• 🔥 Daily Damage Report.

  • 🌍 Global: Total confirmed cases ~4,331,000; Total deaths: ~296,000; Total recoveries: ~1,539,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • 🇺🇸 U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~1,388,000; Total deaths: ~84,000; Total recoveries: ~244,000

  • 💰 Markets: Dow 📉; S&P 500 📉; Nasdaq 📉

  • 💻 Live Blog: New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NPR / NBC News / CNN

  • 👑 Portrait of a President.

  • We don’t have a president, or a plan. 60 days into the coronavirus crisis, the White House does not have a plan, a framework, a philosophy, or a goal. (Vox)

  • Trump is resorting to his preferred and battle-tested tactic to fight the biggest threat to his re-election: diversion. The totality of Trump’s display underscored the extent to which the pandemic has worn on the president, who has watched his popularity in key swing states plummet. Just two months ago Trump was reveling in a booming economy and a field of Democratic challengers that appeared in disarray. Now, he faces harsher realities: More than 81,000 dead people and an economy in the deepest contraction in memory. The virus has meanwhile crept into the White House itself, infecting staffers in the Vice President Mike Pence’s office and one of the president’s own valets. (Bloomberg)

  • Trump Has Lost the Plot. The president is talking about things most Americans can’t comprehend, let alone care about. (The Atlantic)


1/ Trump and the coronavirus task force is pushing the CDC to change its methodology for how they count coronavirus deaths, which could lead to far fewer deaths being counted than originally reported. The Trump administration specifically wants the agency to change how it works with states to count coronavirus-related deaths. Dr. Deborah Birx has reportedly urged CDC officials to exclude from coronavirus death-count reporting for individuals who either did not have confirmed lab results and are presumed positive or who had the virus and may not have died as a direct result of COVID-19. Trump has suggested that coronavirus deaths could have been incorrectly tallied or inflated by current methodology. Dr. Anthony Fauci, however, said the U.S. death toll count is likely higher than is reflected in government data. Meanwhile, researchers have developed a new method to compare and merge coronavirus models into a single “ensemble” projection. The result? 110,000 dead Americans by June 6. Total U.S. deaths currently stand at ~84,000. (Daily Beast / NPR / Washington Post)

  • Roughly 27 million people have likely have lost job-based health coverage since the coronavirus. About 80% have other options, such as the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but the remaining 20% are out of luck because they live in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid or they are ineligible for other kinds of subsidized coverage. (Axios)

  • Sen. John Cornyn encouraged his Texas constituents to use the Affordable Care Act if they’ve lost their jobs and need health insurance. Cornyn has voted to repeal the ACA more than a dozen times. (HuffPost)

  • The “rapid” coronavirus test used at the White House missed nearly half of positive cases, according to a New York University analysis. Abbott’s ID NOW missed at least one-third of positive cases detected with a rival test and as much as 48% when using the recommended dry nasal swabs. (Bloomberg)

  • 📌 Day 1197: Trump erupted at his campaign manager after seeing polling data that showed him trailing Joe Biden in several swing states in the presidential race. “I am not fucking losing to Joe Biden,” Trump shouted at Brad Parscale during a conference call with his top political advisers last week after he was told he would have lost the Electoral College if the election had been held earlier this month. At one point, Trump threatened to sue Parscale. Trump’s aides had attempted to highlight the political cost of the coronavirus crisis and the unforced errors by Trump from his freewheeling press briefings after two polls – one from the Republican National Committee and another from the Trump campaign — both showed him trailing Biden in swing states. “I don’t believe the polls,” Trump said. “I believe the people of this country are smart. And I don’t think that they will put a man in who’s incompetent.” Trump also initially resisted the advice to curtail his daily coronavirus briefings, saying people “love” the briefings and think he is “fighting for them.” Trump later defended Parscale, tweeting: “Actually, he is doing a great job. I never shouted at him.” (Associated Press / CNN / Reuters / Washington Post / New York Times)

2/ Jared Kushner refused to rule out that the presidential election could be postponed due to the pandemic despite the opinion of a White House staff member having no bearing on when the election is held. Election Day takes place, by law, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November and neither Trump nor Kushner have the authority to unilaterally postpone the election. Nevertheless, when asked if there was a chance the presidential election could be postponed, Kushner replied: “I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that’s the plan.” Kushner later tried to clarify his earlier response, saying “I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of, any discussions about trying to change the date of the presidential election.” Last month, Trump told reporters at a news conference that “The general election will happen on Nov. 3.” Separately, Trump told reporters that “I never thought of changing the date of the election. November 3. Good number.” (Time / New York Times / Washington Post)

3/ The top U.S. vaccine doctor who was ousted in April testified that the U.S. could face the “darkest winter in modern history” because the Trump administration was unprepared for the coronavirus. According to Dr. Rick Bright’s prepared testimony, “Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.” Dr. Bright testified that the Department of Health and Human Services “missed early warning signals” in January, February, and March about a potential shortage of medical supplies and “forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook” early on. Dr. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint last week, alleging that he was ousted over his attempts to limit the use of hydroxychloroquine — the unproven drug touted by Trump — to treat the coronavirus. (CNN / Axios / Politico)

  • 📌 Day 1202: The federal scientist involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. Dr. Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, alleges that he was removed from his position for pushing back on “efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections” and that he tried to “prioritize science and safety over political expediency.” In the complaint, Bright charged the Department of Health and Human Services with “an abuse of authority or gross mismanagement,” saying the agency’s chaotic response was the result of “pressure from HHS leadership to ignore scientific merit and expert recommendations and instead to award lucrative contracts based on political connections and cronyism.” Bright was removed from his post on April 20 after having served as BARDA director for nearly four years. He was reassigned to a narrower role at the National Institutes of Health. (NBC News / NPR / CNN / Washington Post / Axios / CBS News)

4/ Paul Manafort was released from prison to serve the remainder of his sentence from home due to concerns over the coronavirus. Manafort is serving a seven-year term, set to end in November 2024, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and obstruct justice related to his undisclosed lobbying for a pro-Russian politician and political party in Ukraine. (ABC News / Washington Post / NBC News / CBS News / CNBC / The Guardian)

5/ Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell sent Republican senators a list of former senior Obama administration officials who made “unmasking” requests that might have identified Michael Flynn in classified foreign intelligence reports. Unmasking of U.S. identities in intelligence reports is a routine process that occurs thousands of times annually and is requested by senior administration officials to better understand the context of intercepted conversations that are being reviewed. The requests were made and approved through the National Security Agency’s regular process between Trump’s November 2016 election and inauguration in January 2017. (Wall Street Journal / Politico)

  • The federal judge overseeing the criminal case of Michael Flynn put the Justice Department’s motion to drop the case on hold. Judge Emmet Sullivan said he would set a schedule to accept briefs from outside parties who might have an interest in the case. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico)

6/ The Trump administration’s coronavirus restrictions have granted asylum at the southern border to two people since March 21. In 2018, U.S. immigration courts granted asylum to 13,248 people. Citing the threat to public health from the coronavirus, the Trump administration suspended most due-process rights for migrants while “expelling” more than 20,000 unauthorized border-crossers to Mexico. (Washington Post)


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