with Mariana Alfaro

Defense Secretary Mark Esper urged governors to “dominate the battlespace” surrounding protesters, describing American cities like foreign war zones. Attorney General Bill Barr personally gave the order to clear the area around Lafayette Square, which led to peaceful protesters being hit with rubber bullets and chemical gas, ahead of President Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, toured the streets of Washington in his combat fatigues.

The nation’s capital feels like a war zone, even after protests remained largely peaceful on Tuesday night. Downtown streets continue to be packed with Army trucks and federal agents in riot gear. Military helicopters hovered at treetop level on Monday night and used the downward rush of air from their rotors to scatter civilians on the ground, a technique designed to incite fear in enemy forces. White House officials were rebuffed by the mayor after inquiring about a federal takeover of the D.C. police department.

Eager to get as many boots on the ground as possible, the Pentagon has diverted members of the National Guard from across the country. Guard troops from Utah and New Jersey arrived in the capital on Monday. Additional reinforcements from Indiana, South Carolina and Tennessee arrived Tuesday. Maryland sent 116 National Guards members across the border on Tuesday, and Ohio dispatched 100 troops.

A contingent of 715 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, armed with bayonets, have advanced from Fort Bragg to bases just outside the city to protect the White House if the situation deteriorates, according to the Associated Press, and another 1,300 are on standby in North Carolina. The plan is named Operation Themis.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has received special permission from the Justice Department to go beyond its standard legal mandate so agents can investigate potential crimes related to the protests. The DOJ authorization, which lasts 14 days, allows the DEA to conduct “covert surveillance” and share intelligence with state and local officials, as well as make arrests for non-drug crimes as officials see fit, according to a directive leaked to BuzzFeed News.

Each of these developments, to varying degrees, has distressed current and former members of the law enforcement and national security communities, from the Pentagon and National Security Council to the Secret Service and CIA. Many who have remained relatively quiet throughout the Trump era are speaking out.

James Miller resigned in protest on Tuesday from the Defense Science Board, a seat he’s held since he finished a tour as the undersecretary of defense for policy in 2014. He provided The Washington Post with a copy of his resignation letter to Esper: “If last night’s blatant violations do not cross the line for you, what will? Unfortunately, it appears there may be few if any lines that President Trump is not willing to cross, so you will probably be faced with this terrible question again in the coming days. You may be asked to take, or to direct the men and women serving in the U.S. military to take, actions that further undermine the Constitution and harm Americans. … I cannot believe that you see the United States as a ‘battlespace,’ or that you believe our citizens must be ‘dominated.’ Such language sends an extremely dangerous signal.”

Esper is trying to distance himself from the Lafayette Square mess. The defense secretary said he had no advance notice that he and Milley were going with the president to St. John’s for the photo op, and that he had “no idea” about the plans to forcibly disperse the peaceful protesters. “I didn’t know where I was going,” he told NBC News.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Esper said he does not support the use of active-duty military forces to quell unrest. Trump has threatened to deploy troops to city streets if governors and mayors don’t restore order, which would require him to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807. “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” Esper said. “We are not in one of those situations now.”

“I cannot remain silent,” said retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.” Mullen writes in the Atlantic that he was “sickened” to watch security personnel clear a path for a presidential photo op: “I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump's leadership, but we are at an inflection point … Whatever Trump's goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces. … Too many foreign and domestic policy choices have become militarized; too many military missions have become politicized.” 

Bush himself released a rare statement to not just commend Americans demonstrating against racial injustice but criticize those who try to silence them. “There is a better way — the way of empathy, and shared commitment, and bold action, and a peace rooted in justice,” said the former president, not mentioning Trump by name. No stranger to protests during his two terms, Bush said he’s “anguished” by George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis. And he urged white Americans to seek ways to support, listen and understand black Americans who still face “disturbing” bigotry.

“The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving,” said Bush. “Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place. … It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future.”

Most senior military leaders have remained silent on Floyd’s death because, at least twice in the last week, senior Trump administration officials in the Defense Department have directed service chiefs to kept quiet on the issue, even though some expressed an interest in responding to a painful moment. “I think there is a question about how and when, and at what level, the department should weigh into what has become a highly charged emotional and political issue,” a senior defense official told Dan Lamothe. (An unnamed military official told the New York Times that Trump is creating his own “palace guard.”)

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials express dismay at the parallels between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations. “The scenes have been disturbingly familiar to CIA analysts accustomed to monitoring scenes of societal unraveling abroad — the massing of protesters, the ensuing crackdowns and the awkwardly staged displays of strength by a leader determined to project authority,” Greg Miller reports. “Former intelligence officials said the unrest and the administration’s militaristic response are among many measures of decay they would flag if writing assessments about the United States for another country’s intelligence service. They cited the country’s struggle to contain the novel coronavirus, the president’s attempt to pressure Ukraine for political favors, his attacks on the news media and the increasingly polarized political climate as other signs of dysfunction.”

  • “I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China, Malaysia and across Southeast Asia. “This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”
  • Marc Polymeropoulos, who formerly ran CIA operations in Europe and Asia, said the clearing of Lafayette Square reminded him of what he reported on for decades from the third world: “Saddam. Bashar. Qaddafi. They all did this.”

Justice Department officials acknowledged that Barr personally issued the order to law enforcement officials to clear the streets around Lafayette Square before Trump visited the church. “On Tuesday, the administration offered conflicting explanations for the forcible removal of the protesters,” Carol Leonnig, Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey and Rebecca Tan report. “The White House asserted that the crowd was dispersed to help enforce the city’s 7 p.m. curfew, although District police had not requested such assistance. The Park Police said that its officers responded after protesters began throwing projectiles. Other administration officials said the move to clear the crowd was part of a previously planned effort to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square. … Black-clad officers and agents of the Secret Service’s civil disturbance unit stood by during the tense confrontation with protesters and then helped secure the emptied-out streets. Trump told an ally Monday after the visit that the Secret Service was not ‘thrilled’ about the idea of him visiting the church. …

The use of such aggressive force startled some veteran former officers of the Secret Service and other federal agencies, because it appeared to be rushed and unprovoked by protesters. The line of officers rushing protesters, many of whom were standing still with their arms in the air, violated the normal protocol for clearing protesters, something the Secret Service accomplishes dozens of times a year in Lafayette Square without ever tossing smoke canisters or using riot shields. ‘Usually officers hold a line and don’t move forward unless there is provocation,’ said one former Secret Service agent who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe operational procedures. ‘The officers give constant warnings and communicate clearly with the crowd. But here it seems like there is some time pressure; they were acting like a bomb is about to go off.’

Another veteran former Secret Service agent who reviewed video of the treatment of protesters said he feared that the order from Barr signaled a worrisome shift in who calls the shots about deploying use of force. ‘We protect the president,’ he said of the Secret Service. ‘We don’t report to the president. It feels like that line has now been blurred.’”

Trump’s reelection campaign demanded journalists correct reports that tear gas was used against protesters outside the White House. But the truth boils down to an exercise in semantics, Abigail Hauslohner reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several chemical compounds fit the definition of tear gas, including those more commonly referred to as "mace," or pepper sprays. The Park Police acknowledged that it used pepper spray projectiles and “smoke canisters” in the square even as it said no “tear gas” was used.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows credited Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, for coming up with the idea for the church photo op. Her husband, Jared Kushner, and presidential adviser Hope Hicks crafted what became an optical disaster and didn’t fully think through what they’d do when they got to the church, the Times reports. Ivanka, who converted to Judaism when she married, gave her father the Bible he briefly posed with. She pulled it out of a handbag that sells for $1,540.

FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, Department of Homeland Security officers and the U.S. Park Police continue to patrol the streets of Washington. “It is unusual for federal agents to engage in street patrol-like duties, but they have been pressed into service by Barr, who has called the public vandalism and violence surrounding the protests ‘domestic terrorism,’” Devlin Barrett reports. “The attorney general has also instructed the FBI’s joint terrorism task forces to assist in the efforts. Officials said agents in the JTTFs have been assigned to gather video and photo evidence of possible lawbreakers, as well as take tips from local police departments about particular suspects or cases. … Barr ordered special riot control teams from the Bureau of Prisons to deploy in Washington and Miami.” 

The commander of the D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. William Walker, has directed an investigation into the use of military helicopters over the city. “Numerous videos on social media showed an unarmed Lakota medevac helicopter hovering over demonstrators,” Alex Horton reports. “The use of a helicopter with Red Cross markings was an abuse of global norms that could help erode its neutral symbolism, military justice experts said. ‘This was a foolish move,’ said Geoffrey Corn, a former Army lawyer and professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. … Misuse of the Red Cross symbol is prohibited even during peacetime by the First Geneva Convention, to which the U.S. is a party,’ said Rachel E. VanLandingham, a former Air Force attorney and professor at the Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. …

The use of a helicopter’s rotor wash, the downward rush of air from its rotors, is a common military tactic to incite fear, disperse crowds and warn of other capabilities, like rockets and guns, said Kyleanne Hunter, a former Marine Corps pilot who flew Cobra attack helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hunter, now a senior adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, said she flew low over civilian vehicles to disperse them ahead of convoys in Iraq. And after reviewing videos of the helicopter, she concluded that it flew far too low to be on a surveillance mission. … ‘It’s to provoke and incite rather to protect and serve,’ she said. … Flying low in urban areas presents numerous risks to the pilots, crew, aircraft and people on the ground, Hunter said, factors that are typically considered before flying such a mission.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) revealed Tuesday that she rejected an effort by the White House to take control of her police force. At a news conference, Bowser said she has not requested any help from outside the city and said she’s still trying to fend off Trump’s attempts to deploy active-duty military forces throughout the city. 

“The unprecedented request sent District leaders scrambling to head off what they regarded as tantamount to a government overthrow, and to the legal books to come up with a way to push back,” Peter Hermann, Fenit Nirappil and Josh Dawsey report. “The District of Columbia is a federal enclave governed by a mayor and city council, but the federal law granting self-governance allows the president to take control of local police officers in certain emergency situations. A takeover of one of the largest and most high-profile police agencies in the nation would have been yet another blow to a city fighting for statehood, forcing it to surrender control of all or part of a 4,000-member armed force to federal officials who do not answer to District residents and whose policies and practices differ from those of local leaders.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, a nearly 30-year veteran of the force, declined to say what he would have done had he been forced to answer to Trump. ‘We are living in unprecedented times,’ the chief said. ‘I work for the mayor of the District of Columbia.’ … The White House did not dispute the mayor’s account.”

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) said the city is “now reckoning with an unhinged president responding to a nonviolent demonstration with war-like tactics.” The Democratic governors of Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware refused Pentagon requests for National Guard troops, citing Bowser’s resistance. Local police departments from the D.C. suburbs are also refusing mutual aid requests after what happened on Monday night. Arlington County pulled out its officers after the incident in Lafayette Square. Alexandria, Fairfax and Montgomery County police officials said their departments declined requests for officers from the Park Police, per Tom Jackman and Ovetta Wiggins.

“Yesterday was tough, watching that stuff happen in our country — the kind of things myself and others worked hard to fight in other countries around the world. It was scary,” said Fernando Cutz, who served on the National Security Council under both Trump and Obama, referring to the Lafayette Square incident. He recalled the Trump administration’s efforts to force Venezuela’s authoritarian leader, Nicolás Maduro, from power as hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets last year amid an economic meltdown. But as Maduro held on and began using government force to combat them, Cutz tells David Nakamura, Trump appeared to waver. “It got to the point where I remember the president saying: ‘You know, Maduro is not as easy to bring down as I thought. Maybe we should reconsider this,’” Cutz said. “All of a sudden he was impressed.”

Divided America

Protesters defied curfews, but tensions eased.

“As many as 2,000 demonstrators descended on Washington on Tuesday, the largest and most boisterous crowd to gather in the nation’s capital during five straight days of protests … Banging on fences erected near the White House and marching through the city to the U.S. Capitol, the largely peaceful protesters included high schoolers and stay-at-home moms, young parents and toddlers, elderly couples and large families,” Michael Rosenwald, Rachel Chason, Marissa Lang and Perry Stein report. “But tensions also flared at multiple flash points during the day, as protesters faced an even larger contingent of federal law enforcement authorities than on Monday. Some turbulent gatherings Tuesday were hit with pepper spray and other shows of force as armored vehicles blocked city streets. As the 7 p.m. curfew passed, protesters remained peaceful, and authorities did not take any action. But by nightfall, many families had left and the crowd had thinned to a much younger group. That increased tensions, and some began throwing water bottles and shaking fences. As helicopters swirled overhead and the number of federal officers swelled, other protesters tried to stop the agitators, yelling, ‘Peaceful protest! Peaceful protest!’”

  • The fires and looting have largely stopped across Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Holly Bailey, Sheila Regan and Tarkor Zehn)
  • D.C. police arrested one demonstrator outside Trump’s hotel after the protester broke off from a group marching toward the Capitol and rode his bike directly into a line of city officers on bikes. (Samantha Schmidt and Jessica Contrera)
  • A Georgetown doctor was beaten up while trying to stop looters from breaking into a footwear store. (Hannah Natanson)
  • In Richmond, Mayor Levar Stoney (D) joined protesters and apologized after his police force gassed a peaceful demonstration. (Laura Vozzella and Gregory Schneider)
  • The 100-plus protesters who spent Monday night hunkered down inside a house on Swann Street left after the curfew lifted. Supporters left behind gifts for Rahul Dubey, the 44-year-old health entrepreneur who let them take refuge in his home while police corralled them. But his landlord complained that he hasn't paid rent and put property at risk he does not own. (Derek Hawkins)
One of the largest peaceful protests on Tuesday was in Floyd's hometown of Houston.

“Journalists on the scene estimated there were 25,000 marchers, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D), some of Floyd’s childhood friends and a group of black cowboys on horseback,” Dave Fahrenthold reports. “In New Orleans, a police commander urged protesters to leave a highway bridge they had occupied. ‘We support you,’ the commander said … ‘We feel ashamed for what this officer [in Minneapolis] did to tarnish the badge.’ Protesters left the bridge and went home … In Atlanta, prosecutors charged six police officers with crimes, after they used stun guns on two unarmed black college students driving on a downtown street. … And in Philadelphia, the mayor criticized police officers for posing for photos with a group of white vigilantes carrying baseball bats and shovels. In New York, where looters have ransacked stores for several consecutive nights, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) criticized New York City police and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) for not doing enough. …  de Blasio has resisted calling in National Guard troops to help and instead pleaded with community leaders to help stem the chaos. … 

“And still, the protests kept growing. … In Milwaukee, thousands marched six miles in early summer heat. People knelt on the cobblestone streets of Nantucket, Mass., marched in Morgantown, W.Va., and crowded around police headquarters in El Paso. In many cases, they repeated some of Floyd’s last words: 'I can’t breathe.' … A new study from Monmouth University, released Tuesday, found that 57 percent of Americans today believe police are more likely to use excessive force against black people. That represents an increase from the 34 percent of registered voters who said the same in 2016 following the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and the 33 percent who said so in 2014 after a grand jury did not indict a New York City police officer in the death of Eric Garner.”

Two Louisville police officers were put on administrative leave in connection with the death of a black protester. 

David McAtee "was fatally shot outside his business just after midnight Monday in what city officials said was an exchange of gunfire that involved Louisville Metro police and members of the Kentucky National Guard,” Ava Wallace and Roman Stubbs report. “The Louisville Metro Police Department on Tuesday released silent surveillance footage that they said shows that McAtee, 53, fired a gun first when officers arrived at the scene in response to a crowd gathering at Dino’s Food Mart, next to McAtee’s barbecue stand. But interim police chief Robert Schroeder acknowledged Tuesday that the video does not provide many key details, including why McAtee fired or where police were standing at the time the shots were exchanged. … City officials have said two police officers who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative leave because they either failed to have their body cameras turned or were not wearing them. The city police, the Kentucky State Police and the National Guard are all conducting internal investigations of the shooting. Protesters have no plans to let up.”

  • Retired police captain David Dorn, 77, was shot to death by looters at a St. Louis pawn shop. His killing was apparently broadcast on Facebook Live. Police have made no arrests yet and have no suspects. A memorial was set up outside the shop, with this handwritten sign: “Y’all killed a black man because ‘they’ killed a black man???” (Post-Dispatch)
  • The killing of James Scurlock, a black protester, by a white bar owner has fueled protests in Omaha, Neb. County Attorney Don Klein said Scurlock’s killing was “senseless, but justified." Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) apologized for lashing out against black leaders during a discussion about the killing, angrily saying “Where the hell were you people?” before his aides stopped him. (Annie Gowen)
  • Even muffled by a gas mask, a Washington state trooper’s words of advice to his fellow officers were clear: “Don’t kill them, hit them hard.” The comments were caught in a video shared widely on Twitter, which drew swift condemnation and an apology from the Washington State Patrol. (Allyson Chiu)
  • Thousands of protesters defied New York City’s 8 p.m. curfew, which led to a tense standoff on the Manhattan Bridge. (Gothamist)
  • Charlotte police trapped dozens of peaceful demonstrators while pelting them with tear gas, pepper balls and flash bangs. About 150 officers appeared to surround the crowd. The department said it will conduct an internal review. (Teo Armus)
  • In Portland, an hours-long peaceful protest turned into chaos after police fired tear gas and flash bangs. Protesters approached the city’s Justice Center, which was set ablaze days ago, and asked officers to kneel, offering to go home if they all complied. Some officers did, but they did so just before putting their gas masks on and firing gas into the crowd. (Katie Shepherd)
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) defended her city’s controversial policing decisions, including the shutdown of the entire transit system, as aldermen continued to second guess those choices. Local leaders have faulted Lightfoot for failing to anticipate the scale of the protests and then sealing off downtown Chicago, which they said pushed looting and mayhem into neighborhoods on the South and West sides. (Sun-Times)
  • Trump, even as he chastised Democratic governors who declined to call in the National Guard, said he agrees with the decision of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to refuse military assistance to contain protests in his state. (John Wagner)
  • Protests against police brutality also continued around the world. In Paris, thousands defied police orders and demonstrated, prompting police to deploy tear gas. Video footage showed demonstrators burning a Colonial American flag. (James McAuley)
Hundreds gathered outside the home of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D).

They demanded he defund the police department and fire the city’s police chief, Michel Moore. On Monday, Moore said looters share equal responsibility for Floyd’s death as police officers, a comment for which he later apologized. Garcetti condemned the statement but defended the chief. “If I believed for a moment that the chief believed that in his heart, he would no longer be our chief of police,” said Garcetti. (Allyson Chiu)

  • A growing number of far-right extremists who organized online are inserting themselves into the protests, sowing confusion and seeking attention for their causes, often wearing Hawaiian shirts -- a seemingly goofy uniform that, within the ranks of their movement, signals adherence to a violent, divisive and anti-government ideology. (Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Souad Mekhennet)
  • The FBI found “no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violence that occurred over the weekend during D.C.-area protests, despite Trump’s claims that the movement was behind it. (The Nation)
  • Mark Zuckerberg continued defending his decision to not take action against Trump’s “when looting begins, the shooting begins” post, despite growing employee anger. (Elizabeth Dwoskin)

A timely reminder that we've been much more divided than this – not that long ago, in the sweep of history: Irene Triplett, the last person to receive a pension from the Civil War, died at 90. Triplett received the pension because of her father, Mose Triplett, who started out fighting for the Confederacy before defecting to the Union. He died in 1938. But his decision to switch sides earned Irene a pension of $73.13 a month from the VA. (WSJ)

The elections

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) lost his primary challenge, making him the first member of Congress to be toppled in 2020.  

“Support for King started to evaporate last year after he made racially offensive remarks that forced national Republicans to distance themselves from the conservative Iowa firebrand. That gave an opening to state Sen. Randy Feenstra, who garnered support from national GOP groups [like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce] and from some prominent Iowa conservatives who argued that King undermined his influence in Washington with his drumbeat of provocative behavior. Feenstra led by nine points late Tuesday,” Mike DeBonis reports.

In New Mexico, former CIA operative Valerie Plame lost her bid for the Democratic nomination in a solidly blue open House seat. Teresa Leger Fernandez won the race to replace Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D), who is favored to win the retiring Tom Udall's Senate seat. Plame, whose covert identity was exposed shorty after her diplomat husband disputed U.S. intelligence used to justify the Iraq invasion, had outpaced all competitors in campaign contributions, but it wasn’t enough. Leger Fernandez ran to her left. (AP)  

Ferguson, Mo., elected its first black mayor. Ella Jones (D) will be not only the first black mayor but also the first woman in the position, six years after the city erupted in protests over the death of black teenager Michael Brown. (NYT)

D.C. Council member Brandon Todd lost Tuesday’s Democratic primary to challenger Janeese Lewis George, according to preliminary returns, while attorney Brooke Pinto narrowly leads a crowded field for the Ward 2 council seat. “Former council member Jack Evans — who relinquished the Ward 2 seat in January while facing expulsion for ethics violations — trailed far behind in the mostly mail-in primary,” Julie Zauzmer and Fenit Nirappil report. “George — who bills herself as a Democratic socialist — captured about 54 percent of the vote in Ward 4, compared to 44 percent for Todd, who was first elected to the council five years ago and is a close ally of [Bowser]. She campaigned for him Tuesday.”

Trump said the GOP is looking to move its convention out of North Carolina. 

The announcement comes “after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper refused to heed a party demand that he pre-authorize a gathering of at least 19,000 people,” Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey report. “Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel had said earlier in the day that the party would begin exploring options outside North Carolina. … Cooper said the GOP is demanding a packed arena for the convention, as well as full restaurants, hotels and bars. Given the uncertain health situation, he wrote, a smaller event with social distancing and face coverings ‘is a necessity.’ … Republicans are exploring the possibility of moving the convention to multiple cities, according to two GOP officials, including Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando; Las Vegas; and Nashville.

Quote of the day

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y) was caught on a hot mic during a news conference about the protests in the Bronx. “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” said the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who is seeking a 17th term. (Felicia Sonmez)

The coronavirus remains

To protest safely during the pandemic, wear masks, goggles and bringing hand sanitizer.

“Besides wearing a mask, experts say protesters should make their statements with placards and signs and avoid the sort of chanting and yelling that propel potentially infected droplets into the air,” Tal Abbady reports. “If you’re sick, however, stay home. If you have underlying health issues that put you at risk, evaluate your priorities carefully. And if you live with anyone whose health or age makes them vulnerable to a serious covid-19 infection, consider deeply your obligation to protect them. … Amnesty International’s ‘Safety During Protest’ page [also] advises people to bring water bottles — several, you may be out for long hours in the heat — with squirt tops to drink or to rinse out eyes or skin in the event of injury.”

Coronavirus infections surpassed 1.8 million in the U.S.

“Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Moderna’s potential vaccine, which is entering its second round of clinical trials. A new survey shows 70 percent of Americans would get immunized,” Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan and Rick Noack report. Fauci said Phase 3 of the vaccine’s trial will begin in July and will include the study of thousands of patients who will be as young as 18, Forbes reports. “In an interview Tuesday with the editor of JAMA, Fauci said the trial will include primarily U.S. sites … A phase 3 trial is considered the final stage before potential approval by the Food and Drug Administration, which would make it available for patients across the country."  

Nearly 600 workers at a Tyson Foods pork plant in Iowa tested positive for the virus. 

“That's a quarter of the 2,303 workers who work at the facility and were tested for COVID-19. Tyson said in a statement that more than 75 percent of the workers who tested positive didn't show any symptoms and otherwise wouldn't have been identified,” the Sioux City Journal reports. “Tyson is expected to resume limited production at the Storm Lake plant on Wednesday, following a temporary halt for deep cleaning and sanitizing.”

Virginia is moving on to its next phase of reopening. 

“Most of Virginia will move to the next phase of reopening on Friday, in which, among other things, restaurants will be allowed indoor dining at half capacity and gyms and fitness centers can open at 30 percent capacity, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Tuesday. But Northern Virginia and the city of Richmond, which have been hit harder by the novel coronavirus, will remain in Phase 1 of Northam’s plan to return to normalcy,” Antonio Olivo reports

  • The University of Southern California said it will resume in-person classes in the fall. (Antonia Farzan)
  • Alaska’s plan to make coronavirus testing mandatory for travelers faces backlash and questions about logistics. (Farzan)
A massive Raphael exhibit reopened in Rome. Only six people can enter every five minutes.

“The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition took three years to come together. Organizers arranged for the careful transport of Raphael masterpieces loaned from London, Washington, Florence, Madrid. The insurance bill was 4 billion euros,” Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli report. “One 1510 painting, ‘The Alba Madonna,’ had belonged over the centuries to Spanish nobility, the emperor of Russia and American banker Andrew Mellon, who acquired it in a secret Soviet art sell-off. At last, it was back in Italy for the first time since the 17th century. Just in time for the pandemic."

Social media speed read

This woman was hit by a rubber bullet in Lafayette Square on Monday night:

Children are showing up at protests, and some have good questions: 

A white professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas said he was once arrested for a forged $20 bill, like Floyd, but his charges were dropped after a six-month probationary period and a night at jail:

Trump was overheard telling the first lady to smile as they posed for pictures Tuesday at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine:

Videos of the day

Several Republican senators refused to answer when asked if they approve of the forcible clearing out of Lafayette Square, making up excuses about being late to lunch or claiming that they were unfamiliar with the details:

Seth Meyers broke down Trump’s threat to unleash the military on protesters: