COVID-19 is still here.
No. The WHO apparently just reported the world's largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases. The US still has the worst known outbreak, with more than 2 million confirmed infections and more than 119,000 deaths. What's worse: with the entire country reopening its economy in some capacity, some states are also seeing a surge in cases. Since last week, at least 12 states have had record-high cases, with the entire country reportedly experiencing at least a 15% increase in known infections this month. And officials are noticing some new trends.
Several states are reporting that more young people are testing positive for COVID-19. In Florida, which saw more than 4,000 new cases on Saturday, the governor said the average age is now 37 for newly diagnosed cases – compared to the reported average age of 65 in March. And in Texas, the governor said people under the age of 30 made up the most new cases this month. South Carolina and Georgia are seeing a similar shift in demo.
Health experts said some young adults may believe they're at a lower risk and may be more likely to go out – and less likely to wear masks. But there's a sliver of good news: the number of deaths has reportedly declined in the last two weeks (read: down at least 40%). Meanwhile, at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, President Trump blamed China for "the plague" and attributed the rise in cases to increased testing. And said he ordered officials to "slow the testing down" – a comment the White House later walked back.
It went. The Trump campaign said 800,000 people registered for the president's first political rally since March. But when Trump took the stage on Saturday, only an estimated 6,200 supporters were in the indoor arena, leaving at least a third of it empty. The campaign says the number was closer to 12,000. It blamed the media for hyping up coronavirus concerns and protesters for allegedly blocking entrances.
COVID-19 never went away. But in parts of the US, life looks a lot closer to what it did before the pandemic. Some see this as a necessary return to normal, to keep the economy and morale afloat. Others are looking at the trends and see a false sense of security that could bring the country right back to square one.
Geoffrey Berman. On Friday, Attorney General William Barr announced that Berman – the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan – was stepping down. That came as a surprise to Berman, who said 'umm, no I'm not.' In response, Barr said Berman was causing a "public spectacle" – and that he'd asked President Trump to fire him. So Berman packed his desk. Now, his former deputy will take over the office. And his ongoing investigations. Speaking of...
Important to note: Berman's office prosecuted President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen. And is currently investigating the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani. But Trump denied any involvement in the decision to fire Berman, saying it's Barr's "department, not my department."
Meanwhile: Over 100 former Manhattan prosecutors accused Barr and the president of politicizing the Justice Dept. And Dem lawmakers want Berman to testify. But at least one Republican senator pointed out that Trump has the right to replace a US attorney.
...Oh and speaking of the Trump admin, a federal judge denied its efforts to block the release of John Bolton's book.
Bubba Wallace. Yesterday, NASCAR said it's investigating after a noose was found in the driver's garage. Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR, said he was "incredibly saddened," and that the sport had made a commitment to making real change. This all comes after NASCAR had banned the Confederate flag from its events following Wallace's call for it to do so. Officials said they would do everything to identify those responsible and are reportedly working with police.
This stabbing attack. On Saturday, a knife-wielding attacker killed three people – including one American – and injured several others at a park in southern England. Police are investigating it as a "terrorist incident." And have arrested the 25-year-old male suspect, who they believe acted alone. UK PM Boris Johnson said he was "appalled and sickened" by the attack and promised action. The UK has seen a string of knife attacks in recent years, including when two former Cambridge students were killed in November 2019 near London Bridge.
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February 25 | Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape.
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