with Mariana Alfaro

Deborah Birx was at a vacation home in Delaware when White House communications staffers called to say they needed to put her on the Sunday shows. Ever the good soldier, the coordinator of President Trump’s coronavirus task force appeared remotely on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Asked whether schools should fully reopen, Birx answered: “If you have high caseload and active community spread … we are asking people to distance learn at this moment, so we can get this epidemic under control.”

Administration officials say Birx has been arguing this privately, citing recent studies to make her case, but saying so publicly was one of the factors that put her crosswise with Trump. The president responded to the interview by calling her “pathetic!” in a tweet on Monday morning and continued his aggressive push to fully reopen schools during an afternoon news conference, disregarding warnings against doing so from a chorus of public health experts while ignoring mounting evidence that this could lead to potentially deadly outbreaks.

Trump closed out the day by reiterating his view on Twitter at 11:22 p.m.:

Now that August has arrived, bringing the start of a new academic year for some districts, the clash over whether to reopen schools for in-person learning has arguably transcended the debate over mask mandates to become the biggest flashpoint in the ongoing culture war over how to respond to this novel coronavirus. Trump believes getting kids back in classrooms is essential to revving up the economy before the election so that parents can return to work, but many of the president’s own advisers fear that doing so too soon will be counterproductive if new infections continue to spike.

These fights are playing out far beyond Washington, in communities and even countries across the globe.

Protesters in at least three dozen school districts across the country, from New York and Philadelphia in the East to Los Angeles in the West, took to the streets on Monday in demonstrations backed by teachers’ unions to demand that science drive decisions about when and how to resume in-person learning. “In Milwaukee, the Teachers’ Education Association tweeted pictures of protesters making fake gravestones that said, for example, ‘RIP GRANDMA CAUGHT COVID HELPING GRANDKIDS WITH HOMEWORK,’” Valerie Strauss reports. “In Baltimore, teachers and students and others protested outside a Comcast building to demand the company provide improved Internet service for students. …

Still, some districts have already begun the 2020-21 academic year by reopening school buildings, and already covid-19 cases have been reported in some of them. In Georgia’s Gwinnett County, some 260 employees tested positive or had possibly been exposed to the coronavirus a day after teachers returned to work last week and were told to stay home. Alcoa City Schools in Tennessee recently opened but a few days later, a student tested positive for the virus. At Corinth High School in Mississippi, in-person classes started last week and within days, three students tested positive for the coronavirus and others went into quarantine as a result of contact tracing.”

Maryland’s governor and leaders of the state’s largest jurisdiction clashed Monday over whether private schools should be able to bring students back on campus for in-person learning,” Donna St. George, Erin Cox and Hannah Natanson report. “Three days after Montgomery County’s top public health official said that private and parochial schools would have to stick to online teaching until at least Oct. 1, Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday sought to invalidate the county directive. … Hogan (R) said school systems and private schools should have sole authority to determine when and how to safely reopen; local health officials may shut down schools only on a case-by-case basis for health reasons. … 

Private schools have explored options including hybrid approaches that combine distance education with in-person learning. Many schools were still finalizing plans, but many families expected some degree of on-campus instruction in the fall. … Private schools affected by the Montgomery County directive and governor’s order include St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, the private school in Potomac attended by Barron Trump, the president’s youngest child. Parents of Montgomery County private school students filed a federal lawsuit Monday asking a judge to overturn the county health director’s order, which attorney Tim Maloney said still stands and could be enforced unless the county rescinds it — or a court invalidates it.”

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has said schools must reopen in some capacity two weeks from now. But the head of public instruction for the state, an elected position, said in a statement on Monday that in-person learning is still unsafe. “Every indicator shows that there is high community spread across the state,” said Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. “As school leaders, we should prepare our families and teachers for the reality that it is unlikely that any school community will be able to reopen safely for traditional in-person or hybrid instruction by August 17th. Our state is simply not ready to have all our students and educators congregate in school facilities.”

Jeff Gregorich, superintendent of schools at Hayden Winkelman Unified School District in Arizona, was blunter. “There’s no way it can be safe," he told Eli Saslow. “If you think anything else, I’m sorry, but it’s a fantasy. Kids will get sick, or worse. Family members will die. Teachers will die."

College students who have come back to campus are testing positive. The Northwestern University football team paused its preseason workouts in Evanston, Ill., after someone involved tested positive. “NU is the sixth Big Ten program to pause its preseason workouts at some point this summer, following Indiana, Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland and Michigan State,” per the Daily Northwestern.

Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, a top NFL draft prospect, opted out of the upcoming season and accused his school of being lax in its coronavirus-related protocols. Out West, the Big 12 announced Monday night that its football teams will play a 10-game schedule this fall with one nonconference home matchup. Down South, the University of Texas at Austin sent an email to all students saying that all parties, whether on or off campus, will be banned when they are scheduled to come back in three weeks.

The United Nations said in a 26-page report issued this morning that as many as 100 countries have not yet announced a date for schools to reopen. The report says over 1 billion students are impacted, and at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education “in their critical preschool year.” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video address accompanying the report that this poses the threat of “a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”

“We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Guterres said. “The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come.”

“UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education Stefania Giannini told reporters the Paris-based agency plans to hold a high-level virtual meeting in the fall, likely during the second half of October, to secure commitments from world leaders and the international community to place education at the forefront of recovery agendas from the pandemic,” the AP reports. “There may be economic trade-offs, but the longer schools remain closed the more devastating the impact, especially on the poorest and most vulnerable children,” she said.

A study published on Monday by The Lancet warns that Britain could be hit by a severe second wave of the coronavirus this winter — double the size of the initial outbreak — if the country’s test and trace system does not improve substantially before schools reopen in September. Researchers at University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used computer models and a range of scenarios to determine the impact reopening schools on a full-time or part-time basis would have on public health, per Jennifer Hassan.

Trump said Birx offered a gloomy assessment of the coronavirus situation to save face after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized her for carrying water for the president. “In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us,” Trump tweeted. “Pathetic!”

“Birx finds herself isolated with increasingly few allies even as she remains responsible for overseeing the nation’s response to a cataclysmic crisis,” Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb report. “Trump has grown exhausted by the dismal coronavirus news and just wants the issue to be behind him. … In recent weeks, her time in the Oval Office has dropped, officials said, and she is not always part of decision-making meetings led by Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. … Within the administration, several current and former senior officials described Birx as a politically shrewd power player … But some of these same officials also noted that Birx has made enemies within the White House, in part because a growing number of aides believe she takes different positions with different people and because of sharp attacks on some colleagues.”

Meanwhile, Birx’s reputation has taken a hit in the public health world where she has spent her career because she is perceived as too much of a cheerleader for the administration’s response. “He’s been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data,” Birx told the Christian Broadcasting Network in late March. “At the time, Trump was pushing the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, an unproven medical treatment for the coronavirus, and was arguing in favor of reopening the country by Easter despite surging cases across the country,” per Ashley, Josh and Yasmeen. “Another controversial moment came when Birx defended Georgia’s reopening in April, which included tattoo parlors and hair salons, where people cannot be socially distant from each other. Public health officials were also dismayed at reports that Birx was questioning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official coronavirus death count as too high, when nearly all experts believe it is probably too low.”

Trump met with Birx on Monday afternoon. During his news conference, he walked back his harsh morning attacks. Trump said he has “a lot of respect” for Birx. Then the president attacked Pelosi for treating her “very, very badly.”

Isaias is blasting the Mid-Atlantic with drenching rain and high winds.

“After crashing ashore near the South Carolina-North Carolina border as a Category 1 hurricane late Monday, Tropical Storm Isaias is set to sweep through the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday and through the Northeast late Tuesday into early Wednesday. The storm unleashed 90-mph wind gusts and tornadoes as it came ashore, while causing historic storm surge inundation in Myrtle Beach. It is set to produce torrential rain, damaging winds, tornadoes and coastal flooding from Virginia to Maine,” Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman report.

  • “About 333,000 utility customers in Virginia were without power Tuesday morning,” Dana Hedgpeth reports.
  • “Earlier, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for areas southeast of the District and a flood warning for Fairfax County. The flood warning has been expanded to cover the District, northern Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, while the flash flood warning now covers most of our eastern suburbs,” per Matt Rogers and Samenow.
  • Follow our tracking map here.

More on the coronavirus

Distributing a vaccine to tens of millions of Americans may be as daunting as creating it. 

“With only six months to the government’s target date for approving a vaccine, the administration has shared limited and often confusing information about its plans for distribution, making it difficult for overwhelmed state and local officials, including those who run immunization programs, to prepare,” Lena Sun reports. “‘It’s probably the hardest thing they’re going to do,’ Paul A. Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of a federal vaccine advisory group, said of the effort to distribute vaccines to every corner of America and immunize as many people as quickly as possible. … ‘This is a slow-motion train wreck,’ said one state official who has been involved in planning efforts … The National Governors Association, a policy group representing both Republican and Democratic executives, urged governors Monday to start planning for the vaccine effort now, noting the ‘high degree of uncertainty as to the exact processes and procedures that will be used for operations, administration, and logistics,’ according to a policy memo.” Trump said at his presser that “we’re on pace to have a vaccine available this year, maybe far in advance of the end of the year,” but the head of the World Health Organization warned yesterday that “there’s no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be.”  

The contagion is surging in several Midwest states. 

“Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma are among those witnessing the largest percentage surge of infections over the past week, while, adjusted for population, the number of new cases in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama still outpaced all other states, according to a Washington Post analysis of health data. Experts also see worrying trends emerging in major East Coast and Midwest cities, and they anticipate major outbreaks in college towns as classes resume in August,” Anne Gearan, John Wagner and Jacqueline Dupree report. “At least 4.6 million coronavirus cases and 151,000 fatalities have been reported in the United States since February. … 

"Tailored Brands, which also owns JoS. A. Bank, K&G and Moores, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Sunday evening, the same day that department store chain Lord & Taylor did so. They are among about a dozen large retailers that have tipped into bankruptcy as pandemic-fueled store closures sent sales plummeting. Top executives at Disney, Microsoft, Mastercard and IBM were among more than 100 business leaders who called on Congress to provide emergency relief for small businesses facing economic calamity. … The business leaders predict another wave of permanent business closures by Labor Day if the government does not provide aid.” 

Trump said he’s considering executive orders on evictions and payroll taxes if he can’t reach a congressional deal. 

“He later said he could act to prevent people from having to go to homeless shelters, where he said they could be at higher risk of catching the coronavirus,” Erica Werner, Jeff Stein and Karoun Demirjian report. “Similarly, he told reporters he could use an executive order to lower payroll taxes, after the idea generated little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill. … His new comments came as senior White House aides gave markedly different takes on where the talks with Democrats stand. Pressure has been increasing since the enhanced unemployment benefits and the moratorium on housing evictions expired. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the White House was open to a bigger package than recently envisioned, but Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said both sides were very far apart. … Mnuchin and Meadows met Monday with [Pelosi] and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for about two hours. Schumer said afterward that the group was making progress and that the issue of executive orders had not come up.”

  • As Trump continues to downplay the importance for testing, White House staffers were told on Monday that they will now be subjected to mandatory random testing for the virus. (Politico)
  • Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer aren’t negotiating with each other. The party leaders have yet to sit down to see if they can cut a deal. (CNN)
  • “Some 23 million people nationwide at risk of being evicted, according to The Aspen Institute … Around 30 state moratoriums have expired since May, according to The Eviction Lab at Princeton University. On top of that, some tenants were already encountering illegal evictions even with the moratoriums,” the AP reports.
  • Housing advocates are urging Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to ban evictions during the pandemic, but Northam says an executive order would cause more problems than it would solve, and he has asked courts, including the Virginia Supreme Court, to suspend evictions through early September. (Patricia Sullivan)
  • The chairman of the Arlington County Republican Committee was kicked out of a Facebook group for posting personal information of people who complained about county businesses not enforcing rules on masks and physical distancing. (Sullivan)
  • A woman blamed Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for her husband’s death from covid-19 in a paid obituary that ran in the local paper in Jefferson, Tex. (Jaclyn Peiser)
Seven players and six staffers for the St. Louis Cardinals tested positive over the past week.

This has prompted Major League Baseball to postpone four more games and extend the team’s shutdown until at least Friday. (Dave Sheinin)

  • Philadelphia Eagles Coach Doug Pederson said he’s running the team from home while in quarantine after testing positive. (Mark Maske and Matt Bonesteel
  • Major League Soccer is close to finalizing plans to resume its season outside Orlando, with games played in home markets, later this month. (Steven Goff)
  • A journalist tested positive for the virus after covering Trump’s Friday visit to Tampa Bay. The reporter, who wasn’t identified, was in a room with other journalists, as well as Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Sen. Rick Scott (R). (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Covid-19 cases in the Bahamas surged after international visitors were allowed back. The prime minister announced a new lockdown after largely stamping out the virus. Nearly 680 cases were reported on Monday alone. (Antonia Farzan
  • New York City’s socially distanced dining experiment will return next year, with or without the virus. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said more than 9,000 restaurants have participated in the program, which allowed them to seat guests on streets and sidewalks converted into dining rooms, which he claimed has helped to preserve roughly 80,000 jobs. (Farzan)

The Trump presidency

Chad Wolf has emerged as Trump’s favorite Homeland Security chief.

“Wolf’s journey from mid-level lobbyist to DHS staffer to the face of the president’s police crackdown on protesters whom Trump calls ‘anarchists’ has taken a roundabout path that says as much about the trajectory of the DHS under Trump as the person now running the department. The use of the DHS as an instrument of the president’s agenda — first at the Mexican border and now in U.S. cities — has alarmed many who have come to see the department as the enforcement arm of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ plans, and Wolf as his enabler,” Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey report. “After 3½ years, the president finally is happy with a DHS chief, according to White House aides. And while Wolf’s predecessors sometimes pushed back at Trump’s attempts to break rules and bend norms to fit his desired policies, Trump now has a DHS chief giving him the answers he wants. … 

“Trump called Wolf frequently during the Portland standoff, sometimes early in the morning, when action on the streets was still playing out on the West Coast, according to administration officials … Wolf regularly talks to Stephen Miller, a top Trump aide who controls White House immigration policy. … Once hesitant, Wolf now looks for opportunities to do conservative media hits … His rhetoric has become more bellicose, in contrast to his predecessors … ‘He sees as key to survival amplifying the White House’s message,’ one of these officials said. … Wolf’s colleagues say he believes without reservation that his use of federal agents to protect the courthouse was justified, and he grew more determined after DHS personnel were injured in the clashes.”

Trump said the U.S. government should collect a “substantial” cut of any TikTok sale.

“Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump reiterated that he wants TikTok [owned by Beijing-based ByteDance] to be forced to cease operations in the United States by around Sept. 15 if it is not sold to Microsoft or another U.S.-based company. If that sale goes through, the president said, part of the proceeds should be paid to U.S. taxpayers as compensation for operating in America,” Jeff Stein, Rachel Lerman, Jay Greene and Jeanne Whalen report. “‘The United States should be reimbursed or paid because without the United States they don’t have anything.’ The president added: ‘It’s a little bit like the landlord-tenant. Without a lease, the tenant has nothing. So they pay what’s called key money or they pay something.’ At a White House media briefing later on Monday, Trump said that the United States ‘should get a very large percentage of that price’ of the sale.” Other countries, including India, Australia, Japan and the E.U., are also growing wary of TikTok. India banned the app earlier this year, per Jennifer Hassan and Ruby Mellen.

A new filing suggests the Manhattan District Attorney may be investigating Trump for possible fraud.  

“Trump's renewed effort to shield his tax returns is part of a delay campaign seeking the immunity from prosecution that the Supreme Court has rejected, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in a court filing Monday that suggests it is looking at a broader array of possible criminal activity than previously acknowledged,” Shayna Jacobs reports. “District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is seeking eight years of the president’s tax records as part of his investigation into payments made ahead of the 2016 election to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump several years prior, and whether any business records were manipulated in violation of New York state law. Trump, who has denied the women’s allegations, continues to fight the grand jury subpoena for his records issued to accounting firm Mazars USA a year ago. Monday’s filing suggests the district attorney also may be looking at ‘alleged insurance and bank fraud,’ as cited in past reports by The Post and other news organizations. Such ‘publicly available information itself establishes a satisfactory predicate for the subpoena,’ the filing says. … Trump dismissed the investigation as ‘Democrat stuff,’ saying, ‘This is just a continuation of the worst witch hunt in American history.’" 

The Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 Census a month earlier than planned. 

“That includes critical door-knocking efforts and collecting responses online, over the phone and by mail,” NPR reports. “With roughly 4 out of 10 households nationwide yet to be counted and already delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people of color, immigrants, renters, rural residents and other members of historically undercounted groups who are not likely to fill out a census form on their own.”

A political appointee to USAID was forced out following a series of anti-gay tweets. 

“USAID announced that Merritt Corrigan, the White House liaison since her appointment in the spring, was ‘no longer an employee’ of the foreign aid agency as of 3 p.m. Monday,” Carol Morello reports. “Earlier in the afternoon, Corrigan had written an angry series of tweets targeting gay and transgender people. … Corrigan, who could not be reached for comment, said she planned to attend a news conference Thursday ‘to discuss the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID.’"

Trump fired two members of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board of directors, including one of his own appointees. 

“At a midday White House meeting that included a handful of TVA employees, the president issued an executive order and singled out the TVA for ‘unfairly replacing American workers with low-cost foreign labor.’ But that’s not the case. The TVA contracts, which require the work be done on U.S. soil, are the same as those issued by other federal agencies and do not specify whether the contractors use U.S. workers or skilled foreigners working in the United States legally, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said,” per Steven Mufson. “Trump threatened to oust more of the TVA board if it did not change its decision. Part of the way into the meeting, the president held up a note saying that TVA chief executive Jeff Lyash had called to express ‘a very strong willingness to reverse course.’ Trump said TVA was threatening more than 200 high-skilled jobs. But Hopson estimated that while 164 employees would be affected, 52 of them had already found other jobs within TVA or elsewhere. … 

“This isn’t the first time TVA has clashed with Trump. The utility, which serves 10 million customers in seven states, voted in February 2019 to close down two aging, money-losing coal plants despite a tweet by Trump urging the utility keep them open. All four Trump appointees at the time voted to close the one in Bull Run in Tennessee and three of four voted to shut down Paradise 3 in Kentucky. … Trump on Monday reiterated his criticism. … TVA, citing climate change, has also added substantial amounts of solar and wind power, as well as a nuclear plant to its existing fleet of power plants. Including hydropower, more than half is carbon-free.”

Trump is leaning into attacks on mail voting as GOP officials confront signs of a turnout crisis. 

“State and local Republicans across the country fear they are falling dramatically behind in a practice that is expected to be key to voter turnout this year. Through mailers and Facebook ads, they are racing to promote absentee balloting among their own,” Amy Gardner and Dawsey report. “In the process, some Republican officials have tried to draw a distinction between ‘absentee ballots,’ which Trump claims are secure, and ‘mail ballots,’ which he has repeatedly attacked. The terms are typically used interchangeably.”

  • Mail problems marred the delivery of absentee ballots in Michigan in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary in the state, testing election administrators and ramping up fears of political pressure on the U.S. Postal Service just three months before Nov. 3. (Elise Viebeck and Kayla Ruble)
  • Republicans in Kansas will decide today whether to nominate little-known congressman Roger Marshall, considered the safe choice by the establishment, or conservative firebrand Kris Kobach, who blew a winnable governor’s race in 2018, to run for the open seat of retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. Trump has stayed neutral. McConnell warns that Republicans could lose the seat if Kobach prevails in the primary. (Paul Kane)
Two people linked to rapper Kanye West’s presidential campaign are also active in GOP politics. 

Chuck Wilton, one of West’s Vermont electors, is a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention, while Gregg Keller, a prominent Republican operative who is plugged into Trump world, was listed as the point of contact for Kanye’s campaign in a filing with the Arkansas secretary of state. Many operatives in both parties see the rapper’s quixotic candidacy as an attempt to siphon away Black votes from Joe Biden to help Trump get reelected. West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, said last month that her husband suffers from bipolar disorder. (New York Magazine)

Congressional Republicans are pleading with Trump to release funds for a U.S. Internet freedom initiative.

“Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement after the head of the Washington-based Open Technology Fund said last week it has been forced to cut off tools used by tens of millions to access the Internet and uncensored news through the Voice of America,” Spencer Hsu reports. “Places affected include Hong Kong, where online freedom has become a flash point between the United States and China. The Chinese government ‘could move any day’ to shut down Internet communications for the territory’s 7 million residents, cutting off political opponents from the free world, McCaul said, yet the U.S. has frozen the fund’s efforts to protect that access for weeks.”

Parts of the FBI are moving to Alabama.

“There is ample financial support and a clear plan for another FBI headquarters project, one in Hunstville, Ala., that will welcome 1,500 of the bureau’s headquarters staff from the Washington region next year and probably thousands more in coming years,” Jonathan O’Connell and Erica Werner report. “The principal architect of the flow of FBI staff to Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal complex is Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee who has shepherded the project through approvals and secured $1.1 billion in funding for it over the past four years. During the same time period, Trump has fixated on building a new FBI headquarters in the District of Columbia, including his recent insistence that the Senate GOP novel coronavirus bill include a $1.8 billion request for the idea. But Trump’s request has further hardened opposition from Democrats who are angry with the president for canceling in 2017 a years-long effort by the bureau to construct a secure campus in the Washington suburbs.”

Quote of the day

Trump said he doesn't know how history will remember Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), whose memorial services he skipped last week. "I don’t know John Lewis," the president told Axios. "He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that’s OK. That’s his right. And, again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have. He should’ve come. I think he made a big mistake. I think he should’ve come.”

Divided America

The federal judge whose son was killed by an “anti-feminist” shooter asked for better protection of personal information. 

“We are living every parent’s worst nightmare making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel," Judge Esther Salas said, crying at times as she spoke, during a nine-minute video. “My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure, and I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain.” Salas, who lives in New Jersey and serves on the federal bench there, said she and her colleagues understand and accept that their rulings will sometimes anger people. "But what we cannot accept is when we are forced to live in fear for our lives when personal information like our home addresses can easily be obtained by anyone seeking to do us or our families harm,” she said. (Devlin Barrett)

A small-town Virginia mayor is under siege after posting a racist, sexist comment on Facebook.

The Facebook page of Luray, Va., Mayor Barry Presgraves posted a statement that said ‘Joe Biden just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick,’” Patricia Sullivan reports. “Presgraves, who is completing his second term and not running for reelection this fall, could not immediately be reached for comment. His colleagues on the town council are apparently having trouble reaching him as well.… Commenters on that post, and elsewhere on social media, called for censure or removal of the mayor.” 

  • The police chief of Aurora, Colo., apologized after a viral video showed officers handcuffing Black girls in a mistaken stop. (Teo Armus)
  • Two Black mothers took their kids to the National Mall. Secret Service officers confronted them with guns. (Katie Mettler)
  • Tulsa officials temporarily suspended an order to remove a Black Lives Matter mural after protesters placed symbolic tombstones over it bearing the names of Black people shot by police or killed in the city’s 1921 race massacre. (DeNeen Brown)

Social media speed read

A Trump campaign email included a message by the president encouraging his supporters to wear masks:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tried to get a message through to the president:

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee knocked Trump for attacking Birx:

Videos of the day

Watch Axios's full 38-minute interview with Trump here:

Seth Meyers said Trump probably doesn’t know what TikTok does, even as he threatens to ban the app:

And an Alabama high school principal made a “Can’t Touch This” parody for the covid-19 era: