Blog Feed

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read TIme: 8 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 30,555 new cases and 386 additional deaths. 
  • Children can and do transmit the coronavirus to members of their household, according to a new report by the CDC.
  • Two Emory University doctors stressed the importance of getting a flu shot this year – to avoid what they call the “twindemic” of Covid-19 and influenza.
  • Adults who tested positive for COVID-19 are twice as likely to have eaten at restaurants within the two week period prior to becoming sick, according to a new study from the CDC that suggests a link between dining out and contracting coronavirus.
  • President Trump said he is not concerned about getting coronavirus at indoor campaign rallies because he speaks from a stage “very far away” from attendees.
  • Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Monday that President Trump’s comments that “nothing more could have been done” to handle the coronavirus pandemic was “absurd.” 

“By mid-April here in the northeast in the New York-New Jersey area where I live, the densest part of the country, we knew how to flatten the curve,” Johnson said. “We knew how to slow the spread of the virus through aggressive physical distancing, through hygiene, wearing masks, but after April even though things slowed down here in the northeast, we had the spikes in the rest of the country simply because our national leadership, our President, allowed this to become a political issue.”

  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders in their lawsuit against Wolf, a Democrat, and his health secretary.

  • The people responsible for a weekly report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been in “trench warfare” with Washington officials over the report’s scientific integrity, infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner said.
  • The House Oversight and Reform Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisisare is launching an investigation into the Trump administration’s political interference with the publication of scientific reports at the CDC.

The committee cited reporting from Politico that showed administration appointees have repeatedly interfered with the CDC’s reports on the pandemic, which are published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

  • After several NFL coaches were seen not following league protocols for face coverings during Sunday’s Week 1 games, the league’s executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent responded by sending a memo to clubs Monday morning cautioning coaching personnel to wear their masks at all times.
  • This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be “reimagined” amid the coronavirus pandemic, with organizers opting to make the iconic holiday season kick-off event virtual instead of the traditional live parade.
  • Asbury Park, NJ’s zombie walk,which usually happens the first Saturday in October on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, has been canceled.In past years, the event has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest gathering of zombies.
  • The Smithsonian is expected to reopen four additional museums Friday since closing due to Covid-19.
  • South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette (R) announced via Twitter that she has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Henderson, Nevada, the city where President Donald Trump held an indoor campaign rally, said Monday the venue owner is being fined $3,000 for violating coronavirus prevention mandates.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Los Angeles is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman who shot two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies. 

Two deputies were “ambushed” while sitting in a patrol car on Saturday after a lone gunman shot at them. They remain hospitalized in critical condition.

  • Hundreds of protesters flooded the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania late Sunday evening, with police deploying tear gas, as demonstrators responded in outrage over officers fatally shooting a man with a knife.
  • Rochester, New York Mayor Lovely Warren has just announced she is firing the city’s chief of police and suspending its city attorney in the aftermath of the death of Daniel Prude in police custody in March.
  • A Missouri police officer who fatally shot a woman during a traffic stop will not face charges, even after the officer’s claims that she was going to shoot him were contradicted by evidence that showed there was no gun in the car and she never owned a gun.
  • Police have given more than 100 people head injuries with so-called less-lethal ammunition such as rubber bullets at protests this summer, according to a report from the group Physicians for Human Rights.
  • Michael Cohen says the main reason for President Trump’s disdain former President Obama is his race, telling “The View” in a new interview, “why he despises him to the extent that he does, I believe it’s purely racial.”

“I believe it’s solely predicated on the fact that Barack Obama is Black.”

  • Philanthropist Susan Sandler will invest $200 million in social justice organizations committed to fighting systemic racism and boosting turnout in underrepresented communities in battleground states. The investments will reportedly be carried out through the newly formed Susan Sandler Fund.
  • Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday before his team’s season opener, later saying “white leaders really have an opportunity to step up” on the issue of social injustice.

“We thought it was a unique way to express what needs to be done, where someone like myself, a white leader, would kneel, not out of defiance but out of humility,” Reich told reporters. “We can’t leave things the way they are.”

“It takes all of us, everybody, but certainly white leaders really have an opportunity to step up and make a big change as far as systemic racism is concerned,” he added.

Colts players stood for the anthem with arms locked.

Trump Administration

  • The Trump administration is looking to expand a ban on global health aid for foreign organizations that provide or promote abortions.

The proposed change would require that foreign organizations receiving global health aid through contracts from the U.S. government agree to not provide or promote abortions — even with funding from other sources.

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the country should not be focused on deficits as it struggles under the economic weight of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The U.S. ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, will step down from his position and return from the country in October, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing announced Monday.
  • A federal appeals court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to terminate a program that lets at least 300,000 immigrants live and work in the US.

In a 2–1 decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a preliminary injunction issued by US District Judge Edward Chen in 2018 that prevented the administration from ending temporary protected status for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

  • Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services made outlandish and false accusations that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

Caputo accused the CDC of harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump, even if that opposition bolsters the Covid-19 death toll.

Caputo, who has faced criticism for leading efforts to warp CDC weekly bulletins to fit Trump’s pandemic narrative, suggested that he personally could be in danger from opponents of the administration. “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get,” he urged his followers.

He went further, saying his physical health was in question, and his “mental health has definitely failed.”

Mr. Caputo predicted that the president would win re-election in November, but that Joe Biden  would refuse to concede, leading to violence. “And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin.” he said. 

  • The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the department’s intervention in the sentencing of Roger Stone, whose sentence was reduced drastically after President Trump tweeted about the sentencing and critics say the decision was based on the president’s personal friendship with Stone. 

Trump ultimately commuted Stone’s sentence in July before he was to report to prison.

Presidential Campaign

  • The crowd at President Trump’s rally Sunday evening  in Henderson, Nevada chanted “lock him up” after the president accused his predecessor, former President Obama, of being caught “spying” on the 2016 Trump campaign, a claim for which there is no evidence.
  • A day after President Trump held his first indoor rally in months, the Trump campaign swiped at Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign for continuing to use virtual events during the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting Biden’s latest event shows “how low Virginians are on the Biden campaign’s priority list as all they could manage is a virtual event.”
  • Kid Rock headlined a campaign rally for President Trump in Michigan on Monday.
  • Nearly 200 environmental leaders signed an open leader on Monday urging like-minded voters to support Joe Biden in the November election instead of casting their ballots for the Green Party’s candidate.
  • Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a Monday letter in which he called on Americans to vote “for the future of our republic.”
  • President Trump signaled he would participate in a four-hour debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden moderated by Joe Rogan, despite such a format being likely impossible.

Trump shared a tweet from Tim Kennedy, a retired mixed martial artist, who wrote that Rogan, a comedian and mixed martial arts color commentator, offered during his podcast to moderate a four-hour debate between Trump and Biden without a live audience.

  • The NAACP, in conjunction with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), announced a seven-figure radio ad buy that hits President Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color.

The ads will run on Black radio stations in a handful of crucial swing states, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina.

  • Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
  • A digital ad released by a fundraising arm of the Trump campaign on Sept. 11 calling on people to “support our troops” used a photo of Russian-made fighter jets and weapons.
  • President Trump and Joe Biden’s takes on climate change appeared vastly different as the two presidential candidates visited California on Monday to discuss raging wildfires in the state. 

Biden called Trump a “climate arsonist” while Trump told a top official, without evidence, that the world would soon see “cooler” temperatures, adding “I don’t think science knows” it will get warmer.

  • An analysis from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School finds that the national debt would decrease and GDP would increase under Joe Biden’s plan compared to President Trump’s current laws by 2050.
  • Samuel L. Jackson is promising his followers he will teach them how to swear in 15 different languages if enough of them go online to check their registration or register to vote.

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: 5 Minutes

9/14

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 38,543 new cases and 532 additional deaths. 
  • The World Health Organization received reports of 307,930 new Covid-19 cases worldwide in the past 24 hours — the highest single-day increase in global infections since the pandemic began.
  • Henderson, Nevada city officials say the Trump campaign has been sent warnings that their indoors rally breaks the governor’s coronavirus rules limiting indoor gatherings to 50 people, but the Trump campaign is firing back: “If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets… you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States.”

Guests won’t be required to wear face masks at the indoor event.

  • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) blasted President Trump’s decision to hold an indoor rally in his state Sunday evening, accusing the president of taking “reckless and selfish actions” that he said put lives in danger because the event defied state coronavirus laws and did not enforce mask-wearing.

“This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves,” Sisolak wrote in a blistering tweet. “The President’s actions this weekend are shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.”

  • Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University said President Trump’s indoor Nevada rally that did not enforce mask-wearing and social distancing is “negligent homicide.”

“People will get infected and some of those people will die,” he said. “If you took this virus seriously, you would never hold an indoor rally.”

  • Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned Sunday of a potential COVID-19 spike and a bleak future in the US, citing a lack of a national plan to prevent further spread of the virus.

“We really have another 12 to 14 months of a really hard road ahead of us,” Osterholm continued. “That’s what I’m concerned about today. I don’t go back and replay February and March.” 

“What is our national plan? We don’t have one,” he continued. “We have 50 state plans that in many cases are so different, so divided, and not necessarily based on good science. So, yeah, we got a long road ahead.”

  • Ohio State University plans to cancel spring break next year to reduce the exposure of its students, faculty and staff to coronavirus.
  • A ballot drive to repeal a Michigan law that gives the governor emergency powers has gathered more than 400,000 signatures as residents fight to repeal the powers she used to issue coronavirus restrictions statewide, including mandates on masks, social distancing and social gatherings.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies are “fighting for their lives” after being ambushed by a gunman in the city of Compton, California on Saturday, according to the department.
  • Officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, condemned the “abhorrent” comments from protesters who were reportedly shouting “death to police,” “I hope they fucking die,” and “kill the police” outside the L.A. hospital treating to sheriff’s deputies who were shot and are in critical condition after an apparent ambush.
  • President Trump called for the gunman who shot two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies to “be hit hard” and said, should the deputies die, the gunman deserved the death penalty through a “fast trial” as the “only way to stop this!”
  • Two sheriff’s deputies in Georgia have been fired after being caught on video repeatedly striking a man. Roderick Walker, was in a rideshare vehicle with his girlfriend and his child when officers pulled the car over for a tail-light violation. 

The two deputies demanded Walker’s ID, becoming upset when he asked why. Williams said that after Walker said he had not done anything wrong, the deputies told him to step out of the car, leading to the incident captured in the video.

  • Video showing multiple sheriff’s deputies in Los Angeles pinning a radio journalist covering a protest to the ground and arresting her has drawn condemnation from journalists across social media.
  • Duquesne University Professor Gary Shank was put on paid leave after a video circulated of him saying a racial slur during an online lecture. Shank told students that it’s OK to use the “n-word” during a class discussion “because we’re using it in a pedagogical sense.”
  • NFL players marked the first full weekend of professional football by participating in social justice demonstrations, with various teams opting to stay in the locker room, link arms or kneel during the national anthem.
  • The Atlanta Falcons named the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis as an honorary captain for their first game of the season.
  • Professional tennis star Naomi Osaka said after winning the U.S. Open for a second time that her decision to wear masks during the tournament honoring Black Americans who have been gunned down was part of an effort to “make people start talking” about racial justice.

Trump Administration 

  • Tech giant Oracle won a bidding war for control of the U.S. operations of the widely popular Chinese-owned app TikTok on Sunday, according to multiple news reports. The news comes as President Trump has threatened to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. unless it was sold to a U.S. buyer.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s wife asked top State Department staffers to work the week of Christmas in order to finish their personal holiday cards, according to newly revealed emails that come in the midst of a probe into whether Pompeo and his wife misused federal resources for personal benefit.
  • President Trump signed a long-awaited executive order aimed at lowering drug prices by linking them to the cost of the same drugs in other nations.
  • President Trump blasted The Drudge Report’s Matt Drudge Sunday, saying the right-leaning news aggregator was “no longer ‘hot.’”

“Such an honor! Drudge is down 40% plus since he became Fake News. Most importantly, he’s bleeding profusely, and is no longer ‘hot’. But others are! Lost ALL Trumpers,” Trump tweeted, linking to a post about Drudge’s traffic on the pro-Trump blog True Pundit.

Presidential Campaign

  • A federal judge temporarily banned the U.S. Postal Service from sending election mailers after the Colorado secretary of state said they contained “false statements.” 

Colorado accused the Postal Service of sending false information to Colorado voters through the mailer, including that voters need to request a mail-in ballot to receive it, which is not the case in Colorado and four other states.

  • A group of Black church leaders is condemning an ad from the Trump campaign as complicit in inciting “white terrorism” in the U.S. because it links Black churches to violent protesters, and are demanding an apology.

“The ad is overtly racist and offensive on numerous levels,” Pastor Silvester S. Beaman said. “This ad subtly incites white terrorism against people of color and attacks the Black Church and Black people for refusing to bow down to the idol called white supremacy.”

  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly intends to put at least $100 million toward helping boost Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s chances in Florida, a state that is a “must win” for a Trump election victory.
  • President Trump took aim at Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) during a campaign rally Saturday night, accusing the state leader and other Democrats of using mail-in voting to “rig” the upcoming November election.

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: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

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

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

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

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

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

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

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

Trump Administration

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

Presidential Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

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

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

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

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

Trump Administration

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

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

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

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

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

Presidential Campaign

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

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

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

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

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 30,983 new cases and 1,089 additional deaths. 
  • The US greatly undercounted coronavirus cases at the beginning of the pandemic, missing 90% of them – mostly because of a lack of testing, a new study finds.
  • The Surgeon General of the United States promises he will not let the cost of a potential Covid-19 vaccine get in the way of getting people vaccinated. 

“As Surgeon General of the United States, I promise you, we will use every federal tool that we have to make sure that cost is not an obstacle for people receiving what will perhaps be the most important and highly anticipated vaccine of our lives,” Dr. Jerome Adams said.

  • For months, Americans have been told not to worry about the costs of coronavirus tests, which are crucial to stopping the pandemic’s spread. Congress passed laws requiring insurers to pay for tests, and the Trump administration created a program to cover the bills of the uninsured. Cities and states set up no-cost testing sites.

However, people have been hit with unexpected fees and denied claims related to tests as insurers have told these patients they could owe from a few dollars to thousands.

  • President Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed U.S. coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book “Rage.”

“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward on February 7. Trump also admitted to Woodward he concealed critical details he knew about the coronavirus. Claiming to prevent panic, “I wanted to always play it down.”

Trump’s admissions are in stark contrast to his frequent public comments at the time insisting that the virus was “going to disappear” and “all work out fine.”

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed in a new interview that he would not have recommended that legendary reporter Bob Woodward gain as much access to President Trump in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic had the former lawmaker been in his chief of staff role at the time.
  • “It was all about making sure the stock market didn’t come down, that [Trump’s] wealthy friends didn’t lose any money,” Democratic candidate Joe Biden said of Trump downplaying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic despite knowing it would be deadly. “Think about it. Think about what he did not do – it’s almost criminal.”
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), whose father died of the novel coronavirus, blasted President Trump for telling Woodward that he intended to “play [the virus] down.”

“All I can think about is my father and the nearly 200,000 other people who lost their lives to COVID-19 as a result of this president’s gross negligence and lies,” Omar tweeted. “Trump had the power to save lives and went out of his way not to.”

  • Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein argued President Trump’s interviews with former colleague Bob Woodward are “the smoking gun of his negligence,” accusing Trump of committing “one of the great presidential felonies of all time.”

“We are listening to the president of the United States on tape deliberately undermining the national security of the United States, the health and well being of the people of the United States, and he’s doing this knowingly, in real time.”

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany vehemently denied that President Trump deliberately misled the public on the coronavirus
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t think President Trump was publicly distorting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fauci said Trump’s public press conferences in the early spring mostly echoed what members of the White House coronavirus task force were telling him in private.

During the interview, Fauci stressed that he was speaking about his own conversations and interactions with the president.

  • A Trump administration appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services is trying to prevent Dr. Fauci from speaking about the risks that coronavirus poses to children.

Emails obtained by POLITICO show Paul Alexander — a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs — instructing press officers and others at the National Institutes of Health about what Fauci should say during media interviews.

The emails add to evidence that the White House, and Trump appointees within HHS, are pushing health agencies to promote a political message instead of a scientific one.

  • A new research paper proposes that face coverings have not only proven to be a key preventative measure for slowing the transmission of COVID-19 as the world waits for a safe and effective vaccine, but that mask-wearing could also significantly reduce the severity of the disease in those who become infected and ensure a greater number of infections are asymptomatic. 

The theory is that masks can block a significant number of coronavirus droplets, lowering the dose of virus a person inhales and reducing the chances the person will experience serious illness.

  • Dr. Fauci said the lack of masks at President Trump’s campaign rallies during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is frustrating to him: “We want to set an example.”
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) is urging people to “unmask” and fight back against restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing the policies are “oppressive” and have been worse than the disease itself.

“Government bureaucrats have taken enough freedoms away from us. No more,” he wrote in a tweet calling for an end to masks.

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is supporting the tens of thousands of attendees of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last month, arguing they “exercised personal freedom” to attend and calling a new study tying the rally to $12 billion in public health costs and hundreds of COVID-19 cases “fiction” and an “attack” on bikers.
  • Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, took issue with President Trump’s suggestion that a coronavirus vaccine would be available by Election Day, as he repeatedly sought to reassure senators and the public that a vaccine would not be made available to the public unless it was safe and effective.

“Certainly, to try to predict whether it happens on a particular week before or after a particular date in early November is well beyond anything that any scientist right now could tell you and be confident they know what they are saying,” Dr. Collins told a Senate panel at a hearing on the effort to find a vaccine.

  • The Trump administration intends to end coronavirus screenings of passengers arriving to the United States from overseas, according to three officials familiar with the plans.
  • One in five young adults hospitalized for Covid-19 needs intensive care and 2.7% of them die, according to research published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
  • Olympic volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings is facing a wave of backlash after she said she had a “little exercise in being brave” and went shopping without a face mask, writing in a post that coronavirus guidelines are just “restrictive [and] arbitrarily selective rules.”
  • Hundreds of Austrians have received U.S. coronavirus stimulus checks despite being ineligible, according to a new report, which comes the month after NPR reported thousands of foreigners who once worked in the U.S. had accidentally received checks.
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that it is pausing in-person classes for two weeks to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
  • Restaurants in New York City can reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 30, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, a major milestone in the city’s pandemic recovery.
  • Florida health officials reported 200 resident fatalities, bringing the resident death toll to 12,115
  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that the state’s Covid-19 numbers are “really bad.”

“West Virginia, we are absolutely getting worse by the day. And this situation right now is very critical,” Justice said at a news conference.

  • Kentucky hit a “tough and unfortunate milestone today” with more than 1,000 total deaths recorded from Covid-19, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced in a news conference.
  • California Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove (R) spoke at a Sunday church event that gathered thousands of people in Sacramento, California despite being ordered to quarantine this week after meeting with another lawmaker who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Public health guidelines surrounding Halloween in Los Angeles are being revised from a ban on trick-or-treating, to simply a recommendation that people don’t go door-to-door on Halloween.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • In an interview, award-winning journalist Bob Woodward suggested to President Trump that they have a duty to try to have a better understanding of the “the anger and pain” Black Americans feel. 

In response, Trump said, “No … You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all.”

  • Federal prosecutors filed charges against two men accused of causing civil disorder in attacks on police officers during a night of sometimes violent protests in Rochester, N.Y., over the weekend.

It was at the least the third instance this week in which federal prosecutors intervened in cases where people have been accused of attacking officers during protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Such cases have typically been handled by state prosecutors.

  • Actress Kirstie Alley criticized new requirements by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscars that encourage “equitable representation on and off screen,” with new diversity requirements for certain award nominations, with Alley calling it a “disgrace to artists everywhere” in a tweet that she has since deleted and clarified following backlash.
  • George Washington University African American history professor, Jessica Krug, who admitted in a blog post to posing as Black for years, has resigned from the school.
  • “[Trump’s] hatred for Barack Obama is plain and simple: he’s Black, he went to Harvard Law, he graduated at the top of his class, he’s incredibly articulate, he’s all the things that Donald Trump wants to be,” Michel Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney said. “And he just can’t handle it. So what do you do if you’re Donald Trump and you can’t handle it? You attack it.”
  • American Airlines will permit its employees to wear Black Lives Matter pins while on the job after several Black employees of American Airlines asked if they could wear the pins after seeing workers at other airlines wearing them. 

“Fundamentally, we believe Black Lives Matter is an expression of equality, not a political statement,” a spokesperson for the company said.

  • Lawmakers in Buffalo, N.Y., approved a motion to remove the name of the 13th U.S. President Millard Fillmore from properties owned by the city after renewed attention was brought to his role in approving a fugitive slave act that required officials and citizens in states where slavery was outlawed to help in the return of escaped slaves.
  • The Central Park birder Christian Cooper has written a graphic novel based on his racist confrontation with a white woman captured on video. “It’s a bird,” published digitally by DC Comics, connects racism’s daily humiliations and deadly police brutality.

Trump Administration News

  • President Trump bragged about a supposedly secret new nuclear weapons system in an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, according to excerpts from Woodward’s new book.

“I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about,” Trump told Woodward. “We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before.”

  • In another new revelation, Woodward writes that former Defense Secretary James Mattis told then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that Trump is “unfit” “dangerous” and “has no moral compass” to which Coats agreed, saying: “To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.”
  • President Trump lashed out at generals in a conversation with White House economic adviser Peter Navarro, according to Woodward’s new book.

Trump said “his generals” were “pussies.” 

“Not to mention my fucking generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals,” Trump told Navarro.

  • The United States is cutting troop levels in Iraq roughly in half, to 3,000 forces, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East said.
  • Court testimony from top-ranking Postal Service officials shows that the agency removed 711 mail-sorting machines in 2020, roughly twice the average number that it typically removes each year.
  • Operational changes implemented at the U.S. Postal Service under President Trump are posing potentially “serious health risks” to Americans who rely on prescription drug deliveries, according to a new report.
  • Attorney General William Barr is arguing that the Department of Justice’s move to defend President Trump in the defamation suit brought by author E. Jean Carroll, who accused the president of rape, was a “normal application of the law.”
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there is a “substantial chance” that senior Kremlin officials ordered the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
  • President Trump, who counts his two Supreme Court appointments as among his greatest successes, issued a new list of 20 potential nominees to the court. 
  • A member of the Norwegian Parliament has nominated President Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his role brokering relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Fifteen states are suing the Trump administration over its plan for opening up nearly 1.6 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development, a decision environmentalists warn will be harmful to the climate and animals who live in the refuge.
  • President Trump moved to block oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina until mid-2032, a decade longer than drilling is currently delayed off Florida’s Gulf Coast. It was reported in June that the Trump administration was preparing to allow oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast but would wait to say so until after the election.
  • A whistleblower is alleging that top leaders at the Department of Homeland Security have politicized intelligence by directing agency analysts to downplay threats from violent white supremacists and Russian election interference.The political appointees pushed him to alter intelligence assessments “related to Russian efforts to influence and undermine United States interests” to match President Trump’s public remarks. The whistleblower also alleges he faced retaliation after being pressured to edit intelligence.
  • A report commissioned by federal regulators overseeing the nation’s commodities markets has concluded that climate change threatens U.S. financial markets, as the costs of wildfires, storms, droughts and floods spread through insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and other financial institutions.

“A world wracked by frequent and devastating shocks from climate change cannot sustain the fundamental conditions supporting our financial system,” concluded the report, “Managing Climate Risk in the Financial System.”

Presidential Campaign

  • Vice President Pence and other top officials from President Trump’s campaign are scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Montana next week hosted by a couple who have backed the QAnon conspiracy theory.
  • President Trump’s reelection campaign won’t be able to hold a rally on Saturday in Nevada as planned.

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority has sent a letter to the company that runs the hangar that is set to be the venue for the 5,000 person rally this weekend, saying the event “may not proceed,” citing Nevada’s restrictions on public gatherings.

  • Joe Biden unveiled a plan that would punish companies that send jobs overseas. The “Made in America” tax policy would provide tax credits that keep manufacturing jobs on U.S. soil.
  • Longtime Republican election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg issued a blunt rebuke to GOP claims of widespread voter fraud as President Trump looks to cast doubt over election procedures heading into November.

“The president’s rhetoric has put my party in the position of a firefighter who deliberately sets fires to look like a hero putting them out. Calling elections ‘fraudulent’ and results ‘rigged’ with almost nonexistent evidence is antithetical to being the ‘rule of law’ party.”

  • A New Hampshire woman voting in the state’s primary election this week voted topless after she was told that she couldn’t wear a “McCain Hero, Trump Zero” shirt to cast her ballot.

A local official said she “took it off so fast, no one had time to react so the whole place just went, ‘Woah,’ and she walked away, and I let her vote. She could’ve just gone into the hallway and turned it inside-out.”

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 22,548 new cases and 362 additional deaths.
  • More than 266,000 coronavirus cases of the 1.4 million new cases in the U.S. between Aug. 2 and Sept. 2 can be traced back to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held in South Dakota.
  • More than 513,000 U.S. children have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • Stay-at-home orders helped with a reduction in spread of Covid-19, according to new research published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Network Open.
  • Nine pharmaceutical companies issued a rare joint pledge seeking to reassure the public about the safety and efficacy of their potential vaccines for coronavirus. The unprecedented statement comes amid fears that President Trump is placing political pressure on the FDA to have a vaccine ready before Election Day.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech are confident they can have a vaccine against the novel coronavirus ready for regulatory approval by the middle of October, BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin has told CNN.
  • Phase 3 trials for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca have been placed on hold after a ‘serious adverse event’ was reported in a participant in the UK.
  • Colleges and universities should try their best to isolate students infected with Covid-19 on campus rather than sending them home, so that they don’t infect other students or take the virus home with them, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested. 
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co is investigating employees and customers who may have been involved in the misuse of federal funds meant to help small businesses and other customers hurt by COVID-19 shutdowns.

The bank said it had found cases of customers “misusing Paycheck Protection Program loans, unemployment benefits, and other government programs,” according to the memo, which was verified by a bank spokeswoman.

  • The Republican coronavirus relief bill includes a $300 per week federal unemployment benefit through the end of the year, another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, and liability protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

The bill will need 60 votes to overcome Thursday’s procedural hurdle, something it is not expected to get.

  • Less than a week after welcoming back students, an elementary school in Ohio shifted to online-only classes after its principal and a teacher tested positive for COVID-19.

The Mentor Public School district in Lake County, Ohio announced the cases in a letter to parents over Labor Day weekend.

  • Japan’s Olympics minister said the already rescheduled 2020 games must take place next year despite concerns over the coronavirus: “The athletes are all working towards the event next year. By all means necessary, I think we have to go ahead with the games.”
  • Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut said it has postponed the opening of schools for both in person and online learning Tuesday, citing a ransomware virus that caused an outage of critical systems within the network infrastructure.
  • In a new interview, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) blamed President Trump for New York’s coronavirus outbreak, saying: “Donald Trump caused the COVID outbreak in New York. That is a fact. It’s a fact that he admitted, and the CDC admitted, and Fauci admitted.”
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said restaurants can increase their indoor capacity to 50% beginning Sept. 21.
  • The University of Tennessee is having a “significant issue” with a small portion of its study body, particularly fraternities, in combating the spread of Covid-19 on campus.
  • As Iowa emerges as the current hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she has no immediate plans to enact stricter guidelines regardless of health experts’ recommendations that bars close and mask mandates be enforced.
  • The University of Iowa Athletics Department has announced it is resuming voluntary and mandatory student-athlete workouts.

Eight days ago, the university had halted all sports programs after reporting 93 positive Covid-19 tests within the athletics community.

  • Colorado will launch a partnership with Apple and Google to allow for Covid-19 exposure notifications on cell phones for contact tracing in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced Tuesday.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Rochester, New York Police Chief La’Ron Singletary announced that he will step down amid ongoing protests in the city in response to the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation in March after local police put a hood over his head and pressed his head to a street for two minutes.
  • More than 1,000 pro-Trump protesters gathered near Portland to express support for the president on Monday. Some of the demonstrators, which included members of white nationalist extremist groups, were armed with rifles, pistols, knives and clubs.
  • Six months after Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers, the city is getting its first Black female chief of police, as Yvette Gentry, a former Louisville Metro Police deputy chief, is coming out of retirement to serve in an interim capacity as the city faces unrest over Taylor’s death.
  • Since its launch June 1, Denver’s new Support Team Assistance Response program, which sends a mental health professional and a paramedic to some 911 calls instead of police, has responded to more than 350 calls, replacing police in matters that don’t threaten public safety and are often connected to unmet mental or physical needs. The goal is to connect people who pose no danger with services and resources while freeing up police to respond to other calls. The team, which is not armed, has not called police for backup
  • After hearing the book, “Ron’s Big Mission,” written about Astronaut Ron McNair – the only Black member of the 1986 NASA Challenger crew – read during a second grade Zoom class, a Missouri parent complained to the school about the book’s content. 

The book focuses on McNair’s fight to get a library card in segregated South Carolina when he was a child growing up there in the 1950s.

The Rockwood School District responded to a parent’s complaint about a book by having it read to the entire school. 

Trump Administration

  • Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the Army said that military leaders only recommend sending troops to combat as a “last resort” after President Trump said Pentagon leaders support war to bolster the defense industry.

Pressed on private industry’s influence on the decision to go to war, McConville said military officers take very seriously their recommendations on whether to send troops into combat.

“I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security, and in the last resort,” he continued. “We take this very, very seriously in how we make our recommendations.”

  • The Atlantic’s Jeffery Goldberg said that he believes “fear on a kind of superficial level of a Twitter mob” and a “fear of personal safety” kept his anonymous sources from going public with their allegations that President Trump called fallen service members “losers” and “suckers” in 2018.

“On one hand they don’t want to interfere in democratic electoral processes. On the other hand, you are talking about a president who is unlike anything they have ever experienced.”

  • Military members will be forced to take part in President Trump’s payroll tax deferral and will not be able to opt out of it, the payroll services provider for the Department of Defense said. The deferral is not forgiving the taxes, which people will be forced to pay back at a later date with an even larger amount of pay withheld as taxes in the new year.
  • The Justice Department is seeking to take over the defense of President Trump in a defamation suit brought by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who claims Trump raped her two decades ago.

In a court filing, the DOJ said Trump was acting “within the scope” of his job as president when he said Carroll lied about the incident, prompting her lawsuit. The U.S. also moved the case to Manhattan federal court from a New York state court, where a judge last month denied his request to stall the suit.

  • Two House sub-committees have launched an investigation into a suspicious string of recent soldier deaths at Fort Hood, Texas, one of the military’s most troubled installations, with an average of 129 felonies committed annually between 2014 and 2019, including cases of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump is trying to scare suburban voters into re-electing him. The strategy didn’t help Republicans in 2018, but both parties think that fear — over crime, street violence and economic security — could resonate more this year.
  • A North Carolina court dramatically expanded the number of voters eligible to participate in the 2020 election. The state may not disenfranchise citizens who owe fines, fees, and other debts from a felony conviction, the Wake County Superior Court ruled.
  • President Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen claims in his new book that then-Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump in 2016 was a “favor” connected with Cohen suppressing explicit photos of Falwell.

In a recording, Cohen says he stopped “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” from being leaked. “I actually have one of the photos, it’s terrible.”

  • Following reports about the Trump campaign facing a cash crunch as election day draws nearer, President Trump told reporters “If we needed any more, I would put it up personally, like I did in the primaries last time,” adding, “whatever it takes, we have to win.”
  • While some news outlets and pundits claim that there are no “hidden Trump voters,” both a recent study and circumstantial evidence support that they do exist. If Trump’s true support is underestimated by two or three points, that is within the margin of error of most 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: 6 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 28,477 new cases and 224 additional deaths. 
  • The pandemic peaked once in late April before settling at about 20,000 new cases a day. When the country rushed to reopen, the virus pounced, this time in the South. Infections peaked again around July 24, at a whopping 60,000 cases daily and then slowly flattened to around 40,000 now. That’s still dangerously high; one influential model just upped its estimate for U.S. deaths by January to more than 400,000 — just over double the current death toll of nearly 190,000.
  • Despite initial reports warning people that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted from contaminated surfaces, the CDC has told Americans in no uncertain terms that the virus is primarily transmitted person-to-person, through breathing, speaking, shouting and singing. While it may be possible to catch the coronavirus from a doorknob or a package, it’s a long shot. 

The most important things that will help avoid catching the virus? Wearing masks, staying more than six feet apart, avoiding enclosed spaces.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said a mask mandate is the “single biggest weapon” in fighting coronavirus. 

  • In a racially charged tweet, the president stated without any evidence: “Starting to get VERY high marks in our handling of the Coronavirus (China Virus), especially when compared to other countries and areas of the world. Now the Vaccines (Plus) are coming, and fast!”
  • President Trump, accused by Joe Biden of putting lives at risk in his handling of the coronavirus, on Monday called his Democratic rival “stupid.”
  • President Trump suggested Kamala Harris is sabotaging a prospective coronavirus vaccine for political ends.

He argued that his political foes are using the unprecedented rapid speed of vaccine research to attack him, creating doubts that may mean people are afraid to take it.

Harris told CNN over the weekend that she would not necessarily trust a vaccine approved by the Trump administration before Election Day, unless a “credible” source agreed it was safe.

  • For the sixth consecutive week the NHL reported zero positive COVID-19 tests during the Phase 4 portion of its Return To Play plan.
  • Despite the rising numbers of coronavirus cases in France, the French Tennis Federation announced the 2020 French Open will be open to fans on a limited basis when play begins later this month.
  • The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World and other hotels are trying to corner the stressed-out parent market by tempting them with “schoolcation” promotions.

Overnight hotel guests can send their child to supervised schoolwork sessions in settings that promise natural light, private terraces and ample physical distancing between each desk.

Monday through Friday, guests can choose from a half-day or full-day school schedule, at $50 and $100.

  • Classes for undergraduate students at West Virginia University will move online amid concerns about a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • An officer-involved shooting of a 13-year-old autistic boy, who is recovering in the hospital after getting shot several times, is under investigation with the Salt Lake City Police Department. The boy’s mother, Golda Barton, said she was the one who called the police and asked for a crisis intervention team. She said her son, who has Asperger’s, was having a mental breakdown.

On the phone with officers, Barton told officers the best way to approach her son: “I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming. He’s a kid, he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.”

A police spokesman said he knew of no indication that there was a weapon found. 

  • Six naked, or near-naked, demonstrators gathered early Monday morning in downtown Rochester, in upstate New York, wearing “spit hoods” over their heads in solidarity with Daniel Prude, a Black man who died there in March days after police put a mesh hood over his head as he knelt naked and restrained on the street.
  • Following a pro-Trump car rally, participants congregated at the Oregon State Capitol Building, some carried firearms and baseball bats. The pro-Trump group attacked a counterprotester with a baseball bat and pepper spray. After a second similar attack, Salem police officers and Oregon State Police troopers arrested at least two men with the conservative demonstrators.
  • In her first visit to a battleground state since she became the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) met privately in Wisconsin on Monday with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot repeatedly in the back by police officers.

Family members at the meeting included Mr. Blake’s father and sisters; his mother and Mr. Blake himself participated by phone.

  • Vice President Mike Pence used a Labor Day visit to Wisconsin to attack JoeBiden for criticizing law enforcement, claiming that Mr. Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, would perpetuate “policies that have literally led to violence in our major American cities.”

Pence scorned Biden for not criticizing Democratic mayors or mentioning Antifa by name in his condemnation of violence.

The vice president said Mr. Trump had “quelled the violence” by sending in federal troops to assist local law enforcement.

While acknowledging that the police use of force should be “thoroughly investigated,” Pence did not mention Mr. Blake and instead focused on the violent aftermath of his shooting.

“Rioting and looting is not peaceful protest, burning businesses is not free speech,” he said, vowing that those who do so “will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.”

  • According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, a majority of Americans believe that Joe Biden would do a better job handling protests, along with reducing violence in the country, and handling racial discrimination. At the same time, over half feel that what President Trump has said about the protests makes the situation worse.
  • Professional tennis player Naomi Osaka donned a mask bearing the name of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Black teenager who was killed by George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012, ahead of her U.S. Open match. 
  • Nearly 20% of new Covid-19 cases in Kentucky are from children ages 18 and younger, according to a news release issued by Gov. Andy Beshear’s office.

Trump Administration

  • Trump said today that he would be open to investigating the head of the U.S. Postal Service over allegations of campaign finance violations. He also said he’d be OK with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s dismissal if he were found to have violated campaign finance law.
  • Trump accused the United States’ military leadership of being beholden to arms manufacturers, in an attack on his own administration only days after reports that he had mocked fallen soldiers.

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: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Administration

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

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

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

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

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

Presidential Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Racial & Social Issues

  • An overwhelming 93 percent of demonstrations held this summer were peaceful, according to a new report. The report found that, even when protests that turned violent, destruction was “largely confined to specific blocks, rather than dispersed throughout the city.”
  • As part of efforts to remove “violent social militias” from its social networks, Facebook removed the pages of U.S. right-wing group Patriot Prayer and its founder Joey Gibson. 

Patriot Prayer has hosted dozens of pro-gun, pro-Trump rallies and attendees have repeatedly clashed with left-wing groups around Portland, Oregon, where one group supporter was killed this week.

  • Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie praised 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with a count of intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of two men at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, saying he “exhibited incredible restraint” by not firing all his rounds into the crowd.
  • A group of Black Lives Matter protesters who planned to spray paint the phrase on the Atlantic City Boardwalk during a demonstration Friday instead joined the mayor to create the mural elsewhere during a city-sponsored event.

Mayor Marty Small offered to paint the slogan – a symbol of opposition to police brutality against Black people – on the pavement of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of the city’s Civil Rights Garden. BLM organizer Steve Young accepted the proposal.

  • The White House Office of Management and Budget has directed federal agencies to cancel employee racial sensitivity training that may be “divisive” and “un-American.” The memo specifically notes training sessions that discuss “white privilege” or “critical race theory” and orders all contracts that can be legally canceled to be ended.
  • The city council of Lexington, Virgina voted unanimously to approve the name change of the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, the final resting place of the Confederate general.
  • Texas Assistant Attorney General Nick Moutos said he was ousted from his position after posting tweets in support of the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon. He also made anti-LGBT comments, specifically about the trans community, writing that “trans people’ are an abomination and have a mental disorder.”
  • Two Missouri men were arrested at a Wisconsin hotel with an AR-15, a shotgun, handguns and magazines, as well as a dagger and saw. They are allegedly members of an organization called the 417 Second Amendment Militia and court documents included photos of one posing with a gun in front of a pro-law enforcement Blue Lives Matter flag.

Trump Administration

  • The president disputed a report in The Atlantic that alleged he had asked for disabled veterans be excluded from military parades and had called American war dead “losers.”
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper today defended Trump after an article alleged that the president disparaged the troops. Esper’s statement stopped short of an outright denial of the article’s explosive allegations.
  • “The military, the veterans I’ve talked to tonight, they are furious about this and they can’t understand why people are still supporting this individual who is doing these kinds of things,” Retired Lt. General Mark Hertling said in an interview.
  • Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean slammed President Trump, directly addressing Trump in a tweet that read: “My brother was captured in Laos in September of 1974 and executed by the North Vietnamese on December 14, 1974. Fuck you, Donald Trump.”
  • Army veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) roasted President Trump over his reported comments disparaging fallen US soldiers, citing injuries she sustained in the line of duty.

“I take my wheelchair and my titanium legs over Donald Trump supposed bone spurs any day.”

  • Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said he didn’t hear Trump refer to slain American soldiers buried at a French cemetery as “losers” and “suckers” after the allegations were made in a bombshell report. 

“I’m not saying he didn’t say them later in the day or another time”, but I was there for that discussion.”

  • The Pentagon ordered Stars and Stripes, a newspaper (which also publishes online) that has been a lifeline and a voice for American troops since the Civil War, to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15  including “specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.”

“The last newspaper publication (in all forms) will be September 30, 2020,” writes Col. Paul Haverstick Jr., the memo’s author.

A coalition of Republican and Democratic senators are calling on the Defense Department to reinstate funding for Stars and Stripes.

  • President Trump vowed that funding wouldn’t be cut from the 159-year-old military newspaper Stars and Stripes after a leaked memo revealed that the Pentagon had inexplicably ordered the publication to close. “It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!” he tweeted.
  • President Trump cast doubt that leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned in an assassination attempt in Siberia, saying he is waiting to review the evidence.

“We haven’t had any proof yet,” Trump said during a briefing at the White House.

The president’s remarks came hours after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said there is “proof beyond doubt” that Navalny was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent. The NATO head called it a violation of international law that required an international response.

  • The unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, marking the fourth month of declines even as the pace of job growth is slowing.

Economists warn of further layoffs through the fall especially if the White House fails to reach a deal on new stimulus relief, as an expected drop in consumer spending, the expiration of a small business relief program, and other factors could spur a wave of business closures across the country.

  • A federal judge ruled the Trump administration to stop detaining migrant children at hotels prior to deporting them.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said the practice violated “fundamental humanitarian protections” and ran afoul of a 20-year rule dictating the treatment of migrant children in government custody. The order mandates border agencies to halt the placement of children in hotels by Sept. 15 and remove those already there as soon as possible.

  • The Trump administration is proposing a massive sale that would allow logging across thousands of acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, which critics say will exacerbate climate change and harm wildlife habitat. The Tongass National Forest. like the Amazon Rainforest, is a major carbon sink, meaning its trees soak up carbon from the atmosphere, mitigating the impacts of climate change.
  • President Trump announced Friday he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz.
  • A draft report from the Department of Homeland Security says White supremacists present the gravest domestic terror threat to the United States — ranking them higher than foreign terrorist groups.

Presidential Campaign

  • Joe Biden denounced the QAnon conspiracy theory as “dangerous” and “embarrassing,” suggesting those that support it seek mental health treatment.
  • Iowa is sending all active registered voters an absentee ballot application for the Nov. 3 general election this weekend.

“You can vote from home, you can vote in-person at your county auditor’s office, or at the polls on Election Day. The key is we want every eligible Iowan to participate and to be safe while voting,” Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) said in a statement.

  • The first ballots of the 2020 presidential election were sent to voters on Friday as North Carolina elections officials begin processing what they expect to be a record number of absentee requests.
  • Despite claiming in a federal lawsuit it filed against Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that New Jersey’s mostly vote-by-mail election on Nov. 3 is an unconstitutional “recipe for disaster,” the Trump campaign has not taken any additional steps to actually stop the state‘s plans.
  • Navajo Nation residents in the swing-state of Arizona brought a lawsuit to extend mail-in voting deadlines. The Trump campaign is asking a federal judge to allow it to intervene against the tribe, arguing it is unfair and “could affect the campaign’s chance of success in the state.”
  • President Trump lashed out at the news media, accusing them of asking Democratic candidate Joe Biden easier questions.
  • The Fraternal Order of the Police, the nation’s largest police union, again endorsed President Trump and praised his calls for law and order.
  • A group of more than 175 current and formal law enforcement officials have endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, including dozens of former Attorneys General, U.S. attorneys, local police chiefs and sheriffs.

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 – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 3 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 51,513 new cases and 1,070 additional deaths.
  • A University of Washington forecasting model often cited by experts and used by the White House has revised its prediction of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., now estimating  410,451 by Jan. 1. 

The model says that as many as 122,000 of those deaths could be avoided with safety measures, including near-universal mask use, but it warns that easing restrictions could cause the death toll to be more than 620,000.

  • Joe Biden was asked to weigh in on President Trump’s mockery of Biden’s use of face masks while in public.

Biden said, “It’s hard to respond to something so idiotic.” “I’m a smart fella,” Biden said. “I listen to scientists. This is not a game.”

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he and his family are still being harassed regularly.

“Things have not gotten better with regard to the hassles from the far extreme people who make threats, both to me, my family, my wife and my daughters,” Fauci told CNN.

  • Fauci said he’s not sure what President Trump is talking about when he told a White House news conference that the country is “rounding the corner” on the pandemic.
  • President Trump has consistently pressed officials to speed up their timeline for developing a vaccine, administration officials said, saying the President appeared intent on being able to deliver at least the solid promise of an effective vaccine by the time he faces reelection.

Trump has repeatedly complained that some officials at federal health agencies are actively working to stymie his reelection chances by slow-walking announcements that might project forward momentum.

  • Conspiracy theories and the lack of messaging on the federal level are contributing to large numbers of Covid-19 patients refusing to tell public health workers who they’ve had contact with, thwarting state efforts to slow disease spread at a fragile turnaround in the pandemic. 
  • President Trump again suggested that a Covid vaccine would “probably” be available in October, contradicting assessments this week by top health officials who have said that timetable would be very unlikely.
  • FEMA changed their policy for reimbursements stating, “the operation of schools and other public facilities” are no longer considered “emergency protective measures eligible for reimbursement.” “These are not immediate actions necessary to protect public health and safety.”

The new rule means city and state governments will no longer be able to receive FEMA reimbursements for sanitizing buses, subway cars, schools, public housing complexes and courthouses, among other facilities.

And cash-strapped city and state governments also won’t be able to use FEMA funds to buy temperature scanners or PPE for non-medical professionals like MTA workers and teachers.

  • Public health experts say they’re worried the flu season this fall could dramatically exacerbate coronavirus cases and deaths, but President Trump declared at a press briefing on Friday that the U.S. is still “rounding the turn” and people and the economy are recovering.
  • A federal judge on Friday ruled that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ effort to boost the amount of emergency pandemic relief that flows to private school students is illegal and struck down the policy.
  • Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced today that “there will be school sports in the state of Rhode Island this fall.”
  • Full-contact high school football is suspended for the fall semester, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced.

The conference said it would work in conjunction with coaches to provide football players with “the best low risk and moderate experiences possible,” though it was not immediately clear what those would be.

  • A federal appeals court found that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) could exempt churches and other religious organizations from a 50-person cap on most in-person gatherings, while leaving the cap in place for political events.

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