Kari Paul, signing out for the night. Here is the news of the last few hours to know:
- A rift between new Trump appointee Scott Atlas and long-serving public health officials including Anthony Fauci is becoming more clear after Fauci criticized Atlas publicly on Monday.
- The US will end census counting on 5 October, defying a ruling from a judge who declared operations should extend into November.
- An anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case has sued to unseal court transcripts.
Anonymous grand juror in Breonna Taylor case sues to unseal court transcripts
A juror from the closed trial of three police officers accused of shooting and killing Breonna Taylor has filed a lawsuit requesting transcripts from the trial be published and that jurors be able speak publicly about the case.
“The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country,” the attorney for the juror wrote in the court filing.
The verdict of the grand jury trial led to protests in Kentucky and across the US. None of the three officers were indicted for killing Taylor, an unarmed black woman, in her sleep. One officer, Brett Hankison, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment related to shots that misfired and hit neighbors’ walls.
The filing specifically cites responses from attorney general Daniel Cameron, on whom attorneys for Taylor’s family have also called to release the transcripts and audio recordings.
“What we also want is for you to quit dodging the question. You were asked at the press conference (Wednesday): Did you make a recommendation” to the grand jury, Louisville attorney Lonita Baker asked. “You refused to answer. Answer the question: Did you even present any charges regarding Breonna Taylor to the grand jury?”
Trump administration to end Census early, defying federal judge
The US will end census counting operations several weeks early, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross announced on Monday, against an order from a federal judge.
Ross said the “target date” for ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census is now 5 October, despite a judge ordering the Trump administration to extend counting through 31 October.
The move is the latest in an ongoing battle over the census, which is used to allocate seats in Congress. Critics say the Trump administration is seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from the survey to advantage Republicans in upcoming elections. The Trump administration said it will appeal the original decision from the judge.
A rift is deepening between longtime US health officials coordinating the coronavirus response and Scott Atlas, a doctor and conservative commentator recently brought onto the team by Donald Trump.
In an interview on Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious director, Anthony Fauci, said he is concerned the president’s new task force pick is spreading misinformation and implied he does not work with the other health officials.
The interview comes after Fauci was noticeably absent from the president’s Covid briefing, as was the response coordinator, Deborah Birx. Present instead was Atlas, a conservative commentator whose views are more aligned with Trump’s and who praised the president’s coronavirus response.
Earlier this month, a group of 98 medical experts including immunologists and infectious disease physicians signed a letter condemning “the falsehoods and misrepresentations of science recently fostered by Dr Scott Atlas”.
Fauci said he shared these concerns regarding Atlas spreading misleading and incorrect information.
“Well yeah, I’m concerned that sometimes things are said that are really taken either out of context or actually incorrect,” Fauci said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Robert Redfield, has also expressed concerns about Atlas, and was overheard on a phone call saying “everything he says is false” which he later confirmed was about Atlas.
Specifically he is concerned Atlas is feeding misinformation to Trump about the concept of herd immunity – that if enough people are infected with coronavirus the numbers will stabilize – and young people’s susceptibility to the virus. Atlas is also against severe lockdowns and mask usage. These views ware at odds with those backed by science and promoted by the likes of Fauci and Birx.
Fauci also noted in a CNN interview that as the 2020 presidential election approaches, the coronavirus response has received less attention. “We’re meeting now on an average of one and at the most two times a week,” Fauci said.
Family of unarmed man killed by Maryland police receives record settlement
Prince George’s county, Maryland, has reached a $20m settlement with the family of William Green, a 43-year-old black man who was fatally shot by police while handcuffed during an arrest earlier this year.
Cpl Michael A Owen Jr, who is also black, was fired from the department the day after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder. He is currently awaiting trial.
The $20m settlement was announced in a press conference Monday morning by Angela Alsobrooks, the county executive for Prince George’s county. “I am deeply sorry for your loss,’’ Alsobrooks told Green’s mother at Monday’s news conference.
Fauci implies Atlas is not working with the coronavirus taskforce
Anthony Fauci, the doctor and immunologist who serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, had some criticisms for doctor Scott Atlas in an interview on Monday, implying the president’s new task force pick does not work with health officials.
In an interview with Brian Stelter at CNN, Fauci said “most are working together” on solutions to the coronavirus pandemic, except one person.
“I think you know who the outlier is,” he said.
Fauci was noticeably absent on Monday at Trump’s coronavirus briefing, as was the response coordinator, Deborah Birx. Present instead was Atlas, a conservative commentator whose views are more aligned with Trump’s and who has been criticized for his past promotion of inaccurate medical information.
A group of 98 medical experts including immunologists and infectious disease physicians signed a letter condemning “the falsehoods and misrepresentations of science recently fostered by Dr. Scott Atlas”.
Fauci said he shared these concerns regarding Atlas spreading misleading and incorrect information.
“Well yeah, I’m concerned that sometimes things are said that are really taken either out of context or actually incorrect,” Fauci said when asked by CNN if he was worried Atlas was sharing misleading information.
Top lawyer on Mueller inquiry claims Trump tried to impede the investigation
Andrew Weismann, a key lawyer on the special counsel that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 elections, said Donald Trump tried to interfere with the inquiry.
In his new book, Weismann talks about his experience on Robert Muller’s team. He said in an interview with the Today show on Monday that while he believes the probe uncovered a lot of key information, it fell short in some regards. He made it clear that he would have subpoenaed the president for his tax returns.
“We did not do a full financial investigation relating to the president,” he said. The comments come after a bombshell New York Times report that showed the president paid just $750 in income taxes the year he won the presidency.
Hello, Kari Paul here in California, sharing the most important news of the next few hours with you. Stay tuned for updates.
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Kari Paul, will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Vice President Mike Pence warned Americans to expect a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the coming weeks, during Trump’s event on coronavirus testing today. Echoing many health experts, Pence said, “The American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead.” Moments later, the president insisted the country is “rounding the corner” in its coronavirus crisis, even though the US death toll surpassed 200,000 last week.
- Democrats attacked Trump over his recent tax returns, some of which were obtained by the New York Times. According to the Times, Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes the year that he won the presidency, largely because he reported losing more money than he made.
- Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s debt obligations could represent a national security risk. The Democratic speaker argued the American people were entitled to know to whom Trump owes money. “For me, this is a national security question,” Pelosi said. “The public has a right to know.”
- Trump’s 2016 campaign targeted 3.5 million African Americans to deter them from voting, according to a new investigation from Channel 4 News. Voters targeted for “deterrence” were disproportionately black, according to a Trump campaign database reviewed by Channel 4.
- The Washington Post editorial board endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential bid. “In order to expel the worst president of modern times, many voters might be willing to vote for almost anybody,” the board wrote. “Fortunately, to oust president Trump in 2020, voters do not have to lower their standards.”
Kari will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
After the vice president spoke, Dr Scott Atlas, a senior adviser to the president who has reportedly been criticized by other members of the White House coronavirus task force, delivered brief remarks.
Atlas insisted the country has a handle on the virus, even though the country’s death toll surpassed 200,000 last week.
Trump similarly insisted the US is “rounding the corner” in the coronavirus crisis, moments after Vice President Mike Pence said Americans should expect the number of cases to rise in the weeks ahead.
The president briefly thanked Abbott for its work developing rapid coronavirus tests. He then left the Rose Garden without taking questions.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Rose Garden event, claiming the country has “passed through a challenging time” with its coronavirus crisis.
But Pence added, “The American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead.”
A number of health experts have warned that the country could see another surge in coronavirus cases as the weather gets colder.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves praised the distribution of 150 million rapid coronavirus tests as a “game-changer” in the country’s pandemic response.
Speaking in the Rose Garden, the Republican governor praised Trump for distributing the tests to states.
The department of health and human services announced last month that it had awarded a $760 million contract to Abbott to produce 150 million rapid tests.
Read the original article at The Guardian