Good morning. At any other time, the revelation that the US president had deliberately downplayed the threat of a viral pandemic that he knew to be deadly would be the only story in town.
These aren’t normal times though, and that’s just going to be one of the threads in our coverage of US politics today, as the death toll from coronavirus continues to rise, the west coast is suffering catastrophic fires, and there’s 54 days to the election…
- It emerged that in February Donald Trump, in taped interviews with the journalist Bob Woodward, knew that the coronavirus was airborne and deadly, while still downplaying the threat in what he was telling the American public.
- He told Woodward “This is deadly stuff … You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed … It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu”, while days later he told the nation “we have it very much under control in this country” and “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for”. He went on to describe the virus as the Democratic party’s “new hoax”.
- Trump has defended his remarks, saying “I’m a cheerleader for this country … and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.”
- Joe Biden accused Trump of betraying the country. The Democratic nominee said, “He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was. He failed to do his job on purpose … It was a life and death betrayal of the American people.”
- 1,176 deaths and 33,201 new coronavirus cases were reported yesterday. That takes the Johns Hopkins University measured total Covid-19 death toll in the US to over 190,000 for the first time, with 6.3 million cases reported in total.
- Large, fast-moving fires ravaged the American west, destroying hundreds of homes in the Pacific north-west and sending a dense plume of smoke that turned skies amber across parts of the region.
- Trump named Republicans Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley among 20 possible future picks for the Supreme Court.
- Whistleblower Brian Murphy claimed that Trump loyalists interfered to downplay Russia election threat.
- It was revealed that vice president Mike Pence is slated to speak next week at fundraiser hosted by QAnon supporters in Montana.
- On the campaign trail, the president will be giving a speech in Freeland, Michigan today. His opponent Joe Biden is attending virtual finance events, and Democratic VP pick Kamala Harris is headed to Florida.
I’ll be with you for the next couple of hours, you can get in touch with me at [email protected]
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