Mon. Aug 2nd, 2021

What Matters: ‘Safety’ is the word as Kenosha simmers

5 min read


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(CNN)President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent protests as the city grapples with racial unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

No plans to meet Blake’s family. Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins whether the President plans to meet with Blake’s family while in Wisconsin, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “Not currently.”An unwelcome presence. Wisconsin officials have pleaded with the President in recent days to reconsider his trip. Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wrote a forceful letter to Trump on Sunday evening explaining that the President’s visit “will only hinder our healing.”

    “I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together,” Evers wrote to Trump.”It is our job as elected officials to lead by example and to be a calming presence for the people we know are hurting, mourning, and trying to cope with trauma. Now is not the time for divisiveness.” Read MoreHis message to the President builds on comments from Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who said that Trump’s presence would not be helpful in Kenosha.”You look at the incendiary remarks that the President has made; they centered an entire convention around creating more animosity and creating more division around what is going on in Kenosha,” Barnes told CNN’s John King on “Inside Politics.” Biden launches fresh attack. Ahead of Trump’s trip, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden charged that the President wants to foment additional violence.”Do you really feel safer under Donald Trump?” Biden asked repeatedly throughout a speech in Pennsylvania on Monday. Trump is “supposed to be protecting this country. But instead he’s rooting for chaos and violence” and is “trying to scare America,” Biden said. More here.

    The courts strike back at DOJ

    Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Department of Justice lost a round in their fight with the federal judiciary on Monday, when a federal appeals court denied their request to quickly shut down Flynn’s criminal case.As CNN’s Katelyn Polantz reports: The 8-2 decision restores power to a judge to question the Justice Department’s moves, after Attorney General William Barr moved to drop charges against Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying under oath to the FBI. Read the full appeals court ruling here.

    US surpasses 6 million coronavirus cases

    The US topped 6 million coronavirus cases, yet another harrowing milestone with no national plan in sight. To put the country’s botched pandemic response into context: Only two other countries in the world have more than 1 million reported Covid-19 cases — Brazil, with roughly 3,862,000 cases, and India, with 3,621,000 cases. Johns Hopkins University recorded the first cases of coronavirus in the US on January 21. Here’s how we got to more than 6 million:

    • It took the country 99 days to reach 1 million cases on April 28.
    • It then took 43 more days to reach 2 million cases on June 10.
    • It took another 28 days to surpass 3 million cases on July 8.
    • It took the US only 15 additional days to surpass 4 million cases on July 23.
    • It took the US 17 days to go over 5 million cases.
    • It has taken the nation 22 days since then to reach 6 million cases.

    But there is a bit of good news. “As a nation, we are clearly doing better now on the last day of August than we were on the first day of August,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.”(Daily) cases have come down. Deaths are starting to decline. Hospitalizations are down. This is good news, and it’s largely because of smart policies in Texas and Arizona and Florida around masking and closing bars,” Jha said. The US controls its own fate. “That is the time to make sure you’re protecting others in your household and around you by wearing a mask when you’re around them, even if they’re family,” said White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx. She urged Americans to take personal responsibility, especially if they want to help keep economies open.”Right now, we gain freedom through wearing our masks and socially distancing,” she said.

    ‘Manipulated content’

    That’s how Twitter labeled a video promoted by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise before he deleted it Sunday evening. The video splices together footage from an interview between Ady Barkan, who has ALS and speaks using a computerized artificial voice, and Joe Biden.In the original video, Barkan asks Biden if he can agree that “we can redirect some of the funding” for police departments toward mental health services, to which Biden replies, “Yes.”The manipulated clip, however, splices in the words “for police” from one of Barkan’s other questions to make it sound as if Barkan is asking Biden if he agrees they can “redirect some of the funding for police.”A Twitter spokesperson said the tweet was labeled based on its “synthetic and Manipulated Media policy.” The issue with the video was the audio manipulation of Barkan, originally adding words to the audio that Barkan didn’t say in that context.

      Before it was removed, Biden had tweeted Sunday demanding that the video be taken down. “This video is doctored — and a flagrant attempt to spread misinformation at the expense of a man who uses assistive technology,” he said. “It should be removed. Now.”


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