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Day 167 : Each Day A Grotesque Milestone

USA

  • Trump used the Fourth of July weekend to sow division during a global pandemic that has killed over 130,000 Americans, shirked his responsibility to contain the coronavirus, and promoted an updated version of his “American carnage” vision for the country. In a pair of remarks – at Mount Rushmore on Friday and from the White House on Saturday – Trump depicted the recent protests against racism and police brutality as an “angry mob” looking to “unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities” by “tear[ing] down our statues” in order to “erase our history” and “end America.” Trump, making no mention of the victims of police violence, warned of a “growing danger” to the values of the nation through a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.” “Make no mistake,” Trump told several thousand people mostly without masks, “this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.” Trump also claimed that media outlets “slander” him and “falsely and consistently label their opponents as racists.” Trump provided no evidence to support any of his claims. (New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / NPR / CNN / ABC News / Los Angeles Times / New York Times / Axios / Associated Press)
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the country was still “knee-deep in the first wave” of the pandemic, saying that the more than 50,000 new cases a day recorded several times in the past week were “a serious situation that we have to address immediately.” The nation’s top infectious disease expert noted that Europe managed to drive infections down, but the U.S. “never came down to baseline and now are surging back up.” Over the first five days of July, the United States reported its three largest daily case totals with 14 states recording single-day highs as the death toll from the pandemic passed 130,000. Fauci added: “the current state is really not good.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / ABC News)
  • The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit a record high for the 28th day in a row. 13 states reported new highs in their seven-day case averages. Montana, Delaware, and Alaska saw their biggest percentage changes from their previous records. West Virginia also set a record number of daily cases. South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and California all reported record numbers of hospitalizations from the virus. (Washington Post / Texas Tribune)
  • 239 scientists from 32 countries warned that airborne transmission is a significant factor in the coronavirus pandemic. In an open letter to the World Health Organization, the group of scientists outlined the evidence that the virus can spread indoors through aerosols that linger in the air and can be infectious in smaller quantities than previously thought. The WHO, however, has maintained that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that fall quickly to the floor. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC)
  • The White House’s new message to Americans is that they need to learn to “live with the virus being a threat.” Trump campaign officials and advisers have suggested that the goal is to convince Americans to accept the escalating death toll and tens of thousands of new cases a day while pushing for schools to reopen and professional sports to return. For nearly six months the administration have offered a series of predictions, from Trump promising that “the problem goes away in April” to predicting “packed churches all over our country” on Easter Sunday to Pence’s claim that “by Memorial Day weekend we will have this coronavirus epidemic behind us” to Jared Kushner’s promise that the country would be “really rocking again” by July, all while highlighting a potential vaccine and an economic recovery. Among the pronouncements that never came to fruition was the White House’s initial message in January that the virus wasn’t a threat at all.[Editor’s note: Let’s not forget Trump’s suggestion that the lungs could be cleaned of coronavirus with disinfectants.] (Washington Post / NBC News)
  • Trump falsely claimed that 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless.” Trump made the false claim during his Independence Day speech in South Dakota. The number appears to be based on the estimated death rate, which excludes the thousands people who have spent weeks in the hospital or at home with mild to moderate symptoms that still caused debilitating health problems. The 1% death rate also narrowly focuses on the number of people who die compared to the total number of people who were infected, including those who are asymptomatic and don’t experience any illness, and those with mild cases who experience fleeting symptoms. Meanwhile, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who isn’t an epidemiologist, backed up Trump’s false claim, saying “the risks are extremely low, and the president’s right with that and the facts and statistics back us up there.” He provided no evidence to support the false claim. (The Guardian / New York Times / NBC News / Politico / Axios)
  • Trump Jr. and a Covid-19 positive Kimberly Guilfoyle were spotted maskless last Saturday at a Hamptons party with 100 other guests. (PageSix)

Link credits: WTF Happened Today, Fipilele, and more…