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill into law that requires publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to have at least one board member from an “underrepresented community” by the end of 2021.

The legislation defines “underrepresented” as a person who self-identifies as Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American (including Native Alaskan or Hawaiian) or an individual who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

  • Delaware GOP Senate candidate Lauren Witzke is defending the right-wing Proud Boys group, arguing that the male-only organization exemplifies “patriotic masculinity,”

Trump Administration

  • A new executive order from President Trump seeks to use the Defense Production Act as a way to bolster the domestic mining industry.

The order offers more messaging than substance, railing against China and warning the country could cut off access to critical minerals used in technology ranging from iPhones to medical equipment.

  • President Trump is proposing that only 15,000 refugees be allowed to resettle in the United States in the next fiscal year, marking a historic low of admission for some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples.
  • The Trump administration has just finalized a rule that could reclassify many “major” sources of pollution as minor ones, allowing facilities to abide by less-stringent emissions standards for dangerous substances such as mercury, lead and arsenic, likely leading to more pollution.
  • The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest doctors’ group, has filed a petition to the Supreme Court asking it to strike down a rule from the Trump administration barring clinics funded by taxpayers from referring women for abortions.
  • A federal judge has just determined that a law enforcement commission ordered by President Trump violated federal laws on open meetings and that the panel must temporarily stop all work until it complies with those rules. The panel will be allowed to resume operations once it follows the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
  • The Agriculture Department is mandating that campaign-style letters from President Trump be included in millions of federal relief food assistance boxes. House Democrats called the “self-promoting” message “inappropriate and a violation of federal law.”

Presidential Election

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an order Thursday requiring counties to close multiple locations where voters can drop off completed mail-in ballots.

Abbott claims the change is an election security measure. Counties will now be limited to one dropoff site where poll watchers — designated by political parties and candidates — must be allowed to observe ballot deliveries by voters.

The new order takes effect Friday and modified Abbott’s July 27 order that acknowledged the pandemic’s danger by adding six days of early voting and waiving a state law that limits mail-in ballot dropoff to Election Day only.

  • Former Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster says that President Trump is “aiding and abetting” Russian President Vladimir Putin in his effort to polarize Americans and “missed an opportunity” to condemn white nationalism during the presidential debate.

“It should be super easy to condemn white supremacists.”

  • President Trump has just indicated he will oppose changes to the current presidential debate structure under consideration by the nonpartisan commission that oversees the events.

“Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?” Trump tweeted.

  • Facebook said it has removed Trump campaign ads that baselessly connect admission of refugees to transmission of the coronavirus.
  • Two federal judges have ruled in favor of absentee and mail-in voting plans in Montana and Alabama, despite frequent claims from President Trump that mail-in voting will give rise to widespread fraud, contradicting experts who say it is not a meaningful source of fraud.
  • Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl — two notorious conservative political operatives and hoaxers — have been charged by the Michigan AG in connection with an alleged series of racist robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote. 
  • A group of over 1,600 former Justice Department attorneys are accusing Attorney General Bill Barr of seeking to help President Trump win reelection, writing they fear Barr “intends to use the DOJ’s vast law enforcement powers to undermine our most fundamental democratic value: free and fair elections.”
  • The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League warned that members of the Proud Boys and other white supremacist-affiliated groups saw President Trump’s comments during Tuesday night’s presidential debate “as a call to arms.” 

“They see last night as a call to arms, and that’s why it should be so alarming to all of us.”

  • Retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal endorsed Joe Biden, saying the Democratic nominee is “humble enough to respect people who serve and have served.” 

“I think he would set a tone in which he would bring out the best of people. Again, not everyone will agree with every policy, nobody ever will, and that’s healthy in a democracy. But we have to believe in our values, you have to believe that your commander-in-chief at the end of the day is someone that you can trust.

  • Former GOP Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, who previously served as chair of the Republican National Committee, delivered a biting assessment of President Trump’s tenure in the White House, saying his continued leadership is “dangerous to the existence of the republic.”
  • The Trump campaign has moved one of two Wisconsin rallies planned for Saturday amid pushback from local officials who raised concerns about public health risks related to the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign has relocated a rally to Janesville from La Crosse, an official said, citing an issue with the venue in the first location.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 10 Minutes

10/1

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 44,391 new cases and 1,061 additional deaths. 14,193 patients are receiving critical care.
  • The White House coronavirus task force continues to issue recommendations to states via weekly reports, this week again strongly recommending mask usage in some states that still do not have statewide mask mandates.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said President Trump’s claims about his stance on the benefits of face masks were “taken out of context” during the first presidential debate: “I have been on the airways, on the radio, on TV, begging people to wear masks”
  • In the audience of the first debate, a handful of people, notably Trump’s children, were not wearing masks. Under Ohio law, all individuals are required to wear a mask indoors when not at home.

At one point a Cleveland Clinic doctor started to approach Trump family guests to offer them masks to wear. None of them ended up putting one on.

  • Drugmaker AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trial in the United States is still on hold after a participant developed a serious illness, but the Food and Drug Administration commissioner won’t say why.
  • Results from a preliminary study out of South Korea shows 9 out of 10 coronavirus patients reported experiencing at least one side effect of the disease after recovery, Reuters reports. 

An online survey of 965 recovered COVID-19 patients conducted by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency found more than 90 percent of respondents reported experiencing side effects associated with the disease, such as fatigue, loss of sense of taste and smell and psychological effects. 

  • The NFL announced that Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game has been postponed. The game will be rescheduled to either Monday or Tuesday so that additional time can be allocated for coronavirus testing. 

The Titans have had four players and five staff members test positive for Covid-19.

  • A limited number of fans will be able to attend the National League Championship Series  and the World Series in Texas next month, MLB announced. Both best-of-seven game series will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

MLB will make about 11,500 tickets available for each game with 10,550 fans spread throughout the ballpark and 950 in suites.

  • The University of Denver has suspended 38 swimming and diving athletes from all team activities for violating state and public health order, and university policies “designed to address the spread of COVID-19.”
  • New Jersey’s Covid-19 positivity rate — the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested — is now at 3%, the highest since mid-July.
  • The reopening of New Jersey schools has been running smoothly, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy *D) said Wednesday. 

“Over the past three weeks we have had minimal disruptions reported,” Murphy said. 

Out of the more than 802 reopening plans across the state, 403 school plans are operating under a hybrid education plan, 81 are open for in-person instruction, 278 plans are utilizing all remote learning and at least 40 plans are using a combination of the plan, Murphy said.

  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed an executive order extending the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions and the public health state of emergency. 
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) ended the statewide mask mandate citing the decline numbers for average new COVID-19 cases have. Reeves said that while the mask mandate was lifted, he would still be wearing a mask and said he expected Mississippians to do the same.
  • Wisconsin reported its highest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations on record Wednesday.

They have 646 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and just 18% of hospital beds are available.

  • Missouri hit another high since July for hospitalizations. Hospitalizations were at 1,139 Tuesday, according to the state’s website. Hospitalizations have been increasing every day since Sept. 6
  • The health department in King County, Washington, said at least 25 cases of Covid-19 have been connected to a spa in the city of Snoqualmie, near Seattle.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Portland, Oregon Police have arrested a far-right protester and member of the Proud Boys who pointed a gun at antifascist protesters on Aug. 22 in downtown Portland.

Alan James Swinney, 50, is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on multiple assault charges, pointing a firearm at another, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of tear gas, stun gun or mace.

  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said his office did not present murder charges to the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case. The initial shot, which Cameron said Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, admitted to firing, gave Mattingly and Cosgrove cover for every shot they returned, regardless of its result, the attorney general said. Cameron said that includes shots fired into an upstairs apartment, where people were at home at the time.
  • Deonte Lee Murray, 36, has been charged with attempted murder in the ambush shooting of two Compton police officers earlier this month, two weeks after he was involved in an armed standoff with cops over an alleged carjacking.    

Murray was charged with two counts each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon after he allegedly walked up to a police cruiser and shot the two deputies multiple times back on September 12.

Murray, who authorities said “hates” cops, has been in police custody since September 15 after an armed standoff over an alleged carjacking on September 1 where a 51-year-old man was shot in the leg.  

Authorities at the time denied his arrest was connected to the ambush of the two cops despite the massive SWAT team presence and several law enforcement sources telling the media it was.  

Police confirmed Wednesday the two incidents were related and said a gun discarded by Murray during the September 15 incident was the same one used in the cop shooting. 

  • Secret grand jury recordings in the Breonna Taylor case will be released on Friday after a judge granted a two-day delay.       

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a motion on Wednesday asking a court in Louisville for a week’s delay to allow the names of witnesses and their personal information, including addresses and phone numbers, to be redacted.

  • Five Mountainside, New Jersey police officers and a part-time department employee will share a $2.45 million settlement after alleging workplace harassment and bullying.

The accusations — including repeated displays of a dildo named “Big Blue,” pranks involving nudity, a homophobic barb known as the “gazer game,” racial slurs and other misdeeds — were aired in a May 2018 lawsuit against Mountainside.

  • Costume and party supplies store Party City ordered one of its franchises to pull a kids’ Confederate soldier costume from its shelves after facing backlash about the outfit being racist.

One of the costumes was labeled “Confederate Officer” and came with a Confederate flag on the hat, while the other was supposed to be Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

  • California has just become the first state to approve the creation of a task force focused on figuring out how to pay reparations for slavery, including details on what form of compensation should be awarded as well as its recipients.
  • A San Antonio teacher says she was fired for wearing a mask with the “Black Lives Matter” slogan inscribed on it after a school official texted her saying to change her masks before parents visited the campus because the assistant headmaster wanted to avoid discussing “the current political climate.”

Trump Administration

  • A report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee says that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to keep pace with the technological and political strides made by China over the last two decades, a lag that risks leaving policymakers permanently in the dark about a growing, strategic challenge to the country’s national security.
  • A top official at the Interior Department has slowed the release of a study on polar bear populations in Alaska that could influence whether the Trump administration is allowed to open their habitat to oil and gas drilling. 

Reporters who obtained a copy of the unreleased report say it shows the area the Trump administration has expanded drilling in is where a large percent of polar bears build their dens to give birth.

  • Senior Trump administration officials have filed a whistleblower complaint with the State Department’s inspector general over allegations that Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, violated federal law and abused his authority, according to a copy of the complaint.

The complaint alleges Pack wanted to force out the complainants because they were part of the “Deep State” and had “played a role in the delay” of Pack’s confirmation to his position at the USAGM.

  • FBI Director James Comey sought to defend the bureau’s 2016 investigation into Russian election interference as Senate Republicans alleged bias against the Trump campaign by top officials, repeating President Trump’s claims that the FBI targeted him.

While Comey indicated he would’ve made some decisions differently, he defended the investigation as a whole.  

“I would say in the main it was done by the book, it was appropriate and it was essential that it be done…There are parts of it that are concerning … but overall I’m proud of the work,” Comey said. 

  • Comey testified before lawmakers that personal debt is a serious consideration when granting security clearances because it could be leveraged by a foreign foe, warning that President Trump’s reported hundreds of millions in debts coming due during a second term would make him “vulnerable to coercion by an adversary.”
  • A federal judge has just ordered the Department of Justice to publish information redacted from the Mueller report that had been designated as privilege, saying the Trump administration failed to justify certain redactions from the report on the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
  • A federal judge has begun contempt proceedings against Trump Commerce chief Wilbur Ross after he allegedly defied her order to continue census collection until the end of next month.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump’s supporters broke into a “lock her up” chant about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as the president warned of the dangers of allowing refugees to resettle in Minnesota at a recent rally. Trump said “Biden will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp.”

“What is going on with Omar?” he said, citing unproven claims tying Omar to a ballot harvesting scheme. “I’ve been reading these reports for two years about how corrupt and crooked she is. Let’s get with it. Let’s get with it.”

  • “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated Tuesday night’s chaotic presidential debate, says he is “sad” with the way the “night turned out.” 

“I guess I didn’t realize — and there was no way you could, hindsight being 20/20 — that this was going to be the president’s strategy, not just for the beginning of the debate but the entire debate,” he said before adding:  “I’m a pro. I’ve never been through anything like this.”

  • President Trump’s comment during the first presidential debate that he is “urging supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” is sparking fears among election officials and voting rights experts that there could be major election chaos and voter intimidation at the polls in November. 

“Everyday citizens can’t just show up in the polling places unless they are there to vote…they can’t just be there to watch other peoples’ votes,” one expert said. “It is concerning that the president would reference that kind of activity, and it is illegal.”

  • A day after saying the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by,” at the first presidential debate, sparking widespread backlash, President Trump claimed he didn’t know about the far-right group and who they were and shared a new message: “stand down.”

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are,” Trump told reporters when departing for a campaign trip to Minnesota. “I can only say they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.”

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates will give future moderators the option to cut candidates’ microphones following complaints about Tuesday’s initial debate
  • NBA star LeBron James has recruited 10,000 volunteers to help at polls in Black electoral districts this November as he fights against voter suppression.
  • A non-partisan voter registration organization said it recently saw a 1,500 percent surge in use through Instagram after reality star and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner included a link to its online resources along with an Instagram post encouraging her followers to vote.
  • Several celebrities shared a new advertising campaign that uses manipulated “deepfake” videos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to suggest the greatest threat to democracy is voter suppression rather than foreign interference and the domestic spread of misinformation.
  • Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said he will be stepping away from his company and any role with the campaign to seek help for what he called “overwhelming stress” on him and his family. 

The statement comes after Parscale has reportedly been hospitalized days earlier after his wife reported he was at their Fort Lauderdale, Fla. home with guns and threatening to harm himself.

  • Former Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot said this week that he will not vote for President Trump in November, saying our entire system of government “is at risk.”

“Even as a Republican, I will not be supporting Donald Trump for president, and I will not be voting for him.”

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Debate Fact Check

Read Time: 12 Minutes

Fact Checking the Debate

[Obama-era EPA regulations were] driving energy prices through the sky.” Trump

False

Trump rolled back the Clean Power Plan, a set of Obama-era EPA regulations designed to curb planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants, by saying they were sending energy prices skyward. In fact, most of the Clean Power Plan was never implemented: it was temporarily halted by a 2016 Supreme Court order and never reinstated before the Trump administration effectively rolled it back last year.

“Take a look at what happened in Manhattan. Take a look at what happened in New Jersey. … They’re losing 30 and 40 percent. It’s a fraud.” Trump

Partly true and partly exaggerated

In New Jersey, four men, including a sitting city councilman, were charged this year with criminal conduct involving mail-in ballots in local elections in Paterson. The state attorney general accused them of attempting to collect hundreds of ballots and dropping them off in mailboxes; state law limits ballot collection to three per person. 

Trump’s reference to irregularities in New York were exaggerated. Nearly 100,000 voters were sent defective ballots, apparently because of a printing error, elections officials acknowledged this week, but they said that new ballots would be mailed out.

“Today, there was a big problem. In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers. It’s a very safe, a very nice thing. They were thrown out, they weren’t allowed to watch.” Trump 

Misleading

Trump supporters were told they were not allowed inside newly-opened satellite election offices on Tuesday because Philadelphia election law does not allow for poll watchers to come into satellite election offices, only polling locations. The Trump campaign also has no poll watchers registered in Philadelphia at the moment, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“They’re sending millions of ballots all over the country. There’s fraud. They found them in creeks.” Trump

Exaggerated

This is an apparent reference to a discovery last week by law enforcement officials of three trays of mail lying in a ditch alongside a highway in Greenville, Wisconsin. The mail — which appeared to have been headed to the post office — included “several” absentee ballots, according to Lt. Ryan Carpenter of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff’s department turned the mail over to inspectors from the United States Postal Service, who are investigating.

“Every year, I get the call. California is burning. California is burning. If that was cleaned, if you had forest management, you wouldn’t be getting those calls.” Trump

False

Trump’s response to Wallace’s question, “Do you believe that human pollution, gas and greenhouse gases, contribute to global warming?” was at odds with the scientific conclusions of the most recent United States National Climate Assessment reports, which are the most comprehensive and authoritative scientific assessment of the causes and impacts of climate change in the United States.

The 2017 assessment concludes decisively that humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization. And it found that tangible impacts of climate change had already started to cause damage across the country — including increasing water scarcity in dry regions and more severe heat waves and wildfires.

While forest management is believed to play some role in wildfires, the 2018 National Climate Assessment drew direct links between climate change and worsening wildfires in the west. And it concluded that if greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels continue to increase at current rates, the frequency of severe fires in the west could triple.

“Excuse me, Portland, the sheriff just came out today and he said, ‘I support President Trump.’” Trump

False

Sheriff Mike Reese of Multnomah County, Oregon, where Portland is located, said he does not support Trump. “In tonight’s presidential debate the President said the ‘Portland Sheriff’ supports him. As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him,”  Reeese tweeted.

“I want crystal clean water, and air. I want beautiful clean air. We have the lowest carbon. Look at our numbers now. We are doing phenomenal.” Trump

Misleading

Trump’s administration has rolled back or weakened over 100 environmental laws and rules, among them an Obama-era clean-water regulation that had been designed to reduce pollution in the nation’s rivers, lakes, wetlands and other public bodies of water. 

The administration has also significantly rolled back or weakened multiple Clean Air Act regulations designed to reduce pollution of both planet-warming greenhouse gases as well as soot and toxins from auto tailpipes, power plant smokestacks and oil and gas drilling sites. It is accurate that the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions have fallen slightly in recent years, but they are expected to increase in the coming years in part as a result of the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks.

“I’m OK with electric cars too. I’m all for electric cars. I have given big incentives for electric cars.” Trump

False

Trump offered his backing for electric cars as evidence that he cares about reducing carbon emissions. But the president has actually tried to do away with tax incentives for consumers who buy them.

In 2019, Trump’s budget called for eliminating a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles, which his administration said would save $2.5 billion over a decade.

In 2018,  Trump also threatened to punish General Motors over its plan to cut jobs by dangling the possibility that he could end the federal tax credits that have helped underwrite that automaker’s electric-vehicle fleet.

“They want to take out the cows.” Trump

False

Trump was misleadingly referring to the Green New Deal, a proposal to combat climate change released by Representation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. It is not  Biden’s plan. Though the Green New Deal would significantly alter the transportation and agriculture sectors, it does not literally call for the elimination of cars, airplanes or cows.

Outside the text of the legislation, however, a blog post on Ms. Ocasio Cortez’s website describing the plan did note, “The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.” Her staff retracted the post and said that it was incomplete and published by accident.

“We left him a booming economy. And he caused the recession.”  Biden

False

The economy was not “booming” in the final year of Biden’s time as vice president, and Trump did not “cause” the pandemic recession. When President Barack Obama and Biden left office, the economy was healthy, though growth had dipped below 2 percent in 2016 in part because of a contraction in business investment stemming in part from a plunge in oil prices rippling through America’s energy industry. Unemployment had fallen steadily.

“You know one of the reasons I’ll have so many judges? Because President Obama and him left me 128 judges to fill. They left 128 openings.” Trump

Misleading

While it is true that Trump had vacancies to fill when he assumed the White House, the reason is not simply that former President Barack Obama “left” the positions vacant. The Republican-led Senate refused to confirm many of Obama’s judicial nominees, including Judge Merrick Garland, whom Obama named to fill the vacancy left by the death in February 2016 of Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court.

“His own former spokesperson said, you know, ‘Riots and chaos and violence help his cause.’ That’s what this is all about.” Biden

True

Trump’s former counselor, Kellyanne Conway, told Fox News in August that  Trump would benefit politically from unrest in American cities.

“The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,” she said.

“Seattle, they heard we were coming in the following day and they put up their hands and we got back Seattle, Minneapolis. We got it back, Joe, because we believe in law and order.” Trump

False

Trump is taking undue credit for the relative calm that has settled in Minneapolis. Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota activated the state’s National Guard on May 28, three days after George Floyd’s death. 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told the Washington Post that a conversation that  Trump described “just never happened.”

“We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before.”  Biden

False

The trade deficit with China fell sharply between 2018 and 2019 as Trump’s trade war suppressed commerce between the world’s largest economies.

So far this year, the trade deficit in goods with China is running below last year’s levels, as the United States imports fewer products. But while Trump has lowered the trade deficit with China, deficits with other countries have grown and the overall trade deficit is trending up.

American consumers have shifted to buying more goods from countries like Vietnam and Mexico, in part because Trump’s tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods have raised prices on those imports.

“The mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son $3.5 million.” Trump

Misleading

This claim is based on an investigative report released last week by Senate Republicans that claimed that Hunter Biden “had a financial relationship” with Elena Baturina, a wealthy Russian businesswoman and the widow of a former mayor of Moscow. The report based this claim on an unidentified “confidential document” showing that Ms. Baturina transferred $3.5 million in 2014 for “a Consultancy Agreement” to a bank account associated with a company called Rosemont Seneca Thornton, which was associated with Hunter Biden’s business partners.

Hunter Biden was not a co-founder of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, had no interest in it, and did not have a financial relationship with Ms. Baturina. 

“I’ll have 25,000, 35,000, people show up at airports. We use airports.” Trump

False

Airport hangars cannot accommodate crowds of that size. While Trump’s rallies in the past have attracted tens of thousands of attendees, in recent weeks the rallies that he has been holding at airport hangers have been far smaller. According to local news reports this month, a rally at an airport in Virginia drew an estimated 3,000 people, an airport rally in Michigan drew an estimated 10,000 people and a rally in Pennsylvania drew an estimated 7,000 people.  T

“They had the slowest recovery since — economic recovery — since 1929.” Trump

Misleading

Trump is right that the growth rate of economic output as measured by gross domestic product was slower after the recession that spanned 2007 to 2009 than it had been following other contractions.

But that fact is misleading. Growth had been slowing for decades as the population aged and other long-run trends caused the economy’s potential run rate to decline. Growth did not pick up dramatically once Trump took office, aside from a short-lived jump on the back of his tax cuts.

“He’s going to be the first president of the United States to leave office having fewer jobs in his economy than when he became president.” Biden

Misleading

Biden may be relying on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ nonfarm payroll survey, which stretches back to the late 1930s, to arrive at this conclusion. But Herbert Hoover, who was president during the Great Depression, left office in 1933 at a time when the economy had fewer jobs than when he was elected in 1929, based on subsequent estimates. Biden’s statement also requires the unproven assumptions that  Trump will lose the election, and that jobs will not bounce back to pre-crisis levels before November.

“We’ve had no negative effect and we’ve had 35-40,000 people.” Trump

False

Trump claimed his rallies have had “no negative effect” because of the coronavirus and that as many as 35,000 or 40,000 people have attended the events. Both are untrue, as is a separate claim that his rallies have all been held outdoors.

At least eight campaign staff members who helped plan President Trump’s indoor rally in June in Tulsa, Okla., including members of the Secret Service, tested positive for the coronavirus, either before the rally or after attending.

Trump’s rallies have generally attracted just several thousand people, not the tens of thousands he claimed. While the president’s campaign had claimed that more than 1 million people had sought tickets for the Oklahoma rally, the 19,000-seat arena was at least one-third empty during the rally. A second, outdoor venue for an overflow crowd at the same event was so sparsely attended that he and Vice President Mike Pence both canceled appearances there.

“They said it would take a miracle to bring back manufacturing. I brought back 700,000 jobs. They brought back nothing.” Trump

False

Trump did not “bring back” 700,000 manufacturing jobs, even before the coronavirus recession. In his first three years as president, manufacturing employment rose by just under 500,000 jobs. Through August, because of jobs lost to the pandemic recession, the sector is down by more than 200,000 jobs from when Trump took office.

“Young children aren’t. Even younger people aren’t.” Trump

False

Several studies have shown that children can get infected and harbor high levels of the coronavirus. And a small proportion of children seem to develop a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a severe and sometimes deadly overreaction of the immune system.

The debate on schools has mostly centered on whether children who are infected can transmit to others. The bulk of the evidence here suggests that children under 10 are about half as likely to spread the virus to others, but older children, particularly 15 and above, may transmit the coronavirus as efficiently as adults do. Teenagers are also about twice as likely as younger children to be infected with the coronavirus, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggesting that high schools and colleges may be important contributors to community spread.

“I paid millions of dollars. Millions of dollars.” Trump

False

While Trump appears to have paid a variety of taxes in recent years, including payroll taxes for his employees, he has paid very little in federal income taxes, according to tax documents obtained by The New York Times.

They show that in 2017, for example, Trump chose to pay $750 in federal income taxes. That was the case even though he reported earning some $15 million for the year. But on his federal tax return, Trump offset those earnings by reporting losses from his businesses and claiming a range of tax credits, including one that allowed him to reduce his liability under the alternative minimum tax from $7.4 million to $750. It is unclear how his accountants chose that number:  Trump appeared to have sufficient credits to reduce his liability to zero. That same year,  Biden paid about $3.7 million in federal income tax, his returns show.

“He’ll close down the whole country.”  Trump

Exaggerated

Biden, who has stressed the importance of following scientific expertise in responding to the pandemic, is not promising to shut down the whole country.

In an interview with ABC News in August,  Biden was pressed on what he would do “if the scientists say shut it down” and did respond, “I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists.”

“Now we’re weeks away from a vaccine.” Trump

Unproven

Top health officials have said that a vaccine may not be widely available until next summer. Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the top scientist on the administration’s vaccine development program, recently said that Americans would most likely not be widely vaccinated until the middle of 2021, a timeline echoed by Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of theCDC. Dr. Slaoui also said that the chance of having a vaccine by October or November was “extremely unlikely.”

Of the companies with vaccines in late-stage clinical trials in the United States, just one — Pfizer — has said that it could have initial results by the end of October, a time frame the company has clarified is a best-case scenario.

“H1N1. You were a disaster.”  Trump

False

The CDC identified the first case of the H1N1 virus on April 14, 2009. The Obama administration declared swine flu a public health emergency on April 26. The FDA approved a rapid test for the virus two days later.

A vaccine became available in early October but, amid reports of shortages, President Obama declared the outbreak a national emergency later that month. The estimated death toll in the United States from the H1N1 epidemic was 12,469 from April 2009 to April 2010.

“Did you use the word ‘smart’? So you said you went to Delaware State but you forgot the name of your college.” Trump

False

Biden, at a campaign event in South Carolina last year, claimed that he “got started out” at  Delaware State University, a historically Black university. Many in conservative media interpreted the comment as Biden claiming to have attended the university, when he attended the University of Delaware. But he was likely referring to the political support he received from the college when he first campaigned for Senate, as he has done in several other appearances.

In a September visit to North Carolina, Biden called Delaware State University “the best H.B.C.U. in America.” He noted that he began his political career after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr “and a lot of my support came out of that H.B.C.U.”

“I am a political product of Delaware State University, a great H.B.C.U.,” he said in May. “Delaware State University is the best. They’re the ones that brought me to the dance, they’re where I got started,” he said in March.

“I closed it, and you said, ‘He’s xenophobic.’ You don’t believe we should have closed the country.” Trump

Misleading

Biden wrote on Twitter in March that “banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop” the coronavirus, which critics seized on to argue that he was against imposing travel restrictions. A top Biden campaign official said in early April that Biden did support the Trump administration’s restrictions on travel from China.

Biden did accuse Trump of xenophobia. On the day the travel restrictions were announced by the administration,  Biden said that “this is no time for Donald Trump’s record” of “hysterical xenophobia and fear-mongering to lead the way instead of science.” But he did not tie the accusation to the travel restrictions.

“I’m cutting drug prices, I’m going with favored nations which no president has the courage to do, because you’re going against big pharma. Drug prices will be coming down 80 percent. You could have done it in your 47 year period in government. Nobody’s done it.” Trump

Exaggerated

Trump has signed four executive orders on drug prices, but none of them have gone into effect. The policy Trump described in the most detail, his “most favored nations” policy, will be difficult to implement without new legislation, and will be vulnerable to court challenges. And that policy would only influence the prices paid by the Medicare program for drugs, not the prices paid by Americans who buy their own health insurance or get it from their jobs.

“Your party wants to go socialist.” Trump

Exaggerated

Trump was referring to Biden’s health care platform. The left wing of the Democratic Party has embraced Medicare for All, but Biden supports expanding the Affordable Care Act, which relies on the current system of private insurers. Biden would, however, favor adding a “public option” to the Affordable Care Act — a government run-program that would compete with private insurers.

“She thinks that the Affordable Care Act is not constitutional.” Biden

Exaggerated

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, has expressed reservations about the reasoning in Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s opinion in 2012 upholding a central provision of the Affordable Care Act. But she has not expressed a view about the constitutionality of the entire law or about a challenge to it pending in the Supreme Court.

“He’s in the Supreme Court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act which will strip 20 million people from having insurance, health insurance.”  Biden

True

Trump’s Justice Department is arguing in Supreme Court briefs that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. The effects of that reversal would be far-reaching.  Biden’s estimate that 20 million more Americans would lose health insurance is accurate.

“Some of her biggest endorsers are very liberal people.” Trump

Mostly true

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, has been endorsed by at least one prominent liberal, Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard. Many Democrats object to the process used to place her on the court without questioning her qualifications.

Source: NYT

The Past 24 Hours or So

9/30

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 36,947 new cases and 739 additional deaths. 14,206 are receiving critical care for the virus.
  • Top officials at the White House pressured leaders at the CDC to downplay the risk of the coronavirus to children as President Trump’s administration pushed to reopen schools this fall, according to a new report. 

Citing documents and interviews with current and former government officials, The New York Times reported Tuesday the push included an effort to find data suggesting the pandemic was weakening and the coronavirus did not threaten children.

  • Kids need to be back in school in areas where the virus is not spreading badly, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
  • A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health has been tested in older adults and found to safely elicit an immune response in that age group, according to preliminary data.
  • As many as one in three Covid-19 patients will develop symptoms that linger for months. The symptoms can span a wide range — piercing chest pain, deep exhaustion, a racing heart. Those affected include young and otherwise healthy people.
  • The CDC is preparing to post new guidance Wednesday on a “no sail” order for cruise ships.

The guidance will extend an order first issued in March through October. An official said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield failed to convince the White House to extend it into next year.

  • The NFL had its first virus outbreak of the season. The Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings halted operations after eight members of the Titans received positive tests.
  • The University of Notre Dame announced Monday that 18 players had tested positive for the virus.

Team doctors have traced an outbreak of Covid-19 on the Notre Dame football team to two specific events, including a pregame meal, head coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday.

  • New York City reported a large uptick in coronavirus cases. The daily rate of positive tests rose to 3.25 percent, the highest it had been in months, as more students returned to classrooms.
  • New York City could implement further restrictions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

The mayor cautioned that if necessary, the city will prohibit gatherings, except small ones, and may close non-essential businesses.

  • About 300,000 elementary school students returned to New York City classrooms, a major milestone in the recovery from the pandemic.
  • Indoor dining capacity in Philadelphia will increase to 50% on Friday.
  • Florida’s Tampa International Airport today announced a new pilot program, which makes it the first airport in the country to offer two different types of Covid-19 testing, PCR tests and rapid antigen tests, for any arriving or departing passenger.
  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D) is self-isolating for 14 days after one of his staffers tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) loosened limits on public gatherings and encouraged corporate events to return to Las Vegas. 
  • Several populous counties in California are being allowed to reopen further as they move into less restrictive tiers.

Trump Administration

  • Trump has repeatedly touted his signature anti-poverty program as a way to attract support from Black voters. Opportunity zones, he has said, have drawn “$100 billion of new investment … into 9,000 of our most distressed neighborhoods” and created “countless jobs.”

A new report suggests that his claims inflate the results by to 250-700%. 

  • The Trump administration has asked the military to assess how quickly it could pull nuclear weapons out of storage and load them onto bombers and submarines if an arms control treaty with Russia is allowed to expire.
  • President Donald Trump is weighing closing the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as intelligence agencies in recent weeks have picked up specific threats against American forces in Iraq, including against the embassy itself.
  • President Trump has received a third nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

According to Sky News Australia, four Australian law professors recently nominated the president for the high honor, with one of them, David Flint, citing his recent role in helping broker relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

  • The Trump administration is preparing a series of immigration enforcement actions targeting sanctuary cities leading up to the November general election, sources told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation is known informally as the “sanctuary op” and could reportedly begin as soon as this week in California and eventually move to cities including Denver and Philadelphia.

  • Some former intelligence officials are saying the alleged $421 million of debt owed by President Trump over the next four years could pose national security risks, Time magazine reported Tuesday. 

Officials told Time that Trump, who the New York Times reported is in an audit fight with the IRS that could cost him an additional $100 million, could be easily influenced by those he owes money.

  • The Census Bureau announced on Monday that it intends to wrap up its count on Oct. 5, despite a judge’s order to continue the census through the end of October.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Hours after a member of the grand jury sued to have the record of the proceedings opened to the public, Kentucky’s attorney general agreed to release the recordings of the secret grand jury proceeding that considered charges against three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
  • The average Black family had less than 15 percent of the wealth of white families in 2019, a trend that barely budged despite economic gains among minorities over the past three years, the Federal Reserve said on Monday.

Presidential Campaign

  • In the wake of a New York Times report that revealed President Trump’s years of tax avoidance, Joe Biden released returns showing he paid $288,000 in federal income taxes in 2019.

Presidential Debate

  • The first presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden immediately got heated Tuesday night, with Trump talking over both Biden and moderator Chris Wallace, sparking a sharp exchange of words between Trump and the Fox News anchor.
  • President Trump and Joe Biden jabbed back and forth during the debate, with Trump repeatedly talking over Biden and moderator Chris Wallace, prompting Biden to harshly call Trump a “liar” and a “clown” at one point.

Trump: (Interjecting as Biden spoke) “You just lost the left.” 

Biden: “Folks, do you have any idea what this clown is doing?”

  • President Trump refused to denounce white supremacy during an intense debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden Tuesday night, which featured a heated exchange over racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • “This is the same man who told you by Easter this would be gone away, by the warm weather it would be gone miraculously like a miracle,” Biden said, suggesting Trump could not be trusted. “And by the way maybe you can inject some bleach in your arm and that would take care of it.”

“That was said sarcastically and you know that,” Trump responded immediately. “That was said sarcastically.”

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

9/29

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Covid-19 has killed 1 million people worldwide.
  • The U.S. reported 36,792 new cases and 260 additional deaths. 14,065 COVID patients are receiving critical care. 
  • The number of new coronavirus cases in 21 states has increased by at least 10 percent or more from last week as health officials warn of a possible surge in cases in the fall and winter, according to a new analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
  • Despite the CDC warning that “Children younger than 5 years old – especially those younger than 2 – are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications,” and  that getting a flu shot during the pandemic – for all ages – is more important than ever, one-third of American parents have no plans to get their children vaccinated for the flu this year.

In addition, two-thirds of parents don’t believe getting a flu shot for their child is more important this year, despite advice to the contrary from major government organizations and pediatricians.

  • CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield has grown increasingly concerned that President Trump, pushed by a new member of his coronavirus task force, is sharing incorrect information about the pandemic with the public.

Redfield suggested in a conversation with a colleague Friday that Dr. Scott Atlas is arming Trump with misleading data about a range of issues, including questioning the efficacy of masks, whether young people are susceptible to the virus and the potential benefits of herd immunity.

“Everything he says is false,” Redfield said during a phone call made in public on a commercial airline and overheard by NBC News.

Redfield acknowledged after the flight from Atlanta to Washington that he was speaking about Atlas.

  • The CDC was pushed to play down the risks of the coronavirus pandemic in reopening schools, Olivia Troye, a former staff member for Vice President Mike Pence, told CNN.
  • Leaders of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, two of the most prominent science advisory groups, are calling out political interference in science, warning it undermines public confidence “when we need it the most.” The statement came one day after President Trump said he might reject a plan from the FDA to impose tougher standards for authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • President Trump announced a plan to deploy 150 million rapid coronavirus tests from Abbott to states across the nation to help with school reopening efforts.
  • President Trump’s plan to disperse 150 million rapid coronavirus tests is a step in the right direction, but too small and too late, according to  Dr. William Haseltine, chair and president of the global health think tank ACCESS Health International.
  • The nation’s top infectious diseases expert called Florida’s decision to reopen bars and restaurants last week “very concerning” as the U.S. is averaging about 40,000 new coronavirus cases per day. 

“You’re really asking for trouble,” Dr. Fauci said.

  • House Democrats on Monday unveiled a scaled-back $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, a last-ditch effort to pressure White House negotiators to come back to the table and strike a bipartisan deal before the election.

It includes an additional round of $1,200 stimulus check for most Americans, money to restore $600 expanded unemployment payments through January, and millions to expand coronavirus testing.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) are calling for an investigation after the Pentagon reportedly used $1 billion in coronavirus relief funds on jet engine parts, body armor and other military equipment instead of medical supplies.

A coalition of 40 organizations from both sides of the aisle is also calling for a congressional investigation.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) extended the “Safe Harbor Act which ” protects tenants from Covid-19 related residential evictions and foreclosures through Jan. 1.
  • Twenty students have tested positive for Covid-19 at Pace University’s Westchester, New York campus, 18 of whom live in the same dormitory
  • Citing “sufficient progress in the fight against Covid-19,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the easing of phase four guidelines for businesses starting Oct. 1.  

Restaurants will be allowed to expand indoor capacity to 40%, bars can reopen for indoor service, and may serve until 1 a.m, according to a news release. Class sizes for fitness and after-school programs will be allowed to expand and personal services that require the removal of a mask allowed to resume. 

Trump Administration

  • The New York Times on Sunday published a groundbreaking look into President Trump’s finances based on more than a decade of tax documents closely guarded by the president.

Here are five key takeaways from the report on Trump’s taxes.

  1. Trump paid almost nothing in personal income taxes for nearly two decades

Trump was able to avoid paying income taxes for 10 of the 15 years preceding his election in 2016, according to the Times, and paid just $750 in income taxes during the first two years of his presidency.

  1. Business losses protected his personal gains

Much of Trump’s personal tax liability was covered by a $72.9 million refund he received in 2010, according to the Times, claiming losses potentially driven by the failure of his Atlantic City Casinos. That refund, which has been under federal scrutiny since 2011, helped wipe out $95 million in income taxes Trump paid over three years.

  1. Financial record at odds with Trump’s boasts and disclosures

Trump claimed in his 2018 financial disclosure to have made $434.9 million that year, and blasted the Times in a Monday tweet for failing to consider the value of the assets he owns.

But according to the tax documents obtained by Times, the president lost $47.4 million in 2018 as many of his golf courses and hotels bled money.

  1. A ton of debt — and due soon

Trump owes $421 million in loans he personally guaranteed in addition to the potential debt he may owe the IRS pending the investigation into his $72.9 million tax rebate. Trump also owes the entirety of a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower due in 2022.

  1. Trump could face serious legal consequences

The financial information unearthed by the Times revealed several areas where Trump could be vulnerable to civil or criminal charges for tax or financial services fraud.

  • Andrew Weissman, a top prosecutor under Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, said in a new interview that he “would have subpoenaed” President Trump during the investigation.
  • Responding to a bombshell report on President Trump’s taxes, the president’s former attorney and longtime fixer Michael Cohen said a massive tax bill and fraud charges are Trump’s “biggest fear.”

“Donald Trump’s financial records are the Rosetta Stone for understanding the depth of his corruption and crimes,” he said. “The more it is unraveled, the more he will unravel. It’s the reason he’s fought so hard to keep it under wraps.”

  • Two dozen state Attorneys General are condemning a proposal from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would loosen Obama-era federal protections for homeless transgender individuals and allow single-sex homeless shelters to establish policies based on biological sex.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Brett Hankison, the only officer charged in connection to Breonna Taylor’s shooting death, pleaded not guilty to three counts of wanton endangerment during his arraignment Monday. He is not charged in Taylor’s death, but for three counts of wanton endangerment over bullets that entered a neighboring apartment.
  • A member of the Breonna Taylor grand jury just filed a remarkable motion asking a judge to release the entire proceedings of the grand jury. The motion strongly suggests that Attorney General Cameron’s public comments contradict what was presented to the grand jury.
  • Attorneys for Prince George’s County, Maryland, have announced that a settlement has been reached with the family of 43-year-old William Green, a Black man who was fatally shot while handcuffed in a police cruiser earlier this year.
  • An Atlanta-based activist is facing federal wire fraud and money laundering charges after authorities said he spent more than $200,000 in donations intended for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sir Maejor Page, 32, was arrested Friday after authorities said he used donations for the social justice movement on tailored suits, guns and a home in Ohio.

  • Christopher Cantwell, a white nationalist podcaster who was featured in a Vice documentary about the 2017 Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally in Virginia, was found guilty of extortion and threatening to rape a fellow white nationalist’s wife. Lawyers for Cantwell had defended his messages as merely “obscene” or “over the top” rather than genuine threats.
  • Texas Sheriff  Robert Chody who appeared on the hit A&E show “Live PD” was arrested and has been charged with destroying or concealing evidence related to the death of 40-year-old Javier Ambler when he was in the custody of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department last year.

Chody is accused of ordering that “Live PD” destroy the footage showing Ambler’s death, which was never aired.

Presidential Campaign

  • Over 3 million Black voters in key states were identified by Trump’s 2016 campaign as people they had to persuade to stay at home on Election Day to help him reach the White House.
  • A nonpartisan get-out-the-vote website that helps voters register to vote and get critical election information says the weekend Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died it say a massive spike in registrations, with 139,046 registration verifications, or a 118 percent increase compared to the previous weekend. It also saw a spike in requests for mail-in ballots.
  • Democrats have raised more than $300 million in small-dollar donations for candidates and progressive causes since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death as the party aims to flip the Senate to Democratic control. In the first 24-hours following Ginsburg’s death, Democrats also broke two fundraising records at $6.3 million in one hour and $70.6 million in one day.
  • Republicans have asked the Supreme Court to halt a major Pennsylvania state court ruling that extended the due date for mail ballots in the key battleground state, teeing up the first test for the high court since the death of its liberal leader Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • An explosive report on President Trump’s tax returns has roiled the presidential race as Democrat Joe Biden and Trump get ready to debate for the first time on Tuesday night. Republicans acknowledged the report had the potential to hurt Trump at a critical time, as he is trying to catch up to Biden in swing-state and national polls.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 3 Minutes

9/28

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 35,289 new cases and 307 additional deaths. 14,130 are receiving critical care.
  • Covid-19 cases are growing “at an alarming rate” in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
  • New York state on Saturday reported more than 1,000 new cases for the first time since early June.
  • New Jersey reported 760 new cases Saturday — the highest daily case count since early June.
  • A 42-year-old Maryland man is set to serve a year in prison after hosting two large parties at his home in violation of the state’s coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • The ballistics report from the Kentucky State Police does not match Republican Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron’s claims that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot a Louisville police officer the night Taylor was killed. The report throws into question the narrative of the evening, which until now has been that police opened fire that killed Breonna Taylor because Walker shot at police.
  • President Trump’s efforts to appeal to his conservative base by banning certain diversity training is sparking a clash with his own Pentagon leaders as they try to build a more diverse and inclusive military.
  • Racism has cost the U.S. $16 trillion. A new study calculated the economic gains the country would have experienced if it had closed racial gaps in wages, education, access to housing credit and lending to entrepreneurs.

Trump Administration

  • Newly unveiled tax information about President Trump shows he avoided paying income taxes for 10 out of 15 years leading up to the 2016 presidential election, and paid just $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017. According to the documents unveiled by the NYT, Trump is also hundreds of millions in debt.
  • President Trump has just dismissed a New York Times investigation that found he paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017 as “fake news” and railed against a bombshell report finding he avoided paying income taxes for 10 years. He said if his tax returns would prove the story was fake, but claimed he could not reveal his documents because he is under audit by the IRS.
  • President Trump said he thinks his conservative Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett could tip the court toward a decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, potentially by allowing states to decide whether to ban abortion.
  • Republican senators say they believe President Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last week will be confirmed by November, despite widespread opposition from Senate Democrats.
  • A federal judge temporarily blocked President Trump’s TikTok ban just hours before it was set to go into effect.

Presidential Campaign

  • Trump repeated unfounded allegations that Biden took performance-enhancing drugs to improve his performance during the Democratic debates.

“I am not joking. I am willing to take a drug test, and he should too,” Trump said of Biden, again calling for drug tests before the presidential debate. “People say he was on performance-enhancing drugs. A lot of people say that.”

He then encouraged reporters to “check out the internet” to prove his claims were true, without ever offering other evidence.

  • Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said it is “disconcerting” to hear President Trump and his chief of staff Mark Meadows cast doubt on the integrity of the election. 

“In fact, mail-in voting is almost as old as the nation. There are states now where the predominant way to vote is by mail,” Johnson said.

  • Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and the first U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, has announced he will be backing former Vice President Joe Biden in the presidential race, saying in an op-ed that President Trump “lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect and maturity to lead.” 

“It’s a vote for decency. A vote for the rule of law. And a vote for honest and earnest leadership. It’s time to put country over party,” he wrote.

  • Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has reportedly been hospitalized after a tense exchange with police in which he was armed, barricaded himself in his Florida home and threatened to harm himself.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 3 Minutes

9/27

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 52,296 new cases and 866 additional deaths. There are 14,096 in critical condition.
  • Coronavirus cases are on the rise in nearly half of the 50 states across the country, as the U.S. hits a seven-day average of over 43,000 new COVID-19 cases per day.
  • Experts are warning that seemingly harmless interactions with close family and friends may be driving the spread of Covid. Children’s play dates and informal family get-togethers have been contributing to Covid-19 spikes nationwide.
  • The New York Times surveyed more than 1,600 U.S. colleges and universities and found at least 130,000 cases of the coronavirus and at least 70 deaths since the pandemic began. Most of the cases have been announced since students returned to campus for the fall term.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that more than 1,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus in New York on Friday, marking the first time since early June the state has seen a daily number of cases spike to that mark.
  • A coronavirus survey in Minnesota was stopped after multiple cases of residents “intimidating and shouting racial and ethnic slurs” at public health workers who had been going door to door, the state Department of Health said.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Border Patrol agents have arrested a 15-year-old undocumented girl who has lived in the US since she was an infant, after she went to a Texas hospital for emergency gallbladder surgery.
  • The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will not pursue obstruction of justice charges against a reporter who was slammed to the ground and arrested while covering a protest, saying “she was almost immediately grabbed by deputies and taken to the ground giving her little if any time to comply.”
  • A protester was struck by a pickup truck  while participating in Los Angeles demonstrations calling for racial justice, after no charges were filed this week over the death of Breonna Taylor.
  • A Michigan man pleaded guilty to targeting an African American woman because of her race and threatening to shoot her family at church last year.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that 22-year-old Ronald Wyatt admitted to targeting a woman identified. and “intentionally threatening physical harm” to her and obstructing her “free exercise of religion.”

  • A new Hallmark Christmas movie “The Christmas House,” starring “Mean Girls’s” Jonathan Bennett, will focus on a gay couple “looking to adopt their first child.”
  • New Jersey is on the brink of scrapping a controversial state law barring families receiving welfare from getting a larger stipend if the mother gives birth while receiving government benefits. The bill repealing the “family cap” law now heads to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.

Trump Administration

  • President Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.
  • Senate Republicans are preparing a speedy confirmation process for President Trump’s Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final vote before Election Day on November 3.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Trump’s decision to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court on Saturday, calling the pick a threat to the Affordable Care Act and protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

“If this nominee is confirmed, millions of families’ health care will be ripped away in the middle of a pandemic that has infected seven million Americans and killed over 200,000 people in our country,” Pelosi added.

  • James Herbert, an assistant US attorney for the District of Massachusetts, is accusing Attorney General William Barr of politicizing and bringing “shame” to the Justice Department. 

“The attorney general acts as though his job is to serve only the political interests of Donald J. Trump. This is a dangerous abuse of power,” Herbert wrote in the Boston Globe.

Presidential Campaign

  • The cast of HBO’s “Veep” is set to hold a virtual reunion next month to support Democrats in Wisconsin and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the state.
  • A number of current and former stars from the NBA and WNBA announced the beginning of a program aimed at registering young basketball fans to vote ahead of the November elections.

“Even though it’s only one vote, it’s important. One drop of water helps all the other drops create our oceans immense power,” said NBA star Alex English.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

9/26

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 50,963 new cases and 844 additional deaths. There are 14,141 in critical condition. 
  • The number of novel coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 7 million – more than 20% of the world’s total – as Midwest states report spikes in COVID-19 infections. 
  • A new COVID-19 mutation appears to be even more contagious, according to a study — and experts say it could be a response by the virus to defeat masks and other social-distancing efforts. Though the strain isn’t more deadly, researchers said it appeared to have adapted better to spread among humans.
  • A nationwide study of the blood of more than 28,000 people found that, as of July, approximately 9.3% in the United States had antibodies to the novel coronavirus. The numbers ranged from an average of 3.5% in the West to an average of 27% in the Northeast.
  • Anthony Fauci warned the country is “entering into a risk period” for rising coronavirus infections as colder weather approaches and people spend more time indoors. 

“We know we could get into serious trouble if we don’t do certain things. And I hope that that understanding is not going to frighten people, but will jolt them into realizing that it is within our hands to prevent that.”

  • A single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response against the novel coronavirus in an early-to-mid stage clinical trial, according to interim results published on Friday.
  • U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about coronavirus relief on Friday and they agreed to hold more talks.
  • A federal judge ruled in favor of the National Association of the Deaf and five deaf plaintiffs, who argued that the lack of a sign language interpreter during coronavirus briefings was a violation of the First Amendment because deaf and hard-of-hearing people were not getting proper access to crucial health information. 

The White House has been ordered to begin providing interpreters starting Oct. 1.

  • Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous carnival parade has been postponed for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Two people were indicted for their alleged role in a COVID-19 outbreak at a Massachusetts veterans’ home that contributed to the deaths of at least 76 residents, the state’s attorney general announced on Friday.

A grand jury on Thursday indicted superintendent Bennett Walsh and David Clinton, the former medical director of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, on charges of criminal neglect related to their work at the facility.

  • More than 40 staff members at Staten Island’s Edwin Markham Intermediate School have been asked to quarantine after one person tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and first lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for coronavirus, the governor’s office announced Friday.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, including restaurants and bars, saying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic had eased sufficiently to allow the state to enter the final phase of its reopening.
  • An Ohio police officer tased and arrested a woman on Wednesday after she refused to leave an eighth grade football game for not wearing a mask, officials said.

Police in Logan, Ohio, who identified the woman as Alecia Kitts, said the officer told Kitts she would be asked to leave because she was not wearing a mask, in violation of school policy. After Kitts refused to leave the stadium, the officer warned she would be cited for trespassing. She was tased after she resisted arrest.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality, Made history again on Friday as the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.
  • Rep. Attica Scott (D), Kentucky’s only Black female state lawmaker, who wrote and introduced “Breonna’s Law,” legislation that would end no-knock warrants across the state, was taken into custody Thursday night during protests in downtown Louisville.

Scott was arrested on first-degree rioting charges — a felony — along with failure to disperse and unlawful assembly, both misdemeanors. Scott’s daughter was also taken into custody.

  • A white supremacist was killed in a shootout with deputies in Templeton, California. Deputies tried to conduct a traffic stop on Christopher Michael Straub, 38, near a cemetery. Straub got out of his vehicle and ran through the vineyards of the cemetery.

He then hid and ambushed deputies, firing multiple rounds at them with a handgun. A deputy was hit in the leg and airlifted to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery and is in stable condition, the release said.

Additional deputies arrived on scene and intercepted Straub as he tried to regain access to his vehicle. Straub was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.

After the shooting, authorities found multiple weapons in Straub’s vehicle, including four assault-style rifles, one bolt-action hunting rifle, one shotgun, and two handguns along with the handgun he used to shoot at deputies, plus hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

  • Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump had a simple message for Kentucky’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron: Release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings in the case of Breonna Taylor.

“If you want us to accept the results, then release the transcript so we can have transparency.”

  • Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) declared a state of emergency in Portland over the weekend due to risks of violence as thousands of members of  “white supremacist groups” such as the Proud Boys hold a rally.
  • President Trump made an appeal to Black voters with his new “Platinum Plan”, vowing to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, prosecute the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization, and create tax cuts for minority-owned businesses and more.
  • Bank of America Corp said on Friday it was issuing a $2-billion bond, where a portion of the proceeds will be used for the financial empowerment of Black and Hispanic-Latino communities.
  • At least 33 statues of the explorer Christopher Columbus have been removed this year following a summer of Black Lives Matter protests and a national reckoning about monuments connected to racism and white supremacy.

Trump Administration

  • A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit by House Democrats claiming President Trump’s use of a national emergency to divert military funds for border wall construction unconstitutionally bypassed Congress’s authority to appropriate funds.
  • A judge is expected to decide by Sunday whether to allow a ban on TikTok from Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc Google app stores after a last-minute filing by the Department of Justice in support of the move.
  • A federal judge has ordered William Pendley to be removed as head of the Bureau of Land Management, ruling that Pendley served unlawfully in his position for over a year.
  • The Trump administration has finalized a plan to open previously protected areas of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging. 

The area full of centuries-old trees is a major carbon sink, meaning its trees soak up carbon from the atmosphere and lessens the impacts of climate change. Critics say cutting down the “pristine forest” would be “an ecological atrocity.”

  • The Trump administration rescinded an award recognizing the work of a journalist from Finland last year after discovering she had criticized President Trump in social media posts, then gave a false explanation for withdrawing the honor, according to a report by the State Department’s internal watchdog.

After the State Department withdrew Jessikka Aro’s invitation and the story became public in a report by Foreign Policy magazine, the department’s press office told reporters that Aro had been “incorrectly notified” that “she’d been selected as a finalist,” adding: “This was an error. This was a mistake.”

The report noted that the decision to withdraw the award stemmed from the discovery of the social media posts, despite public claims otherwise. “Every person OIG interviewed in connection with this matter acknowledged” that had her social media posts not been flagged, “Ms. Aro would have received the IWOC Award,” the report said.

  • Robert Cardillo, Trump’s former Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said President Trump puts more weight on “the word of dictators like Vladimir Putin” than the U.S. intelligence community.

“Suffice to say that the person you see presiding over COVID-19 press conferences is the same one in the privacy of his office. He has little patience for facts or data that do not comport with his personal world view. Thus, the conversations are erratic and less than fully thoughtful.”

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump slammed the Black Lives Matter movement as an “an extreme socialist” organization that is “destroying many Black lives” during a campaign event on Friday planned to court Black voters.
  • Retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, the former head of the Coast Guard under President Trump, said Trump’s record shows he is unfit for office: “I’ve seen an insurgency, if you will, on our constitutional rights and more power being centralized at the executive level that has really divided our nation. I am concerned that our constitutional rights are being infringed upon from within.”
  • President Vladimir Putin called on Friday for an agreement between Russia and the United States to guarantee not to engage in cyber-meddling in each other’s elections and internal affairs.
  • Michael Bloomberg rolled out a new $40 million ad buy in Florida as Democrats look to bolster Joe Biden’s chances of winning the Sunshine State. 

The new ad blitz is the first to be announced from Bloomberg since he pledged to spend $100 million in Florida, the biggest swing state in the nation and a place that is considered a virtual must-win for President Trump this November. 

  • Black North Carolina voters are seeing their ballots rejected at twice the rate of white residents in the state, according to a new study.
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson unintentionally revealed that he is unsatisfied with the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office and its director John McEntee, after his notes were visible to reporters at President Trump’s campaign rally. 

“I am very loyal to you and after you win I hope to stay in your administration,” the notes said. “I am not happy with the way PPO is handling my agency.”

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