Vanity Fair: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”

Vanity Fair: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”. “Six months into the pandemic, the United States continues to suffer the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the developed world. Considerable blame belongs to a federal response that offloaded responsibility for the crucial task of testing to the states. The irony is that, after assembling the team that came up with an aggressive and ambitious national testing plan, Kushner then appears to have decided, for reasons that remain murky, to scrap its proposal. Today, as governors and mayors scramble to stamp out epidemics plaguing their populations, philanthropists at the Rockefeller Foundation are working to fill the void and organize enough testing to bring the nationwide epidemic under control.”

Slate: No Relief in Sight

Slate: No Relief in Sight. “It’s been a week since the CARES Act’s enhanced unemployment benefits expired, and two weeks since its eviction moratorium expired. The Paycheck Protection Program, designed to keep small businesses afloat and their employees on board, expires Saturday. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remains in the double-digits. These deadlines did not sneak up on anyone. The House had passed its sequel to the CARES Act, the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, in May. But Senate Republicans took a wait-and-see approach until the last minute and, when McConnell finally released his counteroffer, half of his own conference instantly rejected it. With McConnell throwing his hands in the air, the business of propping up the American economy for another few months was left to negotiations between Democratic leaders and Trump’s White House envoys. It’s been a train wreck. Meanwhile, the evictions are set to begin.”

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC. “Facebook announced Thursday it was banning ads from The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Trump super PAC. Facebook did not say how long the ban would last.”

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users. “Fact-checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to ‘defund’ police forces. PolitiFact called the allegations ‘false,’ as did CheckYourFact. The Associated Press detailed ‘distortions’ in Trump’s claims. FactCheck.org called an ad airing them ‘deceptive.’ Another site, the Dispatch, said there is ‘nothing currently to support’ Trump’s claims. But these judgments, made by five fact-checking organizations that are part of Facebook’s independent network for policing falsehoods on the platform, were not shared with Facebook’s users. That is because the company specifically exempts politicians from its rules against deception. Ads containing the falsehoods continue to run freely on the platform, without any kind of warning or label.”

Politico: The congressional underclass erupts in fury after Gohmert gets Covid-19

Politico: The congressional underclass erupts in fury after Gohmert gets Covid-19. “The revelation Wednesday that Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, a renegade lawmaker known for stalking the halls of Congress without a mask, tested positive for Covid-19 has unleashed a fusillade of anger on Capitol Hill — a sudden release of built-up tension over how the institution has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic within the confines of its own workplace.”

The Atlantic: The Pandemic Is Damaging the GOP Brand Everywhere

The Atlantic: The Pandemic Is Damaging the GOP Brand Everywhere. “Although hardly any of the governors grappling with the fiercest coronavirus outbreaks are on the ballot this fall, voters’ verdicts about their performance loom heavily over another electoral battle with enormous implications for the balance of power between the parties over the next decade: the struggle for control of state legislatures. In polls, voters have given higher marks to Democratic governors who have moved cautiously on reopening than to Republicans who reopened early in response to President Donald Trump’s cues. That may offer Democrats their best chance to overcome the GOP’s entrenched advantage in state legislatures—which next year will draw local legislative and congressional-district lines that will govern elections through 2030.”

Reuters: Brazilian President Bolsonaro says he has ‘mold’ in lungs

Reuters: Brazilian President Bolsonaro says he has ‘mold’ in lungs. “Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he was taking antibiotics for an infection that left him feeling weak, chuckling in an online video about ‘mold’ in his lungs, having spent weeks in isolation after catching the novel coronavirus.”

Politico: Pelosi and McConnell resist testing for lawmakers as anxiety spikes

Politico: Pelosi and McConnell resist testing for lawmakers as anxiety spikes. “Congressional leaders are digging in on their refusal to mandate regular coronavirus testing for lawmakers, despite growing calls to do so from both inside and outside the Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected an offer from the administration to provide rapid tests to lawmakers in early May — citing concerns about logistics as well as the appearance of giving lawmakers preferential treatment.”

HuffPost: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Pretending There’s No Pandemic

HuffPost: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Pretending There’s No Pandemic. “President Donald Trump’s campaign advertising is focused largely on issues that are of minimal concern to the American electorate, a HuffPost analysis of campaign ad spending data found, airing zero ads about the coronavirus pandemic in the month of July.”

CNN: Pelosi mandates masks in House chamber after Gohmert tests positive for Covid-19

CNN: Pelosi mandates masks in House chamber after Gohmert tests positive for Covid-19. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday she would require all House members and aides to wear masks on the floor after Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert — who was often in the chamber interacting with colleagues and refusing to wear a face-covering — tested positive for coronavirus.”

Politico: U.S. suffered worst quarterly contraction on record as virus ravages economy

Politico: U.S. suffered worst quarterly contraction on record as virus ravages economy. “The U.S. economy crashed in historic fashion this year — shrinking at a nearly 33 percent annualized pace in the second quarter — as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged businesses and sent joblessness soaring. The question now for President Donald Trump, trailing in the polls and facing a daunting reelection effort, is just how much conditions can snap back in the months leading up to Election Day.”

CNET: Democrats are warned that hackers are after their Facebook accounts, report says

CNET: Democrats are warned that hackers are after their Facebook accounts, report says. “An alert from the committee’s security team, reported by CNN, said emails designed to look as if they’re from Facebook tell users that their pages have been deactivated because of a term violation. The email then directs those users to a fake Facebook website, where they’re told to provide personal information to appeal the deactivation.”

Rantt Media: Some 2020 Candidates Struggle To Get Verified On Twitter

Rantt Media: Some 2020 Candidates Struggle To Get Verified On Twitter . “On the matter of blue checkmarks, one of the most powerful Twitter initiatives to ensure election integrity is its candidate verification program. But complaints from candidates and their campaigns suggest that execution of Twitter’s candidate verification program needs some improvement. A blue checkmark, denoting verification on candidates’ profiles, has been elusive. A number of candidates who are on the ballot for Congress in November were frustrated by long delays in getting Twitter to verify their accounts. Others who are on the ballot in the general election still don’t have their accounts verified, as of this writing.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Nancy Pelosi criticises Deborah Birx

BBC: Coronavirus: Nancy Pelosi criticises Deborah Birx. “US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has attacked the White House coronavirus task force’s Deborah Birx, linking her to ‘disinformation’ spread by President Donald Trump. Dr Birx responded that she always based her decisions on scientific data. She is a leading member of the task force, working alongside infectious diseases chief Anthony Fauci.”

Washington Post: Trump’s team still does not get it

Washington Post: Trump’s team still does not get it. “Judging from their TV appearances, President Trump’s advisers are unwilling to admit error and adjust their handling of the coronavirus pandemic accordingly. They still insist they are doing everything perfectly, and still blithely point to about a third of the United States as merely some ‘hot spots.'”