New Jersey Democrat Rep. Bill Pascrell recovering from heart surgery ahead of primary election

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Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell says he’s feeling “much better” and adds he’s “eager” to get back out on the campaign trail after undergoing what doctors say was successful heart surgery Sunday to correct blockages discovered one day earlier in his arteries.

The 83-year-old congressman, who represents New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District, was rushed to Saint Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson on Saturday after experiencing indigestion and heartburn.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 CAMPAIGN

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A statement from the doctor who performed the surgery said that “the procedure should allow the congressman to get back to his active lifestyle” and that he’s “confident that he will have a speedy recovery and be back serving the people of New Jersey within days."

Pascrell tweeted on Monday that “I’m feeling *much* better and I’m eager to get back at it. It’ll take a lot more to stop me. #JerseyStrong

The surgery Sunday came just two days before the longtime liberal congressman faced multiple challenges at the ballot box as New Jersey holds its primary on Tuesday.

Two self-styled progressives – Fort Lee corporate attorney Alp Basaran and Zina Spezakis, a former Wall Street investor-turned-climate change activist from Tenafly – are challenging Pascrell in the Democratic primary as he seeks a 12th two-year term in Congress.

Democratic incumbents are facing challenges on Tuesday in eight of New Jersey’s 12 congressional districts.

Original Article

White House Chief of Staff: President Trump not downplaying COVID-19 deaths

FILE – In this June 16, 2020, file photo, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrives for an event on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:39 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

While speaking to reporters Monday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he doesn’t think a federal mandate on masks is necessary. He noted that a national mandate is “not in order,” adding that it’s up to local governments to determine that.

Currently, the CDC recommends wearing masks and some governors have made masks a requirement in their states.

Meadows also defended President Trump who’s come under fire for saying “99-percent of coronavirus cases are harmless” during comments on the Fourth of July.

“I don’t think it was the president’s intent to downplay that as much as saying, let’s look at the risk and let’s look at it in an appropriate way based on facts and figures,” he stated.

The CDC determined more than a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, while the World Health Organization said the global fatality rate is likely less than one-percent.

RELATED: White House expresses optimism about COVID-19 vaccine before 2021

Original Article

White House Chief of Staff: President Trump not downplaying COVID-19 deaths

FILE – In this June 16, 2020, file photo, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrives for an event on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:39 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

While speaking to reporters Monday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he doesn’t think a federal mandate on masks is necessary. He noted that a national mandate is “not in order,” adding that it’s up to local governments to determine that.

Currently, the CDC recommends wearing masks and some governors have made masks a requirement in their states.

Meadows also defended President Trump who’s come under fire for saying “99-percent of coronavirus cases are harmless” during comments on the Fourth of July.

“I don’t think it was the president’s intent to downplay that as much as saying, let’s look at the risk and let’s look at it in an appropriate way based on facts and figures,” he stated.

The CDC determined more than a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, while the World Health Organization said the global fatality rate is likely less than one-percent.

RELATED: White House expresses optimism about COVID-19 vaccine before 2021

Original Article

Fitness chain CEO sues Ariz. governor over recent shutdown

Mountainside Fitness remains open even as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has issued an executive order for all gyms to close due to the surge in coronavirus cases in Arizona Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:54 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

The CEO of a popular Arizona fitness chain recently spoke out on Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) order to close gyms in the state.

In an interview Sunday, Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten called the shutdown an “arbitrary” and “unconstitutional” decision. He sued the governor last week and refused to close his gym locations.

Hatten said the fitness centers were following protocol perfectly when Ducey gave his business only five-hours to close. He believes there is no proof that coronavirus cases can be traced back to gyms.

“And if that meant I’m gonna be fined or could end up in jail, there’s been plenty of great Americans who have been in this position before,” said the CEO. “I’m okay with that.”

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten speaks to reporters at one of his health clubs in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday, July 3, 2020. Hatten said he would keep his facilities open despite a state order to shut down or face possible legal action. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)

Hatten is expected to have a court hearing Monday, where he will request an exemption.

RELATED: States implement face mask fines as U.S. faces surge in COVID-19 cases

Original Article

Fla. COVID-19 cases top 200K over Fourth of July weekend

Lines of cars wait at a drive-through coronavirus testing site, Sunday, July 5, 2020, outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida health officials say the state has reached a grim milestone: more than 200,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the start of the outbreak. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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UPDATED 7:24 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

Florida set a new record of coronavirus cases after the state reported its highest number of infections in a single day. State health officials said there were 11,400 new cases reported on Saturday.

As of Sunday, Florida has more than 200,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began and a total of 3,731 people have died from the virus.

Officials said about 43 percent of the cases have been reported in three counties, which include Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the reopening of bars and restaurants has contributed to the increase in cases.

“There’s no doubt that the fact that when we reopened people started socializing as if the virus didn’t exist,” he stated. “Just before this weekend, the incline slope was 91 new cases per day, so it’s almost three times a greater slope than it was prior to the stay-at-home order…it’s extremely worrisome.”

Florida has the ninth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country and officials are expecting the numbers to go up following this past Independence Day weekend.

RELATED: White House expresses optimism about COVID-19 vaccine before 2021

Original Article

Atlanta mayor slams violent protesters after fatal shooting of 8-year-old

Eight-year-old Secoriea Turner is pictured. (Photo/handout/Atlanta Police Department)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:36 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

The Democrat mayor of Atlanta, Georgia is slamming violent protests in her city, following the death of an eight-year-old girl.

During a press conference Sunday, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said “enough is enough” and called on residents to “stop shooting one another.”

Her comments came after eight-year-old Secoriea Turner was fatally shot on Saturday after at least two people opened fire on a car she was riding in with her mother.

Bottoms went on to say this incident cannot be blamed on police officers, adding that it’s time to fight what she called “the enemy within.”

“We are shooting each other up on our streets in this city, and you shot and killed a baby and it wasn’t one shooter, there were at least two shooters. An 8-year-old baby.” BUMP

“We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force,” she stated. “So if you are a part of a protest or a demonstration that looks like it’s going the wrong way, that’s your time to pull back because you are no longer a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.”

Meanwhile, police are calling on the public to help identify those involved in the fatal shooting.

RELATED: Seattle man hits 2 protesters with car

Original Article

Supreme Court rules states can enforce presidential elector pledges

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Supreme Court gives school choice a victory by striking down state ban on taxpayer funds for religious schools

Becket Law VP and Executive Director Montse Alvarado breaks down the case out of Montana.

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld state laws requiring those chosen for the Electoral College to back the popular winner in their state's presidential race, a rebuke of a group of so-called "faithless" presidential electors in Washington and Colorado who sued after they were sanctioned for voting contrary to pledges they took before becoming electors.

The court ruled 9-0 in a pair of cases that states can enforce pledges requiring that electors of their states follow the will of the voters when casting their electoral ballots.

The cases come after a group of Democratic electors that called themselves the "Hamilton Electors" voted for moderate Republicans instead of Hillary Clinton in 2016, in an unsuccessful effort to convince Republican electors to vote for somebody besides President Trump.

MEET THE FAITHLESS ELECTORS: HOW A CALL BETWEEN A TECH WORKER AND A JAMBA JUICE EMPLOYEE TURNED INTO A SUPREME COURT CASE

"Among the devices States have long used to achieve their object are pledge laws, designed to impress on electors their role as agents of others," Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court's opinion. "That direction accords with the Constitution—as well as with the trust of a Nation that here, We the People rule.”

Though many voters don't realize it, when Americans cast their ballots in presidential elections they are actually voting for "electors" who later case the official ballots that decide the presidential election. They almost always rubber-stamp the popular vote winner in their state, but at times have voted for a different candidate, as the Hamilton Electors did in 2016.

The case Kagan wrote the opinion for is called Chiafalo v. State of Washington. In that case, the justices upheld the ruling of the Washington Supreme Court. In an unsigned opinion, citing the reasoning of the Chiafalo opinion, the justices overturned the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that states could not enforce elector pledges, in a case named Colorado Department of State v. Baca.

Kagan added: "The Constitution’s text and the Nation’s history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee—and the state voters’ choice—for President."

Fox News' Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Original Article

Burgess Owens: America will see a ‘true renaissance’ under President Trump’s reelection in November

File – An election worker hands out “I Voted” stickers. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:09 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

Former Oakland Raiders safety and Super Bowl champion Burgess Owens suggested if President Trump wins reelection in November, it will result in what he called a “true renaissance.”

Owens, who recently won the Republican nomination for Utah’s Fourth Congressional District, made that prediction in an interview over the weekend.

The lawmaker went on to say if the president wins a second term and is able to hold a GOP majority in the House, the country will essentially experience a rebirth. Owens added that ahead of the 2020 election, conservatives are fighting for the soul of the nation.

“We’re going to get some more backbone in our Senate and were finally going to give our president the ability to govern without both hands tied behind his back,” he stated. “We’re gonna see that over the next four years a true renaissance, we’re gonna see what America could look like when all the limitations are taken off.”

Breitbart · Breitbart News Saturday – Burgess Owens – July 4, 2020

Owens, who has officially been endorsed by the president, will face off against Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams in November.

RELATED: President Trump to host ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in N.H. this Saturday

Original Article

Fla. COVID-19 cases top 200K over Fourth of July weekend

Lines of cars wait at a drive-through coronavirus testing site, Sunday, July 5, 2020, outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida health officials say the state has reached a grim milestone: more than 200,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the start of the outbreak. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:24 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

Florida set a new record of coronavirus cases after the state reported its highest number of infections in a single day. State health officials said there were 11,400 new cases reported on Saturday.

As of Sunday, Florida has more than 200,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began and a total of 3,731 people have died from the virus.

Officials said about 43 percent of the cases have been reported in three counties, which include Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the reopening of bars and restaurants has contributed to the increase in cases.

“There’s no doubt that the fact that when we reopened people started socializing as if the virus didn’t exist,” he stated. “Just before this weekend, the incline slope was 91 new cases per day, so it’s almost three times a greater slope than it was prior to the stay-at-home order…it’s extremely worrisome.”

Florida has the ninth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country and officials are expecting the numbers to go up following this past Independence Day weekend.

RELATED: White House expresses optimism about COVID-19 vaccine before 2021

Original Article

Mark Meadows says there will not be a ‘national mandate’ on wearing masks

closeWhite House Chief of Staff Meadows on deadly violence in cities, COVID-19, Trump's NH rallyVideo

White House Chief of Staff Meadows on deadly violence in cities, COVID-19, Trump's NH rally

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joins 'Fox & Friends' to discuss the news of the day and his agenda in his new role.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday said a national mandate to wear masks or face coverings “is not in order,” as states experience a surge in cases of the novel coronavirus amid their phased reopening.

Meadows was asked Monday during an interview with “Fox & Friends” whether there should be a federal mandate on wearing masks, or whether the decision should be left up to the states, as some governors tighten existing orders requiring masks in spaces where social distancing is not possible and others issue new orders for their states.

DOES WEARING A FACE MASK POSE ANY HEALTH RISKS?

“Well, it’s certainly a state-to-state issue, as we look across the country, obviously the narrative is the COVID cases are rising, but testing is rising exponentially. We’ve now tested almost 10 percent of our country,” Meadows said.

“And yet when we look at masks and the wearing of masks, that's done on a location basis, when you can’t have social distancing, but certainly a national mandate is not in order,” he continued. “We’re allowing governors and mayors to weigh in on that.”

Meanwhile, the president is heading to New Hampshire later this week for a campaign-style rally, and Meadows suggested masks could be required.

“Obviously we’re looking forward to being in the Granite State and as we look at that it's more a factor of precaution,” he said. “We’re a nation of freedoms and certainly we want to make sure people are free to assemble.”

Meadows went on to say that as states and businesses begin to open, masks should be used if appropriate.

CORONAVIRUS CAN STILL PASS BETWEEN FACE MASK WEARERS – EVEN WHEN THEY'RE 4 FEET APART: STUDY

“President Trump mentioned he is willing to wear a mask if appropriate in tight quarters,” Meadows said. “I know a number of us have done the same and it’s all to make sure that we deal with the virus and make sure the American people know that help is on the way.”

He added: “When we had testing problems, this president acted. When we had problems with ventilators, this president acted. When we had problems with PPP, this president acted.”

“And there is good news on the way,” he said. “Whether it’s therapeutics or a vaccine, help is on the way. We will be able to make sure that we deliver those by the end of the year.”

Meadows’ comments come as states across the country begin implementing new mask mandates and tightening existing ones.

As of Monday, the United States reported more than 2.88 million positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 132,000 deaths.

Original Article

Fitness chain CEO sues Ariz. governor over recent shutdown

Mountainside Fitness remains open even as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has issued an executive order for all gyms to close due to the surge in coronavirus cases in Arizona Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:54 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

The CEO of a popular Arizona fitness chain recently spoke out on Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) order to close gyms in the state.

In an interview Sunday, Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten called the shutdown an “arbitrary” and “unconstitutional” decision. He sued the governor last week and refused to close his gym locations.

Hatten said the fitness centers were following protocol perfectly when Ducey gave his business only five-hours to close. He believes there is no proof that coronavirus cases can be traced back to gyms.

“And if that meant I’m gonna be fined or could end up in jail, there’s been plenty of great Americans who have been in this position before,” said the CEO. “I’m okay with that.”

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten speaks to reporters at one of his health clubs in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday, July 3, 2020. Hatten said he would keep his facilities open despite a state order to shut down or face possible legal action. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)

Hatten is expected to have a court hearing Monday, where he will request an exemption.

RELATED: States implement face mask fines as U.S. faces surge in COVID-19 cases

Original Article

President Trump to host ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in N.H. this Saturday

President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, Friday, July 3, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is en route to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:40 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

President Trump will travel to New Hampshire later this week for the latest stop in his 2020 reelection campaign. In a news release Sunday, the Trump campaign announced the president will be delivering remarks to a crowd of supporters at a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally at the Portsmouth International Airport this Saturday.

According to reports, the president is expected to tout his record setting accomplishments as well as his efforts to rebuild, restore and renew our nation.

The event marks the president’s second rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and comes as health figures show the number of COVID-19 cases in the state have begun to see a slight decline in recent days.

However, the campaign confirmed there will be ample access to hand sanitizer and all attendees will be provided with face masks that they will be strongly encouraged to wear.

Some of the president’s supporters suggested the outbreak is just not enough for them to consider missing the rally.

“I’m a high risk guy, I’m not concerned one bit. You know, I mean I took a beating for 22 years in the Marines to my body, I’m not worried about it. You know something? Life’s too short, you gotta enjoy. It’s great to be an American, where you can make those decisions.”

— State Rep. Al Baldasaro, (R) Londonderry, New Hampshire

The upcoming event will mark the president’s first visit to the state since last February. He narrowly lost New Hampshire in 2016 and it’s, once again, expected to be a key battleground state in the November election.

In a recent statement, Trump 2020 national press secretary Hogan Gidley said the campaign is looking forward to seeing many “freedom-loving patriots coming to the rally and celebrating America.”

RELATED: USA Strong focuses on rebuilding America, putting Americans first

Original Article

Anti-police demonstrations may have sparked new coronavirus cases, some cities now acknowledge

closeAs millions Americans celebrate Independence Day, public health experts warn about another spike in coronavirus casesVideo

As millions Americans celebrate Independence Day, public health experts warn about another spike in coronavirus cases

Christina Coleman reports from Los Angeles.

Several big-city mayors and top officials are acknowledging that weeks of anti-police protests and riots may have contributed to surging coronavirus rates, weeks after Democrats and even some epidemiologists openly encouraged Black Lives Matter allies to demonstrate in the streets.

In public statements and interviews with Fox News this weekend, officials in Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami-Dade County, Fla., have indicated that some link between protests and new cases was at least possible. Still, many officials declined to comment when contacted by Fox News this weekend, and others – including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's office – disputed that the protests had caused any issue.

"Based on our health indicators, which measure hospital admissions, number of people in ICU and percentage of New Yorkers testing positive, we have seen no indication of an uptick in cases," Avery Cohen, de Blasio's deputy press secretary, told Fox News.

WNBC reported on July 4 that "over the course of a week, New York's daily death toll has stayed constant, but its percentage of positive coronavirus cases rose four days straight." New York City, though, has seen cases steadily decreasing over the last few months, while Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami have been experiencing surges.

In this June 6, 2020, file photo, demonstrators protest at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the group behind the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, has established a more than $12 million fund to aid organizations fighting institutional racism in the wake of the George Floyd protests. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

In this June 6, 2020, file photo, demonstrators protest at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the group behind the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, has established a more than $12 million fund to aid organizations fighting institutional racism in the wake of the George Floyd protests. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Responding to that report, Cohen asserted that the number of New Yorkers testing positive "remains at a steady 2 percent, far below the nationwide average," and that, "at this time, we do not believe there has been a resurgence in cases related to the protests, which reached their peak over a month ago."

Cohen's public Twitter feed explicitly praised the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged mass protests. One June 28 post retweeted by Cohen read: "Are you ready to flood the streets to fight for Black lives and against police brutality and reclaim our roots of pride? Join us today at 1 PM at FOLEY SQUARE."

New York officials were previously less tolerant of mass gatherings — at least, for certain religious groups. In April, de Blasio told the Jewish community that "the time for warnings has passed" after he said a funeral gathering had violated social distancing guidelines.

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE SAVED PATIENTS' LIVES, NEW STUDY FINDS — CONTRADICTING MEDIA NARRATIVES

New York's current position differs markedly from assessments by officials in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Last Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti acknowledged that public protests likely were causing a coronavirus spike, just two days after claiming there wasn't "any conclusive evidence" showing a connection between the two. De Blasio, like Garcetti, has defended demonstrators, saying they were participating in a "historical moment."

"I talked again with Dr. Ferrer about that this morning," Garcetti said, referencing Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the L.A. County public-health director. "She does think some of the spread did come from our protests," he added. "It’s not the act of protesting — that’s a great and American thing to do no matter what your opinion is… but protesting without maintaining physical distancing, without wearing your mask, without having sanitizer – we just have to be smart. Whether you’re at a protest or at your home, whether in your workplace or whether you’re out shopping, these rules don’t change."

Cohen responded, "Los Angeles is facing a resurgence; we have seen no such equivalent in New York City."

DEMS WHO ENFORCED STRICT LOCKDOWNS ARE NOW ENCOURAGING 'BLM' MASS PROTESTS

New York’s governor, however, Andrew Cuomo, in June expressed concerns about the confluence of protests and the virus. "If you were at a protest, go get a test, please."

But last month, after New York City hired 1,000 workers to conduct contact tracing to monitor the spread of coronavirus, de Blasio's office said they would not be explicitly asking people if they participated in the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. De Blasio's spokeswoman, at the time, said “no person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest.”

Still, Cohen said this weekend that contact tracers were "not barred from asking positive cases about attending protests," and that "when identifying their close contacts, patients are asked if they attended any large gatherings or events."

"We remain overcautious," Cohen said. "As we continue our phases reopening, we will continue to monitor our indicators closely for any potential resurgence."

By contrast, a spokesperson for Carlos A. Giménez, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, told Fox News on Sunday the protests were a "contributing factor" to the local coronavirus spike.

Giménez "meets several times a week with his team of medical experts," the spokesperson, Patty Abril, responded in an email. "Those experts have told him that, based on information in our local emergency rooms, the protests were a contributing factor, along with our community letting its guard down and not social distancing or wearing masks, as mandated. Graduation parties, house parties and restaurants illegally turning into clubs after midnight all contributed to the spike."

IN FIERY MT. RUSHMORE ADDRESS, TRUMP CONDEMNS LEFT-WING FASCISTS, CALLS ON USA TO RISE UP

The mayor had announced a curfew last week after it was determined that roughly 2,300 of Florida's 10,109 new coronavirus infections originated in Miami-Dade.

“This curfew is meant to stop people from venturing out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has shown to be spreading the virus rapidly,” Giménez said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's office directed Fox News to city health official James Apa, who downplayed the role of protests while still acknowledging they may have played a role in some new cases.

People march to protest during a solidarity rally for the death of George Floyd in Tokyo Sunday, June 14, 2020. Holding handmade signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” several hundred people marched peacefully at a Tokyo park Sunday, highlighting the outrage over the death of Floyd even in a country often perceived as homogeneous and untouched by racial issues. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

People march to protest during a solidarity rally for the death of George Floyd in Tokyo Sunday, June 14, 2020. Holding handmade signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” several hundred people marched peacefully at a Tokyo park Sunday, highlighting the outrage over the death of Floyd even in a country often perceived as homogeneous and untouched by racial issues. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

"No single exposure site has been the primary driver for our increase in cases," Apa said. "Top contributors include infections from other people in households, essential workers being exposed on the job and infections within long term care facilities. From what we can tell, protests were not a major factor."

Pressed on whether protests could have contributed to the coronavirus upswing, Apa indicated that any impact was probably marginal.

"A small percentage of the total number of cases reported going to a protest, which may or may not mean they acquired it there," he said. "Protests are not driving our upsurge in cases."

COURT DOCS ALLEGE ANTIFA 'RINGLEADER' LIT A CIGARETTE IN THE MONUMENTS' FLAMES

The mayors of Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Oakland, San Francisco, Houston and New Orleans did not return Fox News' requests for comment concerning the potential that protests might have led to an increase in coronavirus cases.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who did not return Fox News' request for comment as to whether he sees a connection between protests and the coronavirus, had previously warned that in-person worship services would be a "public-health disaster," disregarding constituents' concerns that he was violating their First Amendment rights. In May, his administration began distributing masks to rioters, even though public gatherings of 10 or more were still ostensibly banned. Frey also allowed a police station to burn, saying it was necessary to protect police and rioters.

Accused 'ringleader' of attack on Andrew Jackson statue arrestedVideo

The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, who also did not return Fox News' inquiries on Sunday, vowed $5,000 fines or 90 days in jail for anyone violating stay-at-home orders. Weeks later, though, Bowser defended the protests: "We are grieving hundreds of years of institutional racism. … People are tired, sad, angry and desperate for change."

The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, has been one of the few politicians to attempt to keep up her coronavirus admonitions. "If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week," she told CNN at the height of the protests. "There is still a pandemic in America that’s killing Black and Brown people at higher numbers."

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The mayor didn't answer Fox News' questions on the spread of the coronavirus, but she did deliver emotional remarks on Sunday after an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed on the Fourth of July near a Wendy's that became a flashpoint of recent anti-police protests in the city.

“Enough is enough," Bottoms said. "Enough is enough. We have talked about this movement that's happening across America and this moment in time when we have the ears and the interests of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change. But the difference in this moment in time with the civil rights movement — the civil rights movement, there was a defined, common enemy. We're fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up on our streets."

She continued: "You shot and killed a baby. And there wasn’t just one shooter; there were at least two shooters. An eight-year-old baby. If you want people to take us seriously, and you don't want us to lose this movement, then we can't lose each other."

"It has to stop," Bottoms added, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. "You can't blame this on police officers. It's about people who shot a baby in a car. We're doing each other more harm than any officer on this force."

An Atlanta police officer currently faces a potential death penalty sentence for killing a black man who attempted to shoot the officer with his own taser during a DUI stop; that officer's stepmother later spoke to Fox News about why she was fired from her job as well.

Fox News' Nick Givas contributed to this report.

Original Article

Sasse slams ‘Chairman Xi’s spy web’ after reports UK will freeze Huawei out of 5G networks

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Fox News Flash top headlines for July 6

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., hailed reports that the United Kingdom is planning to freeze the Chinese telecom giant Huawei out of its 5G network by the end of the year, saying it's "good for the British government" to be giving Huawei the boot after months of pressure from the U.S.

The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph reported over the weekend that the U.K. would remove Huawei from its 5G infrastructure, and the Sunday Times reported the move would be complete "by Christmas." The United Kingdom's decision earlier this year to use Huawei to help build its 5G network sent American politicians into an uproar, with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., saying "Huawei has been and will continue to be a national security threat," and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., saying "[t]he Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will now have a foothold to conduct pervasive espionage on British society."

Now, as the U.K. is reportedly reversing its plans to use Huawei equipment – after a year of pressure from the U.S. to do otherwise – Sasse on Sunday voiced his support for the decision.

In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sasse Sunday said he supported the U.K.'s move to freeze Huawei out of its 5G network. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sasse Sunday said he supported the U.K.'s move to freeze Huawei out of its 5G network. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO SANCTION CHINESE ENTITIES THAT MENACE HONG KONG, BANKS THAT WORK WITH THEM

"Chairman Xi’s spy web isn’t going to like this, but good for the British government," he said. "Shared security interests are a major part of our special relationship with the Brits, and the Chinese Communist Party’s tech puppet should not be allowed to sit on our closest ally’s networks."

The foreign policy victory for the United States comes as American officials are trying to fight back against a propaganda war from the Chinese government over the coronavirus, which Beijing has incorrectly said originated with the U.S. Army. It also comes as the two countries are engaged in military posturing in the South China Sea, trade tensions continue and both nations scramble to gain the upper hand in a 21st-century version of the space race.

China's pervasive human rights abuses and crackdowns against free speech, particularly with a new "national security" law passed last week aimed at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, also complicate the relationship between the U.S. and China — two countries with extensive economic ties. The State Department last week started warning American companies against working with Chinese companies that are "literally using slave labor."

Sasse and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., two lawmakers who are almost constantly at odds, jointly led a letter in March urging the United Kingdom's government to reconsider its Huawei decision. The letter included the signatures of 20 total senators ranging from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

"Given the significant security, privacy, and economic threats posed by Huawei, we strongly urge the United Kingdom to revisit its recent decision, take steps to mitigate the risks of Huawei, and work in close partnership with the U.S. on such efforts going forward," the senators wrote.

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They added: "Notably, the U.K. government itself has warned that Huawei’s telecommunications equipment raises “significant” security issues. Through China’s patchwork of vague intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws, Chinese companies are compelled to support and cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence-gathering authorities."

The Trump administration has also railed against Huawei being allowed into the United Kingdom and the company's ties to the CCP in general.

As the U.S. imposed rules preventing Huawei from accessing American technology in May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Huawei "a tool of the Chinese Communist Party, beholden to its orders."

Fox News' Gillian Turner and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden says he is going to ‘transform’ the nation if elected

closeTrump looks to swing states, Biden to south in 2020 electionVideo

Trump looks to swing states, Biden to south in 2020 election

John Bussey, Associate Editor for The Wallstreet Journal, weighs in on 'America's News HQ.'

Joe Biden tweeted Sunday night that if he gets elected, his administration “won’t just rebuild this nation—we’ll transform it,” raising speculation online about what exactly in the country will be transformed.

POSSIBLE VP PICK DODGES QUESTION ON MONUMENTS

The tweet comes after a politically charged Fourth of July weekend as the country works to manage a new surge in COVID-19 cases and tries to emerge from weeks of tense protests that have resulted in a widening divide between Democrats and Republicans.

Biden’s tweet did not specify what exactly he means by transforming the country. His critics from the left have expressed concern that he served in the upper echelon of government for over 40 years and didn't help solve these major issues in the past. His critics from the right insist that a Biden White House will take marching orders from the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party. Some conservatives say his vice president pick will be an early indicator of his administration's direction.

His campaign sent a link to his website when reached by Fox News for comment about the tweet. The tweet appeared to be embraced by supporters and was liked 140,000 times as of early Monday.

SUSAN RICE SLAMS TRUMP OVER RUSSIA BOUNTIES

Scott Morefield, a media and politics reporter for the Daily Caller, responded to Biden’s post and said the transformation Biden was referring to would be the country's turn “into a socialist hellscape."

Biden's website lays out his plans to combat the coronavirus by offering, for example, the “wide availability of free testing.” The campaign says a Biden White House would offer Americans a “decisive economic response that starts with emergency paid leave” to help those affected by the virus.

Other initiatives include an agenda for the black community, criminal justice reform and a plan for gun violence, to name a few.

The U.S. is about four months from Election Day and Biden has maintained a lead over President Trump in polls. While Trump and his campaign have downplayed their significance, political insiders are beginning to see a tough climb ahead. Biden's supporters see his candidacy as a return to relative stability for the country.

Karl Rove: Trump campaign needs to hit the 'reset' buttonVideo

Karl Rove, who informally advises the Trump campaign, noted the current deficit the president faces told Fox News that “these things happen in campaigns.”

Rove called on Trump to hit reset.

"When you are in the barrel, when you’re getting a lot of bad press and the polls are going against you, you need to do something that says, ‘We’re moving in a different direction.’ That’s what I mean by a reset," he said.

But Biden also seems to have some issues that may require further explaining before Nov. 3. Politico ran an article last month titled, “Why Biden is Rejecting Black Lives Matter’s Boldest Proposals.”

The article points out that Biden’s campaign is “led by an older and whiter group of operatives” and has said he is not in favor of defunding the police.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said at the time, “Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain.”

The Politico report said, “Internally, Biden’s campaign is balancing how to best respond to the transformational demands of protesters while maintaining his commanding lead over Trump. Biden gained the lead by staying largely out of the spotlight as Trump has praised the “beautiful heritage” of the Confederacy and called protesters “thugs.”

But the Trump campaign apparently sees a vulnerability for Biden and is working to connect him to the left-wing push to disband and defund police departments.

The president has been a tough critic of cities like Seattle, Minneapolis and New York over what he described as a soft approach to dealing with violent protesters. His campaign has used these cities as a way to give Americans a glimpse of what it said would be a lawless country under Biden.

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“If we defund the police as Joe Biden’s allies are calling for, who will answer the phone when people call 911?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on Sunday. The Trump campaign has said, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Original Article

Atlanta mayor calls for citizens to stop ‘shooting each other’ after murder of 8-year-old near BLM protest site

closeLeo Terrell on frustration with left's failure to call out rioters, says Black Lives Matter is disingenuousVideo

Leo Terrell on frustration with left's failure to call out rioters, says Black Lives Matter is disingenuous

Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell joins Mark Levin on 'Life, Liberty & Levin' to discuss state of race relations, police reform in America.

In an impassioned press conference Sunday night, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a full-throated call for citizens to stop "shooting each other up on our streets," after an eight-year-old girl was shot and killed on the Fourth of July near a Wendy's that became a flashpoint of recent anti-police Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the city.

Bottoms, considered a potential running mate for Joe Biden, made the remarks as she fought through tears — and the nation endured a new bout of urban carnage. Sixty-three people were injured and 17 killed in Chicago, including two children, over the weekend; and in New York City, 44 were hurt and at least 6 killed.

“Enough is enough," Bottoms said. "Enough is enough. We have talked about this movement that's happening across America and this moment in time when we have the ears and the interests of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change. But the difference in this moment in time with the civil rights movement — the civil rights movement, there was a defined, common enemy. We're fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up on our streets."

She continued: "You shot and killed a baby. And there wasn’t just one shooter; there were at least two shooters. An eight-year-old baby. If you want people to take us seriously, and you don't want us to lose this movement, then we can't lose each other."

"It has to stop," Bottoms added, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. "You can't blame this on police officers. It's about people who shot a baby in a car. We're doing each other more harm than any officer on this force."

Secoriya Williamson, the father of eight-year-old Secoriea Turner, told reporters that his daughter had been killed after at least two people in a crowd of armed people opened fire on a car she was riding in with her mother. Authorities said the mother had attempted to drive through illegally placed barricades in the area when the vehicle came under fire Saturday night.

"They say Black Lives Matter. You killed your own," Williamson said. "They killed my baby because she crossed a barrier and made a U-turn? You killed a child. She didn't do nothing to nobody. Black Lives Matter? You killing your own. You killed an eight-year-old child. She ain't did nothing to no one of y'all. She just wanted to get home to see her cousin. That's all she wanted to do."

The shooting happened near the Wendy’s restaurant where a black man, Rayshard Brooks, was killed by an Atlanta police officer on June 12. Brooks was shot only after he was caught on tape beating two officers, stealing a taser from one, and then turning and shooting the taser at an officer. The officer who shot Brooks is now fighting charges that could bring the death penalty, and the officer's stepmother was fired from her job. (She told Fox News she was "stunned" by her termination and the charges against her son.)

The fast-food outlet was later burned, and the area has since become a site for frequent demonstrations against police brutality.

In a statement Sunday, police said the girl was in a car with her mother and a friend of the mother when they got off Interstate-75/85 onto University Avenue and were trying to enter a parking lot nearby. They ran into a group of armed individuals who had blocked the entrance.

WSJ: THE MYTH OF SYSTEMIC POLICE RACISM

“At some point, someone in that group opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child who was inside,” the statement read. The driver drove the girl to Atlanta Medical Center but she did not survive.

Police said they are seeking help from the public to identify those involved and released a wanted poster saying a person all dressed in black and another in a white T-shirt were being sought.

"Police shot 9 unarmed black people all of last year. 25 people were shot just in Atlanta. Yesterday."

— Matt Walsh

Bottoms said there have been problems with protesters in the area putting up barriers to close off the street. She said she received a message that the barriers were back up less than an hour before she was informed that the eight-year-old girl had died.

“An eight-year-old girl was killed last night because her mother was riding down the street,” Bottoms said. “If Secoriea was not safe last night, none of us are safe.”

The mayor urged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

"The political agenda of BLM results in blacks being killed," said journalist Andy Ngo, who extensively covers Antifa and the BLM movement. BLM explicitly advocates for the destruction of the "nuclear family structure," which President Trump has called the "bedrock of American life." Multiple commentators have agreed that stable family structures greatly reduce crime rates, citing statistics and personal experience.

Added commentator Matt Walsh: "Police shot 9 unarmed black people all of last year. 25 people were shot just in Atlanta. Yesterday. And not by police. BLM says the first thing is a crisis worthy of rioting but the second is not."

Until recently, BLM was viewed with skepticism by members of both parties. A newly unearthed, secretive 2015 Democratic congressional memo flatly calls BLM a "radical group."

The violence in Atlanta wasn't restricted to BLM-related areas. Police said two other people, in addition to the eight-year-old, were killed and more than 20 people were injured in incidents of gunfire and violence during the long holiday weekend.

The mayor said the city’s 911 system was flooded with calls Saturday night and pointed to protesters who damaged a Georgia State Patrol headquarters in Atlanta in a separate incident early Sunday. But she said the city’s police force, though tasked by the weekend’s shootings, did not have problems with large numbers of police officers calling in sick.

TRUMP, AT MOUNT RUSHMORE, CALLS ON AMERICA TO DEFEAT 'LEFT-WING FASCISM'

That had been a problem in the days after murder charges were filed against one of the officers in the Brooks shooting.

170 Atlanta officers have called out sick since cops charged in Rayshard Brooks caseVideo

Meanwhile, citing publicly available data, commentators have asserted that the very idea of systemic racism by police is questionable — and that efforts to focus on the police may obscure problems elsewhere.

"In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population," Heather Mac Donald wrote in The Wall Street Journal this week.

DEMS' CONFIDENTIAL MEMO WARNED OF 'RADICAL' BLACK LIVES MATTER GROUP

"In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims," she went on. "Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer."

Mac Donald continued: "A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police."

Fryer's work has also determined that when police pull out of communities, black deaths tend to increase. "The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of officers during the Obama presidency," Mac Donald concluded.

Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Atlanta mayor calls for citizens to stop ‘shooting each other’ after murder of 8-year-old

closeLeo Terrell on frustration with left's failure to call out rioters, says Black Lives Matter is disingenuousVideo

Leo Terrell on frustration with left's failure to call out rioters, says Black Lives Matter is disingenuous

Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell joins Mark Levin on 'Life, Liberty & Levin' to discuss state of race relations, police reform in America.

In an impassioned press conference Sunday night, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a full-throated call for citizens to stop "shooting each other up on our streets," after an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed on the Fourth of July near a Wendy's that became a flashpoint of recent anti-police Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the city.

Bottoms, considered a potential running mate for Joe Biden, made the remarks as she fought through tears — and the nation endured a new bout of urban carnage. Sixty-three people were injured and 17 killed in Chicago, including two children, over the weekend; and in New York City, 44 were hurt and at least 6 killed.

“Enough is enough," Bottoms said. "Enough is enough. We have talked about this movement that's happening across America and this moment in time when we have the ears and the interests of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change. But the difference in this moment in time with the civil rights movement — the civil rights movement, there was a defined, common enemy. We're fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up on our streets."

She continued: "You shot and killed a baby. And there wasn’t just one shooter; there were at least two shooters. An eight-year-old baby. If you want people to take us seriously, and you don't want us to lose this movement, then we can't lose each other."

"It has to stop," Bottoms added, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. "You can't blame this on police officers. It's about people who shot a baby in a car. We're doing each other more harm than any officer on this force."

Secoriya Williamson, the father of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, told reporters that his daughter had been killed after at least two people in a crowd of armed people opened fire on a car she was riding in with her mother. Authorities said the mother had attempted to drive through illegally placed barricades in the area when the vehicle came under fire Saturday night.

"They say Black Lives Matter. You killed your own," Turner said. "They killed my baby because he crossed a barrier and made a U-turn? You killed a child. She didn't do nothing to nobody. Black Lives Matter? You killing you're own. You killed an 8-year-old child. She ain't' did nothing to no one of y'all. She just wanted to get home to see her cousin. That's all she wanted to do."

The shooting happened near the Wendy’s restaurant where an African American man, Rayshard Brooks, was killed by an Atlanta police officer on June 12. Brooks was shot only after he beat two officers, stole a taser from one, and then turned and fired it at him.

"They say Black Lives Matter. You killed your own."

— Secoriya Williamson

WSJ: THE MYTH OF SYSTEMIC POLICE RACISM

The fast-food outlet was later burned, and the area has since become a site for frequent demonstrations against police brutality.

In a statement Sunday, police said the girl was in a car with her mother and a friend of the mother when they got off Interstate-75/85 onto University Avenue and were trying to enter a parking lot nearby. They ran into a group of armed individuals who had blocked the entrance.

“At some point, someone in that group opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child who was inside,” the statement read. The driver drove the girl to Atlanta Medical Center but she did not survive.

Police said they are seeking help from the public to identify those involved and released a wanted poster saying a person all dressed in black and another in a white T-shirt were being sought.

"The political agenda of BLM results in blacks being killed," said journalist Andy Ngo, who extensively covers Antifa and the BLM movement. BLM explicitly advocates for the destruction of the "nuclear family structure," which President Trump has called the "bedrock of American life." Multiple commentators have agreed that stable family structures greatly reduce crime rates, citing statistics and personal experience.

The mayor said there have been problems with protesters in the area putting up barriers to close off the street. She said she received a message that the barriers were back up less than an hour before she was informed that the 8-year-old girl had died.

“An 8-year-old girl was killed last night because her mother was riding down the street,” Bottoms said. “If Secoriea was not safe last night, none of us are safe.”

The mayor urged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

Police said two other people, in addition to the 8-year-old, were killed and more than 20 people were injured in incidents of gunfire and violence during the long holiday weekend.

TRUMP, AT MOUNT RUSHMORE, CALLS ON AMERICA TO DEFEAT 'LEFT-WING FASCISM'

The mayor said the city’s 911 system was flooded with calls Saturday night and pointed to protesters who damaged a Georgia State Patrol headquarters in Atlanta in a separate incident early Sunday. But she said the city’s police force, though tasked by the weekend’s shootings, did not have problems with large numbers of police officers calling in sick. That had been a problem in the days after murder charges were filed against one of the officers in the Brooks shooting.

170 Atlanta officers have called out sick since cops charged in Rayshard Brooks caseVideo

Meanwhile, citing publicly available data, commentators have asserted that the very idea of systemic racism by police is questionable — and that efforts to focus on the police may obscure problems elsewhere.

"In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population," Heather Mac Donald wrote in The Wall Street Journal this week.

DEMS' CONFIDENTIAL MEMO WARNED OF 'RADICAL' BLACK LIVES MATTER GROUP

"In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims," she went on. "Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer."

Mac Donald continued: "A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police."

Fryer's work has also determined that when police pull out of communities, black deaths tend to increase. "The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of officers during the Obama presidency," Mac Donald concluded.

Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Reporter’s Notebook: Confederate statues, PPP highlight Congressional Republicans’ struggles

closeTrump signs PPP reform bill loosening restrictions on small business loan recipientsVideo

Trump signs PPP reform bill loosening restrictions on small business loan recipients

President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation giving small business owners who tapped a federal aid program more flexibility in how they spend the loans.

One could consolidate the challenges facing Republicans in 2020 into a matter of hours late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning last week.

It was a little bit coronavirus pandemic, a little bit economic crisis, a little bit protest and a little bit electoral politics.

Washington awoke last Wednesday morning to the surprise that Senate Democrats, serving in the minority, were able to finagle Republicans into passing on the spot legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program [PPP] through early August.

Nobody seemed to have seen this coming – especially since Democrats have excoriated Republicans for weeks about refusing to advance any bills of late to combat coronavirus and the associated economic fallout.

“We just can’t wait for our Republican colleagues to wake up to the reality in this country. People are losing their homes. People are not being fed. People are losing their jobs,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., thundered on the floor.

Democrats said they’ve been exasperated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declining to prepare coronavirus measures. McConnell spoke in recent days with President Trump about the next wave of legislation. The Kentucky Republican has continued to promote curbs on legal liability – protecting schools and businesses if people get sick. The president has touted additional direct payments to Americans in another coronavirus bill. But, the next coronavirus measure is far from settled.

Democrats seemed to believe they could drive a political wedge through the GOP’s reluctance to act right away.

It’s traditional for the minority party in the Senate to engineer “stunts” on the floor at times. During these parliamentary gymnastics, the minority would dare the majority to block legislation on an important issue. Such exercises usually would be a fait accompli, with the minority taking the floor to crow about something and the majority party then stalling the minority effort. Everyone would know the outcome in advance. The majority would stand in the way of the minority.

The Senate could approve a bill in one of three ways. There’s a roll-call vote. There’s a voice-vote (“aye!” and “nay!”). And, there’s something called “unanimous consent,” when any senator could ask that the body approve a bill right there and then. And, so long as no senator were to object on the floor, the bill would pass.

As it’s been written in this space before, you can make the sun rise in the west in the Senate if you have unanimous consent. Ninety-nine senators could favor a bill, but all it takes is one senator to object. That would thwart everything.

It's typical in the Senate for the sides to pre-bake, offstage, such unanimous-consent requests. The minority and majority would consult ahead of time, with the outcome set. The minority would respect the majority enough that it wouldn’t pull a fast one, and the majority would respect the minority enough that it would go along with this bit of political theatre – before stopping the minority’s request in its tracks.

But, that’s not what happened in an underreported episode, stunning most veteran observers of the world’s greatest deliberative body.

For the first time in years, the Senate approved legislation, via a bona fide, “live,” unanimous-consent request – without having determined everything in advance. It was a rare moment.

Here’s what unfolded:

Senate Democrats came to the floor and expected the usual objection to their proposal to extend the PPP. Sen. Rick Scott expressed reservations. The Florida Republican attempted to change the Democrats’ plan. But, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Small Business Committee, objected to Scott’s proposal. However, when Democrats again pressed the issue, neither Scott nor any other Republican objected to extending the PPP program through August 8.

Schumer dares Trump to veto Warren-backed defense bill over Confederate base namingVideo

Boom. That meant the Senate passed the bill, in a manner of seconds.

“We were shocked,” one senior Senate Democratic source conceded.

Fox News is told that Republicans were concerned about standing in the way of the proposal and there wasn’t a lawmaker on their side willing to object, considering the overall popularity of the PPP.

In other words, what was supposed to be a media stunt by Democrats turned into on-the-spot passage of a bill to re-up the PPP.

The PPP was set to expire a few hours later with over $130 billion still not allocated.

The House then synced up with the Senate the next day, sending the measure to President Trump, which he signed.

But, a signature isn’t guaranteed for the annual defense bill.

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: TRUMP COULD DO 'BETTER JOB' REASSURING COUNTRY DURING PANDEMIC

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted a veto threat to the defense plan. He opposed a provision in the legislation that ultimately would rename military bases associated with Confederates.

“I will Veto the Defense Authorization Bill if the Elizabeth 'Pocahontas' Warren (of all people!) Amendment, which will lead to the renaming (plus other bad things!) of Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, and many other Military Bases from which we won Two World Wars, is in the Bill!?” Trump tweeted.

The core defense bill included language, approved in committee, that eventually would change the names of installations named after Confederates, in three years. Various Republicans have proposed amendments to modify those provisions in the bill. Republican senators have been leery about opposing new names in the current political climate. That’s one of the reasons the Armed Services Committee adopted the amendment from Warren, D-Mass., and incorporated it into the legislation when it came to the floor.

Democrats immediately scoffed at the president’s veto ultimatum.

“This is nothing but the typical bluster from President Trump,” said Schumer, arguing Trump wouldn’t veto a bill which hiked pay for the military. “The NDAA [the defense bill] will pass and we will scrub from our military bases the names of men who fought for the Confederacy, who took up arms against our country.”

McConnell echoed Schumer during an appearance on Fox News.

Sen. McConnell: To avoid another economic shutdown we need to take measures, wear a maskVideo

“I hope the president will reconsider vetoing the entire defense bill, which includes pay raises for our troops, over a provision in there that could lead to changing the names,” McConnell said.

Privately, Republicans expressed concern about the president’s tweet and the consequences for the defense measure. But publicly, most ignored the president.

“I never read any of the president’s tweets,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., even though Twitter has served as the president’s primary method of communication and his tweets are considered official administration statements.

But, others were more sanguine, especially Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe. The Oklahoma Republican may have been more optimistic, because, well, he has to be as the leader of the Armed Services Committee. But also, because Inhofe may be right.

“He’s not going to veto it,” Inhofe said. “It will probably be November by the time it would be coming to his desk anyway. So, a lot can happen between now and then, and one [thing] that isn’t going to happen is a veto.”

Still, Inhofe observed that Trump was “serious” and, “it’s not an empty threat.”

Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., a member of the House Armed Services panel, argued that the president’s position was “not really understanding where the will of the majority of Americans are” when it came to the base names. Brown added that the defense plan probably would go to the White House for a presidential signature “post-election.”

And, the timeline suggested by both Inhofe and Brown is likely the reality.

But, both episodes distilled the issues Republicans have faced this year. Tip-toeing around, trying to provide economic relief for the country amid coronavirus – but not willing to jump in completely. Wanting to swab the names of Confederates off military bases – but hesitant to go too far, considering the ire of the president and vocal elements of the Republican base.

Both scenarios have symbolized a lack of capital on the GOP side of the aisle just months before the election. That’s why Republicans deferred to Democrats on the PPP. It’s the same reason why, at least for now, they accepted Warren’s amendment in committee. Hence, the expectation that the final, unified version of the defense bill won’t be ready until mid-November at the earliest.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Republicans are tentative now. Not on steady political footing, afraid to inflame President Trump, but mindful of the polls and potential political peril.

All of that was crystallized into two unrelated events which unfolded within a few hours of one another just last week.

Original Article

White House expresses optimism about COVID-19 vaccine before 2021

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrives at a “Salute to America” event on the South Lawn of the White House, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:30 PM PT — Sunday, July 5, 2020

Following the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the White House gave an update on the development of a potential vaccine.

During Saturday’s “Salute to America” event, President Trump made big promises regarding the timeline of the forthcoming vaccine. He suggested it could be ready before the end of this year.

“We are unleashing our nation’s scientific brilliance,” stated the president. “We’ll likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year.”

More than 140 research teams are racing to find a safe and effective solution. The creation of a vaccine includes five steps, starting with the preclinical phase.

The process typically takes years, but scientists are aiming to produce a vaccine within 12 to 18 months. There are currently over 100 different coronavirus vaccines in the making.

Some are even in large-scale efficiency trials, and several manufacturers have promised millions of doses by early 2021.

FILE – In this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, a health worker arrives to take a nose swab sample as part of testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci also expressed optimism about the emergence of the vaccine. He noted there is a misconception that one vaccine will emerge as the winner, whereas the hope is to produce multiple effective vaccines.

“When you have two or three companies, which you hope will be successful, they are going to be making a vaccine not only for their own country, but availability in other countries,” he said.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn has voiced some uncertainty regarding the timing of these efforts. During a recent interview, he claimed he cannot predict the timeline of the coronavirus vaccine.

However, he acknowledged there has been unprecedented speed in the development of the vaccine and added the FDA will produce a timeline once they have data to do so.

“When those data become available, and I hope those data are available sooner rather than later, we will make that judgment,” said Hahn.

In the meantime, the fatality rate of COVID-19 is reportedly going down, despite the recent rise in cases.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb confirmed this information on Sunday. He cited recent advances in care and the fact more young people, who are less vulnerable, are at the center of the current spike.

He also suggested officials are doing a better job nationally of protecting vulnerable populations, such as those in nursing homes.

“The case fatality rate is going down, although we’re not able to measure it right now,” he said.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

President Trump echoed these remarks on Saturday when he announced “deaths and the all important mortality rate goes down.”

“You don’t hear about that from the fake news,” he added.

FILE – In this Wednesday, April 5, 2017, file photo, Dr. Scott Gottlieb speaks during his confirmation hearing before a Senate committee, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Gottlieb responded to the remarks by stressing the president’s point.

“We shouldn’t just focus on the crude mortality rate, the number of deaths, to tell the story of what’s happening medically,” stated the former FDA official. “Medically, we are improving.”

Despite the progress, he has said we will likely see a rise in the number of deaths across the country in the coming weeks. He compared the current surge to the rate of infections to New York City during the peak of its outbreak.

“The total number of deaths is going to start going up again as the number of hospitalizations starts to spike again. That doesn’t mean the case fatality rate, the actual death rate, isn’t declining. …The difference now is that we really had one epicenter of spread when New York was going through its hardship. Now, we really have four major epicenters of spread: Los Angeles, cities in Texas, Florida and Arizona.” – Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Moving forward, Gottlieb reiterated it’s important to understand the difference in coronavirus case infections versus the rate of deaths caused by the virus.

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