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

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~16,341,000; deaths: ~651,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~4,272,000; deaths: ~148,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University


1/ Trump’s national security adviser tested positive for COVID-19. Robert O’Brien, the closest person to Trump and highest-ranking official to test positive so far, “has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site,” the White House said. “There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president.” When asked by reporters about O’Brien, Trump responded: “I haven’t seen him lately. I heard he tested [positive].” O’Brien was also one of the first administration officials to wear a mask at the White House. (Bloomberg / Politico / CNN / Associated Press / NBC News / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

  • About 35% of COVID-19 patients who weren’t hospitalized do not recover quickly and experience ongoing symptoms, such as fatigue and cough for up to three weeks after their diagnosis, according to a CDC report. (NBC News)

  • FDA warned that at least 77 hand sanitizer products may be toxic when absorbed through the skin. Many of the products’ labels say they contain ethanol, but FDA tests show that they contain methanol. (Washington Post)

  • About 4,000 federal employees contracted the coronavirus while at work and at least 60 died. The total number of claims is expected to increase to 6,000 within weeks. (Washington Post)

  • At least 14 members of the Miami Marlins, including 12 players, tested positive for the coronavirus. MLB postponed Monday night’s scheduled game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees in Philadelphia after the Phillies hosted the Marlins for three games this weekend. The Yankees would have occupied the same visitors’ clubhouse that the Marlins have since departed. (Washington Post / New York Times)

  • Trump will no longer throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the New York Yankees on Aug. 15 because of his “strong focus” on the coronavirus. Trump has never thrown out a first pitch while in office, but said he “will make it later in the season!” The decision by the Yankees to invite Trump to throw out the opening pitch drew criticism from some NY elected officials, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who contrasted the franchise’s rhetorical support for racial justice and equality with Trump’s record on race relations. (Axios / Politico)

2/ Senate Republicans are planning to lower supplemental unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 per week as part of their $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill. The proposal, which the Trump administration has agreed to, calls for a two-month transition for states to implement a new program that would cap unemployed payments at 70% of a worker’s previous income. House Democrats, meanwhile, have proposed extending the $600 benefit until January because the unemployment rate remains very high. The GOP package is also expected to include another round of $1,200 direct payments to some Americans, additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, $25 billion to improve coronavirus testing programs, and more than $100 billion to help reopen schools and colleges. White House officials have also floated the idea of breaking off some policy items into separate bills to try and pass them more quickly. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly rejected that approach. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Axios / CNN / NBC News)

3/ An experimental COVID-19 vaccine entered Phase 3 clinical trials, in which the first of 30,000 volunteers received test shots developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna. Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated that full enrollment of the trial’s 30,000 participants will be completed by the end of the summer and that the results might be available by November. Volunteers will receive either two 100 microgram injections of the vaccine or a placebo 28 days apart with the goal of determining whether the vaccine is safe and effective. Moderna said it would be able to deliver about 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to a billion doses per year, starting in 2021. Moderna has received at least $955 million in federal funding to develop the vaccine and said it does not plan to sell the vaccine at cost, but will instead sell it for profit. (New York Times / Washington Post / CBS News / Associated Press / CNN)

4/ One of the largest television station operators in the country delayed its broadcast of a baseless conspiracy theory suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci was responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Following an outcry on social media, Sinclair Broadcast Group pulled an edition of “America This Week,” in which Eric Bolling, a former Fox News personality, interviewed Judy Mikovits, an anti-vaccine activist and maker of the widely discredited “Plandemic” video, and her lawyer, Larry Klayman about their plans to sue Fauci. During the prerecorded interview, Mikovits, who is referred to as “an expert in virology,” claimed that Fauci “manufactured” the coronavirus and shipped it to China. Bolling also proposed that China then “accelerated the virus” while researching a vaccine and “it somehow leaked out of a laboratory.” There is no evidence that the virus was man-made in a lab, let alone that Fauci was involved. Sinclair operates 191 stations in 89 markets broadcasting to 629 channels. (Media Matters / CNN / Bloomberg / Associated Press / Politico)

5/ The Trump administration will send 100 more deputy U.S. Marshals to Portland. The Department of Homeland Security is also considering a plan to send an additional 50 Customs and Border Protection personnel to the city. As of mid-July, there were 114 federal agents deployed to Portland. (Washington Post / Oregon Public Broadcasting)

  • SEATTLE, Wash. — A riot was declared in Seattle during a protest in support of Black Lives Matter, against police violence, and the presence of federal law enforcement. After demonstrators began marching, five trailers at a nearby construction site for a future juvenile detention center were set on fire. Protesters also spray painted the 12th police precinct and tried to disable cameras outside the building. Police deployed “less-lethal munitions” to clear people away from the precinct, firing flash grenades and pepper spray at protesters, and at times abruptly rushing into the crowd to knock people to the ground. Police later claimed that protesters were throwing rocks, fireworks, and “other explosives” at officers. A photo shared by police, however, appears to be a colored smoke bomb. Federal officials also deployed a tactical team to Seattle this week. At least 47 people were arrested on charges of assaulting officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. (CBS News / Seattle Times / CNN / New York Times)

  • AUSTIN, Texas — A man was shot and killed at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas. The suspect drove through the crowd of protesters before shooting the victim with a rifle. The shooter was released by police “pending further investigation.” (BuzzFeed News)

6/ An Army National Guard officer who witnessed protesters forcibly removed from Lafayette Square last month will testify that Park Police’s use of force was an “unnecessary” and “unprovoked” escalation that he and his fellow National Guardsmen viewed as “deeply disturbing.” Adam DeMarco’s testimony directly contradicts statements by Attorney General William Barr and the White House about the the events that preceded Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church for a photo op. DeMarco will say that “demonstrators were behaving peacefully” and that tear gas was deployed in an “excessive use of force.” (Axios / Washington Post / Politico)

  • 📌 Day 1230: As he spoke from the Rose Garden, police cleared peaceful protesters outside the White House with tear gas and flash grenades so Trump could pose by a church for photographs to dispel the notion that he was “weak” for hiding in a bunker over the weekend. Following his remarks in the Rose Garden, Trump left the White House and walked through Lafayette Square, where riot police and military police had cleared protesters moments before. Once Trump reached the far side of the square, he raised a bible in front of the church for a photo. Trump’s decision to speak to the nation from the Rose Garden and to then visit the church came together because he was reportedly upset about the news coverage of him retreating to the White House bunker amid the protests. Just before Trump spoke, Attorney General William Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials to clear protesters from Lafayette Square. (New York Times / CNN / ABC News / Vox / Washington Post / YouTube / Religious News Service)

poll/ 59% of “Lean Trump” voters said the nationwide protests against racism and police brutality are “completely right” or “somewhat right.” 72% of Americans with “Mixed Feelings” about Trump said the protesters were right, too. (Vanity Fair)

poll/ 60% of Americans say the worst effects of the pandemic are yet to come. 28% of Americans rate the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus “good” or “excellent,” while 48% rate the response “poor,” and another 23% call it “fair.” 53% of U.S. adults say that stress related to coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health – up from 39% in May. (Kaiser Family Foundation)

poll/ 32% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. 38% approve of the way Trump is handling the economy – down from 67% in January. 20% say the U.S. is headed in the right direction – the lowest of Trump’s presidency so far. And, 38% approve of the job Trump is doing as president. (Associated Press / Axios)


Notables.

  1. Germany rejected Trump’s suggestion that Russia should be allowed to re-join the G7. Germany’s foreign secretary said there was no prospect of re-admitting Russia until it had resolved the situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. In June, Trump said it was “common sense” for Putin to be invited back into the G7. Russia used to be a member of the group, then called the G8, until it invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and backed a rebellion in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters / Business Insider)

  2. Trump promoted tweets from Republican senators touting the benefits of a defense authorization bill he has threatened to veto. The legislation currently includes a provision instructing the Pentagon to rename military installations named after Confederate generals. (Washington Post)

  3. Attorney General William Barr directed the FBI to declassify a redacted report about the Christopher Steele dossier. In doing so, the FBI unmasked the name of an expert in Russian politics who had agreed to tell investigators what he knew if the FBI kept his identity secret so he could protect himself, his sources, and his family and friends in Russia. (New York Times)

  4. Melania Trump plans to renovate the White House Rose Garden. Melania called the renovation, which includes electrical upgrades for television appearances, a new walkway, and new flowers and shrubs, an “act of expressing hope and optimism for the future,” and that during difficult times “the White House and the Rose Garden have always stood as a symbol of our strength, resilience and continuity.” Trump, however, has repeatedly used the Rose Garden to announce executive actions, boast about the economy, and extend his political battles. (New York Times)

  5. Trump will not visit the Capitol Rotunda to pay respects to the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, who will lie in state for two days before being buried in a private funeral in Atlanta Thursday. Trump did did not offer an explanation for why. (Axios / Politico)


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