Trump Administration, Week 178: Friday, 12 June – Thursday, 18 June 2020 (Days 1,239-1,245)

George Floyd Protest, Williamstown, MA, Friday, 5 June 2020

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


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!


Friday, 12 June 2020, Day 1,239:


George Floyd Protests: Judge Peter A. Cahill Will Hear the Case of the Four Police Officers Charged in the Killing of George Floyd, The New York Times, Friday, 12 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 12 June 2020: China Shuts Vast Beijing Market as It Hunts Coronavirus Cluster, The New York Times, Friday, 12 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 12 June 2020: As coronavirus cases spike, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns Trump rally attendees that large gatherings are ‘risky,’ The Washington Post, Marisa Iati, Lateshia Beachum, Keith McMillan, Samantha Pell, and Angela Fritz, Friday, 12 June 2020: “Anthony S. Fauci said Friday that it is a ‘danger’ and ‘risky’ for people to be gathering in large groups — whether at a Trump rally or a protest. The nation’s top infectious-disease expert advised on a podcast that if gatherings take place, people should ‘make sure’ to wear a mask. President Trump plans to hold his first rally in months next week in Tulsa. Meanwhile, across the South and West, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. In Texas, more than 2,100 people in the state were hospitalized with covid-19 as of Friday, according to state data tracked by The Washington Post, and intensive care units are reportedly at 88 percent capacity in the Houston area. Arkansas reported 731 new cases, the largest since the pandemic began. And in North Carolina, cases topped 40,000 after its highest single-day increase. ‘We continue to see a decrease in social distancing,’ Mecklenburg County, N.C., health director Gibbie Harris said Friday, ‘and before long we will be back to where we were when we put the stay-at-home order in place.’

Here are some significant developments:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new coronavirus guidelines Friday, which included a recommendation that organizers of large events that involve shouting, chanting or singing ‘strongly encourage’ the use of cloth face coverings.
  • Florida got rid of its top geographic data scientist in May. Rebekah Jones now publicizes statistics on her own, at, which gives a higher case total and a lower number of people tested than data published by the state.
  • Wall Street is back in buying mode, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping nearly 700 points at the opening bell following Thursday’s massive sell-off.
  • The United States surpassed 2 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, less than five months after the first case was confirmed. That far exceeds the number of infections reported in any other country. The virus has now killed at least 112,000 people in the United States.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 178, Friday, 12 June – Thursday, 18 June 2020 (Days 1,239-1,245)

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 12 June 2020: Wall Street Shakes Off Grim Economic News, The New York Times, Friday, 12 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issues new covid-19 guidelines at a time of protests and rallies, The Washington Post, Lena H. Sun, Chelsea Janes, and Toluse Olorunnipa, Friday, 12 June 2020: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new coronavirus guidelines Friday to help Americans navigate a changed country, as they face mass protests, spiking cases in many states and President Trump’s plans to return to holding big rallies. The CDC guidance includes a recommendation that organizers of large events that involve shouting, chanting or singing ‘strongly encourage’ the use of cloth face coverings. That is complicated by a push to reopen the country even as more than 2 million Americans have now been infected by the coronavirus. Federal health officials on Friday said their guidance was aimed at keeping people safe as states reopen and communities plan and hold gatherings, such as concerts, festivals, conferences, parades, weddings and sporting events. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director of infectious diseases, sidestepped questions about whether the agency’s new guidance for large gatherings applies to campaign rallies, saying the recommendations speak for themselves.” See also, Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) Calls for Masks at Large Gatherings, Warning of Crowd Risks, The New York Times, Abby Goodnough, Friday, 12 June 2020: “Three months after the country’s top public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, abruptly stopped holding regular briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, its director, Dr. Robert Redfield, restarted them on Friday amid growing calls for the agency to claim a more prominent role in the virus response. The C.D.C. also released a new guidance document, ‘Considerations for Events and Gatherings,’ that defines as ‘highest risk’ large gatherings where it is difficult for people to stay at least six feet apart, and where attendees travel from outside the local area. The guidance was issued as people around the country are participating in large outdoor protests of racial injustice and police brutality, and as President Trump prepares to resume large political rallies. It advises that staff members at large events be required to wear face coverings, and that attendees be encouraged to do so — in keeping with previous C.D.C. guidance on wearing face coverings in public.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center says more than 1,700 Confederate symbols are still standing across the U.S., CBS News, Friday, 12 June 2020: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has helped identify more than 1,700 Confederate symbols still standing amid growing public anger over what protesters say are monuments honoring the country’s racist past. Demonstrators across the U.S. have already torn down some memorials and statues, prompting some leaders to demand permanent removal. ‘Why do we want to name or venerate people who fought to enslave other human beings? That’s all we’re saying,’ the SPLC’s Lecia Brooks told CBS News’ Chip Reid.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to do away with Confederate statues in the Capitol building was met with resistance from Republicans, and a bipartisan Senate proposal to begin the process of renaming 10 military bases that honor Confederate officers got similar pushback from President Trump and his allies.

Voter turnout soared in Georgia despite massive primary day problems, NBC News, Dareh Gregorian, Friday, 12 June 2020: “Despite massive problems at the voting booth, Democratic turnout in Georgia’s primaries skyrocketed — with three times as many votes cast in the Senate primary as in 2016. With 91 percent of the vote in as of Friday, nearly 960,000 voters had cast ballots in the Democratic Senate primary race won by Jon Ossoff, compared to 310,000 who voted in the Senate primary in 2016. The Democratic turnout was also higher than it was in the gubernatorial primary in 2018, which saw 550,000 ballots cast.”

Transgender Health Protections Are Reversed by the Trump Administration, NPR, Selena Simmons-Duffin, Friday, 12 June 2020: “The Trump administration on Friday finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance…. It is one of many rules and regulations put forward by the Trump administration that defines ‘sex discrimination’ as only applying when someone faces discrimination for being male or female, and does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Supporters of the new rule said this is a necessary reversal of Obama-era executive overreach and will reduce confusion about the legal meaning of ‘sex discrimination.’ Critics argue the rule could further harm an already vulnerable group — transgender people — in the midst of a pandemic and historic unrest spurred by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.” See also, Trump Administration Erases Transgender Civil Rights Protections in Health Care, The New York Times, Margot Sanger-Katz and Noah Weiland, 12 June 2020: “The Trump administration on Friday finalized a regulation that will erase protections for transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies, a move announced on the four-year anniversary of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando and in the middle of Pride Month. The rule, which does not differ much from a proposed version released last year, is part of a broad Trump administration effort across multiple areas of policy — including educationhousing, and employment, as well as health care — to narrow the legal definition of sex discrimination so that it does not include protections for transgender people.”

Oil, Logging, Mining, and Grazing Will Be the Priorities of the U.S. Forest Service, Bloomberg Law, Bobby Magill, Friday, 12 June 2020: “Oil, logging, mining, and grazing will be the priorities of national forests and grasslands, with expedited environmental oversight, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue told the U.S. Forest Service Friday. His memo announced a ‘blueprint for reforms’ that refocuses the Forest Service to produce products and services from the 193 million acres of forests, grasslands, and wilderness areas it oversees. He directed the agency to find new ways to produce energy on national forestland, promote ‘active management’ to support rural communities, and expedite broadband development to provide internet service to rural areas. Environmental groups on Friday accused Purdue of attempting to fast-track development of national forests that have long been managed for conservation and multiple uses.”

Federal Reserve Report Warns of ‘Extraordinarily Uncertain’ Path to Recovery, The New York Times, Jeanna Smialek, Friday, 12 June 2020: “The Federal Reserve painted a sober picture of the economy on Friday, declaring that the financial system remains under stress because of the coronavirus pandemic and that the path back to steady growth and a strong labor market is unsure. In a semiannual monetary policy report to Congress, its first since the pandemic took hold, the Fed said the nation’s gross domestic product would probably contract ‘at a rapid pace’ in the second quarter after ‘tumbling’ in the first.”

Book Says Melania Trump Delayed Her Move to Washington in 2017 Because She Was Renegotiating Her Prenuptial Agreement with Trump, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “Melania Trump, the first lady, remained in New York during the first months of her husband’s presidency because she was renegotiating their prenuptial agreement after his surprise victory in the 2016 election, according to a new book. In the book, ‘The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump,’ Mary Jordan, a reporter for The Washington Post, writes that in the way she manages her image, Mrs. Trump is far more similar to President Trump than people have realized. But one of the most striking details that Ms. Jordan reveals is something that had been rumored for years — that Mrs. Trump used the president’s victory in November 2016 as an opportunity to solidify her financial standing, for herself and for the couple’s son, Barron. During that time, Mrs. Trump was able ‘to amend her financial arrangement with Trump — what Melania referred to as taking care of Barron,’ Ms. Jordan wrote, according to The Post.” See also, How Melania Trump blocked Ivanka Trump from encroaching on her domain, The Washington Post, Mary Jordan, published on Saturday, 13 June 2020.

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Loses More Advertisers, The New York Times, Tiffany Hsu, Friday, 12 June 2020: “On Monday’s segment of his prime-time show, the Fox News host Tucker Carlson cast doubt on the reasons behind the worldwide unrest prompted by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. ‘This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through,’ Mr. Carlson said. ‘But it is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you. And at this rate, they will.’ Since he made those statements and others, prominent companies including the Walt Disney Company, Papa John’s, Poshmark and T-Mobile have distanced themselves from ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ joining other businesses that have backed away from the show in recent years.”


Saturday, 13 June 2020, Day 1,240:


George Floyd Protests: Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Rayshard Brooks, Has Been Fired. The Family of Rayshard Brooks Disputes the Police Account. Erika Shields, Atlanta’s Police Chief, Has Resigned. The New York Times, Saturday, 13 June 2020:

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields Resigns After Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe Shoots and Kills Rayshard Brooks, a Black Man, The New York Times, Richard Fausset, Johnny Diaz, and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “Less than 24 hours after a white police officer shot and killed an African-American man outside a fast-food restaurant, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta announced on Saturday that the city’s police chief had resigned. Early on Sunday morning, Sgt. John Chafee, a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, said the officer who shot the man had been fired. The shooting left many in the city once again incensed by the death of another black man at the hands of the police — and nervous about the potential for more destructive flare-ups. By Saturday night, protesters had blocked roads and an interstate near the restaurant, a Wendy’s, and apparently set it on fire, according to news reports, with police firing tear gas and flash grenades to try to disperse the crowd.” See also, How Rayshard Brooks Was Fatally Shot by Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, The New York Times, Malachy Browne and Christina Kelso, published on Sunday, 14 June 2020: “One officer has been fired and another placed on administrative duty. A Times video analysis shows the sequence of events leading to the fatal shooting.” See also, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigns after law enforcement fatally shoots Rayshard Brooks, an African American man, The Washington Post, Rachel Siegel, published on Sunday, 14 June 2020: “Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigned Saturday after video emerged of another fatal police shooting of an African American, and as protests over police brutality and racism continued for the third straight weekend. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who announced Shields’s departure, also called for the immediate termination of the police officer involved in the shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks after a DUI stop, saying she did not ‘believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.’ ‘What has become abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks in Atlanta is that while we have a police force full of men and women who work alongside our communities with honor, respect and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be, as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities in which they are entrusted to protect,’ Bottoms said at a Saturday evening news conference.”

Trump reschedules Tulsa rally amid criticism over Juneteenth date, The Washington Post, John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “President Trump pushed back his first campaign rally in months by one day after critics condemned him for scheduling it on Juneteenth, the observance of the end of slavery in the United States, in a city that experienced one of the country’s worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. In a late-night tweet of Friday, Trump said he is pushing the ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Tulsa back a day, to June 20, in response to ‘many of my African American friends and supporters.'” See also, Trump Moves Tulsa Rally Date ‘Out of Respect’ for Juneteenth, The New York Times, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “President Trump bowed to pressure on Friday night and announced that he would delay his upcoming campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., rather than hold it on the day that honors the end of slavery in the United States and is considered a major holiday by many African-Americans. The rally was originally set for next Friday, or June 19, the date known as Juneteenth, which marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Texas and read the Emancipation Proclamation announcing that slaves had been freed, the last of the Confederate states to officially receive the news. The Trump campaign’s decision to hold a rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa, the site of one of the country’s bloodiest outbreaks of racist violence, generated vociferous criticism amid the national reckoning over race and justice in the United States following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. In a Twitter message shortly before midnight, Mr. Trump said he would move the rally to June 20 instead.”

Ignited by public protests, U.S. newsrooms are having their own racial reckoning, The Washington Post, Paul Farhi and Sarah Ellison, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “Like the nation itself, news organizations across the country are facing a racial reckoning, spurred by protests from their own journalists over portrayals of minority communities and the historically unequal treatment of nonwhite colleagues. Protests and petitions over racial inequities have spilled into public view at major publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It has also intensified internal complaints by employees at others, such as The Washington Post. And it has taken a startlingly swift toll: In just nine days since reporters and editors at the New York Times publicly objected to the publication of a controversial opinion column urging military intervention in cities where protests have spurred violence, top editors at five news outlets have resigned or stepped aside under employee pressure, including those at the Times, Inquirer, Variety, Bon Appétit magazine and the fashion and culture website Refinery29. The union representing newsroom employees at the Post-Gazette on Friday called for the resignation of its editor and managing editor.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 13 June 2020: China Reports 57 New Coronavirus Cases Amid Beijing Outbreak, The New York Times, Saturday, 13 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, 13 June 2020: As coronavirus infections surge nationwide, 21 states see increase in average daily new cases, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Miriam Berger, Meryl Kornfield, Brittany Shammas, Karla Adam, Hannah Knowles, Samantha Pell, and Candace Buckner, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “Twenty-one states have seen an increase in their average daily new coronavirus cases this week in comparison to the previous week, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. New infections nationwide also surged. Alabama, Oregon and South Carolina are among the states with the biggest increases. Alabama saw a 92 percent change in its seven-day average, while Oregon’s seven-day average was up 83.8 percent and South Carolina’s was up 60.3 percent. Hospitalizations have risen as well. For example, Arkansas has seen a 120.7 percent increase in hospitalizations, from 92 cases to 203, since Memorial Day. Health officials warn that mass gatherings of any type could worsen the spread of the virus, as the 2020 election heats up and nationwide protests against racism and police brutality stretch into their third week.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump Made Inaccurate Claims About the Military During His West Point Speech, The New York Times, Linda Qiu, Saturday, 13 June 2020: “Trump made misleading claims about his military budgets, the fight against the Islamic State, and wars in the Middle East.”


Sunday, 14 June 2020, Day 1,241:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 14 June 2020: As Physical Distancing Wanes, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Warns of Another Lockdown, The New York Times, Sunday, 14 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, 14 June 2020: Health experts warn Trump’s upcoming rally in Tulsa presents coronavirus risks, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Paul Schemm, Meryl Kornfield, Brittany Shammas, Adam Taylor, Hannah Knowles, Steven Goff, and Kareem Copeland, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “With President Trump’s rally in Tulsa less than a week away, health experts warned that the indoor venue and potentially large crowd could help spread the coronavirus, putting attendees and others at risk. ‘I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event,’ Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa city and county health department, told the Tulsa World. ‘And I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.’ The scheduled rally comes as new infections are trending upward in at least 27 states and territories, and hospitalizations have risen more than 10 percent in at least nine states since Memorial Day, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Officials nationwide are sounding the alarm about a resurgence of coronavirus cases amid reopenings, large protests and reports of people flouting social distancing.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Texas and its largest city, Houston, are reaching new peaks in coronavirus hospitalizations amid a wave of warnings from officials that infections in many states are surging.
  • Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert, warned that waves of infection could come ‘back and forth’ for months.
  • Citing thousands of complaints about social distancing violations, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) on Sunday threatened to reverse the reopening process in Manhattan and the Hamptons.
  • As states relax restrictions, public health experts believe wide-scale contact tracing is the price that must be paid to reopen safely. And time is of the essence.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put in place a review of Britain’s two-meter (six-foot) social distancing policy as businesses are desperate to reopen.
  • Beijing reported 36 cases on Sunday, the largest number of new daily cases announced in the Chinese capital since the outbreak began.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Contact tracing is the ‘best’ tool we have until there’s a vaccine, health experts say, The Washington Post, Frances Stead Sellers and Ben Guarino, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “It has quelled outbreaks of Ebola, allowed smallpox to be corralled before being vanquished by a vaccine, and helped turn HIV into a survivable illness. And whenever a new infectious disease emerges, contact tracing is public health’s most powerful weapon for tracking transmission and figuring out how best to protect the population. But now, as coronavirus cases are surging in hot spots across the country, the proven strategy’s effectiveness is in doubt: Contact tracing failed to stanch the first wave of coronavirus infections, and today’s far more extensive undertaking will require 100,000 or more trained tracers to delve into strangers’ personal lives and persuade even some without symptoms to stay home. Health departments in many of the worst-affected communities are way behind in hiring and training those people. The effort may also be hobbled by the long-standing distrust among minorities of public health officials, as well as worries about promising new technologies that pit privacy against the public good.”

Coronavirus Cases Spike Across the Sun Belt as Economy Lurches into Motion, The New York Times, Julie Bosman and Mitch Smith, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “The warning has echoed ominously for weeks from epidemiologists, small-town mayors and county health officials: Once states begin to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases will follow. That scenario is now playing out in states across the country, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West, as thousands of Americans have been sickened by the virus in new and alarming outbreaks.”

Race and Policing: After Another Black Man Is Shot and Killed by Police Officers, Atlanta Erupts in Outrage, The New York Times, Sunday, 14 June 2020:

  • The shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta adds new fuel to the debate over police use of force.
  • Videos detail the sequence of events in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks by the Atlanta police.
  • Democrats in Congress say ‘defunding the police’ means rebuilding departments, not ending them.
  • A rally in Brooklyn focuses on violence against black transgender women.
  • A former Pentagon chief endorses removing Confederate names from Army bases.
  • A rift opens among Asian-Americans over a statement on racism.
  • Juneteenth should be a national holiday, a Republican senator says.
  • President Macron of France pushes back against protesters’ demands.

Officials familiar with Lafayette Square confrontation challenge Trump administration claim of what drove aggressive expulsion of protesters, The Washington Post, Aaron C. Davis, Carol D. Leonnig, Josh Dawsey, and Devlin Barrett, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “During the nearly two weeks since authorities charged at peaceful protesters to push them from D.C. streets — about 30 minutes before President Trump walked through the area for a photo op — his aides, the attorney general and federal law enforcement officials have sought to shield the president from political fallout with a simple defense: One scene, they say, had nothing to do with the other. The notion that the street-clearing offensive around Lafayette Square was already planned, and separate from Trump’s decision to visit a nearby church, has emerged as the administration’s central explanation for scenes of federal officers shoving protesters with shields and firing pepper balls, chemical grenades and smoke bombs at retreating crowds on June 1…. However, the accounts of more than a half-dozen officials from federal law enforcement, D.C. public safety agencies and the National Guard who were familiar with planning for protests outside the White House that day challenge that explanation. The officials told The Washington Post they had no warning that U.S. Park Police, the agency that commanded the operation, planned to move the perimeter — and protesters — before a 7 p.m. citywide curfew, or that force would be used.”

Among more than 400 arrested during protests in the District, most cases involve curfew violations and burglary. City law enforcement officials say they have seen no evidence so far that organized groups came to carry out violence. The Washington Post, Keith L. Alexander and Meryl Kornfield, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “Since demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality erupted two weeks ago in the District, more than 400 people have been arrested, most for curfew violations or looting, and city law enforcement officials said they have seen no evidence so far that organized groups came to carry out violence. The most common charge was for violating a curfew that was in place for four days, and all but a handful of those cases have been dismissed. Many other cases involve minor assault or destruction of property. President Trump has blamed the far-left antifa movement for infiltrating demonstrations across the country, and Attorney General William P. Barr has blamed looting and rioting on ‘outside radicals and agitators’ intent on pursuing an ‘extremist agenda.’ But the cases in the nation’s capital, at least so far, do not show any organized effort to disrupt the largely peaceful demonstrations, Karl A. Racine, the District’s attorney general, said in an interview.”

The New Yorker Cover for 22 June 2020: Kadir Nelson’s ‘Say Their Names,’ The New Yorker, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “A closeup examination of the artist’s latest cover, in which the murder of George Floyd embodies the history of violence inflicted upon black people in America.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Calls to Replace Military Base Names From ‘Dark Side of Our History,’ The New York Times, Peter Baker, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates joined the call on Sunday to rename Army bases named after Confederate generals despite President Trump’s opposition, saying that it was time to rid the American military of symbols that represent ‘the dark side of our history.’ Mr. Gates, who was appointed defense secretary by President George W. Bush and kept on by President Barack Obama, said the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis had focused new light on a legacy of racism that should be confronted in society, including within a military that is increasingly diverse.”

Revealed: The Family Member Who Turned on Trump, The Daily Beast, Lachlan Cartwright, Sunday, 14 June 2020: “Donald Trump’s niece, his deceased brother’s daughter, is set to publish a tell-all book this summer that will detail ‘harrowing and salacious’ stories about the president, according to people with knowledge of the project. Mary Trump, 55, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr. and eldest grandchild of Fred Trump Sr., is scheduled to release Too Much And Never Enough on Aug. 11, just weeks before the Republican National Convention. One of the most explosive revelations Mary will detail in the book, according to people familiar with the matter, is how she played a critical role helping The New York Times print startling revelations about Trump’s taxes, including how he was involved in ‘fraudulent’ tax schemes and had received more than $400 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire.” See also, Trump’s Niece to Publish Book With ‘Harrowing ‘Revelations, The New York Times, Neil Vigdor and Alexandra Alter, published on Monday. 15 June 2020: “A niece of President Trump will divulge a series of damaging stories about him in an upcoming book, the first time that the president could be forced to grapple with unflattering revelations by a member of his own family. The niece, Mary Trump, will release the book, ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,’ on July 28, according to Ms. Trump’s publisher, Simon & Schuster. The Daily Beast first reported on the book on Sunday.” See also, Trump says his family is unified. A niece’s book could explode that image. The Washington Post, Michael Kranish, published on Monday, 15 June 2020: “It was a rare admission when President Trump told The Washington Post last year that he regretted the way he treated his older brother, Fred Jr., who died of alcoholism. But he insisted that a subsequent financial feud with his late brother’s children had been settled amicably, saying, ‘We all get along.’ Now, however, Trump’s niece — the daughter of Fred Jr. — has written a book slated to be published in July that could explode the image of a unified Trump family. In a description of the book posted on Amazon late Monday night, Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist, is said to describe ‘a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.'”


Monday, 15 June 2020, Day 1,242:


Supreme Court Rules Civil Rights Law Protects Gay and Transgender Workers. The court said the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination, handing the movement for L.G.B.T. equality a long-sought and unexpected victory. ‘An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law,’ Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote for the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling. That opinion and two dissents, spanning 168 pages, touched on a host of flash points in the culture wars involving the L.G.B.T. community — bathrooms, locker rooms, sports, pronouns and religious objections to same-sex marriage. The decision, the first major case on transgender rights, came amid widespread demonstrations, some protesting violence aimed at transgender people of color. Until Monday’s decision, it was legal in more than half of the states to fire workers for being gay, bisexual or transgender. The vastly consequential decision thus extended workplace protections to millions of people across the nation, continuing a series of Supreme Court victories for gay rights even after President Trump transformed the court with his two appointments.” See also, Supreme Court Expansion of Transgender Rights Undercuts Trump Restrictions, The New York Times, Margot Sanger-Katz and Erica L. Green, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Trump administration’s socially conservative agenda has included a broad-based effort to eliminate transgender rights across the government, in education, housing, the military and, as recently as Friday, health care. The Supreme Court most likely upended it on Monday. The administration has been working to pursue a narrow definition of sex as biologically determined at birth, and to tailor its civil rights laws to meet it. Access to school bathrooms would be determined by biology, not gender identity. The military would no longer be open to transgender service members. Civil rights protections would not extend to transgender people in hospitals and ambulances. But the administration’s definition is now firmly at odds with how the court views ‘sex’ discrimination. In each of those settings, transgender Americans now probably have a stronger case to bring before the courts. ‘Any law, and I think there are dozens, that says you can’t discriminate because of sex is going to have a reckoning with this ruling,’ said Paul Smith, a professor at Georgetown Law School, who argued the landmark gay rights case Lawrence v. Texas before the Supreme Court in 2003.” See also, A Half-Century On, an Unexpected Milestone for L.G.B.T.Q. Rights,  The New York Times, Adam Nagourney and Jeremy W. Peters, Monday, 15 June 2020: “When Donald J. Trump was elected president, gay and lesbian leaders warned that their far-reaching victories under Barack Obama — including the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015 — were in peril, endangered by the imminent arrival of scores of conservative judges and full Republican control of the federal government. So it would be an understatement to say that gay rights leaders and supporters were surprised by the court’s ruling on Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender Americans from workplace discrimination. They were stunned. Stunned that two conservative justices had sided with them. Stunned that this happened on top of a Republican appointee writing the marriage ruling, too. In many ways, the decision is the strongest evidence yet of how fundamentally, rapidly and, to some degree, unpredictably American views about gay and transgender people have changed across the ideological spectrum in less than 20 years. It is all the more striking after the Trump administration moved last week to erase protections for transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies.” See also, Supreme Court says gay and transgender workers are protected by federal law forbidding discrimination, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark federal civil rights law from the 1960s protects gay and transgender workers, a watershed ruling for ­LGBTQ rights written by one of the court’s most conservative justices. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6-to-3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination ‘because of sex,’ includes gay and transgender employees.” See also, The L.G.B. T.Q.-Rights Movement Wins Its Biggest Supreme Court Victory, The New Yorker, Masha Gessen, Monday, 15 June 2020: “Two of the three people at the heart of the landmark L.G.B.T.Q.-rights decision handed down by the Supreme Court on Monday did not live to know that they had won. The fight to protect L.G.B.T.Q. people from employment discrimination has been a long one—years for the individual plaintiffs, decades for the larger movement. Until Monday, such discrimination was legal in more than half the country’s states. Donald Trump’s Administration had argued that it should continue to be. But, in a 6–3 opinion written by the Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, the Court ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was the single biggest victory in the history of the L.G.B.T.Q.-rights movement.” See also, With LGBT ruling, Supreme Court hands liberals a surprise victory, Politico, Josh Gerstein and Rebecca Rainey, Monday, 15 June 2020. See also, The Three-Letter Word That Triggered a Revolution, The Atlantic, Todd S. Purdum, published on Friday, 26 April 2019: “Because of sex. Over the past 55 years, that single three-letter word has had momentous legal and social consequences for American life that the man who inserted it into the 1964 Civil Rights Act on a wintry Saturday morning could never have imagined.”

Supreme Court sidesteps controversies over gun control, ‘sanctuary cities’ and immunity for police accused of using excessive force, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Anne E. Marimow, Monday, 15 June 2020: “After studying the issues for weeks and even months, the Supreme Court on Monday sidestepped a slate of controversial issues, including gun control and the debate over “sanctuary cities” for immigrants. The court passed on a group of gun cases that included restrictions on permits to carry firearms in public places and bans on certain types of weapons — something of a surprise because conservative justices at various times have said just such a review is necessary. The justices also declined to take up a form of immunity that has shielded police officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force and other civil rights violations. A wide range of academics and civil rights groups on the left and right had called for the court’s intervention, and its most liberal and conservative justices — Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, respectively — had expressed interest. The issue of qualified immunity found renewed attention after nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd last month in police custody.” See also, Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case on California Sanctuary Law. The case concerned a state law that limits cooperation with agents seeking to detain immigrants released from state custody. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from the Trump administration seeking to challenge a California ‘sanctuary law.’ As is the court’s custom, its order declining to hear the case gave no reasons. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. said they would have granted the administration’s petition seeking review. The California law prohibits state officials from telling federal ones when undocumented immigrants are to be released from state custody and restricts transfers of immigrants in state custody to federal immigration authorities.” See also, Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to California sanctuary law, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a lower court opinion upholding one of California’s so-called sanctuary laws that limits cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, a measure that the Trump administration says is meant to ‘undermine’ federal immigration enforcement. The Trump administration had asked the court to step in and review the law and the court declined to do so.”

The Major Supreme Court Cases This Term and What the Public Thinks, The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Alicia Parlapiano, Monday, 15 June 2020: “In the Supreme Court’s first full term since the arrival of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh shifted it to the right, the justices confronted an unusually potent mix of political and social issues in the middle of both a presidential election year and a public health crisis. Among the decisions that are likely to capture public attention as the presidential campaign enters its final months are ones on abortion, gay rights, the fate of young immigrants known as Dreamers and access to President Trump’s financial records. A new survey from researchers at Harvard, Stanford and the University of Texas suggests that the public generally supports the politically liberal position in all of those cases, though Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided over several of them.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 15 June 2020: Vice President Mike Pence Tells Governors to Repeat Misleading Claim on Coronavirus Outbreaks, The New York Times, Monday, 15 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 15 June 2020: Stocks Climb After the Federal Reserve Details Bond-Buying Plan, The New York Times, Monday, 15 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 15 June 2020: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says coronavirus has been 12 times more deadly for people with underlying conditions, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, Siobhán O’Grady, Brittany Shammas, Hamza Shaban, Katie Mettler, Steven Goff, Kareem Copeland, and Meryl Kornfield, Monday, 15 June 2020: “People with chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalized six times more often than otherwise healthy individuals infected with the coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times more often, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data are consistent with earlier reports showing the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people with underlying medical conditions. The report also highlighted the disease’s stark disparities between whites and minority groups. More than 114,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, and nearly 2.1 million cases have been reported.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Vice President Mike Pence Misleadingly Blames Coronavirus Spikes on Rise in Testing, The New York Times, Katie Rogers and Jonathan Martin, Monday, 15 June 2020: “Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors on Monday to adopt the administration’s explanation that a rise in testing was a reason behind new coronavirus outbreaks, even though testing data has shown that such a claim is misleading…. It was a misleading message publicly emphasized by President Trump at a meeting earlier in the day. ‘If we stop testing right now,’ Mr. Trump said, ‘we’d have very few cases, if any.’ In fact, seven-day averages in several states with coronavirus outbreaks have increased since May 31, and in at least 14 states, positive cases have outstripped the average number of tests that have been administered, according to an analysis of data collected by The New York Times. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that coronavirus hospitalizations have decreased nationally, though positive cases have increased and the number of deaths attributed to the disease caused by the coronavirus, Covid-19, could increase as more data becomes available.”

Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Revokes Emergency Approval of Malaria Drugs Promoted by Trump. The agency said that a review of some studies showed that the drugs’ potential benefits in treating Covid-19 did not outweigh the risks. The New York Times, Katie Thomas, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was revoking emergency authorization of two malaria drugs to treat Covid-19, saying that they are ‘unlikely to be effective.’ The drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, were heavily promoted by President Trump after a handful of small, poorly controlled studies suggested that they could work in treating the disease. Mr. Trump said he took hydroxychloroquine after he had been exposed to two people who tested positive for the coronavirus. The agency said that after reviewing some data, it determined that the drugs, particularly hydroxychloroquine, did not demonstrate potential benefits that outweighed their risks. Earlier this spring, the F.D.A. had also issued a warning that the drugs could cause dangerous heart arrhythmias in Covid patients.”

Race and Policing: With New Policies, Cities Seek a ‘Seismic Shift’ in Policing. The district attorney for Atlanta has said he will decide by midweek on whether to file criminal charges in the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks. The New York Times, Monday, 15 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

New York Police Department Disbands Plainclothes Units Involved in Many Shootings, The New York Times, Ali Watkins, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The New York police commissioner announced on Monday that he was disbanding the Police Department’s anti-crime units: plainclothes teams that target violent crime and have been involved in some of the city’s most notorious police shootings. Roughly 600 officers serve in the units, which are spread out across the city and work out of the department’s 77 precincts and nine housing commands. They will immediately be reassigned to other duties, including the detective bureau and the department’s neighborhood policing initiative, the commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, said. Mr. Shea said the plainclothes units were part of an outdated policing model that too often seemed to pit officers against the communities they served, and that they were involved in a disproportionate number of civilian complaints and fatal shootings by the police. He said the department now depends much more on intelligence gathering and technology to fight crime and ‘can move away from brute force.'”

So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth? The New York Times, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Monday, 15 June 2020: “Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s. But in recent years, and particularly following nationwide protests over police brutality and the deaths of George FloydBreonna TaylorAhmaud Arbery and other African-Americans this year, there is a renewed interest in the day that celebrates freedom.”

A War Against Climate Science, Waged by Washington’s Rank and File, The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Monday, 15 June 2020: “Efforts to undermine climate change science in the federal government, once orchestrated largely by President Trump’s political appointees, are now increasingly driven by midlevel managers trying to protect their jobs and budgets and wary of the scrutiny of senior officials, according to interviews and newly revealed reports and surveys…. Government experts said they have been surprised at the speed with which federal workers have internalized President Trump’s antagonism for climate science, and called the new landscape dangerous. An inspector general’s report at the Environmental Protection Agency made public in May found that almost 400 employees surveyed in 2018 believed a manager had interfered with or suppressed the release of scientific information, but they never reported the violations. A separate Union of Concerned Scientists survey in 2018 of more than 63,000 federal employees across 16 agencies identified the E.P.A. and Department of Interior as having the least trustworthy leadership in matters of scientific integrity. Findings published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE in April on a subset of those agencies found that 631 workers agreed or strongly agreed that they had been asked to omit the phrase ‘climate change’ from their work. In the same paper, 703 employees said they avoided working on climate change or using the phrase.”

Voice of America Directors Resign After Steve Bannon Ally and Conservative Activist Michael Pack Takes Charge of U.S. Media Agency, The New York Times, Edward Wong, Monday, 15 June 2020: “Two veteran journalists in charge of Voice of America, Amanda Bennett and Sandra Sugawara, resigned on Monday as a result of the recent congressional confirmation of a conservative activist and filmmaker to be the head of the agency that oversees the government broadcast organization. President Trump has in recent months placed extraordinary pressure on Voice of America by personally denouncing its work and pushing Republicans in the Senate to confirm Michael Pack, the filmmaker. Mr. Pack, who is a close ally of Stephen K. Bannon, the former campaign strategist and White House adviser for Mr. Trump, was confirmed on June 4 by the Republican-controlled Senate. Democratic leaders had opposed Mr. Pack’s confirmation.” See also, Top Voice of America editors resign amid strife with White House and the arrival of new Trump-appointed director Michael Pack, The Washington Post, Paul Farhi and Elahe Izadi, Monday, 15 June 2020. See also, Voice of America top officials resign as Trump-appointed CEO takes over international network, CNN Business, Brian Stelter and Jim Acosta, published on Tuesday, 16 June 2020.

Rancor Erupts in ‘LA Times’ Newsroom Over Race, Equity, and Protest Coverage, NPR, David Folkenflik, Monday, 15 June 2020: “The Los Angeles Times’ top editor is scrambling to placate journalists of color after years of often-unfulfilled promises by the paper to make grand progress in the diversity of the newsroom’s ranks. Some journalists have used terms such as “internal uprising” to describe their anger over racial inequity at the paper. Scores have participated in intense internal debates over the LA Times’ coverage of recent protests and hiring practices, to the point that senior editors have weighed in, promising to listen and learn. ‘I would say in the case of black journalists, that we do not have enough journalists in positions where they are able to help us tell stories that really need to be told,’ LA Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine told NPR. ‘I’ve asked myself in hindsight what got us to where we are now.’ Related conflicts have toppled leaders at other news outlets in recent weeks. Leaders at The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer stepped down after the publication of an inflammatory op-ed and a provocative headline, respectively, about the civil unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Bon Appétit‘s chief editor resigned, and a top ABC News executive was put on leave over accusations they mistreated colleagues of color. In Los Angeles, the inequities sparking today’s rancor have existed for years, long before the current owner or editors were involved. But they were brought to a head, journalists throughout the paper say, by Floyd’s killing and the protests demanding societal change.”


Tuesday, 16 June 2020, Day 1,243:


Race and Policing: Protests Have Expanded to Include Demands for a More Honest Accounting of U.S. History, The New York Times, Tuesday, 16 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Here Are the 99 U.S. Cities Where Protesters Were Tear-Gassed, The New York Times, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Bill Marsh, and Anjali Singhvi, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “At least 99 law enforcement agencies — many in large cities — used some form of tear gas against civilians protesting police brutality and racism in recent weeks, according to an analysis by The New York Times. This brief period has seen the most widespread domestic use of tear gas against demonstrators since the long years of unrest in the late 1960s and early ’70s, according to Stuart Schrader of Johns Hopkins University, who studies race and policing. ‘Thousands and thousands of utterly ordinary people who thought they were going to an ordinary protest event are finding themselves receiving a really aggressive police response,’ he said. ‘That itself is a bit horrifying. The police have actually succeeded in making people more angry.'”

Trump offers full-throated defense of police in executive action signing, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “President Donald Trump took his first concrete steps on Tuesday to address growing national outcry over police brutality even as he offered a staunch defense of law enforcement that left little question about his allegiances. Speaking during a discursive noontime event in the Rose Garden, Trump initially sought to adopt a unifying tone as he announced an executive order that, among other steps, creates a federal database of police officers with a history of using excessive force. But later he veered from that topic and that tone to assault his political rivals and tout the stock market’s recent rally. It was a performance that laid bare the balance Trump faces as he continues to embrace a hard line ‘law and order’ mantle, which he believes benefits him politically, even as he confronts a national reckoning over systemic racism in police departments and outcry over violent police tactics.” See also, Trump signs executive order incentivizing police reforms. But Trump’s order offered little in the way of enforcement and appears unlikely to quiet calls for broader change in policing. Politico, Caitlin Oprysko, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order aimed at guiding police reforms after weeks of nationwide unrest over police killings of unarmed black Americans — though the reforms he outlined fall far short of changes demanded by protesters…. The order would create federal incentives through the Justice Department for local police departments that seek ‘independent credentialing’ to certify that law enforcement is meeting higher standards for the use of force and de-escalation training. Trump specifically noted that those standards would include banning the use of chokeholds — an especially controversial tactic that has led to the high-profile deaths of multiple African-American men — ‘except if an officer’s life is at risk.’ Trump’s order would also incentivize local departments to bring on experts in mental health, addiction and homelessness as ‘co-responders’ to ‘help officers manage these complex encounters.’ And it would encourage better information sharing to track officers with ‘credible abuses’ to prevent them from moving from one department to the next.” See also, Trump signs order on policing, but Democrats and activists say it falls far short of what is needed, The Washington Post, David Nakamura, Felicia Sonmez, and Mike DeBonis, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “President Trump announced executive action on policing Tuesday, but his plan was swiftly panned by Democrats and liberal groups as falling far short of the sweeping changes needed to address what they have called a culture of systemic racism and brutality that sparked nationwide protests.” See also, Republicans Signal Narrow Policing Overhaul as Trump Signs Limited Executive Order That Omitted Mention of Racism or Discrimination in Policing, The New York Times, Emily Cochrane and Michael Crowley, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Senate Republicans signaled on Tuesday that they were coalescing around a narrow set of law enforcement reforms as President Trump signed an executive order to encourage — but not mandate — that police departments alter their behavior, setting up an election-year clash with Democrats who are pushing for sweeping changes to address systemic racism in policing. On Capitol Hill and at the White House, the moves by Republicans suggested that despite nationwide protests against police brutality and growing public sentiment for overhauling law enforcement, they were unwilling to accept the far-reaching federal measures that Democrats had proposed to make it easier to track and prosecute police misconduct, change standards for using force and institute anti-bias requirements across the country.”

Trump Falsely Claims Obama ‘Never Even Tried’ to Address Police Misconduct, The New York Times, Linda Qiu, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “As President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging changes to policing, he falsely accused his predecessor, President Barack Obama, of choosing not to tackle the issue. Here’s a fact-check.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 16 June 2020: Juan Orlando Hernández, the President of Honduras, Tests Positive for the Coronavirus, The New York Times, Tuesday, 16 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 16 June 2020: Retail Sales Rise by 17.7 Percent, The New York Times, Tuesday, 16 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Vice President Mike Pence calls concerns about coronavirus spike ‘overblown’ as cases surge in a dozen states, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, Kim Bellware, Adam Taylor, Hamza Shaban, John Wagner, Brittany Shammas, Meryl Kornfield, Samantha Pell, and Candace Buckner, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Vice President Pence blamed the media for stoking concerns about a second wave of the novel coronavirus, calling fears of a spike ‘overblown’ in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal. Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, wrote that more than half of the states have reported a decline or plateau in cases. But data indicate that the country has yet to quash the first wave of the virus — even though many states, especially in the South and Midwest, are moving forward with reopening plans. Florida, Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma are among approximately a dozen states seeing a surge in cases and hospitalizations.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

As U.S. Nursing-Home Deaths Reach 50,000, States Ease Lockdowns, The Wall Street Journal, Jon Kamp and Anna Wilde Mathews, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Nursing homes and other senior-care facilities have started to allow more visits after a monthslong lockdown to protect vulnerable residents from coronavirus infections, even as the pandemic’s death toll tied to such places surpasses 50,000. A Wall Street Journal tally of state data compiling fatalities from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, underscores the virus’s heavy cost to those living in long-term-care facilities. Deaths among senior-care center staff and residents appear to represent at least 40% of the overall count of more than 116,000 U.S. fatalities related to Covid-19 as compiled by Johns Hopkins University.”

Tulsa Officials Plead for Trump to Cancel Rally as Virus Spikes in Oklahoma, The New York Times, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Officials in Tulsa, Okla., are warning that President Trump’s planned campaign rally on Saturday — his first in over three months — is likely to worsen an already troubling spike in coronavirus infections and could become a disastrous ‘super spreader.’ They are pleading with the Trump campaign to cancel the event, slated for a 20,000-person indoor arena — or at least move it outdoors. ‘It’s the perfect storm of potential over-the-top disease transmission,’ said Bruce Dart, the executive director of the Tulsa health department. ‘It’s a perfect storm that we can’t afford to have.'” See also, Judge denies Oklahoma residents’ bid to block Trump’s rally because of coronavirus fears, The Washington Post, DeNeen L. Brown, Annie Gowen, and Joshua Partlow, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “A Tulsa judge on Tuesday denied an effort by city residents and business owners to block President Trump from holding an indoor campaign rally this weekend that some fear could further the spread of the coronavirus. The lawsuit in the district court of Tulsa County sought a temporary injunction against the company that manages the 19,000-seat venue, the BOK Center, ‘to protect against a substantial, imminent, and deadly risk to the community,’ according to a copy of the complaint. Judge Rebecca Nightingale denied the request.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci Warns of Coronavirus Resurgence if States Don’t Adhere to Safety Guidelines, The Wall Street Journal, Stephanie Armour, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, warned the nation risks a resurgence of coronavirus infections should states fail to remain vigilant as they reopen their economies. ‘When I look at the TV and I see pictures of people congregating at bars when the location they are indicates they shouldn’t be doing that, that’s very risky,’ Dr. Fauci said in an interview Tuesday. ‘People keep talking about a second wave,’ he added. ‘We’re still in a first wave.'”

Coronavirus Cases Rise Sharply in Prisons Even as They Plateau Nationwide, The New York Times, Timothy Williams, Libby Seline, and Rebecca Griesbach, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Cases of the coronavirus in prisons and jails across the United States have soared in recent weeks, even as the overall daily infection rate in the nation has remained relatively flat. The number of prison inmates known to be infected has doubled during the past month to more than 68,000. Prison deaths tied to the coronavirus have also risen, by 73 percent since mid-May. By now, the five largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are not at nursing homes or meatpacking plants, but inside correction institutions, according to data The New York Times has been collecting about confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached American shores. And the risk of more cases appears imminent: The swift growth in virus cases behind bars comes as demonstrators arrested as part of large police brutality protests across the nation have often been placed in crowded holding cells in local jails.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Will Restore Voting Rights to Paroled Felons, The New York Times, Trip Gabriel, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa said Tuesday that she would issue an executive order to restore voting rights to paroled felons, ending Iowa’s distinction as the last state in the country to strip all former felons of voting rights for life. As protests over police violence erupted across Iowa in recent weeks, as they have around the country, activists pressured the governor on the issue at the State Capitol. Supporters of Des Moines Black Lives Matter chanted ‘let them vote’ outside the Capitol on Monday, and along with other rights groups and state lawmakers, they met privately with the governor twice.”

The Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington File a Breach-of-Contract Suit Against Ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton, The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Ballhaus and Aruna Viswanatha, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “The U.S. on Tuesday filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against former national security adviser John Bolton, seeking to delay the publication of his book, which the suit alleges contains classified information that could compromise national security…. The book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, said in a statement Tuesday that the lawsuit is ‘nothing more than the latest in a long running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the President.'” See also, Trump Administration Sues to Try to Delay Publication of Bolton’s Book, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Katie Benner, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “The Trump administration sued the former national security adviser John R. Bolton on Tuesday to try to delay publication of his highly anticipated memoir about his time in the White House, saying the book contained classified information that would compromise national security if it became public. The book, ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ is set for release on June 23. Administration officials have repeatedly warned Mr. Bolton against publishing it. Mr. Bolton made clear in a statement this week that his book contained explosive details about his time at the White House. He and Mr. Trump clashed on significant policy issues like Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan, and in his book, Mr. Bolton also confirmed accusations at the heart of the Democratic impeachment case over the president’s dealings with Ukraine, according to details from his manuscript previously reported by The New York Times.” See also, Justice Department seeks court order to block release of book by former national security adviser John Bolton, The Washington Post, Tom Hamburger and Josh Dawsey, Tuesday, 16 June 2020: “The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the release of a book by former White House national security adviser John Bolton, asserting that his much-anticipated memoir contains classified material. The move sets up a legal showdown between President Trump and the longtime conservative foreign policy hand, who alleges in his book that the president committed ‘Ukraine-like transgressions’ in a number of foreign policy decisions, according his publisher.”


Wednesday, 17 June 2020, Day 1,244:


Race and Policing: Former Atlanta Police Officer, Garrett Rolfe, Faces 11 Charges, Including Murder and Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon, The New York Times, Wednesday, 17 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe Is Charged With Murder in Shooting of Rayshard Brooks, The New York Times, Rick Rojas and Richard Fausset, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “A former Atlanta police officer was charged on Wednesday with murder and aggravated assault in the killing last week of a black motorist outside a fast-food restaurant, and prosecutors revealed chilling new details of the late-night encounter, including that the officer kicked the dying man after shooting him twice in the back. The former officer, Garrett Rolfe, faces a total of 11 charges in connection with the death of the motorist, Rayshard Brooks. The shooting, which was captured on a widely circulated video, has prompted the resignation of Atlanta’s police chief and further inflamed the tensions over race and policing that are roiling the nation. At a news conference on Wednesday to announce the charges, prosecutors said that Mr. Rolfe declared, ‘I got him,’ after firing the fatal shots at Mr. Brooks. Mr. Rolfe kicked the victim, prosecutors said, while his partner stood on the fatally wounded man’s shoulder…. In announcing the charges against the officers, Mr. Howard said that ‘Mr. Brooks never presented himself as a threat.’ In fact, while Mr. Brooks appeared ‘slightly impaired,’ Mr. Howard said, ‘his demeanor during this incident was almost jovial.’… Shortly after the charges were announced, Mr. Brooks’s family said they appreciated the quick response by prosecutors, but that they were also anguished as they imagined the pain and cruelty Mr. Brooks faced after falling to the ground. ‘I was told as a kid that you don’t kick a man when he’s down,’ Justin Miller, a lawyer representing the family, said during a news conference on Wednesday. ‘What you saw and what we all saw is one officer standing on a man who is dying, standing on top of him, and then the other officer literally kicking him while he’s on the ground dying.’ President Trump defended Mr. Rolfe in a televised interview Wednesday evening. ‘You can’t resist a police officer, and if you have a disagreement, you have to take it up after the fact,’ Mr. Trump told the Fox News host Sean Hannity. ‘It was out of control — the whole situation was out of control.’ ‘I hope he gets a fair shake,’ Mr. Trump said of Mr. Rolfe, ‘because police have not been treated fairly in our country.'”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 17 June 2020: Britain’s Contact Tracing for Coronavirus Falls Short of Promises, The New York Times, Wednesday, 17 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 17 June 2020: Stock Offering Plan from Hertz Suspended, The New York Times, Wednesday, 17 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 17 June 2020: Coronavirus cases surge. leading to new mask rules, as Trump dismisses any new shutdowns, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Teo Armus, and Jennifer Hassan, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “As novel coronavirus caseloads continue to surge across the South and West, officials are hoping that mandatory mask-wearing can stop a rapidly spiraling outbreak. On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) reversed his previous stance and authorized local governments to require face coverings in public, while Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) mandated masks for more than half her state’s population. Several Southern cities — including Memphis; Montgomery, Ala.; and Fayetteville, Ark. — have also made masks compulsory in recent days. Despite record numbers of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in several states, President Trump said Wednesday that the United States will not shut down again.’We won’t be closing the country again,’ Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity in a telephone interview. ‘We won’t have to do that.’ So far, 115,000 people are reported to have died of the virus in the United States, with more than 2.1 million cases diagnosed.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The NFL season is in jeopardy, according to the nation’s top public health expert, Anthony S. Fauci. ‘Unless players are essentially in a bubble … it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,’ he said on CNN Thursday.
  • Tulsa County reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, just days before Trump’s scheduled rally at the 19,000-seat BOK Center. Oklahoma also had a record number of new cases reported statewide.
  • ‘If you look at Texas in particular, about a quarter of all the hospitalizations are between the ages of 20 and 29, and in many counties, certainly the counties around Austin, a majority of the new cases being diagnosed are under the age of 30,’ Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CNBC.
  • Flights, trains and buses into Beijing are being canceled as China attempts to seal off its capital from a feared second wave of infections. The worldwide coronavirus death toll has passed 447,000, while more than 8.3 million cases have been reported.
  • Florida is on track to becoming the ‘next large epicenter’ for the coronavirus in the United States, according to new modeling from PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which linked the spread in community transmission to travel during Memorial Day weekend.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

With the Federal Health Megaphone Silent, States Struggle With a Shifting Coronavirus Pandemic. As state and local governments confront a new wave of coronavirus infections, Trump is sending mixed messages and Washington’s public health bully pulpit has gone silent. New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Noah Weiland, Sarah Mervosh, and David E. Sanger, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “The federal government’s leadership in the coronavirus crisis has so faded that state and local health officials have been left to figure out on their own how to handle rising infections and to navigate conflicting signals from the White House. About 800 Americans a day are still dying of Covid-19, a pace that, if sustained over the next few months, would yield more than 200,000 dead by the end of September. Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas all reported their largest one-day increases in new cases on Tuesday.”

Tulsa Braces for Trump Rally’s Health Threat as Virus Cases Rise, The New York Times, Annie Karni, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “The message from Tulsa’s top government officials on Wednesday was not comforting. Just days before President Trump was set to hold an enormous indoor rally expected to bring tens of thousands of people to the city, the officials announced 96 new cases of the coronavirus, the largest single-day increase in Tulsa since March. And they offered little in terms of reassurance to residents worried about holding a large, charged, political gathering in the midst of a pandemic and on a weekend when demonstrations are planned across the country to honor Juneteenth. At a rare news conference, the city’s top health official, Bruce Dart, said he was ‘absolutely’ worried that Mr. Trump’s rally on Saturday could become a ‘super spreader’ event that would lead to more deaths.”

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Surging Back as Countries and States Reopen, The New York Times, Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “After a drastic decline this spring, global greenhouse gas emissions are now rebounding sharply, scientists reported, as countries relax their coronavirus lockdowns and traffic surges back onto roads. It’s a stark reminder that even as the pandemic rages, the world is still far from getting global warming under control.”

Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win reelection, According to John Bolton book, The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 U.S. election, telling Xi during a summit dinner last year that increased agricultural purchases by Beijing from American farmers would aid his electoral prospects, according to a damning new account of life inside the Trump administration by former national security adviser John Bolton. During a one-on-one meeting at the June 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan, Xi complained to Trump about China critics in the United States. But Bolton writes in a book scheduled to be released next week that ‘Trump immediately assumed Xi meant the Democrats. Trump said approvingly that there was great hostility among the Democrats. He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,’ Bolton writes. ‘He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise.’ At the same meeting, Xi also defended China’s construction of camps housing as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang — and Trump signaled his approval. ‘According to our interpreter,’ Bolton writes, ‘Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.’ The episode described by Bolton in his book, ‘The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,’ bears striking similarities to the actions that resulted in Trump’s impeachment after he sought to pressure the Ukrainian president to help dig up dirt on Democratic rival Joe Biden in exchange for military assistance.” See also, In new book, John Bolton belatedly says Trump attempted to use military aid to pressure Ukraine on political investigations, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman and Josh Dawsey, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “For months, as the nation was convulsed by the impeachment of President Trump, his critics held out hope that the congressional proceedings would unearth a high-level witness with first-person testimony about Trump’s efforts to use his office to try to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations that could bolster him politically. Now, more than four months after Trump was acquitted by a Republican-led Senate, former Trump national security adviser John Bolton has emerged with just such an account in his new book, ‘The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.’ In it, Bolton asserts that the delay in releasing $400 million in security assistance for Ukraine last summer was indeed an attempt by the president to get the foreign country to provide damaging material about former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former vice president Joe Biden. The former national security adviser cites personal conversations in which he describes a quid pro quo that Trump long denied, including an August meeting in which Bolton alleges that Trump made the bargain explicit.” See also, In wake of Bolton revelations, Democrats vent fury at Republicans over handling of Trump impeachment, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, and Seung Min Kim, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “Congressional Democrats on Wednesday reacted with fury to the revelation in a new book by former national security adviser John Bolton that President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 U.S. election, with some blaming Bolton for not speaking out earlier, others criticizing Republicans for voting to bar new evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial earlier this year, and a few demanding answers to questions raised by the new revelations.” See also, In His New Book, John Bolton Says Trump Impeachment Inquiry Should Have Investigated Trump Not Just for Pressuring Ukraine but Also for a Variety of Other Troubling Episodes, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, says in his new book that the House in its impeachment inquiry should have investigated President Trump not just for pressuring Ukraine but for a variety of instances when he sought to use trade negotiations and criminal investigations to further his political interests. Mr. Bolton describes several episodes where the president expressed a willingness to halt criminal investigations ‘to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,’ citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey. ‘The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,’ Mr. Bolton writes, saying that he reported his concerns to Attorney General William P. Barr. Mr. Bolton also adds a striking new accusation by describing how Mr. Trump overtly linked tariff talks with China to his own political fortunes by asking President Xi Jinping to buy American agricultural products to help him win farm states in this year’s election. Mr. Trump, he writes, was ‘pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.’ Mr. Bolton said that Mr. Trump ‘stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.’ The book, ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ was obtained by The New York Times in advance of its scheduled publication next Tuesday and has already become a political lightning rod in the thick of an election campaign and a No. 1 best seller on even before it hits the bookstores. The Justice Department went to court on Wednesday for the second time this week seeking to stop publication even as Mr. Trump’s critics complained that Mr. Bolton should have come forward during impeachment proceedings rather than save his account for a $2 million book contract. While other books by journalists, lower-level former aides and even an anonymous senior official have revealed much about the Trump White House, Mr. Bolton’s volume is the first tell-all memoir by such a high-ranking official who participated in major foreign policy events and has a lifetime of conservative credentials. It is a withering portrait of a president ignorant of even basic facts about the world, susceptible to transparent flattery by authoritarian leaders manipulating him and prone to false statements, foul-mouthed eruptions and snap decisions that aides try to manage or reverse.” See also, In ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ John Bolton Dumps His Notes and Smites His Enemies, The New York Times, Jennifer Szalai, Wednesday, 17 June 2020. See also, John Bolton Alleges Trump Put His Re-Election Prospects Ahead of National Interest, The Wall Street Journal, Michael C. Bender and Rebecca Ballhaus, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “President Trump’s decision-making consistently prioritized his re-election and his family’s well-being ahead of the national interest, according to a new book from his former national security adviser, John Bolton, who describes ‘obstruction of justice as a way of life’ inside the Trump White House and denounces what he says is the president’s penchant to ‘give personal favors to dictators he liked.’ In a scathing account of his 17 months working for the president, Mr. Bolton describes Mr. Trump as ‘stunningly uninformed,’ easily swayed by authoritarian leaders and often the subject of scorn among his own advisers. Among the episodes he recounts are June 2019 meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which he says Mr. Trump pleaded with his counterpart to help him win re-election by purchasing agricultural products from the U.S. and gave China his blessing to continue building camps for Uighur Muslims, which Mr. Bolton likened to concentration camps.” See also, Exclusive Excerpt: John Bolton: The Scandal of Trump’s China Policy, The Wall Street Journal, John Bolton, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: Trump “pleaded with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for domestic political help, subordinated national-security issues to his own re-election prospects, and ignored Beijing’s human-rights abuses.” See also, John Bolton’s Epic Score-Settling, The New Yorker, Susan B. Glasser, published on Thursday, 18 June 2020: “As the national-security adviser, Bolton’s lens for viewing Trump was the President’s interactions with the rest of the world. His most startling and newsworthy allegation is that Trump not only fawned over authoritarian leaders but repeatedly sought to do inappropriate or legally dubious favors for autocrats in exchange for them boosting Trump’s reëlection chances. The Ukraine scheme that led to the President’s impeachment, Bolton argues, was hardly an outlier; other possibly impeachable offenses included Trump’s conduct in dealings with the authoritarian leaders of China and Turkey. Bolton says that he shared his concerns about the President’s actions with the Attorney General, William Barr, and that Barr was also ‘very worried about the appearances Trump was creating.’ (Barr has put out a statement that is meant to dispute this.)” See also, Five Takeaways From John Bolton’s Memoir, The New York Times, Peter Baker, published on Thursday, 18 June 2020: “John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, plans to publish a damning book next week depicting President Trump as a corrupt, poorly informed, reckless leader who used the power of his office to advance his own personal and political needs even ahead of the nation’s interests. The book, ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ describes Mr. Bolton’s 17 turbulent months at Mr. Trump’s side through a multitude of crises and foreign policy challenges, but attention has focused mainly on his assertions that the president took a variety of actions that should have been investigated for possible impeachment beyond just the pressure campaign on Ukraine to incriminate Democrats. Mr. Bolton, who did not testify during House proceedings and whose offer to testify in the Senate trial was blocked by Republicans, confirms many crucial elements of the Ukraine scheme that got Mr. Trump impeached in December. He also asserts that the president was willing to intervene in criminal investigations to curry favor with foreign dictators. And he says that Mr. Trump pleaded with China’s president to help him win re-election by buying American crops grown in key farm states.”

New Conservative Media Chief Michael Pack Dismisses Heads of U.S.-Funded News Outlets, The New York Times, Edward Wong, Wednesday, 17 June 2020: “A conservative filmmaker who recently took over a United States global media agency removed the chiefs of four news organizations under its purview on Wednesday night, according to people with knowledge of the decision, in an action that raises questions about their editorial independence. The filmmaker, Michael Pack, also dismissed the head of a technology group and replaced the bipartisan boards that govern and advise those five organizations. The boards, which all have the same members, are now filled largely with political appointees of the Trump administration, including Mr. Pack as chairman. One board member works for a conservative advocacy organization, Liberty Counsel Action.”


Thursday, 18 June 2020: Day 1,245:


Race and Policing: Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta Police Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks, Surrenders, The New York Times, Thursday, 18 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for 18 June 2020: Trump Superfans Line Up Early for Tulsa Rally Despite Oklahoma Reporting a Record Number of Coronavirus Cases on Thursday, The New York Times, Thursday, 18 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, 18 June 2020: Mask rules confront pushback as coronavirus infections surge, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, and Rick Noack, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “Fears of a new wave of coronavirus infections are spurring officials in many states, such as California, to require that people wear face coverings outside the home. But mandatory mask-wearing continues to be controversial, particularly among conservatives. The sheriff of Orange County, Calif., says he won’t enforce the statewide mandate, while Nebraska’s Republican governor has threatened to withhold funding from any communities that require masks to be worn in official buildings. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends their use as a protective measure. Case numbers continue to surge across the South and West — notably in Oklahoma, where President Trump plans to hold a campaign rally Saturday. Records were also reported in California, Arizona and Florida on Thursday.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Nearly 8.5 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, with the largest share — close to 2.2 million — in the United States. At least 451,000 people have died of covid-19 worldwide, and 116,000 of those deaths were reported in the United States.
  • In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump called coronavirus testing ‘overrated’ and suggested that people wear masks to signal their disapproval of him.
  • Ethnic minorities in Britain may get priority for accessing a coronavirus vaccine, the country’s health secretary said Thursday. On Friday, Britain lowered its coronavirus threat level from four to three, following advice from chief medical officers and the country’s Joint Biosecurity Center.
  • New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said Thursday that he was considering instituting mandatory quarantines for travelers from Florida, highlighting how much things have changed since March, when Florida ordered people fleeing hard-hit New York to self-isolate for two weeks.
  • Thirteen football players at the University of Texas, which began preseason workouts this week, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, despite rising infection numbers across the state, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said that public school students will return to their classrooms this fall.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Supreme Court Rules Trump Can’t Immediately End Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Michael D. Shear, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration may not immediately proceed with its plan to end a program protecting about 700,000 young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation, dealing a surprising setback to one of President Trump’s central campaign promises. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, joined by the court’s four more liberal members in upholding the executive action by President Barack Obama that established the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But the chief justice made clear that the decision was based on procedural issues and that the Trump administration could try to redress them. ‘We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,’ the chief justice wrote. ‘We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.’ Still, the decision was the second this week in which the court reached a result in a major case that elated liberals. On Monday, it ruled that L.G.B.T. workers were protected by a landmark civil rights law. Chief Justice Roberts was in the majority in that decision, too. Mr. Trump responded with an angry attack on the court. ‘These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives,’ he wrote on Twitter. And he made clear that he would make the composition of the court a campaign issue, as he did in 2016. The court’s decision was provisional, and it did not remove the uncertainty that young immigrants have lived with — including the possibility of being forcibly returned to countries many of them cannot even remember — since they arrived in the United States as children. The DACA program itself provided only a renewable two-year deferral of possible deportation, with no pathway to citizenship. ‘Today’s decision allows Dreamers to breathe a temporary sigh of relief,’ said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a law professor at Cornell.” See also, Supreme Court blocks Trump’s bid to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a temporary win for undocumented ‘dreamers,’ The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismantle the program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, a reprieve for nearly 650,000 recipients known as ‘dreamers.’ The 5-to-4 decision, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., stunned President Trump, who said in a tweet that it and a ruling earlier this week that federal law protects LGBTQ workers were ‘shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.’ Roberts was in the majority in both cases, and Thursday’s ruling showed once again the pivotal role he now plays at the center of the court. His low-key ruling was technical — the administration had not provided proper legal justification, he said, for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented by President Barack Obama eight years ago. It allows qualified enrollees to work, study and remain in the United States on a renewable permit.” See also, Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue, Devan Cole, and Jamie Ehrlich, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation. The 5-4 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. In penning the opinion, Roberts once again sided with the liberals on the bench in a momentous dispute that will infuriate judicial conservatives who are still bitter that he once provided the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare. The opinion is the second time in a week when the Supreme Court — bolstered with two of President Donald Trump’s nominees — has ruled against the Trump administration. Monday, the court said LGBTQ Americans are protected under the Civil Rights Act. The ruling emphasizes that the administration failed to provide an adequate reason to justify ending the DACA program.” See also, Trump’s Bid to End Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Is Blocked by the Supreme Court. The high court grants relief to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, ruling 5-4 that the Trump administration didn’t provide sufficient reasons for canceling the program. The Wall Street Journal, Brent Kendall, Jess Bravin, and Michelle Hackman, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s cancellation of an Obama-era program that provided legal protections and work permits to unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The court, in a 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, said the administration acted arbitrarily when it moved to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, failing to offer adequate reasons for doing so.” See also, Trump lashes out at Supreme Court after Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) ruling doesn’t go his way. ‘Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?’ NBC News, Allan Smith, Thursday, 18 June 2020. See also, Trump lashes out at the Supreme Court and tries to turn the DACA decision into a campaign issue, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Thursday, 18 June 2020.

Continued Layoffs Signal an ‘Economic Scarring,’ The New York Times, Ben Casselman and Tiffany Hsu, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “Businesses are reopening after coronavirus shutdowns, governments are easing restrictions, and workers are gradually returning to their jobs. But the layoffs keep coming. Another 1.5 million people applied for state unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, while 760,000 more filed new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal emergency program that extends benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors and others who don’t qualify for standard benefits.”

Trump Talks Juneteenth, John Bolton, and the Economy in Wall Street Journal Interview, The Wall Street Journal, Michael C. Bender, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “Mr. Trump said testing for Covid-19 was overrated and allowed for the possibility that some Americans wore facial coverings not as a preventive measure but as a way to signal disapproval of him. Many public-health experts say testing followed by quarantining sick individuals and their close contacts is crucial to contain the spread of the virus…. ‘I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history,’ Mr. Trump said, adding that more testing in the U.S. led to an increase in confirmed cases that ‘in many ways, it makes us look bad.’ While more testing does result in more cases, Dr. Fauci said in the interview this week that higher percentages of positive tests in many states ‘cannot be explained by increased testing.’… On race issues, Mr. Trump said a black Secret Service agent told him the meaning of Juneteenth as the president was facing criticism for initially planning to hold his first campaign rally in three months on the day. The rally is scheduled to be held in Tulsa, Okla., where, in 1921, a mob of white residents attacked and killed black community members, destroying a thriving black business district. Holding a rally on that day, particularly as racial protests continued throughout the country, was insensitive, African-American leaders told Mr. Trump. He eventually pushed the rally back a day to June 20. ‘I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,’ Mr. Trump said, referring to news coverage of the rally date. ‘It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.'” See also, Juneteenth Is Observed by a Growing Number of Companies, The Wall Street Journal, Kathryn Dill, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “A small but growing number of employers have moved to observe Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., as a company holiday…. Though Juneteenth has long been commemorated with family gatherings and community-driven celebrations, some employees in recent years have pushed companies to recognize the day. As of Thursday morning, a petition to make Juneteenth a national holiday had more than 300,000 signatures.”

Facebook says it took down Trump ads because they used Nazi symbols, CNN Business, Donie O’Sullivan, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “Facebook on Thursday said it had taken action against ads run by President Trump’s re-election campaign for breaching its policies on hate. The ads, which attacked what the Trump campaign described as ‘Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups,’ featured an upside-down triangle. The Anti-Defamation League said Thursday the triangle ‘is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps. We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,’ Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN Business. The hate group to which Facebook was referring in its statement is Nazis, the company confirmed.” See also, Facebook removes Trump ads that use symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, The Washington Post, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “Facebook on Thursday deactivated dozens of ads placed by President Trump’s reelection campaign that included a symbol once used by the Nazis to designate political prisoners in concentration camps. The marking appeared as part of the campaign’s online salvo against antifa and ‘far-left groups.’ A red inverted triangle was used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties incarcerated by the Nazis. The badge forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a yellow triangle overlaid by a red triangle so as to resemble a Star of David. The red triangle appeared in paid posts sponsored by Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as by the ‘Team Trump’ campaign page. It was featured alongside text warning of ‘Dangerous MOBS’ and asking users to sign a petition about antifa, a loose collection of anti-fascist activists whom the Trump administration has sought to link to recent violence, despite arrest records that show their involvement is trivial. Facebook removed the material following queries from The Washington Post, saying ads and organic posts with the inverted triangle violated its policy against organized hate.”

Top State Department official resigns in protest of Trump’s response to racial tensions in the country, The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “A senior State Department official who has served in the Trump administration since its first day is resigning over President Trump’s recent handling of racial tensions across the country — saying that the president’s actions ‘cut sharply against my core values and convictions.’ Mary Elizabeth Taylor, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, submitted her resignation Thursday. Taylor’s five-paragraph resignation letter, obtained by The Washington Post, serves as an indictment of Trump’s stewardship at a time of national unrest from one of the administration’s highest-ranking African Americans and an aide who was viewed as loyal and effective in serving his presidency. ‘Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character. The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions,’ Taylor wrote in her resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. ‘I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.'”

How the Trump Campaign’s Plans for a Triumphant Rally in Tulsa Went Awry, The New York, Times, Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman, and Reid J. Epstein, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “[I]nstead of offering Mr. Trump a glide path back into the campaign season, where he could sell a message about a country overcoming daunting challenges, Mr. Trump’s Tulsa rally has become yet another flash point for a candidate who has repeatedly displayed insensitivity about race in America and ignited controversies and divided people with his use of racist language. It is coming at a deeply painful time for the country, when protests, riots and police violence have roiled major cities in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of white police officers. Mr. Trump and his aides failed to grasp the significance of holding a rally on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrated annually on June 19 that honors the end of slavery in the United States. Nor did they appear to realize that Tulsa was the site of one of the country’s bloodiest outbreaks of racist violence.”

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton says Trump is not ‘fit for office’ and doesn’t have the ‘competence to carry out the job,’ ABC News, Conor Finnegan, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “President Donald Trump is not ‘fit for office’ and doesn’t have ‘the competence to carry out the job,’ his former national security adviser John Bolton told ABC News in an exclusive interview. In an explosive new book about his 17 months at the White House, Bolton characterizes Trump as ‘stunningly uninformed,’ ignorant of basic facts and easily manipulated by foreign adversaries. But his assessment that Trump is not ‘fit’ to be president is among the most stunning indictments of a sitting president by one of their own top advisers in American history.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Won’t Regulate the Rocket Fuel Additive Perchlorate, The Wall Street Journal, Timothy Puko, Thursday, 18 June 2020: “The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it won’t regulate perchlorate in public water supplies, reversing a decision by the Obama administration to mandate limits on the toxic chemical used as an additive in rocket fuel. The EPA made the decision after a new analysis showed perchlorate is too rare in public water supplies to meet the legal test to set a federal limit, according to senior agency officials. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler signed an order Thursday withdrawing the 2011 order that called for limits…. The Natural Resources Defense Council said it will challenge the EPA’s decision, saying perchlorate poses significant public health risks. The EPA acknowledges perchlorate’s link to causing brain damage in infants. ‘They’re ignoring all of the recent science that says perchlorate is much more dangerous than we used to think,’ said Erik Olson, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s senior strategic director for health and food. ‘Vulnerable people are going to be put at risk by this decision.'”