Posted on

Coronavirus deaths in US top 100,000

Image copyright
Reuters

The US has passed 100,000 deaths in the coronavirus outbreak, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.

It has seen more deaths than any other country, while its 1.69 million confirmed infections account for about 30% of the worldwide total.

The first US infection surfaced in Washington state on 21 January.

Globally there have been 5.6 million people recorded as infected and 353,414 deaths since the virus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

With the US death toll currently at 100,047, BBC North America editor Jon Sopel says it is almost the same as the number of American servicemen and women killed in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan over 44 years of fighting.

Some hard-hit states like New York are seeing a drop in death rates, but 20 states reported a rise in new cases for the week ending on Sunday, according to a Reuters study.

New York City, President Donald Trump’s hometown, was especially hard hit by the virus – more than 21,000 of its residents have died so far.

During the peak of the crisis in the city, the daily death toll was in the hundreds. Hospitals were overwhelmed and makeshift morgues were built outside health facilities.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe lost six weeks when the US failed to control the virus

Nearly 39 million Americans have lost their jobs.

President Trump has insisted that without his administration’s actions the death toll would be far higher, though his critics have accused him of a slow response.

On Tuesday, he said the fatalities could have been 25 times higher.

Initially, the president downplayed the pandemic, comparing it to the seasonal flu. Back in February he said the US had the virus “under control” and that by April it could “miraculously go away”.

He predicted 50,000-60,000 deaths, then 60,000-70,000 and then “substantially under 100,000”.

Mr Trump also argued on 20 May it was “a badge of honour” that the US had the world’s highest number of confirmed infections “because it means our testing is much better”.

Currently, there is no vaccine for Covid-19. There is also no confirmed treatment for the disease, but there are several being tested.

The rising death toll comes as states across the US continue to move forward with reopening.

The world’s largest theme park, Walt Disney World in Florida, has plans to begin opening on 11 July, if the state governor allows it.

The Disney Springs entertainment centre in Orlando, which offers shopping and dining, is already open to a limited number of guests, with some Covid-19 rules in place, like mandatory masks.

Four Las Vegas casinos owned by MGM Resorts are also slated to reopen on 4 July. The company says employees will be tested for Covid-19 regularly.

Posted on

‘There’s no stigma attached to wearing a mask’: McConnell makes plea in favor of face masks

In doing so, McConnell waded into what has emerged as the latest coronavirus culture war, aligning himself with federal health agencies who recommend cloth face coverings while drawing a contrast with the conduct of top White House officials, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

After initially declining to recommend that Americans wear face masks or coverings in the early days of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course in April to encourage the wearing of masks when outside the home, noting that face coverings are not entirely effective and should not be thought of as replacements for social distancing and other stringent hygiene practices.

But the president and his top aides have resisted wearing face coverings, dismissing criticism that eschewing masks sets a bad example for Americans who might follow the president’s lead and put others at risk in the process.

Trump’s resistance to wearing a mask has been thrown into stark relief as he’s begun to venture out of the White House for the first time in months, making visits to plants producing personal protective equipment or other medical supplies, standing bare-faced while others around him wear masks.

He has argued that because the primary objective of wearing a mask is to prevent spreading the virus to others, not the other way around, it’s not necessary for him to wear one because of how often he gets tested for the disease.

But he has also shown a greater sensitivity to the optics of wearing a mask.

On Monday, Trump appeared to mock his likely general election opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, for wearing a mask in public on Memorial Day, and on Tuesday, he accused a Reuters reporter of trying to be “politically correct” for not removing his mask to be better heard while asking a question at the White House.

Last week, the president wore a face covering in private during a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, telling reporters later he took it off in front of the cameras to deny them the “pleasure” of seeing him wear it.

McConnell’s comments targeted at young people came after images of Americans partying over Memorial Day weekend flooded social media and drew rebukes from local health officials.

Posted on

Justice Department Charges West Virginia Mail Carrier With Attempted Election Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice charged a West Virginia mail carrier for attempted election fraud on Tuesday, a press release stated.

Thomas Cooper, 47, was responsible for altering ballots by changing voters’ registered parties, according to the DOJ. He admitted to it, saying it was a joke after the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office conducted an investigation into the matter.

Cooper, who worked for the Pendleton County company, was charged with “attempt to Defraud the Residents of West Virginia of a Fair Election.”

Cooper was contracted by the U.S. Postal Service, according to an affidavit.

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders have made election integrity a priority ahead of the November, 2020 election. The Republican National Committee is already pursuing legal action against states instituting sweeping vote by mail orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted on

Sen. Judiciary Committee Picks Rod Rosenstein As First Witness In Russia Probe Hearings

Developing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham announced Wednesday that the committee will hear from its first witness, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to begin a series of hearings on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance abuse investigation.

“Mr. Rosenstein will testify about the new revelations contained in the Horowitz report concerning the FISA warrant applications and other matters,” Graham said in his statement.

He added, “This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation.”

President Trump pressured Graham to act on the abuses of power revealed in documents declassified by the acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell that spelled out a number of former Obama administration officials who ‘unmasked’ Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s identity in order to set him up to target Trump.

That pressure led Graham to move quickly by releasing a potential list of witnesses, which the committee would debate and vote on subpoena authorizations. He also said the hearings would start next month.

Posted on

Republicans cast doubt on future of U.S. House bills passed by proxy

WASHINGTON — Republicans warned on Wednesday that legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives during the coronavirus pandemic may not become law if lawmakers are allowed to cast votes remotely under a new voting system.

A day after filing a federal lawsuit to overturn rules allowing proxy voting, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said any bills approved under the new system may be unconstitutional and could be ignored by the Republican-led U.S. Senate.

“It’s playing a baseball game under protest. At the end of the game, we’ll figure out who’s right,” McCarthy told reporters at a press conference. “Whatever the Democrats move forward probably will never … become law.”

For a bill to become law, it must pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president.

McCarthy spoke hours before the first-ever proxy vote, allowing some lawmakers to vote on behalf of colleagues who are absent. The Democratic majority, which approved proxy voting on May 15 in a party-line vote, says the change will allow the House to function while observing social distancing guidelines.

House members began casting proxy votes late Wednesday afternoon on a measure seeking sanctions on Chinese officials over a crackdown on minority Muslim Uighurs. While others voted electronically, the lawmakers casting proxies stepped to a microphone to announce those votes; some cast several proxies.

“As the member designated by Ms. Tlaib … I inform the House that Ms. Tlaib will vote yes,” said Representative Debbie Dingell, referring to fellow Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib. Earlier over 70 lawmakers had notified the House clerk that other lawmakers would vote on their behalf.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, more than 20 Republican lawmakers and their constituents argued the rule change was unconstitutional and diminished their voting power.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is named as a defendant, shrugged off the lawsuit, saying in a statement that Republicans were trying to “delay and obstruct urgently needed action.”

Also named as defendants are the House clerk and sergeant-at-arms.

The suit is also part of a Republican strategy to reinforce President Donald Trump’s push to fully reopen the U.S. economy, while accusing Democrats of trying to gain political advantage. (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Bernadette Baum and David Gregorio)

Posted on

FBI Asks Public To Report Child Sexual Abuse During Zoom Meetings Through New Online Questionnaire

The FBI has created an online questionnaire for those who might have been victims of disruptively-broadcast videos depicting child sexual abuse during a Zoom call.

The message in the form says that the FBI has received more than 240 reports of incidents involving Zoom video disruptions depicting child sexual abuse as of May 22.

Also known as “Zoom bombing,” predators and trolls have hijacked Zoom calls, often with children watching, and projected everything from pornography to racial slurs.

“The FBI considers this activity to be a violent crime, as every time child sexual abuse material is viewed, the depicted child is revictimized,” the message reads.

Manon, employee of global PR group Sagarmatha – Hopscotch, connects with her colleagues in Paris via video chat. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

“Furthermore, anyone who inadvertently sees child sexual abuse material depicted during a virtual event is potentially a victim as well.”

The questionnaire asks for details about the Zoom meeting where child sexual abuse was shown and other information to be used in a federal investigation.

As many classrooms, work places and activities have switched to virtual meetings due to coronavirus-related gathering restrictions, the circumstances created ample opportunity for Zoom harassment campaigns.

A group of 50 Utah elementary school children were reportedly “Zoom bombed” with pornography and profanities during a call with the school’s principal April 1.

During a March 30 incident involving the Jewish National Fund, teachers, parents and teenagers were in a Zoom call learning about Jewish history when they were interrupted by harassers who repeatedly screamed the N-word, displayed pornographic and violent images, and yelled other obscenities, as reported by the Jewish News.

Trolls hijacked another Jewish National Fund call, reportedly yelling, “Kill the Jews,” according to the same source. (RELATED: Antisemitism, Racism, Porn, Crashing AA Meetings: Zoom Responds To ‘Zoombombing’)

Posted on

Twitter Fact-Checker Has Been Caught Tweeting Actual Fake News About ‘Nazis In The White House’

Yoel Roth, the Head of Site Integrity for Twitter, has himself tweeted several fact-less statements, including accusations that there are “actual Nazis in the White House.”

The social media company has come under increased scrutiny after they placed a fact-checking label on a tweet by President Trump regarding vote-by-mail fraud.

Twitter countered that Trump’s fraud claims are untrue, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Roth’s role in that particular label can not be determined specifically, though as head of ‘integrity,’ he must play a large part in how Twitter decides to censor certain political viewpoints.

RELATED: While Twitter ‘Fact Checks’ Trump On Mail-In Ballot Fraud, A Mail Man Was Charged With Changing Ballots

Roth’s Own Fake News

If the President of the United States can be fact-checked for an opinion that mail-in ballots will lead to fraud – with supporting evidence from experts – then Roth might want to consider self-labeling his own fake news tweets.

“Yes, that person in the pink hat is clearly a bigger threat to your brand of feminism than ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE,” he wrote in response to a rift amongst feminists at the Women’s March in 2017.

There’s been more proof of ballot fraud in the past 24 hours than there has ever been of someone identifying as a Nazi in the White House.

Does Twitter plan on adding a label on this tweet?

RELATED: President Trump Tweets: ‘Twitter Is Now Interfering In The 2020 Presidential Election’

Not The Only Time

This wasn’t the only time that Roth, a melodramatic Hillary supporter now in charge of integrity, compared the Trump administration to Nazis.

He specifically compared White House adviser Kellyanne Conway to Joseph Goebbels.

“‘Today on Meet The Press, we’re speaking with Joseph Goebbels about the first 100 days’ … What I hear whenever Kellyanne is on a news show,” he tweeted.

Roth has also called the President a “racist tangerine,” yet another false statement as he is neither racist nor a citrus fruit.

Conway blasted Roth on Wednesday.

“This guy is constantly attacking Trump voters, Trump, Mitch McConnell, you name it. He’s the head of integrity at Twitter,” she railed.

“It’s horrible the way he looks at people who should otherwise have a free and clear platform on Twitter.”

Twitter responded to the controversy by pointing the finger at others rather than admitting Roth might not be a solid selection for the integrity team.

“No one person here is responsible for our policies or enforcement actions,” Twitter communications VP Brandon Borrman stated, seemingly unaware of what ‘Head’ means in ‘Head of Site Integrity.’

“People who decide to target one person for decisions they don’t agree with know damn well what they’re doing,” he wrote, knowing damn well he was pretending everybody else on the team is a straight arrow.

Posted on

AG Barr To Recommend Trump Veto Latest FISA Bill If Passed

The Department of Justice released a statement Wednesday rejecting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act amendments that are awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for the vote today, however, many Republicans on the committee still take issue with the bill that they argue allows for abuse of surveillance powers.

“The Department worked closely with House leaders on both sides of the aisle to draft legislation to reauthorize three national security authorities in the U.S.A. Freedom Act while also imposing reforms to other aspects of FISA designed to address issues identified by the DOJ Inspector General,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd said.

Boyd added, “Although that legislation was approved with a large, bipartisan House majority, the Senate thereafter made significant changes that the Department opposed because they would unacceptably impair our ability to pursue terrorists and spies. We have proposed specific fixes to the most significant problems created by the changes the Senate made. Instead of addressing those issues, the House is now poised to further amend the legislation in a manner that will weaken national security tools while doing nothing to address the abuses identified by the DOJ Inspector General.”

“Accordingly, the Department opposes the Senate-passed bill in its current form and also opposes the Lofgren amendment in the House. Given the cumulative negative effect of these legislative changes on the Department’s ability to identify and track terrorists and spies, the Department must oppose the legislation now under consideration in the House. If passed, the Attorney General would recommend that the President veto the legislation.”

President Donald Trump urged Republican House members to vote against the bill on Twitter Wednesday and he warned that it shouldn’t be passed until “our country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!”

The Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s 435 report revealed in December that there were serious abuses by the FBI of the FISA that were used to spy on members of the Trump 2016 campaign team, including short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page.

In his report, Horowitz found 17 gross violations in the bureau’s warrant and three subsequent renewals. That included withholding exculpatory information, altering documents and lying to the court to spy.

Posted on

White House Makes Announcement About 4th of July Celebrations

News

The White House announced Wednesday that the Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C., will still take place despite calls from Democratic lawmakers to cancel the event in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As President Trump has said, there will be an Independence Day celebration this year and it will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement, Fox News reported.

“The American people have shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year.”

The White House announcement comes after members of Congress representing the National Capital Region sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt expressing their concerns about holding the event.

“Given the number of individuals that would try to attend such an event, logistically such an event would be impossible to put on safely,” the letter signed by a group led by Democratic Virginia Rep. Don Beyer read.

TRENDING: Business Owner Accuses Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer’s Husband of Attempting To Get Preferential Treatment

“Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic.”

The letter also cited limited parking and public transportation as potential issues for holding the event.

“Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote.

Last year’s Fourth of July event, the Salute to America, featured tanks, flyovers from every branch of the military and a patriotic speech from Trump.

Are you glad the White House is moving forward with Fourth of July plans?

In April, Trump said he was still planning another Independence Day celebration this summer despite the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the country.

“We’re going to probably have 25 percent of what we had last year,” he told reporters.

“Ideally, it would be wonderful if we could actually have it as it was last year, and eventually we will have that.”

But the District of Columbia isn’t going to issue permits for large gatherings in the immediate future, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

The federal city is still under a stay-at-home order and is planning to start Phase One of its reopening plan this coming weekend.

RELATED: Police Release Shocking Video of 60 Teens Storming Walgreens, Attacking Employees and Looting Merchandise

Public outdoor events like parades are supposed to be limited to 10 people in the first stage of reopening, 50 people in the second stage and 250 in third stage, according to NPR.

The crowds expected for the second “Salute to America” would not be allowed until Phase Four, “when a vaccine or other cure has been widely administered, or the disease has effectively disappeared.”

It was not immediately clear if Bowser will push back on the plans for the event.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Posted on

Twitter Official Overseeing Misinformation Efforts Is Anti-Trump Partisan Who Donated to Planned Parenthood

The Twitter official overseeing the tech company’s efforts to combat misinformation is a left-wing partisan who in the past has derided President Donald Trump as a “wretched orange man” and said he donated to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site security, is the man in charge of the platform’s fight against election-related misinformation.

Some of Roth’s past political comments from 2016 and 2017 began making the rounds in conservative circles Tuesday after Twitter fact-checked a Trump tweet predicting that universal mail-in voting would result in widespread fraud.

Roth announced in September 2016 that he was donating $100 to Clinton’s campaign, writing: “We can’t f— around anymore.”

In another post-election tweet, Roth sneered at so-called flyover states, writing: “I’m just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason.”

The day after the 2016 election, he tweeted a receipt showing what he said was the beginning of monthly donations to three left-wing organizations: Planned ParenthoodLambda Legal, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In one January 2017 tweet, Roth derided Trump’s voter base as a “lunatic base of online trolls.” He’s previously likened White House employees, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, to Nazis.

Roth worked at Twitter during the time he made all of the above statements, according to his LinkedIn page.

After Twitter fact-checked his tweet on Tuesday, Trump accused the social media company of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.”

“They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post,” the president tweeted. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

Twitter’s press office didn’t return an email seeking comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email [email protected].