Good Friday morning. It’s June 26, 2020. 130 days until Election Day. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.
CORONAVIRUS: “Across the United States, 39,327 new coronavirus infections were reported by state health departments on Thursday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 38,115, which was set on Wednesday. Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs. The death toll also spiked, to about 2,500, as New Jersey added 1,854 probable deaths to its overall tally.”
“Texas reported 5,996 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, beating Wednesday’s record of 5,551. The state’s rolling average of 4,581 was a record and 340 percent higher than the rolling average on Memorial Day. The 47 new deaths were the most since May 20, according to tracking by The Washington Post.”
“Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) raised alarms about the biggest jump in new cases in his state since April, emphasizing that more than increased testing is at play. Ohio reported 892 new cases on Thursday, compared to 632 on Wednesday.” (Washington Post)
--- “The true number of Americans who've been infected with COVID-19 may top 20 million, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“‘Our best estimate right now is that for every case that's reported, there actually are 10 other infections,’ Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said on a call with reporters Thursday.” (NBC News)
--- “Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday morning that he will pause any further phases of reopening businesses in Texas and that he is once again putting a stop to elective surgeries to preserve bed space for coronavirus patients in certain counties that are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases.” (Texas Tribune)
--- “Younger people are making up a growing percentage of new coronavirus cases in cities and states where the virus is now surging, a trend that has alarmed public health officials and prompted renewed pleas for masks and social distancing.” (New York Times)
SUPREME COURT: “The Supreme Court ruled Thursday for the Trump administration in a key immigration case, determining that a federal law limiting an asylum applicant’s ability to appeal a determination that he lacked a credible fear of persecution from his home country does not violate the Constitution.”
“The ruling means the administration can deport some people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge. The 7-2 ruling applies to those who fail their initial asylum screenings, making them eligible for quick deportation.” (Fox News)
--- “In the midst of a pandemic and without an alternative health plan of its own, the Trump administration formally called on the U.S. Supreme Court to completely strike down the Affordable Care Act.”
“The administration makes the case in a legal brief filed late Thursday in the case brought by 20 Republican-led states that want to completely invalidate the law. The justices will hear oral arguments as soon as October, which is just weeks before the general election.” (ABC News)
CONGRESS: “As the United States faces its biggest crisis over civil rights in decades, Congress is poised to do nothing. Again.”
. . . “The House on Thursday passed a sweeping police reform bill that would ban chokeholds, end the use of “no-knock” warrants, create a national registry for officers accused of misconduct, and make it easier to prosecute officers. Yet Democrats picked up only a few GOP votes, guaranteeing the proposal has no chance of moving in the Senate.”
“And the Senate can’t even agree to begin debate on a police reform bill, with Democrats blocking efforts to take up a proposal drafted by Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), one of two Black Republicans on Capitol Hill.” (Politico)
INSIDE DOJ: “Shortly after he became attorney general last year, William P. Barr set out to challenge a signature criminal case that touched President Trump’s inner circle directly, and even the president’s own actions: the prosecution of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime fixer.”
“The debate between Mr. Barr and the federal prosecutors who brought the case against Mr. Cohen was one of the first signs of a tense relationship that culminated last weekend in the abrupt ouster of Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan. It also foreshadowed Mr. Barr’s intervention in the prosecutions of other associates of Mr. Trump.” (New York Times)
2020 CENTRAL: Following a collection of polls released Wednesday that showed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden comfortably leading President Trump nationally and in key battleground states, Fox News released new polls Thursday showing Biden with a slight edge in states seen as even Republican-friendlier territory:
- Florida: Biden 49%, Trump 40% (2016: Trump 49%, Clinton 48%)
- Georgia: Biden 48%, Trump 45% (2016: Trump 50%, Clinton 45%)
- North Carolina: Biden 47%, Trump 45% (2016: Trump 50%, Clinton 46%)
- Texas: Biden 45%, Trump 44% (2016: Trump 52%, Clinton 43%)
For a deep dive into political polls and how to interpret them, listen to my podcast episode with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki and FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich.
*All times Eastern
President Donald Trump will receive his intelligence briefing at 11:45 a.m., deliver remarks at a meeting of his American Workforce Policy Advisory Board at 2:40 p.m., and then travel to Bedminster, New Jersey, where he will spend the weekend.
Vice President Mike Pence will lead a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting at 11 a.m. and meet with airline executives at 2 p.m.
Pence and other members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a press briefing at 12:30 p.m. at the Department of Health and Human Services, their first briefing since April 27.
The Senate is not in session.
The House will convene at 9 a.m. and vote on passage of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act; if the measure is successful, it will be the first time either chamber of Congress approves a bill that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C.
The chamber will then vote to override the president’s veto of a resolution that would nullify an Education Department rule on student loans, followed by a vote on passage of a bill designating a National Pulse Memorial at the site of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.
The Supreme Court is not in session.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will attend a virtual fundraiser.
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