😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~17,117,000; deaths: ~669,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~4,465,000; deaths: ~152,000
Source: Johns Hopkins University
1/ Another 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week – the 19th straight week that the tally exceeded one million and the second weekly increase in a row after nearly four months of declines. 17 million Americans filed for ongoing benefits. An additional 830,000 new claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a benefit offered to gig and self-employed workers. (Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)
2/ The U.S. suffered its worst quarterly economic contraction on record in the second quarter. GDP shrank 9.5% from April through June – the largest quarterly decline since the government started publishing data 70 years ago. On an annualized basis, GDP fell at a rate of 32.9%. The contraction came as states imposed lockdowns across the country to contain the coronavirus. Trump recently told Fox News that “We’re going to have a great year next year. We’re going to have a great third quarter. And the nice thing about the third quarter is that the results are going to come out before the election.” (New York Times / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / Politico / The Guardian)
3/ Lawmakers are “nowhere close to a deal” on a new round of coronavirus aid, according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. A last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to pass a standalone extension of extension of federal unemployment insurance failed in the Senate. The Republican proposal would have renewed enhanced unemployment benefits, but slash them from $600 a week to $200. Democrats blocked the effort, pushing for the full $600 to go into next year, which was blocked by Republicans. The Senate is scheduled to leave Washington without any resolution on the expiring benefit, which would leave tens of millions of Americans in limbo as more than 1 million new unemployment claims filed for the 19th week in a row and after the economy recorded its worst quarter on record. (New York Times / Politico / CNBC)
Herman Cain died a month after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Cain attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa, sharing photos of himself not wearing a mask while at the event. Cain’s positive coronavirus test came less than two weeks after he attended the rally. Others who attended the rally subsequently became sick, including Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and six Trump campaign staffers. (Axios / BuzzFeed News / Politico)
After testing positive for COVID-19, Rep. Louie Gohmert said he will take hydroxychloroquine. Experts have warned that the anti-malaria drug doesn’t treat the coronavirus. (The Hill)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a mandate that all members wear a face mask while inside the House. The mandate was announced hours after Rep. Louis Gohmert revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19. Gohmert frequently refused to wear a mask on the House floor. Members and staff will be required to wear masks in the halls of the House,” Pelosi said. She added that members and staffers will not be allowed in the House Chamber if they refuse to obey the new mandate. (CBS News)
4/ Trump – lacking authority – mused about a “delay” of the 2020 election, questioning the integrity of voting during the coronavirus pandemic, and claiming without evidence that widespread mail-in voting would be a “catastrophic disaster” and lead to fraudulent results. The tweet about whether the date should be pushed back until “people can properly, securely and safely vote” marked the first time Trump has explicitly raised the idea of delaying the November elections. There is no evidence that mail-in voting leads to fraud. Only Congress can change the date of the election, which was fixed as the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 by an act of Congress in 1845. It would require new legislation for the election to be delayed. Trump’s tweet came shortly after a report was released showing the worst economic contraction in modern American history. (Washington Post / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Reuters / CNN / New York Times / Associated Press / NPR / Axios / BBC)
5/ Trump vowed to protect the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream” and promised that Americans will “would “no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing” in their communities. Last week, Trump rescinded the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, an addition to the 1968 Fair Housing Act designed to reduce racial segregation in American suburbs by requiring local governments that receive federal funding to study racial bias in their housing patterns and develop plans to address it. “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down,” Trump tweeted. “I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!” Earlier this month, Trump announced that his administration was replacing the fair housing rule with its own rule, dubbed “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.” (CNBC / New York Times / USA Today / The Guardian)
- 📌 Day 1282: Trump repealed a fair housing regulation he claimed would lead to “destruction” of the country’s suburbs. The White House replaced the rule, which required local governments to proactively track patterns of poverty and segregation to gain access to federal housing funds, with a checklist of questions that would allow local governments to essentially self-certify that they are meeting their obligation to “affirmatively further fair housing” under the 1968 Fair Housing Act. (Washington Post / Politico)
6/ The federal appeals court in Washington will reconsider its earlier ruling ordering the dismissal of a criminal case against Michael Flynn. U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan had requested the case be reheard after Attorney General William Barr dropped the prosecution of Trump’s former national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador in 2016. Last month, a divided three-judge panel instructed Sullivan to grant the Justice Department’s May 7 request to dismiss federal charges against Flynn. (New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg)
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