👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~20,178,000; deaths: ~739,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~5,131,000; deaths: ~165,000
Source: Johns Hopkins University
Russia approved approved a coronavirus vaccine that hasn’t completed clinical trials. Putin said receiving the vaccine would be voluntary and that it had “proven efficient” and “passed all the necessary tests,” but no data has been published by researchers for peer review and the long-term effects of the treatment remained unclear. Less than 100 people have received the inoculation. (Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / New York Times / Bloomberg / Politico)
1/ Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate, announcing the decision hours after Trump suggested that some men would feel “insulted” if he chose a woman. Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, will be the first Black woman and first Asian-American to be nominated for national office by a major party. Trump, meanwhile, told Fox Sports Radio that Biden has “roped himself into a certain group of people.” Following Biden’s announcement, Trump attacked Harris, calling her “nasty” and “disrespectful,” adding that “Phony Kamala will abandon her own morals.” (Washington Post / Axios / New York Times / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Axios)
- About 76% of Americans will be eligible to vote by mail in the 2020 election – the most in U.S. history. (New York Times)
2/ Trump baselessly claimed that Americans will “have to learn to speak Chinese” if Biden wins in November. “China will own the United States if this election is lost by Donald Trump,” Trump said, referring to himself in the third person. “And with me, they were having the worst year in 67 years because I tariffed the hell out of them.” (CNN / Politico)
3/ Trump was abruptly escorted from a press briefing by Secret Service after a man claiming to have a weapon was shot by an officer outside the White House. The unidentified 51-year-old man was shot near the White House fence after he approached a Secret Service officer, told him he had a weapon, ran toward the officer, and pulled an object from his clothing, according to the Secret Service. The agency did not answer questions about whether the man actually had a gun, or if the officer was injured. After being taken to the Oval Office, Trump returned to the briefing room about 10 minutes later. After addressing the shooting, Trump picked up where he left off: “So I was telling you that the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are now 50 percent above the March level,” he said. “NASDAQ is setting new records.” (CNBC / NBC News / The Guardian)
4/ Trump claimed that he would not have called on Obama to resign from office if 160,000 Americans had died under his administration’s watch. Trump, however, tweeted in 2014 that Obama should resign for allowing a single doctor who tested positive for Ebola to enter the U.S. (Axios)
5/ Trump claimed that in 1917 the Spanish Flu “probably ended the Second World War,” even though that pandemic began in 1918 and World War II didn’t begin until 1939. “The closest thing is in 1917, they say, the great pandemic,” Trump said, comparing the Spanish Flu to COVID-19. “It certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War.” He added: “All the soldiers were sick. That was a terrible situation.” A White House official claimed Trump was talking about World War I, where more soldiers died from the disease than from fighting. (USA Today / Business Insider)
6/ Trump urged universities to “Play College Football!” hours before the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they had postponed fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, Trump told Fox Sports Radio that he thinks “football’s making a tragic mistake,” saying there’s “nothing like” the “atmosphere” of college football and “you can’t have empty seats.” Trump, meanwhile, said that the NBA is “not working” because players are kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality. (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / CNBC)
7/ The White House is considering new immigration rules to temporarily block entry by citizens and legal residents from returning to the United States if authorities believe they may be infected with the coronavirus. White House officials have been circulating a proposal that would expand the government’s power to prevent re-entry if an official “reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease.” The proposal relies on the existing legal authority of the CDC to protect the country, but it’s unclear whether the Trump administration has the legal authority to block citizens and permanent residents from returning to their own country. (New York Times / Washington Post)
8/ The Trump administration has argued that the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to circumvent immigration law for migrant children. The administration has said that they can’t risk infected children spreading COVID-19 through the system, using that as justification for expelling thousands of migrant children back to their home countries without legal screenings or protection. The expulsion policy, however, is used to “prevent the introduction” of COVID-19 into the United States. And, even after children test negative for the virus, they aren’t being allowed to access their legal protections. Instead, migrants who test positive for COVID-19 are required to remain in the U.S., while those who test negative are expelled. (ProPublica)
poll/ Biden maintains a 10-point lead over Trump less than three months from November’s general election. Biden is supported by 51% of registered voters, while Trump is supported by 41%. (Monmouth University / Politico)
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