Trump Administration, Week 185: Friday, 31 July – Thursday, 6 August 2020 (Days 1,288-1,294)


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, 31 July 2020, Day 1,288:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 31 July 2020: A $600-a-Week Lifeline for Unemployed Americans Expires After an Impasse in Washington, The New York Times, Friday, 31 July 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 31 July 2020: U.S. Debt Outlook is Downgraded, The New York Times, Friday, 31 July 2020:

  • Fitch Ratings downgrades its outlook on U.S. debt.
  • Stocks climb as Big Tech rallies after strong earnings.
  • United will add international flights despite travel restrictions limiting U.S. visitors.
  • Europe’s contraction is its worst on record.
  • Economic snapshots: France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
  • Exxon reports a record loss and Chevron writes off Venezuela investments.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 31 July 2020: U.S. deaths from coronavirus surpass 150,000, The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Hannah Knowles, Derek Hawkins, Hannah Denham, Reis Thebault, and Meryl Kornfield. Friday, 31 July 2020: “The death toll in the United States from the novel coronavirus surpassed 150,000 on Friday, according to data gathered by The Washington Post, a milestone the country was never supposed to reach. While the disease continues to kill the oldest among us with impunity, other disturbing trends have surfaced. In recent weeks, Hispanics and Native Americans have made up an increasing proportion of deaths from covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Though the national fatality rate was on the decline for most of June, it began a steady rise in July, when the pandemic took a turn for the worse. States reported at least 24,833 coronavirus-related deaths in July, up more than 3,000 over the previous month, according to The Post’s tracking. The United States tallied 1,315 coronavirus deaths Friday, the fifth day in a row the country has reached a four-digit death toll. On Friday morning, three of the Trump administration’s top health officials were pressed by a Democratic-led House panel about the ongoing crisis. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading expert on infectious diseases, told the panel that a ‘diversity of response’ from states had hampered efforts to bring down the number of new infections. In contrast, he said, many European nations went into near-total lockdowns.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Over the past week, 24 states surpassed a case increase of more than 100 cases per 100,000 people — a metric the White House and Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, have defined as ‘red zone’ states, where the spread of the virus is serious enough to warrant stricter public health precautions.
  • The coronavirus recession threatens to devastate Black commercial districts and other ethnic enclaves that fuel the vibrancy, economies and identities of American cities.
  • A new CDC report suggests that children of all ages may be susceptible to coronavirus infections and may also spread it to others, and it details an outbreak at a sleep-away camp in Georgia last month in which 260 children and staffers — more than three-quarters of those tested — contracted the virus less than a week after spending time together in close quarters.
  • Students can return to college safely if they are tested for the coronavirus every two days, according to a JAMA study by researchers from the Yale School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Minnesota Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against a ranch claiming that its three-day rodeo event in July bucked social distancing orders, threatening to expose people to the coronavirus.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 185, Friday, 31 July – Thursday, 6 August 2020 (Days 1,288-1,294)

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the coronavirus is rampant in the U.S. because of inadequate, patchwork shutdowns, Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein, Friday, 31 July 2020: “The Trump administration’s decision to leave coronavirus shutdown decisions to the states created a patchwork of policies that effectively only imposed restrictions on about half of the country, NIH infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci told a House hearing on Friday. ‘There were some states that did it very well, and there were some states did not,’ Fauci told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Friday morning without elaborating. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared with CDC Director Robert Redfield and Trump administration testing czar Brett Giroir at the hearing as the scope of the outbreak continued to spread north and toward the coasts. Spread is only contained in 12 states while 27 are exhibiting new all-time highs, according to a daily update from Morgan Stanley.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci is ‘cautiously optimistic’ US can have vaccine by the end of the year, The Guardian, Oliver Laughland, Friday, 31 July 2020: “Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, has told the US Congress he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ that a ‘safe and effective’ coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public by the end of 2020 during a hearing in Washington marked by testy exchanges between Fauci and senior Republicans loyal to Donald Trump. Fauci told US lawmakers on a House of Representatives subcommittee examining the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic that he was skeptical of fast-track vaccine efforts in Russia and China, suggesting the US would not need to depend on other countries for its own vaccine.”

More Than Just a Tweet: Trump’s Campaign to Undercut Democracy, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Friday, 31 July 2020: “Nothing in the Constitution gives President Trump the power to delay the November election, and even fellow Republicans dismissed it out of hand when he broached it on Thursday. But that was not the point. With a possible defeat looming, the point was to tell Americans that they should not trust their own democracy. The idea of putting off the vote was the culmination of months of discrediting an election that polls suggest Mr. Trump is currently losing by a wide margin. He has repeatedly predicted ‘RIGGED ELECTIONS’ and a ‘substantially fraudulent’ vote and ‘the most corrupt election in the history of our country,’ all based on false, unfounded or exaggerated claims. It is the kind of language resonant of conspiracy theorists, cranks and defeated candidates, not an incumbent living in the White House. Never before has a sitting president of the United States sought to undermine public faith in the election system the way Mr. Trump has. He has refused to commit to respecting the results and, even after his election-delay trial balloon was panned by Republican allies, he raised the specter on Thursday evening of months of lawsuits challenging the outcome. Mr. Trump has put on the line not merely the outcome of this fall’s contest but the credibility of the system as a whole, according to even scholars and operatives normally sympathetic to the president. Just floating the possibility of postponing a presidential election, an idea anathema in America and reminiscent of authoritarian countries without the rule of law, risks eroding the most important ingredient in a democracy — the belief by most Americans that, whatever its manifest flaws, the election result will be fundamentally fair.”

Homeland Security Shuts Down ‘Intelligence’ Reports on Journalists, The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Marc Tracy, Friday, 31 July 2020: “The acting secretary of homeland security said on Friday that he had shut down an intelligence examination of the work of reporters covering the government’s response to protests in Portland, Ore., beginning an investigation into what he suggested was an infringement on First Amendment rights. The effort by the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence and analysis directorate — first revealed by The Washington Post — in part targeted The New York Times’s release of an intelligence analysis indicating that even as federal agents in camouflage deployed to quell the protests in Portland, the administration had little understanding of what it was facing.”

Portland sees peaceful night of protests following withdrawal of federal agents. Thursday night’s protest passed off without major incident or intervention by the police in the absence of federal officers. The Guardian, Chris McGreal, Friday, 31 July 2020: “The withdrawal of federal agents from frontline policing of demonstrations in downtown Portland significantly reduced tensions in the city overnight. Protesters in support of Black Lives Matter once again rallied near the federal courthouse that became a flashpoint, and the scene of nightly battles amid the swirl of teargas, after Donald Trump dispatched agents to end what he called anarchy in the city after weeks of demonstrations. But in the absence of the federal officers, Thursday night’s protest passed off without major incident or intervention by the police. On Wednesday, Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, agreed with the White House that the state police would take over responsibility for guarding the courthouse after weeks of escalating protests. She said that ‘Trump’s troops’ were behaving like an occupying army in Portland and provoking unrest with heavy-handed tactics.” See also, Calm returns to Portland as federal agents withdraw, The Washington Post, Adam Taylor, Nick Miroff, and David A. Fahrenthold, Friday, 31 July 2020: “This city’s battle-scarred downtown was calm much of Friday after federal agents withdrew from the streets where they had faced off with protesters for days, though dozens remained stationed downtown to respond to any further violence. The agents, who had been posted at a federal courthouse that protesters had targeted with graffiti and fire, moved to other downtown locations, held in reserve under a deal between Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and the Trump administration. Amid criticism of the federal officers’ tactics, local and state police who took their place at the courthouse were far less aggressive — largely staying out of sight Thursday night, making no arrests and firing no tear gas. In moments reminiscent of the once-nightly clashes, a few protesters threw rocks or fireworks at the empty space where federal agents had stood. But the crowds were largely peaceful Thursday night into Friday, listening to speeches about police brutality and racism and chatting on the grass.”

US sheriffs rebel against state mask orders even as Covid-19 spreads, The Guardian, Jason Wilson, Friday, 31 July 2020: “Sheriffs around the country are refusing to enforce or are even actively resisting Covid-19 mask laws and lockdowns, while others have permitted or encouraged armed vigilantism in response to Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests. Critics say both phenomena are related to a far-right ‘constitutional sheriffs’ movement, which believes that sheriffs are the highest constitutional authority in the country, with the power – and duty – to resist state and federal governments.”

Mail Delays Fuel Concern Trump Is Undercutting Postal System Ahead of Voting. Trump’s long campaign against the Postal Service is intersecting with his assault on mail-in voting amid concerns that he has politicized oversight of the agency. The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Halley Fuchs, and Kenneth P. Vogel, Friday, 31 July 2020: “Welcome to the next election battleground: the post office. President Trump’s yearslong assault on the Postal Service and his increasingly dire warnings about the dangers of voting by mail are colliding as the presidential campaign enters its final months. The result has been to generate new concerns about how he could influence an election conducted during a pandemic in which greater-than-ever numbers of voters will submit their ballots by mail.”

Supreme Court’s ‘summer break’ has become a series of consequential actions, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Friday, 31 July 2020: “One of the most consequential Supreme Court terms in recent times shows no signs of conclusion. The court seemed to wrap up its work July 9 with a traditional flourish of big opinions, including a blockbuster finale: that President Trump was not immune to demands for his personal financial records from a state prosecutor and congressional investigators. But the court’s customary summer lull? It never arrived. Instead, responding to emergency pleas for intervention, the justices allowed federal executions to resume for the first time in 17 years. They threw up a roadblock for former felons in Florida who thought their voting rights had been restored. They denied challenges to coronavirus restrictions on worship services in Nevada, and put on hold accommodations extended to Idaho residents hoping to collect signatures for an education initiative. On Friday, the court, on a familiar 5-to-4 vote, rejected a last-ditch effort to keep Trump from using money allocated for the Defense Department to finish remaining construction of border wall projects in Arizona and New Mexico. ‘This term isn’t going to end,’ said Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas who tracks the court’s emergency actions. Those are cases in which parties ask the court for immediate relief from lower-court orders, without the usual briefing and oral arguments. ‘There’s going to be at least one more federal death case, more covid orders, and then a rush of election cases, perhaps all before October 5,’ when the court’s new term begins, Vladeck said.”

Trump is sued again for blocking people on Twitter. The Knight First Amendment Institute filed a new lawsuit against Trump for keeping several Twitter users blocked on his @RealDonaldTrump account. Politico, Matthew Choi, Friday, 31 July 2020: “President Donald Trump is facing more legal woes for blocking people on Twitter despite a court order that he cannot do so. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a new lawsuit against Trump on Friday for keeping several Twitter users blocked on his @RealDonaldTrump account. The group is suing in federal court in New York — the same court that ruled in May 2018 that Trump cannot block people from using his account because he uses it to announce important policy updates. That decision was backed by a federal appeals court in July 2019, and the circuit court declined to review its decision in March. But according to the Knight Institute’s new lawsuit, Trump has not unblocked users he had blocked before his inauguration. Users who couldn’t identify which tweet prompted Trump to block them also remain blocked, the suit said.”

Lawmakers ‘alarmed’ by Reports U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Told Brazilian Officials They Can Help Re-elect Trump By Eliminating Ethanol Tariffs, The New York Times, Ernesto Londoño, Manuela Andreoni, and Leticia Casado, Friday, 31 July 2020: “Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Friday they were ‘extremely alarmed’ by assertions that the American ambassador in Brazil had signaled to Brazilian officials they could help get President Trump re-elected by changing their trade policies. In a letter sent Friday afternoon, Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel demanded that the ambassador, Todd Chapman, produce ‘any and all documents referring or related to any discussions’ he has held with Brazilian officials in recent weeks about their nation’s tariffs on ethanol, an important agricultural export for Iowa, a potential swing state in the American presidential election. The committee’s letter was sent in response to reports in the Brazilian news media this week saying that Mr. Chapman, a career diplomat, made it clear to Brazilian officials they could bolster Mr. Trump’s electoral chances in Iowa if Brazil lifted its ethanol tariffs. Eliminating tariffs would give the Trump administration a welcome trade victory to present to struggling ethanol producers in Iowa, where the president is in a close race with his Democratic rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr.”

Homeland Security Shuts Down ‘Intelligence’ Reports on Journalists, The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Marc Tracy, Friday, 31 July 2020: “The acting secretary of homeland security said on Friday that he had shut down an intelligence examination of the work of reporters covering the government’s response to protests in Portland, Ore., beginning an investigation into what he suggested was an infringement on First Amendment rights. The effort by the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence and analysis directorate — first revealed by The Washington Post — in part targeted The New York Times’s release of an intelligence analysis indicating that even as federal agents in camouflage deployed to quell the protests in Portland, the administration had little understanding of what it was facing.”

Before Trump wished Ghislaine Maxwell ‘well,’ they had mingled for years in the same gilded circles, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman and Marc Fisher, Friday, 31 July 2020: “They were two larger-than-life wealthy businessmen — one trying to break into the New York scene, the other a symbol of the city’s brash excess. So it was natural that when British media mogul Robert Maxwell threw a party in New York on the deck of his luxury yacht the Lady Ghislaine — named for his youngest daughter — he would invite Donald Trump, the city’s tabloid-friendly developer. As guests mingled and drank during the 1989 bash, Maxwell greeted Trump privately in the wheelhouse and gave him a tour of the craft, recalled David Adler, who was then the head of public relations at Maxwell’s publishing house. Among the other high-powered guests at the party, according to media reports at the time, was the yacht’s namesake, then-27-year-old Ghislaine Maxwell, visiting from England. After her father’s death two years later, she would move to New York and link up with another wealthy financier, Jeffrey Epstein. For at least 15 years after the yacht party, Ghislaine Maxwell and Trump continued to mingle in the same gilded circles, attending the same parties in Florida and New York, sharing meals and flying together at least once on Epstein’s private plane, according to documents, interviews and media accounts. They were captured together in photographs and videos several times in that period, and Maxwell got to know two of Trump’s wives. Trump cited their past interactions after Maxwell was charged in July with the sex trafficking of minors, accused by prosecutors in Manhattan of helping to recruit, groom and abuse underage girls with Epstein. She has pleaded not guilty. When asked last week if he thought Maxwell would give prosecutors information about powerful men who may have been involved in the exploitation of minors, the president simply said, ‘I wish her well, frankly.’ He said that he has met Maxwell ‘numerous times over the years,’ noting that they both have lived in Palm Beach. Trump’s kind words toward Maxwell are a reminder of his long-standing tendency to extend sympathy to friends or social peers who have been accused of serious wrongdoing — a sharp contrast to the rhetoric he often deploys against political enemies he accuses of ‘treason’ and ‘corruption.'”

Virginia Giuffre, who has alleged that she was forced to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein and his friends, alleges in a newly unsealed deposition that Ghislaine Maxwell was Epstein’s partner in abuse, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman and Shayna Jacobs, Friday, 31 July 2020: “A woman who has accused deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein of years-long abuse that began when she was a teenager alleged in a newly unsealed deposition that his former partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, was both his chief accomplice and a participant in the sexual abuse. Maxwell, who was arrested earlier this month and charged with trafficking minors, had fought unsuccessfully to keep the court documents under seal. She has pleaded not guilty. The unsealed court documents stem from a defamation suit she settled for an undisclosed sum in 2017 with the woman, Virginia Giuffre, who has alleged that she was forced to have sex with Epstein and his friends. She has claimed that Maxwell recruited her to serve as a traveling masseuse for Epstein after spotting her working a summer job as a locker room attendant 20 years ago at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s private estate.”

Twitter permanently bans former KKK leader David Duke, Associated Press, Friday, 31 July 2020: “Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has been banned from Twitter for breaking the social media platform’s site’s rules forbidding hate speech. The company said Friday that Duke’s account ‘has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules on hateful conduct.’ It didn’t specify what exactly Duke posted that triggered the ban, but its policy on hateful conduct prohibits promoting violence or threatening attacks against people based on religious affiliation, race and ethnic origin. Twitter said the ban was in line with its recently updated policy aimed at cutting down on harmful links. Under the new rules, the company may suspend accounts dedicated to sharing hateful content or that try to get around its blocks on sharing links to the material.”


Saturday, 1 August 2020, Day 1,289:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 1 August 2020: Infections Swamp the U.S., Which Recorded 42% of All Its Coronavirus Cases in July, The New York Times, Saturday, 1 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Department of Homeland Security official whose office compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists and protesters has been removed from his job and reassigned to a new position elsewhere in the department, The Washington Post, Shane Harris, Saturday, 1 August 2020: “A senior Department of Homeland Security official whose office compiled ‘intelligence reports’ about journalists and protesters in Portland, Ore., has been removed from his job, according to three people familiar with the matter. Brian Murphy, the acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, was reassigned to a new position elsewhere in the department, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter. Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf made the decision on Friday, one person said. Murphy’s removal follows revelations in The Washington Post that the Intelligence and Analysis Office (I & A) at DHS compiled Open Source Intelligence Reports about the work of two journalists who had published leaked department documents. In a separate intelligence report, the office also analyzed the communications of protesters in Portland.”


Sunday, 2 August 2020, Day 1,290:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 2 August 2020: Dr. Deborah Birx Warns That the U.S. Coronavirus Pandemic Is in a ‘New Phase,’ The New York Times, Sunday, 2 August 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus epidemic on Sunday, 2 August 2020: Dr. Deborah Birx says the U.S. has entered a ‘new phase’ of pandemic as cases and deaths rise, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins and Marisa Iati, Sunday, 2 August 2020: “Deborah Birx, the physician overseeing the White House coronavirus response, warned Sunday that the United States had entered a ‘new phase’ of the pandemic and urged people to take extreme health precautions as infections and deaths rise sharply nationwide. ‘I want to be very clear: What we’re seeing today is different from March and April,’ Birx told CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ noting that cases are increasing in rural and urban areas. ‘It is extraordinarily widespread.’ Birx did not rule out an estimate from former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb that virus deaths could top 300,000 by the end of the year, saying ‘anything is possible.’ Such an outcome would be far less likely, Birx said, if people practiced social distancing and avoided large gatherings.

Here are some significant developments:
  • In an interview on CBS News’s ‘Face the Nation,’ White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said congressional leaders were still far from reaching a consensus on a coronavirus relief package. ‘I’m not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term,’ he said.
  • Texas health officials have not been publicly reporting the results of coronavirus tests that deliver results in less than 30 minutes, suggesting that the state has at least tens of thousands more confirmed cases than announced, an investigation by the Houston Chronicle found.
  • Sturgis, S.D., is bracing for more than 250,000 bikers to descend on the city next week for a motorcycle rally that the Associated Press reported could be the largest event so far during the pandemic. More than 60 percent of residents surveyed by the city said the rally should be delayed, but local businesses persuaded the council to move forward, according to the AP.

Birx has faced mounting criticism over her handling of the coronavirus response after the New York Times reported last month that her optimistic outlook on the pandemic’s trajectory helped justify reopening decisions that preceded new outbreaks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that she does not have confidence in Birx. ‘I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus, and she is his appointee,’ Pelosi said in response to a question from ABC News’s Martha Raddatz. ‘So I don’t have confidence there, no.'”

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Scientists Worry About Political Influence Over Coronavirus Vaccine Project. Operation Warp Speed has moved along at a rapid clip. But some people involved in the process fear pressure to deliver an October surprise for President Trump. The New York Times, Sharon LaFraniere, Katie Thomas, Noah Weiland, Peter Baker, and Annie Karni, Sunday, 2 August 2020: “In April, with hospitals overwhelmed and much of the United States in lockdown, the Department of Health and Human Services produced a presentation for the White House arguing that rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine was the best hope to control the pandemic. ‘DEADLINE: Enable broad access to the public by October 2020,’ the first slide read, with the date in bold. Given that it typically takes years to develop a vaccine, the timetable for the initiative, called Operation Warp Speed, was incredibly ambitious. With tens of thousands dying and tens of millions out of work, the crisis demanded an all-out public-private response, with the government supplying billions of dollars to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, providing logistical support and cutting through red tape. It escaped no one that the proposed deadline also intersected nicely with President Trump’s need to curb the virus before the election in November. The ensuing race for a vaccine — in the middle of a campaign in which the president’s handling of the pandemic is the key issue after he has spent his time in office undermining science and the expertise of the federal bureaucracy — is now testing the system set up to ensure safe and effective drugs to a degree never before seen. Under constant pressure from a White House anxious for good news and a public desperate for a silver bullet to end the crisis, the government’s researchers are fearful of political intervention in the coming months and are struggling to ensure that the government maintains the right balance between speed and rigorous regulation, according to interviews with administration officials, federal scientists and outside experts. Even in a less politically charged environment, there would be a fraught debate about how much to accelerate the process of trials and approval. The longer that vaccines are tested before being released, the likelier they are to be safe and effective.”

As Federal Agents Retreat in Portland, Protesters Return to Original Foe: Local Police. While protests around the federal courthouse have remained calm for three consecutive nights, Portland police officers chased demonstrators through the streets near a local precinct. The New York Times, Mike Baker, Sunday, 2 August 2020: “Late on Saturday night, with protests in Portland continuing into their third month, one crowd of demonstrators gathered yet again in front of the city’s fortified federal courthouse while another group traveled miles east to a precinct used by local law enforcement. At the federal courthouse, the crowd saw a third consecutive night of calm since the start of a plan to withdraw federal agents who had brought a militarized crackdown to the city. But at the police precinct, officers pointed bright lights into the crowd, warned protesters to disperse, then chased them through the streets, knocking people to the ground, using pepper spray and making arrests. While the arrival of federal agents wearing camouflage last month outraged protesters and local government leaders alike, their presence also masked the more personal grievances that protesters have long had with their local police force.”

Representative James Clyburn: Trump is Mussolini. The South Carolina Democrat compares Trump to the Italian dictator. Politico, Zachary Warmbrodt, Sunday, 2 August 2020: “House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on Sunday likened President Donald Trump to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, warning that Trump would resist leaving office. The South Carolina lawmaker and No. 3 House Democrat said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ that Trump has taken up ‘strong-arm tactics.’ Trump ignited an uproar last week after he floated the idea of delaying the November election, which he lacks the authority to do. ‘I don’t think he plans to leave the White House,’ Clyburn said of Trump. ‘He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold on to office.'”

Retired Army General Anthony J. Tata, Whose Inflammatory Comments Appeared to Doom His Nomination, Was Tapped for a Job That Does Not Require Senate Approval, The New York Times, Eric Schmitt, Sunday, 2 August 2020: “President Trump’s choice to fill the Pentagon’s top policy job withdrew his name from consideration on Sunday after senators from both parties voiced opposition to the official’s nomination, largely because of his history of inflammatory comments. But in an end run around the skeptical senators, the Trump administration appointed the official, Anthony J. Tata, a retired Army one-star general turned Fox News commentator, to a temporary senior position in the same Defense Department office that does not require Senate approval…. Senior congressional Democrats expressed outrage at what they said was a subterfuge that amounted to the White House and the Pentagon thumbing their noses at Congress…. Mr. Tata’s views, expressed in a series of tweets, drew angry denunciations from both Democrats and Republicans, particularly as the country is seized by a growing movement for change. He called Islam ‘the most oppressive violent religion’ and referred to former President Barack Obama as a ‘terrorist leader.’ Mr. Tata has since apologized for the remarks, which were first reported by CNN.”

House committee subpoenas 4 top aides of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Politico, Kyle Cheney, Monday, 3 August 2020: “A top House Democrat has subpoenaed four senior aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing them of resisting interviews in an investigation of President Donald Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) issued the subpoenas Monday to Brian Bulatao, the undersecretary of State for management and a longtime Pompeo associate, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mike Miller, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Marik String and senior adviser Toni Porter. The subpoenas are an escalation in the committee’s confrontation with the State Department, which has resisted repeated oversight attempts by the committee since Democrats’ impeachment investigation last year.” See also, House Chairmen Issue Subpoenas in Probe of U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, The Wall Street Journal, Courtney McBride, Monday, 3 August 2020: “Congressional Democrats, moving forward with an inquiry into the firing of the State Department’s former inspector general, issued subpoenas to four State Department officials and released excerpts Monday from an interview with a former agency official. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he recommended that President Trump fire Steve Linick as the State Department inspector general, citing leaks from Mr. Linick’s office and claiming the internal watchdog was working to undermine the department. Mr. Linick has said that at the time of his termination, his office was examining the Trump administration’s May 24, 2019 use of an emergency declaration to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”


Monday, 3 August 2020, Day 1,291:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 3 August 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci Supports Dr. Deborah Birx’s Coronavirus Assessment After Trump Criticizes Her, The New York Times, Monday, 3 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 3 August 2020: Boeing 737 Max Moves One Step Closer to Flying Again, The New York Times, Monday, 3 August 2020:

  • F.A.A. says Boeing has ‘effectively mitigated’ defects in the 737 Max.
  • Small businesses got emergency loans, but not what they expected.
  • Covid-19 misinformation websites benefit from Google and Amazon ad networks, study says.
  • Tech rally lifts markets, and the Nasdaq reaches a record.
  • Lord & Taylor and the owner of Men’s Wearhouse file for bankruptcy.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 3 August 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci amplifies Dr. Deborah Birx’s warning about ‘new phase’ of coronavirus spread in the U.S., The Washington Post, Kim Bellware, John Wagner, Siobhán O’Grady, Hamza Shaban, Brittany Shammas, Hannah Knowles, Reis Thebault, and Felicia Sonmez, Monday, 3 August 2020: “Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, defended and amplified Deborah Birx’s statements about what she characterized as a ‘new phase’ of the pandemic in the United States. Speaking to reporters Monday, Fauci said that the kind of spread some states are experiencing is extremely difficult to contain. ‘When you have community spread it’s insidious, there are people who are spreading it who have no symptoms at all … It’s difficult to do identification, isolation and contact tracing,’ Fauci said. Fauci’s comments came the same day President Trump lashed out at Birx, seemingly over her weekend remarks on CNN in which she warned that even rural areas would suffer. ‘It is extraordinarily widespread,’ Birx said.

Here are some significant developments:

  • At least 4,688,000 coronavirus cases and 152,000 fatalities have been reported in the United States since February. More than 48,000 new cases and 524 deaths were reported Monday.
  • Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden criticized Trump after he took shots at his own White House task force coordinator, Deborah Birx. ‘It’s hard to believe this has to be said, but if I’m elected president, I’ll spend my Monday mornings working with our nation’s top experts to control this virus — not insulting them on Twitter,’ Biden wrote.
  • The coronavirus is surging in several Midwestern states that had not previously seen high infection rates. Average daily deaths remain elevated in the South and West where the virus spread rapidly after restrictions were lifted earlier this summer.
  • World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus threw some cold water on rising hopes for a vaccine that will be safe and effective, saying that ‘there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be.’
  • Trump continued to insist that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for the coronavirus even as leading health officials in his administration have concluded otherwise. Trump suggested opposition to its effectiveness is because he supports it, as opposed to based on science.
  • Major League Baseball confirmed seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six staff members have tested positive over the past week, prompting the league to postpone four more games and extend the Cardinals’ shutdown until at least Friday.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump Criticizes Health Adviser Deborah Birx after Her Coronavirus Warning, The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Restuccia, Monday, 3 August 2020: “President Trump publicly criticized Deborah Birx, one of his top health advisers, after she warned in a Sunday television interview that the country is facing a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic with ‘extraordinarily widespread’ cases. In a Monday morning tweet, Mr. Trump accused Dr. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus coordinator, of unfairly knocking the administration’s efforts to counter the pandemic in response to criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). ‘So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics,’ Mr. Trump wrote. ‘In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!'” See also, Trump criticizes Birx for the first time after she issues coronavirus warnings, CNN, Betsy Klein, Monday, 3 August 2020: “Trump criticized Dr. Deborah Birx in a Monday tweet after she warned the pandemic is ‘extraordinarily widespread’ in the US. While Trump and other top White House officials have publicly attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the tweet marked the first time Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, publicly drew Trump’s ire. The dust-up comes as the country continues to be ravaged by coronavirus, with more than 150,000 US citizens dead and more than 4 million cases. Trump has consistently lied and misled mostly in attempts to downplay concerns about the virus as he presses for schools and businesses to reopen.” See also, After months of favor, Dr. Deborah Birx raises Trump’s ire with grim coronavirus assessment, The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, and Yasmeen Abutaleb, Monday, 3 August 2020: “President Trump further disparaged his senior health advisers on Monday even as the pandemic deepened its hold on the nation, as the White House’s top coronavirus coordinator, Deborah Birx, joined Anthony S. Fauci and other scientists on the receiving end of the president’s ire. Birx — who built a career leading public health efforts against HIV/AIDS — quickly garnered Trump’s favor earlier this year for publicly championing the administration’s coronavirus response, becoming a prominent figure both inside and outside the White House. But she soon lost support within swaths of the scientific and medical community for seeming to minimize the virus and to enable Trump’s overly rosy view of the pandemic. This past weekend, Birx lost the backing of the nation’s top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who privately called Birx ‘the worst’ and publicly said she had no confidence in her. And finally on Monday morning, Birx appeared to lose ground with perhaps her most important constituency, Trump himself, who dismissed her as ‘pathetic.'”

U.S. Census Bureau Cuts All Counting Efforts Short by a Month, NPR, Hansi Lo Wang, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The U.S. Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census on Sept. 30, a month sooner than previously announced, the bureau’s director confirmed Monday in a statement. That includes critical door-knocking efforts and collecting responses onlineover the phone and by mail. The latest updates to the bureau’s plans are part of efforts to ‘accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of December 31, 2020, as required by law and directed by the Secretary of Commerce’ who oversees the bureau, Director Steven Dillingham said in the written statement posted on the bureau’s website. These last-minute changes to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the U.S. threaten the accuracy of population numbers used to determine the distribution of political representation and federal funding for the next decade. With roughly 4 out of 10 households nationwide yet to be counted, and already delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people of color, immigrants, renters, rural residents and other members of historically undercounted groups who are not likely to fill out a census form on their own.”

Filing Suggests District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Is Investigating Trump and His Company Over Fraud, The New York Times, William K. Rashbaum and Benjamin Weiser, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested on Monday that it had been investigating President Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud, a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged in the past. The suggestion by the office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., came in a new federal court filing arguing that Mr. Trump’s accountants should have to comply with a grand jury subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns. Mr. Trump has asked a judge to declare the subpoena invalid. Until now, the district attorney’s inquiry had appeared largely focused on hush-money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.” See also, New York prosecutors say Trump investigation extends beyond hush money payments, CNN Politics, Kara Scannell and Erica Orden, Monday, 3 August 2020: “Manhattan prosecutors on Monday asked a federal judge to dismiss President Donald Trump’s lawsuit challenging a subpoena for his financial records, emphasizing that their investigation extends beyond hush-money payments and pointing to public reports of ‘extensive and protracted criminal conduct’ at the Trump Organization. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s lawyers have previously said the probe is expansive, and on Monday they pointed out that when the subpoena was issued, ‘there were public allegations of possible criminal activity at Plaintiff’s New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade.’ Last week, lawyers for Trump filed an amended complaint seeking to block the state grand jury subpoena to Trump’s long-time accountant Mazars USA for eight years of personal and business records by arguing the subpoena was ‘wildly overbroad’ and issued in bad faith.”

Trump pledges lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada. State lawmakers have approved a bill to automatically send main-in ballots to voters. Politico,Quint Forgey and Matthew Choi, Monday, 3 August 2020: “President Donald Trump plans to sue to stop Nevada from issuing mailed ballots to all active voters, he announced at a White House briefing on Monday. Trump had already threatened legal action earlier in the day, suggesting mailed ballots would make it impossible for Republicans to win there in the November general election. Nevada state lawmakers approved legislation on Sunday to automatically send mail-in ballots to voters. Gov. Stephen Sisolak of Nevada, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law. Trump said he planned to have the lawsuit filed Tuesday. The president has aggressively advocated for in-person voting in recent months even as state-level election officials move to expand mail-in voting amid the nationwide outbreak of coronavirus, which many fear could be easily spread at polling places. He stopped short of saying he would issue an executive order in response to the push for more mail-in voting, though he said: ‘I have the right to do it. We haven’t gotten there yet. We’ll see what happens.'”

House Oversight Committee calls Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify on changes to the U.S. Postal Service made under Trump, Axios, Orion Rummler, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The House Oversight Committee has asked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, appointed by President Trump in May, to testify on Sept. 17 on changes made to the U.S. Postal Service under the Trump administration. Why it matters: USPS mail has seen days of backlogs and delays after DeJoy, a former fundraiser for Trump and the Republican National Committee, enacted new cost-cutting procedures that took effect in mid-July, the Washington Post reports. The big picture:Voting rights groups have said that USPS delays could be a ‘recipe for disaster’ as many states push for mail-in voting as the safest option for November’s election, according to the New York Times. Trump has railed against the reliability of mail-in voting and claimed, without evidence, that the election will be rigged if widespread mail-in ballots are allowed.”

Postal Service says it has ‘ample capacity’ to handle election after Trump casts doubt, CNN Politics, Jessica Dean, Jessica Schneider, and Caroline Kelly, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The US Postal Service definitively said Monday that it had the capacity to handle the added volume of mail-in ballots in November’s general election after President Donald Trump questioned its ability to do so. ‘The Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic,’ the agency said in a statement. The agency’s resolute stance comes after high profile naysayers, especially the President, have cast doubt on whether it will be able to handle an election that is expected to see significant numbers of mail-in ballots as the pandemic rages on.”

The House Intelligence Committee announces investigation into the intelligence activities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Portland, Axios, Orion Rummler, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The House Intelligence Committee will investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis over reports that officials have targeted protesters and journalists in Portland and other cities, chairman Adam Schiff (DCalifornia.) announced Monday. DHS reassigned its top intelligence official, acting Undersecretary Brian Murphy, after his office analyzed communications between Portland protesters and supplied law enforcement with lists of journalists that had published leaked agency documents, the Washington Post first reported.”

Deaf association sues to force the White House to use sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The National Association of the Deaf and five deaf Americans are suing the White House in an attempt to force President Donald Trump and other top officials to have American Sign Language interpreters at Covid-19 briefings. They’ve asked a federal judge to order the White House to add live televised ASL interpretation at all public coronavirus briefings. ‘The White House’s failure to provide ASL interpreters during Covid-19 related briefings, including press briefings, is against the law,’ the new lawsuit in DC District Court said on Monday. The lawsuit claims the lack of live sign language interpretation violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution.”

White House-USAID liaison Merritt Corrigan is fired after series of anti-LGBTQ tweets, NBC News, Josh Lederman and Abigail Williams, Monday, 3 August 2020: “The deputy White House liaison to the U.S. Agency for International Development was fired Monday after making a series of comments critical of gay marriage and LGBTQ rights, two former Trump administration officials confirmed to NBC News. In a series of tweets Monday, the liaison, Merritt Corrigan, wrote that for ‘too long, I’ve remained silent as the media has attacked me for my Christian beliefs, which are shared by the majority of Americans. Let me clear: Gay marriage isn’t marriage / Men aren’t women / US-funded Tunisian LGBT soap operas aren’t America First.'” See also, Lawsuit Demands Sign Language at White House Virus Briefings. The lack of American Sign Language interpreters at coronavirus briefings violates the First Amendment, the National Association of the Deaf says. The New York Times, Aimee Ortiz, published on Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “The National Association of the Deaf and five deaf Americans have sued the White House, arguing that the lack of a sign language interpreter at President Trump’s coronavirus briefings violates the First Amendment. The association is seeking to force Mr. Trump and other White House officials to use American Sign Language, or A.S.L., interpreters during ‘television broadcasts of their coronavirus press conferences and briefings to make them accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing people.’ The lawsuit contends that the refusal to provide in-frame sign language prevents the plaintiffs from accessing the communications provided by their elected representatives, thus violating their First Amendment rights.”


Tuesday, 4 August 2020, Day 1,292:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 4 August 2020: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Signals Openness to Jobless Aid Extension, The New York Times, Tuesday, 4 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 4 August 2020: Disney+ Hits 58 Million Subscribers, The New York Times, Tuesday, 4 August 2020:

  • Disney lost $4.7 billion last quarter, but its newest business was a big hit.
  • Trading in Kodak shares comes under scrutiny.
  • NBCUniversal to cut about 10 percent of its work force.
  • The ad giant Publicis has ‘parted ways’ with an executive over his virus tweets.
  • Catch up: Uber extends its ‘work from home’ policy to June 2021.

Some significant updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday, 4 August 2020: U.S. averages more than 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths for ninth day in a row, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Lateshia Beachum, Miriam Berger, Kim Bellware, John Wagner, Hamza Shaban, Reis Thebault, and Hannah Knowles, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “The United States averaged more than 1,000 new coronavirus-related deaths for the ninth day in a row Tuesday, as fatalities remain high following a peak in new cases. Daily new deaths had surged to near 3,000 in April before dropping, on average, through May and June. But with states reopening, the summer brought spikes in infection, concentrated at first in the South and West and now in the Midwest. As health officials predicted, an increase in deaths was not far behind. More than 4.74 million cases and 153,000 deaths have been reported across the United States since the pandemic began. But the death toll ‘is what it is,’ Trump said in an interview that aired Tuesday with ‘Axios on HBO.’

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Trump Cherry-Picks Coronavirus Data in Briefing Appearance, The New York Times, Linda Qiu, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “Trump selectively highlighted statistics, falsely claimed New York and New Jersey were solely responsible for high national death rates, and again wrongly asserted that a rise in cases was because of testing.”

Trump Assesses John Lewis’s Legacy: ‘He Didn’t Come to My Inauguration,’ The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Neil Vigdor, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “President Trump played down the accomplishments of Representative John Lewis, the recently deceased civil rights icon, and criticized him for not attending the Trump inauguration in an interview conducted while Mr. Lewis was lying in state at the Capitol. The comments from Mr. Trump, which aired on ‘Axios on HBO’ Monday night, were unsurprising, given his penchant for grievance. But they were nonetheless stunning for the degree to which Mr. Trump refused to view Mr. Lewis’s life and legacy in terms beyond how it related to Mr. Trump himself. ‘I never met John Lewis, actually,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that’s OK. That’s his right.’ When asked to reflect on Mr. Lewis’s contributions to the civil rights movement, Mr. Trump instead talked up his own record. ‘Again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have,’ he said. ‘He should have come. I think he made a big mistake.'” See also, Watch the full ‘Axios on HBO’ interview with Trump conducted by Jonathan Swan, Axios, updated on Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “In this episode of ‘Axios on HBO,’ President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.” See also, Jonathan Swan reveals the simple secret to exposing Trump’s lies: basic follow-up questions, CNN Politics, Daniel Dale, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “Jonathan Swan, a reporter for Axios, has revealed the magic words that expose President Donald Trump‘s lies for what they are. Who What? How? No. In an interview that aired Monday night on ‘Axios on HBO,’ Swan demolished some of Trump’s most dishonest talking points with a powerful tactic that has rarely been used by the people Trump has allowed to interview him: Basic follow-up questions. Many of Trump’s interviewers are right-wing sycophants who have no interest in challenging him. But Trump has defeated even his other interviewers by employing a strategy we can call the hit-and-run — saying dishonest stuff, then darting ahead to other dishonest stuff before the interviewer reacts. Swan — like Fox News’ Chris Wallace, to a slightly lesser extent, in an interview that aired July 19 — came armed with facts and prepared to use them, even if he had to interrupt Trump like Trump interrupts others. And Trump wasn’t ready to respond.” See also, Axios’s Jonathan Swan is the latest interviewer to leave Trump grasping on TV, The Washington Post, Jeremy Barr, Tuesday, 4 August 2020. See also, The 9 Wildest Answers in Trump’s Interview With Jonathan Swan, New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait, Tuesday, 4 August 2020. See also, Trump cites Lewis’ decision to not attend inauguration to downplay legacy of the civil rights icon, CNN Politics, Chandelis Duster, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “Trump downplayed the legacy of the late civil rights icon John Lewis in a new interview, instead repeatedly pointing to the Georgia Democrat’s decision to not attend his 2017 inauguration. ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration,’ Trump said during an interview with Axios on HBO that aired Monday when asked how he thought history would remember Lewis, adding that he probably never met the the late congressman.”

In apparent reversal, Trump encourages Floridians to vote by mail, CNN Politics, Betsy Klein, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “After repeatedly seeking to discredit mail-in votingPresident Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed Florida’s election system is ‘safe and secure’ and encourages Floridians to vote by mail. Trump’s change in attitude over the swing state’s use of mail-in ballots undermines an argument he’d maintained throughout the coronavirus pandemic — that mail-in ballots pose a distinct election security risk that absentee ballots do not. But elections experts have repeatedly underscored that mail-in voting and absentee voting are essentially the same thing, and that there are strict measures in place to verify the authenticity of all ballots cast by mail. ‘Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA,’ he tweeted. When asked about the reversal later Tuesday afternoon, Trump seemed to imply that Republican-run states with existing mail-in voting programs were up-to-par, but Democratic states establishing or expanding mail-in voting during the pandemic were not.” See also, Trump shifts and encourages vote by mail–in Florida, The Hill, Morgan Chalfant, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “President Trump on Tuesday encouraged voters in Florida to vote by mail, saying the state’s election system is ‘safe and secure’ after weeks of assailing efforts to expand mail-in voting by claiming that it would invite large-scale fraud…. The remarks appeared to represent a shift or at a minimum a change in tone for Trump, who has repeatedly suggested that increased mail-in voting could lead to voter fraud, despite a lack of evidence that mailed-in ballots lead to criminal activity. Republicans also have grown worried that Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting could actually suppress the GOP vote in the upcoming election.”

Trump Signs Landmark Land Conservation Bill, The New York Times, Annie Karni, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “President Trump on Tuesday signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act, a measure with broad bipartisan support that guarantees maximum annual funding for a federal program to acquire and preserve land for public use. Mr. Trump — who has exited the Paris Agreement on climate change, loosened restrictions on toxic air pollution and removed climate change from a list of national security threats — heralded the new law as a groundbreaking environmental achievement that he deserved credit for…. The act, which allocates $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides up to $9.5 billion over five years to begin clearing up a maintenance backlog at national parks, was approved on a 310-to-107 vote in the House. It was introduced last year by Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader who passed away last month. But no Democrats were invited to the signing ceremony, which was attended by six Republican senators and three Republican congressmen, in addition to senior administration officials. Mr. Trump did not mention Mr. Lewis or any of his Democratic colleagues in his remarks.”

Appeals Court Blocks Immigrant Wealth Test in the Northeast, The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Tuesday, 4 August 2020: “A federal appeals court on Tuesday blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to deny permanent residency to legal immigrants who make even limited use of public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps or housing vouchers, but restricted the injunction to New York, Connecticut and Vermont. The 114-page ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a decision last week by Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, who said the wealth test could discourage residents from seeking medical care during the coronavirus pandemic. The so-called public charge rule that was introduced last year expanded the number of federal support programs whose enrollment would disqualify applicants from green cards. Immigration groups have argued that the rule, even before it took effect, had discouraged immigrants in the country legally from seeking medical treatment or financial support. In the past, only substantial and sustained monetary help or long-term institutionalization counted against immigrants applying for green cards, and fewer than 1 percent of applicants were disqualified on public-charge grounds.”


Wednesday, 5 August 2020, Day 1,293:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 5 August 2020: Postal Service Funding Dispute Complicates Impasse Over U.S. Virus Stimulus, The New York Times, Wednesday, 5 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 5 August 2020: Republican Senators Seek $25 Billion for Airline Relief, The New York Times, Wednesday, 5 August 2020:

  • Republican senators back an extension of support for airlines.
  • Health insurance profits are soaring, but your rebate might be a long way off.
  • Wall Street’s rally continues with S&P 500 closing in on a record.
  • Unemployment has soared in some areas, spreading the pain unevenly.
  • Two telemedicine companies plan to merge in $18.5 billion deal.
  • The price of gold keeps breaking records.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 5 August 2020: Drop in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. is muddied by reporting and testing snags, The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Derek Hawkins, Lateshia Beachum, Hamza Shaban, Meryl Kornfield, Reis Thebault, Hannah Knowles, and Colby Itkowitz, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “The number of new coronavirus cases recorded nationwide each day is dropping after peaking at more than 75,000 — but the declines are muddied by issues with testing and data-gathering in big states. Populous California and Florida have the largest decreases in the past month in raw numbers: Florida’s average daily cases have tumbled to about 7,300 from a peak of nearly 12,000, while California surpassed 10,000 before dropping close to 7,000. Those two states also have reported major data snags. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) noted a big drop in daily cases, but officials warned a day later that issues with the reporting system were causing an undercount. Florida’s numbers, meanwhile, were disrupted by Hurricane Isaias, which led officials to suspend coronavirus testing at dozens of sites.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other developments are included in this article.

Democrats demand Postal Service reverse new rules that have slowed the delivery of absentee ballots, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner and Jacob Bogage, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill told negotiators for President Trump on Wednesday that preserving funding for the U.S. Postal Service and removing new rules that have slowed delivery times are essential ingredients of a new coronavirus relief bill in a year when millions of Americans plan to vote by mail. ‘Elections are sacred,’ Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), told reporters after a meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. ‘To do cutbacks when ballots, all ballots, have to be counted — we can’t say, “Oh, we’ll get 94 percent of them.” It’s insufficient.’ Schumer said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told DeJoy, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, that their demands regarding the Postal Service are necessary to striking a deal on a broader relief bill that may also include new unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut. ‘It was a heated discussion,’ Schumer said, adding that the demand is a ‘sine qua non for us. We told that to the postmaster.'” See also, Top Senate Democrat Gary Peters launches inquiry into Postal Service delays, The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “A top Senate Democrat said he plans to launch an investigation into new U.S. Postal Service policies put in place by a top Trump donor that have delayed mail and ensnared prescription medications, paychecks and absentee ballots in days-long backlogs. Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight of the Postal Service, said in an interview that he will begin an inquiry into the Postal Service’s recent operational ‘pivot,’ as the agency has called it, under Louis DeJoy, a former logistics executive who took office in July. The policies bar postal employees from working overtime, a crucial method of resolving staffing shortages during the coronavirus pandemic, and instruct workers to leave mail behind at post offices and processing plants if they run late. Other procedures being piloted at some postal facilities instruct workers to leave the bulk of a day’s mail behind to be sorted in the afternoon instead of delivering it the day it was received, according to postal employees and memos obtained by The Washington Post. The measures have already delayed mail in key battleground states across the country and sparked alarm among postal workers, who are already inundated with package volumes that exceed Christmastime levels in many areas because of robust online shopping spurred by the pandemic. As states look to dramatically expand the use of mail-in ballots this fall, postal workers across the country said the changes could lead to chaos in November. Already, tens of thousands of ballots across the country have been disqualified in this year’s primaries, many because they did not arrive on time. Election officials and voters are increasingly reporting long waits for the delivery of absentee ballots as states hold primaries.”

Trump campaign sues Nevada over plan to mail ballots to all registered voters, CNN Politics, Joe Sutton, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state of Nevada over its plan to send absentee ballots to all active voters this November in a major expansion of mail-in voting in the battleground state. ‘The RNC has a vital interest in protecting the ability of Republican voters to cast, and Republican candidates to receive, effective votes in Nevada elections and elsewhere,’ the lawsuit, filed by the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party, said. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the country, some states have looked to expand mail-in voting options ahead of November’s election. President Donald Trump, however, has falsely claimed that expanded mail-in voting will lead to fraud in the election. As CNN has previously reported, voting-by-mail rarely results in fraud.”

Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false, but no one is telling Facebook’s users, The Washington Post, Craig Timberg and Andrew Ba Tran, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Fact-checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to ‘defund’ police forces. PolitiFact called the allegations ‘false,’ as did CheckYourFact. The Associated Press detailed ‘distortions’ in Trump’s claims. called an ad airing them ‘deceptive.’ Another site, the Dispatch, said there is ‘nothing currently to support’ Trump’s claims. But these judgments, made by five fact-checking organizations that are part of Facebook’s independent network for policing falsehoods on the platform, were not shared with Facebook’s users. That is because the company specifically exempts politicians from its rules against deception. Ads containing the falsehoods continue to run freely on the platform, without any kind of warning or label. Enabled by Facebook’s rules, Trump’s reelection campaign has shown versions of the false claim on Facebook at least 22.5 million times, in more than 1,400 ads costing between $350,000 and $553,000, a Washington Post analysis found based on data from Facebook’s Ad Library. The ads, bought by the campaign directly or in a partnership with the Republican National Committee, were targeted at Facebook users mainly in swing states such as Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania. Those were not the only times Trump’s campaign has taken advantage of Facebook’s policy allowing politicians to lie with impunity, something the company does not tolerate from nonpolitical advertisers. Fact-checking organizations that partner with Facebook also have ruled that Trump ads have made untrue claims about Biden’s positions on school choice and health care for immigrants, as well as on the effectiveness of Trump’s response to the coronavirus, yet ads including these claims have been allowed to stay on the platform and carry no warning label, The Post’s review found.”

Facebook Removes Trump Campaign’s Misleading Coronavirus Video. It was the first time Facebook took down a post by Mr. Trump’s campaign for spreading virus misinformation, but it did not signal a change to the company’s defense of free expression. The New York Times, Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Facebook took down a video posted by the campaign of President Trump on Wednesday in which he claimed children were immune to the coronavirus, a violation of the social network’s rules against misinformation around the virus. It was the first time Facebook has removed a post by Mr. Trump’s campaign for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus, though the social network has previously taken down other ads and posts by the campaign for violating other policies. In June, for example, Facebook took down campaign ads that used a Nazi-related symbol, which broke the company’s rules against organized hate. The action on Wednesday did not signal a change to Facebook’s fierce defense of free expression. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has said the social network is not an arbiter of truth and that it is in the public’s interest to see what political leaders post — even if they include falsehoods by politicians like Mr. Trump. Mr. Zuckerberg has stood by the position, even as other social media companies like Twitter have ramped up their rule enforcement with regard to the president’s speech. The stance has put Facebook under tremendous pressure from employees, advertisers and civil-rights leaders, who have opposed permitting Mr. Trump to spread falsehoods around mail-in voting on the site and to allow comments and threatening language around the Black Lives Matter protests to remain up.” See also, Facebook and Twitter penalize Trump for posts containing coronavirus misinformation, The Washington Post, Heather Kelly, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday took extraordinary action against President Trump for spreading coronavirus misinformation after his official and campaign accounts broke their rules, respectively. Facebook removed from Trump’s official account the post of a video clip from a Fox News interview in which he said children are ‘almost immune’ from covid-19. Twitter required his Team Trump campaign account to delete a tweet with the same video, blocking it from tweeting in the interim.”

Rashida Tlaib Cruises to Victory in a Primary Rematch, The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, beat back a primary challenge Tuesday from a repeat rival, significantly widening her 2018 margin of victory and helping to cement the staying power of the progressive women of color who have shaped the party’s House majority. Ms. Tlaib, 44, defeated Brenda Jones, 60, the president of the Detroit City Council, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday morning. With 90 percent of votes counted, Ms. Tlaib had 66 percent of the vote to Ms. Jones’s 34 percent.”

Cori Bush Defeats William Lacy Clay in a Show of Progressive Might, The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Cori Bush, a progressive activist and a leader of the swelling protest movement for racial justice, toppled Representative William Lacy Clay Jr. of Missouri in a Democratic primary on Tuesday, notching the latest in a stunning string of upsets against the party establishment. Ms. Bush, 44, had captured nearly 49 percent of the vote by late Tuesday evening compared with 45.5 percent for Mr. Clay, according to The Associated Press. She had tried and failed to unseat Mr. Clay in 2018, but this year rode a surge in support for more liberal, confrontational politics within the Democratic Party amid the coronavirus pandemic and the national outcry over festering racial inequities. Ms. Bush’s victory, which came on the same night that Missouri voters decided to expand Medicaid eligibility, was a significant milestone for insurgent progressive candidates and the groups, like Justice Democrats, that have backed them across the country. It showed that the same brand of politics that has helped young, liberal candidates of color unseat veteran party stalwarts in places like Massachusetts and New York could also resonate deep in the heartland against a Black incumbent whose family has been synonymous with his district for decades.” See also, Lacy Clay defeated by progressive primary challenger Cori Bush, CNN Politics, Gregory Krieg, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Cori Bush, a progressive activist and veteran of the racial justice protest movement, defeated 20-year incumbent Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay in a Democratic primary on Tuesday, a stunning victory for the party’s insurgent left. The US House seat, based in St. Louis, has been held by Clay and his father, former Rep. William Clay Sr., one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus, since 1969. Bush, who challenged Clay in 2018 and lost, was the first candidate launched by Justice Democrats, the progressive group dedicated to toppling moderate Democratic congressional incumbents. Bush’s victory will send another round of shockwaves through the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill, where leadership has fought to stave off a new generation of combative progressives, who support ‘Medicare for All,’ the Green New Deal and other economic and racial justice policies dismissed for decades by the party establishment.”

Biden won’t travel to Milwaukee to accept Democratic nomination amid coronavirus concerns, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Matt Viser, and Michael Scherer, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Former vice president Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept the Democratic presidential nomination because of coronavirus concerns, convention organizers confirmed Wednesday. Biden will deliver his speech accepting the nomination later in August in his home state of Delaware, organizers said, adding that all other speakers who had been planning to travel to Milwaukee will no longer do so. The move marks the latest disruption in plans for what is typically a political festival but is now being conducted almost entirely virtually. It comes after President Trump, who had attempted to hold the Republican National Convention in Charlotte and then Jacksonville, Fla., began exploring the option of delivering his speech from the South Lawn at the White House.” See also, Biden’s Milwaukee Trip Is Canceled, and So Is a Normal Presidential Campaign, The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein and Katie Glueck, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Joseph R. Biden Jr. acknowledged on Wednesday that he would not appear in Milwaukee to accept the presidential nomination he has sought on and off since the 1980s, bowing to the realities of a pandemic that has altered every aspect of life in 2020, including the November contest. The decision to cancel major in-person appearances at the Democratic National Convention 90 days before the election, at the recommendation of health officials, was the final blow to the prospect that the fall campaign would resemble anything remotely like a traditional presidential contest, as the country confronts more than 150,000 deaths from the virus and cases continue to rise in parts of the country.”

State Department Traces Russian Disinformation Links, The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes, Wednesday, 5 August 2020: “Russia continues to use a network of proxy websites to spread pro-Kremlin disinformation and propaganda in the United States and other parts of the West, according to a State Department report released on Wednesday. The report is one of the most detailed explanations yet from the Trump administration on how Russia disseminates disinformation, but it largely avoids discussing how Moscow is trying to influence the current campaign. Even as Democrats on Capitol Hill have urged the American government to declassify more information on Russia’s efforts to interfere with the election, President Trump has repeatedly told officials such disclosures are unwelcome.”


Thursday, 6 August 2020, Day 1,294:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 6 August 2020: Hours of Talks on U.S. Coronavirus Relief End With No Deal, The New York Times, Thursday, 6 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 6 August 2020: State Department lifts blanket international travel advisory, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Kim Bellware, Derek Hawkins, Brittany Shammas, Siobhán O’Grady, and Hamza Shaban, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “The State Department lifted its blanket international travel advisory, almost five months after first urging Americans against traveling around the world amid the pandemic. The United States will revert to issuing recommendations on a country-specific basis.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Even Asymptomatic People Carry the Coronavirus in High Amounts. Researchers in South Korea found that roughly 30 percent of those infected never develop symptoms yet probably spread the virus. The New York Times, Apoorva Mandavilli, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “Of all the coronavirus’s qualities, perhaps the most surprising has been that seemingly healthy people can spread it to others. This trait has made the virus difficult to contain, and continues to challenge efforts to identify and isolate infected people. Most of the evidence for asymptomatic spread has been based on observation (a person without symptoms nevertheless sickened others) or elimination (people became ill but could not be connected to anyone with symptoms). A new study in South Korea, published Thursday in JAMA Internal Medicine, offers more definitive proof that people without symptoms carry just as much virus in their nose, throat and lungs as those with symptoms, and for almost as long.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James Sues the N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) and Seeks Its Closure, The New York Times, Danny Hakim, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “New York’s attorney general issued an existential challenge to the National Rifle Association on Thursday, arguing in a lawsuit that years of runaway corruption and misspending demanded the dissolution of the nation’s most powerful gun rights lobby. While the legal confrontation could take years to play out, it constitutes yet another deep blow to an organization whose legendary political clout has been diminished by infighting and financial distress. The suit was swiftly followed by two others: The N.R.A. struck back with a federal lawsuit against the office of the attorney general, Letitia James, claiming her action was politically motivated and violated the organization’s First Amendment rights. And the attorney general of Washington, D.C., filed suit against the N.R.A. and its charitable foundation, alleging that the N.R.A. misused millions of dollars of the foundation’s funds.” See also, New York Attorney General Letitia James Moves to Dissolve the National Rifle Association After Fraud Investigation, NPR, Tim Mak, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “The attorney general of New York took action Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is ‘fraught with fraud and abuse.’ Attorney General Letitia James claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that she found financial misconduct in the millions of dollars and that it contributed to a loss of more than $64 million over a three-year period. The suit alleges that top NRA executives misused charitable funds for personal gain, awarded contracts to friends and family members, and provided contracts to former employees to ensure loyalty. Seeking to dissolve the NRA is the most aggressive sanction James could have sought against the not-for-profit organization, which James has jurisdiction over because it is registered in New York. James has a wide range of authorities relating to nonprofits in the state, including the authority to force organizations to cease operations or dissolve. The NRA is all but certain to contest it.” See also, New York attorney general Letitia James seeks to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA) in suit accusing the gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “The chief executive of the National Rifle Association and several top lieutenants engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud to raid the coffers of the powerful gun rights group for personal gain, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the New York attorney general, draining $64 million from the nonprofit in just three years. In her lawsuit, Attorney General Letitia James called for the dissolution of the NRA and the removal of CEO Wayne LaPierre from the leadership post he has held for the past 39 years, saying he and others used the group’s funds to finance a luxury lifestyle.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer say postmaster general acknowledged new policies that workers say are delaying mail, The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “The head of the U.S. Postal Service acknowledged in a meeting with top Democrats that he instituted new policies restricting overtime and extra mail processing trips, moves that the agency previously downplayed and that postal workers say have caused mail backlogs, according to a letter released Thursday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.). Pelosi and Schumer met with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday to discuss reports of those delays, which have reverberated through this year’s primaries by slowing the delivery of absentee ballots. Internal Postal Service documents obtained by The Washington Post show that postal employees have been barred from working overtime hours and instructed to leave mail behind if it is processed late. The Postal Service had previously played down the changes both to lawmakers and the press. In a July 22 letter to Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate committee responsible for postal oversight, Postal Service general counsel and executive vice president Thomas J. Marshall wrote, ‘Neither document . . . should be characterized as being official Postal Service memoranda,’ and that ‘neither document originated from Postal Service Headquarters.’ But Pelosi and Schumer wrote Friday that the postmaster general, a former logistics executive and major Republican donor, acknowledged that the Postal Service had implemented the procedures. They called on him to immediately rescind the directives.

‘At this meeting, you confirmed that, contrary to certain prior denials and statements minimizing these changes, the Postal Service recently instituted operational changes shortly after you assumed the position of Postmaster General,’ the letter states. ‘These changes include reductions of overtime availability, restrictions on extra mail transportation trips, testing of new mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of Post Offices, and the reduction of the number and use of processing equipment at mail processing plants.’ It continues: ‘We believe these changes, made during the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, now threaten the timely delivery of mail — including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters — that is essential to millions of Americans.'”

This Is Inequity at the Boiling Point, The New York Times, Somini Sengupta, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “For 150 years of industrialization, the combustion of coal, oil and gas has steadily released heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, driving up average global temperatures and setting heat records. Nearly everywhere around the world, heat waves are more frequent and longer lasting than they were 70 years ago. But a hotter planet does not hurt equally. If you’re poor and marginalized, you’re likely to be much more vulnerable to extreme heat. You might be unable to afford an air-conditioner, and you might not even have electricity when you need it. You may have no choice but to work outdoors under a sun so blistering that first your knees feel weak and then delirium sets in. Or the heat might bring a drought so punishing that, no matter how hard you work under the sun, your corn withers and your children turn to you in hunger…. Extreme heat is not a future risk. It’s now. It endangers human health, food production and the fate of entire economies. And it’s worst for those at the bottom of the economic ladder in their societies.”

Facebook Fired an Employee Who Collected Evidence of Right-Wing Pages Getting Preferential Treatment, BuzzFeed News, Craig Silverman and Ryan Mac, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “Facebook employees collected evidence showing the company is giving right-wing pages preferential treatment when it comes to misinformation. And they’re worried about how the company will handle the president’s falsehoods in an election year.”

Suspension Lifted of Georgia Student Who Posted Photos of Crowded Hall, The New York Times, Giulia McDonnell and Nieto del Rio, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “The widely circulated photo from North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., showed students crowded into a packed hallway on their first day back to classes since the coronavirus outbreak shuttered schools in the spring. Few were wearing masks, and there was little sign of social distancing. Then on Day 2, there was another. The photos, which were shared on social media and cited in news reports, have quickly come to symbolize a chaotic first week back in U.S. classrooms. Schools in states where students have returned, including Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Indiana, have had to initiate quarantines and in some cases shut down classrooms and entire schools temporarily after positive cases emerged. A 15-year-old student at North Paulding, Hannah Watters, was initially suspended for five days for posting images of the crowded hallways on Twitter, according to her mother, Lynne Watters, who said she filed a grievance with the school on Thursday. By Friday, Hannah said, her suspension had been lifted and wiped from her record, with the school’s principal calling her mother to tell her that she could return to class on Monday.” See also, Georgia student who posted photo of a crowded school hallway and called it ‘good and necessary trouble’ is no longer suspended, her mom says, CNN, Madeline Holcombe, updated on Friday, 7 August 2020: “The mother of a student who was suspended after posting a photo on Twitter that showed her high school’s crowded hallways this week tells CNN that her daughter’s suspension has been reversed. The viral photo showed students at North Paulding High School, outside Atlanta, crowded in hallways and with few visible masks. Hannah Watters, the sophomore who posted it, said she was initially suspended over the act.”

March for Our Lives marches toward November with New campaign ad. The youth group is less focused on Trump than it is on changing policies on the state and local level. The Washington Post, Jacqueline Alemany, Thursday, 6 August 2020: “March for Our Lives, a youth movement launched by students activists after a 2018 school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla., is dropping a powerful new ad on Thursday targeting Generation Z voters across nine states. The six-figure digital and television ad buy will air in key electoral battlegrounds: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas and Colorado. On Thursday, it will run on MSNBC during morning programming, along with Fox News, the president’s preferred cable network. Narrated by Emma González, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and co-founder of March for Our Lives, the pandemic-era ad urges young activists and protesters to continue to embrace their ‘power’ in the fight against gun violence and systemic racism. González specifically calls out demands for ‘weapons of war to be banned for good,’ for lawmakers to listen to young people, and to end the killing of Black people at the hands of police officers. ‘When we were stuck inside we wondered, will we face the plague of gun violence again?’ González says in the ad. ‘Will we fear gathering in our schools and our churches again? Will we be shot for the color of our skin again? The fight for justice forced us out to fill the empty streets. It’s clear the fight for racial justice is still on and we won’t live without it,’ she adds.”