Trump Administration, Week 176: Friday, 29 May – Thursday, 4 June 2020 (Days 1,225-1,231)

Photos tweeted by Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., juxtaposing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd and Colin Kapernick taking a knee during the national anthem, protesting police violence and racial injustice.


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, 29 May 2020, Day 1,225:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 29 May 2020: India Loosens Restrictions, Despite Coronavirus Surge. Baghdad has shut down again; Israel might as well. Moscow has doubled its official death toll. The New York Times, Friday, 29 May 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some U.S. Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 29 May 2020: Sparring and Schedules Offer Glimpse of Pandemic’s Partisan Lens. There is a growing partisan divide about how to conduct political business in an era of concerns about public health. The New York Times, Friday, 29 May 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some New York Region Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 29 May 2020: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Says New York City Is Expected to Open June 8, The New York Times, Friday, 29 May 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 176, Friday, 29 May – Thursday, 4 June 2020 (Days 1,225-1,231)

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 29 May 2020: Stocks Climb After Trump Speaks on China, The New York Times, Friday, 29 May 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 29 May 2020: Trump terminates U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming it misled the world about the coronavirus, The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Abigail Hauslohner, Brittany Shammas, Samantha Pell, Michael Brice-Saddler, Colby Itkowitz, Katie Shepherd, Teo Armus, and John Wagner, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Trump leveled an extraordinary broadside at the Chinese government Friday and attacked the World Health Organization, saying the United States ‘will today be terminating our relationship’ with the U.N. organization. During remarks delivered in the Rose Garden, Trump said WHO was effectively controlled by Beijing and accused it of misleading the world about the coronavirus at the urging of the Chinese government. The president said the organization’s more than $400 million annual contribution from the United States would be diverted to other health groups. Meanwhile, slowing rates of infection in some of the hardest-hit parts of the United States offered a glimmer of hope. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said New York City is on track to begin to reopen the week of June 8. The city is the only region in the state that remains under a complete stay-at-home-order. Other parts of the nation and the world, however, are bracing for the worst. Globally, the pandemic has shifted to Latin America and the Middle East, as the global death toll continues to rise.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defended the agency’s failure to spot early coronavirus spread in the United States, saying that even if widespread diagnostic testing had been in place, it would have been like ‘looking for a needle in a haystack.’
  • Twitter added fact-checking labels to several tweets by a Chinese government spokesman on the coronavirus, the same week the U.S. company deployed similar measures against Trump. ‘Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China,’ Trump tweeted Friday.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs has drastically scaled back the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat veterans with covid-19 after a major study raised questions about its efficacy and linked it to serious side effects, including higher risks of death.
  • Amid economic instability worsened by the pandemic, Spain approved a nationwide minimum income plan designed to reach 850,000 households.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Listening to Black Voices Amid Murder, Violence, Protest, and Pandemic,, Jason Kottke, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Hi. [Today I compiled] a sampling of what black people (along with a few immigrant and other PoC voices) are saying about the recent murders by police of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the threatening of Christian Cooper with police violence by a white woman, the protests in Minneapolis & other places, and the unequal impact of the pandemic on communities of color, as well as what black voices have said in the past about similar incidents & situations. This is not an exhaustive list of reaction & commentary — it’s just a sample.”

Trump’s Looting and ‘Shooting’ Remarks Escalate Crisis in Minneapolis, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Trump issued a violent ultimatum to protesters in Minneapolis on Friday and inserted himself in a harshly divisive fashion into the crisis there, attacking the city’s Democratic mayor and raising the specter that the military could use armed force to suppress riots that erupted after the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer. Mr. Trump’s threat to have unruly protesters shot — ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ — stirred an outcry in Minnesota and from his national critics, with his Democratic challenger in the presidential race, Joseph R. Biden Jr., expressing indignation that Mr. Trump was ‘calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain.’ The aftermath of Mr. Trump’s comments proceeded along lines familiar from other presidential eruptions, with Mr. Trump doing nothing to temper his heated tweets for many hours before suddenly retreating some 14 hours later. The president insisted on Twitter that he had been misinterpreted, then held an event in the Rose Garden at which he made no mention of events in Minneapolis, and finally at an afternoon round table described the strife there as tragic and conceded demonstrators had legitimate grievances. But Mr. Trump’s overnight rhetoric about the crisis was clear enough in its description of a potential crackdown, and framed in bluntly ideological terms as a broadside against a liberal local government. ‘I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,’ Mr. Trump wrote shortly before 1 a.m. on Friday. ‘A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.’ Mr. Trump’s mix of demands and attacks came despite the fact that Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota had already activated and deployed the National Guard in response to a request from local leaders.”

Twitter Adds Warning Labels to Two Tweets by Trump and to the Official White House Twitter Account, Fueling Tensions.  Twitter said the tweets, which implied that protesters in Minneapolis could be shot, glorified violence — the first time it had applied such warnings to any public figure’s posts. The New York Times, Davey Alba, Kate Conger, and Raymond Zhong, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Twitter escalated its confrontation with President Trump on Friday, adding warning labels to two tweets by Mr. Trump and the official White House Twitter account that implied that protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. Amid the unrest in Minnesota, Mr. Trump posted a message on Twitter early Friday saying that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts.’ Twitter quickly prevented users from viewing the tweet without reading a brief notice that the post glorified violence, the first time it had applied such a warning on any public figure’s tweets. The official White House account then reposted Mr. Trump’s message; Twitter responded by adding the same notice.” See also, Twitter flags Trump and the White House for ‘glorifying violence’ after tweeting Minneapolis looting will lead to ‘shooting,’ The Washington Post, Tony Romm and Allyson Chiu, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Trump took to Twitter early Friday to condemn Minneapolis demonstrators as ‘THUGS,’ threaten military intervention and predict local looting could lead to ‘shooting,’ prompting the social-media company to take the unprecedented step of limiting the public’s ability to view and share his tweet. The label Twitter appended — which the company also added later to a tweet from the White House — marks the second time in a week the tech giant has taken action in response to Trump’s controversial remarks. Trump and his allies again decried the move as censorship, promising to regulate the company a day after he signed an executive order that could open the door for the U.S. government to punish social-media sites for their handling of political speech online. Trump fired off his early morning comment as protests over the death of George Floyd intensified in Minneapolis. Fires raged across the city Thursday night as demonstrators took to the streets because Floyd, who was black, died in police custody. The unrest has reverberated nationwide, including in Louisville, where Breonna Taylor, a black woman and aspiring nurse, was killed by police in March. ‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,’ Trump tweeted shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, adding, ‘Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.'” See also, Trump threatens to unleash gunfire on Minnesota protesters. Trump’s tweet earned a warning label from Twitter for violating its policies on ‘glorifying violence.’ Politico, Quint Forgey, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Donald Trump on Friday seemingly urged the shooting of looters in Minnesota, fueling the national unrest sparked by the death of an African-American man, [George Floyd], in police custody with a call for military violence against U.S. citizens so extraordinary that it was partially obscured by Twitter.” See also, Trump tweets threat that ‘looting’ will lead to ‘shooting.’ Twitter put a warning label on it. CNN Business, Brian Stelter and Donie O’Sullivan, Friday, 29 May 2020. See also, Where does the phrase ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’ come from? NBC News, Rebecca Shabad, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Twitter said early Friday that a post by President Donald Trump about the protests overnight in Minneapolis glorified violence because of the historical context of his last line: ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts.’ The phrase was used both by Miami’s police chief, Walter Headley, in 1967, and by presidential candidate and segregationist George Wallace the following year. Hadley used it when he addressed his department’s ‘crackdown on … slum hoodlums,’ according to a United Press International article from the time. Headley, who was chief of police in Miami for 20 years, said that law enforcement was going after ‘young hoodlums, from 15 to 21, who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign. … We don’t mind being accused of police brutality. There is only one way to handle looters and arsonists during a riot and that is to shoot them on sight. I’ve let the word filter down: When the looting starts the shooting starts,’ Headley said, according to a New York Times report from 1970.” See also, ‘Looting’ Comment From Trump Dates Back to Racial Unrest of the 1960s, The New York Times, Michael Wines, Friday, 29 May 2020: “An incendiary phrase used by President Trump in a tweet about the protests over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis appears to have originated in a 1967 news conference held by a Miami police chief long accused of using racist tactics in his force’s patrols of black neighborhoods.”

Derek Chauvin, Ex-Minneapolis Police Officer, Is Charged With Third-Degree Murder and Second-Degree Manslaughter in Death of George Floyd, The New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar, Tim Arango, and Manny Fernandez, Friday, 29 May 2020: “A white former Minneapolis police officer was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday after a shocking video of him kneeling for nearly nine minutes on the neck of a black man set off a wave of protests across the country. The former officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, was taken into custody on charges that carry a combined maximum 35-year sentence. Mr. Chauvin kept his knee planted even as the man, George Floyd, told all four officers involved in his arrest that he could not breathe. At times, Mr. Floyd begged ‘please’ and cried out ‘mama,’ according to a statement of probable cause released by prosecutors. ‘The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total,’ the court document said. ‘Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive.'” See also, What Happened in the Chaotic Moments Before George Floyd Died, The New York Times, Matt Furber, Audra D. S. Burch, and Frances Robles, Friday, 29 May 2020: “One was a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department who moonlighted as a security guard. The other provided security at a Salvation Army store, and spent some of his evenings at local clubs, working as a bouncer. In the year before their fatal encounter, George Floyd, 46, and the officer now charged with his death, Derek Chauvin, 44, worked at the same Minneapolis Latin nightclub, both part of the team responsible for keeping rowdy customers under control. Their paths crossed for the last time in the waning light of a Memorial Day evening, outside a corner store known as the best place in town to find menthol cigarettes. Within an hour, Mr. Floyd was dead, his last pleas and gasps captured in a horrifically graphic video…. Bystanders waved their cellphones, cursed and pleaded for help, and still, for two minutes and 53 seconds after Mr. Floyd had stopped protesting and became unresponsive, the officer continued to kneel. The case has become part of a now-familiar history of police violence in recent years in which African-American men have died in encounters that were shockingly mundane in their origins — Eric Garner, who died after a 2014 arrest in New York for selling cigarettes without tax stamps; Michael Brown, who died in an encounter with the police the same year in Ferguson, Mo., after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.” See also, Why Derek Chauvin Was Charged With Third-Degree Murder, The New York Times, Sarah Mervosh and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Friday, 29 May 2020: “The former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd held his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including for two minutes and 53 seconds after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive, according to a document released by prosecutors on Friday. The document, a statement of probable cause, was used to support a third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against the former officer, Derek Chauvin. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. The probable cause statement also said that preliminary results from an autopsy ‘revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,’ adding that Mr. Floyd had coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. ‘The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,’ the statement said.” See also, Charging officers with crimes is still difficult for prosecutors, The Washington Post, Tom Jackman and Devlin Barrett, Friday, 29 May 2020: “In recent years, killings of black men at the hands of police have led to intense scrutiny of the use of deadly force by officers. Citizens have marched in protest and departments have changed the way they train street cops. But even with that shift, prosecutors seeking to criminally charge officers still face many hurdles. The standard of proof is higher than a normal self-defense case. Prosecutors typically consider themselves part of the law enforcement ‘team’ with police, and they may even know the potential defendant. And when a case finally goes to trial, juries tend to be sympathetic to the daily challenges faced by officers on the street and are more inclined to vote ‘not guilty.'”

A Justice Department Skeptical of Police Abuse Cases Vows to Investigate the Death of George Floyd, The New York Times, Katie Benner and Emily Badger, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday labeled the images of the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis whom a white police officer knelt on for nearly nine minutes, as ‘harrowing’ and ‘deeply disturbing’ and vowed that the federal investigation into his death would proceed quickly…. But the Trump administration’s years of inaction on police violence and President Trump’s embrace of law enforcement have made civil rights advocates wary of the Justice Department’s involvement in the Floyd case. The administration has largely dismantled police oversight efforts, curbing the use of federal consent decrees to overhaul local police departments. Mr. Barr has said that communities that criticize law enforcement may not deserve police protection, and Mr. Trump has encouraged officers not to be ‘too nice’ in handling suspects.”

Congress Plans Hearings on Racial Violence and Use of Force by the Police. Top Democrat Jerrold Nadler said the House would likely weigh a federal chokehold ban as leaders in the House and Senate announced hearings on race and policing. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Top lawmakers in both parties, spurred to action by the death of a black Minnesota man in the custody of white police officers, said on Friday that they would hold hearings in the coming weeks on the use of excessive force by law enforcement and on racial violence. Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview that he would convene a hearing in June to consider new federal actions that could help stem racial violence, especially acts of brutality by law enforcement against black and brown Americans. He also said his committee was looking at a federal chokehold ban and legislation to establish a commission to study the social status of black men and boys.”

Chaos in Minneapolis as Protests Grow Across the U.S., The New York Times, Friday, 29 May 2020:

‘Never seen anything like this’: A CNN journalist’s arrest on live television shocks the nation and inflames racial wounds, The Washington Post, Paul Farhi, Friday, 29 May 2020: “CNN reporter Omar Jimenez began his workday before dawn on Friday, prepared to cover the aftermath of protests in Minneapolis that had turned destructive. Smoke still wafted and a small fire flickered from the remains of a liquor store burned out the night before as he and his crew set up their live shot on a broad avenue. Within minutes, he was arrested on the job — and became part of the story he’d been assigned to cover. Reporters have been arrested — as well as bashed, gassed, disfigured and killed — in the course of covering the anarchy of street demonstrations and riots. Such incidents occur relatively infrequently in the U.S., though — and almost never on live television. Jimenez and his colleagues — field producer Bill Kirkos, photojournalist Leonel Mendez and an unidentified security person — were reporting in front of a line of Minnesota state police on CNN’s “New Day” morning program at 5:09 a.m. local time Friday….  Jimenez’s arrest was widely condemned on Friday by press groups and others — and for many viewers, picked at the wounds that had been opened by the racially charged killing that sparked the street protests Jimenez was covering.” See also, CNN crew released from police custody after they were arrested live on air in Minneapolis, CNN, Jason Hanna and Amir Vera, published on Saturday, 30 May 2020: “A CNN crew was arrested while giving a live television report Friday morning in Minneapolis — and then released about an hour later — as the crew covered ongoing protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd…. CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter, and telling the officers the crew would move wherever officers needed them to. An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs. ‘We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here. … Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way — wherever you want us (we’ll) get out of your way,’ Jimenez said to police before he was led away…. CNN’s Josh Campbell, who was in the area but not standing with the on-air crew, said he, too, was approached by police, but was allowed to remain. ‘I identified myself … they said, OK, you’re permitted to be in the area,’ recounted Campbell, who is white. ‘I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.’ Jimenez is black and Latino.”

In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, Joe Biden seeks to project empathy as activists and party leaders demand details, The Washington Post, Sean Sullivan, Jenna Johnson, and Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Joe Biden took a deep, audible breath and in a somber voice revealed that he had just spoken with the family of George Floyd, the black man whose death in Minneapolis police custody has sparked angry protests. For the next few minutes, he tried to project compassion to a grieving and anguished America. ‘The original sin of this country still stains our nation today,’ said Biden, who had refashioned his website with one word at the top: ‘Enough.’ During ‘weeks like this,’ he said, ‘we see it plainly that we’re a country with an open wound.’ The live-streamed address from his Delaware home midafternoon Friday was long on solidarity and short on details, encapsulating the presumptive Democratic nominee’s strategy for defeating President Trump — present himself as the calm, empathetic alternative to the incumbent, someone capable of turning the page on the chaotic and often vindictive approach favored by the Republican. It was not until hours later that Trump reported he had spoken with the Floyd family. But at a moment many Democrats see as a breaking point in a long national struggle against racism and police violence, Biden’s strategy carried some risk, as activists and party leaders simultaneously demanded the former vice president speak in greater detail about exactly how he’d prevent future deaths in a system they believe has long been tilted against people of color.” See also, ‘The Pain Is Too Intense’: Biden Challenges White Americans, The New York Times, Jonathan Martin and Katie Glueck, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., addressing a nation on edge, challenged white Americans on Friday to fully confront the enduring inequities faced by black Americans because, he said, ‘the pain is too intense for one community to bear alone.’ In his first formal remarks since a white Minneapolis police officer was recorded kneeling on the neck of a black man who later died, Mr. Biden spoke in stark terms about the everyday indignities African-Americans still suffer, from the threat of police violence to the cloud of suspicion that follows them from coffee shops to public parks…. His impassioned plea stood in contrast to President Trump, who just minutes after Mr. Biden spoke appeared at the White House but declined to address the country’s boiling racial tensions — after stoking them with an inflammatory tweet in the morning suggesting that unruly protesters might be shot. Mr. Trump did address the death of the man, George Floyd, at a round table later Friday, calling it a terrible event that should ‘never happen.’ What was just as revealing about Mr. Biden’s address Friday, and his underlying political wager, is what he did not say. He made no attempt to soothe the fears of those white Americans who, while sympathetic to the plight of people of color, are … uneasy about the kinds of disturbances that left parts of Minneapolis in flames Thursday night.”

Gripped by disease, unemployment, and outrage at the police, the U.S. plunges into crisis, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky and Isaac Stanley-Becker, Friday, 29 May 2020: “A global pandemic has now killed more than 100,000 Americans and left 40 million unemployed in its wake. Protests — some of them violent — have once again erupted in spots across the country over police killings of black Americans. President Trump, meanwhile, is waging a war against Twitterattacking his political rivalscriticizing a voting practice he himself uses and suggesting that looters could be shot. America’s persistent political dysfunction and racial inequality were laid bare this week, as the coronavirus death toll hit a tragic new milestone and as the country was served yet another reminder of how black people are killed by law enforcement in disproportionately high numbers. Together, the events present a grim tableau of a nation in crisis — one seared by violence against its citizens, plagued by a deadly disease that remains uncontained and rattled by a devastating blow to its economy.”

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said Trump insisted on full convention with no face masks or social distancing, CNN Politics, Kate Sullivan and Ryan Nobles, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Donald Trump called Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday and insisted on a full Republican convention this summer with no face masks or social distancing, according to a spokesperson for the governor. ‘The Governor spoke to the President today. When the President insisted on a full convention arena with no face coverings and no social distancing the Governor expressed concerns and suggested a scaled back event with fewer attendees,’ said Sadie Weiner, a spokeswoman for the governor, in a statement. ‘They agreed to continue talking about ways to have a safe convention in Charlotte.’ The call comes days after Trump threatened to pull the convention from Charlotte and railed against Cooper. Trump said the governor is ‘unable to guarantee’ that the arena can be filled to capacity, and said Tuesday that Cooper has about ‘a week’ to decide whether the convention could take place in Charlotte.”

Inside an Extraordinary Republican Event: ‘Pressing Flesh and Kissing Babies’ Again. At the South Carolina event, attended by Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, there were few masks and no social distancing — and that was the point. The New York Times, Astead W. Herndon, Friday, 29 May 2020: At the outdoor gathering of South Carolina Republicans on Thursday, “Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks. ‘Social distancing guidelines are recommended,’ the invitation had said. ‘Hand sanitizer and face masks will be available.’ In reality, according to interviews with more than a dozen attendees, the event was an active rejection of behavior that the hyper-conservative crowd has come to associate with liberal enemies in recent months — wearing masks and gloves, staying six feet away from other people, avoiding physical touch. To treat the coronavirus as something to be feared, they said, was a political act incongruous with their values.”

Trump just said what Republicans have been trying not to say for years, The Washington Post, Philip Bump, Friday, 29 May 2020: “Trump revealed his real concern about mail-in voting: He’s worried Republicans will lose more elections.”

Trump Sided With Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Over Veterans’ Groups, Vetoing a Measure That Would Have Blocked New Regulations That Tighten Access to Student Loan Forgiveness, The New York Times, Erica L. Green, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution on Friday to overturn new regulations that significantly tighten access to federal student loan forgiveness, siding with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over veterans’ organizations that say her rules will harm veterans bilked by unscrupulous for-profit colleges. The veto will allow stringent rules for students seeking loan forgiveness to take effect on July 1. The rules toughen standards established under the Obama administration for student borrowers seeking to prove their colleges defrauded them and to have their federal loans erased. Even if some borrowers can show they were victims of unscrupulous universities, they could be denied relief unless they can prove their earnings have been adversely affected.”

Declassified Transcripts Show Michael Flynn Discussed Sanctions at Length With Russian Diplomat Sergey Kislyak in Late 2016, The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 29 May 2020: “The former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn discussed sanctions at length with a Russian diplomat in late 2016, according to transcripts declassified on Friday that appear to bolster earlier assertions that Mr. Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and F.B.I. agents about those conversations. The transcripts have become a conservative cause, and the Justice Department threw the weight of the Trump administration behind it in moving recently to throw out Mr. Flynn’s guilty plea to a charge of lying to agents in the Russia investigation about the calls. President Trump has said Mr. Flynn was badly treated, part of Mr. Trump’s campaign to escalate unfounded accusations that the government’s investigation was a plot to undermine him. Mr. Flynn has said he does not remember talking in late 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak, about sanctions newly imposed by the Obama administration as punishment for Russia’s election meddling. But the transcripts showed that the sanctions were the central discussion point between the men.”

Trump announces end of US relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), CNN Politics, Jason Hoffman and Maegan Vazquez, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the United States will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization, a move he has threatened throughout the coronavirus pandemic and one that earned quick criticism from both sides of the aisle…. Trump had previously announced a temporary halt of funding to the WHO and sent a letter to the agency earlier in May saying that the US would permanently pull funding if the WHO did not ‘commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days.’ In that letter, Trump included a false description of when information about the virus was published in The Lancet, prompting the prestigious medical journal to publicly dispute his claims. Trump’s decision to permanently terminate the US relationship with the WHO follows a years-long pattern of skepticism of world organizations, with the President claiming in nearly every circumstance that the US was being taken advantage of.” See also, Trump announces U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization. Alarmed health experts said the move will set back global efforts to fight the pandemic. Politico, Brianna Ehley and Alice Miranda Ollstein, Friday, 29 May 2020.

Trump Takes Steps Meant to Punish Beijing Over Hong Kong, The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Restuccia and Kate O’Keeffe, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Trump launched initiatives meant to punish China for tightening control over Hong Kong and for misdeeds from espionage to its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in moves likely to compound a tense rivalry with Beijing. The actions Mr. Trump announced Friday include withdrawing from the World Health Organization, suspending entry to the U.S. by Chinese nationals deemed security risks to American scientific research, and scrutinizing Chinese companies listed on U.S. markets. He also said the U.S. would start rolling back special preferences for Hong Kong, and he threatened to place sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials ‘directly or indirectly involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy’ after China moved ahead with plans to impose potentially draconian national-security laws on the city.” See also, Rebuking China, Trump Curtails Ties to Hong Kong and Severs Them With the World Health Organization, The New York Times, Michael Crowley, Edward Wong, and Ana Swanson, Friday, 29 May 2020: “President Trump said Friday that his administration would ‘begin the process’ of ending the American government’s special relationship with Hong Kong, including on trade and law enforcement, and that he was withdrawing from the World Health Organization, as part of a broad effort to retaliate against China. But the president was unclear about the speed and full scope of the actions, and his remarks left many questions unanswered. Stock markets rose after Mr. Trump’s speech in the White House Rose Garden, suggesting that investors had feared the president would take even more draconian steps against China, the world’s second-largest economy.”

Trump Is the Most Mendacious President in U.S. History, The New Yorker, Susan B. Glasser, Friday, 29 May 2020: “On Sunday, on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, President Donald Trump accused the TV talk-show host Joe Scarborough of murder. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, he attacked the integrity of America’s forthcoming ‘rigged’ election. When he woke up on Wednesday, he alleged that the Obama Administration had ‘spied, in an unprecedented manner, on the Trump Campaign, and beyond, and even on the United States Senate.’ By midnight Wednesday, a few hours after the number of U.S. deaths in the coronavirus pandemic officially exceeded a hundred thousand, the President of the United States retweeted a video that says, ‘the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.’ This is not the first time when the tweets emanating from the man in the White House have featured baseless accusations of murder, vote fraud, and his predecessor’s ‘illegality and corruption.’ It’s not even the first time this month. So many of the things that Trump does and says are inconceivable for an American President, and yet he does and says them anyway. The Trump era has been a seemingly endless series of such moments. From the start of his Administration, his tweets have been an open-source intelligence boon, a window directly into the President’s needy id, and a real-time guide to his obsessions and intentions. Misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies were always central to his politics. In recent months, however, his tweeting appears to have taken an even darker, more manic, and more mendacious turn, as Trump struggles to manage the convergence of a massive public-health crisis and a simultaneous economic collapse while running for reëlection.”


Saturday, 30 May 2020, Day 1,226:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 30 May 2020: Trump Postpones June G7 Summit, The New York Times, Saturday, 30 May 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, 30 May 2020: Trump postpones G-7 summit until September after German Chancellor Angela Merkel declines his invitation, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Karla Adam, Miriam Berger, Candace Buckner, and Samantha Pell, , Saturday, 30 May 2020: “President Trump says he will postpone until September the annual Group of Seven meeting of world leaders. The president had wanted to hold the gathering in-person by the end of June at the White House. But earlier Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined his invitation, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. ‘As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington,’ a spokesman for Merkel said in a statement to The Washington Post. Trump said he plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the September meeting.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Government officials and health experts around the world criticized Trump’s decision to terminate the United States’ relationship with the World Health Organization. European Union leaders urged him to reconsider the move, saying international cooperation was essential to succeed in controlling the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed into law on Saturday a bill increasing benefits to the families of medical staff, police officers, transit workers, and other public employees who have died while on the job from covid-19.
  • Coronavirus deaths in the United States probably surpassed 100,000 three weeks before the official death toll reached that milestone, according to an analysis by The Washington Post and researchers from the Yale School of Public Health.
  • The Supreme Court late Friday rejected a California church’s challenge of the state’s new pandemic-related rules on worship services, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s liberals in the 5-to-4 vote.
  • Health officials are investigating the potential spread of the coronavirus in central Missouri after a person who attended crowded pool parties at the Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend tested positive for the virus.
  • A Michigan barber who became a symbol of the anti-shutdown movement when he defied the governor’s coronavirus restrictions must close his shop until health officials say it’s safe to reopen, a judge ordered.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Coronavirus pandemic’s overall death toll in the U.S. likely surpassed 100,000 weeks ago, The Washington Post, Andrew Ba Tran, Leslie Shapiro, and Emma Brown, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The number of people reported to have died of the novel coronavirus in the United States surpassed 100,000 this week, a grim marker of lives lost directly to the disease, but an analysis of overall deaths during the pandemic shows that the nation probably reached a similar terrible milestone three weeks ago. Between March 1 and May 9, the nation recorded an estimated 101,600 excess deaths, or deaths beyond the number that would normally be expected for that time of year, according to an analysis conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health. That figure reflects about 26,000 more fatalities than were attributed to covid-19 on death certificates during that period, according to federal data.”

George Floyd Protests Live Briefing: Fiery Clashes Erupt Between Police and Protesters Across the Country Over the Killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, The New York Times, Saturday, 30 May 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

In Days of Discord, Trump Fans the Flames, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “With a nation on edge, ravaged by disease, hammered by economic collapse, divided over lockdowns and even face masks and now convulsed once again by race, President Trump’s first instinct has been to look for someone to fight. Over the last week, America reeled from 100,000 pandemic deaths, 40 million people out of work and cities in flames over a brutal police killing of a subdued black man. But Mr. Trump was on the attack against China, the World Health Organization, Big Tech, former President Barack Obama, a cable television host and the mayor of a riot-torn city. While other presidents seek to cool the situation in tinderbox moments like this, Mr. Trump plays with matches. He roars into any melee he finds, encouraging street uprisings against public health measures advanced by his own government, hurling made-up murder charges against a critic, accusing his predecessor of unspecified crimes, vowing to crack down on a social media company that angered him and then seemingly threatening to meet violence with violence in Minneapolis. As several cities erupted in street protests after the killing of George Floyd, some of them resulting in clashes with the police, Mr. Trump made no appeal for calm. Instead in a series of tweets and comments to reporters on Saturday, he blamed the unrest on Democrats, called on ‘Liberal Governors and Mayors’ to get ‘MUCH tougher’ on the crowds, threatened to intervene with ‘the unlimited power of our Military’ and even suggested his own supporters mount a counterdemonstration. The turmoil came right to Mr. Trump’s doorstep for the second night in a row on Saturday as hundreds of people protesting Mr. Floyd’s death and the president’s response surged in streets near the White House…. Mr. Trump praised the Secret Service for being ‘very cool’ and ‘very professional’ but assailed the Democratic mayor of Washington for not providing city police officers to help on Friday night, which she denied. While governors and mayors have urged restraint, Mr. Trump seemed more intent on taunting the protesters, bragging about the violence that would have met them had they tried to get onto White House grounds. ‘Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence,’ the president wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. ‘If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action.’ His suggestion that his own supporters should come to the White House on Saturday foreshadowed the possibility of a clash outside his own doors. ‘Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???’ he wrote on Twitter, using the acronym for his first campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again.’ Asked about the tweet later, he denied encouraging violence by his supporters. ‘They love African-American people,’ he said. ‘They love black people. MAGA loves the black people.'” See also, Trump Threatens White House Protesters With ‘Vicious Dogs’ and ‘Ominous Weapons,’ The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Saturday, 30 May 2020.

Trump administration offers active-duty military forces and intelligence to help quell Minnesota unrest, The Washington Post, Dan Lamothe, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The Trump administration has offered the use of active-duty soldiers and intelligence to assist in quelling unrest in Minnesota, including some forces who were put on alert to deploy, national and state officials said Saturday. Gov. Tim Walz (D) acknowledged the offer as he announced that he was mobilizing the entire Minnesota National Guard. He did so after several nights of rioting in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody this week in Minneapolis while handcuffed and on video. Walz downplayed the significance of the Pentagon’s offer to send U.S. armed forces, saying that ‘this has happened before’ where soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division and other parts of the Army are put ‘on readiness.'”

Protests mount and violence flares in cities across the U.S., putting the nation on edge, The Washington Post, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Colby Itkowitz, and Meryl Kornfield, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The United States edged closer to nationwide upheaval on Saturday as protests gained force from coast to coast and authorities confronted another night of unrest over the death of George Floyd. The killing of the 46-year-old black man in police custody has ignited furor as Americans marked the grim milestone of 100,000 lives lost to the novel coronavirus. Video of the fatal encounter in Minneapolis brought crowds rushing back to the streets after weeks of stay-at-home restrictions, in a return marked by spasms of violence that further frayed the social fabric of a country beset by health and economic emergencies.”

Tension between police and protesters flares in front of the White House, The Washington Post, Marissa J. Lang, Michael E. Miller, Hannah Natanson, and Peter Jamison, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “Crowds protesting the killing of George Floyd clashed with U.S. Secret Service, Park Police and D.C. police officers in the nation’s capital Saturday afternoon and evening, the second outburst of violent confrontations in less than 24 hours between law enforcement and activists decrying police brutality. By nightfall, nearly 1,000 protesters were circling the perimeter of the White House grounds, which was fortified with law enforcement vehicles, metal barriers and rows of armored Secret Service, D.C. police and U.S. Park Police.”

Outsiders and extremists are among those fomenting violence in Twin Cities, MPR News, Jon Collins and Elizabeth Shockman, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “State officials, protesters and residents say they’re alarmed by the presence of extremists who may be using Twin Cities protests against the police killing of George Floyd as cover to burn down buildings and face off with law enforcement. Hundreds of buildings have been damaged and many totally burned in recent days.Gov. Tim Walz said state officials estimated that 80 percent of the people involved in the violence and destruction were from outside the state. But according to an analysis of Hennepin County jail records, 83 percent of people who were booked in connection with the protests over a 24-hour stretch starting Friday were from Minnesota, and 56 percent were from Minneapolis or St. Paul. Walz said that what began as peaceful demonstrations in response to the killing of George Floyd in police custody on May 25 have turned into something else.”

Thousands of Complaints Do Little to Change Police Ways. Efforts to hold problem officers accountable face resistance from unions, and juries are reluctant to second-guess. The New York Times, Shaila Dewan and Serge F. Kovaleski, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “In nearly two decades with the Minneapolis Police Department, Derek Chauvin faced at least 17 misconduct complaints, none of which derailed his career. Over the years, civilian review boards came and went, and a federal review recommended that the troubled department improve its system for flagging problematic officers. All the while, Mr. Chauvin tussled with a man before firing two shots, critically wounding him. He was admonished for using derogatory language and a demeaning tone with the public. He was named in a brutality lawsuit. But he received no discipline other than two letters of reprimand. It was not until Mr. Chauvin, 44, was seen in a video with his left knee pinned to the neck of a black man, prone for nearly nine minutes and pleading for relief, that the officer, who is white, was suspended, fired and then, on Friday, charged with murder. His case is not unusual. Critics say the department, despite its long history of accusations of abuse, never fully put in place federal recommendations to overhaul the way in which it tracks complaints and punishes officers — with just a handful over the years facing termination or severe punishment.”

Biden staff donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a group that pays bail in riot-torn Minneapolis, Reuters, Jason Lange, Trevor Hunnicutt, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “Campaign staff for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are advertising their donations to a group that pays bail fees in Minneapolis after the city’s police jailed people protesting the killing of a black man by a white police officer. At least 13 Biden campaign staff members posted on Twitter on Friday and Saturday that they made donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which opposes the practice of cash bail, or making people pay to avoid pre-trial imprisonment. The group uses donations to pay bail fees in Minneapolis. Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to Reuters that the former vice president opposes the institution of cash bail as a ‘modern day debtors prison.'”

Trevor Noah: ‘Police in America Are Looting Black Bodies,’ HuffPost, Lee Moran, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “Trevor Noah on Friday argued that ‘police in America are looting Black bodies’ during an impassioned, lengthy monologue on the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have erupted in response. In an 18-minute commentary released online, ‘The Daily Show’ host asked ‘what vested interest’ the demonstrators had in maintaining the idea that ‘society is a contract’ when those in power were not upholding their end of the deal. ‘Try to imagine how it must feel for Black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day,’ said Noah. ‘Because that’s fundamentally what’s happening in America. Police in America are looting Black bodies. And I know someone might think that’s an extreme phrase, but it’s not. How many George Floyds are there that don’t die? How many men are having knees put on their necks? How many Sandra Blands are out there being tossed around?” asked Noah. ‘It doesn’t make the news because it’s not grim enough. It doesn’t even get us anymore. It’s only the deaths, the gruesome deaths, that stick out. But imagine to yourself if you grew up in a community where every day someone had their knee on your neck?’ he added. ‘If every day someone was out there oppressing you, every single day, you tell me what that does to you as a society, as a community, as a group of people and when you know it’s happening because of the color of your skin.'”

Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is. The protests will eventually end. But state-sanctioned violence against black Americans won’t. Vox, Dylan Scott, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The protests over George Floyd’s killing by a white police officer have spread from Minneapolis across the country, revealing the pent-up anger over institutional racism nationwide. In a way, this is not anything new. For all of America’s history, black people have been subjected to violence at the hands of the state, or agents of the state, or members of the white majority. Mass demonstrations against state violence have also been a fixture of US politics, from the civil rights movement to Ferguson, Missouri, to today. The scenes from Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Brooklyn last night are just the latest chapter in that story. And yet, already, the protesters’ legitimate grievances are being subsumed by political leaders and others questioning whether they are registering their anger appropriately. This is also a pattern in these moments: the demonstrations, so visible and visceral in the news coverage, become the story. The structural problems being protested start to fade into the background. You can hear this pivot in President Donald Trump’s comments that protesters who showed up outside the White House on Friday night ‘had little to do with the memory of George Floyd.’ He dismissed them as paid organizers.”

Photos From the George Floyd Protests, City by City, The New York Times, Weiyi Cai, Crista Chapman, Tara Godvin, Juliette Love, Bill Marsh, Jugal K. Patel, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, and Joe Ward, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “Thousands have taken to the streets to express their anger over racism and police violence. Some of the demonstrations have turned violent, prompting the activation of the National Guard in at least 21 states. ”

The death of George Floyd: What video and other records show about his final minutes, The Washington Post, Dalton Bennett, Joyce Lee, and Sarah Cahlan, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “On May 25, Minneapolis resident George Floyd was pinned facedown on the ground, in handcuffs, by a white police officer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. He was unresponsive when paramedics arrived, and he was pronounced dead later…. Using security footage, emergency services recordings and cellphone video, The Washington Post created a timeline of events immediately preceding Floyd’s death that evening. The timeline shows how his encounter with police began on one side of an intersection, where Floyd was removed from a car and handcuffed. It follows police as they bring him to his feet and walk him across the street.”

George Floyd’s Brother Says Trump Was Dismissive During Condolence Call, HuffPost, Mary Papenfuss, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “A condolence phone call from President Donald Trump ended up frustrating George Floyd’s brother, who said Trump ‘didn’t give [him] the opportunity to even speak.’ ‘It hurt me,’ Philonise Floyd said in an interview Saturday on MSNBC. Floyd’s brother George died Monday during an arrest by white police officers in Minneapolis. He was 46. The call with Trump was ‘so fast,’ Floyd told the Rev. Al Sharpton on ‘Politics Nation.’ ‘He didn’t give me the opportunity to even speak,’ Floyd said, as his son Brandon sat beside him. ‘It was hard. I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept, like, pushing me off, like: I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about.’ Floyd said: ‘I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn’t believe that they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight. I can’t stand for that. I can’t. And it hurt me.'”

Past Presidents Faced Police Brutality and Protests. They All Handled It Differently, but They Never Threatened Violence Against Protesters, The New York Times, Maggie Astor and Zach Montague, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “It is a bleak reality of American history that each of the past four presidents faced the same crisis President Trump is facing now: The police just killed or seriously injured a black man, and the city where it happened is reeling with grief and rage. They did not all respond the same way. They did not all respond ‘effectively,’ either, if that is measured by whether they calmed the unrest. But none responded the way Mr. Trump has: by issuing an overtly violent ultimatum to protesters.”

Appeals for Calm as Sprawling Protests Threaten To Spiral Out of Control, The New York Times, John Eligon, Matt Furber, and Campbell Robertson, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The nation was rocked again on Saturday as demonstrators clashed with police from outside the White House gates to the streets of more than three dozen besieged cities, as outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis traversed a razor’s edge between protest and civic meltdown. Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota activated thousands of National Guard troops — up to 13,200 — to control protesters in Minneapolis who turned out in droves for the fifth consecutive night on Saturday after burning buildings to the ground, firing guns near the police and overwhelming officers the night before. But he declined the Army’s offer to deploy military police units. Rallies, looting and unrest expanded far beyond Minneapolis with protesters destroying police vehicles in Atlanta and New York, and blocking major streets in Detroit and San Jose, Calif. Crowds in Milwaukee chanted, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and demonstrators in Portland, Ore., lit a fire inside the Multnomah County Justice Center…. The roots of the unrest and division are long and deep. But the immediate trigger is a protest movement, ignited by the death of Mr. Floyd, that reflects the street uprisings of the Black Lives Matter movement that came to prominence six years ago.” See also, As fear settles over Minneapolis, protests and violent clashes spread across the U.S., The Washington Post, Sheila Regan, Robert Klemko, and Jenna Johnson, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The protests started peacefully Tuesday night, as hundreds marched to the 3rd Precinct police headquarters to demand accountability for the officer who jammed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as he gasped for breath. Tensions quickly escalated. By the second night, people had looted nearby businesses and set them on fire. By the third night of protests, the police precinct was also on fire. By the fourth, dozens of buildings were set ablaze, and anger once directed just at the police exploded into all-out mayhem. This Midwestern city is now consumed by fear and unease triggered by the anarchy playing out after dark in certain neighborhoods — and worries that the violence could quickly spread throughout the city. Some residents now stand guard outside their homes with clubs and guns to fend off opportunists or possible arsonists; others have contemplated fleeing the city for the weekend. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) has said that the protest has been hijacked by outside extremist groups, and theories of which ones are circulating through neighborhoods and online…. Since Floyd’s death Monday, protests have popped up in dozens of cities across the country to call for an end to police officers killing people of color and an end to the nation’s racial inequities, which have been made glaringly clear by the disparate effects of the covid-19 crisis and mass unemployment.”

Trump has sown hatred of the press for years. Now Journalists are under assault from police and protesters alike. The Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The press has been attacked and disparaged by politicians for decades, whenever they found it served their purposes to slap around the “nattering nabobs of negativism,” as Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, once put it. So no, Trump didn’t start this. But he has made it immeasurably worse. ‘By denigrating journalists so often, he has degraded respect for what journalists do and the crucial role they play in a democracy,’ said Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America, the nonprofit organization devoted to free expression. And, she told me, it’s working: ‘He’s been remarkably effective in contributing to this topsy-turvy sense that journalists are the opposition.’… The goal of all this trash talk? Simple enough: to eat away at the press’s credibility. CBS reporter Lesley Stahl said Trump admitted as much to her shortly before the 2016 election: “He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ ”

Supreme Court, in 5-4 Decision, Rejects Church’s Challenge to Shutdown Order, The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Saturday, 30 May 2020: “The Supreme Court on Friday turned away a request from a church in California to block enforcement of state restrictions on attendance at religious services. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority. ‘Although California’s guidelines place restrictions on places of worship, those restrictions appear consistent with the free exercise clause of the First Amendment,’ Chief Justice Roberts wrote in an opinion concurring in the unsigned ruling. ‘Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular gatherings, including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports and theatrical performances, where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time,’ the chief justice wrote. ‘And the order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods.’ Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh noted dissents.”


Sunday, 31 May 2020, Day 1,227:


George Floyd Protests Live Briefing: Cities on Edge as Fires Burn Near White House. Nationwide demonstrations resume, officials in several states reinforce their National Guard presence and anger mounts at increasingly aggressive tactics by the police. The New York Times, Sunday, 31 May 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Police turn more aggressive against protesters and bystanders alike, adding to disorder, The Washington Post, David A. Fahrenthold and Devlin Barrett, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “Federal authorities urged local officials Sunday to crack down harder on rioters after American cities were rocked by fiery spasms of violence and vandalism, part of a nationwide wave of protests over police misconduct [murder & violence & brutality]. President Trump and his attorney general, William P. Barr, urged cities to follow the example set Saturday night by Minneapolis, where the unrest began earlier this week over the case of George Floyd, 46, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd’s death has led to large-scale protests in dozens of cities. In some places, protesters have set fire to police cars and buildings, smashed windows, and looted stores. On Saturday night, police in several cities ratcheted up their use of force — wielding batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray in incidents that also targeted bystanders and journalists.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defends police after video shows New York Police Department SUV driving into protesters, NBC News, Henry Austin, Suzanne Ciechalski, and Tom Winter, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the New York City Police Department after a pair of the force’s SUVs drove into a crowd during Saturday’s protest against George Floyd’s death. De Blasio reacted after videos were posted to social media, which showed protestors moving a yellow barrier in front a police vehicle in Brooklyn. Protestors threw traffic cones and other items at the SUV as a second vehicle arrived and slowly drove through the crowd forming around it. The first vehicle then drove into the barricade at a higher speed, sending people sprawling. Multiple city officials told NBC News there were no injuries as a result of the incident. De Blasio’s defense of the NYPD is a departure from the platform on which he ran for office: ending police misconduct. In a news conference late Saturday, he called the video ‘upsetting,’ but said protestors were wrong to surround the SUVs.”

Police targeted journalists covering the George Floyd protests. Though police were responsible for most of the violence, some protesters got in on the act too. Vox, Katelyn Burns, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “On Friday night, photojournalist Linda Tirado was shot in the eye by a rubber bullet while covering an anti-police brutality protest in Minneapolis — one of more than two dozen incidents of journalists experiencing violence while covering the recent demonstrations. Tirado says she’s permanently blind in her left eye. (She is thankful she uses her right eye to take photos, so the injury is not career-ending.)… Across the country journalists have been targeted by police, facing arrest, detention, and violence, including being pepper sprayed and shot by rubber bullets. Journalists were targeted by police in the Ferguson protests in 2015 and during the civil rights era, and that pattern of violence and arrests continued into this weekend’s protests. ‘Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews, and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,’ said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director at the nonprofit advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists, in a statement Saturday. ‘Authorities in cities across the U.S. need to instruct police not to target journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.'”

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide, Slate, Matthew Dessem, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd were caught up in violence again on Saturday, as police all over the country tear-gassed protesters, drove vehicles through crowds, opened fire with nonlethal rounds on journalists or people on their own property, and in at least one instance, pushed over an elderly man who was walking away with a cane. Here are some of the ways law enforcement officers escalated the national unrest.”

8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody, The New York Times, Evan Hill, Ainara Tiefenthäler, Christiaan Triebert, Drew Jordan, Haley Willis, and Robin Stein, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “The Times has reconstructed the death of George Floyd on May 25. Security footage, witness videos, and official documents show how a series of actions by officers turned fatal. (This video contains scenes of graphic violence.)”

The answer to police violence is not ‘reform.’ It’s defunding. Here’s why. The Guardian, Alex S. Vitale, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, ‘reform’ is meekly offered as the solution. But what if drastically defunding the police – not reform – is the best way to stop unnecessary violence and death committed by law enforcement against communities of color? Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, has tried reform already. Five years ago, the Minneapolis police department was under intense pressure in the wake of both the national crisis of police killings of unarmed black men and its own local history of unnecessary police violence. In response, the department’s leaders undertook a series of reforms proposed by the Obama administration’s justice department and procedural reform advocates in academia. The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers.”

An American Uprising. Who, really, is the agitator here? The New Yorker, David Remnick, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “Perhaps the deepest frustration of thinking about 1968 and 2020 is the time elapsed, the opportunities squandered, the lip service paid. In the realm of criminal justice, the prison population began to skyrocket under Ronald Reagan and kept on accelerating for decades, until midway through the Obama Administration. Black Lives Matter began, in 2013, at least in part because even the Obama Presidency, for all its promise, proved unable to exert anything like a decisive influence on issues of racism and police abuse. Now we have a President who is happy to invoke a loaded, racist threat by tweeting, ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts.’ And, while the answer to every political question cannot be Donald Trump, the fact is that the country is led by a demagogue whose political impulses are autocratic, whose rhetoric is deliberately divisive. No less infuriating is the fact that Trump, whose racist bona fides range from his 1989 campaign against the Central Park Five to his use of birtherism as a political launch pad, was elected by tens of millions of Americans who either endorsed his bigotry or were willing to tolerate it. That base of support has not contracted to any significant degree, and persists still. Trump’s defeat in November is hardly assured…. It is already evident that Trump, who can no longer run for reëlection trumpeting economic achievement, will likely pivot and campaign, like George Wallace and Richard Nixon, in 1968, on ‘law and order’: his own autocratic, self-serving version of law and order. He rises in fury against Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in silent protest on an N.F.L. sideline; he exploits an act of killing in which an officer of the law takes a knee on the neck of George Floyd. He encourages armed protesters in Michigan who stormed the statehouse because the governor had the temerity to shut down non-essential businesses and require people to wear masks in public. He hints, via Twitter, that his maga supporters should come out on the streets. Four years ago, Trump raised fear in the country by portraying a dystopian world of ‘American carnage,’ even as crime had been declining for years. Division is his talent. Who, really, is the agitator here?”

A serious divide exists among Trump advisers over how to address nights of protests and riots in the US after Floyd’s death, CNN Politics, Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “A serious divide has emerged among Donald Trump’s top allies and advisers over how the President should address several nights of protests and riots across the nation following the death of George Floyd. Trump is being urged by some advisers to formally address the nation and call for calm, while others have said he should condemn the rioting and looting more forcefully or risk losing middle-of-the-road voters in November, according to several sources familiar with the deliberations. Trump has adopted an uneven message on the demonstrations. While in some appearances he has taken a measured approach in calling for calm, on Twitter he has used violent rhetoric and seemed to suggest Saturday his supporters stage a counter-protest outside the White House.”

As cities burned, Trump stayed silent–other than tweeting fuel on the fire, The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “In cities across America on Sunday, people awoke to see shattered glass, charred vehicles, bruised bodies and graffiti-tagged buildings. Demonstrators gathered again in peaceful daytime protest of racial injustice. By evening, thousands had converged again in front of the White House, where people had rioted and set fires the night before. President Trump stayed safely ensconced inside and had nothing to say, besides tweeting fuel on the fire…. That was by design. Trump and some of his advisers calculated that he should not speak to the nation because he had nothing new to say and had no tangible policy or action to announce yet, according to a senior administration official. Evidently not feeling an urgent motivation Sunday to try to bring people together, he stayed silent.” See also, Protests Near the White House Spiral Out of Control Again. Washington’s mayor imposed a curfew and activated the National Guard, but the demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd turned into a repeat of the previous night. The New York Times, Shawn McCreesh, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “Despite an 11 p.m. curfew imposed by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and the activation of the National Guard, protests near the White House fueled by anger over the police killing of George Floyd spiraled out of control again on Sunday night. Demonstrators were hit in the head with canisters of tear gas. Some protesters broke into offices. Others started fires, one of which may have spread to the basement of St. John’s, the Episcopal church that has been attended at least once by every chief executive going back to James Madison. Firefighters soon put out the flames. Hundreds of people surged in front of the White House for a third straight night. At 8 p.m., troops could be seen marching across the South Lawn as President Trump sat inside, tweeting about law and order.” See also, As Protests and Violence Spill Over, Trump Shrinks Back, The New York Times, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “Inside the White House, the mood was bristling with tension. Hundreds of protesters were gathering outside the gates, shouting curses at President Trump and in some cases throwing bricks and bottles. Nervous for his safety, Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks. The scene on Friday night, described by a person with firsthand knowledge, kicked off an uneasy weekend at the White House as demonstrations spread after the brutal death of a black man in police custody under a white officer’s knee. While in the end officials said they were never really in danger, Mr. Trump and his family have been rattled by protests near the Executive Mansion that turned violent for a third night on Sunday. After days in which the empathy he expressed for George Floyd, the man killed, was overshadowed by his combative threats to ramp up violence against looters and rioters, Mr. Trump spent Sunday out of sight, even as some of his campaign advisers were recommending that he deliver a nationally televised address before another night of violence. The building was even emptier than usual as some White House officials planning to work were told not to come in case of renewed unrest.”

In Trump’s campaign against antifa, observers see an attempt to distract from protesters’ genuine outrage, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky, Robert Klemko, and Jacqueline Alemany, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “The Trump administration on Sunday intensified its effort to pin blame on the far-left ‘antifa’ movement for violent demonstrations over police killings of black people, as the president vowed on Twitter to designate antifa a terrorist organization and Attorney General William P. Barr asserted that it and other groups’ activities constituted ‘domestic terrorism.’ Trump cannot, for practical and legal reasons, formally designate antifa a terrorist organization, and neither he nor his attorney general has made public specific evidence that the far-left movement is orchestrating the fiery protests that have erupted in dozens of U.S. cities. In Minnesota, where the unrest began after 46-year-old George Floyd died after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, officials have alleged the violence was fueled by different external forces, including white supremacists and drug cartels. They, too, have not offered detailed evidence to support those claims.” See also, Trump, Lacking Clear Authority, Says the U.S. Will Declare Antifa a Terrorist Group, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Charlie Savage, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “President Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that the United States would designate a group of far-left anti-fascism activists as a terrorist organization, a declaration that lacked any clear legal authority, as his administration sought to blame the group for violent protests across the nation over the weekend…. The president has periodically criticized antifa, a contraction of the word ‘anti-fascist’ that has come to be associated with a diffuse movement of left-wing protesters who engage in more aggressive techniques like vandalism. But it was not clear that Mr. Trump’s declaration would have any real meaning beyond his characteristic attempts to stir a culture-war controversy, attract attention and please his conservative base.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 31 May 2020: U.S. Sends Two Million Doses of Hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, The New York Times, Sunday, 31 May 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some New York Region Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 31 May 2020: New York Officials Urge Protesters to Get Tested to Control Virus, The New York Times, Sunday, 31 May 2020:

Some significant development in the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, 31 May 2020: Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb and other officials warn mass protests could cause spikes in infections, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Adam Taylor, William Booth, Paul Schemm, Kareem Copeland, Steven Goff, and Teo Armus, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “As nationwide protests sparked by the [murder of George Floyd], a black man in police custody, stretched into their sixth day, current and former government officials warned Sunday that the mass demonstrations could lead to new waves of coronavirus infections. ‘There’s going to be a lot of issues coming out of what’s happened in the last week, but one of them is going to be that chains of transmission will have become lit from these gatherings,’ former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview on CBS News’s ‘Face the Nation.’ Meanwhile, as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic climbed above 100,000, President Trump spent the month of May desperate to change the subject from a crisis he could not control. ‘He’s been over coronavirus for a long time,’ said one veteran Trump adviser.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Pockets of Americans across the country appeared to shrug off instructions to wear masks and practice social distancing over the weekend, gathering in large groups to protest, dine or enjoy the warm weather.
  • Dentists in New York may resume normal operations on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Sunday.
  • A physician who contracted with the state of Florida to provide coronavirus test results for thousands of people was removed from his post after officials realized he had been put on probation by the state medical board for improperly treating HIV patients.
  • In the first large-scale study examining coronavirus antibodies in children, researchers in Washington state found roughly 1 percent of children who visited a Seattle hospital in March and April were infected with the novel coronavirus, even though most were not symptomatic.
  • President Trump said Saturday he will postpone until at least September the annual Group of Seven meeting of world leaders. He had planned to hold the summit in-person by the end of June.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump’s May days: A month of distractions and grievances as the nation marks bleak coronavirus milestone, The Washington Post, Robert Costa, Philip Rucker, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Josh Dawsey, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “[H]ow Trump spent the fifth month of the coronavirus crisis: increasingly shaken by a pandemic he could not control; offering no more than fleeting expressions of grief or empathy; quick to assign blame to others; enraged by grievances and feuds; dismissive of health guidelines; and concerned, above all, about his diminished reelection prospects. Facing in the virus an enemy he could not tweet into submission, Trump was desperate to change the subject. He fomented distractions by advancing baseless charges, from his ‘Obamagate’ claim of a conspiracy by former president Barack Obama and others to sabotage his presidency to unproven allegations of widespread voter fraud from mail-in ballots to reviving a debunked accusation about the death of a former staffer to then-congressman Joe Scarborough. And by month’s end, Trump stoked racial tensions over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis by tweeting comments so incendiary that Twitter flagged them as violating the platform’s rule against glorifying violence. ‘He’s been over coronavirus for a long time,’ said one veteran Trump adviser who described the president as focused instead on his desire to have ‘a fistfight’ with former vice president Joe Biden, his presumptive Democratic opponent.”

The U.S. is at a low ebb, shaken by multiple blows, and Trump adds to the distress, The Washington Post, Dan Balz, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “America is at a low ebb. Pain and destruction strangle hopes and dreams of people across the country. People are dying — alone from a terrible virus or from a knee on the neck in full public view. Cities burn, destroying businesses and inflaming divisions. Tens of millions are out of work. The president makes it all worse. This is the state of the union as the nation reels from multiple blows, each one arriving with swift and overwhelming force. Long-standing, untreated inequalities have been exposed anew, and they, in turn, have highlighted the country’s real vulnerabilities. What has been just below the surface, known but barely acknowledged and rarely addressed seriously, is now impossible to ignore.”

Fred Guttenberg, Father of School Shooting Victim, and Two Gun Safety Advocacy Groups Take On Smith & Wesson, The New York Times, Tiffany Hsu, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “The father of a mass shooting victim and two gun safety groups petitioned the federal government on Sunday to stop the firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson from using what they described as ‘deceptive and unfair’ marketing to promote assault-style rifles. The father, Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Fla., joined with the advocacy groups Brady and Everytown for Gun Safety to send a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. As part of the complaint, Mr. Guttenberg and the gun control groups said that Smith & Wesson mimicked first-person-shooter video games in its advertising materials to attract adolescents and young adults. They added that the marketing of the company’s AR-15-style guns ‘attracts, encourages and facilitates mass shooters’ and ‘played a significant role’ in the Parkland shooting, according to the complaint.”

Tara Reade’s Tumultuous Journey to the 2020 Campaign, The New York Times, Jim Rutenberg, Stephanie Saul, and Lisa Lerer, Sunday, 31 May 2020: “To better understand Ms. Reade’s tumultuous journey to the roiling center of the presidential campaign, The New York Times interviewed nearly 100 friends, relatives, co-workers and neighbors and reviewed court records. What emerged was a shambolic life in which Ms. Reade, through her own pluck and smarts and powers of persuasion, overcame an unsettled and abusive childhood to find opportunities on the big stages of acting, politics and law. She won praise for what friends took as a sincere commitment to helping other abuse victims and to animal rescue. ‘She was very funny and very engaging and completely well educated, intelligent,’ said one former friend and co-worker, Deborah Ayres. But, she added, there was also ‘this other side that didn’t add up.’ It was there, on that other side, that those opportunities would dissipate amid new blows of abuse, acrimony and regret, leading to Ms. Reade’s more recent scramble for work as a pet sitter and census field supervisor. (That, too, would end in an allegation of maltreatment against her bosses.) She had ‘a heavy, dark sadness to her,’ another friend recalled. In many ways, The Times’s findings comport with the autobiography Ms. Reade, now 56, has rendered in cinematic detail across blog posts, online essays and court statements. But in the dramatic retelling of her life story she has also shown a tendency to embellish — a role as a movie extra is presented as a break; her title of ‘staff assistant’ with clerical responsibilities in Mr. Biden’s office becomes ‘legislative assistant’ when his shepherding of the Violence Against Women Act is an asset for her expert-witness testimony in court. And there are the former friends who describe how she spun her way into their confidence with her story of abuse and perseverance, only to leave them feeling disappointed and duped.”


Monday, 1 June 2020, Day 1,228:


George Floyd Protests: National Guard Troops Use Tear Gas on Peaceful Protesters to Clear a Path for Trump to Pose in Front of St. John’s Episcopal Church Holding a Bible, The New York Times, Monday, 1 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: What Our Reporters Saw Around the Country, The New York Times, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Our reporters and photographers are on the ground covering protests in cities across the country. Here’s what happened on Monday.”

As Trump Calls Protesters ‘Terrorists’ and Threatens to Send the U.S. Military to States Where Governors Do Not Bring the Protests Under Control, Police Use Tear Gas and Flash Grenades to Clear Peaceful Protesters So Trump Can Walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church to Pose for Photographs While Holding a Bible, The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Jonathan Martin, and Maggie Haberman, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Trump on Monday angrily denounced the demonstrators who have used violence to call attention to the deaths of black men killed by the police as ‘organizers’ of terrorism, and threatened to send the American military to states where governors could not bring the protests under control. ‘If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents,’ Mr. Trump said in brief remarks in the Rose Garden, ‘then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.’ As the president began speaking, the police used tear gas and flash grenades to clear out the crowd that had gathered across the street in Lafayette Square so Mr. Trump could walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church afterward and pose for photographs while holding a Bible outside the boarded-up church. St. John’s, the so-called Church of the Presidents, had been briefly set ablaze as the protests devolved on Sunday evening. After Mr. Trump’s aides spent much of the day Monday expressing outrage over the burning of a place of worship, one of his most trusted advisers, Hope Hicks, worked with others on ideas, eventually hatching a plan to have Mr. Trump walk over to the building, according to an official familiar with the plans.” See also, Before Trump vows to end ‘lawlessness,’ federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and chemical gas at peaceful protesters outside the White House, The Washington Post, Rebecca Tan, Samantha Schmidt, Derek Hawkins, Fredrick Kunkle, and Jessica Contrera, published on Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “In a massive show of force, federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and chemical gas at peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday evening as President Trump appeared in the Rose Garden to threaten the mobilization of ‘thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers’ to quell ‘lawlessness’ across the country. Hundreds of protesters were pushed away from Lafayette Square, where they were protesting the police killing of George Floyd, by the National Guard, U.S. Park Police and Secret Service. The ambush began half an hour before the city’s newly imposed curfew of 7 p.m. went into effect. When the crowds were cleared, the president walked through the park to visit the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been set on fire Sunday.” See also, Trump mobilizes military and threatens to use troops to quell protests across the U.S., The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey, and Seung Min Kim, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Trump militarized the federal response to protests of racial inequality that have erupted in cities across America late Monday, as authorities fired tear gas at people protesting peacefully near the White House to disperse crowds moments before Trump staged a photo opportunity there. Trump forced a brazen inflammation of the crisis convulsing the country by calling the nationwide demonstrations ‘acts of domestic terror,’ declaring himself the ‘president of law and order’ and taking the rare step of mobilizing the military to use force to quell the unrest. In a move denounced by critics as authoritarian, the commander in chief threatened to deploy troops to ‘quickly solve the problem’ if state and local authorities did not immediately regain control of their streets, which he said had been overtaken by ‘professional anarchists’ and ‘violent mobs.'” See also, Trump threatens military force if violence in states isn’t stopped, CNN Politics, Devin Liptak and Sarah Westwood, published on Tuesday, 2 June 2020.  See also, Trump threatens to end protests with military, Politico, Caitlin Oprysko, Monday, 1 June 2020. See also, Democrats assail Trump’s threat to deploy the military as ‘un-American’ and ‘fascist,’ The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Trump’s Rose Garden remarks Monday night triggered a firestorm of criticism from congressional Democrats, several of whom denounced the president’s threat to deploy the military domestically as the behavior of a would-be authoritarian leader. Trump made the Rose Garden address as protests over the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis police custody continued to roil the country.”

Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, on Trump: ‘Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence,’ The Washington Post, Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Monday, 1 June 2020: “The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, was seething. President Trump had just visited St. John’s Episcopal Church, which sits across from the White House. It was a day after a fire was set in the basement of the historic building amid protests over the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. Before heading to the church, where presidents have worshiped since the days of James Madison, Trump gave a speech at the White House emphasizing the importance of law and order. Federal officers then used force to clear a large crowd of peaceful demonstrators from the street between the White House and the church, apparently so Trump could make the visit. ‘I am outraged,’ Budde said in a telephone interview a short time later, pausing between words to emphasize her anger as her voice slightly trembled. She said she had not been given any notice that Trump would be visiting the church and did not approve of the manner in which the area was secured for his appearance. ‘I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop,’ Budde said. She excoriated the president for standing in front of the church — its windows boarded up with plywood — holding up a Bible, which Budde said ‘declares that God is love.’ ‘Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence,’ said Budde of the president. ‘We need moral leadership, and he’s done everything to divide us.'” See also, Peaceful Protesters Are Dispersed With Tear Gas So Trump Could Pose at Church With a Bible, The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Monday, 1 June 2020: “People who gathered outside the White House to protest police brutality spent Monday waving signs and screaming for justice. They watched as police officers and National Guard units flooded Lafayette Square, delivering on a threat made by President Trump. And just before the city’s 7 p.m. curfew went into effect, they were hit with flash-bang explosions and doused with tear gas. It was because the president, who spent part of the weekend in a secure bunker as protests roiled, wanted to have his picture taken holding a Bible at a battered church just beyond the gates…. The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who watched the scene unfold while away from the church visiting with her mother, said church officials were not told of the plan and expressed outrage at the White House’s use of riot-control tactics on a generally peaceful crowd to clear a path for the president. ‘He did not pray,’ the bishop, Mariann E. Budde, said in an interview. Referring to the death of the black man in police custody that set off the protests, she added: ‘He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years. We need a president who can unify and heal. He has done the opposite of that, and we are left to pick up the pieces.'”

Trump calls governors ‘weak’ and urges them to use force against unruly protests, The Washington Post, Robert Costa, Seung Min Kim, and Josh Dawsey, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Trump on Monday berated the nation’s governors during a conference call, describing them as ‘weak’ in the face of growing racial unrest and urging them to take an aggressive stand against unruly protests. Trump told governors that if they don’t take back the streets and use force to confront protesters they would look like ‘fools,’ alarming several governors on the call as they communicated privately. ‘You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time,’ he said. ‘They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.’ The Washington Post obtained a recording of the call. Trump followed up on the forceful rhetoric to the governors in a Rose Garden announcement later Monday evening, warning that he will dispatch the U.S. military to end the unrest in cities across the country if mayors and governors don’t escalate their law enforcement presence, including the National Guard.” See also, An agitated Trump encourages governors to use aggressive tactics on protesters, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak, Ryan Nobles, and Sarah Westwood, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Donald Trump, agitated and distressed after three nights of violent protests in dozens of cities across the country, including outside of his home, told the nation’s governors in a video teleconference Monday to aggressively target violent protesters he said would only respond to a show of force. ‘You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people,’ the President told the governors in a call from the basement White House Situation Room, according to an audio recording of the call obtained by CNN.” See also, Trump tells ‘weak’ governors they ‘have to dominate’ as civil unrest divides the nation, CBS News, Ed O’Keefe, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Trump unloaded on the nation’s governors Monday morning, calling them ‘weak’ for failing to more aggressively enforce law and order over the weekend, as some of the nation’s biggest cities burned in the wake of the death of George Floyd. On a video teleconference, the president warned that the law enforcement presence across Washington is set to intensify later Monday. He said the protests are ruining the nation’s standing on the world stage. And he called on governors to pass new bans on flag burning, a constitutionally protected expression of free speech. ‘Washington was under very good control, but we’re going to have it under much more control,’ Mr. Trump said, according to audio of the meeting obtained by CBS News. ‘We’re going to pull in thousands of people.’ He added later: ‘We’re going to clamp down very, very strong.'”

Police Target Journalists as Trump Blames ‘Lamestream Media’ for Protests, The New York Times, Marc Tracy and Rachel Abrams, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Many reporters, photographers and press advocates [say] the treatment of journalists by police officers in recent days [reflects] an erosion of trust in the news media that has seeped into law enforcement under President Trump, who has deemed critical coverage of his administration ‘fake news’ and has frequently labeled some news organizations and journalists with variants of the phrase ‘enemies of the people.’… It is common in autocratic countries for journalists to be arrested during demonstrations and riots, but rare in the United States, where freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment. In a sign that police officers would not follow the customary hands-off approach, Minnesota State Patrol officers arrested a CNN reporting team live on the air on Friday. That same day, a TV reporter in Louisville, Ky., was hit by a pepper ball by an officer who appeared to be aiming at her while she covered the protest on live television. The arrest of the CNN team drew criticism from First Amendment advocates and an apology from Minnesota’s governor, but there have been dozens of other instances of journalists receiving rough treatment at the hands of police officers while covering the protests. In interviews, reporters said they had identified themselves as members of the press before police fired projectiles, drew their weapons or pepper-sprayed them.” See also, ‘The terror of wearing both a press badge and black skin’: Black journalists are carrying unique burdens, The Washington Post, Elahe Izadi and Paul Farhi, Monday, 1 June 2020: “While the unrest sparked by the Minneapolis death of George Floyd in police custody is posing challenges for all reporters, black journalists are laboring under extra complications — from the fear of police racially profiling them as demonstrators to the psychic toll of covering yet another black death captured on bystander video. ‘It feels like a weight because then you are tasked also with explaining and extrapolating on black pain for oftentimes a white audience,’ said MSNBC correspondent and ‘Into America’ podcast host Trymaine Lee. ‘And you’re not fully sure anyone even truly understands. . . . And you still have to be objective, and you have to make sure that you’re being clear-eyed and honest and sober for the people, because the people also rely on us to tell the truth, to tell the story. And that’s a weight that I’m not sure if other journalists just carry.'”

George Floyd’s death was a homicide, according to two autopsies, The Washington Post, Tarkor Zehn and Brady Dennis, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Two autopsies of George Floyd differ on exactly what caused his death, but they agree on this much: The 46-year-old African American man was a victim of homicide. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner released a report Monday saying that Floyd died of ‘cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.’ The report notes that Floyd also suffered from heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use, but it does not list those factors in the cause of death. The official results contrast with an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family, which was released earlier Monday. That autopsy, conducted by former New York City medical examiner Michael Baden and the University of Michigan’s Allecia Wilson, determined that he died of ‘asphyxiation from sustained pressure’ after being pinned down by his neck and back. ‘Essentially, George died because he needed a breath,’ Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family, said at a news conference Monday.” See also, Hennepin Medical Examiner classifies George Floyd’s death as ‘homicide,’ StarTribune, Liz Navratil and Paul Walsh, published on Tuesday, 2 June 2020.

Misinformation About George Floyd Protests Surges on Social Media, The New York Times, Davey Alba, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Untruths, conspiracy theories and other false information are running rampant online as the furor over Mr. Floyd, an African-American man who was killed last week in police custody in Minneapolis, has built. The misinformation has surged as the protests have dominated conversation, far outpacing the volume of online posts and media mentions about last year’s protests in Hong Kong and Yellow Vest movement in France, according to the media insights company Zignal Labs.”

Lawmakers Begin Bipartisan Push to Cut Off Police Access to Military-Style Gear, The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Republicans and Democrats in Congress have begun a new push to shut down a Pentagon program that transfers military weaponry to local law enforcement departments, as bipartisan urgency builds to address the excessive use of force and the killings of unarmed black Americans by the police. With protests turning violent across the country, lawmakers are scrutinizing the Defense Department initiative — curtailed by former President Barack Obama but revived by President Trump — that furnishes police departments with equipment such as bayonets and grenade launchers. The move comes after several nights when officers wearing riot gear have been documented using pepper spray and rubber bullets on protesters, bystanders and journalists, often without warning or seemingly unprovoked. The push stands in stark contrast to the reaction of Mr. Trump, who has often encouraged rough tactics by law enforcement and spent Monday complaining privately to governors that they were not handling protesters aggressively enough.”

Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests, The New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner, Monday, 1 June 2020: “The past weekend saw the start of an uprising in dozens of American cities, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets for peaceful protests and violent encounters with the police. The proximate cause was the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed African-American man, by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. In Minneapolis and other cities, police in riot gear have responded aggressively to protests and looting, pushing and shoving protesters and using an arsenal of crowd-control weaponry. In Louisville, a protester was shot dead, under circumstances that remain unclear; in Brooklyn, social media captured an incident in which police officers drove into a crowd of protesters. On Sunday, I spoke by phone with Bryan Stevenson, a civil-rights lawyer and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human-rights organization that challenges convictions, advocates for criminal-justice reform and racial justice, and created the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, which honors the victims of lynching and other forms of racial terror during the Jim Crow era. Stevenson, who was the subject of a Profile, by Jeffrey Toobin, in 2016, is also the author of a memoir, ‘Just Mercy,’ which was made into a feature film last year. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, Stevenson and I discussed the roots of police violence in both slavery and Jim Crow, how to change the culture of policing, and the frustration and despair behind this week’s protests.”

‘This burning rage … is real’: Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins speaks out on race, Boston Globe, Jeremy C. Fox, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Monday gave a frank and emotional assessment of the response to the the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans killed by police, offering her view that the nationwide protests are grounded in the life experience — and anger — that she shares with millions. ‘This burning rage that you are seeing — when you turn your TV on, or you hear in my voice — is real. People are fed up,’ said Rollins. ‘And to the white community that is now waking up to see this rage, we have been telling you this forever,’ she continued. ‘We have been saying this since Colin Kaepernick took a knee. We have been saying this for decades, and you didn’t listen to us. ‘You didn’t care until you saw a video.'”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 1 June 2020: Pandemic to Cost U.S. Economy $7.9 Trillion Over 10 Years, The New York Times, Monday, 1 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 1 June 2020: U.S. Economy Faces Long-Term Recovery, the Congressional Budget Office (C.B.O.) Says, The New York Times, Monday, 1 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 1 June 2020: Senator Bernie Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer push for new round of relief; coronavirus expected to coat the U.S. economy trillions, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Adam Taylor, Brittany Shammas, Kareem Copeland, Steven Goff, and Katie Shepherd, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday called for Congress to ‘act with a fierce sense of urgency’ and pass a new round of coronavirus relief legislation in light of a newly released report on the pandemic’s expected economic impact. The report by the Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. gross domestic product will lose nearly $16 trillion over the next decade because of the pandemic. Meantime, U.S. public health officials are warning that the massive countrywide demonstrations against police brutality, which show no sign of abating, could be followed by a sudden increase in novel coronavirus cases. Black people have been affected by the virus at higher rates than other demographics, and they are among those out in force protesting.

Here are some significant developments:

  • A nationwide Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that despite the shared disruption of their daily lives since stay-at-home orders began, partisans differ sharply on how the country should move forward. Eighty-one percent of Democrats say trying to control the spread of the coronavirus is most important right now, while 66 percent of Republicans say restarting the economy is more important.
  • More than 25,000 elderly residents died and 60,000 were infected as the virus swept through U.S. nursing homes in recent months, particularly affecting facilities with a history of low marks for staffing and patient care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced.
  • Stocks began June with a pop Monday as investors looked past weekend protests, growing U.S.-China tensions and the coronavirus, putting the Standard & Poor’s 500 index on track for its best quarter since December 1998.
  • World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the United States’s ‘immense’ commitment to global health, and said he hopes collaboration continues. The remarks came after President Trump announced Friday that the United States would be ‘terminating’ its relationship with the WHO.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

As Trump attacks voting by mail, Republicans build their 2020 strategy around limiting its expansion, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Shawn Boburg, and Josh Dawsey, Monday, 1 June 2020: “President Trump’s persistent attacks on mail-in voting have fueled an unprecedented effort by conservatives to limit expansion of the practice before the November election, with tens of millions of dollars planned for lawsuits and advertising aimed at restricting who receives ballots and who remains on the voter rolls. The strategy, embraced by Trump’s reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee and an array of independent conservative groups, reflects the recognition by both parties that voting rules could decide the outcome of the 2020 White House race amid the electoral challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Trump made 19,127 false or misleading claims in 1,226 days, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Monday, 1 June 2020: “It’s no longer a question of whether President Trump will exceed 20,000 false or misleading claims by the time his current term is completed. Instead, we have to ask: Will he top 25,000? As of May 29, his 1,226th day in office, Trump had made 19,127 false or misleading claims, according to the Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement he has uttered. That’s almost 16 claims a day over the course of his presidency. So far this year, he’s averaging just over 22 claims a day, similar to the pace he set in 2019.”

Protests Spur Surge in Donations, Giving ActBlue Its Biggest Day of the Year, The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, Monday, 1 June 2020: “The mass protests that have swept the nation in recent days to express outrage at the death of George Floyd have been paired with a flood of financial donations, as hundreds of thousands of Americans have opened their wallets to give to charitable groups, community bail funds and Democratic candidates. The Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays bail for those who cannot afford it and received online support from some celebrities, took in a remarkable $20 million in a matter of days — so much that its website was now encouraging donors to give elsewhere. A GoFundMe memorial fund established by Mr. Floyd’s brother had raised more than $7 million from more than a quarter-million contributors. And on ActBlue, the central online hub that processes money for Democratic candidates and causes, Sunday was the single largest day of giving in all of 2020, with donations of $19 million, according to a New York Times analysis of the site’s donation tracker. Then donors set another record for the year on Monday, topping $20 million shortly after 9 p.m.”

Facebook Employees Stage Virtual Walkout to Protest Trump Posts. While Twitter started labeling some of the president’s inflammatory messages, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has said his company should leave them alone. The New York Times, Sheera Frenkel, Mike Isaac, Cecilia Kang, and Gabriel J.X. Dance, Monday, 2 June 2020: “Hundreds of Facebook employees, in rare public criticism on Monday of their own company, protested executives’ decision not to do anything about inflammatory posts that President Trump had placed on the giant social media platform over the past week. Many of the employees, who said they refused to work in order to show their support for demonstrators across the country, added an automated message to their digital profiles and email responses saying that they were out of the office in a show of protest. The protest group — conducting a virtual ‘walkout’ of sorts since most Facebook employees are working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic — was one of a number of clusters of employees pressing Facebook executives to take a tougher stand on Mr. Trump’s posts. Inside the company, staff members have circulated petitions and threatened to resign, and a number of employees wrote publicly about their unhappiness on Twitter and elsewhere. More than a dozen current and former employees have described the unrest as the most serious challenge to the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, since the company was founded 15 years ago. ‘The hateful rhetoric advocating violence against black demonstrators by the US President does not warrant defense under the guise of freedom of expression,’ one Facebook employee wrote in an internal message board, according to a copy of the text viewed by The New York Times.”

Twitter Places Warning on Congressman Matt Gaetz’s Tweet for Glorifying Violence, The New York Times, Kate Conger, Monday, 1 June 2020: “Days after restricting one of President Trump’s posts from view for glorifying violence, Twitter went at it again. On Monday, the social media service used the same label to hide a message by Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida — which likened those who were protesting police violence to terrorists and called for them to be hunted down. The move also meant that the tweet could not be retweeted or liked, to prevent it from being amplified. ‘Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?’ Mr. Gaetz had tweeted on Monday, referring to the far-left anti-fascist activist movement. Shortly after his tweet was hidden, he reposted a message from the president that called for a law that gives technology companies some legal immunities to be revoked. ‘Their warning is my badge of honor,’ he wrote later on Monday.”

White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter, NBC News, Ben Collins, Brandy Zadrozny, and Emmanuelle Saliba, Monday, 1 June 2020: “A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national ‘antifa’ organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The spokesperson said the account violated the company’s platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts. Twitter suspended the account after a tweet that incited violence.”

The Lawyer for Judge Emmet G. Sullivan Asks Court Not to ‘Short Circuit’ His Review of the Michael Flynn Case, The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Monday, 1 June 2020: “The Justice Department’s conduct in abruptly deciding to end the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn was so unusual that it raised a ‘plausible question’ about the legitimacy of the move, a lawyer for the trial judge overseeing that case told a federal appeals court on Monday. In a 36-page filing, the lawyer for Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia asked a three-judge panel not to cut short his review of the factual and legal issues surrounding the case. A defense lawyer for Mr. Flynn had asked the appellate panel to issue a so-called writ of mandamus ordering the judge to immediately dismiss it without letting him complete an assessment.”


Tuesday, 2 June 2020, Day 1,229:


George Floyd Protests: Peaceful Protesters Defy Curfews as Violence Ebbs. President Trump faced a barrage of criticism from rivals, allies and clergy after calling for military intervention against protesters. The New York Times, Tuesday, 2 June 2020:

George Floyd Protests: What Our Reporters Saw Around the Country, The New York Times, Tuesday, 2 June 2020. See also, Here’s Some of What Happened on the 8th Night of George Floyd Protests, The New York Times, Tuesday, 2 June 2020.

Trump’s Visits to Church and Shrine Draw Fierce Rebukes From D.C. Clergy. The Episcopal bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and the Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory said the president was using holy sites as political props. The New York Times, Michael Crowley and Elizabeth Dias, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde was relaxing at home on Monday evening when suddenly, she said, ‘my phone was just lighting up.’ In an interview, the spiritual leader for the Washington area’s 88 Episcopal congregations recalled her stunned amazement as she turned on the television to see President Trump walking from the White House to pose in front of St. John’s Church. Within hours, she was condemning the president’s appearance on national television. And on Tuesday, as Mr. Trump prepared to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, a few miles from St. John’s, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, denounced the event in similar terms, calling it ‘baffling and reprehensible.’ Both prelates criticized the president for what they said was his opportunistic attempt to embrace faith in a moment of crisis — an extraordinary accusation for church officials used to welcoming government officials to their places of worship. Bishop Budde and Archbishop Gregory are both known for their commitment to social justice. But the twin statements from two different branches of Christianity had a significant effect, winning applause from liberals but denunciations from Trump supporters as disrespectful.” See also, ‘The Bible is not a prop’: Religious leaders and lawmakers are outraged over Trump’s church visit. The widely criticized photo op was Trump’s idea because he ‘wanted the visual,’ sources told NBC News. NBC News, Rebecca Shabad, Geoff Bennett, Monica Alba, and Shannon Pettypiece, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Lawmakers and religious leaders — including the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington — voiced outrage after police used tear gas against peaceful protesters outside the White House before President Donald Trump‘s photo op at nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday evening. Bishop Mariann Budde said Tuesday that Trump held up the Bible in front of St. John’s ‘as if it were a prop or an extension of his military and authoritarian position.’ Budde, in an interview with Craig Melvin on NBC’s ‘TODAY’ show, said that what Trump did in front of the church she oversees ‘was an abuse of the spiritual tools and symbols of our traditions and of our sacred space.'”

Former Military Commanders Fault Trump’s Use of Troops Against Protesters. After military helicopters carried out a ‘show of force’ mission to discourage protesters, retired senior military leaders condemned their successors for deploying such tactics. The New York Times, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt, and Jennifer Steinhauer, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Retired senior military leaders condemned their successors in the Trump administration for ordering military units on Monday to rout those peacefully protesting police violence near the White House. As military helicopters flew low over the nation’s capital and National Guard units moved into many cities, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly aligned themselves behind a president who chose tear gas and rubber bullets to clear peaceful protesters from a park so that he could stage a photo op at a nearby church. In so doing, Mr. Esper, who described the country as a ‘battlespace’ to be cleared, and General Milley, who wore combat fatigues on the streets of the capital, thrust the two million active-duty and reserve service members into the middle of a confrontation in which the ‘enemy’ is not foreign, but domestic. The reaction has been swift and furious. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote on Twitter that ‘America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy.’ Gen. Tony Thomas, the former head of the Special Operations Command, tweeted: ‘The ‘battle space’ of America??? Not what America needs to hear … ever, unless we are invaded by an adversary or experience a constitutional failure … ie a Civil War.’ Adm. Mike Mullen, another former chairman, wrote in the Atlantic: ‘Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.'” See also, A letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, The Washington Post, James N. Miller, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Dear Secretary Esper, I resign from the Defense Science Board, effective immediately…. President Trump’s actions Monday night violated his oath to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ as well as the First Amendment ‘right of the people peaceably to assemble.’ You may not have been able to stop President Trump from directing this appalling use of force, but you could have chosen to oppose it. Instead, you visibly supported it.”

‘Outraged’: Trump faces condemnation for clearing protesters and threatening military force, Politico, Quint Forgey, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “President Donald Trump faced withering criticism in the hours after spurring a violent incursion against apparently peaceful protesters for the purposes of staging a political photo opportunity — provoking rebukes Tuesday from local and state executives, congressional lawmakers, faith leaders and even foreign governments over the extraordinary show of force amid converging national crises. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser revealed officials within her office were ‘very shocked and, quite frankly, outraged’ by the aggressive dispersal of crowds demonstrating outside the White House on Monday evening, facilitated by police officers and National Guard troops firing rubber bullets and deploying flash-bang grenades.”

Trump Deploys the Full Might of Federal Law Enforcement to Crush Protests. Nearly a dozen federal agencies — even the Transportation Security Administration — were sent to Washington and other cities after the president vowed to ‘dominate’ protesters. The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Katie Benner, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “President Trump’s vow to ‘dominate’ demonstrators protesting police brutality has mobilized the full might of federal law enforcement, from border agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration to F.B.I. hostage rescue teams, working alongside local law enforcement, the military police and the National Guard. The extraordinary deployments have reached the streets of San Diego, Buffalo and Las Vegas. But nowhere is the show of force as strong as in Washington, where Mr. Trump is seeking to demonstrate his might by flooding the city’s downtown with agents from the F.B.I., the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection and the Defense Department, turning the nation’s capital into a heavily armed federal fortress. Even Transportation Security Administration officers have been called out of the airports to help protect federal property in the ‘national capital region.'”

Pentagon officials express concern as Trump threatens to use military to ‘dominate’ protestors, CNN Politics, Barbara Starr, Ryan Browne, and Nicold Gaouette, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Defense officials tell CNN there was deep and growing discomfort among some in the Pentagon even before President Donald Trump announced Monday that he is ready to deploy the military to enforce order inside the United States. As tear gas wafted through the air in Lafayette Park across from the White House, Trump announced from the Rose Garden that if state or city leaders refuse ‘to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents,’ he will invoke the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that allows a president to deploy the US military to suppress civil disorder. But some Pentagon officials are deeply wary, several defense officials tell CNN. They have tried to respond by making a strong case that the situation does not yet call for deploying active duty troops unless state governors make a clear argument such forces are needed.”

After George Floyd’s death, the Trump administration told the military’s service chiefs to remain quiet about the unrest, The Washington Post, Dan Lamothe, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “A week after the killing of George Floyd, the Air Force’s top enlisted member took to Twitter to say that he too is a black man, ‘who happens to be Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force,’ and could die the same way. ‘I am George Floyd . . . I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice,’ wrote Kaleth O. Wright, naming other black Americans killed by police. ‘Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks . . . I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes.’ The response on Monday evening went viral, with veterans and service members alike commenting on its rawness and candor. But it also was cast into stark relief as most senior military officials remained silent on Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis after being handcuffed and the nationwide protests that have followed. At least twice in the past week, senior Trump administration officials in the Defense Department directed service chiefs to keep quiet on the issue, even though some expressed an interest in responding to a painful moment in the nation, said three defense officials with familiarity with the discussion.” See also, Top Air Force enlistee posts passionate plea for justice, CNN Politics, Veronica Stracqualursi, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “The US Air Force’s top enlistee said he’s ‘outraged’ by the death of George Floyd, vowed to do more to fix the racial inequality among ranks and encouraged his fellow airmen to fight for justice and equality, and understanding. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright posted on Twitter Monday, ‘Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks…I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes.'” See also, Air Force commander calls George Floyd’s death ‘a national tragedy,’ CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen, Bargara Starr, and Ryan Browne, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “The chief of staff of the US Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein, sent a memo to commanders late Monday calling the death of George Floyd a ‘national tragedy’ and voicing support for the service’s top enlistee, Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright, after he made a passionate plea for justice, vowing to do more to fix racial inequality among the ranks, according to a copy of the message obtained by CNN. In his memo, which he asked commanders to distribute widely, Goldfein also announced that he and Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett have directed the service’s inspector general ‘to do an independent review of our legal system, racial injustice, and opportunities for advancement.'”

I Cannot Remain Silent. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so. The Atlantic, Mike Mullen, Seventeenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent. Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces. There was little good in the stunt. While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage. As a white man, I cannot claim perfect understanding of the fear and anger that African Americans feel today. But as someone who has been around for a while, I know enough—and I’ve seen enough—to understand that those feelings are real and that they are all too painfully founded. We must, as citizens, address head-on the issue of police brutality and sustained injustices against the African American community. We must, as citizens, support and defend the right—indeed, the solemn obligation—to peacefully assemble and to be heard. These are not mutually exclusive pursuits.”

How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in Lafayette Square, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Katie Rogers, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Katie Benner, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action. He wanted to send the military into American cities, an idea that provoked a heated, voices-raised fight among his advisers. But by the end of the day, urged on by his daughter Ivanka Trump, he came up with a more personal way of demonstrating toughness — he would march across Lafayette Square to a church damaged by fire the night before. The only problem: A plan developed earlier in the day to expand the security perimeter around the White House had not been carried out. When Attorney General William P. Barr strode out of the White House gates for a personal inspection early Monday evening, he discovered that protesters were still on the northern edge of the square. For the president to make it to St. John’s Church, they would have to be cleared out. Mr. Barr gave the order to disperse them. What ensued was a burst of violence unlike any seen in the shadow of the White House in generations. As he prepared for his surprise march to the church, Mr. Trump first went before cameras in the Rose Garden to declare himself ‘your president of law and order’ but also ‘an ally of all peaceful protesters,’ even as peaceful protesters just a block away and clergy members on the church patio were routed by smoke and flash grenades and some form of chemical spray deployed by shield-bearing riot officers and mounted police.” See also, Attorney General William Barr personally ordered removal of protesters near the White House, leading to use of force against a largely peaceful crowd, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey, and Rebecca Tan, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Attorney General William P. Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials to clear the streets around Lafayette Square just before President Trump spoke Monday, a Justice Department official said, a directive that prompted a show of aggression against a crowd of largely peaceful protesters, drawing widespread condemnation.” See also, ‘This can’t be happening’: An oral history of 48 surreal, violent, biblical minutes in Washington, The Washington Post, Dan Zak, Monica Hesse, Ben Terris, Maura Judkis, and Travis M. Andrews, Tuesday, 2 June 2020.

The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence. Trump wants to designate antifa a terrorist organization, despite lack of authority and evidence of wrongdoing. The Nation, Ken Klippenstein, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “The FBI’s Washington Field Office ‘has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence’ in the violence that occurred on May 31 during the D.C.-area protests over the murder of George Floyd, according to an internal FBI situation report obtained exclusively by The Nation. That same day, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would designate “Antifa” a terrorist organization, even though the government has no existing authority to declare a domestic group a terrorist organization, and antifa is not an organized group. Following the president’s tweet, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement, ‘The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.’ The FBI report, however, states that ‘based on CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison, FBI WFO has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence.’ The statement followed a list of violent acts like throwing bricks at police and the discovery of a backpack containing explosive materials, which were flagged by the FBI under a ‘Key Updates’ section of the report. The FBI has been issuing such reports daily since the weekend, according to a Bureau source, who added that none of these documents contained any evidence of antifa violence.”

Protesters return to the streets as Trump decries ‘lowlifes,’ Associated Press, Zeke Miller and Tim Sullivan, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Undeterred by curfews, protesters streamed back into the nation’s streets Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump pressed governors to put down the violence set off by George Floyd’s death and demanded that New York call up the National Guard to stop the ‘lowlifes and losers.’ But most protests passed peacefully, and while there were scattered reports of looting in New York City, the country appeared calmer by late Tuesday than it did a day earlier, when violence swept through multiple cities. The president, meanwhile, amplified his hard-line calls from Monday, when he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it. ‘NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,’ he tweeted. ‘The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!'”

Trump’s threats to use force against protesters fit a long-standing pattern, The Washington Post, David Nakamura, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Over the past five years, President Trump has suggested that it is okay for police officers to rough up uncooperative suspects and warned that bikers who support him might get ‘tough’ if his political rivals, including antifa, provoke them. He obliquely implied that gun rights advocates could exact vigilante revenge if Hillary Clinton were elected, and he declared that an American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, should have been executed for desertion in Afghanistan. He has joked about wanting to ‘get rid of’ journalists with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whose government has jailed them, and has marveled at the willingness of China and the Philippines to execute drug dealers — even without trials. The president’s long-standing endorsement of the use of force to subdue or eradicate elements of society that are undesirable to him has led critics to label him a budding authoritarian. Supporters have countered that Trump is a strong, law-and-order leader who is willing to exaggerate or even joke about using government-sanctioned violence against Americans to make a rhetorical point about the nation’s priorities. But Trump’s threats this week to shoot looters, sic ‘vicious dogs’ on protesters and dispatch the military to U.S. cities amid demonstrations against police brutality have heightened the stakes of the president’s words and actions. As protesters and police have clashed in major cities, the president has escalated tensions and, on Monday evening, took a stroll through Lafayette Square for a photo op after authorities used smoke canisters, rubber bullets and metal shields to oust peaceful protesters near the White House.” See also, House Democrats seek answers from Trump administration officials on handling of protests, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz and Mike DeBonis, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “House Democrats began demanding answers Tuesday from the Trump administration on federal authorities’ use of force to clear largely peaceful protesters from around Lafayette Square to allow President Trump’s photo op outside a church near the White House…. Several Democratic chairmen pressed the administration for witness testimony and documents from several government entities, from the Defense Department to the Secret Service to the Justice Department.”

What Is the Insurrection Act of 1807, the Law Behind Trump’s Threat to States? Legal experts regard the act as a major exception to the law that generally forbids the use of the military for domestic law enforcement. The New York Times, Christine Hauser, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “President Trump threatened on Monday to use federal forces to quell the protests and violence that have swept the country, a measure that would require the use of an 1807 law called the Insurrection Act. ‘If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,’ Mr. Trump said in the Rose Garden. Although he did not mention it by name, Mr. Trump would be invoking the Insurrection Act, legal experts said, which is a group of statutes approved by Congress in the early 1800s that gives the president the power, under some conditions, to activate federal troops for domestic law enforcement.”

Biden, seeking a contrast with Trump, denounces the incumbent’s show of force against protesters and vows to heal racial wounds, The Washington Post, Annie Linskey, Matt Viser, and Sean Sullivan, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Former vice president Joe Biden promised Tuesday to secure the nation’s unmet promises to minority Americans, drawing a sustained contrast with President Trump as he vowed not to ‘traffic in fear and division’ and ‘fan the flames of hate.’ Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, sought with the somber pageantry of a flag-draped background and echoes of past American leaders to distinguish himself from the divisive presence of Trump, whose administration Monday night roughed up and pushed back peaceful protesters on a street one block from the White House. Trump then crossed the newly cleared path to pose with a Bible in front of a historic church.” See also, Joe Biden Laces Into Trump for Fanning ‘Flames of Hate.’ In a speech in Philadelphia, Mr. Biden assailed the president’s handling of the protests over police brutality and racial justice, declaring that he had ‘turned this country into a battlefield.’ The New York Times, Katie Glueck, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday excoriated President Trump’s stewardship of a nation convulsed in crisis over racism and police brutality, likening Mr. Trump’s language to that of Southern racists of the 1960s while also warning Americans that ‘we cannot let our rage consume us.’ In his first formal speech out in public since the coronavirus shuttered the campaign trail in mid-March, Mr. Biden delivered perhaps his closest approximation yet of a presidential address to the nation. He emphasized themes of empathy and unity to draw a clear contrast with Mr. Trump, who has threatened to deploy the military nationwide to dominate protesters and has portrayed those demonstrating as ‘thugs.'”

Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook’s Hands-Off Approach to Trump’s Posts, The New York Times, Mike Isaac, Cecilia Kang, and Sheera Frenkel, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, on Tuesday stood firmly behind his decision not to do anything about President Trump’s inflammatory posts on the social network, saying that he had made a ‘tough decision’ but that it ‘was pretty thorough.’ In a question-and-answer session with employees conducted over video chat software, Mr. Zuckerberg sought to justify his position, which has led to fierce internal dissent. The meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday, was moved up to Tuesday after hundreds of employees protested the inaction by staging a virtual ‘walkout’ on Monday.”

Lawsuit by the Nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology Says Trump’s Social Media Crackdown Violates Free Speech, The New York Times, Kate Conger, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “President Trump’s crackdown on social media companies faced a new legal challenge on Tuesday, as a technology policy organization claimed in a lawsuit that he violated the companies’ right to free speech with his executive order aimed at curtailing their legal protections. The nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology says in the suit that Mr. Trump’s attempt to unwind a federal law that grants social media companies discretion over the content they allow on their platforms was retaliatory and would have a chilling effect on the companies. The lawsuit — filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — is indicative of the pushback that the president is likely to face as he escalates his fight with social media companies, which he has accused of bias against conservative voices. It asks the court to invalidate the executive order.”

Pandemic, Protests, and Police: A Primary Election Like No Other. A day of disrupted voting across the country produced a notable result in Iowa, where Steve King, who was ostracized after he questioned why white supremacy was offensive, was denied a 10th term. The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein and Nick Corasaniti, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “On the biggest day of voting since the coronavirus disrupted public life, Americans cast ballots in extraordinary circumstances on Tuesday, heading to the polls during a national health and economic crisis and amid the widespread protests and police deployments that have disrupted communities across the nation. The most high-profile race of the day produced a surprising result when Representative Steve King, the Iowa Republican who was ostracized by his party after questioning why white nationalism was offensive, lost his primary to Randy Feenstra, a state senator who had the tacit support of much of the state’s G.O.P. establishment. Mr. King is only the second congressional incumbent from either party to lose a bid for renomination in the 2020 primaries. The other was Representative Dan Lipinski of Illinois, a Democrat who lost a March primary to a more liberal challenger. But unlike Mr. Lipinski, Mr. King was defeated not because of his ideology but because his defense of white identity politics finally proved too toxic for his Republican colleagues to abide.”

Election officials contradict Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that counterfeit mail ballots produced by a foreign country are a ‘real’ worry, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Current and former election administrators said it would be virtually impossible for a foreign country to produce and mail in phony absentee ballots without detection, an issue Attorney General William P. Barr raised as a serious possibility in an interview published Monday. Barr told the New York Times Magazine that a foreign operation to mail in fake ballots was ‘one of the issues that I’m real worried about.’… Barr did not offer any evidence of how such a scenario would take place. Elections officials in multiple states said it would be virtually impossible for a foreign government to achieve what Barr described.”

The Flynn Calls: His Dismissal of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election and the Kremlin’s Savvy. Newly declassified transcripts show the seeds of Russia’s overtures to the Trump administration as both sides sought to downplay Moscow’s election sabotage. The New York Times, Mark Mazzetti, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “Russian spy services had just carried out a complex campaign to disrupt an American presidential election. But the man who was set to become the White House national security adviser, speaking to Russia’s ambassador, referred to that effort only as ‘the cyberstuff.’ The ambassador suggested that the ‘very deplorable’ sanctions that the United States imposed on Russia in late 2016 were born out of the Obama administration’s anger about the election results, and even said that they were aimed at hurting the incoming president, Donald J. Trump. The American agreed. In the transcripts of the phone calls between two men — Michael T. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak — is the kindling of a controversy that fanned into a blaze that has consumed so much of the Trump presidency. The discussions, declassified and released on Friday, illuminate not only the Trump administration’s dismissive attitude toward overwhelming evidence of the Russian sabotage effort, but also how the Kremlin worked to manipulate Mr. Trump’s advisers by convincing them that the president’s political enemies had concocted a ‘Russia hoax.’ Eighteen months later, Mr. Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and said he believed Mr. Putin’s denials that the Kremlin was involved in the election sabotage. ‘I don’t see any reason why it would be’ Russia, Mr. Trump said at a summit in Helsinki, Finland.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 2 June 2020: Protesters Weigh Virus Risks on Crowded Streets, The New York Times, Tuesday, 2 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates on Tuesday, 2 June 2020: Stocks Rise as Investors Shrug Off Unrest, The New York Times, Tuesday, 2 June 2020:

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, 2 June 2020: U.S. coronavirus cases surpass 1.8 million as concern over potential spread rises with turmoil, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Miriam Berger, Siobhán O’Grady, Kim Bellware, Candace Buckner, and Samantha Pell, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “The number of reported coronavirus cases in the United States has surpassed 1.8 million, including more than 104,000 deaths. Officials emphasized the need for testing, physical distancing and face covering, a reflection of concern that the easing of stay-at-home restrictions, as well as large protests against police brutality across the nation, could lead to a spike in new cases. Amid the turmoil, on Tuesday eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections; four of them — in Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — were rescheduled from earlier dates because of the coronavirus outbreak. Voters encountered fewer voting locations, signs encouraging social distancing and poll workers in protective gear, though no serious issues were initially reported.

Here are some significant developments:

  • About 7 in 10 Americans say they would get a vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus if immunizations were free and available to everyone, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. The nationwide survey finds that a majority of people of all political affiliations are interested in receiving such a vaccine, but the extent of that interest varies along partisan lines.
  • Experts are pushing back on recent reports claiming that the coronavirus is becoming less lethal, although many infectious-disease specialists say the virus will eventually mutate in ways that make it less deadly to humans.
  • In an interview Tuesday evening, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Moderna’s vaccine candidate. However, he is unsure of the durability of its protection.
  • The pandemic will haunt the U.S. economy for the next decade, costing nearly $8 trillion by 2030, according to a report released Monday by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • As Mexico City hits what officials say is the peak of its outbreak, it’s facing an onslaught of cases with an understaffed and undersupplied hospital system. There is concern the country’s death toll is far higher than the official figures.
  • Iran reported nearly 3,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest daily rise in two months, as the country’s health minister warned that Iranians are facing another wave.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

People in the U.S. are delaying medical care, and it’s devastating health-care providers, The Washington Post, Ted Mellnik, Laris Karklis, and Andrew Ba Tran, Tuesday, 2 June 2020: “As coronavirus infections spread and sickened more people in March, visits to hospitals around the country actually began to drop off. By April, according to a Washington Post analysis of smartphone location data, that drop had turned into a crash. As in many other industries, those lost visits represented a widespread financial crisis for hospitals and other health-care providers, even in places the novel coronavirus hardly touched.”


Wednesday, 3 June 2020, Day 1,230:


George Floyd Protests: Protesters Hail Charges Against Police but Seek Broader Change. Minnesota accused three more officers of breaking the law while detaining Mr. Floyd, satisfying one demand of demonstrators who have been gathering nightly in American cities. The New York Times, Wednesday, 3 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: As protests nationwide continue past curfew, tension eases in some cities, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, John Wagner, Brittany Shammas, Ben Guarino, Meryl Kornfield, Allyson Chiu, and Katie Shepherd, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “While clashes between police and the public continued well past the curfews in cities nationwide on Tuesday night, tensions subsided in some places as a second week of protests over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody got underway. Some cities, however, experienced another night of chaos. In New York, hundreds of protesters walking over the Manhattan Bridge were met by a blockade of police officers who had refused to let the group exit the bridge. At Lafayette Square in the District, protesters who threw water bottles and shook the fence separating them from a line of law enforcement officers near the White House were met with pepper bullets and pepper spray. And what was an hours-long peaceful protest in Portland, Ore., turned ugly after police shot off tear gas and flash bangs.

Here are some significant developments:

  • President Trump accused the protesters forcibly removed by federal law enforcement near the White House of setting the fire that damaged the basement at St. John’s Episcopal Church as part of the week-long unrest. Trump again used the word ‘thugs’ to describe Black Lives Matter protesters and people who have damaged property and looted stores.
  • In his first public remarks on the U.S. protests, Pope Francis urged people not to ‘tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form,’ and called for ‘national reconciliation and peace.’
  • Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper urged military personnel to ‘stay apolitical’ as troops are increasingly called in to assist local police responding to protests, looting and riots in cities across the United States.
  • Hundreds of protesters massed outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence Tuesday evening, demanding that the Democratic leader defund the police and fire the city’s police chief, Michel R. Moore.
  • Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations. ‘This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me,’ said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Protests heat up early Wednesday with pepper pellets and fireworks near White House, The Washington Post, Patricia Sullivan, Dana Hedgpeth, and Erin Cox, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Protesters descending on Washington for a fifth day of demonstrations on Tuesday found one of the nation’s most symbolic places for political rallies — Lafayette Square, across from White House — entirely closed off with a tall chain-link fence. Thousands of people protesting George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody were forced to gather outside the park earlier Tuesday, where a day before peaceful demonstrators had been forcefully cleared by federal forces at the behest of Attorney General William P. Barr. It was the largest crowd since Washington protests began Friday night.

Here are some significant developments:

• The protests, which had been peaceful much of Tuesday, grew heated early Wednesday morning as law enforcement aimed pepper spray and pepper bullets at demonstrators and some protesters launched a firework toward authorities at Lafayette Square near the White House.

• The crowd in the park had thinned for a few hours after the District’s 7 p.m. curfew took effect, but began to swell into the hundreds again after 11 p.m.

• Attorney General William P. Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials on the ground to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square just before President Trump spoke Monday, a person familiar with the matter said.

• John Falcicchio, the chief of staff for D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), confirmed Tuesday that federal officials, including at the White House, inquired about their powers to take control of the city’s police department. He said city officials objected and would mount a legal challenge if federal officials tried to do so.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: 3 more officers charged in George Floyd’s death as protesters gather for 9th night, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield, Ben Guarino, Lateshia Beachum, Reis Thebault, Katie Mettler, Hannah Knowles, Allyson Chiu, Katie Shepherd, and Teo Armus, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Across the United States, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered Wednesday for a ninth night to call for police accountability and justice for George Floyd. Earlier in the day, Minnesota prosecutors added a second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and charged three more former officers in Floyd’s death. Meanwhile, the White House tweeted, and then later deleted, a 58-second video that purported to show ‘Antifa and professional anarchists … staging bricks’ for nefarious use during protests against the killing of Floyd. This came as large peaceful protests unfolded in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and some cities lifted curfews or decided not to enforce the orders as unrest subsides. The ACLU also filed a lawsuit targeting curfews in Southern California, calling them ‘draconian’ measures that violate the free speech of protesters.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The Army was making plans to send home active-duty soldiers who were dispatched to the Washington, D.C., area to bolster security, but the plan was reversed on Wednesday after a meeting at the White House involving Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, defense officials said.
  • Former president Barack Obama, in his first public remarks since protests erupted, offered an optimistic perspective on the civil unrest, urged mayors to enact policing reforms and reminded young people of color: ‘your lives matter.’
  • Former defense secretary Jim Mattis excoriated President Trump on Wednesday, accusing the nation’s chief executive of deliberately trying to divide Americans.
  • A San Francisco man kneeling outside a pharmacy that was being looted was fatally shot Monday night by an officer who thought the man was carrying a firearm in his waistband, police said Wednesday.
  • Outrage spiked as the New York Police Department cracked down on demonstrators out after curfew on Wednesday, particularly over a video showing officers using batons to beat a cyclist.
  • The Los Angeles Police Department’s budget will be cut by up to $150 million to provide funding for programs in communities of color, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.

Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s Attorney General, Announces New Charges for Former Minneapolis Police Officers as Protests Persist, The New York Times, John Eligon, Richaed A. Oppel Jr., and Sarah Mervosh, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “The three Minneapolis police officers who failed to intervene while George Floyd was killed were charged on Wednesday with aiding in his death, and officials pressed a more severe charge against Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned Mr. Floyd to the ground with a knee for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded, ‘I can’t breathe.’ Announcing the charges, Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s attorney general, who was assigned by the governor to handle the closely watched case, asked for patience during what he said would be a lengthy investigation and cautioned that history revealed serious challenges in prosecutions of police officers. Mr. Chauvin is now charged with second-degree murder. ‘We’re here today because George Floyd is not here. He should be here,’ said Mr. Ellison, a former Democratic congressman and civil rights lawyer, adding later: ‘Trying this case will not be an easy thing. Winning a conviction will be hard. I take no joy in this,’ Mr. Ellison said. ‘But I feel a tremendous sense of duty and responsibility.'” See also, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes; he also charged the other 3 former police officers involved with aiding and abetting murder, StarTribune, Stephen Montemayor and Chao Xiong, published on Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office on Wednesday upgraded charges against the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck and charged the other three officers at the scene with aiding and abetting murder. The decision came just two days after Ellison took over the prosecution from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and followed more than a week of sometimes-violent protests calling for tougher charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who had pinned Floyd to the ground and held him there for nearly nine minutes. Protesters also demanded the arrests of the three other former officers who were present but failed to intervene. All three were booked into the Hennepin County jail on Wednesday. ‘To the Floyd family, to our beloved community, and everyone that is watching, I say: George Floyd mattered. He was loved. His life was important. His life had value. We will seek justice for him and for you and we will find it,’ Ellison said. However, he said, he doesn’t believe that ‘one successful prosecution can rectify the hurt and loss that so many people feel. The solution to that pain will be in the slow and difficult work of constructing justice and fairness in our society.’ Chauvin, who was recorded on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he begged for air on Memorial Day, now faces the more serious charge of second-degree murder, in addition to the original charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.” See also, Minnesota toughens charges against police officers in George Floyd’s death, The Washington Post, David A. Fahrenthold, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Prosecutors in Minnesota filed new charges Wednesday against all the four former Minneapolis police officers present when George Floyd died in custody, as protesters returned to the streets of American cities but a calmer tone prevailed early on. The charge against Derek Chauvin — the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck until he lost consciousness — was upgraded to second-degree murder from third-degree, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) announced. The other three officers, who restrained Floyd or stood guard while passersby pleaded for Chauvin to stop, were charged with aiding and abetting the murder.”

Trump and His Aides Try to Change the Narrative of the White House Protests. Their accounts have been contradicted by witnesses. The New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Katie Rogers, Wednesday, 3 May 2020: “President Trump and his aides spent much of Wednesday trying to rewrite history, claiming that Mr. Trump was merely ‘inspecting’  a bunker last week during riots over the death of George Floyd and insisting falsely that peaceful protesters near the White House were attacking the police when the authorities used chemical agents to make them move so that Mr. Trump could have his picture taken at a nearby church. Mr. Trump has been under fire from religious and political leaders since federal agents abruptly used smoke, flash grenades and chemical spray to disperse protesters and clergy members gathered peacefully Monday afternoon so that the president and his aides could stage a brief photo op in front of a historic church.” See also, 60 minutes of mayhem: How aggressive politics and policing turned a peaceful protest into a violent confrontation, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak, Alex Marquardt, Evan Perez, David Shortell, and Jeremy Diamond, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “When President Donald Trump first raised the idea Monday morning of emerging from the 13-foot gate that surrounds the White House, aides were skeptical. The logistics of any last-minute presidential movement are difficult even under normal circumstances, and these were anything but. For three straight nights, protests around the 18-acre White House compound had turned volatile and fiery, at one point sending Trump into an underground bunker with his family. But Trump was determined to show he was still in charge and that the situation, at least outside his own front door, was under control.”

James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution. In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another. The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: Mattis writes: “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.’ He goes on, ‘We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution….” See also, Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Accuses Trump of Dividing the Nation in a Time of Crisis. He ‘does not even pretend to try’ to unite Americans, the former defense secretary said, breaking his long public silence on the president amid protests across the nation. The New York Times, Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, breaking months of public silence on President Trump since resigning in protest in December 2018, on Wednesday offered a withering critique of the president’s leadership amid growing protests across the country. ‘Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,’ Mr. Mattis wrote in a statement issued late Wednesday. ‘Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.’ Mr. Mattis, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, also criticized comments by the current defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, who in recent days has described protest sites across the nation as a ‘battle space’ to be cleared. ‘We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battle space” that our uniformed military is called upon to dominate,’ Mr. Mattis wrote. ‘At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict — a false conflict — between the military and civilian society.'” See also, ‘Enough is enough’: Former Defense Secretary Mattis blasts Trump over handling of protests, ABC News, Luis Martinez and Martha Raddatz, Wednesday, 3 June 2020. See also, Jim Mattis blasts Trump in message that defends protesters and says Trump ‘tries to divide us,’ The Washington Post, Dan Lamothe, Wednesday, 3 June 2020.

All four living ex-presidents draw a sharp contrast with Trump on systemic racism, The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Four U.S. presidents spoke this week about systemic racism and injustice. They used their platforms to illuminate the humanity in all Americans and to decry the dehumanization of some. And they summoned the nation to confront its failures, make change and come together. A fifth U.S. president spoke instead this week about using military force to dominate Americans who are protesting racial injustice. He declared winners and losers among state and city officials trying to safeguard their streets. And, with his reelection campaign in mind, he sought to apply a partisan political lens to the national reckoning over racial inequities. The outlier was President Trump. Of course, Trump has long zigged when his four living predecessors zagged, and proudly so. But rarely has the dichotomy been clearer than this week, when Barack ObamaGeorge W. BushBill Clinton and Jimmy Carter injected their voices into the national discussion of race and justice following last week’s death of George Floyd.”

Pope Francis Calls Unrest in U.S. ‘Disturbing,’ The New York Times, Elisabetta Povoledo and Christine Hauser, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Pope Francis said on Wednesday that he was watching the ‘disturbing social unrest’ in the United States with ‘great concern,’ adding his voice to those of other world leaders who have spoken up about the days of unrest across the United States after the death of a black man in Minneapolis. ‘We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,’ the pope said in his weekly general audience.”

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper balks at Trump’s call for active-duty military force on U.S. citizens, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis excoriates Trump for working to divide the country, The Washington Post, Dan Lamothe, Missy Ryan, Paul Sonne, and Josh Dawsey, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper distanced himself from President Trump on Wednesday, saying the use of active-duty forces to quash unrest across the nation is unnecessary at this stage, hours before his predecessor, Jim Mattis, excoriated the president for working to divide the country. The comments captured the extraordinary tension that has been building among current and former Pentagon officials since Monday, when Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act to use active-duty troops in U.S. cities and Esper referred to American cities as a ‘battlespace.’ Later that day, the Pentagon began moving forces to the Washington area in preparation for possible operations in the nation’s capital, and authorities used force to clear largely peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square so Trump could walk to a damaged church and pose for photographs with a Bible. Mattis’s blunt comments about Trump represent a break from the decorum the retired general said people who leave an administration should afford a sitting president. For two years as Trump’s defense secretary, he was seen as a voice of gravitas before quitting when Trump announced a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.” See also, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper reverses his decision to send some troops home from D.C. amid protests. Esper’s 180-degree policy change came after he visited the White House on Wednesday. NBC News, Courtney Kube and Rich Schapiro, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Defense Secretary Mark Esper reversed his decision to send home some active duty troops deployed to Washington, D.C., after a meeting at the White House Wednesday amid the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd. Esper’s decision is a significant reversal from where he stood Tuesday night, when he broke from President Donald Trump and told NBC News in an exclusive interview that he did not support using the military to quell protests triggered by the death of George Floyd. ‘I don’t think they need to be used,’ Esper said Tuesday night. ‘We have more than enough National Guard capacity out there.’ It is unclear if Esper met with Trump during his visit at the White House Wednesday.” See also, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper Breaks With Trump on Using Troops Against Protesters, The New York Times, Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, and Maggie Haberman, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper broke with President Trump on Wednesday and said that active-duty military troops should not be sent to control the wave of protests in American cities, at least for now. His words were at odds with his commander in chief, who on Monday threatened to do exactly that. Mr. Esper’s comments reflected the turmoil within the military over Mr. Trump, who in seeking to put American troops on the streets alarmed top Pentagon officials fearful that the military would be seen as participating in a move toward martial law. Speaking at a news conference at the Pentagon, the defense secretary said that the deployment of active-duty troops in a domestic law enforcement role ‘should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.'”

George Floyd Protests Reignite Debate Over Confederate Statues, The New York Times, Aimee Ortiz and Johnny Diaz, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “As protests against racism and police violence spread across the nation, demonstrators in at least six cities focused their anger on symbols of the Confederacy, seizing the opportunity to mar statues and monuments that have ignited debate for years. Many of the monuments were vandalized with spray paint; protesters tried to topple others from their bases. In response, at least two cities this week have seen them removed from public spaces.”

How Police Became Paramilitaries, New York Review of Books, Michael Shank, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Military might has always paraded in America’s streets. But it wasn’t until this century that it became an often daily presence. In the 2000s, local law enforcement agencies began to adopt the type of military equipment more frequently used in a war zone: everything from armored personnel carriers and tanks, with 360-degree rotating machine gun turrets, to grenade launchers, drones, assault weapons, and more. Today, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment—most used, some new—has been transferred to civilian police departments. As the ACLU has documented, this has led to the militarization of American policing.”

Tom Cotton: Send In the Troops, The New York Times, Tom Cotton, Republican U.S. senator from Arkansas, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: Editor’s Note, 5 June 2020: “After publication, this essay met strong criticism from many readers (and many Times colleagues), prompting editors to review the piece and the editing process. Based on that review, we have concluded that the essay fell short of our standards and should not have been published. The basic arguments advanced by Senator Cotton — however objectionable people may find them — represent a newsworthy part of the current debate. But given the life-and-death importance of the topic, the senator’s influential position and the gravity of the steps he advocates, the essay should have undergone the highest level of scrutiny. Instead, the editing process was rushed and flawed, and senior editors were not sufficiently involved. While Senator Cotton and his staff cooperated fully in our editing process, the Op-Ed should have been subject to further substantial revisions — as is frequently the case with such essays — or rejected. For example, the published piece presents as facts assertions about the role of ‘cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa’; in fact, those allegations have not been substantiated and have been widely questioned. Editors should have sought further corroboration of those assertions, or removed them from the piece. The assertion that police officers ‘bore the brunt’ of the violence is an overstatement that should have been challenged. The essay also includes a reference to a ‘constitutional duty’ that was intended as a paraphrase; it should not have been rendered as a quotation. Beyond those factual questions, the tone of the essay in places is needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate. Editors should have offered suggestions to address those problems. The headline — which was written by The Times, not Senator Cotton — was incendiary and should not have been used. Finally, we failed to offer appropriate additional context — either in the text or the presentation — that could have helped readers place Senator Cotton’s views within a larger framework of debate.”

The National Football League (NFL) Is Suddenly Worried About Black Lives. When the league had the opportunity to be on the right side of history, it chose the coward’s path. The Atlantic, Jemele Hill, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “On Saturday, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell had the nerve to put out a statement extending condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery—three African Americans who were killed by people who claimed to be enforcing the law. The league, Goodell insisted, was ‘committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.’ Maybe the NFL thought that Will Smith had popped up with a neuralyzer and wiped everyone’s memory clean. If by ‘important work,’ the league was referring to how it blackballed Colin Kaepernick—who, while quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, took a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality and racial injustice—then the NFL is correct to say it showed a commitment. Back then, the NFL had the opportunity to use its platform to support Kaepernick’s courageous stance against police brutality, but NFL owners opted instead to direct their energy toward ruining Kaepernick’s career. Yesterday, many NFL teams took part in #blackouttuesday—an activist-driven social-media protest that encouraged people to post black squares on their social-media platforms in observance of Floyd’s murder and the need to confront racism and inequality. But when the league had the opportunity to be on the right side of history, it chose the coward’s path. It stood idly by as Kaepernick’s message was lazily characterized as anti-American and disrespectful toward veterans—or was co-opted by public-relations gestures intended to dilute it. Never forget that when Goodell was first asked about Kaepernick’s protest, the commissioner said, ‘I don’t necessarily agree with what he’s doing.’ The 49ers, who expressed support on Twitter and Facebook for the Black Lives Matter movement yesterday, essentially pushed Kaepernick out in 2017.”

Steve King, House Republican With a History of Racist Remarks, Loses Primary in Iowa. Mr. King, one of the nation’s most divisive elected officials, saw his power in Congress curtailed last year after he questioned why white supremacy was considered offensive. The New York Times, Trip Gabriel, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Representative Steve King of Iowa, the nine-term Republican with a history of racist comments who only recently became a party pariah, lost his bid for renomination early Wednesday, one of the biggest defeats of the 2020 primary season in any state. Mr. King was defeated by Randy Feenstra, a state senator, who had the backing of mainstream state and national Republicans who found Mr. King an embarrassment and, crucially, a threat to a safe Republican seat if he were on the ballot in November. The loss was most likely the final political blow to one of the nation’s most divisive elected officials, whose insults of undocumented immigrants foretold the messaging of President Trump, and whose flirtations with extremism led him far from rural Iowa, to meetings with anti-Muslim crusaders in Europe and an endorsement of a Toronto mayoral candidate with neo-Nazi ties.” See also, Representative Steve King, who was shunned by Republican leaders for his racist remarks, loses in Iowa primary, The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Iowa Republicans voted Tuesday to end the long and divisive congressional career of Rep. Steve King, whose hard-right views on immigration and abortion became part of the GOP mainstream over two decades in the House but whose deliberately polarizing rhetoric ultimately became a liability for his party. Support for King started to evaporate last year after he made racially offensive remarks that forced national Republicans to distance themselves from the conservative Iowa firebrand.”

Historic Wins for Women of Color as Nation Protests Systemic Racism. Amid widespread protests against police brutality and the coronavirus pandemic, a determined electorate pushed turnout past 2016 levels. The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein, Jennifer Medina, and Nick Corasaniti, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “As the nation remained gripped by widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism, black and Hispanic women won elections in multiple states on Tuesday while Representative Steve King, a nine-term congressman with a long history of racist remarks, was ousted in a Republican primary in Iowa. And as the coronavirus pandemic upended the election process, with millions of absentee ballots flooding clerks offices and consolidated polling locations leading to hourslong waits in cities across the country, a determined electorate pushed turnout past 2016 levels in nearly all of the eight states that held primary contests.”  See also, Ella Jones Is Elected First Black Mayor of Ferguson, Missouri. Ms. Jones is also the first woman to lead the Missouri city, which erupted in protests in 2014 after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager. The New York Times, Jennifer Medina, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Ella Jones became the first African-American and first woman elected mayor in Ferguson, Mo., on Tuesday, nearly six years after the city erupted in protests after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager, propelling Ferguson into the national spotlight and galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement. The victory for Ms. Jones, a Ferguson City Council member, came as another night of protests unfolded throughout the country over the killing of George Floyd and persistent police brutality against black Americans.”

A Week of @realdonaldtrump Shows the Challenge of Policing His Tweets, The New York Times, Linda Qiu, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Twitter and its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, placed warnings on three of President Trump’s tweets last week, taking a measured but hotly debated step to place some limit on the president’s use of social media to spread falsehoods and incite his followers. Twitter attached labels refuting two of Mr. Trump’s tweets on voter fraud and restricted one that implied protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. But it left countless others unchallenged, including those baselessly insinuating that the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough killed a former staff member. A New York Times review of the president’s 139 Twitter posts from Sunday, May 24, to Saturday, May 30, found at least 26 contained clearly false claims, including five about mail-in voting that were not flagged, five promoting the false conspiracy theory about Mr. Scarborough and three about Twitter itself. Another 24 were misleading, lacked context or traded in innuendo. (This analysis did not include dozens of Mr. Trump’s retweets.) To put it another way, more than a third of the president’s tweets over the course of a week contained dubious information. That presents a challenge both to Twitter and to the millions of people who are exposed to Mr. Trump on social media, especially now, with the nation facing the triple challenge of a pandemic, economic dislocation and nationwide protests over systemic racism.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 3 June 2020: Scientists Link Covid-19 Risk to Genetic Variations, The New York Times, Wednesday, 3 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 3 June 2020: Coronavirus has infected at least 450,000 health-care workers worldwide, report says, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Miriam Berger, Marisa Iati, Felicia Sonmez, Candace Buckner, and Hannah Knowles, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “The coronavirus has infected at least 450,000 heath-care workers worldwide, according to a report issued Wednesday by an international nursing federation, a new insight into the toll of the pandemic and against those fighting it. Overall, more than 6.4 million cases of covid-19 have been confirmed, including at least 381,000 deaths. Meanwhile, a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that hydroxychloroquine did not prevent healthy people exposed to covid-19 from getting the disease caused by the coronavirus. The study is the first randomized clinical trial that tested the antimalarial drug, which President Trump touted, as a preventive measure. In the United States, more than 1.8 million coronavirus cases have been reported, with recent increases seen in states such as Arizona, Florida and Mississippi. The return to economic and social activities, as well as widespread protests of police brutality, continue to raise concern among some health officials of further spread.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Wall Street wrapped up a remarkable 50-day run, posting a 40 percent advance that signals optimism against the downward pull of disease, civil unrest and economic deterioration.
  • George Floyd, whose death in police custody sparked widespread protests around the world, tested positive for the coronavirus in April, according to the full autopsy report released Wednesday by the Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Examiner. The autopsy found Floyd likely had ‘asymptomatic but persistent … positivity’ from that past infection, the report states.
  • Brazil reported a record 1,262 new coronavirus-related deaths to raise its total to at least 31,199, third-most in the world. It now has at least 550,000 confirmed cases, behind only the United States. ‘We lament all deaths, but it’s everyone’s destiny,’ President Jair Bolsonaro told supporters.
  • U.S. companies shed 2.76 million jobs from April to May, according to management services company ADP’s private payroll report, a figure that came in well below analyst estimates but still exposed the devastation of the coronavirus recession. Large businesses, which employ 500 people or more, bore the brunt of those losses at 1.6 million.
  • The architect of Sweden’s unique anti-lockdown approach to fighting the coronavirus said that in light of the large numbers of dead, he should have advised more restrictions on society to protect lives. Sweden has reported upward of 38,000 coronavirus cases and 4,468 deaths, giving it a far higher per capita death rate than its Nordic neighbors, which all introduced mandatory lockdowns.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

The C.D.C. Waited ‘Its Entire Existence for This Moment.’ What Went Wrong? The New York Times, Eric Lipton, Abby Goodnough, Michael D. Shear, Megan Twohey, Apoorva Mandavilli, Sheri Fink, and Mark Walker, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “The technology was old, the data poor, the bureaucracy slow, the guidance confusing, the administration not in agreement. The coronavirus shook the world’s premier health agency, creating a loss of confidence and hampering the U.S. response to the crisis.”

‘This is what happens to us.’ How U.S. cities lost precious time to protect black residents from the coronavirus. The Washington Post, Robert Samuels, Aaron Williams, Tracy Jan, and Jose A. Sel Real, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Interviews with nearly 60 public health experts, lawmakers and community leaders show that many of the first coronavirus testing sites went up in areas that happened to be whiter and more affluent, despite the requests of black leaders. Local governments — sometimes ignoring the pleas of community activists — targeted few of their education campaigns about prevention and social distancing specifically to African Americans, even as conspiracy theories spread that black people were immune to the disease. Poor reporting of data, which initially masked the fact that the disease was disproportionately affecting black communities, remains a problem even as states move to reopen their economies. Today, Americans living in counties with above-average black populations are three times as likely to die of the coronavirus as those in above-average white counties, according to an analysis of census and other data by The Washington Post.”

Hydroxychloroquine, a drug promoted by Trump, failed to prevent healthy people from getting covid-19 in trial, The Washington Post, Laurie McGinley and Ariana Eunjung Cha, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “Hydroxychloroquine did not prevent healthy people exposed to someone with covid-19 from getting the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to a study being published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study is the first randomized clinical trial that tested the antimalarial drug as a preventive measure, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School who conducted the trial. It showed that hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by President Trump, was no more effective than a placebo — in this case, a vitamin — in protecting people exposed to covid-19.” See also, Malaria Drug Hydroxychloroquine Promoted by Trump Did Not Prevent Covid Infections, Study Finds. The first carefully controlled trial of hydroxychloroquine given to people exposed to the coronavirus did not show any benefit. The New York Times, Denise Grady, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine did not prevent Covid-19 in a rigorous study of 821 people who had been exposed to patients infected with the virus, researchers from the University of Minnesota and Canada are reporting on Wednesday. The study was the first controlled clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that President Trump has repeatedly promoted and recently taken himself. Conducted in the United States and Canada, this trial was the first to test whether the drug could prevent illness in people who have been exposed to the coronavirus. This type of study, in which patients are picked at random to receive either an experimental treatment or a placebo, is considered the most reliable way to measure the safety and effectiveness of a drug. The participants were health care workers and people who had been exposed at home to ill spouses, partners or parents.”

Former State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick Says State Department Official Brian Bulatao Bullied Him and Pressured Him to End Inquiry Into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Wednesday, 3 June 2020: “The former State Department inspector general who was ousted by President Trump told Congress on Wednesday that a top department official tried to ‘bully’ him as he examined potential misconduct at the agency, according to top Democratic lawmakers. Steve A. Linick, who was fired as inspector general last month, testified that Brian Bulatao, the under secretary of state for management, had ‘pressured him to act in ways’ that he felt were ‘inappropriate,’ the Democrats said. That included telling Mr. Linick that he should not pursue his investigation into whether the administration had unlawfully declared an ’emergency’ last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. The revelation heightens the scrutiny on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who recommended that the president fire Mr. Linick, and who was at the heart of two investigations led by the inspector general’s office — the Saudi arms deal and another examining the potential misuse of a political appointee for personal errands. It also casts an unwelcome spotlight on Mr. Bulatao, who is one of Mr. Pompeo’s closest friends. Mr. Linick testified voluntarily before Democratic and Republican lawmakers and their aides as part of an expanding inquiry opened by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the House Oversight and Reform Committee.”


Thursday, 4 June 2020, Day 1,231:


George Floyd Updates: 10th Night of Protest Follows Somber Memorial. Thousands of demonstrators poured into streets across the nation, marching over the Brooklyn Bridge and gathering outside City Hall in Seattle. The New York Times, Thursday, 4 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: After solemn memorial, mourners gather around the country to remember George Floyd, The Washington Post, Allyson Chiu, Meagan Flynn, Katie Shepherd, Teo Armus, Hannah Knowles, Alex Horton, Ben Guarino, Felicia Sonmez, and John Wagner, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Mourners gathered by the thousands in cities around the country Thursday night to remember George Floyd, following a private memorial service in Minneapolis for the 46-year-old black man whose death in police custody sparked widespread protests against police violence and systemic racism. ‘At the end of the day, my brother’s gone, but the Floyd name lives on,’ Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, told a sea of supporters at a rally in Brooklyn. ‘I thank God for y’all.’ Later on Thursday, Buffalo police suspended two officers over a viral video of police seriously injuring a 75-year-old peaceful protester. After other videos showed New York City police arresting a man delivering food after curfew and violently confronting journalists on the street, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised changes.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Buffalo police suspended two officers Thursday night after a viral video spread showing police pushing over an elderly protester who fell, striking his head on the sidewalk. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called the video, which shows police leaving the man bleeding on the ground, ‘utterly disgraceful.’
  • The American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter on Thursday accused President Trump and his administration of authorizing an ‘unprovoked and frankly criminal attack’ on demonstrators to enable a photo op of the president holding a Bible in front of the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church.
  • A judge set bail at $750,000 apiece with conditions, or $1 million without, for the three former police officers charged with aiding Floyd’s killing. Conditions of bail include signing an extradition waiver and surrendering firearms and concealed-carry permits.
  • At Floyd’s memorial, the Rev. Al Sharpton called Floyd’s death emblematic of the oppression black Americans have faced since the nation’s founding, saying, ‘It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, Get your knee off our necks.’
  • Amid loud criticism of his city’s curfew, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to ensure food delivery drivers, journalists and other essential workers are protected. His comments came after viral videos showed a driver being arrested and journalists being accosted by officers.
  • In his most extensive comments on the civil unrest gripping the country, Attorney General William P. Barr defended law enforcement’s aggressive, militaristic response to protests, while acknowledging the ‘long-standing’ concerns with police that were exposed by the death of Floyd.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Witness Who Was in George Floyd’s Car Says His Friend Did Not Resist Arrest, The New York Times, Erica L. Green and Katie Benner, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “A longtime friend of George Floyd’s who was in the passenger seat of Mr. Floyd’s car during his fatal encounter with a Minneapolis police officer said on Wednesday night that Mr. Floyd tried to defuse the tensions with the police and in no way resisted arrest. ‘He was, from the beginning, trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting in no form or way,’ said the friend, Maurice Lester Hall, 42, who was tracked down on Monday in Houston, arrested on outstanding warrants and interviewed by Minnesota state investigators. ‘I could hear him pleading, Please, officer, what’s all this for?’ Mr. Hall said in an interview on Wednesday night with The New York Times. Mr. Hall recounted the last moments with Mr. Floyd on Memorial Day, May 25, after they had spent part of the day together. ‘He was just crying out at that time for anyone to help because he was dying,’ Mr. Hall said. ‘I’m going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face because he’s such a king. That’s what sticks with me, seeing a grown man cry, before seeing a grown man die.'”

Movement to defund police gains ‘unprecedented’ support across the US. Activists say the way to stop police brutality and killings is to cut law enforcement budgets and reinvest in services. Some lawmakers now agree. The Guardian, Sam Levin, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “The movement to defund the police is gaining significant support across America, including from elected leaders, as protests over the killing of George Floyd sweep the nation. For years, activists have pushed US cities and states to cut law enforcement budgets amid a dramatic rise in spending on police and prisons while funding for vital social services has shrunk or disappeared altogether. Government officials have long dismissed the idea as a leftist fantasy, but the recent unrest and massive budget shortfalls from the Covid-19 crisis appear to have inspired more mainstream recognition of the central arguments behind defunding.”

Unidentified Federal Police Prompt Fears Amid Protests in Washington. The Trump administration has deployed phalanxes of officers in riot gear and no identifiable markings to police demonstrations in the capital. Democrats want to know who they are. The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “The Trump administration’s aggressive deployment of officers donning riot gear with no identifiable markings has increased tensions with protesters, raised the specter of a ‘secret police’ force and prompted Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand that President Trump identify the federal forces he has put on the streets of the capital. Demonstrators in downtown Washington say federal officers in generic riot gear have refused to identify themselves or display identifying features, and the deployment of federal law enforcement is supposed to get even larger this weekend. Congressional Democrats say the administration’s use of ambiguous tactical teams is infringing on the rights of the protesters. Senators Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, introduced legislation mandating that law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces identify themselves and their agency.” See also, Trump Agrees to Send Home Troops From Washington, Easing Tensions With the Pentagon, The New York Times, Eric Schmitt, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, and Peter Baker, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “President Trump agreed on Thursday to begin sending home 82nd Airborne Division troops he had ordered to Washington, temporarily easing a contentious standoff with the Pentagon over the role of the armed forces in quelling protests that have broken out across the nation. None of the active-duty forces ever actually deployed in Washington, instead remaining on alert outside the city while National Guard troops took up position near the White House and elsewhere around town. But they became caught up in a confrontation pitting a commander in chief intent on demonstrating strength in the face of street demonstrations versus a military command resistant to being drawn into domestic law enforcement or election year politics.”

The White House is effectively a fortress, The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Matt Zapotosky, and Josh Dawsey, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “The security perimeter around the White House keeps expanding. Tall black fencing is going up seemingly by the hour. Armed guards and sharpshooters and combat troops are omnipresent. In the 72 hours since Monday’s melee at Lafayette Square, the White House has been transformed into a veritable fortress — the physical manifestation of President Trump’s vision of law-and-order ‘domination’ over the millions of Americans who have taken the streets to protest racial injustice. The White House is now so heavily fortified that it resembles the monarchical palaces or authoritarian compounds of regimes in faraway lands — strikingly incongruous with the historic role of the executive mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, which since its cornerstone was laid in 1792 has been known as the people’s house and celebrated as an accessible symbol of American democracy.”

Civil Rights Groups and Black Lives Matter Sue the Trump Administration and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Over Protest Violence, Saying They Violated the Constitutional Rights of Demonstrators Who Were Violently Evacuated Out of Lafayette Park, NPR, Vanessa Romo, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Trump administration and federal law enforcement agencies, saying they violated the constitutional rights of demonstrators who were violently evacuated out of a park Monday to clear the path for a photo op by President Trump. Court documents accuse officers of conducting a coordinated and ‘unprovoked charge into a crowd of demonstrators’ who had gathered across from the White House in Lafayette Park to protest the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, as well as broader systemic injustices perpetrated by law enforcement against black people in the United States. ‘What happened to our members Monday evening, here in the nation’s capital, was an affront to all our rights,’ said April Goggans, Core Organizer of Black Lives Matter D.C., the lead plaintiff in the case.”

Supreme Court asked to reconsider immunity available to police accused of brutality, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “As protests around the country continue over the death of George Floyd, the Supreme Court is examining a form of immunity that has shielded police from lawsuits about excessive force and other government officials for alleged civil rights violations. The court could announce as soon as Monday whether it will accept for argument next term challenges to a doctrine called qualified immunity. It protects officers from lawsuits unless plaintiffs can show that the accused violated ‘clearly established’ laws or constitutional rights they should reasonably have been aware of. In practice, the ‘clearly established’ test often means that for their lawsuits to proceed, civil rights plaintiffs must identify a nearly identical violation that has been recognized by the Supreme Court or appellate courts in the same jurisdiction.”

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski says she agrees with Mattis’s broadside that Trump tries to deliberately divide Americans, The Washington Post, Paul Kane and John Wagner, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Former defense secretary Jim Mattis’s strong rebuke of President Trump forced Republicans to choose sides between a revered retired Marine Corps general and a leader with a near-stranglehold on the party and the voters critical to their election. Mattis moved one senior Senate Republican to finally declare she had to speak out against Trump’s handling of the racial injustice protests, and against his moral leadership more broadly, while signaling she may not support him in November. ‘When I saw General Mattis’s comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,’ Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Thursday. Murkowski, the 10th-longest-serving active GOP senator, told reporters that she agreed with Mattis’s broadside that Trump tries to deliberately divide Americans and the nation was ‘witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.'” See also, Trump vows to campaign against Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski after she backs Mattis, Politico, Andrew Desiderio, Thursday, 4 June 2020: President Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski after the Alaska Republican said she was ‘struggling’ with whether to support the president’s reelection bid. Murkowski, whose next race is in two years, drew Trump’s ire earlier Thursday when she concurred with former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ sharp critiques of the president over his response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and the subsequent nationwide protests sparked by the killing. ‘I thought General Mattis’ words were true, and honest, and necessary, and overdue,’ Murkowski told reporters after Mattis wrote that Trump was threatening the Constitution and trying to pit Americans against each other. When asked whether she could still support Trump, Murkowski said she was ‘struggling with it.'” See also, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski Endorses Mattis Criticism of Trump, Calling it ‘Necessary and Overdue,’ The New York Times, Emily Cochrane, Thursday, 4 June 2020.

Virginia governor Ralph Northam announces removal of Robert E. Lee statue from Richmond as city reckons with Confederate monuments, CNN Politics, Ryan Nobles, Devan Cole, and Veronica Stracqualursi, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday plans to remove a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue, a move that comes amid a national reckoning with America’s complicated racial history. ‘That statue has been there for a long time. It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now. So we’re taking it down,’ Northam, a Democrat, said during a news event in Richmond.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Coronavirus Cases Worldwide Multiply at Fastest Pace Yet, The New York Times, Thursday, 4 June 2020:

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 4 June 2020: The Congressional Budget Office Estimates That Extending Benefits to Unemployed Workers Would Help the Economy This Year but Hurt it Next Year, The New York Times, Thursday, 4 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, 4 June 2020: Authors retract study showing hydroxychloroquine was dangerous to hospitalized covid-19 patients, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Siobhán O’Grady, Adam Taylor, Katie Mettler, Felicia Sonmez, Steven Goff, and Kareem Copeland, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “The medical journal Lancet published a statement from the authors of a study showing that hydroxychloroquine was dangerous for hospitalized covid-19 patients, saying they were unable to complete an independent audit of the hospital data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they concluded they ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’ The study, purportedly based on the health records of almost 100,000 patients around the world, found that hospitalized covid-19 patients treated with the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine — a drug repeatedly touted by President Trump — had a sharply higher risk of death and heart-rhythm problems compared to those who did not receive the drug. The global toll of the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 6.5 million reported cases with more than 387,000 of them fatal. More than 1.8 million cases have been confirmed in the United States, including at least 106,000 fatalities.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a House panel Thursday that demonstrators protesting racial injustice need to get tested for the coronavirus.
  • Two countries on Thursday reported alarming increases in coronavirus cases. Brazil confirmed a record number of deaths on consecutive days, more than 2,600 in that time, and now has at least 584,000 confirmed cases of covid-19. And Iran, which was hard hit earlier this year but began lifting lockdown restrictions April 11, reported a record 3,574 new confirmed cases over the past 24 hours, raising concerns of a second wave of infections.
  • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased to 1.9 million for the last week of May, the fewest since the novel coronavirus started spreading widely in March but more than analysts forecast. Though it is a sign the economy may no longer be in free fall, recovery could be long and difficult.
  • Iran released U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, a California native who had contracted the coronavirus and had been held for nearly two years. Due to several complicating health conditions, White’s family feared for his life in Iran’s notoriously cramped and unsanitary prison system.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump Administration Sets Demographic Requirements for Coronavirus Reports. Responding to mounting pressure for data on the pandemic’s impact on communities of color, the administration is asking states to include race and ethnicity with test results. The New York Times, Noah Weiland and Apoorva Mandavilli, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “The Trump administration on Thursday released new requirements for states to report coronavirus data based on race, ethnicity, age and sex of individuals tested for the virus, responding to demands from lawmakers for a clearer picture of the pandemic and its racial discrepancies. All laboratories — as well as nonlaboratory facilities offering on-site testing and in-home testing — will be required to send demographic data to state or local public health departments based on the individual’s residence, according to details released by the Department of Health and Human Services. The new guidelines came as Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, faced a barrage of questions from House lawmakers at a health subcommittee hearing about his agency’s often-halting response to the pandemic, and what some members of Congress said was its failure to anticipate and explain the pandemic’s effect on black and Hispanic communities.”

Republican Senator Charles Grassley blocks two Trump nominees in protest over inspector general firings, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) blocked two of President Trump’s nominees Thursday in a rare move by a Republican senator to demand accountability from the president over his recent firings of several federal watchdogs. Grassley, a longtime advocate for inspectors general, announced Thursday afternoon that he is blocking the nominations of Christopher Miller to head the National Counterterrorism Center and Marshall Billingslea to be the State Department’s undersecretary for arms control and international security.”

Trump, Citing Pandemic, Moves to Weaken Two Key Environmental Protections, The New York Times, Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “The Trump administration, in twin actions to curb environmental regulations, moved on Thursday to temporarily speed the construction of energy projects and to permanently weaken federal authority to issue stringent clean air and climate change rules. President Trump signed an executive order that calls on agencies to waive required environmental reviews of infrastructure projects to be built during the pandemic-driven economic crisis. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that changes the way the agency uses cost-benefit analyses to enact Clean Air Act regulations, effectively limiting the strength of future air pollution controls. Together, the actions signal that Mr. Trump intends to speed up his efforts to dismantle environmental regulations as the nation battles the coronavirus and a wave of unrest protesting the deaths of black Americans in Georgia, Minnesota and Kentucky. They will also help define the stakes in the 2020 presidential election, since neither effort would likely survive a Democratic victory.”

With Broad Subpoena Power, Republicans Seek to Undercut Russia Inquiry. Republicans on two Senate committees moved to give their chairmen power to subpoena dozens of Obama administration and F.B.I. officials for the election-year inquiry. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Thursday, 4 June 2020: “Senate Republicans moved on Thursday to grant themselves vast new powers for a sprawling election-year effort to discredit the Trump-Russia investigation, with one committee authorizing subpoenas for dozens of high-level Obama administration officials, and another lining up a similar vote for next week. The actions by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee laid the groundwork for months of public hearings that Republicans hope will recast the findings of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The goal is to undercut a central conclusion — that President Trump welcomed Moscow’s meddling on his behalf — and instead portray Mr. Trump as a victim of corrupt overreach by the Obama administration and anti-Trump Republicans inside the F.B.I.”