The White House confirmed in an updated guidance that Trump is no longer traveling to his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend.
The president was severely criticized last month, when he went golfing over Memorial Day weekend as the US coronavirus death toll neared 100,000.
White House officials were likely trying to avoid a similar visual this weekend, as the country reports a record-high level of new coronavirus cases.
Florida reported that it confirmed nearly 9,000 new cases yesterday, setting a new record, and the US coronavirus death toll is now approaching 125,000.
Trump has canceled his trip to his private glof club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend, according to the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
According to his public schedule, the president planned to leave for Bedminster after delivering remarks at the American workforce policy advisory board meeting this afternoon.
However, there had been questions raised about whether the president would have to self-quarantine in New Jersey because the state is currently requiring those who travel from states with high levels of community spread of coronavirus to do so for 14 days.
Earlier this week, Trump traveled to Arizona, which was included on New Jersey’s list of affected states. The White House previously said the president was exempt from the quarantine order.
A top Florida official announced the state is suspending alcohol consumption at bars after reporting a record-high level of new coronavirus cases.
Halsey Beshears, the head of Florida’s department of business and professional regulatinon, said the policy would be in effect “immediately.”
The announcement came less than an hour after the Florida department of health reported that the state confirmed 8,942 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, breaking a record set earlier this week.
The health department also reported a frightening rise in the rate of positive test results. On Thursday, 13.1% of test results come back positive, compared to 8.9% on Wednesday.
Florida is reporting a record-high number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, after the state set its last record earlier this week.
The Florida department of health reported 8,942 new cases from yesterday, shattering the state’s previous single-day record of 5,506 cases, which was reported on Wednesday.
Florida has now confirmed 122,960 coronavirus cases in total, and the state has lost 3,366 residents to the virus so far.
The rate of positive test results has also increased, the Florida department of health reported. Thursday saw 13.1% of test results come back positive, up from 8.9% on Wednesday.
As Texas announces it is again closing down bars due to a surge in new coronavirus cases, the number of confirmed new cases per day in the US hit an all-time high of 40,000 yesterday.
While the increase is believed to reflect, in part, greatly expanded testing, experts say there is ample evidence the virus is making a comeback, including rising deaths and hospitalizations in parts of the country, especially in the south and west. Arizona, Texas and Florida are among the states that have been hit hard.
The number of confirmed infections soared past the previous high set on 24 Aprilof 36,400, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Deaths from the coronavirus in the US are down to around 600 per day, compared with about 2,200 in mid-April.
Some experts have expressed doubt that deaths will return to that level, in part because of advances in treatment and prevention but also because a large share of the new infections are in younger adults, who are more likely than older ones to survive.
The virus is blamed for 124,000 deaths in the US and 2.4m confirmed infections nationwide, by Johns Hopkins’ count.
All Texas bars will be required to close by 12 pm today, and restaurants will be restricted to 50% indoor capacity starting Monday.
Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order also shuts down rafting and tubing businesses and requires outdoor events larger than 100 people to be approved by local officials.
“We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part,” Abbott said in a press release announcing the new order.
“Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can.”
The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, previously indicated that shutting down the state again would be a last resort to curb the number of new coronavirus cases.
Abbott said Monday, “To state the obvious, Covid-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled.” But he added that “closing down Texas again will always be the last option.”
The governor’s decision today to close bars again and lower restaurants’ maximum capacity is a recognition that the state’s coronavirus crisis is quickly spiraling out of control.
Texas reported 5,996 new cases yesterday, beating the state’s previous single-day record of 5,551, which was set just a day before.
The governor of Texas is shutting down bars and lowering restaurant capacity back down to 50%, as the state grapples with a surge in new coronavirus cases.
Before this morning’s announcement from governor Greg Abbott, restaurant capacity was capped at 75% and bars were allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a press release.
“The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”
The announcement was signficant considering Abbott has appeared hesitant to shut down businesses again in response to the surge.
Abbott announced yesterday he would pause any additional reopening in the state, but his decision to go backwards in the reopening could put pressure on other states seeing increases in new cases to do the same.
The Trump administration’s push to end the Affordable Care Act ensures healthcare will be a top issue in the November election.
Congressional Democrats focused their 2018 pitch to voters on protecting the Affordable Care Act, and the party ended up taking control of the House.
In his speech yesterday, Joe Biden made clear that he would put healthcare at the center of his campaign in the final months leading up to the general election.
“I want every single American to know: if you’re sick, if you’re struggling, if you’re worried about how you’re going to get through the day — I will not abandon you,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
In case you missed it: the Trump administration submitted a late-night court filing asking the supreme court to invalidate the affordable care act.
Solicitor general Noel Francisco argued the Obama-era law became invalid when Congress repealed certain elements of the ACA in 2017, siding with Republican state attorneys general who filed the original lawsuit.
“Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the ACA to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions,” Francisco said.
“No further analysis is necessary; once the individual mandate and the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions are invalidated, the remainder of the ACA cannot survive.”
Hours before the administration submitted the filing, Joe Biden delivered a speech criticizing Trump for attacking the ACA in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in Pennsylvania, “If Donald Trump refuses to end his senseless crusade against health coverage, I look forward to ending it for him.”
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
A new poll found that an increasing number of Americans are concerned about contracting coronavirus, as more than half of US states report increases in new cases.
According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, 76% of Americans are now worried about being infected with the virus, up from 69% earlier this month. That reverses a two-month downward trend on the question.
A majority of Americans (56%) also believe the economy is reopening too quickly, compared to 15% who say it is opening too slowly.
Those numbers do not bode well for Trump, who has tried to downplay the latest surge in new cases by incorrectly blaming it on expanded testing.
The vice president will almost certainly be pressed on these concerns today, when he holds the first coronavirus task force briefing in nearly two months.
Newsweek have just put up an interview with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, where she talks about defunding the police, criticism of holding protests during a pandemic, and what it feels like for the movement so have such a moment in the global spotlight. Of the worldwide impact, she says:
It’s powerful. I feel very grateful…It was really moving. I also feel scared. Whenever we’re effective in our organizing, there’s a serious backlash. And I think we have to be mindful that in these moments, when we’re winning, we have to be ready and prepared for the backlash, of what that looks like and how to counter it.
Cullors also attributed the impact of George Floyd’s death to being the sum of all the outrages that had gone before:
I think it’s seven years of viral videos of Black people dying. I think it’s multiple years of us watching white women call the police on Black people. I think it’s multiple years of viral videos of Black men being kicked out of places like Waffle House, kicked out of everyday dining experiences. I think it’s living under Covid-19 and Black people having the highest rates of dying and having little access to health care. I think it’s millions of people being unemployed, including Black communities. And just a despair…And we’re tired of this. Enough is enough.
You can read the interview in full here: Newsweek – BLM Co-Founder: ‘The Entire World Is Saying Black Lives Matter Now’
The New York Times has done some polling looking at Joe Biden’s prospective picks for vice-president. Biden has committed to choosing a woman, and, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept the nation, has come under some pressure to pick a running mate who is Black.
The survey claims that four out of five voters don’t think that race should be a significant factor in Biden’s selection. It also puts Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams as the front-runners, with much higher national profiles than Gretchen Whitmer, Tammy Duckworth and Val Demings.
Read it here: New York Times – Biden is getting a lot of advices on his VP, here’s what voters think
Gaby Del Valle has a new piece for us looking at how it is possible to influence and alter policing policy via voting. People don’t vote for their police, but often they do vote for sheriffs, judges and prosecutors.
The United States is unique in this regard – it’s the only country where judges and prosecutors, two groups of people associated with the judicial branch, are elected rather than appointed across the board. Elected law enforcement officials often run unopposed; even when they are challenged, incumbents almost always win. In recent years, however, voters have begun pushing for “progressive” law enforcement.
Read it here: The police we vote for – how Americans can influence policing at the polls
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr has been tweeting this morning about #DefundThePolice, and again trying to make it out to be an equivalence of abolishing police. He directed his followers to an Fox News op-ed published a couple of hours ago by New York Rep. Lee Zeldin: Defunding police is great for criminals – bad for crime victims
In the piece Zeldin posits this scenario:
It’s 3 a.m. and you’re home, with your children sleeping in the other room, when a window shatters downstairs. You reach for the phone to dial 911 – but instead of an operator dispatching your local police, you get a recording saying you can leave a voicemail for a social worker.
It’s an unlikely scenario. As mentioned earlier (see 6:52), where cities like Minneapolis are proposing to make changes to their police force, they are not suggesting that social workers respond to potentially violent 911 situations.
Minneapolis Council Member Steve Fletcher explicitly said, as part of those proposals, “when someone calls 911, there will always be a response that’s appropriate, including the option for a response by employees authorised to use force.”
The vast majority of calls that police officers currently take, though, would be answered by employees with different expertise.
It’s pretty clear already, though, that suggesting the Democrats are attempting to abolish police, rather than suggesting their funding could be switched to other agencies, is going to be a Trump campaign tactic we see a lot of between now and November.
Also writing about the DC bid for statehood is David Litt, the former senior speechwriter to president Barack Obama. He sets out a clear case for the elevation of the district to statehood.
Washington’s population has been larger than Wyoming’s for that state’s entire existence and bigger than Vermont’s from at least 1910 until 1994 and has been bigger again since 2012; its residents pay more in total federal taxes than the residents of 22 other states, despite’s the district’s small size. Yet these 700,000 people remain essentially disenfranchised, with no voting representation in either chamber of Congress.
But, in his opinion piece for NBC News, he says that what is striking this time around is the language being used by Republican opposition to the move, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
It’s not surprising that McConnell is against DC statehood: The deep blue District would all but certainly add two Democrats to the Senate. What is surprising, however, is the language he chose to explain his opposition: His talking points against statehood echo the last gasps of the Jim Crow era, revealing what’s truly at stake.
It’s a great read, with an interesting look at the obstacles Hawaii had to overcome to be admitted as a non-majority white state in the 20th century.
Read it here: David Litt – The D.C. statehood fight is part of an ugly effort to disenfranchise Black and brown people
Read the original article at The Guardian