Yesterday I discussed how shifting age demographics could mean fewer deaths from the current COVID outbreaks than the ones mostly in the North in March and April. Here’s a much more granular discussion of this issue at the COVID Tracking website. Highly recommend if you’re interested in going deeper on this question.
Super proud of the TPM team for the original investigative reporting this week on the Trump administration preparing to bail on COVID testing sites, particularly in Texas, where the pandemic is surging.
In a letter obtained by TPM, Dallas’ mayor asked HHS Secretary Azar to continue federal support for two testing sites in his city. Sens. Cruz and Cornyn have made the same request for seven sites across the state. The incident commander of the Dallas sites is holding out hope that federal support might continue.
But as the COVID outbreak in the state intensifies, the sunset date for federal support — June 30 — is drawing near.
We should remember that until quite recently — just about a year ago — Harriet Tubman was scheduled to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. It wasn’t just an idea. Much of the work and preparation had already been done. But the plan was canceled because it made President Trump mad.
One of the most persistent mysteries of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is why cases have largely plateaued (until the last couple weeks) while mortality figures have fallen substantially. As we’ve discussed, there’s been an ongoing debate about disentangling the evolving case counts from the ongoing rise in the number of tests being conducted every day. But particularly as cases started to rise in June it is clear that cases are growing well in excess of what can be explained by more testing. So why have the daily mortality numbers dropped? Why the disjuncture between the two numbers, even taking into account a two- or three-week lag between spikes in new cases and people succumbing to the disease?
Five years ago, former cop Seth Stoughton wrote one of the best things we’ve ever published at TPM. It was on point, expert yet accessible, and very timely. Now he’s back, with co-author Karen Collins Rice, with a new piece on the need to dramatically change police culture to embrace the guardian ethos.
TPM Gets Results!
- TPM’s Josh Kovensky reported on Tuesday that the Trump administration was about to pull support and funding for a number of local COVID-19 testing sites.
- The story set off a public outcry, leading to Texas’ Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, calling on the Trump administration to continue supporting the testing sites in their state.
- Local officials affected by the administration’s decision to bail on testing also called for the government’s support to continue.
- TPM also reported that, in some states, the federal support for testing came with a condition: Don’t ask for it to be extended.
- On Friday, HHS was forced to reverse course — at least regarding testing sites in Texas.
The U.S. Is Losing Its Fight Against The Coronavirus
- The U.S. hit a grim milestone more than three months into the pandemic: A new daily record for new coronavirus cases.
- CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told reporters on Thursday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is likely 10 times higher than reported.
- Texas reversed course on its reopening as cases surge in the state. Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday ordered bars to be closed and restaurant capacity to be significantly curtailed.
- A day earlier, Abbott announced a pause on moving to further reopening phases.
The Messy Firing Of The U.S. Attorney In NYC
- We learned more this week about Attorney General Bill Barr’s messy firing of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that ahead of Barr’s shocking late-night announcement of Berman’s ouster, Berman clashed with DOJ leadership over a critical letter the department wanted to send to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
- The White House made a surprising admission over Berman’s firing. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Berman was pushed out because his successor, current SEC Chair Jay Clayton, wanted to live in New York City. Before joining the Trump administration, Clayton was a longtime corporate lawyer in NYC.
- Clayton, for his part, would not vow to recuse himself from cases involving the President if he is confirmed.
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Former superlobbyist Jack Abramoff has reportedly pleaded guilty to criminal charges and is facing a separate SEC complaint for an allegedly fraudulent crypto-currency scheme.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the outside is overrated. There, I said it. I know it’s June and I know summer is just getting started, but why spend your days sweating it out in the humid, hazy outdoors when you can be inside with the A/C pumping? I’m a homebody, so maybe that’s what’s underlying my opinion here.