"If it’s Goya, it has to be good." - Ivanka Trump, violating federal ethics rules
Bean Here Before With hospitals filling up and businesses shutting back down across wide swaths of the country,
the Trump administration seems to have no pandemic strategy beyond sowing confusion and flogging beans
Meanwhile, life comes at you fast.
- The U.S. confirmed 67,417 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a new daily record. Cases have increased in 41 states over the past two weeks, Texas and Florida each recorded record numbers of coronavirus deaths yesterday, and an influential model now projects a national death toll of 224,000 by November 1.
- From here on out, we’ll have to take those updates with a (chunkier) grain of salt. The Trump administration’s move to cut the CDC out of hospital-data collection means that all COVID-19 patient information will be sent to a database that isn’t open to the public. That reporting system is just as cumbersome as the CDC’s and doesn’t solve any of its real problems, but it sure does raise questions about whether researchers, modelers, and health officials will have access to the data they rely on to make projections and public-health decisions. (It also means a multimillion-dollar contract for the private firm TeleTracking, which we look forward to learning is owned by Jared Kushner’s frat brother’s father-in-law or whatever.)
- Administration officials have also doubled down on their campaign to publicly discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. “He has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” wrote White House trade advisor Peter Navarro in a USA Today op-ed, omitting that his favorite expert is literally a guy he made up. White House officials weakly disavowed the op-ed and claimed Navarro went rogue, which is reportedly (you may wanna sit down) a lie. Fauci pushed back on the attacks in an interview with The Atlantic: “I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that.” An evergreen take.
The Trump administration condemned the country to a second surge of infections by refusing to coordinate a national response, leaving even the best state leaders to adopt piecemeal solutions by trial and error.
- Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK), who attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa and rarely wears a mask at public gatherings, has tested positive for coronavirus. “I was pretty shocked that I was the first governor to get it,” said Stitt, calmly reaching both hands towards a hot stove. Stitt has resisted a statewide mask order, and after testing positive said that he’s still "not thinking about a mask mandate at all."
- Twenty-five states plus Washington, DC, have now issued mask mandates, with Alabama becoming the latest to do so on Wednesday. Walmart announced that customers will be required to wear masks at all U.S. stores, which could have a ripple effect among other retailers—Kroger has already followed its lead. CDC Director Robert Redfield said on Tuesday that the U.S. could get the pandemic under control within two months if every American wore a mask; that feat would also likely require the federal government to take on a role beyond “hour-long presidential rants in the Rose Garden,” but masks would be a start.
Rather than try a different tack the second time around, Trump has committed to undermining widely trusted health experts and hiding the data that makes even those local decisions possible.
Look No Further Than The Crooked Media Last week the Adopt a State program sent out our first Call to Action emails, and (without a hint of bias here) Florida crushed it.
Team Florida has already raised upwards of $42k to support a Virtual Voter Registration Program—that will help reach 400,000 Floridians, which could cover Trump's margin of victory almost four times over. We'll be sending each state team new calls to action every week via email, so keep checking your inbox and getting those actions done.
And if you haven’t already signed up, head on over to https://votesaveamerica.com/adopt
and join the thousands of volunteers looking to flip some swing states.
Under The Radar The new head of the Postal Service has implemented major operational changes that could slow down mail delivery.
Postmaster General and Trump donor Louis DeJoy instructed employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers as needed to avoid delaying mail carriers from completing their routes, a change from postal workers’ traditional mandate to not leave letters behind for the next day. DeJoy cited the agency’s need to cut costs, but the decision could chase away more customers and put the Postal Service in a deeper financial hole. It could also prove disastrous in November, when voters could lose access to mail-in ballots due to slow delivery. The Treasury Department has continued to hold a $10 billion emergency loan hostage until USPS gives in to Trump’s political agenda, and Congress has yet to provide additional funding.
What Else? President Trump’s lawyers have renewed their efforts to block the release of his tax returns, and now plan to argue that the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena was too broad and politically motivated.
While the Supreme Court slapped down Trump’s first legal claim, it left the door open for him to keep the returns in limbo indefinitely with fake new arguments. Trump’s also not above straight up ignoring Supreme Court decisions. The administration is still rejecting new DACA applicants
, in violation of last month’s ruling. Some of the most high-profile accounts on Twitter were compromised by bitcoin scammers.
Hackers took control of the accounts of Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Apple, and many more. The largest U.S. banks have started stockpiling billions of dollars, reflecting their assumption that the recession won’t be easing anytime soon. Jeff Sessions lost his Alabama Senate primary runoff to Tommy Tuberville, crushed under the presidential boots he never stopped licking Trump’s former physician Dr. Ronny Jackson won his GOP primary runoff
for a Texas congressional seat, and Sara Gideon won the Democratic nomination