The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID 19 Update

  • The CDC reported 74,710 cases, and 918 new deaths on Saturday.
  • The number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. is up 19.7% from last week and the national death count is up 19%.
  • National fatality rate is now 3.8% and the test-positivity rate saw a slight increase to 10.1% from 9.8% the previous week.
  • 13% of COVID-19 inpatients are on a ventilator.
  • 32% of in-use ventilators across the U.S. are occupied by COVID-19 patients. At the coronavirus peak in April, it was 45%. In early June, it was down to 17%.
  • There were 259,848 new Covid-19 cases reported worldwide to the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours. 
  • The FDA announced it has issued an emergency use authorization that allows Quest Diagnostics to pool samples from up to four individuals to test for Covid-19.

Pooling allows multiple people to be tested at once. The samples are collected and then tested in a pool or “batch” using just one test. If the pool tests positive, this means one of or more of the people tested in that pool may be infected with the virus. Each of the samples would then have to be tested again individually.

  • The Trump administration is reportedly attempting to block billions of dollars for contact tracing, funding for the CDC and other nationwide coronavirus efforts that could be included in Congress’ next coronavirus relief package.
  • The Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases urged medical professionals to stop using hydroxychloroquine on patients to treat coronavirus, emphasizing that clinicians should focus on effective therapies.
  • Speaking at his first “Tele-Rally,” President Trump acknowledged to supporters in Wisconsin that the telephonic town hall will be replacing his large, in-person campaign rallies.

“Until [the coronavirus pandemic] gets solved it’s going to be tough to have those big massive rallies, so I’m doing telephonic rallies, and we’ll call them the Trump Rallies, but we’ll do it by telephone.”

  • Canada will not allow the Toronto Blue Jays to play in Toronto due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • West Virginia University announced 28 football players have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont are the only states that meet the basic criteria to reopen and stay safe.
  • Nineteen states set single-day records for the cases this week.

The states that set records this week were Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

  • New Jersey reported 309 new cases of Covid-19 and 16 additional deaths.
  • New York state added 754 Covid-19 cases and 11 new fatalities.
  • Florida’s health officials reported 10,328 new cases of Covid-19 and 90 new deaths on Saturday.
  • More than 9,100 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized in Florida, up over 2,000 in eight days. 
  • Florida has obtained more remdesivir and added self-swab tests as Covid-19 cases continue to climb in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced.
  • Intensive care units in Miami-Dade County are at 122% capacity. Ventilator use increased by 64%.
  • Indiana recorded 854 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, its second highest daily increase.
  • Indianapolis Public Schools will push back the start date for public schools another two weeks to August 17.
  • Kentucky reported 583 new cases, the state’s second-highest single-day total. The state reported nine deaths.
  • For a fifth day in a row, Texas has reported more than 10,000 new cases, with 10,158 new cases registered on Saturday. 130 more deaths were reported.
  • Hospitalizations reached a new high for the state of Texas with 10,658.
  • Arizona teachers are pushing for Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to postpone in-person classes until at least October as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the state.

Protests/Race Relations

  • Federal officers, clad in unmarked military fatigues and driving unmarked vans, have reportedly been abruptly grabbing and detaining protesters in Portland, as the tension between the forces sent to protect federal property and demonstrators continues.
  • The mayor of Portland demanded Friday that President Donald Trump remove militarized federal agents he deployed to the city after some detained people on streets far from federal property they were sent to protect.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for deploying federal law enforcement to Portland, OR.
  • The US Attorney for the Oregon District on Friday requested an investigation into masked, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges who are arresting protesters in Portland.

The request is aimed specifically at the Department of Homeland Security personnel who have been captured on various videos arresting protesters and putting them in unmarked SUVs.

  • Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar (D) is calling for the resignation of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf after federal authorities reportedly used unmarked vehicles to detain protesters and deployed tear gas in Portland, Oregon.
  • The federal agents deployed to Portland amid nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd reportedly did not have riot and mass crowd control training.
  • The Pentagon released a new policy that would ban the display of the Confederate battle flag without explicitly mentioning it.
  • The three white men charged with the murder of a Black jogger in the U.S. state of Georgia pleaded not guilty on Friday in a case that led to a national outcry after a cellphone video of the shooting surfaced on the internet.
  • Two white men were charged with battery on Friday after an alleged attempted lynching that was caught on video at a southern Indiana lake over Independence Day weekend.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection has fired four employees and suspended dozens of others as part of an investigation into their participation in Facebook groups full of racist and sexist content.
  • Eighty-seven protesters who were arrested earlier this week while calling for justice for Breonna Taylor have had felony charges against them dismissed, the Louisville Courier Journal reported on Friday. They do still, however, face misdemeanor charges.

The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department had arrested the protesters on Tuesday outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R), where they were calling for charges against the police officers who fatally shot Taylor. They were charged with intimidating a participant in the legal process, a felony that could result in up to five years in prison, as well as two misdemeanors.

  • In the wake of Rep. John Lewis’s death, social media users are renewing a call to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., after the civil rights icon instead of the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader.

Trump Administration News

  • A watchdog group filed a complaint against White House adviser Ivanka Trump for a photo pushing products from Goya Foods, accusing the president’s eldest daughter of violating ethics laws that prohibit government employees from using their positions to endorse products.
  • Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Friday sued the Trump administration for its recent rollback of Obama-era health protections given to the LGBTQ community under the Affordable Care Act.
  • A federal judge on Friday upheld a California program that caps carbon emissions from the transportation sector after the Trump administration sued the state over it.

Presidential Campaign

  • Priorities USA, one of the most prominent Democratic groups supporting Joe Biden, raised $36.6 million from April through June and had its biggest fundraising quarter of the cycle.
  • President Trump’s reelection campaign is conducting an internal review of spending irregularities overseen by Brad Parscale, its recently demoted 2020 campaign manager.
  • The St. Louis couple who brandished an assault rifle and pistol as protesters marched through the streets of their neighborhood appeared as guest stars during a virtual Trump campaign event. 

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