CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has risen to 1,979,850 and the death toll stands at 112,006, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday that the disease is “my worst nightmare,” in some ways more than Ebola or HIV. Almost half the states in the country are seeing higher rates of cases as Americans gather to socialize or protest. South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune, the second-highest-ranking Republican in the upper chamber, told reporters yesterday that the next relief package likely won’t be passed by the Senate until at least mid-July.
PROTESTS CONTINUE… Protests calling for justice over George Floyd’s death in police custody and for police reform continued yesterday in cities large and small throughout the nation. Protesters in Seattle stormed city hall and called for the resignation of Mayor Jenny Durkan, whom they accuse of failing to stop “unnecessary violence” from being used at demonstrations. The action came on the same day that the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Korematsu Center at Seattle University School of Law and the law firm Perkins Coie filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court on behalf of Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, protesters and a journalist. In Richmond, Virginia, protesters toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus into a pond in the city’s Byrd Park.
BIDEN WINS GEORGIA AND WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARIES… Joe Biden picked up more delegates yesterday with projected primary wins in Georgia and West Virginia, raising his number of delegates to 2,106. Problems with voting machines caused long lines at Georgia’s voting stations and prompted authorities to open an investigation into the “unacceptable” voting issues. In DeKalb County, officials reportedly ran out of paper ballots after voting machines failed.
AIR FORCE GETS NEW COMMANDER… The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to confirm General Charles Q. Brown as the Air Force’s 22nd chief of staff and make him the first African-American to lead a U.S. military branch. Brown, who is currently the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, will replace General Dave Goldfein. Last week, Alaska Republican Senator Dan Sullivan delayed Brown’s nomination due to questions about the KC-46 aerial-refueling tanker.
NEW YORK STATE VOTE TO MAKE COPS’ RECORDS PUBLIC.. Lawmakers in New York state yesterday repealed a decades-old law that has kept law enforcement officers’ disciplinary records confidential. State lawmakers also passed other bills that would provide all state troopers with body cameras and ensure that police officers provide medical and mental health attention to people in custody. Earlier yesterday, the passage came as criminal charges were brought against an NYPD officer over his rough treatment of a protester during recent demonstrations.
‘COPS’ CANCELLED… The Paramount Network yesterday canceled production of the long-running reality TV series “Cops” amid worldwide protests against police brutality. Earlier, Paramount’s parent company, ViacomCBS, announced that it would not air the show’s episodes on any of its channels. The 33rd season of “Cops” was set to premiere June on Monday but wasn’t aired. Over the weekend, cable channel A&E pulled last week’s episodes of “Live PD.”
‘VANDERPUMP RULES’ CAST MEMBERS FIRED… Four “Vanderpump Rules” cast members have been fired for racist actions deemed racist by Bravo. Original cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were let go, as were new cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni. Former cast member Faith Stowers, who was the only black cast member when she appeared in the show’s fourth season, recently revealed on Instagram that Schroeder and Doute once reported her to police for a crime she didn’t commit.
MLB PLAYERS OFFER PROPOSAL… ESPN announced yesterday that the Major League Baseball Players Association is proposing an 89-game season with a full prorated share of salary and expanded playoffs. The proposal would bring the sides closer to an agreement because it is 25 games fewer than the union’s most recent proposal of 114 games at full pro rata. On Monday, owners proposed a 76-game season that would cover up to 75 percent of players’ prorated salaries. Per the players’ proposal, the season would start on July 10 and end on October 11. It also would expand the postseason to 16 teams (eight in each league) for 2020 and 2021.