The Roundup for July 21, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 140,905 and the death toll stands at 3,829,920, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Florida’s largest teacher’s union yesterday filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis and several others in his administration over their efforts to fully reopen schools. The suit filed by the Florida Education Association claims the administration is violating the state constitution in failing to make public schools “safe and secure”… A study published yesterday in the medical journal The Lancet found that a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University, its partner AstraZeneca and two other groups has produced a strong immune response in an early-stage human trial… President Trump appeared to reverse course yesterday by tweeting a photo of himself wearing a face mask and referring to mask-wearing as “patriotic.” The president had steadfastly remained mask-free for the nearly three months since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing masks in public.

TRUMP TO SEND FEDERAL AGENTS TO MORE CITIES… President Trump announced yesterday that will send federal law enforcement agents to more U.S. cities this week to quell ongoing protests targeting racism and police brutality. A federal crackdown has begun in Portland, Oregon, where unidentified agents have clashed with protesters and rounded them up in unmarked vehicles. State and local leaders in Oregon, as well as members of Congress, have called for Trump to remove the secret police forces.

SUPREME COURT DENIES DEMS IN SEARCH FOR TRUMP TAXES… The Supreme Court yesterday denied a request from congressional Democrats to issue a ruling that would expedite their efforts to obtain President Trump’s tax records. Democrats asked the High Court to finalize its ruling earlier this month that sent the case back to a lower court. The denial means the case won’t reach the lower court any sooner than August 3. Democratic lawmakers have been seeking the records since last year, when Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified that he’d manipulated the value of the president’s assets for personal gain.

DEM CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS WARN FBI ABOUT RUSSIAN INFLUENCE… Politico reported yesterday that Democratic congressional leaders are demanding a briefing on foreign efforts to target members of Congress as part of an influence campaign. In a letter they sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Democrats express concerns that an investigation led by Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson “has become a vehicle for ‘laundering’ a foreign influence campaign to damage Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the demand.” The letter was signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark Warner.

SUSPECTED SHOOTER AT JUDGE’S HOUSE FOUND DEAD… Authorities confirmed yesterday that the man suspected in the fatal shooting of a federal judge’s 20-year-old son and the wounding of her husband at their North Brunswick Township, New Jersey, home on Sunday afternoon has been found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The suspect, Roy Den Hollander, represented himself as an “anti-feminist” and “men’s rights” attorney. Investigators say he had posted taunts and insults about U.S. District Judge Esther Salas on his website. Judge Salas was in the basement at the time of the shootings and was not injured. Her husband, 63-year-old Mark Anderl, was listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

… Two women are alleging they were sexually harassed by men they worked with on the set of Fox News. Anchors Ed Henry, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz, along with contributor Gianno Caldwell, were named in a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court. Former Fox News staffer Jennifer Eckhart and one frequent on-air guest Cathy Areu claim they were harassed individually by Henry, who was fired at Fox earlier this month following a complaint about “willful sexual misconduct in the workplace.” Eckhart, who claims Henry violently raped her, is suing him and the network for violating sex trafficking laws and human rights laws and gender-motivated violence. Areu says she was harassed by the other defendants and cites violations of human rights laws and gender-motivated violence in her suit.

DENZEL WASHINGTON, JULIA ROBERTS REUNITE… Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts have signed on to star in the upcoming Netflix family drama “Leave the World Behind.” Roberts plays the mother of a family that rents a house over a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Washington portrays the home owner. The story is based on the upcoming Rumaan Alam novel. Washington and Roberts previously worked together in the 1993 legal thriller “The Pelican Brief.”

… The Washington Nationals announced yesterday that Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw the first pitch when major league baseball opens its 2020 regular season on Thursday night. The Nationals host the New York Yankees in the season opener. Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a hard-rooting Nationals fan who has been wearing a face mask with the team’s logo throughout the pandemic. The team says it is honoring him as “a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career.”

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