with Mariana Alfaro

President Trump and Joe Biden both went to churches on Monday, and they each posed for photos. That’s where the similarities stop.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee visited the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Del., for his first in-person campaign event since March 9, the night before the Michigan primary. Sitting in a folding chair, Biden listened patiently for about an hour as local African American leaders criticized the 1994 crime bill that he championed, saying it contributed to mass incarceration; pushed him to endorse reparations for the descendants of slaves, and encouraged him to select a black woman as his running mate. The former vice president wore a surgical mask and took notes as they spoke. Attendees practiced social distancing in accordance with federal recommendations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

When Biden finally addressed the group, he quoted the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard: “‘Faith sees best in the dark,’ and it’s been pretty dark." Biden, 77, recalled how, for most of his half-century political career, he believed that hate could be defeated, but he said he has come to realize that hate just hides. “It doesn’t go away, and when you have somebody in power who breathes oxygen to the hate under the rocks, it comes out from under the rocks,” Biden said.

As the meeting wound down, Biden asked for a moment of prayer. Then, as he posed for a group photo with the activists, he took a knee. It was intended as a show of solidarity with the countless Americans who have filled the streets over the past week to protest the death of George Floyd. The 46-year-old black man was pinned face down on the ground, in handcuffs, by a white police officer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis.

A few hours later, about 100 miles down Interstate 95, a line of law enforcement officers took a knee near Lafayette Square in Washington. For a moment, the peaceful protesters who were gathered outside the White House on a beautiful spring evening believed that the officers in riot gear – their shields said “military police” – were doing what many others have been doing across the country in recent days. Seeing the kneeling as a gesture of goodwill and de-escalation, the way Biden intended it, many of the protesters cheered. But they soon realized that the cops were only kneeling so that they could put on their gas masks, according to Rebecca Tan, Samantha Schmidt, Derek Hawkins, Fredrick Kunkle and Jessica Contrera.

It was the prelude to an operation that used smoke canisters, rubber bullets and flash bangs to drive hundreds of protesters away in order to clear a path for Trump to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church. The ambush began half an hour before the District’s new curfew of 7 p.m. went into effect.

Authorities swept protesters from Washington, D.C., on June 1 shortly before President Trump spoke at the White House and visited St. John’s Episcopal Church. (The Washington Post)

When he arrived, Trump did not go inside the church. He did not ask to see the damage caused by a fire that was deliberately set in the church’s basement on Sunday night. He did not ask any protesters to explain their grievances. He did not wear a face mask. He did not say a prayer. He certainly did not kneel, a practice he harshly ridiculed when NFL players did it.

Instead, Trump – who rarely attends church services – awkwardly held up a Bible for several seconds. When a reporter asked whether it was his Bible, the 73-year-old replied: “It’s a Bible.” He did not open the book. Then he beckoned over his attorney general, secretary of defense, national security adviser, chief of staff and press secretary to pose alongside him for more pictures. Moments later, the entourage was safely ensconced back inside the White House.

Shortly before he walked over to St. John’s, Trump used a speech in the Rose Garden to threaten to mobilize “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers” to crush “lawlessness” across the country. The president declared himself “an ally of all peaceful protesters” at the very moment that, on the other side of the White House, law enforcement officers were clearing out peaceful protesters. It made for a jarring split-screen.

Some of the protesters driven from the park vomited as others stampeded away. The use of force left protesters – some quite young – bruised, bleeding and in shock, my colleagues on the scene report. White House spokesman Judd Deere said that “protesters were given three warnings by the U.S. Park Police.” I was one block west when the flash bangs started and heard no warnings. One of my colleagues who was in the thick of it all said she heard no warnings either.

No one told any of the historic church’s leaders that Trump was coming, and they are furious that the president used their holy space as a “prop,” Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey report. “I am outraged,” said the Right Rev. Mariann Budde. “This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us,” said presiding Bishop Michael Curry, head of the Episcopal denomination. “We want St. John’s to be a space for grace, as a place where you can breathe,” said the Rev. Robert Fisher, the church rector. “Being used as a prop, it really takes away from what we’re trying to do.”

The church was abandoned when Trump got there because authorities expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church's patio before Trump arrived, according to the Religion News Service. “They turned holy ground into a battleground,” said the priest, the Rev. Gini Gerbasi, who is normally based in Georgetown.

As protests over the death of George Floyd continue in Washington, St. John’s Church, located a block from the White House, has become a focal point. (The Washington Post)

“Trump’s decision to speak to the nation from the Rose Garden and to visit the church came together earlier in the day, said one senior White House official,” per Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Rebecca Tan. “The president was upset about news coverage of him briefly retreating to the White House bunker Friday evening amid protests, and he repeatedly wondered why anyone would have disclosed those details to the news media … He was also frustrated by coverage this weekend of his call with the Floyd family, which he believed was positive — Trump called it ‘a very good call,’ an official said — but was portrayed negatively. Finally, Trump was angry at cable news footage from Sunday evening, showing protests and riots near the White House … 

“Inside the West Wing, aides were torn on the proposed spectacle. One official argued it was necessary, allowing Trump to demonstrate that he was not hunkered down and was out of the White House, as well as standing with evangelical voters by visiting the church. But two others worried it could backfire. ‘It was just to win the news cycle,’ one Trump adviser said. ‘I’m not sure that things are any better for us tomorrow.’ … One White house official noted the lack of any black aides. Vice President Pence, a leading administration official to Christian voters, was also conspicuously absent from the event at the church.”

“I’ve never been more ashamed,” a senior White House official told Axios’s Jonathan Swan, referring to the targeting of peaceful protesters. “I’m really honestly disgusted. I’m sick to my stomach. And they’re all celebrating it. They’re very, very proud of themselves."

Officers from Arlington County were supporting Park Police officers at Lafayette Square under a mutual-aid pact between law enforcement agencies. The Arlington officers were quickly recalled to Virginia after Trump’s photo op. “The mutual aid agreement is not put in place to allow for a blatantly political act,” said Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz. “Crowd control is a far cry from assisting someone to stand in front of a church.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) was livid, as well:

Meanwhile, Trump thanked himself this morning and claimed that “D.C. had no problems” last night. There was looting in Chinatown and other parts of the city: 

Thursday is the 31st anniversary of the Chinese government deploying its military to viciously repress pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. At the time, Trump praised the communist regime for being merciless. “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it,” he told Playboy magazine in 1990. “Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.”

More on Trump's response to the crisis

Listen to audio of President Trump calling governors "weak," and urging them to use force against unruly protests, in a telephone call on June 1. (Obtained by The Washington Post)
The president berated the nation’s governors during a Monday conference call. We obtained the audio.

Trump told governors that, if they don’t take back the streets and use force to lock up protesters, they would look like “fools,” alarming several of the chief executives. “If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time,” he said. “They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.” Trump added that anyone arrested at the protests should serve 10-year prison sentences. “Then you’ll never see this stuff again,” he said.

“Trump told the governors that ‘you have to use the military,'" Bob Costa, Seung Min Kim and Josh Dawsey report. “Trump noted that Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was also present and that the president had ‘just put him in charge’ of managing the unrest in dozens of cities. On the call, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper explained to governors that about 70,000 National Guard troops had been activated in 29 states but that most of the states using them had fewer than 200 of them deployed. Esper underscored the president’s words, saying ‘we need to dominate the battle space.’ … When someone made a comment about the Minnesota response looking like an occupying force, Trump said that after the recent violence, ‘people wouldn’t have minded an occupying force.’ He added that the first phase of the response in Minneapolis was ‘weak and pathetic.’ The National Guard phase was ‘domination. … It couldn’t be any better. It was a beautiful thing to watch.’”

The District of Columbia National Guard has been fully activated. 

“In addition to those approximately 1,200 troops, up to 800 additional National Guard members from five other states also will be sent to the nation’s capital,” Missy Ryan and Dan Lamothe report. “Some former defense officials criticized Esper for appearing to describe American cities as ‘battlespace.’ ‘The ‘battle space’ of America???’ tweeted retired Army Gen. Tony Thomas, who previously headed U.S. Special Operations Command. ‘Not what America needs to hear … ever, unless we are invaded by an adversary or experience a constitutional failure … ie a Civil War.” Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Barack Obama, urged respect for members of the military in another Twitter message. ‘America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy.’”

Trump has the legal authority to deploy active-duty military personnel to states over the objections of governors. 

“A law called the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the domestic use of military for law enforcement purposes without specific congressional authorization … But a different law, the Insurrection Act, provides the president authorization to do so under certain circumstances,” Matt Zapotosky reports. “According to a Congressional Research Service report, the act has been invoked ‘on dozens of occasions’ throughout U.S. history, though its recent use has been ‘exceedingly rare.’ The act was invoked in 1992 during riots in California over the beating of motorist Rodney King, though in that instance, the state’s governor requested it. It was also used during the civil rights movement, including when President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the Army into Little Rock to desegregate its schools.”

Democrats decried Trump’s threat to deploy troops. “It is un-American to use our service members to ‘dominate’ civilians, as both the President and Secretary of Defense have suggested,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.). Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called Trump’s threat “fascist." Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) tweeted that Trump is “the greatest threat to the American way of life in our history.” (Felicia Sonmez)

Pentagon officials also privately expressed concern over Trump’s threat. "There is an intense desire for local law enforcement to be in charge," a defense official told CNN. Another defense official described an “escalation ladder” of steps that should be taken to scale up federal, state and local enforcement, adding any use of active-duty forces should be at the very end of those options.

Quote of the day

“Let me just say this to the President of the United States, on behalf of the police chiefs of this country: please, if you don’t have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. (CNN

Dispatches from a divided America

More than 60 million Americans are under curfew.

“The curfews affected people in more than 200 U.S. cities and at least 27 states, including all of Arizona,” Maria Sacchetti reports. “San Francisco started its curfew Sunday night at 8 p.m. and extended it until the emergency abates … Miami-Dade County, which had been planning to reopen its beaches as temperatures climbed into the 80s, shut down from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. … In Birmingham, an Alabama city that is a cornerstone of the civil rights movement, and has survived decades of racial terror, Mayor Randall Woodfin announced a curfew on Monday after a grim night of looting … Curfews were imposed in municipalities large and small, from the town of Hibbing, Minn., pop. 15,800, to the 7 million residents in the state of Arizona. … Los Angeles County’s lockdown runs from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. … Violators face arrest and up to six months in jail. New York City’s curfew is far more abbreviated, kicking in at 11 p.m. Monday and ending at 5 a.m.”

  • Four police officers were shot in St. Louis early this morning. All four remain conscious and their wounds are non-life-threatening. The shootings followed a large protest that got violent after police shot tear gas into crowds of protesters just before 9 p.m. (Post-Dispatch)
  • An officer was shot and another person was shot by an officer in separate incidents on the Las Vegas Strip near the end of protests last night. Video of the moment that police opened fire on one person showed a handful of horrified people running away from the scene, fearing they just witnessed someone being killed. (Meagan Flynn)
  • Looting intensified in Manhattan as police clashed with protesters past the city’s 11 p.m. curfew. All night long, stores were hit across Lower Manhattan and Midtown, including the iconic Macy’s in Herald Square. (Shayna Jacobs)
  • An NYPD officer was run over in the Bronx, a few miles away from the chaos on Fordham Road, where people raided shops and set fires in the street, police said. The officer is in serious but stable condition. (Katie Shepherd)
  • Louisville's police chief was fired after the police-involved shooting and killing of David McAtee, 53, the owner of a local restaurant. The Democratic mayor said he fired the chief after learning police officers involved in the shooting didn’t activate their body cameras, Abigail Hauslohner and Kim Bellware report. “My son didn’t hurt nobody,” McAtee’s mom, Odessa Riley, told the Courier Journal. She said he was known as a “community pillar."
  • Two people died and two others were injured in Davenport, Iowa. A police officer was among those injured and is recovering. (Kim Bellware)
  • Two people were killed in protests in Cicero, a suburb of Chicago. The town said at least 60 people were arrested and claimed that “outside agitators” entered the town after “being rebuffed” by Chicago’s curfew. (WGN9)
  • Jon Ehrens, a radio producer, was beaten by a crowd of counterprotesters in Philadelphia after they caught him recording them while they mocked and yelled insults at demonstrators. Ehrens shared videos of a crowd carrying baseball bats or clubs shouting the n-word and promising to attack the protesters. (Abigail Hauslohner and Maura Ewing)
  • In Omaha, the white bar owner who shot a 22-year-old black man will not be charged for his killing, the county attorney announced. (Daily Beast)
  • The Los Angeles police chief said Floyd’s death is on looters’ hands as much as it is on officers. He later apologized for the statement, saying that “looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder.” (Los Angeles Times)
  • Dallas's Democratic mayor said he was concerned about the way police handled mass arrests just outside of his city’s curfew zone. (Dallas Morning News)
  • A protest in Indianapolis deescalated after protesters and police agreed to march together toward downtown. After a few hours of confrontation, protesters appeared to negotiate with the officers. Some hugged and linked arms with the demonstrators. (Meryl Kornfield)
Shopkeepers cleaned up shattered glass in the same parts of D.C. that burned during the 1968 riots.

“It has been decades since the city has been the stage for the kind of widespread chaos that unfolded," Paul Schwartzman, Hannah Natanson and Nick Anderson report. “Anwar Saleem, 65, is the head of H Street Main Street, a business association for the resurgent corridor in the city’s Northeast quadrant that was devastated during the 1968 riots, an event he witnessed as a youngster. Over the past two decades, Saleem has helped to revive H Street, which is now one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, rife with gourmet food markets, bars and pricey restaurants. In the past couple of days, eight H Street businesses have been vandalized, including a CVS and a Starbucks, and six others owned by African Americans. ‘We worked hard to rebuild H Street — it took 60 years,’ Saleem said.”  

  • Dozens of people arrested in Washington during the weekend were released after appearing in court on an array of charges, including burglary and destruction of property. Although many of those arrested were charged by police with felony rioting, that charge was dropped by prosecutors in most cases. (Keith Alexander, Peter Hermann and Michael Laris)
  • Two reporters for an Australian news outlet were struck by police in riot gear while live on the air last night near the White House, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ask for an investigation. (Meagan Flynn)
  • Protesters at Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue were tear-gassed by police, who warned against the toppling of another statue nearby. Police later said they felt trapped by violent protesters and used gas to escape safely, but video posted online didn’t show the threat. The city’s police chief apologized for the actions of his officers. (Gregory Schneider and Laura Vozzella)
  • Peaceful protests in Baltimore contrast sharply against the unrest sweeping other cities, as well as the 2015 protests over the death of Freddie Gray. (Justin George, Lauren Lumpkin and Sydney Trent)
Two autopsies say Floyd’s dead was a homicide, but the cause differs. 

“Two autopsy results — one requested by George Floyd’s family and the other from Hennepin County — agree that his death is a homicide but disagree over exactly what killed him. During a news conference Monday afternoon, two doctors hired by the Floyd family to do a private autopsy said they believe he died of asphyxia,” the Star Tribune reports. “Hours later, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office issued its final public report, stating that Floyd died as a result of ‘cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.’ … The report noted that Floyd ‘experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).’ It also listed ‘arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease,’ as well as fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use as ‘other significant conditions.’ It was the most extensive description released yet of the autopsy performed by the Medical Examiner’s Office on the 46-year-old Floyd."

Tensions appear to be deescalating in Minnesota. “As the 10 p.m. curfew came and went, police moved in on a group of peaceful demonstrators who spent the evening at the Minnesota State Capitol,” the Star Tribune reports. “Thousands of demonstrators had gathered outside the governor's residence Monday afternoon in St. Paul, demanding that all four officers on the scene of Floyd's arrest be jailed and prosecuted. … About 30 St. Paul police officers took a knee on the outskirts of the crowd, including black officer Antwan Denson, who shed tears while he knelt with his fist in the air as protesters chanted Floyd's name.” And the driver of the semitrailer that rolled into a Minneapolis protest did not intend to hit anyone, authorities said. He was speeding but didn’t go around any barricades, they said, and was not acting intentionally as he narrowly missed the crowd.

Local officials blamed white instigators for mayhem in some protests. 

“In some cities, local officials have noted that black protesters have struggled to maintain peaceful protests in the face of young white men joining the fray, seemingly determined to commit mayhem,” Isaac Stanley-Becker reports. “From Baltimore to Sacramento, black protesters … were filmed protecting storefronts and placing their bodies before police barricades to preserve principles of nonviolence, and to prevent backlash disproportionately aimed at them. Videos emerged, too, of them confronting white demonstrators. … ‘Don’t spray stuff on here when they’re going to blame black people for this,’ a black woman said in challenge to two vandals outside of a Starbucks in Los Angeles. … After reviewing footage of the weekend’s events, Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle, said she feared the black community would shoulder the blame for havoc others caused. ‘It is striking how many of the people who were doing the looting and stealing and the fires over the weekend were young white males,’ Durkan (D) said in an interview. … 

“In East Liberty, a gentrifying neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a young black protester delivered a case of bottled water to a phalanx of police officers standing guard at a demonstration on Sunday outside of a Target store. ‘With all this stuff going on, I just wanted to spread the positivity,’ said Alexander Cash, 23, who lost his job at a nearby Residence Inn because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s one or 45 cops standing there. I can walk up to them and still be peaceful.’"

Separating protesters from vandals is not easy, experts say. “Looking at demonstrators as one singular group with one unified mission oversimplifies protests and who tends to show up at them, said Dana R. Fisher, a University of Maryland sociology professor who studies protests and social movements,” Marisa Lang reports. “‘There are the folks who genuinely want a peaceful protest and all the young people who have over the last several years gotten really good at civil disobedience, which, by the way, does not include throwing rocks at police.’ After weeks of economic devastation wrought by shutdowns that have shuttered businesses and pushed the national unemployment rate to nearly 15 percent, Fisher said, those who might not have otherwise participated in looting may have joined in when the opportunity presented itself.”

For black journalists, the civil unrest isn’t just a big story. It’s personal. 

“Black journalists are laboring under extra complications — from the fear of police racially profiling them as demonstrators to the psychic toll of covering yet another black death captured on bystander video,” Elahe Izadi and Paul Farhi report. “After a black CNN correspondent, Omar Jimenez, was arrested on live television while covering Minneapolis protests Friday morning, many journalists praised him for his poise during that moment. PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor did the same — but ‘did he really have a choice?’ … For Dorothy Tucker, an investigative reporter for Chicago’s CBS-2, reporting this story is complicated by thinking of the risks that her husband, her children and her community suffer ‘for simply being born with darker skin.’ It doesn’t keep her from doing her job. ‘But at the end of the day, I think we all go home and weep, and pray, and hope, and deal with the anger and disappointment.’" (Police have attacked journalists more than 100 times in the past four days. Bellingcat reporter Nick Waters has documented 101 incidents by Monday evening.)

Facebook employees blasted Mark Zuckerberg.

They're angry about his hands-off response to Trump’s incendiary posts. In response, the billionaire founder pledged $10 million to racial justice organizations. Zuckerberg has previously defended his decision not to take action against Trump’s missives. Many of the company’s 45,000 employees are left-leaning and have criticized his stance, saying Facebook is making concessions to Trump instead of addressing the pain of black Americans. (Rachel Siegel and Elizabeth Dwoskin

  • Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group, posed as antifa and called for violence on Twitter. A Twitter spokesperson said the account was suspended for violating the company's platform manipulation and spam policy. (NBC News)
  • Twitter restricted a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for glorifying violence. Gaetz wrote: “Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?” It was retweeted more than 12,000 times before Twitter hid it behind a warning. (Verge)

The coronavirus remains

Experts dispute reports that the virus is becoming less lethal.

“Alberto Zangrillo, head of San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, roiled the global public health community on Sunday when he told RAI, the national TV station, that ‘the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,’ with patients showing minute amounts of virus in nasal swabs. Zangrillo theorized in a follow-up interview with The Post that something different may be occurring ‘in the interaction between the virus and the human airway receptors.’ He added, ‘We cannot demonstrate that the virus has mutated, but we cannot ignore that our clinical findings have dramatically improved,’” Joel Achenbach, Ariana Eunjung Cha, Ben Guarino and Chelsea Janes report. “The comments … prompted vigorous pushback from Michael Ryan, a top official with the World Health Organization, who said Monday during an online news conference that ‘we need to be exceptionally careful not to create a sense that all of a sudden the virus by its own volition has now decided to be less pathogenic. That is not the case at all.’ The consensus among other experts interviewed Monday is the clinical findings in Italy likely do not reflect any change in the virus itself. Zangrillo’s clinical observations are more likely a reflection of the fact that with the peak of the outbreak long past, there is less virus in circulation, and people may be less likely to be exposed to high doses of it.” 

More than 25,000 nursing home residents have died in America during the pandemic.

“The virus also infected 34,000 staff and took the lives of more than 400, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees the nation’s nursing homes,” Debbie Cenziper, Peter Whoriskey and Joel Jacobs report. “The numbers represent the first official national accounting of fatalities in the 15,000 nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. The tally, however, is incomplete. Only about 80 percent of the nation’s nursing homes reported data to the federal government, and they were required only to include cases since early May.” The U.S. now has more than 103,000 coronavirus deaths. 

The Trump administration’s testing czar, Adm. Brett Giroir, said he’ll leave his position in mid-June.

“Giroir told a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that he will be ‘demobilized’ from his role overseeing coronavirus testing at FEMA in a few weeks and going back to his regular post at the Department of Health and Human Services,” NPR reports. “An HHS spokesperson confirmed the plan for Giroir to stand down from his role and indicated that there are no plans to appoint a new ‘head of efforts’ for coronavirus testing.” 

About 15 West Point cadets who were brought back for graduation where Trump is scheduled to give an address have tested positive for the virus, per CNN. No infected cadets were symptomatic, a spokesperson for the military academy said, adding that "no cadet has contracted through person-to-person contact while under the Army's care."

Senate lawmakers will unveil a bipartisan bill that would regulate contact-tracing apps. 

“The proposal, called the ‘Exposure Notification Privacy Act,’ would erect federal guardrails around Silicon Valley’s nascent efforts to track people’s movements and alert them whenever they come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for covid-19,” Tony Romm reports. “Democrats and Republicans led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) say the legislation is necessary to ensure tracking isn’t forced on those who don’t want it — and to ensure any data that’s collected isn’t put to commercial use.” 

The virus’s fallout will haunt the U.S. economy for years.

“In a letter to U.S. lawmakers, the CBO said the U.S. economy will grow by $7.9 trillion less from 2020 to 2030 than it had projected in January. That amounts to a 3 percent decline in U.S. gross domestic product compared to its initial estimate,” Jeff Stein reports.

Americans are delaying medical care, and that's devastating health-care providers. 

“One result of this financial stress: 1.4 million health-care jobs disappeared in April, according to the latest monthly government jobs report. Those included nearly 135,000 jobs lost at hospitals, more than 243,000 at physician offices and more than 503,000 at dental offices,” Ted Mellnik, Laris Karklis and Andrew Ba Tran report. “Over 260 hospitals have reported furloughs or layoffs due to coronavirus-related issues, according to tracking by Becker’s Hospital Review. … By mid-May, almost 94 million adults had delayed medical care because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau reported in its Household Pulse Survey."

New Zealand’s prime minister said Black Live Matter protesters were wrong to flout coronavirus restrictions. 

“Thousands of New Zealanders gathered in major cities like Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington on Monday to express solidarity with demonstrators rallying against police brutality in the United States. Though the protests remained peaceful, they violated New Zealand’s lockdown measures, which cap gatherings at 100 people,” Antonia Farzan reports. Jacinda Ardern said “that while anyone could appreciate the protesters’ sentiments, ‘it was a breach of the rules.’ When pressed, she acknowledged that the protests could lead to a cluster of new infections, undoing all the work that New Zealand’s government has done to control the spread of the virus in recent months.” 

  • England reopened schools, but many students remained home amid coronavirus fears. (Karla Adam)
  • North Korea will reopen schools and restart trade with China as it eases lockdown measures. (Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim)
  • Online sexual exploitation of children spread in the Philippines as the nation was under lockdown. Philippine authorities said they rescued 40 victims of online sexual exploitation. (Regine Cabato)
  • Colombian officials are evicting hundreds of poor families during the outbreak, despite the nation’s strict lockdown. (Steven Grattan)
  • Mexico is beginning to lift its 70-day lockdown. While officials said the country is still “in danger,” federal and local governments have replaced the national restrictions with a contradictory patchwork of measures. (Mary Beth Sheridan)
  • A Belgian prince who tested positive for the virus after violating lockdown restrictions to attend a party in Spain apologized for his actions. (Katie Shepherd)
  • Spain reported no coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time since March. The country’s emergency health response chief celebrated the development but warned Spaniards they’re “still at risk." (USA Today)
  • A new Ebola outbreak has been declared in a Congo city that last saw the virus in 2018. The cases were found in Mbandaka, a provincial capital, which is home to more than 1 million people and an important port city at the confluence of the Congo and Ruki rivers. (Max Bearak)

Social media speed read

Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.) criticized Trump's hardline rhetoric on the call with governors:

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a former Orlando police chief and potential Biden running mate, called Trump a threat to Americans:

A New York police union official tweeted out the arrest report of Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, who was detained during a weekend protest in the city: 

And the Kremlin is using images of U.S. police brutality in its anti-American propaganda:

Videos of the day

Stephen Colbert asked Trump to step up and be a leader:

Seth Meyers thinks Trump’s response to the protests is “deranged”: