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

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~13,027,000; deaths: ~571,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~3,347,000; deaths: ~136,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University


1/ Trump’s advisers anonymously sent media outlets a “lengthy list” of remarks made by Dr. Anthony Fauci in an effort to discredit him and stop him from making additional statements about the dangers of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. One White House official said several Trump administration officials are “concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” citing Fauci’s comments in January that the coronavirus was “not a major threat” and his guidance in March that “people should not be walking around with masks.” The scientific and medical consensus on how to respond to the virus, however, has evolved over time, both in the U.S. and around the world. Many of Fauci’s “wrong” statements highlighted by the White House official were based on the best available data at the time and were widely echoed by Trump, other members of the coronavirus task force, and senior White House officials. Fauci, meanwhile, said that the states recently reopening had driven a spike in cases across the country. “We did not shut down entirely,” Fauci said. “And that’s the reason why — when we went up, we started to come down, and then we plateaued at a level that was really quite high, about 20,000 infections a day. Then, as we started to reopen, we’re seeing the surges that we’re seeing today as we speak.” (NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News)

  • Trump – without evidence – retweeted a former game show personality who accused doctors and the CDC of “lying” about the coronavirus. There is no evidence the CDC or doctors are “lying.” (ABC News / Politico)

2/ Internal CDC documents warned that fully reopening K-12 schools and universities would be the “highest risk” for the spread of coronavirus. The 69-page document was circulated within the administration as Trump attacked the CDC guidelines around reopening schools as “too tough” and he, Pence, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos increased their pressure on schools to fully reopen by the fall. During a White House task force briefing last week, Pence announced that the CDC would issue new guidance on reopening schools next week because “we just don’t want the guidance to be too tough.” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, however, later said that the CDC would not be releasing new guidance nor changing the guidance. (New York Times / CNN)

  • Betsy DeVos refused to say whether schools should follow the CDC guidelines on reopening, saying the guidelines are meant to be “flexible.” DeVos also told “Fox News Sunday” that “If schools aren’t going to reopen and not fulfill that promise, they shouldn’t get the funds,” and that the money should be redirected to families who can use it to find another option for their children. (CNN / Axios / Politico)

  • The Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts will be remote-only in the fall. The two largest public school districts in California enroll about 825,000 students. (Los Angeles Times / Axios / New York Times)

  • Attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration over its guidance to not allow foreign students to take online-only courses this fall. Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology also filled lawsuits against the guidance last week and nearly 100 members of Congress sent a letter to DHS urging the department to rescind the policy. (CNN / New York Times)

3/ Two top health officials in the Trump administration said they “expect deaths to go up” in the U.S. as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in parts of the country. Admiral Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary with the Health and Human Services department, and surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams both emphasized their concerns about the surging outbreaks, many of which are occurring in areas where people haven’t followed the recommendations from the CDC on how to limit the spread. “We’re all very concerned about the rise in cases, no doubt about that,” said Adm. Giroir, who has been in charge of the Trump administration’s testing response. “We do expect deaths to go up. If you have more cases, more hospitalizations, we do expect to see that over the next two or three weeks before this turns around.” (New York Times)

  • Florida reported a record 15,300 new coronavirus cases on Sunday – the most by any state in a single day. It shattered previous highs of 11,694 reported by California last week and 11,571 reported by New York on April 15. (Miami Herald / Washington Post / CNN / Politico)

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, bars, movie theaters, and more to close immediately. 30 counties – which represent about 80% of Californians – will also be required to close fitness centers, places of worship, offices for noncritical sectors, personal care services, hair salons, barbershops, and malls. (CNBC / Politico / Axios)

  • Trump wore a mask for the first time in public. [Editor’s note: I can’t believe this is “news” but here we are.] (CBS News / CNN / Associated Press)

4/ Trump commuted Roger Stone’s jail sentence, who was convicted in 2019 of seven felonies for lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing the House investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. Stone was scheduled to begin his 40-month prison sentence on Tuesday. The White House denounced the “overzealous prosecutors” who convicted Stone on “process-based charges” as a result of the “witch hunts” as part of the “Russia hoax” investigation. The letter does not argue that Stone is innocent, only that he should not have been investigated in the first place. Attorney General William Barr recommended against granting Stone clemency. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Associated Press / Politico / BBC / CNN)

  • Robert Mueller responded to Trump’s claim that Roger Stone was a “victim” in the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In a Washington Post op-ed, Mueller wrote: “Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.” (Washington Post / Axios / Politico)

5/ The White House granted Trump a second 45-day extension to file his personal financial disclosure forms. The forms, which were originally due on May 15, are supposed to detail Trump’s income, debt, stock holdings, and outstanding loans for 2019, but Trump got an extension until the end of June. On June 29, Scott Gast, deputy counsel to the president, granted Trump a second extension, until Aug. 13. Federal law allows only two such extensions. (Washington Post)


✏️ Notables.

  1. The Trump administration lifted a ban on the sales of silencers to private overseas buyers that was intended to protect American troops in Afghanistan. Michael Williams, who joined the White House as assistant deputy general counsel in 2017, spent nearly two years trying to overturn the prohibition as general counsel of the American Suppressor Association. (New York Times)

  2. China announced retaliatory sanctions against U.S. officials in response to U.S. sanctions over Beijing’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Province. Among the U.S. officials and organizations named in the sanctions are Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Rep. Chris Smith, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. A spokesperson for China announced the sanctions at a press conference on Monday, calling on the U.S. to “stop interfering in China’s international affairs.” The U.S. sanctions against Chinese officials include the freezing of all US assets and a block preventing US nationals from conducting business with them. “We urge the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs or undermining China’s interests,” the spokesperson said. (CNN / The Guardian / Politico)

  3. Trump reportedly considered “selling” or “divesting” Puerto Rico in 2017 after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. According to Elaine Duke, who was serving as DHS’ acting secretary when the hurricane hit the island, Trump’s “initial ideas were more of as a businessman” and that he asked “Can we outsource the electricity? Can we can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?” (New York Times / CNN)

  4. Trump criticized a privately built border wall by his supporters in South Texas, saying it was “only done to make me look bad.” A segment of the wall along the Texas-Mexico border was showing dangerous “signs of erosion“ only months after being completed. (Associated Press / Politico)

  5. Trump claimed that “nobody ever heard” that Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party before Trump became president. “Like people don’t remember, nobody ever heard of it until I came along, nobody remembered it for a long time, or they didn’t use it at least, I use it all the time: Abraham Lincoln was a Republican,” Trump said. He added: “You know you say that and people say, ‘I didn’t know that,’ but he was Republican, so we’re doing a great job.” (Twitter / The Independent)


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