I check President Trump’s public schedule every single (week) day. Sometimes you notice trends.
Free mornings or hours roped off for executive time usually coincides with unhinged Twitter screeds. Seemingly random travel plans or events appear when he’s desperate for a distraction. Lunches with the vice president or the secretary of state must boost his confidence; afterwards he likes to fire off all-caps tweets about winning and “USA!”
But it’s what’s not on his schedule that’s often most telling.
Last night, the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. reached 100,000. It’s an unfathomable loss. I can’t wrap my brain around it. No one can. Legacy publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post have starkly and beautifully illustrated the gravity of this moment — a time when the American public desperately needs to be rattled into maintaining empathy.
Trump has nothing on his schedule to mark the loss, a death toll he once said he’d consider a “good job.” Instead of mourning, he’s signing executive orders because Twitter made him mad. Instead of offering condolences to families, his campaign is sending out emails bashing his predecessor and absentee voting. Instead of tweeting anything even mildly appropriate to acknowledge the dead, he’s retweeting videos that proclaim “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
But I suppose even 100,000 moments of silence wouldn’t alter this devastation. Keep your masks on, folks.
Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following today:
What The Investigations Team Is Watching
Josh Kovensky is digging into new reports that Attorney General Bill Barr appointed a Texas prosecutor to review President Trump’s “unmasking” conspiracy related to the Obama administration and the Michael Flynn case.
Kate Riga is covering the wild story of a Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania hiding the fact that he tested positive for COVID-19 from Democratic colleagues.
What The Breaking News Team Is Watching
Trump sent an email to supporters late last night harping on the same tired vote-by-mail fraud conspiracies that he’s been raising on Twitter for weeks, this time suggestion that mailboxes will be “robbed.” Trump’s been on a tear against the practice for some time, but his attacks have escalated in recent weeks as states across the country work to expand vote-by-mail options during the pandemic.
The trend of prominent Republicans breaking with Trump over mask-wearing continues. During an event in Kentucky on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said there was “no stigma” tied to wearing face coverings during a pandemic and admitted he wears a mask to set a “good example.” Just yesterday the GOP governor of Ohio said wearing a mask is a sign of basic human empathy and even Trump’s close friend Sean Hannity encouraged Fox News viewers to don PPE and socially distance.
If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This
Ahead of next week’s primaries, Tierney Sneed reports on the significant expansion of vote-by-mail efforts in the states set to hold elections Tuesday. The data she obtained offers a revealing snapshot of how future elections will be held as the nation continues to grapple with the pandemic.
Earlier coverage of voting amid COVID-19:
- Texas Supreme Court: COVID-19 Can’t Be Used As An Excuse To Vote Absentee
- How Texas Has Taken Its Fight Against Pandemic Absentee Voting To The Next Level
- MO GOP Won’t Let Pandemic Stop Push For Anti-Immigrant Redistricting Overhaul
2:00 p.m. ET: The White House press secretary will hold a press briefing.
2:30 p.m. ET: Trump and and first lady Melania Trump will be briefed on the upcoming hurricane season.
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
What We Are Reading
Minneapolis Police Officer At Center Of George Floyd’s Death Had History Of Prior Complaints — Erik Ortiz and Donna Mendell
The Unluckiest Generation In U.S. History — Andrew Van Dam
100,000 Dead From Coronavirus. What Happens Next? — Mehdi Hasan