• 😷 Dept. of We Have It Totally Under Control.

  • Global: Total confirmed cases ~5,886,000; Total deaths: ~363,000; Total recoveries: ~2,469,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~1,741,000; Total deaths: ~103,000; Total recoveries: ~400,000

  • The CDC quietly removed warnings contained in guidance for the reopening of houses of worship that singing in choirs can spread the coronavirus. The agency also added new language about the First Amendment to its guidance on reopening houses of worship. (CNBC / Washington Post)

  • The Trump administration’s initial distribution of remdesivir went to – in some cases – the wrong hospitals, to hospitals with no ICUs and therefore no eligible patients, and to facilities without the refrigeration needed to store it. Remdesivir is the only approved coronavirus medication. (Washington Post)

  • Congress and the White House are discussing a $450 “return-to-work bonus.” Republican lawmakers have repeatedly claimed that increased unemployment benefits reward workers for staying home. Their idea is to make returning to work more attractive than remaining on unemployment. (Washington Post)


1/ Trump threatened military violence against U.S. citizens in Minneapolis who were protesting the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed, unarmed black man who was killed while pleading for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Trump, who previously called the video of Floyd’s death “shocking,” tweeted that the protesters were “THUGS” and warned that “the Military is with [Gov. Tim Walz] all the way […] Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Hours later, the White House reposted Trump’s comment on its official account. Last month, Trump tweeted support for protesters in Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia to “LIBERATE” themselves and defy coronavirus stay-at-home orders. In 2017, when neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Va., and a counter-protester was killed, Trump responded by saying there were “very fine people” on “both sides” of the issue. (New York Times / Politico / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN)

  • A former Minneapolis police officer involved in George Floyd’s death has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The announcement comes days after the release of a video that shows Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed on Floyd’s neck for at least seven minutes. (NPR)

  • 📌 Day 1184: Trump tweeted support for protesters in Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia to “LIBERATE” themselves by defying stay-at-home orders — all states where protesters have gathered in public this week to demonstrate against stay-at-home orders issued by Democratic governors. Less than 24 hours after unveiling a plan that deferred to governors to determine when they could safely reopen their states, Trump sent a series of tweets calling on people to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!; LIBERATE MINNESOTA!; LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” Trump’s tweets were sent moments after a Fox News report about protests in Minnesota and elsewhere. (Bloomberg / Politico / USA Today / ABC News / New York Times)

  • 📌 Day 208: Trump, again, blamed both sides for the Charlottesville violence, asking why the “alt-left” is not being blamed because, he says, they were “very, very violent” when they confronted white nationalist and Nazi groups. He asked if George Washington statues were going to come down next. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg)

2/ Twitter placed a warning on Trump’s tweet that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot by the military, saying it violated the company’s rules against “glorifying violence.” Twitter also flagged the tweet posted by the official White House Twitter account. Trump later tried to clean up and defend his remarks, tweeting: “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night […] I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means […] It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!” The company left the tweet up, saying “it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.” Earlier this week Twitter added a fact-check label to two Trump tweets that made unsubstantiated claims about mail-in voting. Trump responded with an executive order aimed at limiting some legal protections for social media companies from liability for the content posted on their platforms. (New York Times / Axios / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / The Guardian / Bloomberg)

3/ Trump denied knowing the origin of the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” saying he’s heard the phrase “for a long time” and that he doesn’t know where it came from or where it originated. The phrase was used by Miami’s police chief, Walter Headley, in 1967, when he addressed his department’s “crackdown on … slum hoodlums,” saying: “There is only one way to handle looters and arsonists during a riot and that is to shoot them on sight. I’ve let the word filter down: When the looting starts the shooting starts.” When a reporter noted it was said by Headley, Trump said he “has also heard from many other places,” adding that he believed the phrase meant that “when there’s looting, people get shot and they die.” The phrase was also used by presidential candidate and segregationist George Wallace in 1968. (CNN / New York Times / NBC News)

4/ A CNN reporter was arrested, handcuffed, and led away by police in Minneapolis while reporting live on-air. CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, an African-American man, was reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd. He was arrested for allegedly not moving after being told by police, though the live footage shows Jimenez talking with police and offering to “move back to where you like.” Jimenez was released about an hour later. (CNN / Bloomberg / Axios / Politico)

5/ Trump announced that he is “terminating” U.S. membership with the World Health Organization as the global coronavirus pandemic continues. Trump accused the WHO of becoming a puppet organization of China, claiming Beijing “has total control […] despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year.” The move was criticized by public health experts, who said it doesn’t make sense to cut off funding for the group amid the ongoing pandemic. Last month, Trump temporarily froze U.S funding and threatened to permanently cut off funding to the WHO pending a review of its initial response to the coronavirus outbreak. In what was billed by the White House as a news conference, Trump took no questions. Instead, Trump walked away as reporters shouted questions about Floyd, Minnesota, and the coronavirus pandemic. (Politico / CNBC / CNN / NBC News / CBS News / Wall Street Journal / Reuters / The Guardian / Vox)

  • 📌 Day 1216: Trump threatened to permanently cut off funding to the World Health Organization and revoke U.S. membership. Trump sent a letter to the WHO director-general complaining about the “repeated missteps by you and your organization,” and claiming that the WHO “ignored credible reports of the virus” and “repeatedly made claims about the coronavirus that were either grossly inaccurate or misleading.” Trump threatened that the U.S. would permanently end all U.S. financial contributions to the WHO if the organization didn’t “commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days.” Trump suspended U.S. funding to the WHO last month. Trump, however, offered no other details about the reforms he was seeking or what specific changes would unlock U.S. funding. Trump tweeted that his letter is “self-explanatory.” Leaders in Europe and Asia, meanwhile, stressed the importance of the WHO’s work, calling on the U.S. to “stop the blame game” because – during the global pandemic – this is “not the time for finger pointing.” (CNN / NBC News / Politico / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CBS News / Axios)

  • 📌 Day 1182: Trump cutoff U.S. funding to the World Health Organization in response to the agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “We have not been treated properly,” Trump said, deflecting blame for his dismissal of the virus as a threat to Americans and the U.S. economy. The hold will remain for up to 90 days while the Trump administration conducts a funding review. Trump said the U.S. had “a duty to insist on full accountability,” accusing the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the crisis. Trump also said that “if we cannot trust them,” then the U.S. will be “forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.” The U.S. is the largest donor to the WHO, and contributes between $400 million and $500 million a year to the organization, which has an annual budget of around $6 billion. (Washington Post / Politico /USA Today / Wall Street Journal / Axios / CNN / NBC News / BBC News)


✏️ Notables.

  1. Roger Stone was ordered to report to prison by June 30. Stone, who is designated to be inmate #19579-104 after a federal judge sentenced him to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress and witness intimidation, will quarantine at a still-unspecified prison for 14 days upon his surrender. (CNN / Politico / Axios)

  2. Trump will eliminate Hong Kong’s favored trade status with the United States as punishment for China placing new national security powers on the independent territory. “They’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before,” Trump said of China, alleging that Beijing had “raided our factories” and “gutted” American industry. By revoking Hong Kong’s preferential treatment, Hong Kong would be subject to the same duties that Trump imposed on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods. Those goods – about $4.7 billion worth – are currently exported from Hong Kong without additional duties. (CNBC / CNN / ABC News / New York Times / Politico / Axios / Associated Press)

  3. Republicans gave North Carolina until June 3 to approve their plan to host the Republican National Convention in Charlotte despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper, the RNC laid out a series of precautions and safety measures it would put in place during the convention. “We still do not have solid guidelines from the State and cannot in good faith, ask thousands of visitors to begin paying deposits and making travel plans without knowing the full commitment of the Governor, elected officials and other stakeholders in supporting the Convention,” the letter reads. The letter does not indicate whether attendees would be required to wear masks or get tested before entering the arena. (Washington Post / New York Times)

  4. A senior Trump administration official misused his office to help get his son-in-law a job at the EPA, investigators said in an Interior Department inspector general report. Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the son-in-law when he was seeking a job at the agency. (Associated Press)

  5. The EPA will not formally object to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, where mining could damage the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. The Army Corps of Engineers will decide this summer whether to grant a federal permit to the Pebble Partnership to move forward with the project. (Washington Post)


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