WASHINGTON – Yesterday, July 30, 2020, will likely prove to be an important and consistent day in Donald Trump’s presidency.
It was a day when we learned that the US economy had suffered an historic decline in the second quarter.
It was a day when we learned that former presidential candidate Herman Cain – who attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa without wearing a mask – died of the coronavirus.
It was a day that Trump tweeted that maybe the November 3 election should be postponed.
It was a day when Trump was the only president or ex-president alive who did not deliver remarks or words of condolence at John Lewis’s funeral, and when Barack Obama wholeheartedly defended the right to vote.
And that was a day when, hours later, Trump gave a press conference filled with lies about the coronavirus. (“Young people are almost immune to this disease,” he says.)
What has been remarkable about Trump’s summer so far is how so many of his actions, statements and tweets have turned against him.
That trip to St. John’s Church to hold up the Bible? A public relations disaster.
Economic reopening to the South and the West? They have led to new peaks in coronavirus.
This Tulsa rally? An increase in infections was probably related to the event.
Moving the GOP convention to Jacksonville, Florida? They had to cancel that.
And tweeting that maybe the election should be postponed? He did so on a day when the world was frozen over John Lewis’ legacy of extending the franchise to Americans.
If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind, as the Old Testament says.
And right now, Trump is reaping the whirlwind.
Three points on Trump’s postponement tweet
As for Trump’s tweet yesterday that maybe the election should be postponed (which the president cannot do), three things may be true at the same time.
First, it’s highly plausible that he did it to distract from the horrific economic news that preceded his tweet.
Second, it still represented a five-alarm fire for American democracy. (Never in American history – during Civil War or World War II – has there ever been a successful effort to delay elections, as presidential historian Michael Beschloss has pointed out.)
And third, it only highlights Trump’s political weaknesses in the run-up to November 3.
If you are really concerned about how long it will take to count the ballots during the pandemic, why aren’t you working to get more funding and staff for the election?
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Why don’t you give the US Postal Service the resources it needs to deliver the mail on time?
And if you are concerned that the United States will not be able to vote “properly, safely and securely” by November 3, what does that say about attempts to reopen schools and schools? companies during the pandemic?
Tweet of the day
Downloading data: the numbers you need to know today
4,506,161: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 58,176 more cases than yesterday morning.)
153 302: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 1,055 more than yesterday morning.)
54,64 millions: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers from the COVID Tracking Project.
$ 3.9 million: How much the Biden campaign spent on TV Wednesday and Thursday, as the Trump campaign went virtually grim as part of a “review and fine-tuning” of its advertising strategy.
Up to $ 500 million: How much the Trump administration may have exceeded spending on ventilators, according to a Democratic House inquiry.
$ 2.1 million: The price of an agreement reached between the United States and drugmakers Sanofi and GSK to support the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus.
74: The age of former presidential candidate and prominent Black Trump ally Herman Cain, who died of Covd-19 yesterday
Vision 2020: in the dark
With less than 100 days of the election, the Trump campaign has spent next to nothing on TV or radio ads Wednesday or Thursday, according to Advertising Analytics data, write NBC’s Ben Kamisar and Shannon Pettypiece.
By comparison, Joe Biden’s campaign spent $ 3.9 million over those two days.
A Trump campaign official told NBC they will “be back shortly,” after “a review and fine-tuning of campaign strategy” following Brad Parscale’s demotion.
Recently, that messaging strategy has focused on raising fears about law and order – the Trump campaign has spent $ 17 million on broadcast and on national cable since the beginning of the month. July to broadcast a spot denouncing the “Defund the Police” movement and trying to pin it down to Joe Biden.
The campaign still has over $ 146 million in general election announcements set aside for the fall. But it’s not often that you see a presidential campaign go completely gloomy during this time, handing over control of the airwaves to their opponent, especially as they see them growing a large vote deficit.
After a Thursday night meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Democrats and the administration are still aside from the coronavirus relief negotiations, the NBC Hill team reports.
The two sides have agreed to continue talking throughout the day and weekend, but the lack of an agreement virtually guarantees that the federal weekly unemployment benefit will expire today.
“We just don’t think they understand the seriousness of the problem,” Schumer said after the meeting.
Mnuchin said they proposed a short-term bill, but Democrats strongly rejected it and Democrats highlighted their legislation passed by the House from May.
“What’s the point of a one-week extension?” A one-week extension is good if you (already) have a bill and are working on it, ”Pelosi said in response to a one-week extension of unemployment benefits.
The cover: you are a sunflower
Don’t miss yesterday’s pod, when we quickly browsed through some surprising commercials during the Kansas Senate Primary.
ICYMI: What else is going on in the world
Joe Biden accuses Republicans of “playing political games” with coronavirus aid.
John Lewis’ death sparks new calls to consecrate the right to vote.
Dave Wasserman says postal voting could be more problematic for Democrats than they realize.
A backlog at the USPS has raised fears that mail-in ballots could be severely affected by the delays.
A virtual meeting between Sanders and the members of the Biden DNC committee was a bit difficult.
Democratic party states are seeing a huge influx of cash.
NPR reports that the knocking on the census door will stop a month earlier than expected, increasing the risk of undercoverage in poor and minority communities.
DHS has compiled “intelligence reports” on journalists covering the Portland protests.