Where Things Stand: 100,000

This is your TPM late-morning briefing.
SHIPLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE - MAY 25: Messages from relatives hang on the memory tree at Guardian Funerals on May 25, 2020 in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Guardian Funerals is a family-owned funeral service in Shipley, West ... SHIPLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE - MAY 25: Messages from relatives hang on the memory tree at Guardian Funerals on May 25, 2020 in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Guardian Funerals is a family-owned funeral service in Shipley, West Yorkshire, that, like many such providers, has confronted the unique challenges presented by Covid-19. There are new rules for how the deceased are handled and how family members can commemorate the deceased prior to burial or cremation -- restrictions that can make a tough situation even tougher. The home's director, Alison Barrington, is a third-generation undertaker who believes that the pastoral element of being a funeral director is as important to bereaved families as the professional undertaker services that they provide. Alison, who works alongside her husband Daniel and a small team, believes that people are failing to associate the graphs and figures describing the Covid-19 death toll with the human victims of the crisis and the devastating effect it has had on families across the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 28, 2020 11:35 a.m.
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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:

Coming Up

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

White Woman Who Called Police On Black Man In Viral Video Says Her ‘Entire Life Is Being Destroyed’ — Cristina Cabrera

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

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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