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

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~20,729,000; deaths: ~752,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~5,237,000; deaths: ~167,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

1/ Trump vowed to block funding for the U.S. Postal Service so Democrats “can’t have universal mail-in voting” during the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters he would not approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service, or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources. And then on Thursday, Trump directly linked Democrats’ coronavirus relief spending proposal to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting would perpetuate “one of the greatest frauds in history,” saying “if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.” Trump added: “They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess. Are they going to do it even if they don’t have the money?” States, meanwhile, are working to increase their capacity for mail-in voting with a surge of Americans expected to vote by mail this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump also threatened to veto an earlier, $2 trillion round of coronavirus relief spending for unemployment benefits, small businesses, and national security industries if it included any direct funding for the Postal Service. (HuffPost / Washington Post / New York Times / Business Insider / Axios / Bloomberg / Washington Post / CNN)

  • The United States Postal Service has removed some mail sorting machines that would likely be tasked with sorting ballots without explanation or reason. At least 19 mail sorting machines from five processing facilities around the country have either already been removed or are scheduled to be in the near future. USPS has not announced any policy, explained why this is happening, what will happen to the machines or the workers who use them. (Vice News)

  • A former top official at the USPS warned that recent operational changes by Postmaster General Louis Dejoy could “disenfranchise” voters. Ronald Stroman, who stepped down earlier this year as the second in command at USPS, said the changes being implemented just months ahead of an election in which a record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail is “a high-risk proposition.” (The Guardian)

  • The Supreme Court rejected an emergency request by the Republican National Committee and the Rhode Island Republican Party to block state voters from casting mail-in ballots without in-person witness verification during the coronavirus pandemic. Rhode Island requires voters mailing their ballots to sign them in front of two witnesses or a notary, but Gov. Gina Raimondo suspended that requirement because of worries that it would expose voters to the virus. (Associated Press / Reuters / Washington Post)

  • A federal judge in Pennsylvania ordered the Trump campaign and the GOP to produce evidence of vote-by-mail fraud in the state by Friday. The order effectively forces the campaign to back up Trump’s false claims about massive voter fraud in postal voting. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan said the Court finds “instances of voter fraud are relevant to the claims and defenses in this case” and ordered Republicans to turn over any evidence of fraud to the Democratic Party and the Sierra Club, which are part of the lawsuit. Democrats had asked for information and documents that would show steps the Republicans took to study the possibility of fraud, especially related to the use of dropboxes, ballot collection and mailed-in ballots in the primary elections. Until now, Trump and the GOP have refused to do so. (CNN)

  • ⚡️ When and how to vote in all 50 states. (Axios)

2/ Nancy Pelosi and 174 House Democrats demanded that the USPS reverse operational changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, arguing that the changes will hamper mail-in voting on Election Day. “The House is seriously concerned that you are implementing policies that accelerate the crisis at the Postal Service, including directing Post Offices to no longer treat all election mail as First Class,” the letter reads. The letter warns that the changes “will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions.” DeJoy also eliminated overtime pay for hundreds of thousands of postal workers and required that mail is kept until the next day if distribution centers are running late. He also removed or reassigned nearly two dozen postal leaders, implemented a hiring freeze, and requested “early retirement authority” for non-union employees. (NBC News)

3/ Trump’s newly appointed postmaster general holds a multi-million dollar stake in his former company XPO Logistics, a United States Postal Service contractor. Newly obtained financial disclosures show Louis DeJoy holds at least $30 million in XPO holdings, likely creating a conflict of interest as the transportation and logistics company does business with the Postal Service and has contracts with other U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense. Separately, on the same day in June 2020 that DeJoy divested large amounts of Amazon shares, he purchased stock options giving him the right to buy new shares of Amazon at a price much lower than their current market price. DeJoy and USPS have said he fully complied with ethics regulations, but ethics experts say they were shocked that officials at USPS approved the arrangement. (CNN)

4/ The United States reported nearly 1,500 deaths from the coronavirus in a single day Wednesday – the highest since mid-May – as Trump urged Americans to “open up our schools and open up our businesses.” More than half the deaths reported on Wednesday were spread across five states that saw some of the most dramatic case spikes in June and July. The country’s seven-day average of newly reported deaths has remained above 1,000 for 17 consecutive days. According to an analysis of estimates from the CDC, at least 200,000 more people have died than usual since March – about 60,000 higher than the number of deaths that have been directly linked to the coronavirus. (Washington Post / New York Times / New York Times)

  • Kamala Harris blamed Trump for the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, saying he is “delusional” and failed to take the virus “seriously from the start.” (CNBC)

  • Joe Biden called for a national mask mandate, saying “Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months, at a minimum. Every governor should mandate — every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing.” (CNN)

5/ The director of the CDC warned that the United States could have “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had” if Americans don’t follow CDC coronavirus guidelines. Dr. Robert Redfield urged Americans to do four simple things to avoid exacerbating the crisis: “wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds.” He added: “I’m not asking some of America to do it. We all gotta do it.” Separately, Dr. Redfield said years of underinvestment in public health infrastructure left the United States “unprepared” for the “greatest public health crisis that’s hit this nation in a century.” (CNN / WebMD / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

  • 40.9% of Americans “reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition” since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the new CDC study, 31% of respondents were suffering from anxiety or depression; 26% experienced traumatic disorder; 13% were using drugs or alcohol more heavily to cope with the pandemic; and 11% had seriously contemplated suicide. (Yahoo News)

6/ The Senate adjourned through Labor Day with talks on a new coronavirus relief bill stalled after six days without in-person meetings. White House officials and top Democrats were trillions of dollars apart when talks collapsed last week. Democrats say they won’t negotiate with White House officials until the GOP agrees to spend at least $2 trillion – double the size of the GOP’s initial proposal. The House passed a $3.4 trillion relief bill in May, but Republicans waited weeks to discuss. (Politico / Washington Post)

  • White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Trump opposes the “voting rights” plans backed by Democrats in the next coronavirus relief bill. Kudlow labeled the Democratic plan to give states $3.6 billion to promote election security and mail-in voting during the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic a “really liberal left” wish list item. (CNBC / Politico)

7/ Unemployment claims fell below 1 million for the first time since the pandemic began in March with 963,000 people filing for first-time benefits. Another 489,000 people applied under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Continuing claims totaled about 15.5 million. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the worst week on record was in 1982, when 695,000 people filed for unemployment benefits. In late March, nearly 6.9 million Americans applied for benefits in a single week. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC)

8/ The Trump administration proposed changing the definition of American-made shower heads to allow more water flow following complaints from Trump about his hair routine and need to keep his hair “perfect.” Under a 1992 law, shower heads in the U.S. are not allowed to produce more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. “So shower heads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out,” Trump said in July. “You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.” Last December, Trump said regulators were looking to revise rules meant to conserve water for sinks, faucets, and toilets, claiming “People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.” (Associated Press / The Guardian / BBC / New York Times / Bloomberg)

poll/ 60% of Americans, including 87% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans, considered the selection of Kamala Harris for vice president to be a “major milestone” for the United States. 46% of Americans said they would vote for a Biden/Harris ticket, while 38% would vote for Trump/Pence. (Reuters)