👋 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: ~26,411,000; deaths: ~871,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~6,174,000; deaths: ~187,200
Source: Johns Hopkins University
🗳 How To Vote In The 2020 Election In Every State. Everything you need to know about mail-in and early in-person voting in every state in the age of COVID-19, including the first day you can cast your ballot in the 2020 election. (FiveThirtyEight / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
1/ Trump disparaged members of the U.S. military who had been captured or killed as “losers” and “suckers.” In 2018, Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, telling senior staff members: “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” He publicly blamed the rain for the decision, saying “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him – neither claim is true. Trump reportedly was also concerned about his hair in the rain. During the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. When John McCain died in August 2018, Trump told senior staff “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral.” Trump was also reportedly furious that flags were lowered to half-staff, saying: “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser.” Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. And, on Memorial Day 2017, Trump and John Kelly visited the Arlington Cemetery gravesite of Kelly’s son, Robert, who was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. While standing by Robert’s grave, Trump turned to John and said: “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” The White House, meanwhile, called the report “patently false.” (The Atlantic / Associated Press / Washington Post)
 Trump called John McCain a “loser,” saying the decorated Vietnam War veteran was “not a war hero, He’s a war hero because he was captured.” Trump then added: “I like people that weren’t captured.” (Washington Post / YouTube)
📌 Day 663: Trump blamed the Secret Service for his canceled visit to a World War I cemetery in France, claiming that he suggested driving after it was deemed unsafe to take a helicopter. “By the way,” Trump tweeted, “when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO.” (ABC News / USA Today)
📌 Day 473: John McCain told friends that he does not want Trump to attend his funeral and would like Mike Pence to come instead. During the 2016 presidential primary, Trump said McCain was considered a war hero only “because he was captured” during the Vietnam War and that he prefers military figures weren’t taken prisoner by the enemy. (New York Times / NBC News)
2/ Trump disputed reports that he called dead American service members “losers” and “suckers,” calling it “a disgraceful situation” by a “terrible magazine.” Trump suggested that the Atlantic had “made it up,” using “a couple of people that have been failures in the administration.” The White House also denied the Atlantic report, which was independently verified by both the Associated Press and the Washington Post. “If people really exist that would have said that, they’re lowlifes and they’re liars,” Trump said. “And I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more.” He added, “What animal would say such a thing?” Later, Trump tweeted that the report “is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!” Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, meanwhile, called Trump’s alleged remarks disparaging soldiers who died in combat “despicable.” (New York Times / Associated Press / NBC News / Politico / BuzzFeed News / Bloomberg)
- The Pentagon ordered the military’s independent newspaper to cease publication at the end of the month and dissolve the organization by the end of January. (Politico)
3/ The World Health Organization does not expect widespread COVID-19 vaccinations until mid-2021. Trump’s vaccine chief added that it is “extremely unlikely” that a vaccine could be available before the election. Trump, meanwhile, suggested that a vaccine “will be delivered before the end of the year, in my opinion, before the end of the year, but it really might even be delivered before the end of October.” (Reuters / New York Times / NPR / CNN)
4/ Trump mocked Biden for wearing a face mask and observing social distancing measures. The U.S., meanwhile, continues to lead the world in coronavirus cases under Trump’s direction, with more than 6 million infections and 187,000 deaths. (CNN / Politico)
- Trump’s campaign is running Facebook ads with a manipulated photo of Biden, edited to make him appear older. (HuffPost)
poll/ 55% of Americans think Trump’s rhetoric on protests over racial injustice is making matters worse, while 13% think he is making it better. 29% believe what Trump has said on the topic has had no effect. (ABC News)
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