CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,961,185 and the death toll stands at 111,007, according to figures provided last night by Johns Hopkins University. A Harvard Medical School study released yesterday claims satellite images of hospital parking lots in Wuhan, China, as well as internet search trends, show the coronavirus may have been spreading in the country as early as last August. The study, which has yet to be peer-viewed, found overloaded parking lots at five Wuhan hospitals in the late summer and fall of 2019 and an uptick in searches of keywords associated with an infectious disease on China’s Baidu search engine.
HOUSE DEMS PRESENT POLICE REFORMS.. House Democrats yesterday introduced sweeping police reforms, including measures that make it easier to prosecute officers in criminal and civil court. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer and other senior Democratic lawmakers introduced the bill at a news conference. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 follows two weeks of mass demonstrations nationwide over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.
BARR CONTRADICTS TRUMP OVER BUNKER… Attorney General Bill Barr yesterday contradicted President Trump’s claim that he visited an underground bunker as protests raged outside the White House last week. Trump said he visited the bunker briefly for more of an “inspection,” but Barr said during a Fox News interview that the Secret Service recommended the president go underground. Trump has since faced heavy criticism and derision for ducking out of harm’s way when he should have been providing leadership. The White House said it doesn’t discuss security protocols when asked about the apparent discrepancy between Barr’s and Trump’s stories.
KKK LEADER FACING CHARGES… A 36-year-old avowed KKK leader is facing felony counts of malicious wounding and destruction of property after plowing his truck through a line of Black Lives Matter protesters in Lakeside, Virginia, on Sunday, striking one person. Prosecutors in Henrico Commonwealth say they’ve opened a hate crime investigation against Harry Rogers of Hanover, Virginia, who is being held without bond. Rogers reportedly told arresting officers he was he was the state president of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia and the highest-ranking member not in prison.
U.S. OFFICIALLY IN A RECESSION… The National Bureau of Economic Research announced yesterday that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the bureau’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, the COVID-19-related drop in jobs and consumer demand ended the longest economic expansion in recorded U.S. economic history. Historically, a recession has been declared after two consecutive quarters of negative growth in U.S. production. The committee said a “significant decline” started in February.
BONNIE POINTER DIES… Singer Bonnie Pointer who joined with three sisters in 1969 to form the Pointer Sisters, died yesterday of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. She was 69. Bonnie Pointer often sang lead in the group, which had early hits with the songs “Yes We Can Can” and “Fairytale.” The group had more hits after Bonnie signed with Motown Records in 1977 and left for a short and modest solo career.
HARTLEY SAWYER FIRED FROM ‘THE FLASH’… Actor Hartley Sawyer has fired him from the superhero television show, “The Flash,” in response to the discovery of racist, misogynistic and homophobic tweets. Hartley portrayed Ralph Dibny, also known as the Elongated Man, in the show. The tweets at issue were mainly from 2012 and 2014.
MLB NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE… Major League Baseball owners and players are continuing negotiations for a modified 2020 season. Yesterday, owners presented to the players’ association a proposal that calls for a 76-game regular season that would end on September 27 with a postseason finishing up by the end of October. The proposal also offered 75 percent prorated salaries, playoff pool money and no MLB draft pick compensation for signing players. Owners previously rejected the MLBPA’s recent proposal that would have featured a 114-game season and an expanded postseason.