Trump Administration, Week 179: Friday, 19 June – Thursday, 25 June 2020 (Days 1,246-1,252)

75-year-old Buffalo protester pushed to the ground by Buffalo police officers on Thursday, 4 June 2020.

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 19 June 2020, Day 1,246:

 

Race and Policing: Court Allows Trump’s Tulsa Rally to Go Ahead, The New York Times, Friday, 19 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Black Tulsans, With a Defiant Juneteenth Celebration, Send a Message to Trump, The New York Times, Astead W. Herndon, Friday, 19 June 2020: “In a city that has become known as a landmark to black pain, Friday was a day for black joy. More than a thousand people gathered along Greenwood Avenue — the site of one of America’s worst racist attacks — to celebrate Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates when enslaved black Americans in Texas formally learned of emancipation. The end of a centuries-long massacre. In any year, Juneteenth in Tulsa means something different than it does in other cities, according to black residents. The exuberance more palpable, the music more soulful, against the backdrop of the 1921 white riot that killed an estimated 300 black Tulsans and destroyed the area once known as ‘Black Wall Street.’ ‘We’re celebrating the emancipation of slaves, but we’re really celebrating the idea of being black,’ said Jacquelyn Simmons, who has lived in Tulsa for 45 years. ‘We love it and we love us.’ But this was not any year. Organizers planned to cancel their annual Juneteenth celebration amid the national coronavirus pandemic. Then President Trump announced a campaign rally in the city, originally slated to be held on the Friday holiday but later moved to Saturday evening. With that event looming, and national protests raging about racial injustice and police brutality, what was typically a celebration of resilience had transformed into one of defiance. ‘Black Lives Matter’ was painted in bright yellow letters across Greenwood Avenue. Attendees said they were celebrating not only how black ancestors were freed from enslavement, but also the persistence of black Americans today — from a pandemic that has disproportionately affected black communities, police departments that disproportionately kill black people, and a president who has shown little willingness to acknowledge the reality of both.” See also, Black leaders in Tulsa are outraged by Trump’s planned rally during a pandemic: ‘We are dealing with the virus of racism and the virus of covid-19, The Washington Post, DeNeen L. Brown, Friday, 19 June 2020: “The historic church that once sheltered black Tulsans escaping one of the deadliest massacres in U.S. history has shut its doors for the Juneteenth holiday weekend, said the Rev. Robert Turner. It will provide only ‘essential services’ such as feeding the hungry and serving people’s spiritual needs, said Turner, pastor of Vernon A.M.E. Church. Hosting President Trump, he said, is not essential. The president arrives in Tulsa on Saturday for his first campaign rally since much of the nation locked down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The event has drawn outrage from black Tulsans, who say it will stoke tensions — in a city still trying to make amends for the 1921 attack on a historic black community — during a weekend that celebrates freedom for enslaved black people and amid nationwide protests over racism in policing. When Turner heard that Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) had offered to give Trump a tour of the historic Greenwood district, where as many as 300 black residents were slaughtered, he was furious. ‘We are not doing tours,’ he said. ‘Juneteenth is our community holiday.'” See also, Vice President Mike Pence Won’t Say the Words ‘Black Lives Matter’ in an Interview, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Friday, 19 June 2020: “Vice President Mike Pence twice refused to say that ‘black lives matter’ during an interview on a Philadelphia television station on Friday, insisting instead that ‘all lives matter in a very real sense.’ Mr. Pence also claimed during the interview with 6ABC Action News that Americans had cherished the idea that everyone is created equal ‘from the founding of this nation,’ an assertion that ignores the institution of slavery during the first 100 years of the country’s history. The vice president’s comments came on Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in America. And he refused to specifically say that black lives matter at a time when the country is convulsing in outrage about racial injustice at the hands of the police following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last month. President Trump has been under fire for weeks for his response to protests in cities across the nation in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death. His tweets calling for aggressive action by the police to quell violence have angered activists. And earlier this month, his administration ordered the police to clear protesters from streets near the White House before Mr. Trump held a photo op at a church.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 19 June 2020: Brazil Passes 1 Million Coronavirus Cases, Adding 54,000 in a Day. The W.H.O. warns of a ‘new and dangerous phase’ of the pandemic as cases rise in 81 countries. Face masks become a political flash point. The New York Times, Friday, 19 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 179, Friday, 19 June – Thursday, 25 June 2020 (Days 1,246-1,252)

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 19 June: As coronavirus surges across the South and West, Texas mayors plead with residents to wear masks, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Katie Mettler, Derek Hawkins, Miriam Berger, Samantha Pell, ad Marisa Iati, Friday, 19 June 2020: “Nine Texas mayors wrote a letter to the states’ residents this week, urging them to wear masks. Coronavirus cases in Texas continue to surge and the number of hospitalizations has been climbing since late May. ‘The virus is here,’ says the letter, which San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (I) shared Friday. ‘Infections are rising. Hospital capacity is filling up. This isn’t meant to scare you, but it is meant to be very honest. The virus doesn’t leave just because our collective urgency has gone away. We’re not playing games or politics,’ Nirenberg added. As cases and hospitalizations rise in states across the South and West, new mask requirements are prompting faceoffs between officials who seek to require face coverings and those, particularly conservatives, who oppose such measures. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend their use as a protective measure.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The World Health Organization warned Friday that ‘the world is in a new and dangerous phase’ as the global pandemic accelerates. The world recorded about 150,000 new cases on Thursday, the largest rise yet in a single day, according to the WHO. More than 8.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 454,000 deaths have been reported worldwide.
  • Case numbers hit record highs Friday in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and South Carolina as infections continue to surge in the South and West. Tulsa County in Oklahoma — where President Trump plans to hold a campaign rally Saturday — also hit a record high Friday.
  • The CDC said Thursday that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus could rise to as high as 145,000 by July 11, meaning as many as 26,000 Americans could die in the next few weeks.
  • Brazil exceeded 1 million coronavirus cases Friday as the country continues to battle the world’s second-highest number of confirmed infections, after the United States. Deaths officially related to covid-19 are quickly approaching 50,000 in Brazil.
  • The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a legal bid to stop Trump’s Tulsa rally over health concerns. The rally, which is expected to draw 19,000 people to the BOK Center in Tulsa, could worsen the pandemic in the city.
  • Capt. Brett Crozier’s removal from command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he questioned the Navy’s handling of the outbreak on his ship has been upheld by Navy leaders.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump threatens Tulsa protesters as mayor lifts curfew, Politico, Quint Forgey, Friday, 19 June 2020: “President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to thwart protesters and others who might seek to sabotage his rally this weekend in Tulsa, Okla. — echoing the hard-line rhetoric he has employed in response to mass demonstrations across the country against police brutality and racial injustice. ‘Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,’ Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘It will be a much different scene!’ Trump, who does not control local law enforcement in Oklahoma, did not elaborate on what type of resistance those who gather in opposition to his presence in Tulsa might encounter. The president’s social media post comes after Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued an executive order Thursday declaring a civil emergency and imposing curfews for parts of downtown to be in effect before and after Trump’s rally Saturday in the city’s 19,000-seat BOK Center and a 40,000-capacity convention center nearby. However, on Friday afternoon Trump announced the curfew would be lifted on Friday night and Saturday night for supporters attending the rally.”

Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, top members of coronavirus task force, advised against Trump’s Tulsa rally, NBC News, Monica Alba, Carol El Lee, and Kristen Walker, Friday, 19 June 2020: “Leading members of the coronavirus task force warned White House officials about the health risks of holding large-scale indoor campaign rallies and advised against such mass gatherings, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx both vocalized concerns internally in the last week about the safety of holding a rally on Saturday with as many as 19,000 people in an enclosed arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But President Donald Trump and his campaign advisers are proceeding with the event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands inside and outside the venue who will neither be socially distant nor required to wear face coverings. They claim attendees ‘assume a personal risk’ and ‘that is part of life.'”

Vice President Mike Pence Overstates Coronavirus Supplies Delivered by Administration’s ‘Airbridge’ Program, The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Ballhaus, Friday, 19 June 2020: “Vice President Mike Pence has overstated the amount of coronavirus-related medical equipment distributed by a Trump administration program on multiple occasions, according to public data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an Opinion article published by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Mr. Pence praised the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, and singled out Project Airbridge, a public-private partnership championed by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Mr. Pence wrote that as of June 12, Project Airbridge had delivered more than 143 million N95 masks, 598 million surgical and procedural masks, 20 million eye and face shields, 265 million gowns and coveralls and 14 billion gloves. According to FEMA data, through June 18 the program had delivered 1.5 million N95 masks, 113.4 million surgical masks, 2.5 million face shields, 50.9 million gowns, 1.4 million coveralls and 937 million gloves. The total number of those supplies is about 7%—or one-thirteenth—of the numbers cited in Mr. Pence’s article.

Supreme Court LGBT Ruling Leaves Out 1 in 6 American Workers, The Washington Post, Erik Larson and Jeff Green | Bloomberg, Friday, 19 June 2020: “The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision holding that employers can’t discriminate against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity has a glaring loophole: It doesn’t apply to small businesses that employ as many as one in six Americans. A 1960s-era ban on sex discrimination in the workplace was extended to millions of LGBT workers with the court’s 6-3 decision on Monday — the most significant LGBT ruling since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015. But the law doesn’t cover companies with fewer than 15 employees. Nor did the decision address other civil rights questions, such as whether LGBT people can be refused access to housing or denied services from businesses including restaurants or movie theaters, and whether discrimination is justified by religious beliefs.”

The Department of Homeland Security Watched George Floyd Protests in 15 Cities Using Aerial Surveillance, The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Friday, 19 June 2020: “The Department of Homeland Security deployed helicopters, airplanes and drones over 15 cities where demonstrators gathered to protest the death of George Floyd, logging at least 270 hours of surveillance, far more than previously revealed, according to Customs and Border Protection data. The department’s dispatching of unmanned aircraft over protests in Minneapolis last month sparked a congressional inquiry and widespread accusations that the federal agency had infringed on the privacy rights of demonstrators. But that was just one piece of a nationwide operation that deployed resources usually used to patrol the U.S. border for smugglers and illegal crossings. Aircraft filmed demonstrations in Dayton, Ohio; New York City; Buffalo and Philadelphia, among other cities, sending video footage in real time to control centers managed by Air and Marine Operations, a branch of Customs and Border Protection.”

Twitter flags doctored video tweeted by Trump about ‘racist baby’ as manipulated media, The Guardian, Maanvi Singh, Friday, 19 June 2020: “Twitter has flagged a video tweeted by Donald Trump, which contained a fake CNN news segment about a ‘racist baby”, adding a warning label that the post contained manipulated media. The video, which had been doctored to make it appear as if it were a CNN broadcast, features two toddlers running and includes a fake graphic that reads ‘Terrified todler [sic] runs from racist baby.’ The clip later accuses ‘fake news’ of spreading misinformation. Twitter added a label to the video, which was tweeted by Trump late on Thursday evening, marking it as manipulated. Earlier in the day, Facebook removed Trump campaign ads that prominently featured a Nazi symbol. This latest move from Twitter comes after Trump signed an executive order last month designed to narrow protections for social media companies over the content posted on their platforms.”

 

Saturday, 20 June 2020, Day 1,247:

 

Race and Policing: Crowd Is Sparse as Trump Tries to Reignite His Re-election Campaign. Speaking in Tulsa, Okla., a day after the Juneteenth holiday, the president mocked the coronavirus that has killed 121,000 Americans and claimed he wanted to slow down testing. The New York Times, Saturday 20 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Elijah McClain Died in August 2019 After the Police in Aurora, Colorado, Restrained Him With a Chokehold That Has Since Been Banned, The New York Times, Richard Fausset and Shaila Dewan, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “The story of Elijah McClain’s death, which came after he was confronted and detained by police officers last year in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo., did not go unnoticed by residents and the local news media in the weeks that followed. Articles were published, and a few modest rallies were held. But it was nothing like the avalanche of fresh attention his killing received after the death last month of George Floyd sent thousands of protesters onto the nation’s streets, including in Colorado. Now the story of Mr. McClain — a 23-year-old black man who had committed no crime but was reported as ‘sketchy’ by a 911 caller — has come to occupy a central place in the state’s emotional and fast-moving debate over police reform. Mr. McClain’s mother was a high-profile presence in the Statehouse this spring as legislators debated a sweeping police reform law. The city of Aurora recently banned a type of controversial hold that had been used to detain Mr. McClain, and jettisoned an outside investigator — who had been hired to look into the killing — because he was a former police officer.”

Trump Re-election Rally in Tulsa Fizzles as Attendance Falls Short of Campaign’s Expectations, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Maggie Haberman, and Astead W. Herndon, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “President Trump’s attempt to revive his re-election campaign sputtered badly on Saturday night as he traveled to Tulsa for his first mass rally in months and found a far smaller crowd than his aides had promised him, then delivered a disjointed speech that did not address the multiple crises facing the nation or scandals battering him in Washington. The weakness of Mr. Trump’s drawing power and political skills, in a state that voted for him overwhelmingly and in a format that he favors, raised new questions about his electoral prospects for a second term at a time when his poll numbers were already falling. And rather than speak to the wide cross-section of Americans who say they are concerned about police violence and systemic racism, he continued to use racist language, describing the coronavirus as ‘Kung Flu.’… [I]n Tulsa, Mr. Trump faced criticism for ignoring pleas from officials about health risks to rallygoers and for restarting his ‘Make America Great Again!’ rallies in a city where a white mob massacred hundreds of black residents 99 years ago. In rambling, grievance-filled remarks, Mr. Trump made no reference to the Tulsa massacre of 1921 or to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis last month spurred global demands for racial justice. He also did not mention Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States and fell just a day before his rally…. The president once again shrugged off the threat from the coronavirus, which he also called the ‘Chinese virus’ at one point, and bragged that he has done ‘a phenomenal job’ fighting the pandemic. He acknowledged that increased testing for the virus revealed more cases of infection, which he felt made the country look bad. ‘So I said to my people, slow the testing down,’ he said. Many of the thousands of Trump supporters at the rally did not wear masks or stand six feet apart — health precautions that Mr. Trump himself has ignored.” See also, Fact-Checking Trump’s Tulsa Rally: Covid-19, Protesters, and Biden. In his first rally in months, President Trump made multiple statements that were false, misleading or lacked evidence. The New York Times, Linda Qiu and Reid J. Epstein, Friday, 20 June 2020. See also, Trump gives grievance-filled speech to unfilled arena at Tulsa rally as protests stay mostly peaceful, The Washington Post, Robert Klemko, Arelis R. Hernandez, Isaac Stanley-Becker, and Alex Horton, Saturday, 21 June 2020: “President Trump, after boasting about enthusiasm and promising a full house, spoke in an arena in Tulsa on Saturday night with many seats unfilled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most of his supporters in the 19,000-seat BOK Center were not wearing masks, hours after his campaign had announced that six members of the advance team staffing the event had tested positive for the virus. In a speech lasting nearly two hours — filled with grievances, falsehoods and misleading claims — Trump said that because more testing means higher numbers of known coronavirus cases, his direction was to curtail it. ‘So I said to my people, Slow the testing down,’ he said. A White House official said later the president was ‘obviously kidding,’ but he has previously expressed skepticism about testing, which public health experts say is required to contain the outbreak.

  • Trump also downplayed the severity of the virus, fixating on the number of names used for it — and offering one, ‘Kung Flu,’ a racially offensive term.
  • There was no massive overflow audience greeting Trump; the area outside the arena had emptied out by early evening, and plans for Trump to address the audience outside were quickly scrapped. The campaign blamed protesters, but there were only scattered efforts to block entrances, which were resolved by police.
  • The campaign said quarantine procedures had gone into effect for the infected staff members and those in ‘immediate contact’ with them. Meanwhile, Tulsa County reported 136 new cases Saturday — marking another high for both single-day and average cases — while the state as a whole reported 331 new infections.
  • At least six people were arrested with charges of obstruction, loitering and other related offenses. Police fired pepper balls during one tense moment before demonstrators fell back to the historically black Greenwood neighborhood, where people danced in an atmosphere more party than protest.

5 takeaways from Trump’s Tulsa rally, The Washington Post, Amber Phillips, Saturday, 20 June 2020.

Trump Fires Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Who Investigated Trump’s Inner Circle. Trump’s move heightened criticism that he was purging his administration of officials whose independence could be a threat to his re-election. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Katie Benner, Ben Protess, Maggie Haberman, William K. Rashbaum, Nicole Hong, and Benjamin Weiser, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “President Trump on Saturday fired the federal prosecutor whose office put his former personal lawyer in prison and is investigating his current one, heightening criticism that the president was carrying out an extraordinary purge to rid his administration of officials whose independence could be a threat to his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump’s dismissal of the prosecutor, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, whose office has pursued one case after another that have rankled Mr. Trump, led to political blowback and an unexpected result: By the end of the day, Mr. Berman’s handpicked deputy, not the administration’s favored replacement, was chosen to succeed him for now. The abrupt ouster of Mr. Berman came as Mr. Trump sought to reinvigorate his campaign with its first public rally in months and days after new allegations by his former national security adviser [John Bolton] that he had engaged in ‘obstruction of justice as a way of life.’ It was the latest move in a broader purge of administration officials that has intensified in the months since the Republican-led Senate acquitted Mr. Trump at an impeachment trial. Since the beginning of the year, the president has fired or forced out inspectors general with independent oversight over executive branch agencies and other key figures from the trial.” See also, Trump ousts Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman who investigated Trump’s associates, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman, Ellen Nakashima, Matt Zapotosky, and Seung Min Kim, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “Attorney General William P. Barr said Saturday that President Trump had fired the top federal prosecutor in New York, ending an unprecedented standoff between Barr and U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who had resisted being removed from his post. Barr informed Berman of the president’s move in a sharply worded letter, explaining that Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, will serve as the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan until the Senate can confirm a permanent replacement. Under Berman, the office managed a number of sensitive investigations involving people close to Trump, including his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani…. The extraordinary day-long fight between Barr and the nation’s most powerful U.S. attorney deepened alarm among Democrats over Barr’s management of the Justice Department, generating fresh accusations the attorney general is placing the president’s interests above those of the public.” See also, Trump Fires Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Sadie Gurman, and Rebecca Ballhaus, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman will leave office immediately, he said Saturday evening, hours after Attorney General William Barr said he had asked President Trump to fire him. Mr. Berman’s announcement caps a daylong standoff between the Justice Department and the leadership of the nation’s most prominent federal prosecutor’s office. The office, under Mr. Berman, has led investigations into many of Mr. Trump’s allies. It also potentially paves the way for Mr. Trump’s nominee for the post, Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton, though whether he would be confirmed by the Senate remained in doubt. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, S.C.), whose committee would oversee the confirmation, said he would defer to New York’s senators about the appointment, making it unlikely that Mr. Barr would even get his proposed pick into the job. In his Saturday evening statement, Mr. Berman said his decision to step aside was based on Mr. Barr’s move Saturday to install Mr. Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, as acting U.S. Attorney until a permanent replacement was sworn in. On Friday night, Mr. Barr had said he had tapped the New Jersey U.S. Attorney, Craig Carpenito, as the temporary replacement—a move that would have circumvented Mr. Berman’s chain of command. ‘In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law’ and name Ms. Strauss to the job, Mr. Berman said, ‘I will be leaving the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York effective immediately.'”

Judge Rejects Trump Request for Order Blocking Bolton’s Memoir. But the judge also sharply criticized the former national security adviser, suggesting his $2 million book advance may be in jeopardy. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “President Trump’s former national security adviser John R. Bolton can go forward with the publication of his memoir, a federal judge ruled on Saturday, rejecting the administration’s request for an order that he try to pull the book back and saying it was too late for such an order to succeed. ‘With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo,’ wrote Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia. But in a 10-page opinion, Judge Lamberth also suggested that Mr. Bolton may be in jeopardy of forfeiting his $2 million advance, as the Justice Department has separately requested — and that he could be prosecuted for allowing the book to be published before receiving final notice that a prepublication review to scrub out classified information was complete.

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 20 June 2020: Florida and South Carolina Again Set Records as U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surge. Southern officials warn of new clusters linked to bars and frat parties. Health officials feared the Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., could be a ‘superspreader’ event. Workers in Japan have avoided the mass layoffs seen in other countries. The New York Times, Saturday, 20 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, 20 June 2020: Trump tells Oklahoma rally he directed officials to slow virus testing in order to find fewer cases, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Brittany Shammas, Meryl Kornfield, Miriam Berger, Karla Adam, Marisa Iati, Samantha Pell, and Candace Buckner, Saturday, 20 June 2020: “At his rally in Tulsa on Saturday, President Trump called coronavirus testing ‘a double-edged sword’ and said he asked officials to conduct fewer coronavirus tests to keep case numbers down. After claiming the United States has tested 25 million people, Trump said: ‘When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, Slow the testing down, please!’ The rally came on a day when Oklahoma reported 331 new coronavirus infections and the country tallied 32,477 new confirmed cases, according to tracking by The Washington Post. Eight states reported their highest single-day case totals since the pandemic began. Across the nation, eight states have also seen a 10-percent or higher change in hospitalizations since Memorial Day.

Here are some significant developments:

  • For the second time this week, Texas surpassed 4,000 new daily coronavirus cases as the pandemic continues to sweep through the state amid its reopening. On Saturday, the state reported its highest single-day increase, with 4,430 confirmed cases. Florida also surpassed 4,000 new cases reported in a single day, with 4,049 new infections.
  • Six members of Trump’s campaign advance team for his Tulsa rally tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a statement from the president’s campaign. ‘Quarantine procedures’ were implemented immediately, the statement added.
  • An experimental vaccine by Oxford University has turned into the West’s best — and perhaps only — chance to have a viable vaccine before the end of the year.
  • Pope Francis thanked doctors and nurses from Italy’s hardest hit region for their work Saturday in one of his first speeches to an in-person audience since the pandemic lockdowns.
  • The National Institutes of Health said it halted a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for treating coronavirus patients, saying it ‘provides no benefit.’
  • Face mask requirements are taking hold across the country as states throughout the South and West continue to report record highs in new daily coronavirus cases.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

 

Sunday, 21 June 2020, Day 1,248:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates on Sunday, 21 June 2020:  Brazil and U.S. The W.H.O. reported more than 183,000 new cases, the largest one-day increase so far, as the global tally inched toward nine million. A Trump administration official said the White House was preparing for a potential wave of infections in the fall. The New York Times, Sunday, 21 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, 21 June 2020: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemns Trump’s remarks about slowing down coronavirus testing, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Loveday Morris, Adam Taylor, Meryl Kornfield, Brittany Shammas, Paul Schemm, Marisa Iati, and Kareem Copeland, Sunday, 21 June 2020: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned President Trump’s remarks at his campaign rally in Tulsa Saturday night in which he said he told officials to administer fewer coronavirus tests to keep case numbers down. Pelosi suggested that any effort to restrict testing will mean ‘more Americans will lose their lives. The President is ethically unfit and intellectually unprepared to lead,’ she said in a statement. Trump’s comments drew a chorus of criticism from congressional Democrats and public health officials, who said it validated fears that the president was more focused on saving face amid the pandemic than on protecting public health. A White House official told The Washington Post that Trump was joking, a common defense from Trump’s aides when he says something controversial. Twelve states on Sunday reported new highs in their seven-day rolling new case average, with Oklahoma showing the biggest increase, 16 percent, over its previous high. And Missouri hit a new rolling average high for the first time since April 12, 70 days ago, according to tracking by The Washington Post. There are more than 2.2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, with almost 119,000 deaths.

Here are some significant developments:
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday the Trump administration is stocking up in preparation for a possible second wave of the novel coronavirus in the fall. But he said he isn’t suggesting there will be a second wave.
  • One of the country’s leading public health experts said Sunday that he was worried that Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa could become a ‘superspreader’ event.
  • Spain ended its months-long state of emergency on Sunday, allowing in tourists from most of Europe but warning that measures must be followed to avoid a second wave.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged Saturday that surging coronavirus cases in his state were not solely the result of expanded testing.
  • Comedian D.L. Hughley said he tested positive for the coronavirus after he was hospitalized for collapsing onstage during a performance in Nashville.
  • The test kits for detecting the nation’s earliest cases failed because of ‘likely’ contamination at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new federal review.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Public Health Experts Reject Trump’s View That the Coronavirus Pandemic is Fading, The New York Times, James Gorman, Sunday, 21 June 2020: “Public health experts warned on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic is not going away anytime soon. They directly contradicted President Trump’s promise that the disease that has infected more than two million Americans would ‘fade away’ and his remarks that disparaged the value of evidence from coronavirus tests. A day after Mr. Trump told a largely maskless audience at an indoor rally in Tulsa, Okla., that he had asked to ‘slow down the testing’ because it inevitably increased the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, infectious disease experts countered that the latest rise of infections in the United States is real, the country’s response to the pandemic is not working and rallies like the president’s risk becoming major spreading events.” See also, Democrats and public health experts decry Trump for saying he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing, The Washington Post, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Taylor Telford, and Josh Dawsey, Sunday, 21 June 2020: “President Trump’s Saturday night remark that he asked officials to ‘slow the [coronavirus] testing down’ sparked harsh rebukes from experts and frustration from his own staffers, who say it undercuts their efforts to reassure Americans as the disease surges around the country. The president’s comment, which came on the same day that eight states reported their highest-ever single-day case counts, drew a chorus of criticism from congressional Democrats and public health officials, who worry the president is more concerned with saving face than combating the pandemic.”

Trump’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa at His Re-election Rally, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni, Sunday, 21 June 2020: “President Trump and several staff members stood backstage and gazed at the empty Bank of Oklahoma Center in horror. Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had canceled plans at the last minute to speak at an outdoor overflow rally that was almost entirely empty, despite claims of nearly one million people registering for tickets to attend the event in Tulsa, Okla., and the president’s false boast of never having an empty seat at one of his events. The president, who had been warned aboard Air Force One that the crowds at the arena were smaller than expected, was stunned, and he yelled at aides backstage while looking at the endless rows of empty blue seats in the upper bowl of the stadium, according to four people familiar with what took place. Brad Parscale, the campaign manager who had put the event together, was not present.”

Monmouth University in New Jersey to Remove Woodrow Wilson’s Name From Its Marquee Building, The New York Times, Michael Levenson, Sunday, 21 June 2020: “Monmouth University in New Jersey said it would remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its marquee building after administrators, professors and students said that the former president held abhorrent views on race and reinstituted segregation in the federal work force. The decision contrasted with a vote by Princeton University’s trustees in 2016 to keep Wilson’s name on campus buildings and programs, despite student protests that led to a review of his legacy there.”

 

Monday, 22 June 2020, Day 1,249:

 

Race and Policing: Protesters Try to Pull Down Statue of Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C., The New York Times, Monday, 22 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 22 June 2020: University of Michigan to Drop Out as Presidential Debate Host. The university is concerned about bringing hordes of people to campus amid the pandemic. New cases in the U.S. account for 20 percent of new global infections. The New York Times, Monday, 22 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 22 June 2020: Wall Street Starts the Week With a Gain, The New York Times, Monday, 22 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 22 June 2020: State and city leaders in the U.S. respond to coronavirus surge with new rules and dire warnings, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, Siobhán O’Grady, Brittany Shammas, Hamza Shaban, Meryl Kornfield, Steven Goff, Samantha Pell, Felicia Sonmez, and Katie Shepherd, Monday, 22 June 2020: “State and city leaders in the U.S. are responding to a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations by implementing new rules, scaling back on reopening plans and issuing dire warnings about the future of public health and the economy. In lieu of a Florida statewide mask rule, several city mayors in Miami-Dade County are implementing their own mask requirements. Texas authorities temporarily suspended the alcohol permits of 12 bars for violating protocols designed to stem the crisis, as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said cases and hospitalizations there are increasing at an ‘unacceptable’ rate. And in Utah, the state epidemiologist is warning that the state could be facing a ‘complete shutdown’ if cases continue to rise. Twenty-nine states and U.S. territories showed an increase in their seven-day average of new reported cases on Monday, with nine states reporting record average highs. In the states where cases are spiking the most, hospitalizations are also rising sharply. More than 2,290,000 cases and 118,000 deaths have been officially reported in the United States.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Income is a potent force along with race in determining who among the nation’s vulnerable, older population has been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a federal analysis.
  • As cases increase in Boise, Idaho health officials Monday scaled back some reopening plans in Ada County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction.
  • The bitter, months-long negotiation between Major League Baseball and its players’ union effectively ended Monday night, with the MLB saying it intended to exercise its power to implement a 2020 schedule. Meanwhile, the NBA is preparing for its return at Disney as Florida’s coronavirus cases exceed 100,000.
  • Coronavirus cases at San Quentin State Prison in California are skyrocketing, with the prison reporting 317 active cases as of Monday evening, more than double the number of reported cases two days ago.
  • Citing the pandemic, President Trump issued an executive order Monday barring many categories of foreign workers and curbing immigration visas through the end of the year.
  • Politicization of the pandemic has worsened the global outbreak, the secretary general of the World Health Organization said Monday, a day after the U.N. body announced the highest daily rise since the pandemic began.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

White House Eases Virus Restrictions Except for Those Around Trump, The New York Times, Annie Karni, Monday, 22 June 2020: “The White House on Monday began easing up on restrictions that have been in place since Washington officials instituted a stay-at-home order in the city in March in response to the coronavirus. Temperature checks for visitors to the complex will be scaled back, allowing many White House staff members who have been teleworking to return to their offices, and the cafeteria in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, across the street from the West Wing, will be reopened. But assuring that President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will not be exposed to the virus by visitors will remain a priority. ‘Every staff member and guest in close proximity to the president and vice president is still being temperature-checked, asked symptom histories and tested for Covid-19,’ Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said in a statement.” See also, Two More Trump Staff Members Test Positive for Coronavirus After Tulsa Rally. The workers, who attended the rally, joined six other members of the campaign’s advance team who tested positive before the event. The New York Times, Annie Karni, Monday, 22 June 2020: “Two Trump campaign staff members who attended the president’s indoor rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday night tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesman said Monday, despite earlier assurances that a small outbreak among campaign workers had been contained and no staffers who had tested positive had entered the arena. The two workers, members of the campaign’s advance team, tested positive when ‘another round of testing’ was conducted after the rally, according to Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director. He said the staff members in question had attended the event, but had worn masks the entire time.”

Trump Suspends Visas Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of Foreigners to Work in the U.S., The New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Miriam Jordan, Monday, 22 June 2020: “President Trump on Monday temporarily suspended new work visas and barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States, part of a broad effort to limit the entry of immigrants into the country. In a sweeping order, which will be in place at least until the end of the year, Mr. Trump blocked visas for a wide variety of jobs, including those for computer programmers and other skilled workers who enter the country under the H-1B visa, as well as those for seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, students on work-study summer programs and au pairs who arrive under other auspices. The order also restricts the ability of American companies with global operations and international companies with U.S. branches to transfer foreign executives and other employees to the United States for months or yearslong stints. And it blocks the spouses of foreigners who are employed at companies in the United States. Officials said the ban on worker visas, combined with extending restrictions on the issuance of new green cards, would keep as many as 525,000 foreign workers out of the country for the rest of the year. Stephen Miller, the White House aide and the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy, has pushed for years to limit or eliminate the worker visas, arguing that they harm employment prospects for Americans. And in recent months, Mr. Miller has argued that the economic distress caused by the virus has made it even more important to turn off the spigot. But the directive, which has been expected for several weeks, is fiercely opposed by business leaders, who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from countries overseas for jobs that Americans are not willing to do or are not capable of performing.” See also, The Southern Poverty Law Center Statement on Trump Administration Executive Order Expanding Immigration Restrictions, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Meredith Stewart, published on Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “The Southern Poverty Law Center issued the following statement by Meredith Stewart, senior supervising attorney with the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project, regarding the Trump administration’s executive order expanding immigration restrictions to include the suspension of some work visas. ‘It is not a coincidence that the Trump Administration turns to its anti-immigrant agenda in challenging times. This latest order does nothing to address the challenges all workers face as a result of COVID-19. Instead, it demonizes immigrant workers who are too often exploited and abused by unscrupulous employers. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, white nationalists and other anti-immigrant extremists pushed for this proposal. White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller himself, advocated for similar restrictions on immigrant workers in a series of emails to Breitbart News in which he also shared white nationalist propaganda. Rather than using the current crisis to promote its anti-immigrant agenda, the White House should be ensuring workers’ safety and reforming guest worker programs to end abuse and exploitation.’

The Facts About Mail-In Voting and Voter Fraud, The New York Times, Mike Baker, Monday, 22 June 2020: “As states grapple with how to safely carry out elections during a pandemic, President Trump has made an escalating series of fantastical — and false — accusations about the risks of embracing mail voting. Without evidence, the president has warned that mail elections would involve robbed mailboxes, forged signatures and illegally printed ballots. In a tweet on Monday, this one in all-caps, Mr. Trump warned of a ‘rigged 2020 election’ and claimed: ‘Ballots will be printed by foreign countries, and others. It will be the scandal of our times!’ That claim about foreign-made ballots was the latest misleading statement from Mr. Trump: He offered no evidence, and the tampering of ballots is widely seen as a nearly impossible scenario because they are printed on very specific stock and often have specific tracking systems like bar codes. Mr. Trump himself has voted by mail.”

Democratic secretaries of state launch ad campaign linking voting restrictions to ‘white supremacy,’ The Washington Post, Vanessa Williams, Monday, 22 June 2020: “As President Trump continues to rail about a ‘rigged 2020 election’ on Twitter, the group representing Democratic secretaries of state released its own social media campaign, accusing Trump and the Republican Party of engaging in voter suppression that is ‘rooted in white supremacy.’ The video ad by the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State connects the issue of voting rights to the current conversation about addressing systemic racism. It uses images of black protesters from the 1950s and ’60s demanding voting rights, alongside those of current protests over police violence, sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. A narrator says: ‘White supremacy does not endure on its own. It is propped up by suppressing black voices and votes.'”

 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020, Day, 1,250:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 23 June 2020: Texas Sets Another Record as Governor Greg Abbott Urges Residents to Stay Home, The New York Times, Tuesday, 23 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, 23 June 2020: Seven states report highest coronavirus hospitalizations since pandemic began, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, John Wagner, Hamza Shaban, Adam Taylor, Kareem Copeland, Candace Buckner, Meryl Kornfield, and Colby Itkowitz, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Seven states are reporting new highs for current coronavirus hospitalizations, according to data tracked by The Washington Post — Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — as the number of infections continues to climb across the South and West. More than 800 covid-19 deaths were reported in the United States on Tuesday, the first time fatalities have increased since June 7. Texas and California on Tuesday eclipsed 5,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus over a 24-hour span — records in those states. Arizona, Nevada and Missouri also logged new single-day highs. Overall, 33 states and U.S. territories now have a rolling average of new cases that is higher than last week. Worldwide, there are more than 9 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with more than 2.3 million cases and at least 119,000 deaths reported in the United States.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Following often bitter and contentious negotiations after the sport was effectively shut down amid the pandemic in mid-March, Major League Baseball is set to open ‘spring’ training camps July 1 and set Opening Day for July 23 or 24.
  • Top federal health officials warned Tuesday that the surge in infections in more than a dozen states could worsen without new restrictions. They also contradicted President Trump’s recent claims that he told officials to slow testing so the country would record fewer cases.
  • The federal government plans to end support of testing sites on June 30, including seven sites in Texas, where cases and hospitalizations are climbing rapidly.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use hand sanitizer from a Mexican manufacturer, Eskbiochem, after finding methanol, a toxic and potentially fatal substance, in some of its products.
  • Voters in Kentucky were on track to cast ballots in record numbers for Tuesday’s primary despite the risk of coronavirus infection and shortages of poll workers, thanks in part to the widespread embrace of voting by mail.
  • Trump told aides that he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, believing the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November, according to three people aware of internal administration deliberations. However, leading congressional Republicans and some senior White House officials remain skeptical.
  • In countries that saw new coronavirus infections decline in recent weeks, spikes in confirmed case numbers have alarmed officials and sent Australia, Germany, Portugal and South Korea, among other nations, scrambling to respond to resurgent outbreaks.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top federal health officials warn of covid-19 surge and contradict Trump on testing, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Lena H. Sun, and Laurie McGinley, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Top federal health officials warned Tuesday that surges in coronavirus infections in more than a dozen states could worsen without new restrictions, and contradicted President Trump’s recent claims that he told officials to slow testing so the country would record fewer cases. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the country is still in the grip of the pandemic’s first wave, including a “disturbing surge” of new cases in Southern and Western states, including Florida, Texas and Arizona.” See also, Dr. Anthony Fauci says Trump hasn’t ordered slowdown of coronavirus testing, Politico, Brianna Ehley, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “The government’s top infectious disease expert told a House hearing Tuesday that he and other health officials have not been told to slow coronavirus testing, just hours after President Donald Trump again suggested he had asked for fewer tests.” See also, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Citing ‘Disturbing Surge,’ Tells Congress the Virus Is Not Under Control, The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Noah Weiland, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Dr. Anthony S. Fauci told Congress on Tuesday that he was seeing a “disturbing surge” of infections in some parts of the country, as Americans ignore social distancing guidelines and states reopen without adequate plans for testing and tracing the contacts of those who get sick. Dr. Fauci’s assessment, delivered during a lengthy hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, painted a much grimmer picture of the coronavirus threat than the one given by President Trump, who claimed last week that the virus that had infected more than two million Americans and killed more than 121,000 would just ‘fade away.’ ‘The virus is not going to disappear,’ said Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who testified that the virus was not yet under control in the United States.” See also, Dr. Deborah Birx Contradicts Trump and Privately Tells Governors to Increase COVID Testing, The Daily Beast, Erin Banco and Sam Stein, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, told the nation’s governors in a call Monday that it was vital that they ramp up testing to find asymptomatic individuals to prevent further community spread. Her remarks stood in stark contrast to those by the president at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the weekend—and the days since—in which he said he had asked his team to slow-walk testing initiatives so as not to inflate the country’s official case count. ‘Hopefully I have left you with the impression that increased testing is good,’ Birx said on the call, a recording of which was obtained by The Daily Beast. ‘We would like to see it even more. Identifying cases early including your asymptomatic [ones] will really help us protect the elderly and the additional people with comorbidities.'”

Qualified Immunity Protection for Police Emerges as Flash Point Amid Protests. The Supreme Court developed the doctrine that serves as a shield for officers. A half-century later, it is at the center of the debate over policing. The New York Times, Hailey Fuchs, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “[S]o-called qualified immunity [is] an esoteric legal doctrine that has been invoked by police departments across the country for decades in response to allegations of excessive force. It provides legal protections for officers when they are accused of violating others’ constitutional rights. Once a little-known rule, qualified immunity has emerged as a flash point in the protests spurred by Mr. Floyd’s killing and galvanized calls for police reform. In the vast majority of cases of police brutality, officers are never criminally prosecuted. For families of victims seeking some sort of relief through the justice system, qualified immunity presents another obstacle to obtaining financial or other damages. Even in the rare cases where the officers are charged, as in Mr. Floyd’s death, the police can still claim qualified immunity if relatives or victims sue them…. Activists have seized on qualified immunity as what they see as one of the biggest problems with policing and argued that it shields officers from being held accountable in cases of misconduct. Police leaders said it was essential for officers’ ability to respond to calls and to make split-second decisions. Qualified immunity is a focal point of the new debate on Capitol Hill over how to address systemic racism in policing and use of excessive force. House Democrats unveiled a bill that would allow victims of police brutality to seek damages from their assailants. A competing Senate Republican bill made no mention of qualified immunity, and the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, called it a ‘total and complete nonstarter.’ State legislatures have taken up the issue as well. The Colorado General Assembly became the first to eliminate qualified immunity this month. ‘It’s a message that’s sent in these cases — that officers can violate people’s rights with impunity,’ said Joanna Schwartz, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has written extensively on the doctrine. ‘That is outrageous to people and causing people to act.'”

A low-flying ‘show of force.’ Two military helicopters roared over demonstrators in D.C. protesting on 1 June after the death of George Floyd, producing winds equivalent to a tropical storm. The Washington Post, Alex Horton, Andrew Ba Tran, Aaron Steckelberg and John Muyskens, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Hemmed in by police on all sides, Camellia Magness feared that the military helicopter descending on downtown Washington might unleash a final assault on protesters. It was June 1, nearly three hours after federal police in riot gear charged largely peaceful demonstrators as they gathered near the White House to protest after the killing of George Floyd. Magness and others had lingered downtown past a 7 p.m. curfew. Military helicopters had been flying high overhead, seeming to track their movements. But shortly before 10 p.m., a Black Hawk swept low over protesters in Chinatown and held its position, producing gusts that snapped thick tree limbs and swirled the air with volleys of dust and broken glass, sending many running for cover in panic and confusion…. The Washington Post reconstructed the movements of the two D.C. Army National Guard helicopters that parked nearly still in the air over protesters in Chinatown that night, using flight-tracking data, images and videos.”

With Tweets, Videos, and Rhetoric, Trump Pushes Anew to Divide Americans by Race, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “President Trump has repeatedly pushed inflammatory language, material and policies in recent days that seek to divide Americans by race as he tries to appeal to his predominantly white base of voters four months before Election Day rather than try to broaden his support. Trailing in national polls and surveys of crucial battleground states, and stricken by a disappointing return to the campaign trail, Mr. Trump has leaned hard into his decades-long habit of falsely portraying some black Americans as dangerous or lawless. And he has chosen to do so at one of the most tumultuous periods in decades as Americans protest recent episodes of police brutality against black people that have highlighted the nation’s long history of racial injustice. Over the last few days the president has tweeted context-free videos of random incidents involving black people attacking white people and baselessly argued that President Barack Obama, the country’s first black leader, committed ‘treason.’ In an interview with the Catholic News Agency that was posted online on Monday, Mr. Trump said he planned to sign an order to protect national monuments at a time when statues of Confederate generals are being torn down across the country.”

Trump Family Asks Court to Stop Publication of Tell-All by Trump’s Niece, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “President Trump’s family is seeking a temporary restraining order to try to block publication of a tell-all book by the president’s niece, Mary L. Trump. Ms. Trump is the daughter of the president’s late brother, Fred Trump Jr., and her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” is scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster on July 28. Mr. Trump’s younger brother, Robert S. Trump, requested the restraining order on Tuesday in a filing in Queens County Surrogate’s Court, where the estate of the president’s father, Fred Trump Sr., was settled. The filing names Ms. Trump and Simon & Schuster, and it seeks to stop publication on the grounds that Ms. Trump is violating a nondisclosure agreement related to the settlement of the estate of Fred Trump Sr., the father of Donald and Robert Trump and Mary Trump’s grandfather.” See also, Trump family seeks to block book by Trump’s niece that calls him the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Man,’ The Washington Post, Michael Kranish, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “President Trump’s brother on Tuesday petitioned a New York court to block the publication of a book by Mary L. Trump that describes the president, her uncle, as the ‘world’s most dangerous man.’ Presales of the book, slated for publication on July 28, have soared to the top of bestseller lists on the basis of a description from publisher Simon & Schuster that it will reveal decades of family secrets, including a ‘nightmare of traumas’ that explain the psychology of the man who is now president. President Trump told the Axios news service earlier this week that Mary Trump is ‘not allowed’ to write the book, because she signed a nondisclosure agreement in 2001 that settled her suit against him and his siblings over her inheritance from her grandfather Fred Trump Sr., the president’s father. President Trump said the agreement was a ‘very powerful one’ that ‘covers everything.'”

Trump again uses a racial slur to describe coronavirus, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Trump again referred to the novel coronavirus as ‘kung flu,’ eliciting laughter and wild cheers from a young crowd in Arizona on Tuesday. Trump was listing the different names he has heard for the virus, which has killed at least 119,000 Americans, during a speech for the student Republican group Turning Point Action. ‘Wuhan. Wuhan was catching on, coronavirus, kung flu,’ he said, repeating it as the crowd roared. ‘I could give you many, many names. Some people call it the Chinese flu, the China flu, they call it the China.’ Trump drew criticism after he used the racially insensitive moniker to describe the coronavirus at a campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday night — his first since the outbreak largely shut down the country.” See also, In Arizona, Trump Boasts About His Wall and Repeats Unfounded Predictions of Voter Fraud, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Trump traveled to the southwestern border on Tuesday to lift his flagging re-election campaign with a renewed anti-immigrant appeal, bragging about the progress his administration has made in constructing a ‘big, beautiful wall’ before predicting to a group of students at a Phoenix mega church that the election could be stolen in a huge fraud. In a visit with handpicked border officials and Republican allies in Yuma, Ariz., Mr. Trump sought to revive the issue at the heart of his 2016 victory: his portrayal of immigrants as a threat to the economic and personal security of Americans, and his promise to close the United States off from much of the world…. Mr. Trump followed his border visit with a rambling 90-minute speech to a mostly maskless gathering of Students for Trump in Phoenix in which he vented about the removal of Confederate monuments, China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and one of his newer themes, voter fraud by mail. He ratcheted up his usual predictions of fraud in the November election, made without any supporting evidence, by suggesting that mail-in ballots — which will be in more widespread use as Americans face limits on their movements because of the virus — were ‘a disaster for our country.’ He suggested at one point that mail carriers could be held up as they delivered ballots, which could then be counterfeited by enemies foreign and domestic.” See also, Trump visits border barrier in Arizona to push his anti-immigrant message amid the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest, The Washington Post, Anne Gearan, Nick Miroff, and Toluse Olorunnipa, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Trump toured a border barrier along the U.S.-Mexico line [on] Tuesday, seeking to tout what he views as a key reelection accomplishment in a critical state as his bid for a second term has been upended by a resurgent pandemic, an economic crisis and racial unrest…. The trip — more than three hours on Air Force One to a state dealing with a record spike in virus cases — was itself controversial, as Trump and his aides continued to flout public health guidelines at the same time that top administration officials were testifying before Congress about the growing threat of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Neither Trump nor his aides wore masks during the visit, which included the border tour and a speech before a crowd of young supporters in Phoenix. Public health officials have argued against unnecessary travel, and several testified on Tuesday about the need to maintain social distancing and other preventive measures.”

The 1968 Kerner Commission Report Still Echoes Across the U.S., The New York Times, Clyde Haberman, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “A young African-American is killed by a white police officer in full view of others. Angry people take to the streets — unrest that goes on night after night, with scores injured and hundreds arrested. Sound familiar? But this was back in July 1964, in the Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods of New York. And far worse lay ahead. More racial rioting erupted the following summer in Los Angeles’s Watts section. In 1966 there was yet more, this time in Cleveland. Then came the disastrous summer of 1967. Chaos enveloped more than 160 American cities and towns, the most ruinous riots leading to 43 deaths in Detroit and 26 in Newark. With the nation reeling that summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson created a task force to explore the roots of the unrest and possible remedies. The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, led by Gov. Otto Kerner Jr. of Illinois, released a report in February 1968. Known as the Kerner Commission, its findings still echo across the land, wracked once again by turmoil turning largely on uneasy relations between black communities and police departments. The report offered a conclusion that was deliberately worded to be head-turning: ‘Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.’ The report left scant doubt that it regarded white racism as the tinder igniting those 1960s fires.”

Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky says he was pressured to cut Roger Stone ‘a break’ because of his ties to Trump, Politico, Kyle Cheney and Leah Nylen, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “A prosecutor who withdrew from the Roger Stone case after Justice Department leaders intervened to recommend a lighter sentence intends to testify before Congress that he and his colleagues were repeatedly pressured to cut Stone ‘a break,’ and were told that it was because of his relationship with President Donald Trump. ‘What I heard – repeatedly – was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President,’ Aaron Zelinsky, one of four prosecutors who quit the case, plans to tell the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, according to his prepared testimony. ‘I was also told that the acting U.S. Attorney was giving Stone such unprecedentedly favorable treatment because he was ‘afraid of the President.'”

65 faculty members from George Washington University Law School, Attorney General William Barr’s law school alma mater, say he has ‘failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ CNN Politics, Chandelis Duster, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Law professors and faculty from George Washington University Law School, Attorney General William Barr’s alma mater, said in a letter Tuesday he has failed to fulfill his oath of office ‘to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ The rebuke comes after continued fallout over the departure of Geoffrey Berman, the federal prosecutor ousted over the weekend by the Trump administration, and adds to a chorus of criticism over Barr’s actions as attorney general. Barr received his Juris Doctor degree from the law school in 1977, and while serving as attorney general under then-President George H.W. Bush he received an honorary degree from the university in 1992. In a statement signed by 65 faculty and professors from the law school, the group wrote that Barr’s actions as attorney general ‘have undermined the rule of law, breached constitutional norms, and damaged the integrity and traditional independence of his office and of the Department of Justice. We include members of both major political parties, and of none,’ they wrote. ‘We have different legal specialties and represent a broad spectrum of approaches to the law.'”

Obama Urges Democrats: ‘Whatever You’ve Done So Far Is Not Enough,’ The New York Times, Katie Glueck, Tuesday, 23 June 2020: “Former President Barack Obama and his vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., on Tuesday held their first joint event of the 2020 campaign, where Mr. Obama warned Democrats against becoming complacent about the presidential election and offered an unusually direct and detailed rebuke of President Trump. The split-screen appearance of the presumptive Democratic nominee and his former boss came as Mr. Biden has enjoyed a run of strong fund-raising, while a spate of recent polls have shown him holding as much as a double-digit lead over Mr. Trump. Mr. Biden’s campaign announced Tuesday that the event had raised $7.6 million from 175,000 grass-roots contributors. But Mr. Obama instructed the 120,000 people who logged on to watch that they must not take the election for granted. ‘We can’t be complacent or smug or sense that somehow it’s so obvious that this president hasn’t done a good job, because look, he won once,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘This is serious business,’ he added. ‘Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough. And I hold myself and Michelle and our kids to that same standard.'”

 

Wednesday, 24 June 2020, Day 1,251:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates on Wednesday, 24 June 2020: U.S. Sets Record for Daily New Cases as Virus Surges in South and West, The New York Times, Wednesday, 24 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 24 June 2020: Disney Postpones Some Resort Reopenings, The New York Times, Wednesday, 24 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 24 June 2020: New coronavirus cases in the U.S. soar to highest single-day total, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Miriam Berger, Hamza Shaban, Kim Bellware, Jacqueline Dupree, Michael Brice-Saddler, Candace Buckner, and Meryl Kornfield, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Across the United States, 38,115 new infections were reported by state health departments on Wednesday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 34,203 set on April 25. Texas, Florida and California led the way, with all three states reporting more than 5,000 new cases apiece. Three states — California, Florida and Oklahoma — reported record highs in new single-day coronavirus cases, while hospitalizations hit a new peak in Arizona, where intensive care units have quickly filled. Even as case numbers climb, reports circulated that the federal government is poised to stop providing federal aid to testing sites in some hard-hit states, including Texas, prompting a top federal official to respond that testing was on the rise. Since the start of the pandemic, the United States has recorded more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases and at least 119,000 deaths, while the global number of cases has soared past 9 million.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The Dow Jones industrial average fell 709 points, or 2.7 percent, as investors grappled with a spike in covid-19 infections in several states, fueling concerns that an already drawn-out economic recovery will be delayed further.
  • The governors of the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tri-state area jointly announced a travel advisory, which requires a 14-day quarantine for visitors from nine states whose infection rates meet certain thresholds indicating “significant community spread,” according to New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D).
  • The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said the global economy will shrink this year by 4.9 percent and will be followed by a sluggish recovery as the pandemic has caused more widespread damage than expected.
  • Virginia took a big step on Wednesday toward ushering in a new set of coronavirus-era safety rules that companies would be forced to implement to protect workers from infection — a first in the country and potentially a way forward for other states in the face of federal inaction.
  • An independent investigation into a Massachusetts long-term care facility where 76 people died of the novel coronavirus and an additional 84 residents tested positive found that errors by officials there contributed to the spread of the virus.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Coronavirus Cases Are Accelerating Across the U.S., The Wall Street Journal, Sarah Krouse, Anthony DeBarros, and Brianna Abbott, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Covid-19’s spread is picking up steam in a larger swath of the U.S. as cases have increased at a faster rate nationwide for nearly two weeks, an acceleration that isn’t attributable solely to increased testing, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. Thirty-three states, from Oklahoma to South Carolina and Washington, had a seven-day average of new cases on Tuesday that was higher than their average during the past two weeks, according to a Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. That was the situation in 21 states at the start of the month, so the data reflect recent increases in new cases.”

Coronavirus cases rise in states with relaxed face mask policies, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kasra Zarei and John Duchneskie, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Coronavirus cases seem to be rising in states with relaxed policies on wearing masks, leading experts to reemphasize the importance of face coverings to preventing spread of the disease. Sixteen states currently recommend, but do not require, that residents wear masks in public. In those states — including Texas and Arizona — new coronavirus cases have risen by 84% over the last two weeks, according to an Inquirer analysis. In the 11 states that mandate wearing masks in public — including New York, Illinois, and Michigan — new cases have fallen by 25% over the last two weeks. Other states that are less stringent and require mask-wearing by employees and patrons of certain businesses have seen an overall 12% drop in cases (Pennsylvania, which is in this group, has seen a 28% drop.) Meanwhile, states that require masks only for employees of certain businesses have seen a 70% increase, on average, in new cases.”

Dozens of Secret Service officers and agents told to self-quarantine after Trump’s Tulsa rally, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Joshua Partlow, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Dozens of Secret Service officers and agents who were on site for President Trump’s rally in Tulsa last week were ordered to self-quarantine after two of their colleagues tested positive for the novel coronavirus, part of the fallout from Trump’s insistence on holding the mass gathering over the objections of public health officials. The Secret Service instructed employees who worked the Tulsa event to stay at home for 14 days when they returned from the weekend trip, according to two people familiar with the agency’s decision.”

Senate confirms Trump’s 200th judicial nominee, CNN Politics, Devan Cole and Ted Barrett, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “President Donald Trump’s 200th judicial nominee was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday, marking a significant milestone in a presidency that has tilted the federal judiciary in a conservative direction for decades to come. With the confirmation of Judge Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump has successfully appointed 53 appeals court judges, 143 district court judges, two US Court of International Trade judges and two Supreme Court justices — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. By comparison, former President Barack Obama successfully appointed 334 federal judges during his two terms, according to the US Courts. Former President George W. Bush successfully appointed 340 judges during his eight years in office, while former President Bill Clinton put 387 judges on the bench during his two terms.” See also, With Confirmation of Cory Wilson, Trump and Senate Republicans Achieve a Milestone, The New York Times, Carl Hulse, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Cory T. Wilson of Mississippi to a New Orleans-based circuit court over united Democratic opposition, handing President Trump the 200th federal judicial confirmation of his tenure and achieving a Republican goal of filling every appeals court opening by the end of the year. In winning Senate approval, Judge Wilson, a conservative state court judge and former Mississippi legislator, became the 53rd federal appeals court judge installed by Mr. Trump and cemented a milestone in a judicial legacy that has reshaped the federal courts during his administration, including putting in place two Supreme Court justices. Republicans lauded the achievement. The vote was 52-48.” See also, Senate confirms 200th judicial nominee from Trump, a legacy that will last well beyond November, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “A divided Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Trump’s 200th judicial nominee, a milestone that reflects the breakneck speed at which he and fellow Republicans have moved to create a legacy that will endure regardless of the outcome of this year’s elections.”

Appeals Court Panel Orders End to Michael Flynn Case. Two appellate judges ordered a lower-court judge to immediately dismiss a charge against President Trump’s former national security adviser. A third judge accused them of overstepping their powers. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “A divided federal appeals court panel ordered an immediate end on Wednesday to the case against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser — delivering a major victory to Mr. Flynn and to the Justice Department, which had sought to drop the case. In the ruling, two of three judges on a panel for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the trial judge overseeing the matter, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, to immediately dismiss the case without further review. The third accused his colleagues of ‘grievously’ overstepping their powers, and the full appeals court has the option of reviewing the matter. The order — a so-called writ of mandamus — was rare and came as a surprise, taking its place as yet another twist in the extraordinary legal and political drama surrounding the prosecution of Mr. Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to F.B.I. agents in the Russia investigation about his conversations in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States.” See also, Appeals court orders judge to dismiss Michael Flynn case, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz and Marshall Cohen, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “A divided federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, likely concluding a long-running court fight that had taken on greater meaning in political debates about the Russia investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign and about the checks and balances the judiciary has on the executive branch.”

Justice Department Officials Outline Claims of Politicization Under Attorney General William Barr, The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Katie Benner, and Charlie Savage, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Two Justice Department officials recounted to Congress in stinging detail on Wednesday how political appointees had intervened in criminal and antitrust cases to advance the personal interests of President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr. Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, a prosecutor who worked on the Russia investigation, told the House Judiciary Committee that senior law enforcement officials had stepped in to overrule career prosecutors and seek a more lenient prison sentence for Mr. Trump’s longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. ‘because of politics.’ ‘In the United States of America, we do not prosecute people based on politics, and we don’t cut them a break based on politics,’ said Mr. Zelinsky, who testified by video because of the coronavirus pandemic. ‘But that wasn’t what happened here. Roger Stone was treated differently because of politics.’ John W. Elias, a senior career official in the antitrust division, charged that his supervisors improperly used their powers to investigate the marijuana industry and a deal between California and four major automakers at the behest of Mr. Barr. He likened their efforts to burdensome harassment meant to punish companies for decisions the attorney general and the president opposed. ‘Personal dislike of the industry is not a valid basis upon which to ground an antitrust investigation,’ Mr. Elias said of the cannabis cases. The two accounts painted a damning portrait of the Justice Department under Mr. Barr, made all the more remarkable given that the witnesses were both still department employees. They could increase pressure on Mr. Barr to further explain decisions related to criminal cases involving Mr. Trump’s associates and the abrupt firing of the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, who had overseen some of the investigations into Trump allies.”

Senate Democrats Block Republican Police Bill, Calling It Inadequate, The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a narrow Republican bill to incentivize police departments to change their tactics, refusing even to open debate on a measure they denounced as an insufficient and irredeemably flawed answer to the problem of systemic racism in law enforcement. The vote, 55 to 45, was a setback in the effort to pass legislation this year to address excessive use of force and racial discrimination by the police, amid a groundswell of public sentiment in favor of overhauling law enforcement. The Democratic-led House is set on Thursday to pass its own sprawling legislation, but Senate Republican leaders have said they will not take up that measure, setting the stage for a bitter stalemate on the issue. Expressing their deep opposition to the bill, Democrats demanded on Tuesday that Republicans negotiate a more expansive package that both parties could support, citing the opposition of dozens of civil rights groups to the measure as drafted and arguing that it was an unacceptable starting point for discussion.” See also, Senate Democrats block Republican policing bill, calling it ‘irrevocably flawed’ and ‘partisan.’ Democrats want the bill to include bans on chokeholds and ‘no-knock’ search warrants and to address qualified immunity, which shields police officers from lawsuits. NBC News, Rebecca Shabad, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked Republicans from taking up a bill to overhaul policing, calling the legislation flawed and a nonstarter. A motion to open debate on the measure, which needed 60 votes, failed 55-45. Ahead of the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republicans for what he called a ‘partisan’ and ‘irrevocably flawed’ approach to fixing the problem of police brutality, which has come into sharp focus in the weeks after the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers.”

Trump’s False Attacks on Voting by Mail Stir Broad Concern, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Nick Corasaniti, and Linda Qiu, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “President Trump is stepping up his attacks on the integrity of the election system, sowing doubts about the November vote at a time when the pandemic has upended normal balloting and as polls show former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. ahead by large margins. Having yet to find an effective formula for undercutting Mr. Biden or to lure him into the kinds of culture war fights that the president prefers, Mr. Trump is training more of his fire on the political process in a way that appears intended to give him the option of raising doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome. Promoting baseless questions about election fraud is nothing new for Mr. Trump. He has hopscotched from saying that President Barack Obama was elected with the help of dead voters to suggesting that undocumented immigrants were voting en masse to claiming that out-of-state voters were bused into New Hampshire in 2016. But in recent days, Mr. Trump has focused intensive new attacks on voting by mail, as states grapple with the challenge of conducting elections in the middle of surging coronavirus cases in many parts of the country…. Mr. Trump has made five dozen false claims about mail balloting since April, as officials in various states began contemplating the need for expanded use of the option amid the pandemic. About a third of the president’s falsehoods were general warnings about widespread fraud in mail-in voting. Another 11 were specific claims about held-up mail carriers, stolen and forged ballots and dead people voting.”

Democratic Convention Moves to Smaller Venue, as Delegates Are Urged to Stay Away, The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein, Wednesday, 24 June 2020: “The Democratic National Convention will move out of Milwaukee’s professional basketball arena, and state delegations are being urged not to travel to the city because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, party officials said Wednesday. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. still intends to travel to Milwaukee to accept his party’s presidential nomination, his campaign manager said, but neither his campaign nor the Democratic National Committee has made firm commitments that Mr. Biden will attend. The Democratic convention will be “anchored” in Milwaukee, but the four-night mid-August event will ‘include both live broadcasts and curated content from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country,’ according to a news release. The announcement that the convention will move five blocks from the 17,000-seat Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee’s convention center, stands in contrast to the plans being made by Republicans, who at the behest of President Trump moved the venue for his nomination acceptance speech from Charlotte, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., where local officials have required fewer safety precautions, even as cases of the virus continue to surge in Florida.”

 

Thursday, 25 June 2020, Day 1,252:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates on Thursday, 25 June 2020: As New Coronavirus Cases Hit Another Record in the U.S., Some States Delay Reopenings. The U.S. reported more than 41,000 new cases on Thursday, the second consecutive day with a record total, and the C.D.C. said the true national caseload was probably 10 times the official count. India plans to test all 29 million residents of its capital for the virus. The New York Times, Thursday, 25 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates on Thursday, 25 June 2020: Hollywood’s Comeback Stalls as ‘Tenet’ Is Delayed again, The New York Times, Thursday, 25 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, 25 June 2020: U.S. Sets another single-day record for new coronavirus cases, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Katie Mettler, Kim Bellware, John Wagner, Adam Taylor, Hamza Shaban, Steven Goff, and Michael Brice-Saddler, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Across the United States, 39,327 new coronavirus infections were reported by state health departments on Thursday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 38,115, which was set on Wednesday. Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs. The death toll also spiked, to about 2,500, as New Jersey added 1,854 probable deaths to its overall tally. Texas reported 5,996 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, beating Wednesday’s record of 5,551. The state’s rolling average of 4,581 was a record and 340 percent higher than the rolling average on Memorial Day. The 47 new deaths were the most since May 20, according to tracking by The Washington Post. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) raised alarms about the biggest jump in new cases in his state since April, emphasizing that more than increased testing is at play. Ohio reported 892 new cases on Thursday, compared to 632 on Wednesday.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The number of Americans who have been infected with the novel coronavirus is likely 10 times higher than the number of cases reported, according to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a call with reporters Thursday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said, ‘Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections.’
  • A rush to reopen the nation’s economy without proper safety measures in place is behind this week’s spike in cases, Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said Thursday on the ‘Today’ show.
  • In New York, coronavirus hospitalizations dipped just below 1,000 for the first time since March 18, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said.
  • President Trump continued to push the discredited notion that coronavirus cases are increasing in the United States because of ‘GREAT TESTING’ and complained that the news media was not spreading the word. While testing has increased, health experts say that in several states with rising caseloads, new cases are outpacing the spread of testing.
  • The World Health Organization said the global pandemic’s hotbed is now in Latin America, which has reported 100,000 fatalities as of this week. New flare-ups have also been reported in Australia, Germany and South Korea.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says coronavirus cases are likely to be 10 times higher than reported, The Washington Post, Lena H. Sun and Joel Achenbach, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The number of people in the United States who have been infected with the coronavirus is likely to be 10 times as high as the 2.4 million confirmed cases, based on antibody tests, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. CDC Director Robert Redfield’s estimate, shared with reporters in a conference call, indicates that at least 24 million Americans have been infected so far. The antibody tests examine a person’s blood for indicators that the immune system has mounted a response to an infection. The serological surveys are being done around the country as epidemiologists try to measure the reach of the virus to date. Redfield said he believes 5 to 8 percent of the population has been infected so far.”

State Coronavirus Data Doesn’t Support Trump’s Misleading Testing Claims, ProPublica, Charles Ornstein and Ash Ngu, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The Trump administration has doubled down on its claims that coronavirus case counts are up because the U.S. has increased testing. However, a closer look at graphs of testing numbers and positive cases shows that this isn’t the case for many states.”

How the Virus Won, The New York Times, Derek Watkins, Josh Holder, James Glanz, Weiyi Cai, Benedict Carey, and Jeremy White, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Invisible outbreaks sprang up everywhere. The United States ignored the warning signs. We analyzed travel patterns, hidden infections and genetic data to show how the epidemic spun out of control.”

Texas Orders Hospitals in Four Counties to Halt Nonessential Surgeries Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, The Wall Street Journal, Melanie Evans and Preetika Rana, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Texas has ordered hospitals in four counties to stop some surgeries as the pandemic gains traction across Western and Southern states and hospitals fill with critical coronavirus patients. Hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties must halt nonessential procedures as of Saturday to make sure beds are available for coronavirus patients, under an executive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday. The governor stopped short of a statewide shutdown, as Texas and other states previously ordered when the pandemic first hit. Hospitals nationwide emptied out in late March under the state orders, which governors began to roll back in late April as economies tentatively reopened. The order also allows surgeries that wouldn’t deplete hospital capacity.”

New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post, Christopher Ingraham, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Coronavirus infections have surged in a number of states, setting the United States on a markedly different pandemic trajectory than other wealthy nations. There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal policy, missteps on testing and tracing, and a national culture emphasizing individualism. In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.”

Government Accountability Office Finds That $1.4 Billion in Stimulus Funds Was Sent to Dead People. A Government Accountability Office report said the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service failed to consult death records, resulting in improper payments. The New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The Trump administration delivered more than a million stimulus payments worth about $1.4 billion to dead people in a rush to pump money into the economy this year, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. The Treasury Department, working with the Internal Revenue Service, raced to deliver nearly $270 billion in economic impact payments to Americans this spring. But a chunk of the money ended up in the wrong places as a result of internal administration decisions, including failing to consult death records to ensure that deceased people were not receiving funds. The improper payments reflect some of the wasteful government spending that occurred in the wake of the rapid economic stabilization effort that was undertaken after Congress passed a $2.6 trillion bailout package in March.” See also, Government Accountability Office finds the Treasury Department sent more than 1 million coronavirus stimulus payments to dead people. The checks sent to dead people as of April 30 totaled nearly $1.4 billion. The Washington Post, Erica Werner, 25 June 2020: “The Washington Post previously reported that the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service disbursed some payments of up to $1,200 each to dead people. But the astonishing scope of the problem had not been known. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent investigative agency that reports to Congress, issued the finding as part of a comprehensive report on the nearly $3 trillion in coronavirus relief spending approved by Congress in March and April. It said it had received the information from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in an accounting as of April 30.”

Another 1.48 million workers are newly unemployed. This is the 14th straight week more than a million people have filed for jobless claims since the pandemic began. The Washington Post, Eli Rosenberg and Abha Bhattarai, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The news Thursday that another 1.48 million people applied for unemployment for the first time last week — the 14th straight that more than 1 million people filed for unemployment — was yet another reminder of the magnitude of the economic crisis. For three weeks straight, the number has hovered around 1.5 million, pointing to the potential stubbornness of the recovery.” See also, U.S. Initial Unemployment Benefits Are Steady at 1.5 million in June, The Wall Street Journal, Sarah Chaney, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The number of workers seeking jobless benefits has held steady at about 1.5 million each week so far in June, signaling a slow recovery for the U.S. economy as states face new infections that could impede hiring and consumer spending. Applications for unemployment benefits were slightly below 1.5 million last week, at 1.48 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday. While weekly totals have gradually eased from a late March peak of nearly 7 million, they also remain well above the prepandemic record of 695,000 in 1982.”

Here Are Some Things to Know About Elijah McClain’s Death. He died in August 2019 after the police in Aurora, Colorado, restrained him with a chokehold that has since been banned.  The New York Times, Lucy Tompkins, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “As outrage over police brutality has erupted across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a wave of fresh attention and scrutiny has been applied to older cases in which people died after encounters with the police. One such case is that of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died last summer after the police in Aurora, Colo., restrained him with a chokehold that has since been banned. Mr. McClain was walking home from a convenience store on Aug. 24 when someone called 911, saying he ‘looked sketchy’ and was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms. The police arrived, and after struggling to handcuff Mr. McClain, officers brought him to the ground and used a carotid hold, which restricts blood to the brain to render someone unconscious. When medical responders arrived, after about 15 minutes, paramedics injected him with ketamine, a powerful sedative. Mr. McClain went into cardiac arrest on the way to a hospital. He died a few days later. Mr. McClain was a massage therapist who is said to have loved animals and who taught himself to play the guitar and the violin, according to The Cut. A photograph of Mr. McClain playing the violin for stray cats, which he believed helped soothe them, has gone viral.” See also, What We Know About the Killing of Elijah McClain, The Cut, Claire Lampen, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Last August, police officers in Aurora, Colorado, approached 23-year-old Elijah McClain as he walked home from a convenience store. The Aurora Police Department later said that a 911 caller had reported a ‘suspicious person’ in a ski mask, and that when officers confronted McClain — who was not armed and had not committed any kind of crime — he ‘resisted arrest.’ In the 15 minutes that followed, the officers tackled McClain to the ground, put him in a carotid hold, and called first responders, who injected him with ketamine. He had a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and died days later, after he was declared brain dead.” See also, Officers involved in Elijah McClain’s death are taken off street duty ‘in an effort to protect’ them, The Hill, Brooke Seipel, published on Friday, 26 June 2020: “Aurora, Colo., officials announced Friday that the three police officers involved in the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain last year have been reassigned and are off the streets for their own protection as McClain’s case gains national attention…. McClain’s last words include him saying: ‘I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies! I don’t eat meat! But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me … I’m so sorry.’ He was held in a chokehold before vomiting. Police then injected him with ketamine to sedate him, leading to a heart attack. He was pronounced dead three days later after he was declared brain dead.”

Three Wilmington, North Carolina, police officers are fired after racist talk of killing black residents: ‘We are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them,’ The Washington Post, Tim Elfrink, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Sitting in his patrol car in Wilmington, N.C., Officer Michael ‘Kevin’ Piner predicted Black Lives Matter protests would soon lead to civil war. ‘I’m ready,’ Piner told another officer, adding that he planned to buy an assault rifle. ‘We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them f—— n——,’ he said. The shocking threat came amid extended, openly racist conversations between Piner, 44, and two other police officers, 50-year-old Cpl. Jesse E. Moore II, and 48-year-old Officer James ‘Brian’ Gilmore. In the discussions, taped by accident on a patrol car camera and released Wednesday by the department, the men freely drop racial slurs, suggest killing black residents and deride protesters. ‘Wipe ’em off the f—— map,’ Piner said of African Americans. ‘That’ll put ’em back about four or five generations.’ All three officers were fired Wednesday, with new Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams, who is black, calling the conversations ‘brutally offensive.'”

Supreme Court Says Rejected Asylum Seekers Have No Right to Object in Court, The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The Supreme Court sided on Thursday with the Trump administration’s efforts to speed the deportation of asylum seekers, ruling that a law limiting the role of federal courts in reviewing those decisions was constitutional. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, allowing them to continue to use a program that shields them from deportation and allows them to work. Thursday’s decision, which barred immigrants whose asylum claims were rejected in bare-bones proceedings from filing petitions for habeas corpus, struck a strikingly different note.” See also, Supreme Court agrees with Trump administration on limits for asylum seekers, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Nick Miroff, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that asylum seekers who are quickly turned down by U.S. immigration officials do not have a right to make their case in federal court, a win for the Trump administration and its desire to rapidly deport people who enter the United States illegally. The ruling was 7 to 2, although the usual undercurrents of an ideological divide on the court were present. Two of the court’s liberals dissented, and the other two agreed only with the outcome in the specific case.” See also, Supreme Court Eases Path to Deport Asylum Seekers, The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The Supreme Court on Thursday smoothed the government’s path to deport unauthorized immigrants seeking asylum, ruling that a noncitizen apprehended shortly after crossing the border has no constitutional right to challenge immigration officials’ ‘expedited removal’ orders in federal court. In an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, the court’s conservative majority held that such noncitizens are entitled only to the administrative process Congress provided, which allows asylum seekers to make their claims before immigration officers; if they are denied, their claims can be reviewed by an immigration judge, who is a Justice Department employee and not part of the independent federal judiciary.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Moves to Empower Justice Department’s Independent Watchdog Over Attorney General William Barr’s Objections, The New York Times, Katie Benner, Nicholas Fandos and Charlie Savage, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday advanced an effort to expand the power of the Justice Department’s independent watchdog to investigate allegations of ethical violations and professional misconduct by department lawyers, overriding the objections of Attorney General William P. Barr. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 21 to 1 to approve the bipartisan measure, which unanimously passed the House last year. It would shift the responsibility for investigating lawyer misconduct from an office under Mr. Barr’s supervision to the department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz.”

House Passes Sweeping Policing Bill Targeting Racial Bias and Use of Force. Democrats’ legislation would institute significant changes to the rules that govern how police officers operate, but it is doomed in the Republican-led Senate. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “The House on Thursday passed an expansive policing overhaul bill aimed at combating racial discrimination and excessive use of force in law enforcement, as Democrats sought to respond to a nationwide outcry for racial justice and pushed through legislation that is doomed in the Republican-controlled Senate. The bipartisan vote was 236-181 to approve the measure, the most sweeping federal intervention into law enforcement in years. It would eliminate legal protections that shield police officers from lawsuits, make it easier to prosecute them for wrongdoing, impose a new set of restrictions on the use of deadly force, and effectively ban the use of chokeholds. But passage of the legislation, introduced as a response to the killings of black Americans across the country and a wave of protests that have followed, only underscored the depth of the stalemate in Congress over how to bring about law enforcement changes that both parties say are needed. Republicans have said the bill is a federal overreach into policing that will never pass the Senate, and the White House has threatened a veto.”

Police Groups Wield Strong Influence in Congress, Resisting the Strictest Reforms, The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Catie Edmondson, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Law enforcement groups, which have donated generously to members of both political parties, have dictated the terms of the debate on an overhaul, prodding lawmakers to reject the toughest measures.”

Inside Attorney General William Barr’s Effort to Undermine Prosecutors in New York, The New York Times, Benjamin Weiser, Ben Protess, Katie Benner, and William K. Rashbaum, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “Shortly after he became attorney general last year, William P. Barr set out to challenge a signature criminal case that touched President Trump’s inner circle directly, and even the president’s own actions: the prosecution of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime fixer. The debate between Mr. Barr and the federal prosecutors who brought the case against Mr. Cohen was one of the first signs of a tense relationship that culminated last weekend in the abrupt ouster of Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan. It also foreshadowed Mr. Barr’s intervention in the prosecutions of other associates of Mr. Trump.”

Court in New York rejects effort to block book by Trump’s niece, The Washington Post, Michael Kranish, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “A New York court on Thursday rejected an effort by President Trump’s family to block the publication of a book by the president’s niece, Mary L. Trump, who is said to describe the ‘nightmare of traumas’ that led to her uncle being the ‘world’s most dangerous man.’ However, the effort to block the book is set to continue in a different court. Judge Peter J. Kelly of Queens County Surrogate’s Court dismissed the effort by President Trump’s brother, Robert, to block publication on grounds that it was filed in an improper jurisdiction and that a family probate dispute had long been settled.” See also, Trump Family Will Ask Second Court to Stop Publication of Tell-All Book, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer, Thursday, 25 June 2020: “A Queens County, N.Y., Surrogate’s Court judge on Thursday rejected a request to bar President Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, from publishing a tell-all book about the family because the court lacked jurisdiction in the case. Judge Peter J. Kelly recommended that Robert S. Trump, the president’s brother, take to another court his claim that publishing the book, ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,’ would violate a nondisclosure agreement signed by Ms. Trump. ‘Insofar as the petition seeks a declaratory judgment, this forum is presumptively improper,’ Mr. Kelly wrote. Charles Harder, a lawyer for Robert Trump, said he would now file suit in the New York State Supreme Court, which is a lower-level court in the state, in an effort to stop Simon & Schuster from publishing the book on July 28.”