Trump Administration, Week 182: Friday, 10 July – Thursday, 16 July 2020 (Days 1,267- 1,273)

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.


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Friday, 10 July 2020, Day 1,267:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 10 July 2020: New Coronavirus Cases in the U.S. Soar Past 68,000, Shattering Record. The number of daily global cases also broke a record, with the United States as the biggest source of new infections. The U.S. death toll is also on the rise. The New York Times, Friday, 10 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 10 July 2020: Oil Demand Recovery Is Threatened as Virus Cases Surge, The New York Times, Friday, 10 July 2020:

  • The Fed adds another $1.3 billion in bonds to keep credit markets moving.
  • Delayed by the coronavirus crisis, tax day is almost here.
  • Auctions get creative as the pandemic forces them online
  • Lawmakers ask Brooks Brothers to extend benefits to laid-off factory workers.
  • A boycott against Goya Foods takes off after its leader praises President Trump.
  • The surge in virus cases is ‘casting a shadow’ over oil demand.
  • Stocks climb along with oil prices.
  • Here’s what else is happening.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 10 July 2020: Coronavirus death toll in U.S. increases as hospitals in hot-spot states are overwhelmed, The Washington Post, Kim Bellware, Derek Hawkins, Hannah Knowles, Hannah Denham, Meryl Kornfield, Michael Brice-Saddler, Marisa Iati, and Joshua Partlow, Friday, 10 July 2020: “The daily coronavirus death toll in the United States increased this week after months of decline, as hospitals in hot-spot states were overwhelmed with new patients. The U.S. reported its highest single-day infections — more than 67,000 cases — on Thursday. The United States reported more than 4,200 deaths in the past seven days, and experts warn that the trend could continue to get worse. More than 131,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United States since the pandemic began, and more than 3.1 million confirmed cases have been reported.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 182, Friday, 10 July – Thursday, 16 July 2020 (Days 1,267-1,273)

As Covid-19 Cases Hit Records in the U.S., Deaths Begin Trending Higher, The Wall Street Journal, Allison Prang, Paul Overberg, and Talal Ansari, Friday, 10 July 2020: “New coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged to daily records this month, but deaths have only begun showing signs of edging higher. The average daily death toll in the U.S. rose to 599 in the seven days through July 8, up from 510 deaths a day as of July 4, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Public-health officials track the seven-day average because it smooths out irregularities or reporting lags in the data, presenting a clearer picture of trend lines.” See also, After months of decline, coronavirus death rate in the U.S. begins to rise, The Washington Post, Joel Achenbach, William Wan, Amh Goldstein, and Joshua Partlow, Friday, 10 July 2020: “The daily death toll from America’s coronavirus crisis rose sharply this week amid a dramatic surge in confirmed infections across the South and West that has inundated hospitals with ill patients and forced several states to pause or reverse plans to reopen businesses. Texas, Arizona and South Carolina have all seen their death tolls rise by more than 100 percent in the past four weeks, according to an analysis of state and county health data by The Washington Post. Four more states — Mississippi, Tennessee, California and Louisiana — have seen at least a 10 percent jump in that time span. ‘They’re starting to tick up,’ said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. ‘Deaths are a lagging indicator, so we always expected that if they were going to go up, it would take some time.’ After mid-April, the daily death toll declined as shutdown orders took effect across the country and the virus curve began to flatten. The low point came July 5, with 217 recorded coronavirus deaths, the lowest toll since March 24, when the pandemic was in its initial upswing. Since then, amid record-breaking case numbers in several states, the death count has begun to rise, surpassing 800 deaths each of the past four days. Although still below the highs in April and May, when more than 2,000 people per day were regularly dying from the virus, experts warn that the trend could continue to get worse.”

‘All the Hospitals Are Full’: In Houston, Overwhelmed ICUs Leave COVID-19 Patients Waiting in ERs, ProPublica and NBC News, Charles Ornstein and Mike Hixenbaugh, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Houston hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of COVID-19 patients in their emergency rooms — sometimes for several hours or multiple days — as they scramble to open additional intensive care beds for the wave of seriously ill people streaming through their doors, according to internal numbers shared with NBC News and ProPublica. At the same time, the region’s 12 busiest hospitals are increasingly telling emergency responders that they cannot safely accept new patients, at a rate nearly three times that of a year ago, according to data reviewed by reporters. The increase in ambulance diversions, coupled with the spike in patients being held indefinitely in emergency rooms, are the latest indicators that Houston hospitals are straining to keep up with a surge of new coronavirus patients. ProPublica and NBC News have previously reported that a public hospital in Houston ran out of a medication to treat COVID-19 patients and that a spike in at-home deaths from cardiac arrest suggests that the death toll from the coronavirus may be higher than official statistics show.”

Trump the victim: He complains in private about the pandemic hurting him, The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Philip Rucker, and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Callers on President Trump in recent weeks have come to expect what several allies and advisers describe as a ‘woe-is-me’ preamble. The president rants about the deadly coronavirus destroying ‘the greatest economy,’ one he claims to have personally built. He laments the unfair ‘fake news’ media, which he vents never gives him any credit. And he bemoans the ‘sick, twisted’ police officers in Minneapolis, whose killing of an unarmed black man in their custody provoked the nationwide racial justice protests that have confounded the president. Gone, say these advisers and confidants, many speaking on the condition of anonymity to detail private conversations, are the usual pleasantries and greetings. Instead, Trump often launches into a monologue placing himself at the center of the nation’s turmoil. The president has cast himself in the starring role of the blameless victim — of a deadly pandemic, of a stalled economy, of deep-seated racial unrest, all of which happened to him rather than the country.”

The Nation’s Pediatricians Walk Back Support for In-Person School, NPR, Anya Kamenetz, Friday, 10 July 2020: “The American Academy of Pediatrics once again plunged into the growing debate over school reopening with a strong new statement Friday, making clear that while in-person school provides crucial benefits to children, ‘Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics.’ The statement also said that ‘science and community circumstances must guide decision-making.’ The AAP is changing tone from the guidance it issued just over two weeks ago. Then, the organization made a national splash by recommending that education leaders and policymakers ‘should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.’… The previous guidance was criticized for saying little about the safety of educators and other school personnel.” See also, Pediatricians split with Trump on school reopening threats, Politico, Nicole Gaudiano, Friday, 10 July 2020: “The American Academy of Pediatrics is joining teachers unions and school superintendents in blasting Trump administration threats to withhold federal funds from schools that do not fully reopen, splitting with the president even as he tweeted again on Friday that schools ‘must be open in the Fall.’ The alignment of the children’s doctors with unions and superintendents is significant, following a week in which the Trump administration widely touted an earlier report from pediatricians that ‘strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.’ The doctors said Friday that a ‘one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate’ for decision making. ‘Withholding funding from schools that do not open in person fulltime would be a misguided approach, putting already financially strapped schools in an impossible position that would threaten the health of students and teachers,’ the pediatricians wrote in a statement with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AASA, The School Superintendents Association. While the statement does not specifically refer to President Donald Trump, it follows a week in which Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have issued federal funding threats as part of an administration-wide push to get schools to reopen for in-person classes, which is widely seen as critical to jump-starting the economy ahead of the presidential election.”

As Trump Demanded Schools Reopen, His Experts Warned That Fully Reopening Schools and Universities Remained the ‘Highest Risk’ for the Spread of the Coronavirus, The New York Times, Eileen Sullivan and Erica L. Green, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Federal materials for reopening schools, shared the week President Trump demanded weaker guidelines to do so, said fully reopening schools and universities remained the ‘highest risk’ for the spread of the coronavirus. The 69-page document, obtained by The New York Times and marked ‘For Internal Use Only,’ was intended for federal public health response teams to have as they are deployed to hot spots around the country. But it appears to have circulated the same week that Vice President Mike Pence announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would release new guidelines, saying that the administration did not want them to be ‘too tough.’ It is unclear whether Mr. Trump saw the document, nor is it clear how much of it will survive once new guidance is completed. (The cover page of the document is dated July 8, 2019, an obvious typographical error since the novel coronavirus did not exist then.) What is clear is that federal health experts are using a road map that is vastly different from what Mr. Trump wanted. While it is mostly a compilation of C.D.C. documents already posted online, it includes reopening plans drafted by states, districts and individual schools and universities. And the package, from the Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force, is pointed.”

Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Covid-19 death toll is twice as high among people of color under age 65 as for white Americans, The Washington Post, Lena H. Sun, Friday, 10 July 2020: “The coronavirus proved substantially deadlier to people of color under the age of 65 than to their white counterparts in the early days of the pandemic, an in-depth analysis released Friday found. The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the agency’s most comprehensive analysis of the demographics of those who died of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Researchers analyzed data for about 52,000 confirmed deaths between mid-February and mid-April.”

Maskless Trump visits campaign battleground of Florida as COVID cases continue to spike, South Florida Sun Sentinel/Associated Press, Jonathan Lemire and Bill Barrow, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Donald Trump made it to the critical battleground state of Florida on Friday to raise campaign cash and tend to issues of high interest there for his base supporters. But his efforts to relaunch travel after a hiatus caused by a surge in coronavirus cases hit a new snag as his campaign canceled a weekend rally in New Hampshire, citing a tropical storm threatening the area. What is the first thing that everybody noticed as the president arrived? Trump wasn’t wearing a mask as he stepped off Air Force One at Miami International Airport. Nor were any of the people exiting the aircraft with him. South Florida has emerged as one of the world’s hot spots, reporting 11,433 new cases on Friday alone, the state’s second highest single-day total for cases. But only a handful of masks were evident as Trump exited the aircraft and mingled briefly — not socially distanced — with politicians there to welcome him on the hot tarmac. Miami-Dade County has an order mandating mask usage.”

‘It Was Like a Time Bomb’: How Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Helped Spread the Coronavirus, The New York Times, Emily Kassie and Barbara Marcolini, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Even as lockdowns and other measures have been taken around the world to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, ICE has continued to detain people, move them from state to state and deport them. An investigation by The New York Times in collaboration with The Marshall Project reveals how unsafe conditions and scattershot testing helped turn ICE into a domestic and global spreader of the virus — and how pressure from the Trump administration led countries to take in sick deportees. We spoke to more than 30 immigrant detainees who described cramped and unsanitary detention centers where social distancing was near impossible and protective gear almost nonexistent. ‘It was like a time bomb,’ said Yudanys, a Cuban immigrant held in Louisiana.”

Touting criticized study, White House presses the FDA to authorize hydroxychloroquine–again, The Washington Post, Laurie McGinley and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 10 July 2020: “White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is leading a Trump administration effort to demand the Food and Drug Administration reverse course and grant a second emergency authorization for the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Navarro, armed with a new study that he says shows the drug’s effectiveness, is being cheered on by President Trump, who has long touted the drug as a ‘game changer’ and even used it himself as a possible preventive measure. Trump praised the study on Twitter this week, urging the FDA to ‘Act Now.’ The campaign also has been promoted by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, and Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News. But Navarro, an economist known more for his aggressive approach to trade issues and China policy than for his medical credentials, faces serious challenges as he denounces what he calls ‘media-induced hydroxy hysteria.’ Scientists have widely criticized the new study, by Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, as flawed. In addition, just weeks ago the FDA revoked its emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine after major studies found the medication wasn’t effective for covid-19. And the unexpected revival of a politically fraught issue comes as FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn tries to shake off criticism he sometimes seems overly deferential to Trump.”

In a tweet, Trump threatens tax-exempt status of schools and colleges, Politico, Juan Perez Jr., Friday, 10 July 2020: “President Donald Trump said Friday he’s instructed the Treasury Department to review the tax-exempt status of U.S. schools, colleges and universities, in a pair of tweets that advanced his administration’s weeklong drive to turn education into a political wedge issue. ‘Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status…… and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!’ The vast majority of U.S. public and private universities and colleges are tax-exempt entities because of their educational purposes or the fact that they are entities of state governments, according to the Association of American Universities. The IRS also says primary or secondary schools, colleges or professional trade schools that have regularly scheduled curriculum, faculty and student bodies may also qualify as tax-exempt educational organizations. That includes federal, state, and other publicly supported schools. Despite Trump’s complaints, the IRS also says the ‘advocacy of a particular position or viewpoint’ can still qualify as educational for tax purposes ‘if there is a sufficiently full and fair exposition of pertinent facts to permit an individual or the public to form an independent opinion or conclusion.'” See also, As Universities Seek to Block Visa Rules, Trump Threatens Their Tax Status, The New York Times, Anemona Hartocollis and Miriam Jordan, Friday, 10 July 2020: “A battle between the Trump administration and some of America’s top universities escalated on Friday, with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeking a court order to protect foreign students from losing their visas, and the president threatening the tax-exempt status of institutions that he claimed indoctrinate students. After a brief virtual hearing, a federal judge in Boston put off a decision Friday on the universities’ challenge to new federal rules that would revoke the visas of foreign students studying entirely online this fall, and set another hearing for Tuesday. Lawyers for the two universities argued in court papers that the new rules from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which require students to take at least one in-person class for their F-1 student visas to remain valid, would cruelly and recklessly upend the lives of tens of thousands of international students and threaten public health…. ‘The president is using foreign students as pawns to keep all schools open, no matter the cost to the health and well-being of these students and their communities,’ said Mark Rosenbaum, a lawyer with Public Counsel, a legal aid organization in Los Angeles that filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of graduate students at three California universities. ‘It’s temper-tantrum policymaking.'”

Trump Commutes Sentence of Roger Stone in Case He Long Denounced, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, and Sharon LaFraniere, Friday, 10 July 2020: “President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to spare a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term. In a lengthy written statement punctuated by the sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed, the White House denounced the ‘overzealous prosecutors’ who convicted Mr. Stone on ‘process-based charges’ stemming from the ‘witch hunts’ and ‘Russia hoax’ investigation. The statement did not assert that Mr. Stone was innocent of the false statements and obstruction counts, only that he should not have been pursued because prosecutors ultimately filed no charges of an underlying conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia. ‘Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,’ it said. ‘He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!’ The commutation, announced late on a Friday, when potentially damaging news is often released, was the latest action by the Trump administration upending the justice system to help the president’s convicted friends. The Justice Department moved in May to dismiss its own criminal case against Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. And last month, Mr. Trump fired Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney whose office prosecuted Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, and has been investigating Rudolph W. Giuliani, another of his lawyers. Democrats quickly condemned the president’s decision, characterizing it as an abuse of the rule of law. ‘With this commutation, Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else,’ said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a leader of the drive to impeach Mr. Trump last year for pressuring Ukraine to incriminate his domestic rivals. Two House committee chairmen quickly announced that they would investigate the circumstances of the commutation, suggesting that it was a reward for Mr. Stone’s silence protecting the president.” See also, Trump commutes sentence of confidant Roger Stone who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering, The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu, Rachel Weiner, and Toluse Olorunnipa, published on Saturday, 11 July 2020: “President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime confidant Roger Stone on Friday, using the extensive powers of the presidency to protect a felon and political ally while also lashing out against a years-long probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The move, which the White House announced in a lengthy and pugnacious statement, is the latest attempt by Trump to discredit special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation after it consumed much of his presidency. While the commutation was celebrated by Trump’s most stalwart supporters, the muted response by Republican lawmakers and Stone’s own history as a self-described ‘dirty trickster’ indicated that the president’s decision to interfere with the nation’s justice system could be fraught with political risk. Trump, who has declared himself the president of ‘law and order’ in recent weeks, used his unique presidential authority to undermine the unanimous finding by a jury that Stone broke the law multiple times by lying to Congress and obstructing justice.”

Trump camp eyes course correction for rallies: ‘We can’t have a repeat of Tulsa,’ NBC News, Monica Alba, Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker, and Peter Alexander, Friday, 10 July 2020: “President Donald Trump’s return to the campaign trail in Oklahoma last month was viewed as such a debacle that his re-election effort is working to avoid future underwhelming crowds while also considering new safety measures for all large events this summer, including the GOP convention, according to multiple people familiar with the decision-making. ‘We can’t have a repeat of Tulsa,’ a campaign official said, bluntly conceding that a planned rally for Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, would be approached differently as the coronavirus pandemic sets daily case records and creates havoc for political planners. But on Friday afternoon, the campaign scrapped the event entirely out of ‘safety reasons’ due to Tropical Storm Fay, which is set to drench the Northeast this weekend. Models do not show it directly hitting Portsmouth, but attendees were expected from the entire region so it is being rescheduled out of caution, a spokesman said. The campaign said a new date would be announced ‘soon.'” See also, Trump Rally in New Hampshire Is Postponed, Campaign Says, Citing Weather. The campaign delayed it amid ongoing concerns about Trump attracting only small crowds at his events. The New York Times, Annie Karni, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Amid ongoing concerns about President Trump attracting only small crowds at his re-election events, officials said Friday that his campaign was postponing a planned rally for the following evening in Portsmouth, N.H., citing safety concerns associated with an incoming tropical storm. The rally was set for an outdoor space in an airport hangar, in the hopes that anxious supporters would be less frightened to attend an open-air gathering in the middle of a pandemic than they were in Tulsa, Okla., last month, when just 6,200 people showed up to fill a 19,000-seat indoor arena where Mr. Trump spoke. Current weather forecasts for Portsmouth indicate that the rain is supposed to stop there around noon on Saturday; the rally was scheduled for 8 p.m.”

Elaine Duke, a Lifelong Republican, Was Acting Secretary of Homeland Security for Four Months in 2017 Under a President Who Embraces ‘Hate-Filled’ Talk, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Friday, 10 July 2020: “Ms. Duke is the latest in a series of senior officials who have gone public to describe — often in vivid, behind-the-scenes detail — their discomfort and sometimes shock at the inner workings of the Trump presidency. She said she was especially taken aback, during the response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, when she heard Mr. Trump raise the possibility of ‘divesting’ or ‘selling’ the island as it struggled to recover. ‘The president’s initial ideas were more as a businessman, you know,’ she recalled. ‘Can we outsource the electricity? Can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?’ (She said the idea of selling Puerto Rico was never seriously considered or discussed after Mr. Trump raised it.)”

Trump Says He ‘Aced’ Cognitive Test, but White House Won’t Release Details, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Friday, 10 July 2020: “President Trump on Thursday volunteered to Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, that he ‘very recently’ took a test at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center measuring his mental acuity and “aced” it, but the White House would not say when he took it or why. Mr. Trump boasted that his success on the test surprised his doctors as he continued his attempt to make a campaign issue of whether his presumptive Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., was mentally fit. ‘I actually took one when I — very recently, when I — when I was — the radical left were saying, is he all there? Is he all there? And I proved I was all there, because I got — I aced it. I aced the test,’ Mr. Trump, 74, said in his interview with Mr. Hannity.”


Saturday, 11 July 2020, Day 1,268:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 11 July 2020: Louisiana Orders Bars Closed and Masks for Most, The New York Times, Saturday, 11 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus  pandemic on Saturday, 11 July 2020: Democratic Louisiana governor issues mask mandate as state’s death toll rises, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Marisa Iati, and Jacqueline Dupree, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “Governors across the country are facing increasing pressure to pass statewide mask requirements and mount a more coherent pandemic response as coronavirus cases soar to record levels, daily deaths rise and hospitals in the South and West face a crush of patients. A growing chorus of local officials and health experts have warned that infections could continue to spiral out of control unless governors issue public health measures that apply to everyone. ‘We’ve been begging for a uniform response from the state,’ said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) of Jackson, Miss., where hospital intensive care unit beds were nearing full capacity. ‘It’s of great concern to us here in Jackson, not only because we are the most populous city by a factor of three, but because we’re the capital city, and the capital of health care,’ Lumumba told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Saturday. ‘Other cities, as their numbers increase, it is likely our hospitals will receive the increased burden.’

Here are some significant developments:
  • President Trump on Saturday wore a mask in public for the first time while visiting wounded service members and health-care workers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Trump has previously shown disdain toward face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic and refused to wear them.
  • Louisiana’s Democratic governor announced a new requirement that most people wear a mask in public. The state’s Republican lawmakers, who have opposed coronavirus restrictions, are likely to speak out against the measure.
  • Walt Disney World in Orlando reopened after having been shuttered for nearly four months, even as Florida continued to report record infections. Testing supplies in the state are running low, and some big labs are taking several days to return results, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said at a news conference. He partly attributed the backlog to testing many people without symptoms.
  • The United States tallied 62,715 new infections on Saturday, an increase of 11,564 from the total on this day last week. The single-day death toll was 724, compared to 289 a week ago. Five states and territories set a record for coronavirus-related hospitalizations: Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Alaska, Florida and California.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is sidelined by the White House as he steps up blunt talk on pandemic, The Washington Post, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey, and Laurie McGinley, Saturday, 11 July 2020: For months, Anthony S. Fauci has played a lead role in America’s coronavirus pandemic, as a diminutive, Brooklyn-accented narrator who has assessed the risk and issued increasingly blunt warnings as the nation’s response has gone badly awry. But as the Trump administration has strayed from the advice of many of its scientists and public health experts, the White House has moved to sideline Fauci, scuttled some of his planned TV appearances and largely kept him out of the Oval Office for more than a month even as coronavirus infections surge in large swaths of the country.”

Tucker Carlson’s top writer resigns after secretly posting racist and sexist remarks in online forum, CNN Business, Oliver Darcy, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “Editor’s note: This article quotes racist, homophobic and sexist language, much of which has not been censored. The top writer for Fox News host Tucker Carlson has for years been using a pseudonym to post bigoted remarks on an online forum that is a hotbed for racist, sexist, and other offensive content, CNN Business learned this week. Just this week, the writer, Blake Neff, responded to a thread started by another user in 2018 with the subject line, ‘Would u let a JET BLACK congo n****er do lasik eye surgery on u for 50% off?’ Neff wrote, ‘I wouldn’t get LASIK from an Asian for free, so no.’ (The subject line was not censored on the forum.) On June 5, Neff wrote, ‘Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.’ On June 24, Neff commented, ‘Honestly given how tired black people always claim to be, maybe the real crisis is their lack of sleep.’ On June 26, Neff wrote that the only people who care about changing the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins are ‘white libs and their university-‘educated’ pets.’… And over the course of five years, Neff has maintained a lengthy thread in which he has derided a woman and posted information about her dating life that has invited other users to mock her and invade her privacy. There has at times also been overlap between some material he posted or saw on the forum and Carlson’s show…. In a memo sent to employees Saturday afternoon, after this story was first published, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace condemned ‘horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior.’  ‘Neff’s abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation,’ Scott and Wallace wrote. ‘Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.’ Scott and Wallace said that Carlson would address the matter on his Monday show.” See also, Tucker Carlson’s chief writer resigns over racist and sexist posts, the latest trouble for Fox’s most controversial star, The Washington Post, Sarah Ellison, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “After an inquiry from a reporter, it took less than a day for Fox News to receive the resignation of Tucker Carlson’s chief writer, who was exposed for the racist and sexist messages he had been covertly sharing on an online forum. Among his posts, Blake Neff had smeared black people as lazy and criminal, stated that he would not get medical care from an Asian doctor, used homophobic slurs, and repeatedly mocked a female college acquaintance by reposting her Facebook messages and photos for several years. Top newsroom officials called Neff’s posts ‘horrendous’ and ‘deeply offensive’ in a memo to staff Saturday, a day after they were exposed in a CNN story. ‘FOX News Media strongly condemns this horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior,’ said the memo from Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace, the chief executive and president of Fox News, respectively. ‘Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.’ But the years Neff spent spewing toxic sentiments online while at the same time penning Carlson’s provocative TV commentary raises questions about the culture of cable news’s most-watched show and the philosophical underpinnings of one of the conservative movement’s most prominent voices.”

In Commuting Roger Stone’s Sentence, Trump Goes Where Nixon Would Not. Senator Mitt Romney called the commutation an act of ‘unprecedented, historic corruption.’ Attorney General William P. Barr privately argued against clemency for the president’s friend.  The New York Times, Peter Baker, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “President Trump has said he learned lessons from President Richard M. Nixon’s fall from grace, but in using the power of his office to keep his friend and adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. out of prison he has now crossed a line that even Mr. Nixon in the depths of Watergate dared not cross. For months, senior advisers warned Mr. Trump that it would be politically self-destructive if not ethically inappropriate to grant clemency to Mr. Stone, who was convicted of lying to protect the president. Even Attorney General William P. Barr, who had already overruled career prosecutors to reduce Mr. Stone’s sentence, argued against commutation in recent weeks, officials said. But in casting aside their counsel on Friday, Mr. Trump indulged his own sense of grievance over precedent to reward an ally who kept silent. Once again, he challenged convention by intervening in the justice system undermining investigators looking into him and his associates, just days after the Supreme Court ruled that he went too far in claiming ‘absolute immunity’ in two other inquiries. Democrats condemned the commutation of Mr. Stone’s 40-month prison term and vowed to investigate.” See also, Trump’s Clemency Came After Displays of Loyalty by Roger Stone, The New York Times, Sharon LaFraniere and Mark Mazzetti, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “The president’s decision on Friday to commute Mr. Stone’s prison sentence for impeding a congressional inquiry and other crimes was extraordinary because federal prosecutors had suspected that Mr. Stone could shed light on whether Mr. Trump had lied to them under oath or illegally obstructed justice. Even Mr. Stone suggested a possible quid pro quo, telling a journalist hours before the announcement that he hoped for clemency because Mr. Trump knew he had resisted intense pressure from prosecutors to cooperate. It was the latest example of how Mr. Trump has managed to bend America’s legal machinery to his advantage and undermine a criminal investigation that has dominated so much of his presidency. Mr. Trump’s move was so stunning that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s election interference and has insistently refused to go beyond what was in his report, responded with an op-ed published late Saturday in The Washington Post. ‘When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable,’ Mr. Mueller wrote. ‘Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands.’ A jury determined that Mr. Stone, 67, was guilty of seven felonies, including witness tampering and lying to federal authorities, and a judge sentenced him to 40 months in prison. But to some, his brazen taunting of F.B.I. agents, prosecutors and a federal judge for the past three years indicated that he knew how the story would end: His friend Mr. Trump would rescue him.” See also, Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so, The Washington Post, Robert S. Mueller III, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “The work of the special counsel’s office — its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions — should speak for itself. But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.” See also, In Rare Public Comments, Mueller Defends Prosecution of Roger Stone, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “The former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III broke his long silence on Saturday to defend his prosecution of Roger J. Stone Jr., forcefully rebutting President Trump’s claims that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was political and illegitimate. Speaking out the day after Mr. Trump commuted Mr. Stone’s prison sentence for obstructing an inquiry into Russia’s role in the campaign, Mr. Mueller said Mr. Stone was no innocent victim and emphasized that the president’s clemency grant did not erase the conviction on seven felony counts.”

Business Leaders Urge Trump to Leave Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Alone After Supreme Court Ruling, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Saturday, 11 July 2020: “A group of prominent business leaders urged President Trump on Saturday to leave in place a program affecting roughly 800,000 young immigrants who are shielded from deportation, saying it would disrupt the economy and impact the battle against the coronavirus. The letter, from members of the Coalition for the American Dream, an alliance of business and industry leaders, comes after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the Trump administration improperly wound down the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a finding that was made on procedural grounds. The signers of the letter included executives with Amazon, General Motors, Hilton Worldwide, Target, Apple, Google and Facebook, as well as groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and almost every sector of the manufacturing industry.”


Sunday, 12 July 2020, Day 1,269:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 12 July 2020: Trump Aides Undercut Dr. Anthony Fauci as He Raises Alarm About the National Surge in Coronavirus Cases, The New York Times, Sunday, 12 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, 12 July 2020: Florida shatters single-day infection record with 15,300 new cases, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Felicia Sonmez, Laura Meckler, and Marisa Iati, Sunday, 12 July 2020: “Florida on Sunday reported a record 15,300 new coronavirus cases, the most by any state in a single day and a bleak sign of the United States’s failure to control the pandemic about six months after the first infection surfaced in the country. The staggering number was the result of both increased testing and widespread community transmission that has affected the state’s population centers as well as its rural areas. It shattered previous highs of 11,694 reported by California last week and 11,571 reported by New York on April 15. ‘With Florida largely open for business, I don’t expect this surge to slow,’ wrote Natalie E. Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, both Democrats, are calling for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to impose a statewide stay-at-home order amid surging case numbers and increasing hospitalizations, the Houston Chronicle reported. Hidalgo wrote: ‘Not only do we need a stay home order now, but we need to stick with it this time until the hospitalization curve comes down, not just flattens.’
  • Nationwide, new cases reached record levels in states across the United States over the weekend, even as weekly testing plateaued. Seven-day averages for new cases hit new highs in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Puerto Rico. Deaths were trending sharply up in nearly every major region of the country.
  • The White House has moved to sideline Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, with whom Trump has clashed over mask policy, state reopening strategies and the use of antimalarial drugs to treat covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

White House seeks to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci amid coronavirus surge, CNBC, Josh Lederman and Kelly O’Donnell, Sunday, 12 July 2020: “The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, as it works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings in the U.S. coronavirus response. A White House official told NBC News that ‘several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.’ The official provided NBC News with a lengthy list of past comments by Fauci earlier in the pandemic, including Fauci saying in January that coronavirus was ‘not a major threat’ and ‘not driven by asymptomatic carriers’ and Fauci’s comment in March that ‘people should not be walking around with masks.’ Many of the past statements the White House is criticizing Fauci for are ones that were based on the best available data at the time and were widely echoed by Trump, other members of the task force and senior White House officials. As Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CBS News on Sunday, ‘When you learn more, you change those recommendations. Our recommendations have changed.'” See also, Trump Aides Undercut Dr. Anthony Fauci as He Speaks Up on His Concerns About the Coronavirus. Administration officials moved to treat the nation’s top infectious disease expert as if he were a warring political rival, releasing a list of what they said were questionable statements he had made. The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Sunday, 12 July 2020: “President Trump’s advisers undercut the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, over the weekend, anonymouslyproviding details to various news outlets about statements he had made early in the coronavirus outbreak that they said were inaccurate. The move to treat Dr. Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for decades, as if he were a warring political rival came as he has grown increasingly vocal in his concerns about the national surge in coronavirus cases, as well as his lack of access to Mr. Trump over the past several weeks. It has been accompanied by more measured public criticism from administration officials, including the president.”


Monday, 13 July 2020, Day 1,270:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 13 July 2020: A Record 5.4 Million Americans Have Lost Health Insurance, Study Finds. California’s governor announced a sweeping rollback of the state’s reopening and Los Angeles and San Diego school districts will be online-only in the fall. Dr. Anthony Fauci returned to the White House. The New York Times, Monday, 13 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 13 July 2020: U.S. Budget Deficit Surges to a Record $864 Billion, The New York Times, Monday, 13 July 2020:

  • The U.S. budget deficit hits another monthly record.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland will reclose after a virus surge.
  • ‘I Can’t Keep Doing This:’ Small-business owners are giving up.
  • Auto plants could find it difficult to operate as infections rise.
  • A White House chart of virus deaths now looks much worse.
  • I.M.F. says ‘double whammy’ of oil cuts and virus will tamp Middle East growth.
  • Stocks end the day with a loss after erasing early gains.
  • Delayed by the coronavirus crisis, tax day is almost here.
  • Here’s what else is happening: New York & Co. bankruptcy, PepsiCo earnings.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 13 July 2020: California and Oregon roll back reopenings as new coronavirus cases surge, The Washington Post, Siobhán O’Grady, John Wagner, Hannah Denham, Felicia Sonmez, Meryl Kornfield, Reis Thebault, and Michael Brice-Saddler, Monday, 13 July 2020: “The country’s most populous state took steps Monday to roll back efforts to reopen its economy amid a surge in new coronavirus cases. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered the statewide closure of all bars and halted the indoor operations of restaurants, wineries, theaters and a handful of other venues. The move comes as a number of governors elsewhere are also announcing new mandates and pausing reopenings, with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) banning private indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and requiring face coverings outside. The fresh round of restrictions echoes the early days of the pandemic, when states shuttered businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Deaths trended upward over the weekend in a majority of states, including many beyond the hard-hit Sun Belt. At least 3.3 million cases and more than 132,000 deaths have been reported in the United States. Although testing has remained flat, 20 states and Puerto Rico reported a record-high average of new infections over the past week.
  • Officials in Miami spoke in alarming terms Monday, as Florida reported another record-high average of new infections over the past week. ‘Miami is now the epicenter of the pandemic,’ said Lilian Abbo, an infectious-disease specialist from the University of Miami Health System. ‘What we were seeing in Wuhan six months ago, now we’re there.’
  • The Trump administration is poised to ask governors to consider sending in the National Guard to hospitals to help improve data collection about coronavirus patients, supplies and capacity.
  • A White House effort to undermine Anthony S. Fauci has drawn rebukes from public health experts, scientists and mostly Democratic politicians, who argue it is dangerous to disparage a highly respected infectious-disease expert during a pandemic.
  • New treatment options could arrive months before even the most optimistic timeline for a vaccine, senior Trump administration officials said. But limited supply could outstrip demand.
  • Three of the nation’s largest school districts said they will begin the new school year with all students learning from home — Los Angeles, San Diego and Atlanta. Several other big cities were considering similar plans.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump says he likes Fauci ‘personally’ after promoting tweet, without evidence, attacking ‘lying’ doctors. Trump’s move comes amid a White House effort to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. ABC News, Ben Gittleson, Monday, 13 July 2020: “As the novel coronavirus spreads across the country — leading to record numbers of cases and increased deaths in several states — President Donald Trump shared a message on Twitter Monday saying doctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are ‘lying.’ Then, after promoting a message critical of the nation’s foremost infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Trump later in the day said he liked Fauci ‘personally.’ ‘The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,’ read a tweet written by the game show host and conservative commentator Chuck Woolery that the president shared with his over 83 million followers on Twitter on Monday morning. ‘Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.’ Trump shared the message without comment or elaboration. There is no evidence the CDC, a federal agency, or doctors are ‘lying.'”

White House effort to undermine Dr. Anthony Fauci is criticized by public health experts, scientists, and Democrats, The Washington Post, Laurie McGinley and Yasmeen Abutaleb, Monday, 13 July 2020: “A White House effort to undermine Anthony S. Fauci has drawn rebukes from public health experts, scientists and mostly Democratic politicians, who argue it is dangerous for the Trump administration to disparage a highly respected government infectious-disease expert as the novel coronavirus continues to exact a heavy toll on the nation. The angry reaction occurred after The Washington Post published a story Saturday saying the relationship between President Trump and Fauci had sharply deteriorated and that the two had not spoken since early June. The White House provided The Post with examples of what it characterized as mistakes that Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had made about the pandemic, mostly in the early days when information about the virus was extremely limited. The White House also made the information available to other reporters, some of whom described it as ‘opposition research.’ Academics and researchers rallied to defend Fauci. ‘It’s shocking,’ said Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges. ‘When you begin to discredit scientists like Fauci, who are national treasures, you are in serious trouble.’ Critics of the White House noted that some of the Fauci statements cited by the White House were taken out of context, or incomplete. Fauci has said repeatedly, especially in the early days of the outbreak, that scientists lacked sufficient information about the virus to be definitive in their statements. He said recommendations might change as new information emerged.”

Los Angeles Unified will not reopen campuses for start of school year amid coronavirus spike, Los Angeles Times, Howard Blume, Monday, 13 July 2020: “Los Angeles campuses will not reopen for classes on Aug. 18, and the nation’s second-largest school system will continue with online learning until further notice, because of the worsening coronavirus surge, Supt. Austin Beutner announced Monday. The difficult decision became unavoidable in recent weeks, Beutner said, as coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in Los Angeles County, and the district cannot come close to protecting the health and safety of some half a million K-12 students and about 75,000 employees.” See also, Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the Fall, The New York Times, Shawn Hubler and Dana Goldstein, Monday, 13 July 2020: “California’s two largest public school districts said on Monday that instruction would be online-only in the fall, in the latest sign that school administrators are increasingly unwilling to risk crowding students back into classrooms until the coronavirus is fully under control. The school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego, which together enroll some 825,000 students, are the largest in the country to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. The decision came as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced some of the most sweeping rollbacks yet of California’s plans to reopen. Indoor operations for restaurants, bars, wineries, movie theaters and zoos were shut down statewide on Monday, and churches, gyms, hair salons, malls and other businesses were shuttered for four-fifths of the population.”

Employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Call Out the Agency’s ‘Toxic Culture of Racial Aggressions,’ NPR, Delena Simmons-Durrin, Pien Huang, Monday, 13 July 2020: “More than 1,200 current employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling for the federal agency to address ‘ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination’ against Black employees, NPR has learned. In the letter, addressed to CDC Director Robert Redfield and dated June 30, the authors put their call for change in the context of the coronavirus pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black people and the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks. NPR obtained a copy of the letter, which is published below. ‘In light of the recent calls for justice across this country and around the world, we, as dedicated public health professionals, can no longer stay silent to the widespread acts of racism and discrimination within CDC that are, in fact, undermining the agency’s core mission,’ the letter reads.” See also, Employees at the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) Ask the Agency to Address ‘Racism and Discrimination,’ The New York Times, Jacey Fortin, published on Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “More than 1,000 employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling for the agency to address ‘a pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions, bullying and marginalization’ against Black employees. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, was first reported by National Public Radio on Monday. It was sent to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., on June 30. ‘After decades of well-meaning, yet underfunded, diversity and inclusion efforts, we have seen scant progress in addressing the very real challenges Black employees experience at C.D.C.,’ the letter said, pointing to a ‘lack of inclusion in the agency’s senior ranks’ and “ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination.'”

George Soros’s Foundation Pours $220 Million Into Racial Equality Push, The New York Times, Astead W. Herndon, Monday, 13 July 2020: “The Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic group founded by the business magnate George Soros, announced on Monday that it was investing $220 million in efforts to achieve racial equality in America, a huge financial undertaking that will support several Black-led racial justice groups for years to come. The initiative, which comes amid national protests for racial equality and calls for police reform ignited by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, will immediately reshape the landscape of Black political and civil rights organizations, and signals the extent to which race and identity have become the explicit focal point of American politics in recent years, with no sign of receding. Mr. Soros, who has at times faced smears and anti-Semitism over his role as a liberal megadonor, is also positioning his foundation near the forefront of the protest movement. Of the $220 million, the foundation will invest $150 million in five-year grants for selected groups, including progressive and emerging organizations like the Black Voters Matter Fund and Repairers of the Breach, a group founded by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign. The money will also support more established Black civil rights organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative, which was founded by the civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson and depicted in the 2019 movie ‘Just Mercy.'”

Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Monday, 13 July 2020: “It took President Trump 827 days to top 10,000 false and misleading claims in The Fact Checker’s database, an average of 12 claims a day. But on July 9, just 440 days later, the president crossed the 20,000 mark — an average of 23 claims a day over a 14-month period, which included the events leading up to Trump’s impeachment trial, the worldwide pandemic that crashed the economy and the eruption of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. The coronavirus pandemic has spawned a whole new genre of Trump’s falsehoods. The category in just a few months has reached nearly 1,000 claims, more than his tax claims combined. Trump’s false or misleading claims about the impeachment investigation — and the events surrounding it — contributed almost 1,200 entries to the database. The notion that Trump would exceed 20,000 claims before he finished his term appeared ludicrous when The Fact Checker started this project during the president’s first 100 days in office. In that time, Trump averaged fewer than five claims a day, which would have added up to about 7,000 claims in a four-year presidential term. But the tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger.”

New York Judge Clears Publication of Trump Tell-All by Trump’s Niece Mary, The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Monday, 13 July 2020: “A New York judge ruled on Monday that Mary L. Trump, the niece of President Trump, could legally go ahead with the publication of her explosive tell-all memoir about her famous family, ending a whirlwind of last-minute litigation to try to stop the book. The decision by the judge, Hal B. Greenwald of State Supreme Court in Dutchess County, was largely a symbolic victory, given that it came on the eve of the official release of the book, ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,’ which is already in print and has received enormous public attention. The memoir reveals what Ms. Trump has described as a number of family secrets, including an allegation that as a young man Donald J. Trump paid someone to take his college entrance exams on his behalf. It also describes how Mr. Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge, considered him ‘a clown’ who had ‘no principles.'”


Tuesday, 14 July 2020, Day 1,271:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 14 July 2020: Florida Breaks Its Record for Most Coronavirus Deaths in a Day. The Trump administration backed away from stripping foreign students of their visas. The New York Times, Tuesday, 14 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 14 July 2020: Stocks Climb as Earnings Season Begins, The New York Times, Tuesday, 14 July 2020:

  • Boeing’s orders for 737 Max dropped in June.
  • The surge in virus cases puts auto production at risk again.
  • Banks stockpile billions as they prepare for things to get worse.
  • Stocks climb in another volatile day as earnings season begins.
  • A Fed governor warns a second virus wave could reignite market turmoil.
  • Delta’s sales plummet by 88 percent.
  • Several retailers are ending “hero pay” raises for workers.
  • White House ads about job skills are retooled to reflect pandemic job losses.
  • Catch up: Here’s what else is happening.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, 14 July 2020: Coronavirus could be ‘under control’ in weeks if everyone wore masks, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield Says, The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Felicia Sonmez, Hannah Denham, Michael Brice-Saddler, Meryl Kornfield, Reis Thebault, Jacqueline Dupree, and Teo Armus, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “The United States could get the spread of the novel coronavirus “under control” within a matter of weeks if everyone wore face coverings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said Tuesday. He said masks — which can act as a barrier for respiratory droplets that can be propelled into the air an infected person coughs, shouts or sneezes — are among the most effective measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Redfield said he was “saddened” that the wearing of masks has become politicized. ‘I think if we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I think in four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control,’ Redfield said.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine Moves to Bigger Study, The Wall Street Journal, Peter Loftus, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “New details about the first human study of Moderna Inc.’s experimental coronavirus vaccine emerged Tuesday, which researchers said reinforced their decision to take the shot into a large, decisive clinical trial scheduled to start in late July. The new results, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that the vaccine induced the desired immune response for all 45 people evaluated—a larger group than in the preliminary data Moderna released in May—and was generally safe and well-tolerated. ‘This is really quite good news,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview Tuesday. NIAID co-developed the Moderna vaccine and led the study. ‘The gold standard of protection against a viral infection is neutralizing antibodies,’ he added. ‘And the data from the study, small numbers as it may be, are pretty clear that this vaccine is capable of inducing quite good [levels] of neutralizing antibodies.'”

Trump administration recommends the National Guard as an option to help hospitals report coronavirus data, The Washington Post, Lena H. Sun and Amy Goldstein, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “The Trump administration is asking governors to consider sending the National Guard to hospitals to help improve data collection about novel coronavirus patients, supplies and capacity, according to a letter, internal emails and officials familiar with the plans. The move is part of a new data reporting protocol for hospitals that eliminates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a recipient of that information — a decision that is sparking controversy about whether or not the data is reliable. In a letter to the nation’s governors that says the National Guard could help improve hospitals’ data flow, HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Deborah Birx, the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force response coordinator, say they ordered the changes because some hospitals have failed to report the information daily or completely. That portrayal, and the involvement of the National Guard, have infuriated hospital industry leaders, who say any data collection problems lie primarily with HHS and repeatedly shifting federal instructions. The new protocol, to begin Wednesday, leaves health-care institutions to report information daily about covid-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, to a federal contractor or to their state, which would coordinate the federal reporting. Public health experts say bypassing the CDC could harm the quality of data and the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data. Hospitals have been ordered to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all patient information to a central database in Washington, raising questions about transparency. The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public. The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic. Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions. ‘Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak,’ said Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘How will the data be protected?’ she asked. ‘Will there be transparency, will there be access, and what is the role of the C.D.C. in understanding the data?’ News of the change came as a shock at the C.D.C., according to two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.” See also, Trump’s Covid-19 data reporting switch to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) draws outcry from health groups. Experts said orders to bypass the CDC could make it harder to track the virus, while others warned of unusual political interference. Politico, Adriel Bettelheim, published Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “An HHS-imposed change in how hospitals and states report coronavirus data to the government is drawing fierce criticism from public health groups and congressional Democrats concerned that the Trump administration could manipulate the numbers for political purposes. Hospitals were told as of Wednesday to stop reporting daily Covid-19 data through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network and instead funnel it through two HHS systems. The order set off alarm for a broad range of health care groups, including those representing local and state health officials, who questioned why the change was made at a critical point in the pandemic as coronavirus cases spike in more than half the states. A senior Senate Democrat suggested the move could be deliberately intended to sideline public health experts, who’ve increasingly come under attack by the administration. ‘CDC has had a system in place for over a decade to track infection data, and hospitals and states know and trust this system,’ said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate health committee. ‘It’s entirely unclear why the Trump administration has asked states and hospitals to entirely upend their reporting systems in the middle of a pandemic.'” See also, Hospital officials and experts say new federal rules for covid-19 reporting will add burdens during pandemic, The Washington Post, Amy Goldstein and Lena H. Sun, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “State health leaders, public health experts and hospital officials warn that an abrupt change in how the Trump administration requires them to report coronavirus data will increase the burden on facilities already strained by the pandemic and could impede the distribution of critical medicines.”

We ran the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No president ever politicized its science the way Trump has. The administration is undermining public health. The Washington Post, Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan, David Satcher, and Richard Besser, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “As America begins the formidable task of getting our kids back to school and all of us back to work safely amid a pandemic that is only getting worse, public health experts face two opponents: covid-19, but also political leaders and others attempting to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the debate last week around reopening schools more safely showed, these repeated efforts to subvert sound public health guidelines introduce chaos and uncertainty while unnecessarily putting lives at risk. As of this date, the CDC guidelines, which were designed to protect children, teachers, school staffers and their families — no matter the state and no matter the politics — have not been altered. It is not unusual for CDC guidelines to be changed or amended during a clearance process that moves through multiple agencies and the White House. But it is extraordinary for guidelines to be undermined after their release. Through last week, and into Monday, the administration continued to cast public doubt on the agency’s recommendations and role in informing and guiding the nation’s pandemic response. On Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos characterized the CDC guidelines as an impediment to reopening schools quickly rather than what they are: the path to doing so safely. The only valid reason to change released guidelines is new information and new science — not politics.”

‘None of us lie’: Coronavirus testing czar Admiral Brett Giroir rejects Trump’s attacks on health officials. Trump has repeatedly questioned his own administration’s experts as the pandemic threatens his reelection effort. Politico, Quint Forgey, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, on Tuesday rejected President Donald Trump’s suggestion that his own public health officials are liars. ‘Look, we may occasionally make mistakes based on the information we have, but none of us lie. We are completely transparent with the American people,’ Giroir told NBC’s ‘Today’ show. Giroir’s remarks came after Trump retweeted a message Monday from Chuck Woolery, the conservative former game show host, who wrote online: ‘Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust.'”

Asked About Black Americans Killed by Police, Trump Says, ‘So Are White People,’ The New York Times, Jeremy W. Peters, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “President Trump, whose re-election prospects have dimmed as Americans question his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and race relations, on Tuesday stoked racial grievances yet again with a series of startling remarks about the Confederate flag, victims of police violence and a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters peacefully marching by their house. Mr. Trump added to his long record of racially inflammatory comments during an interview with CBS News, in which he brushed off a question about Black people killed by police officers, saying that white people are killed in greater numbers. Mr. Trump reacted angrily when asked about the issue, which has led to nationwide protests calling for major law enforcement changes. ‘Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?’ the interviewer, Catherine Herridge of CBS News, asked the president. ‘What a terrible question to ask,’ Mr. Trump responded. ‘So are white people. More white people, by the way.’ Statistics show that while more white Americans are killed by the police over all, people of color are killed at higher rates. A federal study that examined lethal force used by the police from 2009 to 2012 found that a majority of victims were white, but the victims were disproportionately Black. Black people had a fatality rate at the hands of police officers that was 2.8 times as high as that of white people. In a separate interview published on Tuesday with the conservative website, Mr. Trump falsely claimed that a white couple in St. Louis who confronted peaceful marchers outside their home with guns had been on the verge of being beaten and having their home burned down. ‘They were going to be beat up badly, and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down,’ Mr. Trump said. Video of the incident, which became a flash point in the national debate over racial inequality, showed that the protesters at no point physically threatened the couple. The president’s remarks were the latest example of his refusal to acknowledge the racial discrimination that even many in his own party have said must be addressed. But Mr. Trump, who recently retweeted a video of a supporter shouting ‘white power’ and said he would oppose a bipartisan effort in Congress to remove Confederate names from military bases, has displayed no intention of trying to bridge the country’s racial divide.” See also, Asked why Black Americans are ‘still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country,’ Trump responds, ‘So are White people,’ CBS News, Grace Segers, published on Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, President Trump said the killing of George Floyd was ‘terrible’ but appeared to bristle when asked why Black Americans are ‘still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country.’ ‘So are White people. So are White people. What a terrible question to ask. So are White people,’ Mr. Trump told CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge at the White House. ‘More White people, by the way. More White people.’ Police departments are not required to report comprehensive data on police killings, but researchers have compiled statistics showing Black Americans are more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than White people. One study published in 2018 found that Black men are roughly 3.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than White men. Another study released in 2019 found that one in 1,000 Black men in the U.S. can expect to die at the hands of police over the course of their lifetimes.”

N.Y.P.D. Says It Used Restraint During Protests. Videos Shot by Protesters and Journalists Suggest That Many of the Police Attacks, Often Led by High-Ranking Officers, Were Not Warranted. The New York Times, Allison McCann, Blacki Migliozzi, Andy Newman, Larry Buchanan, and Aaron Byrd, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “It was two hours after curfew on the sixth night of protests against police brutality in New York City. An officer in Brooklyn pushed a protester so hard that she fell backward on the pavement. Then he shoved someone on a bicycle and picked up and body-slammed a third person into the street. Nearby, a man fell running from the police. Officers swarmed him and beat him with batons. A commanding officer, in his white-shirted uniform, joined the fray and stepped on the man’s neck. All of it was caught on video. In fact, the New York Times found more than 60 videos that show the police using force on protesters during the first 10 days of demonstrations in the city after the death of George Floyd. A review of the videos, shot by protesters and journalists, suggests that many of the police attacks, often led by high-ranking officers, were not warranted. A video of five or 10 or 30 seconds does not tell the whole story, of course. It does not depict what happened before the camera started rolling. It is unclear from the videos, for instance, what the officers’ intentions were or why protesters were being arrested or told to move. But the Police Department’s patrol guide says officers may use ‘only the reasonable force necessary to gain control or custody of a subject.’ Force, policing experts say, must be proportionate to the threat or resistance at hand at the moment it is applied. In instance after instance, the police are seen using force on people who do not appear to be resisting arrest or posing an immediate threat to anyone.”

Biden Announces $2 Trillion Climate Plan. Joe Biden’s plan connects tackling climate change with the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, while also addressing racism. The proposal drew praise from his onetime critics. The New York Times, Katie Glueck and Lisa Friedman, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Tuesday a new plan to spend $2 trillion over four years to significantly escalate the use of clean energy in the transportation, electricity and building sectors, part of a suite of sweeping proposals designed to create economic opportunities and strengthen infrastructure while also tackling climate change. In a speech in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden built on his plans, released last week, for reviving the economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, with a new focus on enhancing the nation’s infrastructure and emphasizing the importance of significantly cutting fossil fuel emissions. As he denounced President Trump’s stewardship of the virus and climate change, he drew criticism from Republicans — but he also faced a key test from progressives who have long been skeptical of the scope of his climate ambitions…. Many liberals have long been unenthusiastic at best about Mr. Biden, a former Delaware senator who staunchly opposes a range of progressives’ top priorities: He has said that he does not support ‘Medicare for all’ or defunding the police, he has not fully endorsed the Green New Deal and has reservations about marijuana legalization. His record on issues like criminal justice has drawn fierce criticism from the left, and some in his party view his reverence for bipartisan deal-making as naïve. Still, his climate plan does appear to have made some inroads with progressive Democrats. ‘This is not a status quo plan,’ said Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, a prominent environmentalist who ran a climate-focused campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and later endorsed Mr. Biden. He added: ‘It is comprehensive. This is not some sort of, Let me just throw a bone to those who care about climate change.’ Mr. Inslee called the proposal ‘visionary.'”

Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes, The Washington Post, Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “The Trump administration on Tuesday dropped its much-criticized plan to require international college students to leave the United States unless they are enrolled in the fall term in at least one face-to-face class. The abrupt reversal, disclosed in a federal court in Boston, came a little more than a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued an edict that stunned U.S. higher education leaders and students worldwide.” See also, U.S. Rescinds Plan to Strip Visas From International Students in Online Classes. The Trump administration said it would no longer require foreign students to attend in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic in order to remain in the country. The New York Times, Miriam Jordan and Anemona Hartocollis, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “In a rare and swift immigration policy reversal, the Trump administration on Tuesday bowed to snowballing opposition from universities, Silicon Valley and 20 states and abandoned a plan to strip international college students of their visas if they did not attend at least some classes in person. The policy, which would have subjected foreign students to deportation if they did not show up for class on campus, had thrown the higher education world into turmoil at a time when universities are grappling with whether to reopen campuses during the coronavirus pandemic. The loss of international students could have cost universities millions of dollars in tuition and jeopardized the ability of U.S. companies to hire the highly skilled workers who often start their careers with an American education.”

The White House Called a News Conference. Trump Turned It Into a Meandering Monologue. Trump spoke in the Rose Garden for 63 minutes. He spent only six of those minutes answering questions from reporters. The New York Times, Peter Baker, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “In theory, President Trump summoned television cameras to the heat-baked Rose Garden early Tuesday evening to announce new measures against China to punish it for its oppression of Hong Kong. But that did not last long. What followed instead was an hour of presidential stream of consciousness as Mr. Trump drifted seemingly at random from one topic to another, often in the same run-on sentence. Even for a president who rarely sticks to the script and wanders from thought to thought, it was one of the most rambling performances of his presidency. He weighed in on China and the coronavirus and the Paris climate change accord and crumbling highways. And then China again and military spending and then China again and then the coronavirus again. And the economy and energy taxes and trade with Europe and illegal immigration and his friendship with Mexico’s president. And the coronavirus again and then immigration again and crime in Chicago and the death penalty and back to climate change and education and historical statues. And more. ‘We could go on for days,’ he said at one point, and it sounded plausible. At times, it was hard to understand what he meant. He seemed to suggest that his presumptive Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., would get rid of windows if elected and later said that Mr. Biden would ‘abolish the suburbs.’ He complained that Mr. Biden had ‘gone so far right.’ (He meant left.) Even for those who follow Mr. Trump regularly and understand his shorthand, it became challenging to follow his train of thought. For instance, in discussing cooperation agreements with Central American countries to stop illegal immigration, he had this to say: ‘We have great agreements where when Biden and Obama used to bring killers out, they would say don’t bring them back to our country, we don’t want them. Well, we have to, we don’t want them. They wouldn’t take them. Now with us, they take them. Someday, I’ll tell you why. Someday, I’ll tell you why. But they take them and they take them very gladly. They used to bring them out and they wouldn’t even let the airplanes land if they brought them back by airplanes. They wouldn’t let the buses into their country. They said we don’t want them. Said no, but they entered our country illegally and they’re murderers, they’re killers in some cases.'” See also, Trump’s Falsehoods on Police Shootings, Biden, Coronavirus, and China. Speaking in the Rose Garden and in an earlier television interview, the president made incorrect, misleading and exaggerated statements on a wide variety of topics. The New York Times, Linda Qiu, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “In a rambling, campaign-style appearance in the Rose Garden at the White House and in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, President Trump ranged across many topics, sprinkling questionable assertions throughout his remarks.”

Dan Scavino, One of Trump’s Closest Advisers, Posts Cartoon Mocking Dr. Anthony Fauci as White House Denies Undermining Him. Scavino shared the cartoon by Ben Garrison, an alt-right artist who has been criticized for anti-Semitic imagery. The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “White House officials this week have denied trying to undermine Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, for his stark analysis of the coronavirus pandemic. But Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications, undercut that message by posting a cartoon mocking Dr. Fauci by an artist whose work has been criticized for its anti-Semitic imagery. Mr. Scavino on Sunday posted on Facebook a rendering of Dr. Fauci that likened him to a faucet drowning Uncle Sam — in the case, representing the economy — with water drops labeled with mock public health warnings considered antithetical to White House policy: ‘Schools stay closed this fall!’ ‘Indefinite lockdown!’ ‘Shut up and obey!’ The post from Mr. Scavino, one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted advisers, is another example of the Trump administration treating Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as another political opponent, though Mr. Scavino refers to him as a colleague.”

Postal Service memos detail ‘difficult’ changes, including slower mail delivery. Analysts say the memos recast the USPS as a business rather than a government service. The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “The new head of the U.S. Postal Service established major operational changes Monday that could slow down mail delivery, warning employees the agency would not survive unless it made “difficult” changes to cut costs. But critics say such a philosophical sea change would sacrifice operational efficiency and cede its competitive edge to UPS, FedEx and other private-sector rivals. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers if it delayed letter carriers from their routes, according to internal USPS documents obtained by The Washington Post and verified by the American Postal Workers Union and three people with knowledge of their contents, but who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution. ‘If the plants run late, they will keep the mail for the next day,’ according to a document titled, ‘New PMG’s [Postmaster General’s] expectations and plan.’ Traditionally, postal workers are trained not to leave letters behind and to make multiple delivery trips to ensure timely distribution of letters and parcels.”

A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention During the Coronavirus Pandemic. ProPublica Illinois, Jodi S. Cohen, Tuesday, 14 July 2020: “One afternoon in mid-June, Charisse* drove up to the checkpoint at the Children’s Village juvenile detention center in suburban Detroit, desperate to be near her daughter. It had been a month since she had last seen her, when a judge found the girl had violated probation and sent her to the facility during the pandemic. The girl, Grace, hadn’t broken the law again. The 15-year-old wasn’t in trouble for fighting with her mother or stealing, the issues that had gotten her placed on probation in the first place. She was incarcerated in May for violating her probation by not completing her online coursework when her school in Beverly Hills switched to remote learning. Because of the confidentiality of juvenile court cases, it’s impossible to determine how unusual Grace’s situation is. But attorneys and advocates in Michigan and elsewhere say they are unaware of any other case involving the detention of a child for failing to meet academic requirements after schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The decision, they say, flies in the face of recommendations from the legal and education communities that have urged leniency and a prioritization of children’s health and safety amid the crisis. The case may also reflect, some experts and Grace’s mother believe, systemic racial bias. Grace is Black in a predominantly white community and in a county where a disproportionate percentage of Black youth are involved with the juvenile justice system.”


Wednesday, 15 July 2020, Day 1,272:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 15 July 2020: As U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit 3.5 Million, Officials Scramble to Add Restrictions, The New York Times, Wednesday, 15 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates on Wednesday, 15 July 2020: American Airlines Warns Employees of Up to 20,000 Job Cuts, The New York Times, Wednesday, 15 July 2020:

  • OPEC, Russia and other oil producers will ease production cuts.
  • J.C. Penney will cut 1,000 jobs as part of its restructuring plan.
  • Walmart will require all customers to wear masks.
  • Black business owners had a harder time getting federal aid, a study finds.
  • Goldman Sachs reports its best trading results in years.
  • BBC News expands its cost-saving plan to cut 520 jobs.
  • Stocks rise as another vaccine candidate raises hopes on Wall Street.
  • Surging virus cases and renewed lockdowns threaten economic recovery.
  • Catch up: Here’s what you may have missed.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 15 July 2020: ‘Let’s stop this nonsense,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci says of federal coronavirus response as he comes under fire, The Washington Post, Kim Bellware, Hannah Knowles, Hannah Denham, Miriam Berger, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, Reis Thebault, Meryl Kornfield, Marisa Iati, and Katie Shepherd, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “Sidelined by the White House and harshly criticized in an extraordinary op-ed from one of President Trump’s top advisers, Anthony S. Fauci — the nation’s top infectious-disease expert — said in an interview published Wednesday that the country needs to focus on a surging virus ‘rather than these games people are playing.’ ‘We’ve got to almost reset this and say, Okay, let’s stop this nonsense,’ he said after being asked by the Atlantic to state ‘the truth about the federal response to the pandemic’ in the United States. ‘We’ve got to figure out, How can we get our control over this now, and, looking forward, how can we make sure that next month, we don’t have another example of California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona?’

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: ‘Bizarre’ White House Behavior Only Hurts Trump, The Atlantic, Peter Nicholas and Ed Yong, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “Anthony Fauci isn’t about to quit, despite the White House’s clumsy attempts to stain his public image. More so now than at any other point in their uneasy partnership, it seems that if President Donald Trump wants to be rid of Fauci, he’ll need to fire him. In recent days especially, the White House has stepped up efforts to discredit Fauci, a move he describes as ‘bizarre.’ ‘Ultimately, it hurts the president to do that,’ Fauci told The Atlantic in a series of interviews this week. ‘When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president.’ He described the White House attacks against him as ‘nonsense’ and ‘completely wrong.’ He also seemed dismayed that they are coming at a time when COVID-19 is surging across the country, deaths are once again rising, and Americans remain deeply confused about how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.” See also, After Attacks From Trump Aides, Dr. Anthony Fauci Says ‘Let’s Stop This Nonsense’ and Focus on the Virus, The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “After several days spent weathering attacks from White House officials, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci hit back on Wednesday, calling recent efforts to discredit him ‘bizarre’ and a hindrance to the government’s ability to communicate information about the coronavirus pandemic. ‘I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that,’ Dr. Fauci said in an interview with The Atlantic published on Wednesday, speaking of recent attempts by President Trump’s aides to undermine him. ‘I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them.'”

White House Distances Itself From Trade Adviser Peter Navarro’s Criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Restuccia, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “A senior White House trade adviser criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, in an opinion column that the White House said wasn’t authorized. In the column published Tuesday night in USA Today, Peter Navarro wrote, ‘Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.’ He added that he listens to Dr. Fauci ‘with skepticism and caution.’ Some administration officials have ramped up their public and private criticism of Dr. Fauci in recent days, but the White House on Wednesday distanced itself from Mr. Navarro’s column.” See also, White House distances itself from extraordinary op-ed criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci by Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, The Washington Post, John Wagner and Meryl Kornfield, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “The White House on Wednesday moved to distance itself from an extraordinary op-ed in USA Today in which Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, heavily criticized Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease official, over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.”

Footage of Police Body Cameras Offers Devastating Account of the Killing of George Floyd, The New York Times, Tim Arango, Matt Furber, and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “Almost from the moment George Floyd encountered the police on May 25, with a gun pointed at him, he appeared terrified and emotionally distraught, according to police camera footage that was newly made available for viewing Wednesday at a courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd was visibly shaken, with his head down, and crying, as if he were in the throes of a panic attack, as he put his hands on the steering wheel in response to a frantic order from an officer. He told the officers over and over that he was claustrophobic, as two officers struggled to push him to the back seat of a police vehicle. Throughout the video, he never appeared to present a physical threat to the officers, and even after he was handcuffed and searched for weapons, the officers seemed to be more concerned with controlling his body than saving his life, the footage showed.”

Asylum Officers Condemn What They Call ‘Draconian’ Plans by Trump. The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “A Trump administration plan to overhaul the asylum system in the United States would subject vulnerable families to danger and violate international law, officers who would carry out the policy said Wednesday. In its public comment on the proposed regulation, the union representing federal asylum officers said it would effectively deny most migrants pursuing protection the right to have their claims of fear or persecution assessed.”

‘A modern-day night ride’: St. Louis prosecutor receives death threats as Trump defends couple who pointed guns at protesters, The Washington Post, Meagan Flynn, Tom Jackman, and Ben Guarino, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “The prosecutor investigating the St. Louis couple who aimed guns at protesters says she has received racist attacks and death threats that have worsened as President Trump has thrown his support behind the couple. ‘This is a modern-day night ride, and everybody knows it,’ St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (D) said in an interview with The Washington Post, referring to the terroristic forays of the Ku Klux Klan into African American neighborhoods in the 19th and 20th centuries. ‘And for a president to participate in it, in the larger context of racism and cronyism, is scary.'”

A Brazen Online Attack Targets V.I.P. Twitter Users in a Bitcoin Scam, The New York Times, Sheera Frenkel, Nathaniel Popper, Kate Conger, and David E. Sanger, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “It was about 4 in the afternoon on Wednesday on the East Coast when chaos struck online. Dozens of the biggest names in America — including Joseph R. Biden Jr., Barack Obama, Kanye West, Bill Gates and Elon Musk — posted similar messages on Twitter: Send Bitcoin and the famous people would send back double your money. It was all a scam, of course, the result of one of the most brazen online attacks in memory. A first wave of attacks hit the Twitter accounts of prominent cryptocurrency leaders and companies. But soon after, the list of victims broadened to include a Who’s Who of Americans in politics, entertainment and tech, in a major show of force by the hackers. Twitter quickly removed many of the messages, but in some cases similar tweets were sent again from the same accounts, suggesting that Twitter was powerless to regain control. The company eventually disabled broad swaths of its service, including the ability of verified users to tweet, for a couple of hours as it scrambled to prevent the scam from spreading further. The company sent a tweet saying that it was investigating the problem and looking for a fix. ‘You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident,’ the company said in a second tweet. Service was restored around 8:30 Wednesday night.”

Trump Raises New Objections to Subpoena Seeking His Tax Returns, The New York Times, William K. Rashbaum and Benjamin Weiser, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “Days after the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a defeat to President Trump, clearing the way for the Manhattan district attorney to seek his tax returns, his lawyers on Wednesday renewed their efforts to block or at least narrow access to the records. Mr. Trump’s lawyers wrote to the federal judge in Manhattan who originally presided over the case, saying they planned to argue that the district attorney’s subpoena seeking eight years of his corporate and personal tax returns was too broad and politically motivated. The filing came less than a week after the Supreme Court struck down Mr. Trump’s previous argument — that the subpoena was invalid because a sitting president could not be criminally investigated.”

Trump Weakens Major Conservation Law to Speed Construction Permits, The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “President Trump on Wednesday unilaterally weakened one of the nation’s bedrock conservation laws, the National Environmental Policy Act, limiting public review of federal infrastructure projects to speed up the permitting of freeways, power plants and pipelines…. Revising the 50-year-old law through regulatory reinterpretation is one of the biggest — and most audacious — deregulatory actions of the Trump administration, which to date has moved to roll back 100 rules protecting clean air and water, and others that aim to reduce the threat of human-caused climate change. Because the action is coming so late in Mr. Trump’s term, it also elevates the stakes in the November elections. Under federal regulatory law, a Democratic president and Congress could eradicate the NEPA rollback with simple majority votes on Capitol Hill and the president’s signature.” See also, Trump revamps key environmental law in bid to fast track pipelines and roads, The Guardian,Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced final plans to expedite permitting for infrastructure like oil pipelines and road expansions, a move that critics say will sidestep the need for public input, especially from low-income and minority communities. The proposal to change how the 50-year-old bedrock National Environmental Policy Act is implemented is part of Trump’s broader campaign to curtail environmental regulations to boost industry and fast-track projects that can take years to complete. Among other things, the final rule says that federal agencies need not factor in the ‘cumulative impacts’ of a project, which could include its impact on climate change and have significant and long-lasting consequences.” See also, Trump to Put New Environmental Review Rules Into Force, The Wall Street Journal, Timothy Puko, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “President Trump said Wednesday that his administration has completed its update to the National Environmental Policy Act, including changes that will mandate deadlines for completing environmental reviews. The new rules would require full environmental impact statements to be completed within two years. Less comprehensive environmental assessments would have to be concluded within one year. It hews to a proposal the administration made in January. The measures, which are expected to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday and go into effect in 60 days, are supported by business groups and trade unions who say the environmental review process has been distorted to become a tool to endlessly delay needed highways, pipelines and other infrastructure projects. The changes are opposed by environmentalists who say the reviews serve as a bulwark against climate change and help protect poor and minority communities that typically lack the resources to defend their interests from development that could harm their neighborhoods.” See also, The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List. The New York Times, Nadja Popovich, Livia Albeck-Ripka, and Kendra Pierre-Louis, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “In all, a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law SchoolColumbia Law School and other sources, counts nearly 70 environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back under Mr. Trump. More than 30 additional rollbacks are still in progress.”

Trump Replaces Brad Parscale as Campaign Manager, Elevating Bill Stepien, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “President Trump on Wednesday shook up his re-election team with less than four months until November’s vote, replacing his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, in an acknowledgment of the president’s diminished standing in nearly all public and private polling since the spring. Mr. Parscale, who was named campaign manager unusually early, in February 2018, will step out of the job and Bill Stepien, currently the deputy campaign manager and a veteran political operative, will take over. Mr. Parscale will stay on with the campaign, becoming a senior adviser for data and digital operations.”  See also, Bill Stepien was ousted over Bridgegate by Chris Christie in 2014. Now he’s in charge of Trump’s reelection campaign. The Washington Post, Allyson Chiu, published on Thursday, 16 July 2020.

City council in Asheville, North Carolina, unanimously approves reparation plan. The city will make investments in areas where Black residents face disparities. ABC News, Ivan Pereira, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “Leaders in Asheville, North Carolina, have taken a historic step to repair centuries of racial prejudice by unanimously voting to provide reparations. The Asheville City Council voted 7-0 on a resolution Tuesday night that formally apologized to its Black residents for the city’s role in slavery, discriminatory housing practices, and other racist policies throughout its history. The measure also calls for a plan to provide reparations to its Black residents in the form of investments in their community such as ‘increasing minority home ownership,’ ‘increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities,’ and ‘strategies to grow equity and generational wealth,’ according to the resolution.” See also, The City Council of Asheville, North Carolina, Approves Reparations for Black Residents, The New York Times, Neil Vigdor, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “As Americans debate how far the country should go to make amends for slavery and other racial injustices, a conversation reawakened by the killing of George Floyd, a city in North Carolina has taken the first step: It approved reparations for Black residents. The city, Asheville, N.C., will provide funding to programs geared toward increasing homeownership and business and career opportunities for Black residents as part of a reparations initiative. The measure was unanimously approved by the Asheville City Council on Tuesday night, but it stopped short of stipulating direct payments, which are usually associated with reparations. City leaders said their goal was to help create generational wealth for Black people, who have been hurt by income, educational and health care disparities. The city, which is in Western North Carolina and has about 93,000 residents, also apologized for its participation in and sanctioning of slavery, as well as other historical injustices perpetrated against Black people, who make up about 12 percent of the city’s population.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Files Hatch Act Complaint Against Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appears to have violated the Hatch Act twice during separate interviews with Fox News, according to a complaint sent today to the Office of Special Counsel by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). While appearing in his official position as White House Chief of Staff, Meadows advocated in both interviews for President Trump’s reelection and against his 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, and in one he also endorsed the Republican candidate running for his former congressional seat.”

Despite Supreme Court’s Ruling on Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, the Trump Administration Rejects New Applicants, NPR, Joel Rose, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “DACA recipients and their families were elated when the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration didn’t go about ending the popular program correctly. Many immigration lawyers thought that meant the program would have to be restarted to allow new applications. But that hasn’t happened. And critics accuse the Trump administration of ignoring the high court’s ruling. ‘That’s insane. That’s a violation of the order,’ said Bill Ong Hing, professor of law and Director of the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic at the University of San Francisco. It’s been nearly a month since the Supreme Court’s ruling. So technically, Hing says, that order should be in full effect and DACA should be operating exactly the way it was before the administration moved to end it.”

Donald Trump Poses With Goya Products One Day After Ivanka Tweets Support, HuffPost, David Moye, Wednesday, 15 July 2020: “President Donald Trump may be setting himself for a new gig after he leaves office ― as a spokesman for Goya Foods.  The president posted a pic on Instagram Wednesday that showed him at his desk with a variety of Goya products, including cookies, coconut milk and adobo. Trump’s promo pic came a day after his daughter Ivanka Trump posted a Twitter selfie with a can of black beans, posing as if she were a spokesmodel on ‘The Price Is Right.’ Both Trump photos came in reaction to a boycott against Goya that began after CEO Robert Unanue said that the country is ‘truly blessed’ to be under Trump’s leadership. But the pics may violate the Code of Federal Regulations, which states that employees ‘shall not use or permit the use of their Government position or title or any authority associated with their public office to endorse any product.'” See also, Trump Is Shilling Beans, The New Yorker, Masha Gessen, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “Trump and his daughter Ivanka have been using their social-media accounts to advertise canned beans. On Twitter, she posed with a can of Goya black beans in her right hand, her left hand held as though cradling an imaginary cloud beneath the product. On Instagram, he sat at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, stars, stripes, and gold velvet curtains behind him, and Goya products arrayed in front of him. He held both thumbs up. In between attacking Joe Biden and the Times and touting his success at fighting the MS-13 gang, Trump tweeted, ‘.@GoyaFoods is doing GREAT. The Radical Left smear machine backfired, people are buying like crazy!’ The First Family is fighting back against calls for a boycott of Goya after the company’s C.E.O., Robert Unanue, praised the President during a White House event last week. ‘This one’s got everything: the Trump family, using official office to promote a private business, rewarding political allies with business help from the White House,’ Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, tweeted. ‘So much corruption in one post, and likely a violation of ethics rules.’ (According to the Department of Justice, ‘An employee’s position or title should not be used to coerce; to endorse any product, service or enterprise; or to give the appearance of governmental sanction.’) But corruption may not be the best term to describe this spectacle. The word implies something illicit, hidden from the public; the remedy for ‘corruption,’ in political discourse, is usually ‘transparency.’ The Trumps are, without a doubt, corrupting the Presidency in the sense that they are changing it beyond recognition, but they are doing it in plain view.”


Thursday, 16 July 2020, Day 1,273:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 16 July 2020: U.S. Shatters Its Record of New Coronavirus Infections, Reporting More Than 75,600 New Cases on Thursday, a Single-Day Record, The New York Times, Thursday, 16 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 16 July 2020: Netflix Names Co-Chief as Its Subscriptions Soar, The New York Times, Thursday, 16 July 2020:

  • Netflix appoints Ted Sarandos as its co-chief executive.
  • Mortgage rates fall to record lows, slipping below 3 percent.
  • Wall Street dips as new economic data rolls in.
  • The New York Fed president talks about market resilience.
  • The latest weekly tally shows 1.3 million new state unemployment claims.
  • Retail sales rose 7.5 percent in June.
  • Pivoting from T-shirts to medical supplies, a Georgia company is hiring.
  • Adding $600 to weekly jobless pay is found to be an economic tonic.
  • Less than half of those out of work expect to go back to their old jobs.
  • More news: Target joins retailers requiring masks, Delta is ‘overstaffed.’

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, 16 July 2020: Unpublished White House report recommends stricter coronavirus measures in hard-hit states, The Washington Post, Kim Bellware, Derek Hawkins, Brittany Shammas, Hannah Denham, John Wagner, Adam Taylor, Michael Brice-Saddler, Meryl Kornfield, and Marisa Iati, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “An unpublished report by the White House Coronavirus Task Force dated Tuesday suggests that at least 18 hard-hit states — including California, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas — enact stricter measures such as mask requirements and increased testing. The report was first published by the Center for Public Integrity. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Thursday sued to stop Atlanta from enforcing some of its coronavirus-related rules, including its recent mandate to wear a face covering in public. The lawsuit alleges that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) lacked the authority to implement a mask requirement and that she must obey Kemp’s executive orders, including one signed Wednesday night that explicitly bans municipalities from enacting their own mask ordinances.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Exclusive: White House Document Shows 18 States in Coronavirus ‘Red Zone,’ The Center for Public Integrity, Liz Essley Whyte, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “A document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force but not publicized suggests more than a dozen states should revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closing bars and gyms and asking residents to wear masks at all times. The document, dated July 14 and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, says 18 states are in the ‘red zone’ for COVID-19 cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. Eleven states are in the ‘red zone’ for test positivity, meaning more than 10 percent of diagnostic test results came back positive.”

Study Says Mandatory Mask Use Could Have Saved 40,000 Lives in April and May, Bloomberg Businessweek, Peter Coy, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “It’s clear by now that face masks save lives by hindering the spread of Covid-19. But some people continue to argue that mask mandates are intrusive and unnecessary because most people can be counted on to do the right thing for their own and their families’ safety. In fact, mandates are essential, a new study finds. Using statistical analysis, it concludes that 40,000 lives would have been saved in two months if a national mask mandate for employees of public-facing businesses had gone into effect on April 1 and had been strictly obeyed. The analysis was for the months of April and May; presumably even more lives would have been saved if a mandate had been in place up to the present. The study is by Victor Chernozhukov of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hiroyuki Kasahara and Paul Schrimpf of the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics. It was published online on July 7 by the Center for Economic Policy Research.”

Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp sues Atlanta over mask requirement as coronavirus surges in the state, The Washington Post, Meagan Flynn and Marisa Iati, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Thursday sued to stop Atlanta from enforcing some of its coronavirus-related rules, including its mandate to wear a face covering in public, even as the state experiences a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. The lawsuit alleges that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) lacked the authority to implement a mask requirement and that she must obey Kemp’s executive orders, including one signed Wednesday that explicitly bans municipalities from enacting their own face-covering ordinances. Kemp’s lawsuit also asks the court to bat down Bottoms’s July 10 order that the city return to Phase 1 of reopening, which requires that people return to sheltering at home and that restaurants close their dining rooms. Kemp’s most recent executive order attempts to void existing mask mandates in more than a dozen cities or counties, while also extending other coronavirus social distancing restrictions statewide. The governor had previously tried to ban cities and counties from passing any coronavirus restrictions that went further than Georgia’s guidelines. But many cities defied him by passing mask mandates anyway, arguing that it was essential to flatten the curve. Kemp’s orders have ‘strongly encouraged’ masks.”

Disappearance of covid-19 data from the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spurs outcry, The Washington Post, Lena H. Sun and Amy Goldstein, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “On the eve of a new coronavirus reporting system this week, data disappeared from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website as hospitals began filing information to a private contractor or their states instead. A day later, an outcry — including from other federal health officials — prompted the Trump administration to reinstate that dashboard and another daily CDC report on the pandemic. And on Thursday, the nation’s governors joined the chorus of objections over the abruptness of the change to the reporting protocols for hospitals, asking the administration to delay the shift for 30 days. In a statement, the National Governors Association said hospitals need the time to learn a new system, as they continue to deal with this pandemic. The governors also urged the administration to keep the information publicly available.”

Federal Law Enforcement Agents Use Unmarked Vehicles to Grab Protesters Off Streets in Portland, Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jonathan Levinson and Conrad Wilson, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off. The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.

Supreme Court deals blow to felons in Florida seeking to regain the right to vote, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner and Lori Rozsa, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Thursday to overturn a federal appeals court’s decision that blocked some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections — a major blow to efforts to restore voting rights to as many as 1.4 million people in the battleground state. The action lets stand a temporary halt by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit of a judge’s order that had cleared the way for hundreds of thousands of felons in the state to register to vote. In early July, the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, the ACLU and other plaintiffs petitioned the high court to lift the stay, arguing that the appeals court decision had ‘thrown the election rules into chaos.’ But on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied that request. Three liberal justices noted their dissent, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing that the court’s order ‘prevents thousands of otherwise eligible voters from participating in Florida’s primary election simply because they are poor.’ As is common in emergency requests, the majority did not offer a reasoning for its action.” See also, Supreme Court says Florida can enforce law keeping ex-felons who owe fines from voting, CNN Politics, Dan Berman, Veronica Stracqualursi, and Kelly Mena, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “The Supreme Court on Thursday said Florida can enforce a law barring ex-felons from voting if they still owe court fines or fees that they are unable to pay associated with their convictions. The unsigned order likely means the law will be in effect for the November election, although the court did not declare the law to be unconstitutional or limit ongoing court challenges. Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany: ‘The science should not stand in the way of’ schools fully reopening, NBC News, Allan Smith, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a Thursday press briefing that ‘science should not stand in the way of’ schools fully reopening for the upcoming academic year, later blasting coverage of her comments as a ‘case study in media bias.’ Asked about President Donald Trump’s message to parents as some schools opt to go fully online in the coming weeks, McEnany said ‘the president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open. And I was just in the Oval talking to him about that,’ she said. ‘When he says open, he means open in full, kids being able to attend each and every day in their school. The science should not stand in the way of this.'”

Western Nations Say Russia Is Trying to Steal Virus Vaccine Data, The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “Russian hackers are attempting to steal coronavirus vaccine research, the American, British and Canadian governments said Thursday, accusing the Kremlin of opening a new front in its spy battles with the West amid the worldwide competition to contain the pandemic. The National Security Agency said that a hacking group implicated in the 2016 break-ins into Democratic Party servers has been trying to steal intelligence on vaccines from universities, companies and other health care organizations. The group, associated with Russian intelligence and known as both APT29 and Cozy Bear, has sought to exploit the chaos created by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.” See also, UK, US, and Canada allege Russian cyberattacks on Covid-19 research centers, CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen, Luke McGee, and Alex Marquardt, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “Russian cyber actors are targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a new warning by US, UK and Canadian security officials on Thursday that details activity by a Russian hacking group called APT29, which also goes by the name ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear.’ An advisory published by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) details activity by the Russian hacking group and explicitly calls out efforts to target US, UK and Canadian vaccine research and development organizations.”

Health and Human Services Inspector General finds that Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, mishandled millions of dollars in federal contracts that ultimately benefited friends and former Trump officials, Politico, Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “A top Trump administration health official violated federal contracting rules by steering millions of taxpayer dollars in contracts that ultimately benefited GOP-aligned communications consultants, according to an inspector general report released Thursday. The contracts, which were directed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief Seema Verma, were only halted after a POLITICO investigation raised questions about their legality and the agency had paid out more than $5 million to the contractors.” See also, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma violated federal contracting rules, HHS inspector general finds, The Washington Post, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Thursday, 16 July 2020: “A top Trump administration health official broke federal contracting rules by using more than $5 million in taxpayer money to pay politically connected contractors and subcontractors, according to an inspector general report released Thursday. Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services, brought in high-paid contractors from June 2017 to April 2019 to provide strategic communications advice to boost her personal profile, spending that was first reported by Politico. The inspector general’s finding details how Verma leveraged personal and political relationships to award personal contracts for work that should have been done by government employees, adding that the agency ‘paid some questionable costs.'”