1/ The U.S. surgeon general declared gun violence a public health crisis. In a first-of-its-kind advisory, Dr. Vivek Murthy warned that gun violence poses a “serious threat to the health and well-being of our country.” The 39-page advisory underscores the physical and mental toll of gun violence and called on Congress to pass laws to require safe and secure firearm storage, implement universal background checks, ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines for civilian use, increase mental health care, and regulate the safety of firearms like any other consumer products. “Gun violence has now become the leading cause of death among kids and teens,” Murthy said. More than 4,600 deaths under the age of 19 were caused by gun violence in 2022, 54% of adults say they or a relative have experienced a firearm-related incident, nearly 80% of adults report being anxious about the prospect of a mass shooting, and more than a third of adults say they don’t go to certain places or events for fear of being shot. About 60% of Americans are worried about losing someone they care about to gun violence. “For too long, this issue has been mired in polarization and politics, but our goal, my goal, is to take this issue out of the realm of politics and put it into the realm of public health, which is where it belongs,” Murthy said, adding that “a deep sense of fear” now pervades American society. (NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / Axios / STAT News)

  • More than 500 people have been charged with federal crimes under the gun safety law Biden signed. “A report on the implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act also said that enhanced background checks under the new law have stopped roughly 800 sales of firearms to people under age 21 who would be prohibited from buying them.”(Associated Press)

2/ After Texas’ ban on abortion went into effect, infant deaths in the state increased by nearly 13%. In the rest of the country, infant mortality increased less than 2% over the same period, according to the new study out of Johns Hopkins University. Texas Senate Bill 8 took effect on Sept. 1, 2021, and prohibits abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can be as early as five weeks, with no exceptions for incest, rape or fetal abnormalities. Previously, abortion was allowed until 20 weeks. “This is pointing to a causal effect of the policy; we didn’t see this increase in infant deaths in other states,” said Alison Gemmill, who led the research. “These findings suggest that restrictive abortion policies may have important unintended consequences in terms of infant health and the associated trauma to families and medical costs.” (STAT News / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / Associated Press / Axios / Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

  • 📌 Day 225: Texas enacted the nation’s the most restrictive abortion ban after the Supreme Court failed to rule on an emergency request from Texas abortion clinics. The law, known as Senate Bill 8, prohibits doctors from performing abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women are even aware that they are pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape, and also deputizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs the procedure or “aids and abets” it. Individuals found to have violated the law would have to pay $10,000 to the person who successfully brings a suit. In an emergency request to the court, abortion providers wrote that the law “would immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas, barring care for at least 85% of Texas abortion patients (those who are six weeks pregnant or greater) and likely forcing many abortion clinics ultimately to close.” Biden called the ban “extreme,” saying it “blatantly violates” a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion, as affirmed by Roe v. Wade. He added that his administration was “deeply committed” to a woman’s right to have an abortion and pledged to “protect and defend” that right. The Supreme Court, however, is still expected to act on the Texas law, though there is no timeline. In May, the court agreed to review Mississippi’s ban on the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which directly challenges Roe v. Wade. Arguments are expected later this year, with a ruling in 2022. (Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Bloomberg / Politico / NBC News)

3/ The judge who presided over convicted felon Trump’s election interference trial involving falsified business records loosened Trump’s gag order. Trump is now free to criticize the witnesses and jurors. Trump, however, is prohibited from releasing the identities of the jurors, or publicly attacking them by name until after his July 11 sentencing. The ruling left in place a part of the order barring Trump from attacking court staff, individual prosecutors and “family members of any counsel, staff member, the Court or the District Attorney.” Trump was convicted on all 34 felon counts of orchestrating an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election by falsifying business records – a crime that carries a possible sentence up to four years in prison – in New York on May 30, making him the first ex-president convicted of a crime. (Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / New York Times)

4/ Sixteen Nobel Prize-winning economists warned that “a second Trump term would have a negative impact on the U.S.’s economic standing in the world, and a destabilizing effect on the U.S.’s domestic economy.” So far, Trump’s economic policy includes making his first-term tax cuts permanent, imposing universal 10% tariffs on all imports, setting a tariff rate between 60% and 100% on Chinese goods, and asserting pressure on the independent Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. “Many Americans are concerned about inflation, which has come down remarkably fast,” the group wrote. “There is rightly a worry that Donald Trump will reignite this inflation, with his fiscally irresponsible budgets.” (Axios / CNBC)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Trump expressed concern that returning classified docs after subpoena could result in criminal charges, according to sealed notes. “Prosecutors allege that rather than comply with the subpoena, Trump opted to hide dozens of classified documents from his own lawyers, and federal agents eventually seized 102 classified documents – including 17 top secret documents – after they executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022.” (ABC News)
  2. Trump lawyers in classified docs case ask judge to suppress evidence seized during Mar-a-Lago search. “U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee whose handling of the case has generated intense scrutiny, did not immediately rule but expressed repeated skepticism of his lawyers’ arguments and signaled that she was not inclined side with them.” (Associated Press)
  3. Special counsel Jack Smith revealed new photos in a court filing that depict how haphazardly Trump stored classified materials at Mar-a-Lago, with golf shirts stuffed into boxes alongside the sensitive materials, newspaper clippings and other mementos. “Pushing back on Trump’s claim that prosecutors mishandled evidence, special counsel Jack Smith shows the evidence was a mess.” (Washington Post / CNN / CBS News / Business Insider)
  • 📅 The WTFJHT Calendar: Now until then.

  • 📺 June 27: Biden-Trump debate.
    ⛔️ July 4: Independence Day – No WTFJHT.
    ⚖️ July 11: Trump is sentenced.
    🐘 July 15: Republican National Convention.
    🇮🇱 July 24: Netanyahu addresses joint session of Congress.
    🫏 Aug. 19: Democratic convention.
    ⛔️ Sept. 2: Labor Day – No WTFJHT.
    📺 Sept. 10: Biden-Trump debate.
    📆 Oct. 6: Last day to register to vote in some states.
    ⛔️ Oct. 14: Indigenous Peoples’ Day – No WTFJHT.
    🗳️ Nov. 5: Presidential Election.