Trump Administration, Week 184: Friday, 24 July – Thursday, 30 July 2020 (Days 1,281-1,287)


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, 24 July 2020, Day 1,281:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates on Friday, 24 July 2020: 73,400 New Coronavirus Cases in the U.S., Nearing Single-Day Record, The New York Times, Friday, 24 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 24 July 2020: Markets Fall Again as Poor Earnings Reports Continue, The New York Times, Friday, 24 July 2020:

  • Stocks fall and gold rallies as uncertainty ripples through Wall Street.
  • The partisan divide on the coronavirus goes beyond masks.
  • Nonprofits helping Americans through the pandemic are in jeopardy themselves.
  • Smithfield Foods defends its pandemic response: ‘Think this has been easy?’
  • Schlumberger, an oil services company, will cut 21,000 jobs.
  • Catch up: McDonald’s joins other major chains with mask mandates.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 24 July 2020: CDC says people with mild coronavirus cases still report health issues weeks after testing, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Herman Wong, Derek Hawkins, Hannah Denham, Meryl Kornfield, Marisa Iati, Hannah Knowles, and Jacqueline Dupree, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Coronavirus infections are taking a lasting toll on people, even among those who had cases that were not severe enough to seek hospital care. Many people with milder covid-19 symptoms continue to report health issues two to three weeks after testing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study found that 35 percent of people who had covid-19 and were able to self-treat were not at their usual level of health two to three weeks after testing. For people ages 18 to 34 with no underlying health issues, 1 in 5 were still feeling ill weeks later. The United States reported more than 1,100 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, the fourth day in a row that reported deaths have been above 1,000. It’s the first time since late May that there have been four consecutive days of coronavirus-related deaths above 1,000.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 184, Friday, 24 July – Thursday, 30 July 2020 (Days 1,281-1,287)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) Calls on Schools to Reopen, Downplaying Health Risks. The agency’s statement followed earlier criticism from President Trump that its guidelines for reopening were too ‘tough.’ The New York Times, Abby Goodnough, Friday, 24 July 2020: “The nation’s top public health agency issued a full-throated call to reopen schools in a statement that aligned with President Trump’s pressure on communities, listing numerous benefits of being in school and downplaying the potential health risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the statement, along with new ‘resources and tools,’ Thursday evening, two weeks after Mr. Trump criticized its earlier recommendations on school reopenings as ‘very tough and expensive.’ His words ratcheted up what was already an anguished national debate over how soon students and teachers should return to classrooms…. Mr. Trump, pummeled with criticism over his handling of the pandemic, sees reopening the nation’s schools this fall as crucial to reinvigorating the economy and to his re-election. While many public health experts and pediatricians agree that returning children to classrooms is critically important, they warn that it has to be done cautiously, with a plan based on scientific evidence. They, along with teachers’ unions, have accused the president of putting children and the adults who supervise them at school at risk by politicizing the subject.” See also, CDC director Robert Redfield concedes schools in ‘hot spots’ face tougher call on reopening, The Washington Post, Laura Meckler and Rachel Weiner, Friday, 24 July 2020: “The leader of the nation’s premier public health agency Friday amplified President Trump’s call for schools to reopen, releasing new documents edited by the White House that gloss over risks and extol the benefits of in-person learning. Still, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there should be exceptions for ‘hot spots,’ and he used a metric that would include parts of at least 33 states. The mixed messaging was another indication of how public health officials at the CDC have been squeezed between Trump’s demand for a normal school year and an out-of-control virus. The new CDC guidelines, released late Thursday under pressure from the White House, detail at length the academic and other benefits to children of in-person learning, as well as the economic impact of allowing parents to work. They say little about the risks of reopening.”

The Food and Drug Administration says at least 77 hand sanitizer products may be toxic. Regulators say many of the products contain dangerous levels of methanol, which can lead to blindness, hospitalization, and even death. The Washington Post, Hamza Shaban, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Federal regulators have recalled dozens of hand sanitizers — many widely available through Walmart and other national retailers — because they contain dangerous and potentially deadly levels of wood alcohol. Hand sanitizer demand has skyrocketed during the pandemic as Americans were urged to wash their hands often to guard against the coronavirus. That has sparked a rush of new brands onto the market. But since June, the Food and Drug Administration has identified at least 77 products — including two this week — that consumers should avoid. Many of the products’ labels say they contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but FDA tests show that they contain methanol, or wood alcohol. Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, the agency said in an advisory, and can cause blindness. It can be lethal if ingested. Because the products are mislabeled, consumers would not be able to tell which hand sanitizers actually contain methanol. The FDA keeps a running tally of the recalled products on its website.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo accuses Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials of criminal activity, Politico, Bill Mahoney, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo alleged that top Department of Homeland Security officials Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli could be subject to criminal charges for their decision to block New Yorkers from enrolling in expedited border crossing programs. He also implied that the decision might be responsible for exacerbating the outbreak of Covid-19 in New York. ‘I believe that Mr. Wolf and Mr. Cuccinelli have criminal liability,’ the governor said at a briefing on Friday. ‘I believe there is civil liability. There was a clear abuse of power for political purposes.’ The Trump administration blocked New Yorkers from participating in these programs in February, blaming the state’s new law letting undocumented immigrants obtain driver’s licenses. That law prohibited state DMVs from sharing driving records with federal agencies involved in immigration enforcement, which those agencies said made it impossible to conduct proper background checks. On Thursday, DHS reversed course and said that some changes to the law made in April were good enough to let New Yorkers start enrolling in the programs again. It emerged later in the day that Justice Department officials had decided to drop their defense of a suit challenging the restriction after realizing the DHS incorrectly claimed the state’s information-sharing restrictions were unique. That, Cuomo said, was clear proof that federal officials had been playing politics all along — and it came at the worst possible time. ‘Without the trusted traveler program, you know what happened? The lines at the airports backed up. You know when the lines at the airport backed up? February and March … That’s when the Covid cases were coming from Europe,’ Cuomo said. ‘And they were playing their games and they backed up the lines of people waiting to get through customs and border controls.'” See also, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo accuses Trump administration officials of ‘possible criminal liability’ in Trusted Traveler lawsuit, CNBC, Noah Higgins-Dunn and Jasmine Kim, Friday, 24 July 2020: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue the Trump administration for damages over banning state residents from the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Program, saying the agency ‘abused government resources to advance political purposes.’ Cuomo accused two DHS officials, acting Secretary Chad Wolf and acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, of potential criminal liability. On Thursday, DHS said it would lift its ban on New Yorkers from participating in the program, which allows for quicker entry at airports for U.S. citizens returning to the country. Later in the day, the U.S. Attorney’s Office told U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in a letter that DHS was dropping its opposition to New York’s previously announced lawsuit over the program, admitting the agency had made ‘inaccurate or misleading’ statements.”

The U.S. Is a Country Besieged by Its Own President, The New Yorker, John Cassidy, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Trapped in a leadership vacuum created by the narcissistic reality-TV star who occupies the Oval Office, the United States seems powerless to arrest the spread of a pandemic that most industrialized countries contained months ago. As the cumulative number of infections surpasses four million, an economic rebound that began when many states prematurely reopened their economies appears to be stalling. And, with an election just three and a half months away, that same President, in a desperate effort to save his political skin, seems intent on creating violent clashes in some of America’s biggest conurbations…. From the start, local elected officials in Portland opposed the decision to send paramilitary forces to their city. ‘Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters,’ the Oregon senator Jeff Merkley tweeted, last week…. [One of the things that makes the situation dangerous] is the resounding silence of many Republicans. By sending in anonymous federal agents to snatch protesters from the streets, Trump is stretching the powers of the Presidency to foment civil strife and distract attention from his failure to deal with the pandemic.”

China tells the US to close Chengdu consulate in growing spat, Associated Press, Joe McDonald, Friday, 24 July 2020: “China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades. The move was a response to the Trump administration’s order this week for Beijing to close its consulate in Houston after Washington accused Chinese agents of trying to steal medical and other research in Texas. China appealed to Washington to reverse its ‘wrong decision,’ and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the current difficulties are completely created by the U.S. side. Chinese-U.S. relations have soured amid a mounting array of conflicts including trade, the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, technology, spying accusations, Hong Kong and allegations of abuses against Chinese Muslims.” See also, China Orders the U.S. to Shut Chengdu Consulate, Retaliating for Houston, The New York Times, Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers, Friday, 24 July 2020: “As the United States lashed out against the ‘new tyranny’ of China, Beijing on Friday ordered the closure of the American consulate in Chengdu, a retaliatory move that threatens to drive the two powers into an even deeper divide. Beijing blamed the Trump administration for the deterioration in relations, calling its own action justified after Washington told China this week to shutter its consulate in Houston and accused its diplomats of acting illegally. A Chinese official, in turn, denounced American diplomats in Chengdu, a southwestern city, for interfering in China’s affairs.”

Supreme Court denies plea from Nevada church that the state’s coronavirus-related restrictions on churches unlawfully treat them worse than the state’s casinos, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Friday, 24 July 2020: “The Supreme Court Friday night denied a Nevada church’s plea that the state’s coronavirus-related restrictions on houses of worship unlawfully treat them worse than the state’s famous casinos. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the court’s liberals in the majority. They did not give a reason for rejecting the emergency plea from Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a church in Dayton, Nev. That is not unusual in the court’s treatment of such petitions and in line with what the Supreme Court did in rejecting a challenge to California’s restrictions in May.” See also, Split 5 to 4, Supreme Court Rejects Nevada Church’s Challenge to Shutdown Restrictions. The church said it was subject to more severe limits than casinos and restaurants. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Friday, 24 July 2020: “The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request from a church in Nevada to block enforcement of state restrictions on attendance at religious services. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members to form a majority. The court’s brief order was unsigned and gave no reasons, which is typical when the justices act on emergency applications. The court’s four more conservative members filed three dissents, totaling 24 pages.”

How One of the Whitest Cities in the U.S. Became the Center of Black Lives Matter Protests. In a state with a brutal racist history, the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Oregon, have been overwhelmingly attended by white demonstrators. The New York Times, Thomas Fuller, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Loud advocacy has been a hallmark of Portland life for decades, but unlike past protests over environmental policies or foreign wars, racism is a more complicated topic in Oregon, one that is intertwined with demographics and the state’s legacy of some of the most brutal anti-Black laws in the nation…. Oregon’s relative homogeneity — the state is three-quarters white compared with neighboring California, where white people make up 37 percent of the population — was not accidental. The state was founded on principles of white supremacy. A 19th-century lash law called for whipping any Black person found in the state. In the early part of the 20th century Oregon’s Legislature was dominated by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Today the average income level for Black families in Portland is nearly half that of white residents, and police shootings of Black residents are disproportionate to their 6 percent share of the population. Three years ago, two good Samaritans were fatally stabbed while trying to stop a man from shouting slurs at two African-American women on a commuter train, one of whom was wearing Muslim dress.” See also, Trump derides Portland mayor for joining protesters and getting tear-gassed, The Washington Post, John Wagner and Marissa J. Lang, Friday, 24 July 2020: “President Trump on Thursday derided Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler as ‘a fool’ for having joined protesters in his city objecting to the presence of federal agents deployed by Trump and getting tear-gassed in the process. ‘He made a fool out of himself,’ Trump said during an appearance on Fox News. ‘He wanted to be among the people. So he went into the crowd. And they knocked the hell out of him. That was the end of him. So it was pretty, pretty pathetic.’ Wheeler came to the protest, he said, to stand with protesters in the face of what he has described as an ‘occupying force’ in a city that the president has described as ‘worse than Afghanistan.'”

Videos Show How Federal Officers Escalated Violence in Portland, The New York Times, Ainara Tiefenthaler, Evan Hill, Drew Jordan, Malachy Browne, and David Botti, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Peaceful protests were already happening for weeks when federal officers arrived on July 4. Our video shows how President Trump’s deployment ignited chaos.”

Judge orders Seattle Times and four TV stations to give photos and videos of protests to the police, The Washington Post, Tim Elfrink, Friday, 24 July 2020: “On May 30, photographers from the Seattle Times and local TV stations aimed their cameras at an unruly crowd that had broken off from peaceful protests against police brutality and racial injustice. As the journalists documented the scene in downtown Seattle, the crowd smashed windows, set police cars on fire and looted businesses. Many of the perpetrators escaped arrest. But the Seattle Police Department had an idea how to try to find them: They demanded all the images shot that day by journalists on the scene. On Thursday, King County Superior Court Judge Nelson Lee ordered five news organizations to turn over the unpublished material, a decision that Times’s editors warned would gravely endanger reporters covering other protests. ‘The media exist in large part to hold governments, including law enforcement agencies, accountable to the public,’ Michele Matassa Flores, the Times’s executive editor, told the paper. ‘We don’t work in concert with government, and it’s important to our credibility and effectiveness to retain our independence from those we cover.'”

The Trump administration has put Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications ‘on hold’ despite Supreme Court ruling restoring program, The Washington Post, Emily Davies, Friday, 24 July 2020: “Trump administration officials said during a federal court hearing Friday that they have neither ‘granted nor rejected’ any applications for a program designed to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation, but rather have put them ‘on hold’ as the government discusses the future of the program. The virtual hearing in the U.S. District Court in Maryland was the first time the administration addressed reports that the Department of Homeland Security was not accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — despite a recent Supreme Court ruling and a federal judge’s order requiring the government to resume accepting applications.”

Despite a Supreme Court Ruling That Extended Civil Rights Protection to Transgender People, the Trump Administration Presses Limits on Transgender Rights, The New York Times, Chris Cameron, Friday, 24 July 2020: “The Trump administration on Friday published its rule allowing single-sex homeless shelters to exclude transgender people from facilities that correspond with their gender identity, pressing forward with limits on transgender rights despite a Supreme Court ruling that extended civil rights protection to transgender people. The new rule on homeless shelters will go into effect after a 60-day comment period. Administration officials argue that it will make women’s shelters safer by preventing men from gaining access to abuse or attack women seeking protection. Transgender rights groups say it is more likely to force some transgender women to go to men’s shelters where they could face assault. The policy is just a small piece of a broader, governmentwide effort to diminish protections for transgender people. President Trump’s 2017 ban on transgender people enlisting or serving in the military has now been in effect for more than a year. A Department of Health and Human Services rule erasing protections for transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies was finalized in June. The Education Department has rescinded Obama-era rules that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice or participate in sports corresponding with their gender identity. The Justice Department has moved to roll back protections for transgender people in federal prisons, and the Office of Personnel Management has suspended protections for transgender employees of federal contractors.”


Saturday, 25 July 2020, Day 1,282:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 25 July 2020: U.S. Coronavirus Cases Soar as 18 States Set Single Day Records This Week. Friday was the fourth day running that the United States reported over 1,100 deaths. New research sheds light on male vulnerability to severe Covid-19. The New York Times, Saturday, 25 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, 25 July 2020: U.S. coronavirus deaths top 1,000 for four consecutive days, The Washington Post, David J. Lynch, Meryl Kornfield, and Marisa Iati, Saturday, 25 June 2020: “The United States edged closer to a single-day coronavirus infection record with more than 74,000 new cases Friday, approaching the mark set just one week ago, as the pandemic that has burned through the country for months showed no sign of easing. More than 1,000 Americans have died each day between Tuesday and Friday, the worst tally of human loss since late May. Even as President Trump insists that children must return to school in a matter of weeks, the nation appears no closer to controlling this worst-in-a-century medical emergency than it was months ago. The number of patients hospitalized with covid-19 has roughly doubled over the past month as the disease caused by the novel coronavirus tightened its grip on states such as California, Florida, Texas and Arizona. U.S. hospitals treated 59,670 people on Friday, just shy of the mid-April record of 59,940, according to the Covid Tracking Project. At least 143,000 Americans have died of covid-19 and more than 4.1 million have been infected, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. As of Saturday evening, the seven-day averages for new cases hit fresh highs in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas and California, according to The Post’s tracking.”

Coronavirus ravaged Florida, as Governor Ron DeSantis sidelined scientists and followed Trump, The Washington Post, Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Isaac Stanley-Becker, Lori Rozsa, and Josh Dawsey, Saturday, 25 July 2020: “As the virus spread out of control in Florida, decision-making became increasingly shaped by politics and divorced from scientific evidenceaccording to interviews with 64 current and former state and administration officials, health administrators, epidemiologists, political operatives and hospital executives. The crisis in Florida, these observers say, has revealed the shortcomings of a response built on shifting metrics, influenced by a small group of advisers and tethered at every stage to the Trump administration, which has no unified plan for addressing the national health emergency but has pushed for states to reopen.”

Sinclair Broadcasting says it will postpone and ‘rework’ segment featuring conspiracy theory about Dr. Anthony Fauci, CNN Business, Oliver Darcy, Saturday, 25 July 2020: “The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) said Saturday it will postpone and rework a segment it planned to air this weekend that suggested Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus. The baseless conspiracy theory was set to air on stations across the country in a segment during the program ‘America This Week’ hosted by Eric Bolling. The show, which is posted online before it is broadcast over the weekend, is distributed to Sinclair’s network of local television stations, one of the largest in the country. In a memo sent to its local television stations on Saturday, Sinclair instructed news directors to avoid airing for now the most recent episode of Bolling’s show, which was supposed to include the conspiracy theory.” See also, Sinclair Broadcasting said it will delay its scheduled airing of a news segment featuring a viral conspiracy theory surrounding Anthony Fauci’s role in the Covid-19 pandemic, Politico, Aubree Eliza Weaver, Saturday, 25 July 2020: ‘America This Week’ host Eric Bolling was scheduled to air an interview with Judy Mikovits, a medical researcher featured in the ‘Plandemic’ video that claims Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus, Media Matters reported. The report sparked an immediate outcry on social media, where the video has been largely banned on platforms including Facebook and YouTube. ‘I recognize that this segment does need to be reworked to provide better context, and as such we are delaying the airing of the episode for one week,’ Bolling said in a statement posted to his Twitter feed on Saturday afternoon. Fauci recently has talked about becoming the target of death threats over his public comments on the coronavirus pandemic, which have often contradicted the policies of President Donald Trump and his administration.” See also, Sinclair Broadcasting pulls show where Fauci conspiracy theory is aired, Associated Press, David Bauder, Saturday, 25 July 2020: “The Sinclair Broadcast Group said Saturday it is pulling from the air an edition of its ‘America This Week’ program that discusses a conspiracy theory involving Dr. Anthony Fauci and the coronavirus. Sinclair spokesman Michael Padovano said Sinclair hopes to add context and other viewpoints and still air the controversial segment on the next week’s edition of ‘America This Week.’ Meanwhile, Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, talked in detail in a new podcast about the ‘serious threats’ and hate mail directed his way. ‘America This Week’ is hosted by Eric Bolling, a former Fox News Channel personality, and sent to stations Sinclair owns in 81 markets. The show it initially distributed for this weekend’s show featured an interview with Judy Mikovits, maker of the widely discredited ‘Plandemic’ video, and her lawyer, Larry Klayman.”

Federal Agents Push Into Portland Streets, Stretching Limits of Their Authority. Federal agents are venturing blocks from the buildings they were sent to protect. Oregon officials say they are illegally taking on the role of riot police. The New York Times, Mike Baker, Thomas Fuller, and Sergio Olmos, Saturday, 25 July 2020: “After flooding the streets around the federal courthouse in Portland with tear gas during Friday’s early morning hours, dozens of federal officers in camouflage and tactical gear stood in formation around the front of the building. Then, as one protester blared a soundtrack of ‘The Imperial March,’ the officers started advancing. Through the acrid haze, they continued to fire flash grenades and welt-inducing marble-size balls filled with caustic chemicals. They moved down Main Street and continued up the hill, where one of the agents announced over a loudspeaker: ‘This is an unlawful assembly.’ By the time the security forces halted their advance, the federal courthouse they had been sent to protect was out of sight — two blocks behind them. The aggressive incursion of federal officers into Portland has been stretching the legal limits of federal law enforcement, as agents with batons and riot gear range deep into the streets of a city whose leadership has made it clear they are not welcome. ‘I think it’s absolutely improper,’ Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, said in an interview on Friday. ‘It’s absolutely beyond their authority.’ The state lost its bid on Friday for a restraining order against four federal agencies on the grounds that the state attorney general lacked standing, but several other challenges are still making their way through the courts.” See also, Judge Denies Oregon’s Request for Restraining Order Against Federal Officers, NPR, Rachel Treisman, Friday, 24 July 2020: “A federal judge on Friday denied the Oregon attorney general’s request for a temporary restraining order against certain actions by federal authorities in Portland, saying the state lacked the legal standing to seek that relief. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit on July 17 against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Protection Service and their agents. In it, she alleged that federal officers in the city of Portland have acted unlawfully by seizing and detaining Oregonians without probable cause, and she sought a restraining order that would temporarily stop them from using such tactics. ‘We are today asking the federal court to stop the federal police from secretly stopping and forcibly grabbing Oregonians off our streets,’ Rosenblum wrote in a statement. The lawsuit specifically asked the judge to require federal officers to identify themselves and their agency before detaining any protesters, explain the basis for making any detentions or arrests and not arrest individuals without a warrant or probable cause. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman denied that request. He explained his reasoning in a 14-page decision. While the case involves allegations of harm done to protesters by law enforcement, he wrote, the plaintiff is not a protester. Beyond that, the state is not seeking redress for past harm done to protesters but rather an injunction against future conduct, which he called ‘an extraordinary form of relief.’ Mosman wrote that the state would have needed to make a ‘very particularized showing’ in order to prove its standing to bring such a lawsuit.”

The F.B.I. Pledged to Keep a Source Anonymous. Trump Allies Aided His Unmasking. The New York Times, Adam Goldman and Charlie Savage, Saturday, 25 July 2020: “Not long after the early 2017 publication of a notorious dossier about President Trump jolted Washington, an expert in Russian politics told the F.B.I. he had been one of its key sources, drawing on his contacts to deliver information that would make up some of the most salacious and unproven assertions in the document. The F.B.I. had approached the expert, a man named Igor Danchenko, as it vetted the dossier’s claims. He agreed to tell investigators what he knew with an important condition, people familiar with the matter said — that the F.B.I. keep his identity secret so he could protect himself, his sources and his family and friends in Russia. But his hope of remaining anonymous evaporated last week after Attorney General William P. Barr directed the F.B.I. to declassify a redacted report about its three-day interview of Mr. Danchenko in 2017 and hand it over to Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Graham promptly made the interview summary public while calling the entire Russia investigation ‘corrupt.'”

Republican Florida Representative Ted Yoho removed from board of Christian charity over his comments about Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Saturday, 25 July 2020: “A Christian nonprofit organization that fights world hunger asked Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) to resign from its board after he confronted a female colleague and then reportedly used a sexist expletive after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was out of earshot. Bread for the World announced Yoho’s resignation in a statement on Saturday, saying that his ‘recent actions and words as reported in the media are not reflective of the ethical standards expected of members of our Board of Directors.’ The organization asked Yoho for his resignation on Friday. In its statement, the group said the decision was taken to reaffirm ‘our commitment to coming alongside women and people of color, nationally and globally, as they continue to lead us to a more racially inclusive and equitable world.'”


Sunday, 26 July 2020, Day 1,283:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 26 July 2020: U.S. Official Concedes Testing Results Take Too Long. Florida has now recorded more cases than New York. Britain orders travelers from Spain into 14 days of isolation, upending vacation plans for thousands. The New York Times, Sunday, 26 July 2020:

  • The U.S. testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir admits test results take too long, as some state officials worry about backlogs.
  • Florida now has more reported virus cases than New York.
  • Dr. Deborah Birx advises several states to close bars as infection rates climb.
  • A Sept. 11 tribute bows to safety and will replace the live recitation of victims’ names with a recording.
  • Britain’s abrupt rule that travelers from Spain isolate for 14 days surprised even the transport minister.
  • Brazil, famed for its revelry, sees a much tamer year ahead.
  • A baseball manager argued with an umpire. Perfectly normal. Both put on masks. Umm…
  • Drugmaker Moderna to get up to $472 million for late-stage vaccine trial.
  •  The limits of antibody testing add to the immunity mystery.
  • In Midtown Manhattan, one building is missing 7,500 workers. It’s an omen for business districts everywhere.
  • ‘You do the right things, and still you get it’: One Houston family’s battle with the virus.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, 26 July 2020: Seven-day averages for new coronavirus cases hit fresh highs in more than a dozen states, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield and Marisa Iati, Sunday, 26 July 2020: “The United States tallied just shy of 1,000 coronavirus-related daily deaths on Saturday after a four-day streak of four-digit death tolls, the worst accounting of human loss from the virus since late May. The country reported 59,737 new infections and 566 additional deaths as of Sunday evening, resulting in a seven-day average of infections that was slightly lower than Saturday’s and an average of deaths that was a little bit higher. The world surpassed 16 million confirmed cases over the weekend and reached at least 641,000 coronavirus-related deaths. The United States accounts for about one-fourth of the reported infections and one-fifth of the death toll. As of Sunday evening, the seven-day averages for new cases hit fresh highs in several states, including Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Nevada, Texas and South Carolina set records for their seven-day averages of daily deaths, and Mississippi and North Carolina tied their previous highs.”

Cities in Bind as Turmoil Spreads Far Beyond Portland. Galvanized in part by the deployment of federal agents in Portland, Ore., protesters have returned to the streets in Oakland, Seattle, and elsewhere. The New York Times, Mike Baker, Thomas Fuller, and Shane Goldmacher, Sunday, 26 July 2020: “A series of strident new protests over police misconduct rattled cities across the country over the weekend, creating a new dilemma for state and local leaders who had succeeded in easing some of the turbulence in their streets until a showdown over the use of federal agents in Oregon stirred fresh outrage. With some demonstrators embracing destructive protest methods and police often using aggressive tactics to subdue both them and others who are demonstrating peacefully, the scenes on Saturday night in places like Seattle, Oakland, Calif., and Los Angeles recalled the volatile early days of the protests after the death of George Floyd at the end of May. The latest catalyst was the deployment of federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Ore., whose militarized efforts to subdue protests around the federal courthouse have sparked mass demonstrations and nightly clashes there. They have also inspired new protests of solidarity in other cities, where people have expressed deep concern about the federal government exercising such extensive authority in a city that has made it clear it opposes the presence of federal agents.”

Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton calls slavery ‘the necessary evil upon which the union was built in an attack on the New York Times’ 1619 Project, The Guardian, Bryan Armen Graham, Sunday, 26 July 2020: “The Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton has called the enslavement of millions of African people ‘the necessary evil upon which the union was built.’ Cotton, widely seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, made the comment in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published on Sunday. He was speaking in support of legislation he introduced on Thursday that aims to prohibit use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project, an initiative from the New York Times that reframes US history around August 1619 and the arrival of slave ships on American shores for the first time.”


Monday, 27 July 2020, Day 1,284:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 27 July 2020: Some Experts Say Research Boosts Evidence of Masks’ Utility. Masks have long been known to help stop infected people from spreading the virus, but some research suggests they also protect the uninfected. President Trump shared a video with misinformation about the virus. The New York Times, Monday, 27 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 27 July 2020: Target Will Close Thanksgiving Day, The New York Times, Monday, 27 July 2020:

  • Target follows Walmart in closing for Thanksgiving this year.
  • Judy Shelton’s path to confirmation just got rockier.
  • Google will let employees work from home until July 2021.
  • Catch up: Regal delays reopening to Aug. 21.
  • Hotels are promoting the nostalgia of the family road trip.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 27 July 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci is ‘cautiously optimistic’ as coronavirus vaccination marks milestone, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, Adam Taylor, Brittany Shammas, Kim Bellware, Hamza Shaban, John Wagner, Hannah Knowles, Reis Thebault, and Felicia Sonmez, Monday, 27 July 2020: “Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious-disease expert, said Monday that he’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ about a potential coronavirus vaccine now entering the last phase of testing. Speaking on CNN, Fauci said he briefed President Trump on Monday on the 30,000-person Phase 3 trial just launched for the vaccine candidate being developed by biotech company Moderna in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer also announced a 30,000-person trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate Monday. Fauci cautioned that there’s no ‘guarantee’ of a working vaccine but noted that a Phase 1 trial suggested the Moderna candidate created antibody responses in volunteers comparable to what is seen in people who have recovered from covid-19 — a ‘hallmark’ of success.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Robert C. O’Brien, Trump’s national security adviser, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House said Monday. O’Brien, the highest-ranking administration official known to have tested positive, has ‘mild symptoms.’
  • As many as 14 Miami Marlins players and coaches have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an outbreak that has come three days into the MLB season.
  • Warner Bros. is pushing ahead with the release of ‘Tenet,’ the anticipated, if embattled, Christopher Nolan movie.
  • About 4,000 federal employees are seeking disability compensation on the grounds that they contracted the coronavirus at work.
  • A physician who headed the intensive care unit at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center has died of the novel coronavirus, a hospital spokesman said Monday.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Has Coronavirus, Bloomberg, Jennifer Jacobs and Saleha Mohsin, Monday, 27 July 2020: “Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for Covid-19 but the White House said his infection poses no risk to the president or Vice President Mike Pence. O’Brien, 54, the closest person to the president known to have contracted the disease, has been out of the office since late last week, according to a person familiar with the matter. O’Brien caught the virus while taking a few days off from work, spending time with his family, according to people familiar with the matter. His daughter, who is college age, became ill first, White House economic director Larry Kudlow told reporters.” See also, Robert O’ Brien, Trump’s National Security Adviser, Has the Virus. Mr. O’Brien is the most senior Trump official to test positive for the coronavirus. The New York Times, Michael Crowley, Monday, 27 July 2020: “President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the administration said on Monday. Mr. O’Brien, 54, ‘has mild symptoms’ and is working remotely from ‘a secure location off site,’ the administration said in a statement. ‘There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president,’ it said. ‘The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted.’ Mr. O’Brien is the most senior White House official known to have contracted the virus. He typically works from a West Wing office steps away from the Oval Office and, under normal circumstances, may see the president several times a day…. Mr. O’Brien also traveled to Paris in mid-July, where he met with several European security officials, visited an American war cemetery and attended a Bastille Day celebration. It was unclear whether he had become infected before or after that trip. The White House statement did not provide further details. A photograph of Mr. O’Brien in Paris with his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy shows the men standing nearly shoulder to shoulder without masks, and Mr. O’Brien and others are not wearing masks in images of his ceremonial stops released by the White House.”

Moderna and Pfizer Begin Late-Stage Vaccine Trials, The New York Times, Denise Grady, Monday, 27 July 2020: “The first large study of the safety and effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States began on Monday morning, according to the National Institutes of Health and the biotech company Moderna, which collaborated to develop the vaccine. A volunteer in Savannah, Ga., received the first shot at 6:45 a.m., Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a news briefing. The study, a Phase 3 clinical trial, will enroll 30,000 healthy people at about 89 sites around the country this summer. Half will receive two shots of the vaccine, 28 days apart, and half will receive two shots of a saltwater placebo. Neither the volunteers nor the medical staff giving the injections will know who will get the real vaccine. Researchers will then monitor the subjects, looking for side effects. And their main goal will be to see if significantly fewer vaccinated people contract Covid-19, to determine whether the vaccine can prevent the illness. The study will also try to find out if the vaccine can avert severe cases of Covid and death; if it can block the infection entirely, based on lab tests; and if just one shot can prevent the illness.” See also, First Phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States begins, CNN Health, Elizabeth Cohen, John Bonifield, and Jamie Gumbrecht, Monday, 27 July 2020: “The first Phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States began Monday. The investigational vaccine was developed by the biotechnology company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial is to be conducted at nearly 100 US research sites, according to Moderna. The first patient was dosed at a site in Savannah, Georgia.”

About 4,000 federal employees say they contracted the coronavirus at work–and 60 have died, The Washington Post, Eric Yoder, Monday, 27 July 2020: “About 4,000 federal employees are seeking disability compensation on grounds that they contracted the novel coronavirus at work, while survivors of 60 deceased employees are seeking death benefits for the same reason. The total number of claims is expected to increase to 6,000 within weeks, according to a report that amounts to one of the first accountings of the pandemic’s impact on the health of the federal workforce. The report by the Labor Department’s inspector general assessed coronavirus-related trends in workers’ compensation programs including the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, which covers the 2.1 million employees of executive branch departments and agencies plus the 630,000 employees of the semi-independent U.S. Postal Service.”

More federal agents dispatched to Portland as protests rise in other cities, The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett, Nick Miroff, Marissa J. Lang, and David A. Fahrenthold, Monday, 27 July 2020: “The Trump administration is sending more federal agents to Portland, Ore., already the site of aggressive policing tactics that activists and city officials across the country say are inspiring more-violent clashes and re-energizing protests. The U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to send more deputies to Portland, according to an internal email reviewed by The Washington Post, with personnel beginning to arrive last Thursday night. The Department of Homeland Security is also considering a plan to send an additional 50 U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to the city, according to senior administration officials involved in the federal response who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations. Such moves would mark a significant expansion of the federal force operating at the Portland federal courthouse — there were 114 federal agents there in mid-July — though it is unclear how many existing personnel could be sent home after the arrival of at least 100 reinforcements, according to internal Marshals emails. The Trump administration has responded to protests and vandalism in Oregon’s largest city with a shock-and-awe strategy, using a sudden escalation in force by ­camouflage-clad federal agents. That may yet work as a campaign tactic, if it provides Trump a way to sell himself as a law-and-order candidate, the antidote to chaos that developed on his own watch. But as a policing tactic, it has failed to suppress the protests. The escalation has been followed by larger, better-equipped and more-aggressive crowds, and — as the new reinforcements showed — it exhausted federal resources before it exhausted the protesters.”

National Guard Officer Says Police Used ‘Excessive’ Force at White House Clash on 1 June, The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Monday, 27 July 2020: “An Army National Guard officer who was called in to enforce the crackdown on protests in Lafayette Square last month will tell lawmakers that the demonstrators were peaceful and ‘subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force,’ according to written testimony made public on Monday. Maj. Adam DeMarco, an Iraq war veteran who currently serves in the District of Columbia National Guard, will testify on Tuesday before a House panel investigating the clash, giving the latest account of how Park Police and Secret Service officers violently cleared protesters away from the White House. He intends to testify that the harsh actions were taken without provocation or adequate warning just before President Trump walked through the area with senior administration officials to stage a photo event in front of a historic church. ‘From my observation, those demonstrators — our fellow American citizens — were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,’ Major DeMarco will say, according to the advance text of his remarks. ‘Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.'” See also, National Guard officer calls treatment of Lafayette Square protesters ‘deeply disturbing.’ Adam DeMarco will testify before a House panel on Tuesday that he observed a disproportionate las enforcement reaction against protesters. Politico, Max Cohen, Monday, 27 July 2020: “A District of Columbia National Guard officer claimed law enforcement used excessive force on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square last month, directly disputing the White House’s account of events that led to a photo-op during the height of demonstrations against racial injustice. Adam DeMarco, a major in the D.C. National Guard and Iraq War veteran, will testify on Tuesday in front of the House Natural Resources Committee that he observed a brutal law enforcement reaction against protesters exercising their First Amendment rights. A copy of his prepared testimony was released Monday. ‘Members of the Committee, the events I witnessed at Lafayette Square on the evening of June 1 were deeply disturbing to me, and to fellow National Guardsmen,’ DeMarco’s written testimony said. ‘Having served in a combat zone, and understanding how to assess threat environments, at no time did I feel threatened by the protestors or assess them to be violent.'” See also, National Guard officer says police suddenly moved on Lafayette Square protesters and used ‘excessive force’ before Trump photo op, The Washington Post, Tom Jackman and Carol D. Leonnig, Monday, 27 July 2020: “An Army National Guard officer who witnessed protesters forcibly removed from Lafayette Square last month is contradicting claims by the attorney general and the Trump administration that they did not speed up the clearing to make way for the president’s photo opportunity minutes later. A new statement by Adam D. DeMarco, an Iraq veteran who now serves as a major in the D.C. National Guard, also casts doubt on the claims by acting Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan that violence by protesters spurred Park Police to clear the area at that time with unusually aggressive tactics. DeMarco said that ‘demonstrators were behaving peacefully’ and that tear gas was deployed in an ‘excessive use of force.'”

Anti-fascists linked to zero murders in the US in 25 years, The Guardian, Lois Beckett, Monday, 27 July 2020: “Donald Trump has made warnings about the threat of antifa and ‘far-left fascism’ a central part of his re-election campaign. But in reality leftwing attacks have left far fewer people dead than violence by rightwing extremists, new research indicates, and antifa activists have not been linked to a single murder in decades. A new database of nearly 900 politically motivated attacks and plots in the United States since 1994 includes just one attack staged by an anti-fascist that led to fatalities. In that case, the single person killed was the perpetrator.”

Wall of Moms Sues Trump Administration Over Agents in Portland, Bloomberg, Clare Roth, Monday, 27 July 2020: “Women-founded groups including Wall of Moms sued the Trump administration over the deployment of federal agents to police anti-racism protests in Portland, Oregon, claiming it has exceeded its authority. The federal government’s actions in Portland ‘betray a foundational principle of American democracy: that the federal government exercises only the powers the Constitution authorizes,’ according to the suit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday against the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. ‘Other powers, including the general police power, are reserved to the states and their subdivisions.’ Wall of Moms and the other groups allege that a recently revealed internal DHS memo and the conduct of U.S. officers on the ground, far from the federal property they have the power to guard, indicate that Operation Diligent Valor, as it is called, serves ‘to intimidate and silence protesters because of their message.’ Theirs is the latest lawsuit of several against the administration over the deployment.”

Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) Inspector General to Investigate Trump’s Biggest Climate Rollback. The agency’s watchdog office said Monday it would investigate whether the reversal of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards violated government rules. The New York Times, Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, Monday, 27 July 2020: “The Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog said Monday it had opened an investigation into the agency’s weakening of Obama-era regulations that would have limited automobile emissions by significantly raising fuel economy standards. The inspector general demanded that top E.P.A. officials turn over briefing materials and other documents pertaining to the regulation, which was finalized in late March as the Trump administration’s single largest rollback of federal climate change rules. Auditors said they intended to investigate whether the Trump administration acted ‘consistent with requirements, including those pertaining to transparency, record-keeping, and docketing, and followed the E.P.A.’s process for developing final regulatory actions.'”

Republican Georgia Senator David Perdue Is Criticized for Ad Enlarging His Jewish Opponent’s Nose. Senator David Perdue, a Republican, drew a quick rebuke from his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, who said the Facebook ad employed the ‘least original anti-Semitic trope in history.’ The New York Times, Rick Rojas, Monday, 27 July 2020: “Senator David Perdue of Georgia’s re-election campaign was assailed on Monday for a Facebook advertisement that enlarged the nose of his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, in a portrayal that critics immediately denounced as anti-Semitic. The Republican senator’s fund-raising ad, which surfaced after The Forward published an article about it on Monday, included grainy photographs of Mr. Ossoff and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish. ‘Democrats are trying to buy Georgia!’ the ad said, adding that Mr. Schumer had poured millions of dollars into the race. Mr. Perdue’s campaign said on Monday that the ad had been taken down and that the alteration had been an outside vendor’s error. But critics said that it reflected something more insidious, arguing that the campaign had employed imagery long used to malign Jews at a time when a rising tide of anti-Semitism in the country has seeped into politics. In a post on Twitter, the political advocacy arm of Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish organization, called it blatant: ‘It’s not an accident.’ Mr. Ossoff urged Mr. Perdue to apologize to the Jewish community. ‘This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history,’ Mr. Ossoff said in a statement on Monday night. ‘Senator, literally no one believes your excuses.'”

Miami Marlins Outbreak Postpones 2 Games and Rocks M.L.B.’s Return. Four days after baseball restarted its long-delayed season, a wave of positive coronavirus tests cast the league’s plans into serious doubt. The New York Times, Tyler Kepner, Monday, 27 July 2020: “The return of Major League Baseball took a troubling turn on Monday when a looming threat became reality: an outbreak of positive coronavirus tests within a team. While league officials said there were no plans to suspend or cancel the season — which began just last Thursday — two games were postponed Monday after the Miami Marlins learned that at least 14 members of the team’s traveling party, including 12 players, had tested positive for the virus.”


Tuesday, 28 July 2020, Day 1,285:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 28 July 2020: Trump Falsely Claims Much of the U.S. Is ‘Corona-Free,’ The New York Times, Tuesday, 28 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 28 July 2020: Universal and AMC Entertainment Agree to Shorten the Window Between Theaters and Streaming, The New York Times, Tuesday, 28 July 2020:


Wednesday, 29 July 2020, Day 1,286:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 29 July 2020: Federal Judge Blocks the Trump Administration From Denying Green Cards to Immigrants Who Have Received Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Housing Vouchers. Coronavirus Deaths Top 150,000 in the United States. The New York Times, Wednesday, 29 July 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 29 July 2020: Stocks Rise as Fed Reiterates Support of the Economy, The New York Times, Wednesday, 29 July 2020:

  • 5 takeaways from Wednesday’s Fed meeting and news conference.
  • Democrats accused Big Tech of stifling competition. Republicans accused Big Tech of stifling speech.
  • U.S. employment picked up last week, new data shows.
  • Kodak stock soars after $765 million loan to make drug ingredients.
  • U.S. stocks climb as Fed pledges continued support for the economy.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 29 July 2020: Florida, California, and North Carolina report record numbers of coronavirus deaths for one day, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, Kim Bellware, Miriam Berger, Derek Hawkins, Hamza Shaban, Hannah Knowles, Marisa Iati, Meryl Kornfield, and Colby Itkowitz, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “Florida, North Carolina and California on Wednesday set state records for coronavirus-related deaths reported in a single day, according to data tracked by The Washington Post, as the nationwide death toll nears 150,000. Daily new cases in late July reached more than double the previous peak from April. While headlines have focused on new hot-spot states in the South and West, top health officials are also urging preventive measures in states such as Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky that are seeing only subtle increases in positive cases. Leading infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci warned Wednesday that these states should be vigilant to avoid the surges experienced in the South. Fauci said that on a conference call with governors a day earlier, he ‘made that point to them that it is very important to get ahead of the curve.’

Here are some significant developments:

  • The head of the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that rising numbers of coronavirus cases since mid-June are beginning to slow an economic recovery.
  • Alabama Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville (R) is defying District of Columbia orders for visitors from certain states to self-quarantine for 14 days as he fundraises and attends face-to-face meetings in D.C.
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who has frequently been seen around the Capitol without a mask and in close contact with others, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Attorney General William P. Barr — who was in proximity to Gohmert at a hearing Tuesday — has tested negative.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is requiring that all lawmakers wear masks while on the House floor.
  • Florida’s state-run virus testing sites will be closed over the weekend in anticipation of a tropical storm.
  • Trump called for a short-term fix Wednesday to address expiring unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions, saying the other parts of the GOP’s $1 trillion relief bill can wait.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for coronavirus, Politico, Jake Sherman, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “Rep. Louie Gohmert — a Texas Republican who has been walking around the Capitol without a mask — has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple sources. Gohmert was scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump and tested positive in a pre-screen at the White House. The eighth-term Republican told CNN last month that he was not wearing a mask because he was being tested regularly for the coronavirus…. Gohmert attended Tuesday’s blockbuster House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr in person, where lawmakers were seated at some distance from one another. But footage from before the hearing shows Gohmert and Barr walking together in close contact, with neither wearing a mask…. [A]fter this article was published, Gohmert told his aides in person that he had been infected. Another aide later emailed POLITICO a ‘thank you for letting our office know Louie tested positive for the Coronavirus. When you write your story, can you include the fact that Louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that we could be an example to America on how to open up safely,’ the aide added. ‘When probing the office, you might want to ask how often were people berated for wearing masks.'” See also, Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert, who had been scheduled to travel with Trump, tests positive for the coronavirus, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Paul Kane, and Josh Dawsey, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “For weeks, Rep. Louie Goh­mert (R-Tex.) has defied expert advice on how to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. He was seen walking the halls of the Capitol without wearing a mask. He often didn’t social distance. Then on Wednesday came the bad news: Gohmert, tested by the White House in advance of a planned Air Force One flight with President Trump, learned that he had become infected. But even as the conservative congressman vowed to avoid spreading it to others, he continued to ignore expert advice. He insisted on returning to the Capitol. And he used his platform to spread false information about the virus, saying that those who test positive later become immune and suggesting that face masks make it more, not less, likely that one will become infected…. By the end of the day Wednesday, Gohmert had emerged as a national model for exactly how experts say people should not behave during a pandemic. He was blasted by Democrats as a pariah who should leave the complex, where he sleeps at night in his office, to avoid further spread. And he was the inspiration for a new rule imposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to require members to wear masks on the House floor.” See also, Anti -Mask Louie Gohmert Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Sending Shudders Through Congress. The Republican Texas congressman, who frequently refused to wear a mask, said he had probably contracted the coronavirus because he did so.  The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “Representative Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican who has frequently refused to don a face covering in the Capitol, confirmed on Wednesday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus before a planned trip with President Trump on Air Force One, and he blamed his diagnosis on wearing a mask. The results immediately sent a shudder through the Capitol, where this week Mr. Gohmert has been voting and actively participating in congressional hearings, including a Judiciary Committee session on Tuesday with Attorney General William P. Barr and another held by the Natural Resources Committee…. Smiling in a video recorded in his Capitol Hill office, he declared he had probably gotten the ‘Wuhan virus’ because he had started wearing a mask over the past week or two — not despite it. Mr. Gohmert’s use of the term flew in the face of warnings from medical historians and public health experts that associating a pandemic with a particular ethnic group can lead to discrimination. And his theory for how he contracted the virus contradicted the overwhelming consensus of medical experts that wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of the disease. His diagnosis also revived urgent questions about whether it was safe for Congress — with its 100 senators and 435 representatives, many of them over 65 and thus at higher risk for the virus — to continue to meet amid the pandemic, and whether lawmakers were taking sufficient precautions. Members have adopted unevenly enforced safety protocols and allowed themselves to bounce each week between the capital and their home states, some of which are experiencing surges of the virus, without getting tested.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mandates masks in the House chamber after Louie Gohmert tests positive for Covid-19, CNN Politics, Clare Foran and Manu Raju, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday she would require all House members and aides to wear masks on the floor after Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert — who was often in the chamber interacting with colleagues and refusing to wear a face-covering — tested positive for coronavirus. ‘Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the hall of the House,’ Pelosi announced from the House floor Wednesday afternoon. Lawmakers will be permitted to temporarily take off masks when they are speaking. Members and staff will not be allowed to enter if they don’t wear masks. Pelosi noted that as speaker she has the authority to direct the House sergeant-at-arms to tell members to leave if they do not wear a mask.”

As US passes 150,000 coronavirus deaths, experts at Johns Hopkins call for reset in national response, CNN Health, Steve Almasy, Jason Hanna, and Madeline Holcombe, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “The United States on Wednesday surpassed 150,000 recorded Covid-19 deaths — a milestone that comes as the country’s number of daily coronavirus deaths is the highest it’s been since the spring. The first death in the US was reported on February 29. The country reached 50,000 deaths 54 days later on April 23, and 34 days later, on May 27, crossed 100,000 deaths. It has taken 63 days to add another 50,000 to reach the 150,000 mark. The country’s coronavirus death toll was 150,676 as of Wednesday evening — more than a fifth of the world’s recorded deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. ‘I think the fact that we as a country have not been able to get our arms around this, have not prioritized preventing those deaths is all that much more maddening. And so, for me it’s frustration, it’s sadness. And a resolve to try to figure out how we prevent the next 150,000,’ Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.”

Federal Agencies Agree to Withdraw From Portland, With Conditions. Governor Kate Brown of Oregon said the teams would begin a withdrawal on Thursday. Federal officials cautioned that they would withdraw only when they were confident the federal courthouse could be secured. The New York Times, Mike Baker and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “For days, as fireworks and tear gas erupted in the streets of Portland, Ore., during the deployment of federal tactical teams cracking down on raucous demonstrations, President Trump campaigned against protesters he described as ‘sick and deranged anarchists & agitators’ who he said had threatened to leave Portland ‘burned and beaten to the ground.’ But even as the president was doubling down, Vice President Mike Pence and other senior administration officials were negotiating an agreement with Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, to begin withdrawing the federal tactical teams from Portland. On Wednesday, Ms. Brown announced that the federal law enforcement agents guarding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland would begin withdrawing as early as Thursday. ‘We know where we are headed,’ she said. ‘Complete withdrawal of federal troops from the city and the state.’… The agreement, although tenuous and framed by political divisions, marked a stark turnaround for an administration that had aggressively defended the presence of the federal forces. Federal agents more prone to investigating drug smugglers than handling demonstrations had come to the city without the support of local leaders and found themselves mired in an endless cycle of clashes with demonstrators who opposed their presence. While Mr. Trump has used images of tactical agents cracking down on protesters in his campaign videos, there was an increasing sense in the administration that the violent scenes of unrest linked to federal agents in Portland could risk becoming a liability, an administration official said. Among the thousands of protesters who had joined demonstrators in recent weeks were a Wall of Moms, nurses in scrubs and military veterans.” See also, Oregon governor and federal officials announce withdrawal of most federal agents from Portland, but timelines differ, The Washington Post, Mark Berman, Nick Miroff, Marissa J. Lang, and David A. Fahrenthold, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “The governor of Oregon and the Trump administration on Wednesday announced an agreement aimed at de-escalating tensions outside the federal courthouse in Portland, where federal agents have clashed with demonstrators during nightly unrest. As part of the agreement, officials said, most Department of Homeland Security agents will leave the front lines around the courthouse and withdraw from Portland entirely if what they have deemed nightly rioting ­ceases. But the timing of that exit remained unclear. Gov. Kate Brown (D) said the agents would pull out of downtown Thursday and depart the city soon thereafter. But acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf said the withdrawal was still a question of if, not when. He said federal officials would pull back from Portland ‘should circumstances on the ground significantly improve,’ as state troopers move to protect the courthouse.”

Trump Plays on Racist Fears of Terrorized Suburbs to Court White Voters, The New York Times, Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman, and Sydney Ember, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “President Trump vowed on Wednesday to protect suburbanites from low-income housing being built in their neighborhoods, making an appeal to white suburban voters by trying to stir up racist fears about affordable housing and the people who live there. In a tweet and later in remarks during a visit to Texas, Mr. Trump painted a false picture of the suburbs as under siege and ravaged by crime, using fear-mongering language that has become something of a rhetorical flourish in his general election campaign against the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Trump said on Twitter that ‘people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream’ would ‘no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.’ The president was referring to the administration’s decision last week to roll back an Obama-era program intended to combat racial segregation in suburban housing. The program expanded provisions in the Fair Housing Act to encourage diversification and ‘foster inclusive communities.’ ‘Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down,’ he wrote, even though there was no evidence that the program led to an increase in crime. The tweet, sent from aboard Air Force One as Mr. Trump traveled to Texas, was the latest example of the president stoking racial division as he seeks to win over voters in his bid for re-election. White suburban voters, particularly women, were key to his victory in 2016 but are slipping away from him.” See also, ‘Racist, Classist Garbage’: Trump Brags to Suburbia About His Repeal of Housing Desegregation Rule. ‘This is blatant racism from the President of the United States,’ said Senator Elizabeth Warren. ‘And it’s disgusting.’ Common Dreams, Jake Johnson, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “In a pair of tweets one advocacy group denounced as ‘racist, classist garbage,’ President Donald Trump on Wednesday boasted that he is working to prevent construction of low-income housing in the suburbs by repealing an Obama-era rule aimed at combating persistent racial segregation in those communities. ‘I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low-income housing built in your neighborhood,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!’ Trump was referring to the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, an addition to the 1968 Fair Housing Act that required cities and towns receiving federal funding to document and develop plans to redress racial housing segregation. In 2018, Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson suspended the Obama-era rule. Last Thursday, HUD announced it is replacing the AFFH with a new regulatory framework (pdf) that would allow localities to monitor their own compliance with fair housing laws. The new rules are set to take effect next month. ‘Words can’t quite capture how outrageous and racist this is,’ Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in response to the president’s tweets Wednesday. ‘Trump and Ben Carson have worked hand in glove to obstruct and destroy decades of work to promote fair housing in our country.'”

Exclusive Interview: Trump says he has never confronted Vladimir Putin with intelligence indicating Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, Axios, Jonathan Swan and Dave Lawler, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “Democrats have seized on the issue, and Trump’s reluctance to discuss it, as evidence he’s unwilling to challenge Putin even when American lives are at stake. Trump spoke with Putin on Thursday, and subsequently deflected a question about whether he’d raised the alleged bounty scheme, saying on Monday: ‘We don’t talk about what we discussed, but we had plenty of discussion.’ In Tuesday’s interview, he was definitive: ‘I have never discussed it with him.’ Pressed on why he didn’t raise the matter in Thursday’s call, he said: ‘That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.’ Trump has spoken to Putin at least eight times since intelligence about the alleged Russian bounties was reportedly included in the President’s Daily Brief — his written intelligence briefing — in late February.” See also, Trump Says He Did Not Ask Putin About Suspected Russian Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Michael Crowley, and Eric Schmitt, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “President Trump said in an interview published Wednesday that he did not bring up intelligence that Russia had covertly offered bounties to kill American troops when he spoke with President Vladimir V. Putin last week — apparently his first opportunity to directly confront Mr. Putin about the C.I.A. assessment since its existence became public late last month. ‘That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news,’ Mr. Trump said in an interview with ‘Axios on HBO.’ But Mr. Trump hinted for the first time at blaming subordinates for failing to bring the matter to his attention. ‘If it reached my desk, I would have done something about it,’ he said. Officials have said the assessment was in his written intelligence brief in February, although he rarely reads it.”

U.S. Will Cut 12,000 Forces in Germany. Defense Department officials say the redeployments will enhance American security and its ability to respond to threats. Allies and some in Congress see it as punishment for Germany. The New York Times, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “The United States is cutting back its deployments in Germany by nearly 12,000 troops and shifting some of those forces around the continent, including relocating some units to Belgium and Italy, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper announced on Wednesday. About 6,400 troops are set to return to the United States. The move is certain to rankle European leaders and anger both Democratic and Republican lawmakers who see the United States troop presence on the continent, especially in Germany, as a cornerstone of post-World War II order.” See also, Trump’s decision to move troops from Germany is slammed as ‘a gift to Putin,’ CNN Politics, Nicole Gaouette and Ryan Browne, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “President Donald Trump’s decision to pull nearly 12,000 US troops from Germany triggered an onslaught of disapproval from Republicans, Democrats and former senior military officials, who said the move will benefit Russia, degrade US national security and military readiness, cost US taxpayers billions and undermine US relations with Germany, NATO and Europe. Trump’s explanation to reporters about the withdrawal, announced Wednesday morning by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, misrepresented how NATO works and contradicted his own military officials, raising questions about what strategy — if any — drove the decision. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah described Trump’s move as ‘a gift to Russia’ and a ‘slap in the face at a friend and ally.’ Romney added that the ‘consequences will be lasting and harmful to American interests.'”

Lindsay Graham campaign ad features image of his Senate opponent Jaime Harrison with digitally altered darker skin tone, CNN Politics, Paul LeBlanc, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “Sen. Lindsey Graham‘s reelection campaign posted an advertisement to Facebook earlier this month featuring a digitally altered image of his opponent — who is Black — with a darker skin tone. The campaign ad, uploaded to Graham’s Facebook on July 23, includes an image of his Senate rival Jaime Harrison that was originally published in the New York Times. The version of the image in Graham’s ad, however, shows Harrison surrounded by a dark, portrait-style background effect with a notably darker skin tone.”

Lawmakers Lash Out at Big Tech’s Leaders, The New York Times, Cecilia Kang and David McCabe, Wednesday, 29 July 2020: “The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, four tech giants worth nearly $5 trillion combined, faced withering questions from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike on Wednesday for the tactics and market dominance that had made their enterprises successful. For more than five hours, the 15 members of an antitrust panel in the House lobbed questions and repeatedly interrupted and talked over Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google. It was the first congressional hearing for some time where Democrats and Republicans acted as if they had a common foe, though for different reasons. Democratic lawmakers criticized the tech companies for buying start-ups to stifle them and for unfairly using their data hoards to clone and kill off competitors, while Republicans questioned whether the platforms had muzzled conservative viewpoints and were unpatriotic.” See also, Lawmakers From Both Sides Take Aim at Big Tech Executives, The New York Times, Wednesday, 29 July 2020:

  • Democrats dug in with accusations of anticompetitive behavior.
  • Republicans focused on bias concerns about platforms.
  • Here’s which tech C.E.O. was asked the most questions by lawmakers.
  • Questions on Google focused on its search engine and relationship with Pentagon.
  • Lawmakers said documents show Facebook tried to neutralize a “competitive threat.”
  • Here’s a final tally of the C.E.O.s’ catchphrases.


Thursday, 30 July 2020, Day 1,287:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 30 July 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci to Testify Before Congress on Coronavirus Response, The New York Times, Thursday, 30 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 30 July 2020: Big Tech Earnings Surge as Economy Slumps, The New York Times, Thursday, 30 July 2020:

  • Amazon’s earnings double as sales surge.
  • Alphabet’s revenue drops, but beats Wall Street expectations.
  • Ford made $1.1 billion profit in the second quarter even as sales tumbled.
  • Apple blows past expectations with surging sales and profits.
  • The U.S. economy’s contraction in the second quarter was the worst on record.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, 30 July 2020: U.S. reports more than 1.000 coronavirus deaths for fourth consecutive day, The Washington Post, Kim Bellware, Lateshia Beachum, Hannah Knowles, Siobhán O’Grady, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, Hamza Shaban, Marisa Iati, and Meryl Kornfield, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “For the fourth straight day, the United States has witnessed more than 1,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus, with 1,249 reported Thursday. The death toll nationwide was slightly lower than Wednesday, when 1,400 coronavirus-related deaths were reported, the worst day in more than two months for deaths from the disease. Meanwhile, the illness continues to rattle the economy, which shrank a head-spinning 9.5 percent from April through June, the fastest the quarterly rate has fallen in modern record-keeping. At the same time, Congress is still clashing over a new coronavirus relief bill, with no deal reached on extending emergency unemployment benefits that expire on Friday or help for people facing evictions. Concerns are growing that the path to recovery could be delayed and more difficult.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Herman Cain, a former pizza chain executive and Republican presidential candidate, died after testing positive for the coronavirus. Though it is unclear where Cain contracted the disease, he attended a June Trump campaign rally in Tulsa that drew several thousand supporters, most of whom did not wear masks.
  • President Trump visited the American Red Cross headquarters on Thursday and urged people who have recovered from covid-19 to donate their plasma to help others fight the disease the virus causes. He also wore a face mask as he toured the facilities in Washington, the third time he has worn one in public.
  • Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies announced that two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. No Phillies players have tested positive, but the team’s three-game series this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays has been postponed, and all activity at Citizens Bank Park has been canceled.
  • Children may have as much of the coronavirus in their respiratory systems as adults, a new study says, complicating Trump’s assertion that children are safer from the virus than older people.
  • About 1 in 5 U.S. adults packed up and moved because of the pandemic — or they know someone who did, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The likelihood of someone moving or knowing someone who moved is greatest with higher levels of education and income.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

A Collapse That Wiped Out 5 Years of Growth, With No Bounce in Sight. The second-quarter contraction set a grim record, and it would have been worse without government aid that is expiring. The New York Times, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The coronavirus pandemic’s toll on the nation’s economy became emphatically clearer Thursday as the government detailed the most devastating three-month collapse on record, which wiped away nearly five years of growth. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced, fell 9.5 percent in the second quarter of the year as consumers cut back spending, businesses pared investments and global trade dried up, the Commerce Department said. The drop — the equivalent of a 32.9 percent annual rate of decline — would have been even more severe without trillions of dollars in government aid to households and businesses. But there is mounting evidence that the attempt to freeze the economy and defeat the virus has not produced the rapid rebound that many envisioned. A surge in coronavirus cases and deaths across the country has led to a renewed pullback in economic activity, reflecting consumer unease and renewed shutdowns. And much of the government support is on the verge of running out, with Washington at an impasse over next steps.” See also, U.S. Economy Contracted at Record Rate Last Quarter; Jobless Claims Rise to 1.43 Million. The Commerce Department’s initial estimate of U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter is the steepest drop in more than 70 years or record keeping. The Wall Street Journal, Harriet Torry, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The economy contracted at a record rate last quarter and July setbacks for the jobs market added to signs of a slowing recovery as the country faces a summer surge in coronavirus infections. The Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—fell at a seasonally and inflation adjusted 32.9% annual rate in the second quarter, or a 9.5% drop compared with the prior quarter. The figures were the steepest declines in more than 70 years of record-keeping.”

Jobless claims increase for the second week in a row; 1,434,000 new claims filed, The Washington Post, Eli Rosenberg, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The number of new unemployment insurance claims rose again last week — the second week in a row after months of declines — a concerning sign about the pressure that the pandemic is exerting on the labor market anew. About 1.43 million people filed claims last week, up by about 12,000 from the previous week’s jobless claims, which was also revised upward, according to the Labor Department. The number of workers continually claiming unemployment insurance also rose, by about 867,000 workers to 17 million for the week ending July 18, up from 16.1 million for the week ending July 11. That statistic lags by a week. An additional 830,000 new claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the benefits offered to gig and self-employed workers.”

Study Finds Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, The New York Times, Apoorva Mandavilli, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “It has been a comforting refrain in the national conversation about reopening schools: Young children are mostly spared by the coronavirus and don’t seem to spread it to others, at least not very often. But on Thursday, a study introduced an unwelcome wrinkle into this smooth narrative. Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found. That measurement does not necessarily prove children are passing the virus to others. Still, the findings should influence the debate over reopening schools, several experts said.”

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan ‘Went Poof Into Thin Air,’ Vanity Fair, Katherine Eban, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Six months into the pandemic, the United States continues to suffer the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the developed world. Considerable blame belongs to a federal response that offloaded responsibility for the crucial task of testing to the states. The irony is that, after assembling the team that came up with an aggressive and ambitious national testing plan, Kushner then appears to have decided, for reasons that remain murky, to scrap its proposal. Today, as governors and mayors scramble to stamp out epidemics plaguing their populations, philanthropists at the Rockefeller Foundation are working to fill the void and organize enough testing to bring the nationwide epidemic under control. Inside the White House, over much of March and early April, Kushner’s handpicked group of young business associates, which included a former college roommate, teamed up with several top experts from the diagnostic-testing industry. Together, they hammered out the outline of a national testing strategy. The group—working night and day, using the encrypted platform WhatsApp—emerged with a detailed plan obtained by Vanity Fair. Rather than have states fight each other for scarce diagnostic tests and limited lab capacity, the plan would have set up a system of national oversight and coordination to surge supplies, allocate test kits, lift regulatory and contractual roadblocks, and establish a widespread virus surveillance system by the fall, to help pinpoint subsequent outbreaks…. But no nationally coordinated testing strategy was ever announced. The plan, according to the participant, ‘just went poof into thin air.'”

Virus-Driven Push to Release Juvenile Detainees Leaves Black Youth Behind, The New York Times, Erica L. Green, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Black youth detained in juvenile justice facilities have been released at a far slower rate than their white peers in response to the coronavirus, according to a new report that also found that the gap in release rates between the two groups had nearly doubled over the course of the pandemic. The report, released this month by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, illustrates one more disparity the coronavirus has exacerbated for Black children, who are disproportionately funneled into the juvenile justice system. At the outset of the pandemic, juvenile public defenders and youth advocates worked to free thousands of children from detention facilities as public health officials warned that correctional institutions were becoming virus hotbeds. Judges and state leaders have taken measures to halt intakes of low-level offenders and to send nonviolent and vulnerable detainees home. But the Casey report, based on a survey of juvenile justice agencies in 33 states, found that many Black children ages 10 to 17 had been left behind. In February, before the coronavirus was widespread in the United States, the white release rate was about 7 percent higher than the Black release rate, the report found; by May, that gap rose to 17 percent.”

John Lewis, a Man of ‘Unbreakable Perseverance,’ Is Laid to Rest, The New York Times, Richard Fausset and Rick Rojas, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Three former presidents and dozens of other dignitaries were drawn to Ebenezer Baptist Church on Thursday to bid farewell to John Lewis, a giant of Congress and the civil rights era whose courageous protests guaranteed him a place in American history. But even as the funeral looked back over Mr. Lewis’s long life, it also focused very much on the tumultuous state of affairs in the country today. The most pointed eulogy came from former President Barack Obama, who issued a blistering critique of the Trump administration, the brutality of police officers toward Black people and efforts to limit the right to vote that Mr. Lewis had shed his blood to secure. The political tone of the ceremony came as little surprise. Mr. Lewis, who died July 17 at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, had spent more than three decades in Congress as a thorn in the side of Republican administrations. And he and President Trump had traded public slights since before Mr. Trump took office.” See also, Read the Full Transcript of Obama’s Eulogy for John Lewis. Mr. Obama praised Mr. Lewis, saying ‘he as much as anyone in our history brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals.’ The New York Times, Thursday, 30 July 2020. See also, Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation. Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. The New York Times, John Lewis, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity. That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on. Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars…. Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.” See also, Obama delivers call to action in eulogy for John Lewis and likens tactics by Trump and his administration to those by racist Southern leaders who fought civil rights, The Washington Post, Paul Kane and John Wagner, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Former president Barack Obama delivered a call to action in his eulogy Thursday of late congressman John Lewis, urging Congress to pass new voting rights laws and likening tactics by President Trump and his administration to those used by racist Southern leaders who fought the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Obama, speaking for 40 minutes at the pulpit where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, tied Lewis’s early life as a Freedom Rider to the nationwide protests that followed the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. He compared today’s federal agents using tear gas against peaceful protesters, an action that Trump has cheered on, to the same attacks Lewis faced on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965. ‘Bull Connor may be gone, but today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans,’ the nation’s first Black president said at Lewis’s final memorial service. ‘George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting.'”

Trump Floats an Election Delay, and Republicans Shoot It Down, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, and Reid J. Epstein, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Facing disastrous economic news and rising coronavirus deaths, President Trump on Thursday floated delaying the Nov. 3 election, a suggestion that lacks legal authority and could undermine confidence in an election that polls show him on course to lose. Republican leaders in Congress, who often claim not to have seen Mr. Trump’s outlandish statements and tweets and who infrequently challenge him in public, promptly and vocally condemned any notion that the election would be moved. It was a moment of striking political isolation for the president, as Republicans felt no need to defend him, Democrats condemned him, and three former presidents gathered in a rare moment together, paying tribute at the funeral of Representative John Lewis of Georgia.” See also, Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the November 3rd election, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Trump drew immediate rebukes from across the political spectrum Thursday after proposing a delay to the November election and claiming without evidence that widespread mail balloting would be a ‘catastrophic disaster’ leading to fraudulent results. The suggestion represented Trump’s latest, and most dramatic, attempt to undermine public faith in the Nov. 3 election, a trend that has grown more frequent and emphatic as polls have shown his political fortunes declining. The president has attacked mail voting nearly 70 times since late March in interviews, remarks and tweets, including at least 17 times this month, according to a tally by The Washington Post.” See also, Trump Floats Delaying the Election, It Would Require a Change in Law. NPR, Philip Ewing, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “President Trump on Thursday mused about delaying this year’s election based on unsupported conspiracy theorizing about the integrity of voting during the coronavirus disaster. Trump used a Twitter post to repeat what has become a pet theme about what he calls the prospect of inaccuracies or fraud with mail-in voting…. Many of Trump’s claims about voting by mail are not accurate. Trump also does not have the power himself to move the date of the election, which was set by an 1845 federal law placing it the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The date could move theoretically with action by Congress — but that would require agreement both by the Democrats who control the House and the Republicans who control the Senate. Neither side supports the idea, which became clear over the day between Trump’s post on Twitter and his later comments at the press conference.” See also, Trump floats delaying election despite lack of authority to do so, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Trump explicitly floated delaying November’s presidential election on Thursday, lending extraordinary voice to persistent concerns that he will seek to circumvent voting in a contest where he currently trails his opponent by double digits. Hours later, Trump seemed to acknowledge the move was meant primarily to inject uncertainty into an election he appears determined to undermine, though didn’t entirely back away from the notion of a delay. Trump has no authority to delay an election, and the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting. Lawmakers from both parties said almost immediately there was no likelihood the election would be delayed and even some of Trump’s allies said his message reflected the desperate flailing of a badly losing candidate. Yet as toothless as it was, Trump’s message did provide an opening — long feared by Democrats — that both he and his supporters might refuse to accept the presidential results. In questioning it ahead of time, Trump is priming those in his camp to doubt the legitimacy of whatever outcome emerges in the first weeks of November.” See also, Trump Might Try to Postpone the Election. That’s Unconstitutional. He should be removed from office unless he relents. The New York Times, Steven G. Calabresi, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment. But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.”

A Half-Century After George Wallace, Trump Echoes the Politics of Division, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The nation’s cities were in flames amid protests against racial injustice and the fiery presidential candidate vowed to use force. He would authorize the police to ‘knock somebody in the head’ and ‘call out 30,000 troops and equip them with two-foot-long bayonets and station them every few feet apart.’ The moment was 1968 and the ‘law and order’ candidate was George C. Wallace, the former governor of Alabama running on a third-party ticket. Fifty-two years later, in another moment of social unrest, the “law and order” candidate is already in the Oval Office and the politics of division and race ring through the generations as President Trump tries to do what Wallace could not. Comparisons between the two men stretch back to 2015 when Mr. Trump ran for the White House denouncing Mexicans illegally crossing the border as rapists and pledging to bar all Muslims from entering the country. But the parallels have become even more pronounced in recent weeks after the killing of George Floyd as Mr. Trump has responded to demonstrations by sending federal forces into the streets to take down ‘anarchists and agitators.’ The Wallace-style tactics were on display again on Wednesday as Mr. Trump stirred racist fears about low-income housing moving into the suburbs. ‘In the presidential campaign of 1968, my father, Governor George Wallace, understood the potential political power of downtrodden and disillusioned working class white voters who felt alienated from government,’ his daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, said by email the other day. ‘And Donald Trump is mining the same mother lode.’ Former President Barack Obama implicitly made the comparison between the two men during a eulogy on Thursday for John Lewis, the civil rights icon and longtime congressman. ‘George Wallace may be gone,’ Mr. Obama said, ‘but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.'”

Herman Cain, Former C.E.O. of Godfather’s Pizza and Republican Candidate in the Presidential Primary in 2012, Dies at 84. Dan Calabrese, editor of Cain’s website, attributed his death to the coronavirus. The New York Times, Aimee Ortiz and Katharine Q. Seelye, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Herman Cain, who rose from poverty in the segregated South to become chief executive of a successful pizza chain and then thrust himself into the national spotlight by seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has died. He was 74. His death was announced on Thursday on his website and on social media accounts. It did not say precisely when or where he died. Dan Calabrese, the website’s editor, attributed the death to the coronavirus, which President Trump, in a White House briefing, later referred to as the ‘China virus’ and a ‘horrible plague’ in affirming it as the cause. Mr. Cain had been hospitalized in the Atlanta area this month after testing positive for the virus on June 29.” See also, Herman Cain dies from coronavirus, Axios, Ursula Perano, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Former Republican presidential candidate and ex-CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain, 74, has died almost a month after being hospitalized for coronavirus. Cain, the co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, was in a high-risk group due to his history with cancer. Cain’s positive coronavirus test came less than two weeks after he attended President Trump’s controversial June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, where he tweeted a picture of himself without a mask. Public health officials had warned that the large-scale rally could infect many and put lives at risk…. While in the hospital, Cain commented on a July 4 celebration at Mt. Rushmore, tweeting: ‘Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!'” See also, Former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Has Died From the Coronavirus at 74, BuzzFeed News, David Mack, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Herman Cain, a former pizza company executive turned Republican presidential contender, died Thursday morning almost a month after he was hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. He was 74. Cain’s death — which was first reported by the conservative website Newsmax, where Cain hosted a show — was confirmed on his official website soon after…. Cain attended the president’s June 20 indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sharing photos of himself not wearing a mask while at the event. Several others who attended the rally subsequently became sick, including Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. Six Trump campaign staffers who were part of the advance team for the event tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the rally. The director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department later said it was ‘more than likely’ the rally contributed to a surge in cases there.”

Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November, The Washington Post, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Jacob Bogage, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election. As President Trump ramps up his unfounded attacks on mail balloting as being susceptible to widespread fraud, postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting. The backlog comes as the president, who is trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls, has escalated his efforts to cast doubt about the integrity of the November vote, which is expected to yield record numbers of mail ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 general election, a notion that was widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. He has repeatedly gone after the Postal Service, recently suggesting that the agency cannot be trusted to deliver ballots.”

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents, The Washington Post, Shane Harris, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The Department of Homeland Security has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore., in what current and former officials called an alarming use of a government system meant to share information about suspected terrorists and violent actors. Over the past week, the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis has disseminated three Open Source Intelligence Reports to federal law enforcement agencies and others, summarizing tweets written by two journalists — a reporter for the New York Times and the editor in chief of the blog Lawfare — and noting they had published leaked, unclassified documents about DHS operations in Portland. The intelligence reports, obtained by The Washington Post, include written descriptions and images of the tweets and the number of times they had been liked or retweeted by others. After The Post published a story online Thursday evening detailing the department’s practices, the acting homeland security secretary, Chad Wolf, ordered the intelligence office to stop collecting information on journalists and announced an investigation into the matter.”

Appeals Court Erases Order to End Michael Flynn Case and Sets New Arguments. The decision means that the legal saga over the criminal charge against President Trump’s former national security adviser will continue. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “The entire Federal Appeals Court in Washington said on Thursday that it would take up a case involving Attorney General William P. Barr’s decision to drop the prosecution of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, erasing a split decision by a three-judge panel in June ordering an immediate end to the case. A terse order from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that a majority of its members had voted to vacate a June 24 panel decision ordering the immediate dismissal of the case against Mr. Flynn, and set oral arguments before the full court for Aug. 11. The move meant that the legal and political saga over Mr. Flynn’s case would continue. Mr. Barr’s intervention in the case came after an extraordinary public campaign by Mr. Trump and his allies, prompting accusations that the attorney general had ended the prosecution of a presidential favorite for illegitimate political reasons.” See also, Michael Flynn case to be reheard by full federal appeals court in D.C., The Washington Post, Ann E. Marimow, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “A federal appeals court in Washington will take a second look at a judge’s effort to scrutinize the Justice Department’s decision to drop its case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed Thursday to revisit U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s plan to examine the politically charged matter, reviving the unusual case testing the limits of the judiciary’s power to check the executive branch. The court’s brief order set oral arguments for Aug. 11. The decision to rehear the case before a full complement of judges wipes out the June ruling from a three-judge panel that ordered Sullivan to immediately dismiss the case and said Sullivan was wrong to appoint a retired federal judge to argue against the government’s move to undo Flynn’s guilty plea.”

U.S. Backs Down, Allowing Michael Cohen to Write Trump Tell-All Book. Mr. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, had been returned to prison in a dispute over the book, then released after a judge intervened. The New York Times, Benjamin Weiser, Thursday, 30 July 2020: “Michael D. Cohen now will be allowed to finish his tell-all book about President Trump after the government said on Thursday that it had given up a legal battle to prevent him from expressing himself on television, on social media or in books while he serves a prison sentence at home. The government, writing to a federal judge in Manhattan, said it would not challenge a ruling last week that cleared the way for Mr. Cohen, who once was Mr. Trump’s lawyer and fixer, to publish a memoir about his former boss before the election. The government said it had agreed to omit a condition in Mr. Cohen’s home-confinement agreement that would have banned him from any contact with the media, including making posts on social media, appearing on television or publishing a book.”