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

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~8,140,000; deaths: ~441,000; recoveries: ~3,934,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~2,135,000; deaths: ~117,000; recoveries: ~584,000.

  • The FDA revoked the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 because it’s “unlikely to produce an antiviral effect,” according to the FDA’s chief scientist. Doctors still have the option to prescribe hydroxychloroquine as an “off label” treatment for coronavirus because the drug is approved for other uses, and clinical trials will also be allowed to continue. (Politico / The Guardian / NBC News / New York Times)

  • Trump and Pence downplayed the latest spikes in COVID-19 cases and misleadingly attributed the rise in new cases to increases in testing. On a private call with governors, Pence urged them to “make sure and continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of increase in testing” and said that “in most of the cases where we are seeing some marginal rise in number, that’s more a result of the extraordinary work you’re doing.” In reality, experts have warned that seven-day averages have increased since May 31 in several states with coronavirus outbreaks, and positive cases in at least 14 states have outpaced the average number of tests that have been administered. Trump also downplayed the rise of new cases across the country, suggesting during a White House event for seniors that if the United States “stopped testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.” (New York Times / The Independent / The Hill / CNN)

  • In late July, the Trump administration plans to end the $600 additional weekly unemployment benefit created in response to the nationwide job losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. “I mean, we’re paying people not to work. It’s better than their salaries would get,” said National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow. “That might have worked for the first couple of months. It’ll end in late July.” He added that the White House is instead considering a “reform measure” that would provide a smaller incentive for people to return to work, but said it won’t be as substantial. (Politico / HuffPost / Common Dreams)

  • At least four members of Congress benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program. The bipartisan group of lawmakers acknowledged that businesses either run by their families or employ their spouse as a senior executive benefited from the half-trillion-dollar small-business loan program. (Politico)

  • Trump’s former chief of staff sold up to $550,000 in securities the same day Trump declared that the “economy is doing fantastically.” Mick Mulvaney, then the acting White House chief of staff and the director of the Office of Management and Budget, sold between $215,000 and $550,000 in holdings in three mutual funds on March 4. (Daily Beast)

  • Nursing homes and other senior-care facilities represent at least 40% of the overall count of the coronavirus death toll. (Wall Street Journal)

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said the public was initially told not to wear masks to stop COVID-19 because of shortages of PPE for doctors. Fauci explained the early advice against masks by saying: “The public-health community — and many people were saying this — were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.” (Business Insider / The Street)

  • 😳 Flushing a toilet can generate a cloud of coronavirus aerosol droplets that rise nearly three feet. A new study shows how turbulence from a toilet bowl can create a large plume that is potentially infectious to a bathroom’s next visitor. (New York Times)


1/ Trump signed an executive order incentivizing police reform that includes an exception for chokeholds “if an officer’s life is at risk.” The order does not mandate any immediate action, but does create federal incentives through the Justice Department for local police departments that seek “independent credentialing” to certify higher standards for the use of force and de-escalation training. The executive order falls short of the sweeping policy changes activists have called for following the death of George Floyd. Trump did not address racism directly during the Rose Garden event, but instead claimed that a “very tiny […] a very small percentage” of police officers have killed unarmed black Americans, adding that “nobody wants to get rid of them more than the really good and great police officers.” Trump also claimed that Americans “demand law and order,” saying “Some of them don’t know that that’s what they want but that’s what they want.” Trump added: “Without police, there is chaos.” (Politico / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / CBS News / NPR)

  • Los Angeles Unified school police will return three grenade launchers, but keep 61 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle it received through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. (Los Angeles Times)

2/ The Secret Service admitted that it used pepper spray to clear crowds of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square so Trump could have his picture taken in front of St. John’s church in Washington, D.C. In a statement, the Secret Service said “one agency employee” used pepper spray, reversing its previous statement on June 5 that “no agency personnel used tear gas or capsicum spray during efforts to secure the area.” The Secret Service claimed that pepper spray was used “in response to an assaultive individual.” (NBC News / Washington Post)

3/ The Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender employees from workplace discrimination. Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts in a 6-to-3 majority to extend protections to gay, lesbian and transgender workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Trump administration had urged the court to rule against gay and transgender workers, and previously barred most transgender people from serving in the military. Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion for the court, and Trump, who claimed he read the 119 page decision, called it “very powerful” and said “we live with” it. (New York Times / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / CNN / NBC News)

  • The Trump administration finalized a regulation that would will remove protections for transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies. The rule change narrows the legal definition of “sex discrimination” as only applying when someone faces discrimination for being female or male, and does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. (New York Times / NPR

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development will allow single-sex homeless shelters to choose to accommodate only people whose biological sex matches that of those they serve. (Washington Post)

4/ The Trump administration sued former national security adviser John Bolton to stop the publication of his book about his time in the White House, saying it contained classified information and risks “compromising national security by publishing a book containing classified information.” The Justice Department and the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit seeking to delay the publication of Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” which alleges that Trump committed “Ukraine-like transgressions” in a number of foreign policy decisions. The lawsuit seeks to order Bolton to both complete the prepublication review process and stop the publication and dissemination of his book “as currently drafted.” The memoir is due to go on sale June 23, and has already been shipped to distribution centers across the country. (Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Axios / ABC News)

  • Trump’s niece plans to publish a book in which she claims to be the primary source for a New York Times investigation into Trump’s tax fraud schemes. Mary Trump plans to release the book, “Too Much And Never Enough,” on Aug. 11. In it, she says she was the one who provided the Times with Fred Trump Sr.‘s tax returns and other highly confidential family financial documentation. Mary Trump is the daughter of Trump’s older brother, Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981. The book also claims that Trump and Fred Trump Sr. contributed to Fred Trump Jr.’s death and neglected him at critical stages of his alcohol addiction. (New York Times / Daily Beast / Business Insider / The Guardian / Washington Post)

  • 📌 Day 621: Trump inherited his family’s wealth through fraud and questionable tax schemes, receiving the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire. Trump has repeatedly claimed that “I built what I build myself.” Trump and his siblings used fake corporations to hide financial gifts from his parents, which helped his father claim millions in tax deductions. Trump also helped his parents undervalue their real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars when filing their tax returns. In total, Fred and Mary Trump transferred more than a $1 billion in wealth to their children and paid a total of $52.2 million in taxes (about 5%) instead of the $550+ million they should have owed under the 55% tax rate imposed on gifts and inheritances. Trump also “earned” $200,000 a year in today’s dollars starting at age 3 from his father’s companies. After college, Trump started receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year, which increased to $5 million a year when he was in his 40s and 50s. Trump has refused to release his income tax returns, breaking with decades of practice by past presidents. There is no time limit on civil fines for tax fraud. [Editor’s note: This is a must read. An abstract summary does not suffice.] (New York Times)

poll/ Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years, with 14% of Americans saying they’re very happy. Since 1972, no less than 29% of Americans have ever called themselves very happy in that survey. (Associated Press / NBC News)

poll/ American pride fell to its lowest point in two decades. 42% of adults said they are “extremely proud,” 21% said they’re “very proud,” 15% said they are “moderately proud,” 12% “only a little proud,” and 9% “not at all proud.” (Gallup)

poll/ 80% of Americans are worried about a second wave of coronavirus in the U.S. 85% say they are likely to resume social distancing measures if their state experiences a second wave. 79% said they would stop having gatherings with friends and family, 77% would keep their children home from school or child care, 73% would stop going to non-grocery retail stores, and 65% would go back to self-quarantining. (Axios)


Notables.

  1. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the Trump administration’s challenge to a California sanctuary law that limits local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The Trump administration wanted the Court to hear its appeal of lower court rulings that upheld the California law, which prohibits police and sheriff’s departments from giving ICE agents advance notice when immigrants are about to be released after serving sentences for local crimes. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled that local officials have no duty to help immigration agents enforce federal law. (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / USA Today / Los Angeles Times)

  2. Trump seemed to struggle to drink from a glass of water and walk down a ramp during a commencement ceremony at West Point Military Academy on Sunday. Video from the event shows Trump attempting to drink a glass of water during his speech, but having trouble lifting the glass to his mouth with one hand, so he used his other hand to push the glass to his lips. After the speech, Trump gingerly walked down the ramp one step at a time. After the videos began circulating online, Trump took to Twitter to defend himself and claimed that the short and shallow ramp was “very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery.” He also claimed that he “ran down to level ground” during the last ten feet of the ramp, adding, “Momentum!” There is no evidence that the ramp was slippery and there were no clouds in sight during the ceremony. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post)

  3. Fox News published digitally altered and misleading photos on stories about Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Fox’s coverage spliced a June 10 photo of an armed man at a Seattle protests with a photo from June 10, of a sign reading, “You Are Now Entering Free Cap Hill,” and others photos captured May 30 of a shattered storefront and other unrest downtown. Fox later removed the manipulated images from its website. (Seattle Times / CNN / Washington Post)

  4. Two top officials at Voice of America resigned as Trump appointee prepares to take control of the network and other U.S. federally-funded media operations. (CNN)

  5. NOAA’s acting administrator “engaged in the misconduct intentionally, knowingly, or in reckless disregard” for the agency’s scientific integrity policy when he released a statement that backed Trump’s false statement about the path of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Neil Jacobs criticized the National Weather Service forecast office in Birmingham for a tweet that contradicted Trump’s inaccurate tweet that Hurricane Dorian, which was then approaching the East Coast of the U.S., would hit Alabama “harder than anticipated.” No punishments have been proposed, despite the violations. (Washington Post / New York Times)

  6. The U.S. dropped to 10th place in the ranking of the world’s most competitive economies. In 2019, the U.S. ranked 3rd. (Bloomberg)


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