Trump Administration, Week 188: Friday, 21 August – Thursday, 27 August 2020 (Days 1,309-1,315)

March for Police Accountability, Williamstown, MA, Friday, 21 August 2020


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


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Friday, 21 August 2020, Day 1,309:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 21 August 2020: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) Suggests Some Child-Care Centers Can Reopen Safely, The New York Times, Friday, 21 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 21 August 2020: With Lobster Deal, U.S. and E.U. Trade Talks Advance, The New York Times, Friday, 21 August 2020:

  • Theater chains announce moviegoing standards for the pandemic.

  • Facebook’s chief marketing officer plans to depart.

  • Amazon’s consumer boss Jeff Wilke will step down in 2021.

  • Turkey’s gas field discovery is good news for its economy — if it can produce.

  • U.S. stocks end record-breaking week with another small gain.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Friday, 21 August 2020: More than 171,000 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, Derek Hawkins, Kim Bellware, Siobhán O’Grady, Hamza Shaban, Meryl Kornfield, and Paulina Firozi, Friday, 21 August 2020: “As Europe experiences a resurgence of coronavirus cases that appears to be driven primarily by young people, health authorities worry that crowded house parties could become super-spreader events for thousands of returning college students. On Thursday, Purdue University suspended 36 people who attended an off-campus party, officials at Syracuse University warned that a massive gathering ‘may have done damage enough to shut down campus,’ and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill switched to online learning amid an eruption of infections.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Vice President Pence said he ‘couldn’t be more proud’ of President Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, and said during a ‘Good Morning America’ appearance that if Democratic nominee Joe Biden had been in charge, the losses — 171,000 dead and counting under the current administration — would have been worse.
  • Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers Friday that ensuring the safe and timely delivery of election mail was his ‘sacred duty,’ disputing accusations his controversial cost-cutting agenda was politically motivated even as he reiterated his intention to execute it after the November election.
  • Californians are facing duel crises now, as wildfires, still raging largely out of control across a large swath of the state, force tens of thousands of people from their homes during a similarly uncontrolled pandemic.
  • The holiday shopping season is poised to begin earlier than ever — as soon as October — as retailers look to offset the disruptions the coronavirus pandemic has wrought on delivery times, in-person shopping and consumer spending power.
  • The Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished a trailblazing week by setting another record high, placing an exclamation point on a stunning turnaround in the face of an ongoing public health crisis.
  • At least 41 schools in Berlin have reported coronavirus cases among students or staff, less than two weeks after classes there fully resumed Aug. 10, officials confirmed to the Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Thursday.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 188, Friday, 21 August – Thursday, 27 August 2020 (Days 1,309-1,315)

Trump Administration Says Some Coronavirus Tests Can Bypass the Scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), The New York Times, Sheila Kaplan, Friday, 21 August 2020: “The Trump administration this week ordered the Food and Drug Administration to allow the use of a certain class of laboratory tests, including some for the coronavirus, without first confirming that they work. For months some F.D.A. officials have worried that the pandemic would provide an opening for clinics, academic institutions and commercial labs to get what they had long been lobbying for: the leeway to develop their own laboratory tests for various diseases without F.D.A. oversight. On Wednesday that became a reality. Some lawmakers are also troubled by the change, particularly during a public health emergency when the need for accurate coronavirus tests is high. The F.D.A. has required that it provide emergency authorizations for lab-developed tests during other outbreaks. The announcement ‘is deeply concerning and suggests that the Trump Administration is once again interfering with F.D.A.’s regulation of medical products,’ Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., of New Jersey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren calls for Postal Service board members to fire Postmaster General Louis DeJoy or resign, The Hill, Tal Axelrod, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said board members for the U.S. Postal Service should fire Postmaster General Louis DeJoy or resign themselves amid controversy over planned changes he’s announced. ‘The @USPS Board of Governors has a responsibility to serve the public interest. That means delivering the mail on time – not acting as accomplices for the Postmaster General’s partisan sabotage. If the Board won’t fire Louis DeJoy and reverse the damage, they should resign too,’ Warren tweeted Friday. The tweet came after a contentious hearing held by the GOP-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in which DeJoy, a major GOP donor and ally of President Trump, defended his proposed operational changes to the Postal Service amid claims from Democrats that they would impact the November election and prescription deliveries among other things.” See also, Postmaster Louis DeJoy Says US Postal Service Won’t Reinstall More Than 600 Removed Mail Sorting Machines, Mother Jones, Ari Berman, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the US Senate on Friday that he will not reinstall more than 600 mail sorting machines that have been removed under his leadership. Postal workers say the removal of these machines has contributed to major mail delays that could affect whether mail ballots are counted in the 2020 election. Earlier this week, DeJoy announced that he was halting some planned changes to the USPS until after the election, following public outcry. But he will not reverse steps that he has already taken.” See also, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defends proposed changes amid Postal Service furor. DeJoy testified for the first time since sparking outrage among Democrats, who fear he’s undermining the 2020 election. Politico, Andrew Desiderio, Marianne Levine, and Daniel Lippman, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Friday defended his proposed changes to the Postal Service amid an onslaught of scrutiny from congressional Democrats, warning that the U.S. Postal Service faces a dire financial situation and is an operational mess. In lengthy prepared remarks before the GOP-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, DeJoy acknowledged several concerns lawmakers have raised in recent weeks, including the significant delivery delays because of the Covid-19 pandemic. DeJoy, who attributed those delays in part to his reforms, asked Congress for financial relief and called on lawmakers to urgently address the Postal Service’s fiscal challenges, including its pension system…. USPS plants were ordered to remove 671 mail sorting machines that can efficiently process thousands of pieces of mail by the end of September. More than 90 percent of the machines have already been removed—and won’t be replaced. Many of the machines have been removed in critical swing states: 59 in Florida, 58 in Texas, 34 in Ohio, 30 in Pennsylvania, 26 in Michigan, 15 in North Carolina, 12 in Virginia, 12 in Wisconsin, and 11 in Georgia. (This data was provided to Mother Jones by Jacob Bogage and Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post, who have detailed removal of the machines.)” See also, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Tells Senators Election Mail Will Be Delivered ‘Fully and On Time,’ The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos and Emily Cochrane, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Louis DeJoy, the embattled postmaster general whose cost-cutting and operational changes have prompted widespread concern about mail-in voting, said on Friday he was ‘extremely, highly confident’ the Postal Service could handle the largest vote-by-mail program in American history. He said it was ‘outrageous’ for Democrats to suggest that he might intentionally slow ballot delivery to help President Trump. Testifying before Congress for the first time amid a sharp backlash, Mr. DeJoy, a major donor to Mr. Trump, defended many of the changes as necessary to help the Postal Service get its financial house in order. He acknowledged that the moves have slowed some mail delivery and reiterated that he would suspend his cost-cutting measures until after the election. ‘There has been no changes to any policies with regard to election mail,’ Mr. DeJoy told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, adding, ‘The Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time.’ Under intense pressure from Democrats, however, he refused to reverse other steps, like removing hundreds of blue mailboxes and mail-sorting machines, that he said his predecessors had initiated in response to a steady decline in mail volume. He told senators that he did not know about the machine removal when it began, saying it was ‘not a critical issue within the Postal Service.’ And he was unable to offer many specifics about how the Postal Service would ensure on-time delivery of ballots this fall, telling Senator Maggie Hassan, Democrat of New Hampshire, that he would be unable to provide a detailed plan by Sunday because it was still being drafted.” See also, Postal Service will prioritize ballots over other mail, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies, The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage, Elise Viebeck, Michael Brice-Saddler, and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers Friday that ensuring the safe and timely delivery of election mail was his ‘sacred duty,’ disputing accusations his controversial cost-cutting agenda was politically motivated even as he reiterated his intention to execute it after the November election…. Despite his assurances, Democrats were skeptical. DeJoy has ‘wreaked havoc on veterans, seniors, rural communities and people across our country,’ said Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), the panel’s ranking Democrat, and owed the public an apology. Sen. Thomas R. Carper (Del.), the dean of postal policy among Senate Democrats, criticized the agency’s lack of transparency. ‘With all due respect to our postmaster,’ he said, ‘I reached out to you when you were initially selected. … I tried to reach you again and again for weeks.’ They spoke for the first time on Wednesday, Carper said.” See also, 5 takeaways from the Postal Service hearing in the Senate, The Washington Post, Amber Phillips, Friday, 21 August 2020. See also, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Defends Changes Before Senate Committee, The Wall Street Journal, Alexa Corse and Jennifer Smith, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his efforts to make the Postal Service run more efficiently and said the mail agency could handle an expected surge in mailed ballots this fall amid concerns, particularly from Democrats, that his actions would interfere with the presidential election. Mr. DeJoy, who has been at the center of controversy over efforts to curtail costs at the Postal Service, appeared Friday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, controlled by Republicans.” See also, What Was Missing From Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Senate Testimony, The New Yorker, Steve Coll, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “Friday morning’s appearance by the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had the feel of a Zoom office meeting in which every participant feels the need to speak but no one has time to listen. Senators appeared onscreen from scattered offices that were apparently unenhanced by Room Rater shaming, while DeJoy stood before flags and a Postal Service logo, speaking in business jargon that reflected his long career as a logistics-company executive. The Kefauver or Watergate hearings this was not, and yet, in between political speeches by the senators and vague talking points from DeJoy, the hearing provided startling insights into why the U.S. Postal Service may fail American democracy at this hour of crisis, and what must be addressed if people planning to vote by mail in November are to have high confidence that their ballots will be counted. DeJoy is a longtime Republican and a Trump donor who took office in June, quickly reorganizing the Postal Service’s leadership and implementing new work rules that soon caused a slowdown in performance—a slowdown that has persisted until now, he admitted in his testimony on Friday. The hearing’s ostensible purpose was to investigate why this happened, how it will be fixed, and, above all, how the public can be assured that the Post Office will facilitate timely, reliable voting by mail this fall, when, owing to the pandemic, many more Americans are expected to cast ballots through the mail than ever before. Yet the hearing was often as notable for the questions that weren’t asked as for the ones that were.” See also, How Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy edged the Postal Service into a crisis, The Washington Post, Lisa Rein, Michael Scherer, Jacob Bogage, and Josh Dawsey, published on Saturday, 22 August 2020.

David Williams, former Vice Chairman of the Postal Board of Governors, testifies Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Trump White House were involved in slowing the mail, CBS News, Kathryn Watson, Friday, 21 August 2020: “The former Vice Chairman of the Postal Board of Governors testified Thursday that the Trump administration has been ‘politicizing’ the Postal Service and using Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to inappropriately influence the organization for political ends that will eventually harm the customers and businesses the Postal Service is supposed to serve. David Williams, former USPS Inspector General and former Vice Chair of the USPS Board of Governors, testified before the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Thursday that he resigned ‘when it became clear to me that the administration was politicizing the Postal Service with the treasury secretary as the lead figure for the White House in that effort.'” See also, Former Postal Governor David Williams Tells Congress That Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Politicized the Postal Service. David C. Williams also said he raised concerns about Louis DeJoy, the embattled postmaster general, before he was hired. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Alan Rappeport, Kenneth P. Vogel, and Catie Edmondson, Friday, 21 August 2020: “The former vice chairman of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors accused Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday of trying to engineer a hostile takeover of the service, telling lawmakers that Mr. Mnuchin required members of the independent board to ‘kiss the ring’ before they were confirmed and issued demands that agency officials believed were ‘illegal.’ In scathing testimony delivered before lawmakers in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, David C. Williams, a former Postal Service inspector general who resigned as vice chairman in protest in April, said the Trump administration appeared to want to turn the agency into a ‘political tool.’ The Treasury Department, he said, was maneuvering to use its lending authority to strong-arm the agency to adopt policies that would be ‘ruinous,’ like raising prices and cutting back crucial services. ‘If this is the beginning of what the president promised, it’s the end of the Postal Service,’ Mr. Williams said in his first public comments since his resignation.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s role in postmaster’s appointment becomes target, NBC News, Heidi Przybyla, Friday, 21 August 2020: “In the weeks before Republican donor Louis DeJoy was installed as postmaster general, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a series of one-on-one meetings with members of the Postal Service Board of Governors, multiple people familiar with the encounters told NBC News. Those people said Mnuchin met with Republican board members, as well as with Robert Duncan, the board’s chairman, who once chaired the Republican National Committee…. Any White House or Treasury involvement with the Postal Service would be a breach of its charter as an independent, nonpolitical public entity, said Tim Stretton, a policy analyst for the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight. The Postal Service operates on its own revenues separate from any federal appropriations process. Trump has railed against the Postal Service while openly nursing grievances against Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose giant online retail operation relies on the Postal Service for many of its deliveries. Mnuchin’s undisclosed meetings with Postal Service board members add to a broader narrative about financial and political conflicts of interest by DeJoy and some newly appointed board members, as well as White House influence over the Postal Service.”

Trump pans Biden’s acceptance speech and the Democratic convention. Trump said Joe Biden ‘grimly declared a season of American darkness’ even though Biden said the U.S. will overcome it. NBC News, Friday, 21 August 2020: “President Donald Trump on Friday slammed his 2020 rival Joe Biden and the Democratic National Convention, which concluded with Biden’s presidential nomination acceptance speech Thursday night. ‘Over the last week, the Democrats held the darkest and angriest and gloomiest convention in American history,’ Trump said at a gathering of the conservative Council for National Policy in Arlington, Virginia. ‘They spent four straight days attacking America as racist and a horrible country that must be redeemed. Joe Biden grimly declared a season of American darkness.’ In his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, Biden talked about how Americans ‘can and will overcome this season of darkness’ from the Trump presidency.”

Trump pledges to send ‘sheriffs’ and ‘law enforcement’ to polling places on Election Day, but it’s not clear he can, CNN Politics, Fredreka Schouten, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Donald Trump on Thursday said he would send law enforcement officials to polling locations to guard against voter fraud in November’s election, although it’s not clear he has the authority to do so. ‘We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement, and we’re going to have, hopefully, US attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody and attorney generals (sic),’ Trump said during an interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity. Trump’s comments come as his campaign works to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers for what Republican officials have said could be their largest poll-watching operation. Even before Trump’s comments, his party’s plans to monitor the polls have sparked charges from Democrats and voting-rights groups that Republicans are gearing up to suppress voting in key states.” See also, Trump’s suggestion of deploying law enforcement officials to monitor polls raises specter of voter intimidation, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman, Josh Dawsey, and Matt Zapotosky, Friday, 21 August 2020: “More than 30 years ago, a Republican Party program that dispatched off-duty police officers to patrol polling places in heavily Black and Latino neighborhoods in New Jersey triggered accusations of voter intimidation, resulting in a federal agreement that restricted for decades how the national GOP could observe voting. Now, two years after those limits were lifted, President Trump has revived the idea of using law enforcement officers to patrol polling places, invoking tactics historically used to scare voters of color. In an interview Thursday with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump described law enforcement officers as part of a phalanx of authorities he hopes will monitor voting in November.”

Senators Lead an Increasingly Diverse Nation. Their Top Aides Are Mostly White. A new study shows that 11 percent of top aides shaping policy and public messaging in senators’ Washington offices are people of color, compared with almost 40 percent of the American populace. New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 21 August 2020: “As senators chart a response to a deadly pandemic and an economic crisis that have disproportionately hurt Black Americans and other people of color, the top aides leading their offices are overwhelmingly white — far more so than the country as a whole. Just 11 percent of top staff members in senators’ Washington offices — the key aides who draft legislation, coordinate public communications and vet nominees for executive branch posts and lifetime judgeships — are people of color, according to a new study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a nonpartisan think tank that pushes for greater racial diversity in government. By comparison, close to 40 percent of Americans are people of color, and 9 percent of senators. Of the 100 members of the Senate, 72 — including Republicans and Democrats representing states with large minority populations, like Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Florida and Arizona — did not employ a single person of color as one of their top personal aides when researchers made their initial tallies in January 2020. Only four, all Democrats, employed more than one such top aide, defined by the study as chiefs of staff, legislative directors and communications directors in senators’ personal offices in Washington.”

Facebook Braces Itself for Trump to Cast Doubt on Election Results, The New York Times, Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel, Friday, 21 August 2020: “Facebook spent years preparing to ward off any tampering on its site ahead of November’s presidential election. Now the social network is getting ready in case President Trump interferes once the vote is over. Employees at the Silicon Valley company are laying out contingency plans and walking through postelection scenarios that include attempts by Mr. Trump or his campaign to use the platform to delegitimize the results, people with knowledge of Facebook’s plans said.”


Saturday, 22 August 2020, Day 1,310:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 22 August 2020: Global Death Toll From Virus Surpasses 800,000, The New York Times, Saturday, 22 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, 22 August 2020: Infections are trending upward in the Midwest, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins and Marisa Iati, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “Novel coronavirus infections are trending upward across the Midwest, raising concerns that those states are struggling to contain their outbreaks even as the nation’s total daily caseload continues to decline. Seven-day averages for new cases rose over the past week in the Dakotas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Wyoming, according to tracking by The Washington Post. South Dakota and Wyoming experienced the biggest jumps, with average daily caseloads up 58 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Other states reported progress against the virus, though it appeared to be marginal in some places. Daily case averages declined by about 3 percent over the previous week in Wisconsin and by 10 to 20 percent in several other Midwestern states, according to The Post’s tracking.

Here are some other significant developments:
  • Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) announced that he tested positive for the virus and would miss Saturday’s House vote on $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service. The proposed legislation comes in response to fears that the Trump administration is trying to prevent Americans from voting by mail in November.
  • New Jersey and New York, early hot spots in the pandemic, both reported that fewer people there are hospitalized with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, than have been hospitalized since March. Officials tallied 376 hospitalizations in New Jersey, the lowest since March 24, and 483 hospitalizations in New York, a new low since March 16.
  • In a letter to students, Northeastern University administrators said several students had expressed on social media that they would attend parties on campus, in defiance of government and university rules. Those students’ offers of admission will be rescinded if they do not agree to respect the restrictions, the letter says.
  • Californians are facing dual crises now, as wildfires, still raging largely out of control across a large swath of the state, force tens of thousands of people from their homes during the pandemic. Poor air quality caused by the fires forced outdoor testing sites in Alameda and San Joaquin counties to close, officials told The Post.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

House Votes to Block Postal Changes and to Allocate Funds for Mail. The Democratic bill would send $25 billion to the Postal Service and reverse changes that have slowed service until after November’s election. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos and Emily Cochrane, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “The House interrupted its summer recess on Saturday for a rare weekend session to approve legislation blocking cost-cutting and operational changes at the Postal Service that Democrats, civil rights advocates and some Republicans fear could jeopardize mail-in ballots this fall. The measure, put forward by Democratic leaders, would also require the Postal Service to prioritize the delivery of all election-related mail and grant the beleaguered agency a rare $25 billion infusion to cover revenue lost because of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure it has the resources to address what is expected to be the largest vote-by-mail operation in the nation’s history. Democrats were joined by 26 Republicans in voting yes, passing the legislation 257 to 150, with more than 20 Republicans not voting. But the bill, as written, appeared unlikely to move through the Republican-controlled Senate. President Trump opposed the measure in last-minute tweets, calling it a ‘money wasting HOAX’ by Democrats.”

Tennessee adopts new law that could strip some protesters of voting rights, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz and Amy Gardner, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “Tennessee protesters could now lose their right to vote under a new law Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed with little fanfare Thursday. Protesters who camp out on state property, such as the activists who have demonstrated for months outside the state Capitol against racial injustice, could now face felony charges punishable by up to six years in prison. Convicted felons are automatically stripped of their voting rights in Tennessee. The new law, which went into effect immediately, outraged civil rights groups, who say the move is Tennessee’s latest attempt to repress voting ahead of the November elections. ‘The racial motivation underlying the law is undeniable,’ said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. ‘It’s a clear backlash response to the Black Lives Matter movement and to people who are decisively protesting racial injustice and police violence.'”

New book by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter says Attorney General William Barr told Rupert Murdoch to ‘muzzle’ Fox News Trump critic Judge Andrew Napolitano, The Guardian, Martin Pengelly, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “The attorney general, William Barr, told Rupert Murdoch to ‘muzzle’ Andrew Napolitano, a prominent Fox News personality who became a critic of Donald Trump, according to a new book about the rightwing TV network. Barr’s meeting with Murdoch, at the media mogul’s New York home in October 2019, was widely reported at the time, with speculation surrounding its subject. According to Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, subjects covered included media consolidation and criminal justice reform. ‘But it was also about Judge Andrew Napolitano.’ Stelter’s in-depth look at Fox News, its fortunes under Trump and its links to his White House will be published on Tuesday. The Guardian obtained a copy.”

In secretly recorded audio, Trump’s sister Maryanne says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him,’ The Washington Post, Michael Kranish, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “Maryanne Trump Barry was serving as a federal judge when she heard her brother, President Trump, suggest on Fox News, ‘maybe I’ll have to put her at the border’ amid a wave of refugees entering the United States. At the time, children were being separated from their parents and put in cramped quarters while court hearings dragged on. ‘All he wants to do is appeal to his base,’ Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. ‘He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.’ Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. ‘His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,’ she said. ‘I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.'” See also, Trump’s Sister Maryanne Trump Barry Describes Trump as a Liar With ‘No Principles’ in Recordings,The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Saturday, 22 August 2020: “Maryanne Trump Barry, President Trump’s older sister and a former federal judge, described him as a liar who has ‘no principles’ in a series of audio recordings made by her niece, Mary L. Trump, in 2018 and 2019. The recordings were provided to The Washington Post, which published them online Saturday night. In the recording, Ms. Barry can be heard disparaging her brother’s performance as president.” See also, The 8 most sensational quotes from secret recordings of Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry, Politico, Jordan Muller, Saturday, 22 August 2020.


Sunday, 23 August 2020, Day 1,311:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 23 August 2020: U.S. Authorizes Plasma Treatment for Coronavirus, but the Big Prize for the White House Is a Vaccine. The fast-tracking could come before Phase 3 trials are complete, raising concerns. The New York Times, Sunday, 23 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Sunday, 23 August 2020: Extreme weather threatens coronavirus pandemic response in hard-hit states, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins and Marisa Iati, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “Two tropical storms are expected to strike the Gulf Coast in rapid succession this week, compounding public health concerns in states fighting to keep new coronavirus cases down after a surge of infections earlier in the summer. The most recent forecast by the National Hurricane Center showed the storms, Marco and Laura, headed for coastal Louisiana and eastern Texas and expected to make landfall on Monday and Wednesday, respectively. Louisiana could face an unprecedented one-two punch, with both storms potentially hitting the state as hurricanes in a three-day span.

Here are some significant developments:

  • As the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma, Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged caution. ‘A 100-year old treatment may work, a bit, for some patients,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘May or may not be safe. Science moves slowly — there is still so much we don’t know.’
  • Health officials in Maine have linked a wedding reception in Millinocket to 53 coronavirus cases and one death, highlighting yet another example of the health risks posed by large gatherings. Investigators from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention say people who did not attend the wedding have been infected after coming into contact with guests, as the Bangor Daily News reported.
  • Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said Sunday that the Republican Party plans to test all Republican National Convention attendees before their arrival in Charlotte. Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s deputy campaign manager on Sunday asserted that the former vice president has not contracted the novel coronavirus. But Kate Bedingfield also said that he has not taken a test.
  • The seven-day case average has risen by more than 25 percent in the past week in five states and territories, according to The Washington Post’s tracking: Guam, South Dakota, Maine, North Dakota and Wyoming. The average number of deaths has increased the most — more than 50 percent — in Kentucky, Arkansas, Virginia and Iowa.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

The Food and Drug Administration authorizes plasma treatment despite scientists’ objections. Until now, most Covid-19 patients who have received plasma have gotten it through an expanded-use program the FDA set up with the Mayo Clinic. Politico, Zachary Brennan and Sarah Owermohle, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for blood plasma as a coronavirus treatment, the agency and President Donald Trump announced Sunday — one day after Trump attacked the drug regulator for moving too slowly to back the treatment. The agency held off on the decision last week over concerns from government scientists that evidence for the treatment’s effectiveness is thin, prompting Trump to accuse the FDA of slow-walking the therapy to harm his reelection chances without offering any evidence to support his claim. It is not clear whether the FDA has received additional clinical trial data in the last week that would support the therapy’s use. Trump in a brief Sunday evening news conference appeared to oversell the FDA’s assessment, claiming the agency found plasma ‘safe and very effective.’ The agency itself said more rigorous study is needed to prove whether the treatment effective. Janet Woodcock, the head of FDA’s drug division who is now working on Operation Warp Speed, an interagency effort to accelerate coronavirus treatments and vaccines, on Friday told POLITICO that plasma has not been ‘proven as an effective treatment.'” See also, The Food and Drug Administration Allows Expanded Use of Plasma to Treat Coronavirus Patients. There are concerns among top government scientists about the data behind using plasma to treat coronavirus patients. The New York Times, Sharon La Franiere, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas, and Maggie Haberman, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday gave emergency approval for expanded use of antibody-rich blood plasma to help hospitalized coronavirus patients, allowing President Trump, who has been pressuring the agency to move faster to address the pandemic, to claim progress on the eve of the Republican convention. Mr. Trump cited the approval, which had been held up by concerns among top government scientists about the data behind it, as welcome news in fighting a disease that has led to 176,000 deaths in the United States and left the nation lagging far behind most others in the effectiveness of its response. At a news briefing, he described the treatment as ‘a powerful therapy’ made possible ‘by marshaling the full power of the federal government.’ The decision will broaden use of a treatment that has already been administered to more than 70,000 patients. But the F.D.A. cited benefits for only some patients. And, unlike a new drug, plasma cannot be manufactured in millions of doses; its availability is limited by blood donations. Mr. Trump urged everyone who has recovered from the virus to donate plasma, saying there is a nationwide campaign to collect it. Mr. Trump has portrayed his demands to cut red tape and speed approval of treatments and vaccines as a necessary response to a public health emergency. But Sunday’s announcement came a day after he repeated his unfounded claim that the F.D.A. was deliberately holding up decision-making until after the election, this time citing a ‘deep state.’ That accusation exacerbated concerns among some government scientists, outside experts and Democrats that the president’s political needs could undermine the integrity of the regulatory process, hurt public confidence in safety and introduce a different kind of public health risk.”

Billions in Hospital Virus Aid Rested on Compliance With Private Vendor. The Department of Health and Human Services told hospitals in April that reporting to the vendor, TeleTracking Technologies, was a ‘prerequisite to payment.’ The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “The Trump administration tied billions of dollars in badly needed coronavirus medical funding this spring to hospitals’ cooperation with a private vendor collecting data for a new Covid-19 database that bypassed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The highly unusual demand, aimed at hospitals in coronavirus hot spots using funds passed by Congress with no preconditions, alarmed some hospital administrators and even some federal health officials. The office of the health secretary, Alex M. Azar II, laid out the requirement in an April 21 email obtained by The New York Times that instructed hospitals to make a one-time report of their Covid-19 admissions and intensive care unit beds to TeleTracking Technologies, a company in Pittsburgh whose $10.2 million, five-month government contract has drawn scrutiny on Capitol Hill. ‘Please be aware that submitting this data will inform the decision-making on targeted Relief Fund payments and is a prerequisite to payment,’ the message read. The financial condition, which has not been previously reported, applied to money from a $100 billion ‘coronavirus provider relief fund’ established by Congress as part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, signed by President Trump on March 27. Two days later, the administration instructed hospitals to make daily reports to the C.D.C., only to change course.”

Trump, without evidence, accuses the Food and Drug Administration of delaying coronavirus vaccine trials and pressures agency chief, CNN Politics, Veronica Stracqualursi, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “Donald Trump on Saturday accused, without providing any evidence, the US Food and Drug Administration of deliberately delaying coronavirus vaccine trials, pressuring the man he had picked to head the agency. ‘The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,’ Trump tweeted, continuing to push his unfounded theory that there is a ‘deep state’ embedded within the government bureaucracy working against his reelection. He accused the agency of delaying a vaccine for the virus until after the fall election, tweeting, ‘Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!’ Trump ended his tweet by tagging the Twitter account of FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who he nominated last year to take up the role. Hahn assured Americans earlier this month that the agency ‘will not cut corners’ to approve a vaccine.”

More than 500,000 mail ballots were rejected in the primaries. That could make the difference in battleground states this fall. The Washington Post, Elise Viebeck, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “More than 534,000 mail ballots were rejected during primaries across 23 states this year — nearly a quarter in key battlegrounds for the fall — illustrating how missed delivery deadlines, inadvertent mistakes and uneven enforcement of the rules could disenfranchise voters and affect the outcome of the presidential election. The rates of rejection, which in some states exceeded those of other recent elections, could make a difference in the fall if the White House contest is decided by a close margin, as it was in 2016, when Donald Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by roughly 80,000 votes. This year, according to a tally by The Washington Post, election officials in those three states tossed out more than 60,480 ballots just during primaries, which saw significantly lower voter turnout than what is expected in the general election. The rejection figures include ballots that arrived too late to be counted or were invalidated for another reason, including voter error.”

Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, says the department does not have the authority to send agents to polling locations, CNN Politics, Devan Cole, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “The Department of Homeland Security’s acting secretary on Sunday cast doubt on the department’s authority to send its agents to polling locations after President Donald Trump said he would deploy law enforcement in November to protect against voter fraud. ‘We don’t have any authority to do that at the department,’ acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union.'”

Twitter Flags Trump Tweet for Dissuading Voting. The social media service hid the president’s post about ballot drop boxes, saying it violated Twitter’s election integrity rules. The New York Times, Kate Conger, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “Twitter hid one of President Trump’s tweets behind a notice warning users that the message violated company rules against dissuading people from voting. Mr. Trump posted the tweet, which said that ballot drop boxes were not being sanitized to prevent the coronavirus and could be used for fraud, about five hours before Twitter took action on Sunday. Twitter has begun enforcing its rules more strictly against Mr. Trump as the presidential election approaches. In May, Twitter added fact-check labels to two of Mr. Trump’s tweets that contained misinformation about mail-in voting. Twitter escalated its efforts on Sunday, hiding Mr. Trump’s message behind a warning that said it ‘violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity.’ Twitter also restricted other users from sharing, liking or replying to the tweet, a move intended to prevent the message from spreading.”

Kellyanne Conway to leave the White House at the end of the month, citing the need to focus on her family, The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Sunday, 23 August 2020: “Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump and one of his longest-serving aides, is leaving the White House at the end of the month. Conway, whose title is counselor to the president, was Trump’s third campaign manager in 2016 and the first woman to successfully manage a presidential bid to victory. She joined the White House at the start of Trump’s term and has been one of his most visible and vocal defenders. Conway informed Trump of her decision Sunday night in the Oval Office. Her husband, George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and outspoken critic of the president, is also stepping back from his role on the Lincoln Project, an outside group of Republicans devoted to defeating Trump in November. He will also take a hiatus from Twitter, the venue he has often used to attack the president. In a statement, Conway called her time in the Trump administration ‘heady’ and ‘humbling,’ and said she and George were making the decision based on what they think is best for their four children.”


Monday, 24 August 2020, Day 1,312:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 24 August 2020: Florida Judge Strikes Down Order Requiring Schools to Physically Reopen Amid Covid-19 Risks, The New York Times, Monday, 24 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 24 August 2020: Delta to Furlough 2,000 Pilots, Despite Buyouts, The New York Times, Monday, 24 August 2020:

  • Delta says it will need to furlough 2,000 pilots in October.

  • Stocks rose on hopes of medical progress against coronavirus.

  • Pausing lifelong dreams to pay the rent.

  • The latest: T.S.A. records a jump in travel, American will use a new virus-killing cleaner.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 24 August 2020: Scientists express doubts about coronavirus treatment touted as breakthrough by Trump, The Washington Post, Leteshia Beachum, Adam Taylor, Hannah Knowles, Brittany Shammas, Hannah Denham, Meryl Kornfield, and Reis Thebault, Monday, 24 August 2020: “The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to give emergency authorization for convalescent plasma as a treatment for novel coronavirus patients — touted as a historic breakthrough by President Trump on Sunday — is raising doubts among some experts who say certain claims of its effectiveness are dubious or wrong.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 173,000, with 5.7 million confirmed cases.
  • Zoom outages disrupted meetings and classes around the United States for about four hours Monday, highlighting Americans’ growing reliance on video software to keep things running during the public health crisis.
  • A new study claims that the case of a Hong Kong man is the ‘the world’s first documentation’ of re-infection and suggests that immunity could last only a few months.
  • Two tropical storms threaten to complicate the coronavirus response along the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, Northern California residents struggle to safely evacuate as wildfires rage.
  • The renomination of President Trump took place in Charlotte in humbler conditions than the Republican National Committee had planned.
  • A Florida judge Monday granted a temporary injunction against the state’s order requiring school districts to reopen schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Ohio State University suspended 228 students in one of the largest crackdowns on coronavirus violations.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Scientists Say the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) ‘Grossly Misrepresented’ Blood Plasma Data, The New York Times, Katie Thomas and Sheri Fink, Monday, 24 August 2020: “At a news conference on Sunday announcing the emergency approval of blood plasma for hospitalized Covid-19 patients, President Trump and two of his top health officials cited the same statistic: that the treatment had reduced deaths by 35 percent. Mr. Trump called it a ‘tremendous’ number. His health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, a former pharmaceutical executive, said, ‘I don’t want you to gloss over this number.’ And Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said 35 out of 100 Covid-19 patients ‘would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.’ But scientists were taken aback by the way the administration framed this data, which appeared to have been calculated based on a small subgroup of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in a Mayo Clinic study: those who were under 80 years old, not on ventilators and received plasma known to contain high levels of virus-fighting antibodies within three days of diagnosis. What’s more, many experts — including a scientist who worked on the Mayo Clinic study — were bewildered about where the statistic came from. The number was not mentioned in the official authorization letter issued by the agency, nor was it in a 17-page memo written by F.D.A. scientists. It was not in an analysis conducted by the Mayo Clinic that has been frequently cited by the administration.”

New York Attorney General Asks Judge to Order Eric Trump’s Testimony. The Trump Organization has stalled a state inquiry into the financing of four properties for months, Attorney General Letitia James said in court papers. The New York Times, William K. Rashbaum and Danny Hakim, Monday, 24 August 2020: “The New York State attorney general’s office has stepped up its inquiry into whether President Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud by overstating assets to get loans and tax benefits, asking a judge to order Eric Trump to answer questions under oath and the company to hand over documents, court papers show. Mr. Trump, who is President Trump’s son and an executive vice president of the company, abruptly canceled an interview with the attorney general’s office last month, and last week the Trump Organization told the office that the company and its lawyers would not comply with seven subpoenas related to the investigation.” See also, New York Attorney General Letitia James files legal action against Trump Organization, revealing state investigation into the company’s financial dealings, The Washington Post, David A. Fahrenthold, Jonathan O’Connell, and Joshua Partlow, Monday, 24 August 2020: “The New York attorney general is investigating whether President Trump’s company misled lenders and taxing authorities by improperly inflating the value of his assets, according to a court filing on Monday. The filing from Attorney General Letitia James (D) said that the Trump Organization has declined to hand over some documents that had been subpoenaed, and that the president’s son Eric has refused to be interviewed. James’s inquiry began 18 months ago, but James had not disclosed its focus or scope before Monday.” See also, New York Attorney General Is Investigating the Trump Organization and President Trump’s Assets, The Wall Street Journal, Deanna Paul and Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Monday, 24 August 2020: “The New York attorney general’s office is investigating whether the Trump Organization and President Trump improperly inflated the value of Mr. Trump’s assets in financial filings, according to court papers made public Monday that seek to compel company executives to comply with subpoenas. The state’s top prosecutor opened the civil investigation in March 2019, after Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer and a former senior executive of the Trump Organization, provided Congress with copies of Mr. Trump’s financial statements and testified that his assets were inflated to secure favorable loans and tax benefits, according to the filings in Manhattan state court.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says he won’t restore sorting machines, The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Erica Werner, and Christopher Ingraham, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers on Monday that the U.S. Postal Service would not undo the cost-cutting moves he instituted earlier this summer to restore mail processing capacity before the November election, sparring with Democrats in a heated hearing before the House Oversight Committee. DeJoy in July mandated that trucks that transport mail from processing facilities to distribution centers adhere to stricter schedules, leaving mail behind if they were running late or it had yet to be sorted. He also ordered that mail handlers depart for their routes sooner even if mail had not arrived. Internal Postal Service documents circulated to mid-level managers and obtained by The Washington Post also show DeJoy cracked down on overtime and additional delivery trips to ensure on-time mail service. DeJoy denied in sworn testimony that he issued any such guidance. Those moves, according to agency employees and postal experts, caused multiday delays in localities across the country, ensnaring ballots in midsummer primary elections, causing food to rot inside packages in Los Angeles and depriving residents in parts of Philadelphia of mail delivery for weeks at a time, among other slowdowns.” See also, Democrats threaten subpoenas as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pushes back against attacks. Democrats worry that damage has already been done to weaken the Postal Service’s capacity ahead of the November elections. Politico, Kyle Cheney, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Democrats accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Monday of downplaying disruptions to mail delivery that began when he assumed his position in June, threatening to subpoena him for what they say is deliberate withholding of internal decision-making documents. ‘How can one person screw this up in just a few weeks?’ said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.). The confrontation, during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee, laid bare mounting fury among Democrats for what they say is a deliberate effort by DeJoy and President Donald Trump to disrupt the Postal Service in advance of the November election, when mail-in ballots are expected to surge as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.” See also, Trump’s Handpicked Postal Service Chair Robert Duncan Has a Long History of Voter Suppression, HuffPost, Molly Redden, Monday, 24 August 2020: “President Donald Trump’s selection for a key Postal Service position, Robert M. Duncan, once had a very different job: steering the Republican Party while it undertook some of its most brazen voter suppression schemes. Duncan is now the chair of the Postal Service board of governors, but he previously served as general counsel and then chair of the Republican National Committee from 2002 to 2009, a time when the committee and its state counterparts oversaw an unprecedented escalation of voter disenfranchisement efforts in swing states.”

Radical Break From Tradition: Trump Stages Part of His Convention From the White House, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Monday, 24 August 2020: “President Trump appeared from the White House twice on the opening night of the Republican National Convention on Monday, and he will deliver his acceptance speech this week from the South Lawn. Melania Trump will speak from the Rose Garden. And even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will beam in to endorse the president from a rooftop in Jerusalem. Their appearances amount to a radical break from tradition even for an administration that has repeatedly shattered longstanding norms. Never in recent times has a president used the majesty of the White House to stage a nominating convention, nor has a sitting secretary of state participated in such a partisan event, much less from overseas where he is ostensibly on a diplomatic mission. The convention speeches — the president is to speak on Thursday, and the first lady and Mr. Pompeo on Tuesday — are only the latest examples of how Mr. Trump has further blurred the lines between the government and his campaign as he presses the advantages of incumbency to pull off a come-from-behind victory in November. While other presidents running for a second term have mixed governing and electioneering, they generally adhered to certain boundaries between their public duties and political interests, proprieties that Mr. Trump has disregarded from the start. The president’s critics argue that he is also using the power of his office in more substantial ways to secure a second term, like undercutting the ability of the Postal Service to process mail-in votes, sending federal agents to counter street unrest in ‘Democrat-run cities,’ encouraging the Justice Department to prosecute his enemies and pressuring health officials to authorize treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus before the election.”

Nominating Trump, Republicans Rewrite His Record, The New York Times, Jonathan Martin, Alexander Burns, and Annie Karni, Monday, 24 August 2020: “President Trump and his political allies mounted a fierce and misleading defense of his political record on the first night of the Republican convention on Monday, while unleashing a barrage of attacks on Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Democratic Party that were unrelenting in their bleakness. Hours after Republican delegates formally nominated Mr. Trump for a second term, the president and his party made plain that they intended to engage in sweeping revisionism about Mr. Trump’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, his record on race relations and much else. And they laid out a dystopian picture of what the United States would look like under a Biden administration, warning of a ‘vengeful mob’ that would lay waste to suburban communities and turn quiet neighborhoods into war zones. At times, the speakers and prerecorded videos appeared to be describing an alternate reality: one in which the nation was not nearing 180,000 deaths from the coronavirus; in which Mr. Trump had not consistently ignored serious warnings about the disease; in which the president had not spent much of his term appealing openly to xenophobia and racial animus; and in which someone other than Mr. Trump had presided over an economy that began crumbling in the spring.” See also, Republican convention speakers share dark vision of Democrats and praise Trump’s character, The Washington Post, Robert Costa, David Weigel, Felicia Sonmez, and John Wagner, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Republicans began their nominating convention Monday with dark denunciations of Democrats and warnings about a future controlled by ‘radical liberals,’ while praising President Trump’s stewardship of the country, including his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 173,000 Americans. The night’s program also served as a response to attacks on Trump’s character and accusations of racism by featuring testimonials from Black supporters, the grieving parent of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim and a cancer survivor.” See also, Fact-checking the first night of the 2020 Republican National Convention, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Monday, 24 August 2020: “The first night of the 2020 Republican National Convention was a fire hose of false or misleading claims, mostly drawn from President Trump’s arsenal of falsehoods.” See also, 3 takeaways from the first night of the Republican National Convention, The Washington Post, Aaron Blake, published on Tuesday, 25 August 2020.  See also, Republican National Convention Nominates Trump and Warns Against a Biden Victory, The Wall Street Journal, Catherine Lucey and Andrew Restuccia, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Republicans nominated President Trump as their candidate at a scaled-back convention in North Carolina and Washington, with the president and his allies offering ominous warnings about electing Democrats in November. Throughout the daylong, two-city event Monday, speaker after speaker praised the president—particularly for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy—and painting of a grim picture if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins, conjuring images of riots in the street, an uptick in crime and a flood of policies that could bankrupt taxpayers. The tone at times contrasted with the uplifting message that Mr. Trump’s campaign said would characterize the event.” See also, 5 Takeaways From the First Night of the 2020 Republican National Convention, HuffPost, Igor Bobic, published on Tuesday, 25 August 2020. See also, Networks’ Challenge: Covering a Live Convention When Falsehoods Fly, The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Television’s ability to handle a Trump-centric Republican National Convention faced an early test on Monday, when the president delivered a kickoff speech in Charlotte, N.C., that was filled with false claims about the integrity of mail-in voting and the policy positions of his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr. Broadcasters were already bracing for a week of tough editorial decisions. Political conventions, at heart, are forms of propaganda, and TV networks typically give a long leash to candidates as they formally make their case to the nation. But President Trump’s well-documented penchant for falsehoods presents a unique challenge, according to network executives. Producers are trying to balance voters’ right to hear directly from their president while preventing misinformation from spreading unchecked on their channels to millions of viewers. The president’s allies say that Mr. Trump deserves the same deference as past presidents, and any intervention on the networks’ part is a sign of editorial bias. As the president spoke in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday shortly after delegates formally renominated him, a hodgepodge of journalistic strategies emerged. CNN took the most drastic approach, cutting away from Mr. Trump in the middle of his remarks to Republican delegates. ‘This is a sad thing to say,’ the anchor John King told viewers, ‘but a lot of what you just heard from the president of the United States is wrong, misleading and outright lies. Wrong, misleading and outright lies.’ CBS also interrupted Mr. Trump with an analysis from the correspondent Major Garrett.” See also, Donald Trump Jr. and Nikki Haley Attack Biden and Praise Trump at the Republican Convention, The New York Times, Monday, 24 August 2020:

  • Tim Scott offered his own optimistic biography after a night of doom.

  • We’re fact-checking the Republican National Convention.

  • Donald Trump Jr. pelted Biden and defended his father.

  • Nikki Haley, who once distanced herself from Trump, offered a full-throated endorsement.

  • A Cuban-American speaker warned of communism, with Florida voters in mind.

  • Republicans rewrote history on the coronavirus.

  • Steve Scalise offered praise for Trump, and repeated the falsehood that Biden plans to ‘defund’ the police.

  • Kimberly Guilfoyle delivered a dark denunciation of Democrats.

  • Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who brandished guns at peaceful protesters, made a fear-mongering pitch.

Many other significant political developments are included in this article.

After video shows Wisconsin police shooting a Black man multiple times in the back, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers calls the National Guard to Kenosha, The Washington Post, Jaclyn Peiser, Mark Berman, Mark Guarino, Paulina Firozi, and Griff Witte, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Wisconsin’s governor on Monday called in the National Guard to help quell unrest after police shot an unarmed Black man in the latest incident this summer to stir cries of injustice and divide a nation over the urgency of bringing fundamental change to law enforcement. Police shot Jacob Blake, who witnesses said had been trying to break up an argument between two women, as he walked back toward his silver SUV on Sunday, an officer trailing behind. As three of Blake’s sons looked on from the vehicle, the officer fired seven times toward Blake’s back at close range. The incident was caught on video, which immediately ricocheted across the Internet. Blake remained hospitalized in serious condition on Monday, with family members saying he was expected to survive. The officers involved were placed on administrative leave…. The shooting in Wisconsin also sparked nationwide demonstrations.” See also, Wisconsin Reels After Police Officer Shoots Unarmed Black Man, Jacob Blake, in the Back, The New York Times, Julie Bosman and Sarah Mervosh, Monday, 24 August 2020: “When Annie Hurst stepped outside her house on Sunday night, she saw something that made her scream. Across the street, a police officer was aiming his gun at Jacob Blake, her neighbor, as he tried to get into his car with three of his children in the back seat. The officer grabbed him by his shirt and fired several times, shooting him in the back. Within hours, graphic video of the shooting was racing across social media, and Kenosha erupted into protest, looting and fires downtown. By late Monday, 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard had been deployed to Kenosha, and hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets in a second night of protest, in defiance of an 8 p.m. curfew…. The scene of a white police officer shooting a Black man continues to occur with devastating frequency in the United States, even at the end of a summer marked by widespread protests and calls for reform after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”

Social Media Offered Bannon’s Group ‘We Build the Wall’ a Tool to Promote Ties to Trump and to Raise Millions, Eric Lipton, Monday, 24 August 2020: “Since the arrest of his former senior political adviser Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump has tried to distance himself from the nonprofit group that raised more than $25 million for the supposed purpose of building a wall along the border with Mexico. But social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are living documentation of just how hard the backers of the group, We Build the Wall, worked to demonstrate that they not only were close to Mr. Trump and his family, but had been endorsed by them. This alliance with Mr. Trump’s family and other political actors in his circle was an essential part of their fund-raising drive, and it illustrates how social media has become such an essential tool for entrepreneurs seeking to rapidly raise money — even if it means violating federal law.


Tuesday, 25 August 2020, Day 1,313:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 25 August 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) Changes Testing Guidance to Exclude People Without Covid-19 Symptoms, Worrying Experts, The New York Times, Tuesday, 25 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday, 25 August 2020: Universities sound alarm as coronavirus cases emerge just days into classes, The Washington Post, Brittany Shammas, Lateshia Beachum, Adam Taylor, Hannah Denham, Hannah Knowles, Reis Thebault, and Paulina Firozi, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “From the University of North Carolina to the University of Missouri to the University of Southern California, colleges that have brought students back to campus are expressing alarm about coronavirus cases emerging with classes barely started. ‘The rise we’ve seen in recent days is unacceptable, and if unchecked, threatens our ability to complete the rest of the semester on campus,’ University of Alabama President Stuart Bell said Monday.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 173,000, with 5,707,000 million cases confirmed.
  • Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending his 34th birthday party on Friday.
  • Florida judge has blocked an order requiring the state’s school districts to offer in-person learning during the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying that it failed to take safety concerns into account. The state appealed late Monday, putting a stay on the preliminary injunction as the legal battle between education officials and teachers’ unions proceeds.
  • A sweeping study of nearly 800 coronavirus genomes has found that a specific mutation of the coronavirus infected hundreds of people in the Boston area, as well as victims from Alaska to Senegal to Luxembourg, after a Boston convention.
  • Scientists are pushing back on figures cited by the Trump administration to highlight the effectiveness of convalescent plasma. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said late Monday that the criticism of remarks he made Sunday was ‘entirely justified.’
  • American Airlines will be the first airline to deploy a disinfecting surface coating that kills coronavirus for up to seven days, the Environmental Protection Agency announced.
  • Two people in Europe have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, sparking questions over the body’s ability to build up antibodies against the disease.
  • A Hong Kong man who recovered from the coronavirus in April and then tested positive for a different strain of the virus after an August trip to Europe may be ‘the world’s first documentation’ of a patient becoming reinfected.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) Now Says People Without Covid-19 Symptoms Do Not Need Testing. The revision prompted confusion and alarm from experts, who called the move ‘potentially dangerous.’ The New York Times, Katherine J. Wu, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly modified its coronavirus testing guidelines this week to exclude people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 — even if they have been recently exposed to the virus. Experts questioned the revision, pointing to the importance of identifying infections in the small window immediately before the onset of symptoms, when many individuals appear to be most contagious. Models suggest that about half of transmission events can be traced back to individuals still in this so-called pre-symptomatic stage, before they start to feel ill — if they ever feel sick at all. ‘This is potentially dangerous,’ said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician in Palo Alto, Calif. Restricting testing to only people with obvious symptoms of Covid-19 means ‘you’re not looking for a lot of people who are potential spreaders of disease,’ she added. ‘I feel like this is going to make things worse.’ At a moment when experts have almost universally come forward to encourage more frequent and widespread testing, especially to reach vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the population, the C.D.C.’s update appears counterintuitive and ‘very strange,’ said Susan Butler-Wu, a clinical microbiologist at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.” See also, Controversial change in guidelines about coronavirus testing was directed by the White House coronavirus task force, The Washington Post, Amy Goldstein and Lena H. Sun, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “An abrupt shift this week in government testing guidelines for Americans exposed to the novel coronavirus was directed by the White House’s coronavirus task force, alarming outside public health experts who warn the change could hasten the disease’s spread. The new guidance — introduced this week, without any announcement, on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website — replaces advice that everyone who has been in close contact with an infected person should get tested to find out whether they had contracted the virus. Instead, the guidance says those without symptoms ‘do not necessarily need a test.'”

Trump Administration Orders Hospitals to Report Data or Risk Losing Funding. The administration now says failure to report Covid-19 data to the Department of Health and Human Services could cost hospitals Medicare and Medicaid funding. The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “The Trump administration threatened hospitals on Tuesday with revoking their Medicare and Medicaid funding if they did not report coronavirus patient data and test results to the Department of Health and Human Services. The threat was included in new emergency rules, announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that make mandatory what has until now been a voluntary reporting program. Seema Verma, the centers’ administrator, said the changes ‘represent a dramatic acceleration of our efforts to track and control the spread of Covid-19.’ The new rules generated an immediate backlash from the American Hospital Association, which said the penalties, if enforced, would put hospitals out of business by effectively expelling them from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. ‘It’s beyond perplexing why C.M.S. would use a regulatory sledgehammer — threatening Medicare participation — to the very organizations that are on the front lines in the fight against Covid-19,’ Richard J. Pollack, the association’s president, said in a statement, adding that the rules were issued without any opportunity for feedback and should be ‘reversed immediately.’  In an interview, Mr. Pollack said it was not typical for the government to tie Medicare and Medicaid dollars to the reporting of public health information. Ordinarily, that kind of stick is used to ensure quality of care, he said.”

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn issues mea culpa for his plasma treatment claims. While the therapy is considered safe, plasma has not yet been proven effective against the coronavirus. Politico, Caitlin Oprysko, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn issued a mea culpa late Monday, conceding that he had overstated the benefits of convalescent plasma as a treatment of coronavirus at a news conference last weekend with President Donald Trump. Hahn had been the subject of intense criticism following his appearance Sunday alongside the president. ‘I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified,’ the commissioner said in a string of tweets. ‘What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction.’ While the therapy is considered safe, plasma has not yet been proven effective against the coronavirus. But in announcing the Food and Drug Administration’s granting of an emergency use authorization for the treatment on Sunday, the White House billed the decision as a ‘historic announcement.'” See also, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn disputes Trump and says there is no ‘deep state thwarting a coronavirus vaccine, Reuters, Jeff Mason, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not harbor ‘deep state’ elements, the agency’s head told Reuters on Monday, rejecting criticism from President Donald Trump that staff there were trying to delay a coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Stephen Hahn said he was completely confident that FDA workers were focused solely on the interests of the American people during the coronavirus pandemic. Without evidence, Trump on Saturday accused members of the so-called ‘deep state’ working within the FDA of complicating efforts to test COVID-19 vaccines in order to delay results until after the Nov. 3 presidential election. ‘I have not seen anything that I would consider to be “deep state” at the FDA,’ Hahn told Reuters in an interview. Trump’s use of the term ‘deep state’ appears to refer to long-serving government employees he believes are determined to undermine his agenda.”

‘My son matters’: Jacob Blake’s family calls for officer’s arrest and peaceful protest, The Washington Post, Mark Guarino, Mark Berman, Jaclyn Peiser, and Griff Witte, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “Anger-fueled protests radiated across the nation Tuesday as the family of a 29-year-old Black man shot in the back by police in this lakeside city demanded swift action to bring officers to justice. In a highly emotional appearance two days after the shooting, Jacob Blake Jr.’s parents and siblings called for healing and peace following consecutive nights of violence. Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, asked for Americans to show ‘how humans are supposed to treat each other.’ But the family also pinned responsibility for Blake’s grievous injuries on what they called a racist law enforcement system that brutalizes Black people, and expressed dismay that his shooter had not yet been fired or charged. They spoke as Blake — who was shot at least seven times, the bullets piercing his spinal column, shattering vertebrae and shredding vital organs — underwent emergency surgery. The shooting left the father of five young children, three of whom witnessed the incident, paralyzed from the waist down.”

How Night 2 of the Republican Convention Unfolded, The New York Times, Tuesday, 26 August 2020: “Trump blurred the lines between political candidate and public servant in unprecedented ways, and Mike Pompeo shattered tradition as the first sitting secretary of state in at least 75 years to address a national party convention.

  • Melania Trump, expressing sympathy on the coronavirus, sought to broaden her husband’s appeal.

  • We fact-checked the Republican National Convention.

  • Mike Pompeo, in a break with State Dept. protocol, praised Trump’s foreign policy record from Jerusalem.

  • Trump and other speakers have politicized government functions and property in unprecedented ways.

  • Daniel Cameron, investigating the police killing of Breonna Taylor, mentioned her only in passing.

  • Eric Trump, another Trump featured in prime time, sought to foster solidarity and grievance.

  • Tiffany Trump, criticizing the media, vouched for her father.

  • Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, seized on Hunter Biden as a line of attack.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James files lawsuit to protect U.S. Postal Service, Reuters, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration aimed at stopping what she said was an effort to disrupt operations at the U.S. Postal Service at a time when a pandemic has prompted millions more people than usual to plan to vote by mail. The lawsuit – which names President Donald Trump, the postal service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy – asks the court to vacate recent changes made to the U.S. Postal Service and to stop it from implementing additional service reductions.”

Former Department of Homeland Security official Miles Taylor says Trump offered pardons for carrying out illegal policies, The Hill, Justin Wise, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “Miles Taylor, the former Trump administration official who has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, claimed Tuesday that President Trump offered to pardon officials who broke the law while carrying out his immigration policy. Taylor, a top official in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) between 2017 and 2019, makes the allegations in a new advertisement released by the group Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT). In it, he claims that Trump called for closing the U.S.-Mexico border and dismissed concerns about such a move violating the law. ‘It was April of 2019. We were down at the border, and the president said to the senior leadership of the Homeland Security Department behind the scenes, we should not let anyone else into the United States,’ Taylor said. ‘And even though he had been told on repeated occasions that the way he wanted to do it was illegal, his response was to say, Do it. If you get in trouble, I’ll pardon you.’ Taylor said that officials made it clear to the president that it is illegal to unilaterally deny people access to the southern border.” See also, Miles Taylor’s very serious allegations against Trump, The Washington Post, Aaron Blake, published on Wednesday, 26 August 2020.

Using Her Political Action Committee to Endorse Alex Morse in Massachusetts, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Backs an Effort to Oust Representative Richard Neal, the Powerful Ways and Means Committee Chairman, The New York Times, Emily Cochrane, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “Taking on one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday used her political action committee to endorse Alex Morse, the small-city mayor who is challenging Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. The endorsement from Courage to Change, announced by Mr. Morse in a statement on Tuesday, gave a significant lift to his upstart campaign a week before what is expected to be a heated primary election that pits the Holyoke mayor against Mr. Neal, 71, who has been in Congress since 1989, the year Mr. Morse was born. It was also a remarkable intervention by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, the first-term progressive from New York who has become the face of the insurgent left, against one of her party’s most influential members. As chairman of the Ways and Means panel, which controls tax legislation and social safety net programs, Mr. Neal holds enormous sway over all manner of policy issues. He is the most prominent Democrat Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has sought to oust since taking office.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee Is Investigating Whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Speech at the Republican National Convention Violated Law, The Daily Beast, Erin Banco, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “In a letter sent to Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun Tuesday, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) said he is launching a probe into the circumstances surrounding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem. Castro, the chair of the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Pompeo’s choice to speak at the convention ‘may violate the Hatch Act, government-wide regulations implementing that Act, and State Department policies,’ according to Castro’s letter, which The Daily Beast obtained. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from participating in certain political activities. And as first reported by Politico, State documents show Pompeo’s choice to participate in the Republican National Convention may also violate legal opinions disseminated internally within the department which the secretary himself approved.” See also, What Is the Hatch Act? Is Trump Violating It at the Republican National Convention? The New York Times, Zach Montague, published on Wednesday, 26 August 2020.

Trump announces plan to nominate Chad Wolf as Secretary of Homeland Security, Politico, Matthew Choi, Louis Nelson, and Marianne Levine, Tuesday, 25 August 2020: “President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he will nominate acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to assume the same role on a permanent basis. Wolf has served as the acting head of DHS since November of last year. The department has been without a Senate-confirmed secretary since Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April of 2019…. Wolf’s planned elevation to the permanent top spot at DHS comes days after a Congressional watchdog found that he had been illegally installed atop the department in an acting role. The Government Accountability office found earlier this month that Wolf was invalidly appointed to the role of acting secretary, the result of an illegally altered line of succession.”


Wednesday, 26 August 2020, Day 1,314:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 26 August 2020: Report Says Almost 500 Million Children Are Cut Off From School In the Coronavirus Pandemic, The New York Times, Wednesday, 26 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 26 August 2020: Air travel Within China Is Nearly at Pre-Pandemic Levels, The New York Times, Wednesday, 26 August 2020:

  • Domestic air travel in China has almost fully recovered from the pandemic.

  • Fed Chair Powell will provide an update tomorrow on the Fed’s policy review.

  • Tech rally extends Wall Street’s record streak as investors await Fed policy speech.

  • Bikes, golf and home fitness fuel a record quarter at Dick’s.

  • An idea to reduce racial inequality is gaining momentum in Britain.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant coronavirus developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Wednesday, 26 August 2020: Democrats denounce rules change for coronavirus testing at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as ‘political propaganda,’ The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Brittany Shammas, Kim Bellware, Hannah Denham, Reis Thebault, and Paulina Firozi, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Democrats across the country on Wednesday denounced an abrupt change in the federal government’s coronavirus testing guidelines, and governors in some of the nation’s largest states said they wouldn’t follow the new policy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that many people who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through close contact with someone who later tested positive ‘do not necessarily need a test’ if they are not experiencing symptoms. Experts are expressing concern about the change, noting that people without symptoms are responsible for a large share of transmissions.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The federal government on Wednesday granted emergency approval for the use of a coronavirus test that will cost $5 and could deliver results in just 15 minutes, a development that could dramatically expand the country’s testing capacity.
  • Medical officials in the path of Hurricane Laura said they are prepared for the Category 4 storm despite the trying circumstances of a pandemic.
  • The Justice Department requested information on covid-19 in nursing homes from the Democratic governors of four states while asserting that their orders during the pandemic ‘may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents’ — a move that drew some questions as being politically motivated.
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is urging teachers to hold classes outdoors as plans to resume in-person learning next month continue to face a major backlash and threats of a teachers’ strike.
  • Here’s how 100 top universities are handling the choice between in-person and online classes, and all options in between.
  • The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has been postponed from January until sometime early next summer because of coronavirus concerns.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

17-year-old is charged with homicide after shooting during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, The Washington Post, Mark Guarino, Mark Berman, Jaclyn Peiser, and Griff Witte, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Authorities on Wednesday said a 17-year-old had been charged with homicide after two people were killed and another seriously wounded by gunfire amid a chaotic night of demonstrations and destruction in Kenosha unleashed by the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. Police in Antioch, Ill., about 20 miles southwest of Kenosha, said they had arrested Kyle Rittenhouse in the killings. The Antioch resident was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Wisconsin, authorities said, but they did not specify whether he was being charged in one fatal shooting or both. The shooting came as self-declared militia members and armed counterprotesters have appeared in the city, which is reeling from days of unrest. Authorities have not said whether Rittenhouse is a member of any of the groups. His social media feeds contained messages supporting the police and photos of himself with assault rifles. He had been a member of cadet programs for local police and fire departments, according to department newsletters and statements. ” See also, The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was in the Front Row of a Trump Rally in January, BuzzFeed News, Ellie Hall, Amber Jamieson, Tasneem Nashrulla, and Kadia Goba, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “The law enforcement–obsessed 17-year-old who was charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake appeared in the front row at a Donald Trump rally in January. Kyle Howard Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ and supporting Trump for president. Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium. He posted a TikTok video from the event.” See also, Trump deploys federal agents to Kenosha. Unrest erupted in the city this week after a police officer shot a Black man multiple times in the back in front of his young children. Politico, Matthew Choi, Wednesday, 26 August 2020. See also, ‘I don’t want pity, I want change’: Jacob Blake’s sister gives powerful testimony–video, The Guardian, Wednesday, 26 August 2020. See also, Justice Department to Open Investigation Into Kenosha Shooting, The New York Times, Julie Bosman and Sarah Mervosh, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “The Justice Department on Wednesday announced a civil rights investigation into the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., as new details emerged in the case. A white teenager who confronted demonstrators was arrested in connection with two deaths, and protests spread to athletes in three pro sports leagues…. The violence that broke out came as demonstrators scuffled with a group of men carrying long guns who said they were protecting the area from looting. The authorities were investigating whether the white teenager who was arrested on Wednesday, identified as Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was part of a vigilante group. His social media accounts appeared to show an intense affinity for guns, law enforcement and President Trump.”

Kamala Harris denounces the police shooting of Jacob Blake, closing her first official week on the ticket, The Washington Post, Chelsea Janes, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Kamala D. Harris on Wednesday denounced the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an African American man shot multiple times in the back, telling a virtual room of Black women that there ‘are still two systems of justice in America. We need to fight again for that ideal — which is all people are supposed to be treated equally, which is still not happening,’ she said. Harris, a U.S. senator from California, said she and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had spoken to Blake’s parents earlier in the day. Blake, 29, was shot in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday, prompting emotional protests in that city and an outcry nationwide.”

Second night of the Republican National Convention is riddled with dishonesty as Melania Trump appeals for ‘total honesty,’ CNN Politics, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “First Lady Melania Trump concluded the second night of the Republican National Convention with a speech in which she said, ‘Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president.’ We certainly haven’t received total honesty from President Donald Trump. And we certainly didn’t get it on Tuesday night. The convention programming was littered with false or misleading claims, including some from the President’s son Eric Trump, as well as a number of other claims that were missing important context.” See also, Fact-Checking Night 2 of the Republican National Convention, The New York Times, Wednesday, 26 August 2020. See also, Melania Trump, Tiffany, and a Pardon: Takeaways From the Republican National Convention’s Second Night, The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Ballhaus, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “You would be forgiven for thinking the Republican National Convention was being hosted at the White House. After trying to hold the convention in Charlotte, N.C., and then in Jacksonville, Fla., before giving up amid rising coronavirus cases, President Trump appears to have settled on the People’s House as his backdrop. The convention was partly pretaped and partly filmed live in a Washington auditorium with no in-person audience, but in the last two days has featured several clips from inside the White House as well as appearances by top administration officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—a sharp break in tradition that has drawn criticism and at least one investigation from Democrats and ethics advocates. On Thursday, the president will accept the nomination on the White House’s South Lawn.” See also, Trump uses the powers of government in service of his reelection, with pardoning and naturalization ceremonies, The Washington Post, Anne Gearan, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, and John Wagner, Wednesday, 26 August 2020. See also, Mike Pence Closes Out Night 3 of the Republican Convention. Republicans sought to fan fears of violence and lawlessness under Democratic leadership, trying to capitalize on the unrest in Wisconsin. Kellyanne Conway, Dan Crenshaw, Joni Ernst and Richard Grenell were among the speakers. The New York Times, Wednesday, 26 August 2020. See also, Pence emphasizes Trump’s law-and-order credentials while the shooting of Jacob Blake continues to reverberate, The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, and John Wagner, published on Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Republicans used the third day of their national convention to portray President Trump as a strong defender of conservative principles on law enforcement, defense and the economy — emphasizing his law-and-order credentials as social unrest flared again after another police shooting of a Black man.” See also, Walking through Pence’s defense of his coronavirus efforts, word by word, The Washington Post, Philip Bump, Thursday, 27 August 2020. See also, Melania Trump’s Rose Garden speech attendees were not all required to get coronavirus tests, CNN Politics, Jeff Zeleny, Kate Sullivan, and Kate Bennett, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Those who attended first lady Melania Trump’s speech in the White House Rose Garden that capped the second night of the Republican National Convention were not required to get tested for coronavirus, a person who attended the speech told CNN. There were screening questions on the form to RSVP, but no coronavirus tests or temperature checks were done at the White House, the person said. The Trump campaign said earlier in the day that about 70 people would be attending the speech, which was the first one with an in-person audience at the Republican convention. Early Wednesday morning, the first lady’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham told CNN that the audience members ‘in the rows near the President and vice president’ were tested for coronavirus before the speech. Grisham said most of the guests were not tested, especially those ‘in the last five or six rows,’ but she claims anyone who came into close contact with Trump or Pence — including senior aides, staffers and Melana Trump’s parents — were tested. The vast majority of those attending did not wear masks, and the chairs provided for attendees did not appear to be placed six feet apart. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises keeping at least six feet apart from others if possible in order to prevent the spread of the virus, and the agency also advocates for face coverings, especially if it is difficult to keep six feet apart from another person.” See also, With Wisconsin Unrest as Backdrop, Republicans Intensify Law-and-Order Message and Try to Rewrite the History of the Trump Administration’s Pandemic Response, The New York Times, Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, Wednesday, 26 August 2020.

US intelligence officials say there’s no evidence to back up Trump’s claims about threats to mail-in voting, CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen and Pamela Brown, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “US officials charged with protecting the 2020 election said Wednesday they have ‘no information or intelligence’ that foreign countries, including Russia, are attempting to undermine any part of the mail-in voting process, contradicting President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed false claims that foreign adversaries are targeting mail ballots as part of a ‘rigged’ presidential race. Specifically, a senior intelligence official discounted the possibility of foreign actors mass producing fake ballots to interfere in the November elections, again breaking with Trump who has continued to insist that mail-in voting poses a significant threat to election security.” See also, Intelligence Officials See No Foreign Effort to Undermine Mail-In Voting. Their assessment contradicted part of President Trump’s attacks on absentee voting. The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Mail-in voting for the November presidential election is safe from foreign intervention, intelligence and election security officials said on Wednesday, saying that standard security measures and decentralization make the United States’ election system extremely difficult for a foreign power to penetrate and change the results. The assessment contradicts President Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting and comments by Attorney General William P. Barr that have also sowed doubt about its security. The United States also has no intelligence that any nation-state is making a coordinated attempt to undermine absentee voting or create fake mail-in ballots, a senior official from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said. The official and others briefed reporters on the condition that they not be named.”

Black voters are being targeted in disinformation campaigns, echoing the 2016 Russian playbook, The Washington Post, Craig Timberg and Isaac Stanley-Becker, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Four years after Russian operatives used social media in a bid to exacerbate racial divisions in the United States and suppress Black voter turnout, such tactics have spread across a wide range of deceptive online campaigns operated from numerous nations — including from within the United States itself. The potency and persistence of the racial playbook was highlighted this week when Twitter deleted an account featuring a profile photo of a young Black man claiming to be a former Black Lives Matter protester who switched his allegiance to the Republican Party.”

After rolling back transgender protections, the Trump campaign is courting the L.B.B.T.Q. vote, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “The month of June was filled with big moments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. President Trump was almost entirely silent through it all. There was no tweet in honor of Pride Month, despite several aides’ suggestions to Mr. Trump that he write one. No rollout of a coalition aimed at L.G.B.T.Q. voters by his campaign, despite preparations that had been made for one. Embassies overseas were told they couldn’t fly the Pride flag. There was, however, a rollback by the Trump administration of an Obama-era regulation mandating health care as a civil right for transgender patients under the Affordable Care Act. It is what many in the L.G.B.T.Q. coalition have come to expect from Mr. Trump, who during his 2016 presidential campaign used gay people as a wedge against Muslims, whom he painted broadly as extremists, after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando by a Muslim man. While Mr. Trump has signaled a willingness to publicly align himself with some gay men and women, he selected a deeply conservative running mate in Vice President Mike Pence, and as president, he has systematically dismantled protections put in place by President Barack Obama, especially for transgender people.”

In October 2018, Border Officials Weighed Deploying Migrant ‘Heat Ray’ Ahead of the Midterm Elections. Even as the Republican convention tries to soften President Trump’s image, he has made it clear that the extreme immigration policies of his first four years will be central to his re-election pitch. The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Wednesday, 26 August 2020: “Fifteen days before the 2018 midterm elections, as President Trump sought to motivate Republicans with dark warnings about caravans heading to the U.S. border, he gathered his homeland security secretary and White House staff to deliver a message: ‘extreme action’ was needed to stop the migrants. That afternoon, at a separate meeting with top leaders of the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection officials suggested deploying a microwave weapon — a ‘heat ray’ designed by the military to make people’s skin feel as if it is burning when they get within range of its invisible beams. Developed by the military as a crowd dispersal tool two decades ago, the Active Denial System had been largely abandoned amid doubts over its effectiveness and morality. Two former officials who attended the afternoon meeting at the Department of Homeland Security on Oct. 22, 2018, said the suggestion that the device be installed at the border shocked attendees, even if it would have satisfied the president.”


Thursday, 27 August 2020, Day 1,315:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 27 August 2020: Trump Administration, Under Fire for Discouraging Coronavirus Testing, Says It Will Buy Millions of Test Kits, The New York Times, Thursday, 27 August 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 27 August 2020: Gap Earnings Improve as Activewear Sales Boom, The New York Times, Thursday, 27 August 2020:

  • Gap posts smaller sales drop as consumers turn to activewear and online shopping.

  • Fed pledges to focus on low unemployment and tolerate higher inflation.

  • Lord & Taylor is liquidating its stores.

  • Wall Street’s rally stretches to a sixth day.

  • Few states are processing the $300 unemployment benefit so far.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Thursday, 27 August 2020: Experts warn six feet may not be enough to protect against coronavirus, The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Hannah Knowles, Hannah Denham, Darren Sands, Abigail Hauslohner, Paulina Firozi, and Ben Guarino, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Public health experts are reevaluating guidelines for safe social distancing amid growing evidence that the novel coronavirus can travel farther than six feet under certain conditions. A team of infectious-disease experts argues in a new analysis that six-feet protocols are too rigid and are based on outmoded science and observations of different viruses. Other researchers say six feet is a start — but only a start, warning that more space is almost always better, especially in poorly ventilated areas indoors.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

CDC was pressured ‘from the top down’ to change coronavirus testing guidance, official says, CNN Politics, Nick Valencia, Sara Murray, and Kristen Holmes, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “A sudden change in federal guidelines on coronavirus testing came this week as a result of pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump administration, a federal health official close to the process tells CNN, and a key White House coronavirus task force member was not part of the meeting when the new guidelines were discussed. ‘It’s coming from the top down,’ the official said of the new directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was in surgery and not part of the discussion during the August 20 task force meeting when updated guidelines were discussed. ‘I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations,’ Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. ‘I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact it is,’ he said. The new guidelines raise the bar on who should get tested, advising that some people without symptoms probably don’t need it — even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.”

Egregious false claims and careless inaccuracies: fact-checking the third night of the Republican National Convention, CNN Politics, Daniel Dale, Jennifer Hansler, Caroline Kelly, Katie Lobosco, Holmes Lybrand, Nathan McDermott, Alex Rogers, Anneken Tappe, and Tara Subramaniam, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “The third night of the Republican National Convention was filled with both egregious dishonesty and careless inaccuracy. Like nights one and two, Wednesday’s proceedings featured false claims related to the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats, the economy, immigration and other important subjects. On Wednesday, some of the speakers also just got things wrong for no apparent strategic reason — one citing a fake Abraham Lincoln quote, one wrongly claiming James Madison signed the Declaration of Independence.” See also, Fact-checking the third night of the 2020 Republican National Convention, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Thursday, 27 August 2020. See also, 3 Major Themes From Night 3 of the Republican National Convention: Watch the Highlights, The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher and Adam Nagourney, Thursday, 27 August 2020. See also, Republican National Convention delivers whirlwind of lies great and small. Speaker after speaker piled falsehood upon falsehood to recast Trump as a saintly feminist preoccupied with the nation’s health. The Guardian, David Smith Thursday, 27 August 2020: “As Hurricane Laura roared towards the southern US coast, the Republican national convention unleashed Hurricane Liar. There were lies aplenty at the last convention in Cleveland four years ago but, in those innocent days, reporters were still reluctant to call a lie a lie. Donald Trump blew that up on his first day in office when he and his officials claimed his inauguration crowd was bigger than Barack Obama’s. Now there is no getting away from the fact that Republicans are commandeering more than two hours a night of primetime television to lie and mislead so brazenly, frequently and shamelessly that there’s a chance the American public will simply be worn down into submission and untruth will be normalised.” See also, Pence reinvents Trump’s presidency on a disorienting night of crises, CNN Politics, Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston, Thursday, 27 August 2020.

Biden says Trump is ‘rooting for more violence, not less,’ NBC News, Rebecca Shabad, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Joe Biden said Thursday that President Donald Trump is ‘rooting for more violence, not less,’ because he thinks it benefits him politically. In an interview on MSNBC’s ‘Andrea Mitchell Reports,’ Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, reacted to Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, in which he said people ‘won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’ Biden added about Trump: ‘He views this as a political benefit to him, you know. He’s rooting for more violence, not less, and it’s clear about that. And what’s he doing, he’s kept pouring gasoline on the fire.'” See also, Trump officials see political opportunity in racial unrest rocking the nation. Biden shot back that the Trump team was cynically using the unrest to bolster its own campaign. Politico, Matthew Choi, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Trump administration officials on Thursday seized on the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake and the resulting unrest to argue that Democrats are encouraging lawlessness, leading Joe Biden to accuse the president of cravenly exploiting a national tragedy. Top Trump advisers argued rioting that has sprung up adjacent to peaceful protests over racial injustice would crystallize voters behind Trump’s ‘law and order’ agenda. Democrats, the president’s team contested, have failed for decades to address the issues that have roiled the country all summer. ‘We’re offering solutions with policy,’ senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said Thursday. ‘The other side’s doing a lot of complaining.’ Biden shot back that the Trump team was cynically using the unrest to bolster its own campaign. He accused Trump of fueling racial discord for his own political aspirations throughout his presidency. Trump ‘views it as a political benefit,’ Biden told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday afternoon. ‘This is the same guy, when people came out of Charlottesville and a young woman gets killed, they’re spewing hate, and their veins bulging, carrying swastikas … he says there are very fine people on both sides. He just keeps pouring fuel on the fire. He’s encouraging this.'” See also, It’s not supposed to be about him’: Harris scorches Trump in prebuttal of acceptance speech. The Democratic vice presidential nominee accused the president of deadly incompetence and ‘a reckless disregard for the well-being of the American People.’ Politico, Caitlin Oprysko and Christopher Cadelago, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Kamala Harris on Thursday issued a devastating rebuke of Donald Trump, hammering the president for his sluggish response to the coronavirus pandemic and spiraling racial unrest — and what she said was a lack of meaningful attention paid to both at the Republican National Convention. The Democratic vice presidential nominee began her speech by addressing the ‘pain, hurt and destruction’ caused by wildfires raging in California and Colorado and Hurricane Laura in the Gulf of Mexico, and also by this week’s police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., which has prompted at-times-violent protests. Harris spoke emotionally about Blake, who she emphasized was ‘shot seven times in the back in broad daylight in front of his three young sons.’ The California senator painted a contrast between Trump and the Democratic ticket of herself and Joe Biden, expressing support for peaceful protesters and the Blake family, and calling their experience ‘tragically common in our country.’  Hours earlier, Trump had refused to tell reporters whether he had seen the video of Blake’s shooting. Harris called the video of the episode ‘sickening.'” See also, Kamala Harris blasts Trump on coronavirus response: ‘All we needed was a competent president,’ CNBC, Dan Mangan, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris blasted President Donald Trump on Thursday for failing to protect Americans from the coronavirus pandemic. She charged that he ‘caved’ when he needed ‘to be tough’ with the Chinese government over its refusal to share information about the virus months ago. ‘Donald Trump stood idly by and, folks, it was a deadly decision,’ Harris said in a blistering speech in advance of Trump’s own address to the Republican National Convention on Thursday evening. ‘All we needed was a competent president. One who was willing to listen, willing to lead, take responsibility, have a plan, do their job,’ the California senator said.”

Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, blasts the ‘real Donald Trump’ in a new Democratic attack ad, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, stars in a new Democratic attack ad in which he describes Trump as a liar and warns Americans not to trust him. Cohen, who was by Trump’s side for more than a decade, assails Trump from the perspective of someone intimately acquainted with the president’s personal and financial history. ‘I was complicit in helping conceal the real Donald Trump,’ Cohen says. ‘I’m here to tell you he can’t be trusted — and you shouldn’t believe a word he utters.’ The 60-second television commercial from American Bridge 21st Century, the Democrats’ largest super PAC, will air Thursday morning on CNN and Fox News — during Trump’s favorite morning show, ‘Fox & Friends’ — for the last day of the Republican convention. It will air again in the evening ahead of Trump’s acceptance speech.”

What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’? The New York Times, Kevin Roose, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Listen, liberals. If you don’t think Donald Trump can get re-elected in November, you need to spend more time on Facebook. Since the 2016 election, I’ve been obsessively tracking how partisan political content is performing on Facebook, the world’s largest and arguably most influential media platform. Every morning, one of the first browser tabs I open is CrowdTangle — a handy Facebook-owned data tool that offers a bird’s-eye view of what’s popular on the platform. I check which politicians and pundits are going viral. I geek out on trending topics. I browse the previous day’s stories to see which got the most reactions, shares and comments. Most days, the leader board looks roughly the same: conservative post after conservative post, with the occasional liberal interloper. (If you want to see these lists for yourselves, you can check out @FacebooksTop10, a Twitter account I created that shows the top 10 most-interacted-with link posts by U.S. Facebook pages every day.) It’s no secret that, despite Mr. Trump’s claims of Silicon Valley censorship, Facebook has been a boon to him and his allies, and hyperpartisan Facebook pages are nothing new. (In fact, my colleague John Herrman wrote about them four years ago this month.) But what sticks out, when you dig in to the data, is just how dominant the Facebook right truly is. Pro-Trump political influencers have spent years building a well-oiled media machine that swarms around every major news story, creating a torrent of viral commentary that reliably drowns out both the mainstream media and the liberal opposition. The result is a kind of parallel media universe that left-of-center Facebook users may never encounter, but that has been stunningly effective in shaping its own version of reality. Inside the right-wing Facebook bubble, President Trump’s response to Covid-19 has been strong and effective, Joe Biden is barely capable of forming sentences, and Black Lives Matter is a dangerous group of violent looters.”

White supremacists and militias have infiltrated police across the US, report says. A former FBI agent has documented links between serving officers and racist militant activities in more than a dozen states. The Guardian, Sam Levin, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “White supremacist groups have infiltrated US law enforcement agencies in every region of the country over the last two decades, according to a new report about the ties between police and far-right vigilante groups. In a timely new analysis, Michael German, a former FBI special agent who has written extensively on the ways that US law enforcement have failed to respond to far-right domestic terror threats, concludes that US law enforcement officials have been tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000, and hundreds of police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content. The report notes that over the years, police links to militias and white supremacist groups have been uncovered in states including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Police in Sacramento, California, in 2018 worked with neo-Nazis to pursue charges against anti-racist activists, including some who had been stabbed, according to records. And just this summer, German writes, an Orange county sheriff’s deputy and a Chicago policeman were caught wearing far-right militia logos; an Olympia, Washington, officer was photographed posing with a militia group; and Philadelphia police officers were filmed standing by while armed mobs attacked protesters and journalists.”

Over 100 Ex-Staff Members for John McCain Endorse Joe Biden, The New York Times, Jonathan Martin, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “More than 100 former staff members for Senator John McCain are supporting Joseph R. Biden Jr., a show of support across the political divide that they hope amplifies the ‘Country First’ credo of the former Arizona senator…. Coinciding with Mr. Trump’s renomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday and the second anniversary of Mr. McCain’s death this week, the joint endorsement of Mr. Biden represents the latest effort from anti-Trump Republicans to lure conservatives and moderates away from the president.” See also, More than 100 Bush-McCain-Romney alums support Biden, Politico, Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, Thursday, 27 August 2020. See also, Why dozens of John McCain aides, including me, are endorsing Joe Biden, The Washington Post, Mark Salter, Thursday, 27 August 2020.

Department of Homeland Security sends out Hatch Act memo days after acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf participated in a naturalization ceremony as part of the Republican National Convention, CNN Politics, Vivian Salama, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “The Department of Homeland Security sent an agency-wide email to its employees Thursday morning reminding them not to participate in partisan politics, citing ‘heightened scrutiny.’ While directives like this are standard in election years, the warning comes days after acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf participated in a swearing in ceremony with President Donald Trump for naturalized Americans as part of the Republican National Convention, raising ethics concerns. It also follows an announcement by Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, that he has opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s controversial decision to address the RNC.”

NBA, WNBA, MLS, and MLB Games Are Postponed as Players Protest Police Shootings, Democracy Now!, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Professional basketball, baseball and soccer games came to an unprecedented halt Wednesday, after Milwaukee Bucks players refused to take the court for a playoff game against the Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The NBA then canceled all three of Wednesday’s playoff games. On TNT, former basketball star and commentator Kenny Smith walked off the set of ‘Inside the NBA’ in solidarity with protesters. Kenny Smith: ‘As a Black man, as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight, and figure out what happens after that. I just don’t feel equipped to do that.’ Ernie Johnson Jr.: ‘And I respect that.’ The WNBA also canceled three games Wednesday, after members of the Washington Mystics arrived wearing T-shirts, each with seven bullet holes in the back, with the fronts of the shirts spelling out the name Jacob Blake. This is Mystics guard Ariel Atkins. Ariel Atkins: ‘This isn’t just about basketball. We aren’t just basketball players. And just because we are basketball players doesn’t mean that’s our only platform. We need to understand that when most of us go home, we still are Black.’ Three Major League Baseball games and most of Wednesday’s Major League Soccer games were postponed, as well, following player protests, and the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament also suspended matches after superstar Naomi Osaka — whose father is Haitian — withdrew to protest against racial injustice.” See also, As Young Black Athletes Call for Racial Awakening, Some N.F.L. Retirees Declare Fealty to ‘Winner’ Trump. Several former athletes and coaches including Lou Holtz have appeared at the R.N.C. to deliver a message that the party wants to project — that the president is not racist. Many current Black athletes do not agree. The New York Times, Glenn Thrush, Thursday, 27 August 2020. See also, Trump dismisses NBA protests after Jared Kushner says players have the ‘luxury’ to ‘take a night off,’ The Washington Post, Cindy Boren, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “President Trump on Thursday afternoon dismissed the NBA player-led protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, hours after Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, called NBA players ‘very fortunate’ to be ‘able to take a night off from work.’ ‘I don’t know much about the NBA protest,’ Trump told reporters during a news briefing on Hurricane Laura. ‘I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA. … They’ve become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing.'”

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance says Trump’s effort to block subpoena for his financial documents will ‘impair’ investigations into potential financial crimes, Politico, Kyle Cheney, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Manhattan prosecutors on Thursday said President Donald Trump’s last-ditch attempts to block a subpoena for the president’s financial records are increasingly meritless and would only serve to ‘significantly impair’ an ongoing investigation into potential financial crimes. ‘Continued delay of the grand jury’s investigation is unwarranted, and it would significantly impair the Office’s ability to discharge its constitutionally protected duty to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute violations of New York law,’ Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. wrote in a filing with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to reject Trump’s demand for additional delay.”

A federal judge in Washington state orders the U.S. Postal Service to provide information about service changes, Associated Press, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “A federal judge in Washington state is giving the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service 10 days to turn over records and information about service changes that critics say could undermine mail-in voting in the November election. More than 20 states filed lawsuits last week over the changes, including 14 states that sued in U.S. District Court in Yakima. U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian on Thursday granted the states’ request to speed up discovery in that case. The Justice Department opposed the request, saying that much of the information the states are seeking is already in the public record, including in congressional testimony that DeJoy gave on Monday, and that responding to the states’ information requests within 10 days would be burdensome.” See also, Federal judge gives the Trump administration 10 days to answer questions about US Postal Service slowdowns, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Thursday, 27 August 2020.

Unemployment Claims Are ‘Stubbornly High’ as Layoffs Persist, The New York Times, Ben Casselman, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Just over one million Americans filed new claims for state jobless benefits last week, the latest sign that the economy is losing momentum just as federal aid to the unemployed has been pulled away. Weekly claims briefly dipped below the one million mark early this month, offering a glimmer of hope in an otherwise gloomy job market. But filings jumped to 1.1 million the next week, and stayed above one million last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.” See also, Another 1 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits last week, CNN Business, Anneken Tappe, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Another 1 million American workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The report met economists’ expectations, and was a small decline from the prior week, but the report was still somewhat of a disappointment. So far, we’ve only seen one week — at the start of August — with fewer than a million claims since March, when the pandemic started to take its toll on America’s job market.”

Room rentals, resort fees, and furniture removal: How Trump’s company charged the U.S. Government more than $900,000, The Washington Post, David A. Fahrenthold, Josh Dawsey, and Joshua Partlow, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “The Secret Service had asked for a room close to the president. But Mar-a-Lago said it was too late. The room was booked. Would agents like a room across the street from the president, instead? ‘I do have a Beach Cabana available,’ a staff member at President Trump’s club in Palm Beach, Fla., wrote in March 2017 to a Secret Service agent seeking rooms for the upcoming weekend. ‘cross the street at the Beach Club, North end of the pool.’ The next time, the Secret Service didn’t take the same risk. It paid Mar-a-Lago to book rooms for two weeks at a time — locking them up before the club could rent them to others, according to newly released records and emails. For Trump’s club, it appeared, saying no to the Secret Service had made it a better customer. The agency was paying for rooms on nights when Trump wasn’t even visiting — to be ready just in case Trump decided to go, one former Trump administration official said. Trump has now visited his own properties 271 times as president, according to a Washington Post tally — including a visit Thursday, when he met with GOP donors at his D.C. hotel. Through these trips, Trump has brought the Trump Organization a stream of private revenue from federal agencies and GOP campaign groups. Federal spending records show that taxpayers have paid Trump’s businesses more than $900,000 since he took office. At least $570,000 came as a result of the president’s travel, according to a Post analysis.” See also, White House says it is creating a ‘very large’ dossier on Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist David Fahrenthold and others, CNN Business, Oliver Darcy, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “The White House said in a story published Thursday that it was compiling a ‘very large’ dossier on a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter and others who it said are a ‘disgrace to journalism and the American people.’ The astonishing revelation about the White House’s efforts to discredit reporter David Fahrenthold came after The Post requested comment for a Thursday story he wrote with two colleagues. The story, co-bylined by reporters Josh Dawsey and Joshua Partlow, detailed how President Trump’s company ‘charged the U.S. government more than $900,000’ for hotel rooms fees among other services at Mar-a-Lago. In a statement, White House spokesperson Judd Deere accused The Washington Post of ‘blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization’ and demanded ‘it must stop.’ ‘Please be advised that we are building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people,’ Deere said.”

Twitter says Viral pro-Trump tweets came from fake African American spam accounts, NBC News, Ben Collins, Thursday, 27 August 2020: “Twitter has taken action to stop a spam operation that pushed messages from fake accounts about Black people abandoning the Democratic Party. “The company removed two fake accounts and deleted the account of a San Diego man who spammed the platform, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. The fake accounts were purported to be run by Black people whose viral tweets received tens of thousands of shares in the past month. One of the accounts, @WentDemToRep, logged over 11,000 retweets on a single tweet that claimed that the user was a lifelong Democrat who was pushed to vote Republican by the Black Lives Matter movement. The tweet was posted shortly after the account was created Tuesday.”