The Rundown for July 15, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,946,343 and the nation’s death toll stands at 608,108, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Delta variant of the coronavirus now accounts for about 58 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to figures released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The proportion was estimated at just 31.1 percent for the previous two-week period. In late May, the Delta variant was estimated to account for just 3 percent of new cases.

DEMS SEEK ARIZONA AUDIT DOCUMENTS… Two Democrats in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform are seeking documents from the company performing Arizona’s presidential election as part of an investigation into an unusual months-long ballot audit. In requesting the documents, Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Jamie Raskin detail how conspiracy theories might have played into the audit procedures and want to know about any communication the company has had with former President Trump.

CAPITOL ATTACK COMMITTEE SCHEDULES HEARING… The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has scheduled its first hearing for July 27. The House created the select committee last month after Senate Republicans blocked an effort to impanel an independent, bipartisan commission. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has chosen seven Democrats and Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney to serve on the committee. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy can choose the remaining five members, but has yet to do so.

WATCHDOG RELEASES NASSAR INVESTIGATION REPORT… A report released yesterday by the Justice Department’s inspector general found that FBI officials failed to properly document sexual assault accusations made against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and made false statements regarding the case. According to the report, at least 70 athletes were sexually abused by Nassar between when USA Gymnastics first reported the allegations to the FBI and August 2016, when a separate complaint was filed with the police department at Michigan State University, where Nassar also worked. The report found that officials with the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office failed to respond to the allegations “with the utmost seriousness an urgency that they deserved and required” and made “numerous and fundamental errors” when they did respond. Additionally, W. Jay Abbott, the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, lied to the inspector general’s office on multiple occasions in order “to minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office in connection with the handling of the Nassar allegations.”

OVERDOSE DEATHS SOAR DURING PANDEMIC… Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a government report released yesterday. That estimate reflects an increase of about 29 percent over the previous year. Fentanyl was involved in more than 60 percent of the overdose deaths last year, according to CDC data. New Hampshire and South Dakota were the only states that didn’t record 2020 drug overdoses.

ENTERTAINMENT
BRITNEY SPEARS ALLOWED TO HIRE LAWYER
… Britney Spears has been granted a request to hire her own attorney in her effort to end to her 13-year conservatorship. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved Spears’ petition to replace her court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, with former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart. Spears testified at the hearing that she was “extremely scared” of her father, Jamie Spears, who has overseen his daughter’s $60 million fortune since 2008. “I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she said.

OLIVIA RODRIGO AT WHITE HOUSE… Olivia Rodrigo visited the White House yesterday to promote the COVID-19 vaccine for young Americans. The 18-year-old singer appeared at a press conference and toured the West Wing before meeting with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser. Rodrigo will be recording videos that urge young people to get vaccinated.

SPORTS
NBA FINALS SCOREBOARD

MILWAUKEE 109 – Phoenix 103… Khris Middleton scored 10 of his 40 points in the final 2:07 as the Bucks pulled past the Suns to even the series at two games apiece. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 26 points and 14 rebounds. Devin Booker’s 42 points weren’t enough for Phoenix, which hosts Game 5 on Saturday.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Boston (Eduardo Rodriguez, 6-5) is at the N.Y. Yankees (TBA)

MLB STANDINGS
National League
East
New York Mets, 47-0
Philadelphia Phillies, 44-44, 3-1/2 GB
Atlanta Braves, 44-45, 4 GB
Washington Nationals, 42-47, 6 GB
Miami Marlins, 39-50, 9 GB

Central
Milwaukee Brewers, 53-39
Cincinnati Reds, 48-42, 4 GB
Chicago Cubs, 44-46, 8 GB
St. Louis Cardinals, 44-46, 8 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates, 34-56, 18 GB

West
San Francisco Giants, 57-32
Los Angeles Dodgers, 56-35, 2 GB
San Diego Padres, 53-40, 6 GB
Colorado Rockies,40-51, 18 GB
Arizona Diamondbacks, 26-66, 32-1/2 GB

American League
East
Boston Red Sox, 55-36
Tampa Bay Rays, 53-37, 1.5 GB
Toronto Blue Jays, 45-42, 8 GB
New York Yankees, 46-43, 8 GB
Baltimore Orioles, 28-61, 26 GB

Central
Chicago White Sox, 54-35
Cleveland Indians, 45-42, 8 GB
Detroit Tigers, 40-51, 15 GB
Minnesota Twins, 39-50, 15 GB
Kansas City Royals, 36-53, 18 GB

West
Houston Astros, 55-36
Oakland Athletics, 52-40, 3-1/2 GB
Seattle Mariners, 48-43, 7 GB
Los Angeles Angels, 45-44, 9 GB
Texas Rangers, 35-55, 19-1/2 GB

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