with Mariana Alfaro

Most American parents disapprove of President Trump’s push to fully reopen schools amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. According to a Washington Post-Schar School survey conducted by Ipsos, 63 percent of parents disapprove of how the Trump administration has handled this issue while 36 percent approve. While 44 percent strongly disapprove, a far smaller 15 percent strongly approve. These views are mirrored among the broader public at large in a parallel survey.

With the election three months away, and the country contending with its worst public health crisis in a century, this is the latest example of Trump being on the opposite side of the majority of Americans. Even some of Trump’s top advisers, including White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx, have privately argued against the president’s push to fully reopen schools.

Because more people have come to accept the public health value of wearing masks, whether to send kids back to classrooms has become arguably the biggest flashpoint in the ongoing culture wars over how to control the contagion. This new survey finds deep partisan, socioeconomic and racial divides on questions relating not just to Trump’s approach but also, taking the president out of it, what they think would be the correct solution.

While 75 percent of Republican parents approve of the Trump administration’s approach, 31 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats do. While 48 percent of White parents back the administration’s approach, 11 percent of Black parents and 22 percent of Hispanic parents do. Among parents with children enrolled in private schools, 49 percent approve of the administration’s handling of the issue, compared to 34 percent who have children in public or charter schools.

More than 80 percent of parents in the new poll favor holding school at least partly online. “But parents also express serious concerns with online schooling,” Laura Meckler and Emily Guskin report. “Given three options for the fall, a plurality of parents — 44 percent — want their schools to offer a mix of online and in-person classes, an idea that has been considered by many school districts and adopted by some. In a close second place is all-virtual education, favored by 39 percent of parents. Fully in-person school, the approach pushed by [Trump] and his allies in Congress, comes in a distant third, with 16 percent favoring it for their children. A separate question finds that two-thirds of parents oppose requiring all public schools to open for in-person classes five days a week.”

On Wednesday night, Facebook removed from Trump’s official account the post of a video clip from a telephone interview the president gave Fox News earlier in the day in which, while arguing that schools should fully reopen, he falsely claimed that children are “almost immune” from covid-19. Twitter required the Trump campaign account to delete a tweet with the same video, blocking it from tweeting in the interim. 

“While many children have had milder symptoms from the virus, researchers have found they are still able to catch and spread it to other people, including adults at home and in school settings, such as teachers,” Heather Kelly notes. “More than 240,000 children in the United States have been documented to have covid-19 … Around 300 children have contracted a rare inflammatory disease due to covid-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, and six have died.”

Every day brings more cautionary tales that highlight the danger of reopening too soon. “Last week, schools in Corinth, Miss., welcomed back hundreds of students. By Friday, one high schooler tested positive for the novel coronavirus. By early this week, the count rose to six students and one staff member infected. Now, 116 students have been sent home to quarantine,” Jaclyn Peiser reports. “In southeast Kansas, six school administrators tested positive after attending a three-day retreat. And within hours of opening, a school in Greenfield, Ind., was informed by the health department that a student had the virus.”

Fourth-graders in a North Carolina private school system that Vice President Pence applauded last week for reopening must now quarantine for 14 days, along with their teachers, after a student tested positive. “The school, a Thales Academy in Wake Forest, said it was notified on Monday that the [asymptomatic] student became infected after having contact with an infected family member,” ABC News reports. “Thales Academy, a network of private non-sectarian community schools with eight locations in North Carolina, made the news last week after [Pence] and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited … a campus in Apex [about 30 miles away from Wake Forest]. … ‘We're here today because to open up America, we've got to open up America's schools and Thales Academy is literally in the forefront,’ Pence said. … Because the school network is private, it doesn't have to adhere to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's school reopening guidelines.”

Stories like this do not appear to be outliers. A Georgia second-grader tested positive after the first day of school, forcing the child’s whole class and teacher to be sent home to quarantine for two weeks, per CBS News.

North Paulding High School, about an hour outside Atlanta, reopened Monday despite an outbreak among members of its high school football team, many of whom, a Facebook video shows, worked out together in a crowded indoor gym last week as part of a weightlifting fundraiser,” BuzzFeed News reports. “Within days of that workout, several North Paulding players had tested positive for the coronavirus. The school’s parents were notified just hours before the first day of class. And multiple teachers at North Paulding say there are positive tests among school staff, including a staff member who came into contact with most teachers at the school while exhibiting symptoms last week. …

“Despite recommendations from CDC health officials, the district has called mask-wearing a ‘personal choice’ and said that social distancing ‘will not be possible to enforce’ in ‘most cases.’ … Some students at North Paulding say they were forced to attend school in person because all of the slots for the district’s virtual learning option were filled. … On Wednesday, the school addressed the controversy that had swirled around [a viral photograph of its crowded hallways] via an intercom announcement from North Paulding High School principal Gabe Carmona. … He stated that any student found criticizing the school on social media could face disciplinary consequences.”

Eight in 10 parents say they worry going back into school on a full schedule will lead to teachers or their families becoming sick. “Nearly as many say opening schools could lead to their own children or families getting sick, with majorities of Black and Hispanic parents saying they are ‘very concerned’ about this, compared with about one-third of White parents,” per Meckler and Guskin. “Yet most parents — even some who say it’s safe to open schools — are also concerned about the consequences of more virtual education. Nearly 7 in 10 say they worry children will fall behind in their education. Just over 6 in 10 say they worry their children’s friendships will suffer and almost as many worry that their kids will become depressed.”

The poll, conducted July 24 to 31, interviewed 1,185 parents with children entering kindergarten through 12th grade from Ipsos’s randomly sampled panel of U.S. households. Results among parents carry a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Scott Clement contributed to this report.

More back-to-school team coverage:
  • Hannah Natanson and Valerie Strauss: “America is about to start online learning, Round 2. For millions of students, it won’t be any better.”
  • Perry Stein and Strauss: “Special education students are not just falling behind — they’re losing key skills, parents say.”
  • Rebecca Tan, Laura Vozzella and Fenit Nirappil: “Montgomery County’s top health official issued an order late Wednesday directing private schools to suspend in-person teaching until Oct. 1, a directive that officials say bypasses Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s request that private schools have sole authority over when and how to reopen.”
  • A.C. Shilton and Joe Heim: “A Tennessee school district reopens amid pressure and pandemic fears.”
  • The Lily’s Soo Youn: “Parents are on edge as the school year looms. These mental health experts have advice on how to cope.”
  • On Parenting’s Jessica Lahey and Tim Lahey: “A guide to all the factors keeping parents and educators up at night.”

More on the coronavirus response

Trump threatened to use executive power if there's no coronavirus relief deal by the end of the week.

The president says he is willing to unilaterally extend an eviction moratorium, suspend collection of the payroll tax and boost unemployment benefits. “Although Democrats suggested they were making progress, albeit slowly, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows declared Wednesday evening that the two sides remained ‘trillions of dollars apart,’” Erica Werner and Jeff Stein report.  

The Labor Department announced this morning that 1.19 million people filed new unemployment insurance claims last week, down from 1.43 million the week previously. “The numbers of new claimants have come down from their peak in March of more than six million, but they are still well above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 from 1982,” Eli Rosenberg reports. This is the 20th straight week that more than 1 million Americans filed jobless claims.

In the talks on Capitol Hill, expired unemployment benefits remain a flashpoint. “Trump administration officials proposed reducing the figure to $400 weekly through early December,” per Werner, Karoun Demirjian and Stein. "But Democrats have refused to move off the $600 figure … Democrats are seeking about $1 trillion in new aid for states and localities that have laid off more than 1 million workers since February and that face the prospect of more mass layoffs because of a huge drop in tax revenue. … The Trump administration is now offering $150 billion in state and local aid … Republicans are also arguing that other money — such as the $105 billion they support for schools — should qualify as state aid, an argument Democrats reject.

Democrats also have grown increasingly focused on issues with the U.S. Postal Service. Mail delays have been occurring in various places … [Chuck] Schumer and [Nancy] Pelosi demanded to meet with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who participated in a portion of Wednesday’s negotiating session … Democrats are now seeking $10 billion in spending for the Postal Service over a year, a change from the $25 billion over three years that was their original proposal … White House and Democratic negotiators plan to meet again Thursday at 5 p.m. for what is expected to be a lengthy session aimed at determining whether a deal is in reach ahead of the Friday deadline set by the White House.”

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended his absence from the talks in an interview with Politico.
  • The Fact Checker gives Three Pinocchios to Schumer for claiming on MSNBC that the Senate GOP bill would allow “no medical malpractice suits till 2024, even if they’re not covid-related.” The bill allows such suits, Sal Rizzo notes.
  • Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), ranking Democrat on the Senate committee overseeing the Postal Service, said he will begin an inquiry into changes there. (Jacob Bogage)
Legal scholars dispute Trump’s claims he can use unlimited executive power.

“Trump has routinely asserted his outsize view of presidential power, but his claim to unprecedented clout in recent weeks springs from an unlikely source: one of his defeats at the Supreme Court,” Robert Barnes reports. “The source of Trump’s recent bravado appears to be provocative articles by a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley whose expansive views of presidential power match Trump’s. John Yoo, the professor, has proclaimed Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s opinion stopping the Trump administration from dismantling the Obama-era program protecting young undocumented immigrants a blessing in disguise. He contends that it allows presidents to take even unlawful actions that can require years of legal battles to undo. 

“To say that Yoo’s view of the court’s 5-to-4 decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is an outlier would be an understatement. ‘I think he must be on some kind of drug,’ said Laurence Tribe, a longtime constitutional scholar at Harvard. … The Supreme Court’s decision was seen by most analysts as a check on presidential power. … [Yoo] will always be known in Washington as author of the ‘torture memos,’ which condoned tactics such as severe sleep deprivation and waterboarding for terrorism suspects taken into custody during the George W. Bush administration …

“Yoo met with the president last week in the Oval Office, to discuss the theory and a new book he has written. ‘Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight For Presidential Power’ makes the case for an ‘energetic unitary executive’ with constitutional authority to act decisively and resist overreach by Congress and the courts. Yoo told The Washington Post that Trump asked about his articles. … ‘If you can choose not to enforce the immigration laws, here are the other things you could not enforce — such as not collecting taxes because we’re in the middle of this Great Depression,’ Yoo said he told the president."

  • Pence attacked Roberts, calling the chief justice a “disappointment to conservatives," during an interview with CBN.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that a California sheriff does not have to comply with a lower-court order requiring accommodations at a county jail experiencing an outbreak. The vote was 5 to 4, with Roberts offering the deciding vote and the court’s liberals in dissent. It follows a pattern of the court staying out of the way of local and state officials who are dealing with the pandemic. (Barnes)
  • The court’s approval rating has increased to 58 percent, its highest since 2009, according to Gallup. Almost equal majorities of Democrats (56 percent), Republicans (60 percent) and independents (57 percent) approved of its performance this term. (Barnes)
Trump praised Arizona as a virus success story. It's anything but.

“Trump showed no sign of acknowledging the magnitude of the crisis as he welcomed Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) at the White House and praised what he called a ‘fantastic job,'” Anne Gearan and Jacqueline Dupree report. Arizona "is now averaging some 14,000 to 16,000 new cases a week. … The White House touted Arizona as a model for managing the crisis without mandatory lockdowns or what Trump called ‘overly punitive measures.’ … [But] Arizona saw an increase of more than 800 percent in coronavirus cases between [early May] and early July, when Ducey refused to reimpose stay-at-home orders or mandate masks. … New infections have been falling in the state for several weeks, along with deaths. Ducey and Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, attributed this to a mix of voluntary actions by Arizonans and some state restrictions.”

  • “No matter what, only a safe, effective vaccine will get our approval,” FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn promises in an op-ed for today’s paper.
  • Tony Fauci said the U.S. has the worst outbreak in the world. “The numbers don’t lie,” he said. He also complained he’s received death threats and his daughters have been harassed “to the point where I have to get security.” (CNN)
  • A refugee from the Congo who escaped the nation’s civil war after a brush with death arrived in the U.S. to work at a JBS meat plant in Colorado. Then Bienvenue Chengangu – and hundreds of his co-workers, mostly immigrants and refugees – contracted covid-19. Chengangu fears he brought the virus home to his mother, who later died. He criticized the company’s decision to stay open and blames the U.S. government for its lack of strong guidance. "I’m realizing America isn’t the paradise we believed it to be,” he said. (Robert Klemko and Kimberly Kindy)
  • Soon after a man infected with the coronavirus attended a church service in Ohio, 91 others became infected, including 53 who had attended the same service. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said the virus “spread like wildfire," as those at the church passed it along to family members and co-workers. (Jennifer Hassan)
  • Rep. Rodney Davs (R-Ill.) tested positive. In a statement, the congressman said he’s showing no symptoms other than “higher-than-normal temperature.”
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said out-of-state travelers could face up to $10,000 in fines if they break the state’s two-week quarantine rule and that checkpoints will be set up at entry points to the city. (New York Post
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said he will cut off water and electricity at houses that repeatedly host large parties. Hundreds of young people have flocked to large parties held at private homes and rental properties in the Hollywood Hills. (Los Angeles Times
  • The viral images of crowded bars and pool parties in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks have boosted tourism, Mayor Gerry Murawski said. Cases in the St. Louis area have been traced back to crowded gatherings at the vacation spot. (Antonia Farzan)
  • North Carolina will keep bars, gyms and entertainment venues closed until at least the second week of September, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced. (Farzan)
  • Eight covid-19 patients died in a hospital fire in Gujarat, India, as the country is poised to cross 2 million confirmed cases. (Niha Masih)
  • Cases in France are spiking again. The country recorded its highest daily total of new infections since May yesterday, with at least 1,695 new positive cases. Neighboring Spain also recorded a new uptick, fueling concerns across Europe. (Hassan)

The elections

Prominent Republicans pushed back on Trump’s desire to deliver his convention speech from the White House.

“Sen. John Cornyn of Texas called it ‘problematic,’ Sen. John Thune (S.D.) questioned the legality of political events at the White House and Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) suggested that other plans should be made. ‘Probably not allowed,’ he said. ‘Probably shouldn’t do it,'" Michael Scherer, Fenit Nirappil and Josh Dawsey report. "A Republican involved in the planning said it was highly likely that Trump’s speech would be delivered at the White House, perhaps on the South Lawn, but various locations were being discussed. Pence was considering Fort McHenry in Maryland, the site of a major battle in the War of 1812, to give his convention speech. This official said Republicans were not concerned about the ethics of staging convention events at the White House.”

Joe Biden said he will not travel to Milwaukee for the Democratic convention.

He will deliver his speech accepting the nomination later in his home state of Delaware, and all other speakers who had been planning to travel to Wisconsin will no longer do so. “The mayor has put in place a 225-person limit on people assembling in any one place,” Biden told donors during a virtual fundraiser. “I think it’s the right thing to do. I’ve wanted to set an example as to how we should respond individually to this crisis.” (Felicia Sonmez, Matt Viser and Scherer)

Trump outraised Biden in July by $25 million.

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and affiliated committees raised $165 million. Biden, the Democratic National Committee and their joint fundraising committees raised $140 million. But because Trump’s burn rate is so high, the Biden campaign closed the cash-on-hand gap: Trump’s operation said it started this month with about $300 million cash while Biden reported about $294 million. “The July fundraising figures are a reversal from the previous two months, when Biden outpaced Trump in both May and June,” Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports. “Trump resumed big-money fundraisers in June … And in July, he appeared at a $580,600-per-couple private fundraiser … Trump is slated to headline fundraising events in the Hamptons this week.”

  • Felons in Iowa who have completed their sentences regained the right to vote and hold public office under an executive order from Gov. Kim Reynolds (R). Iowa was one of the last states to disenfranchise felons for life. (Elise Viebeck)
  • More than 1,000 additional Maryland poll workers have dropped out in the past week, leaving the state with little more than 60 percent of the election judges it needs to conduct the November election. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is now facing pressure to abandon his plans to open every voting precinct. (Erin Cox
  • Rapper Kanye West has a top GOP strategist helping him get on the ballot in Colorado. Veteran Republican operative Rachel George sent an email to at least one other local GOP strategist asking them to sign West’s nomination form, so he can appear on the ballot, Vice reports. Other GOP strategists in Wisconsin, Vermont and Arkansas appear to be helping the West campaign in an attempt to draw voters away from Biden.
  • The anti-tax Club for Growth will launch a $5 million ad campaign against Biden in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. (Politico)
New York prosecutors subpoenaed Deutsche Bank in connection with Trump.

“The Manhattan district attorney’s office issued the subpoena last year to Deutsche Bank, which has been Mr. Trump’s primary lender since the late 1990s, seeking financial records that he and his company provided to the bank,” the Times reports. "The subpoena from the office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., appears to be the first instance of a criminal inquiry involving Mr. Trump and his dealings with the German bank, which lent him and his company more than $2 billion over the past two decades. Deutsche Bank complied with the subpoena. Over a period of months last year, it provided Mr. Vance’s office with detailed records, including financial statements and other materials that Mr. Trump had provided to the bank as he sought loans … But while the subpoena of Deutsche Bank indicates the breadth of Mr. Vance’s investigation, his inquiry is still at an early stage, a person briefed on the matter said.”

Senate Republicans are advancing a Ukraine probe aimed at undermining Biden, despite foreign interference concerns. 

“Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, is scrutinizing a Ukrainian gas company’s hiring of Biden’s son onto its board and the activities of a lobbying firm it hired in Washington,” Paul Sonne, Karoun Demirjian and David Stern report. “Johnson, who is working with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), has said Democratic objections are a sign that his inquiry is on the right track. … Johnson’s probe is proceeding as Ukrainians with a variety of competing agendas and links to Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani have been releasing apparently pilfered official conversations that Biden conducted while vice president with Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko … Critics say the efforts of the Ukrainians align with the interests of certain Ukrainian oligarchs and Russia, which for years has sown doubt about cooperation between Washington and Kyiv in an effort to eject the United States from the region.” 

Former deputy attorney general Yates said Michael Flynn “neutered” retaliation against Russia for 2016 interference. 

Sally Q. Yates “has been a target of Trump and many Republicans for her brief oversight of the investigation of Russia’s election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign four years ago. She testified via video before the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), has been highly critical of the FBI’s handling of that case,” Devlin Barrett reports. “Seeking to use Yates to discredit the FBI’s investigations regarding the 2016 Trump campaign, Republicans instead got a spirited defense of that work as ethical and necessary, even though she was critical of some of the FBI’s moves at the time. 

"Graham pressed Yates in depth about a White House meeting on Jan. 5, 2017, in which President Barack Obama, [Biden] and Obama national security adviser Susan E. Rice met with her and FBI Director James B. Comey to talk about Flynn’s recent phone conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States at that time. … 'That meeting was not about an investigation at all,' she said. ‘That is something that would have crossed the line.’ … The main point of the meeting, she said, was to figure out what the Russians were up to. … 

"Republicans also questioned Yates’s approval of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court applications for former Trump adviser Carter Page. A lengthy report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found 17 significant errors or omissions in the court papers filed for surveillance in that case. Yates said that if she had known about those errors at the time, she would not have signed those applications to the surveillance court.”

Quote of the day

"I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression," said former first lady Michelle Obama. "Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting." (AFP

Divided America

Federal officers may be leaving Portland, but federal charges will linger for many protesters.

“More than 70 people have been charged with federal crimes and citations related to the nightly clashes between U.S. agents and Portland protesters,” Adam Taylor reports. “Among them: two local lawyers, a middle-class mother from the suburbs, teenagers accused of lobbing explosive fireworks, a yoga instructor on a road-trip from Denver and a grocery store worker who allegedly wielded a laser pen as a weapon. … Among the charges are 24 felonies, 45 misdemeanors and five citations.” 

  • A Brooklyn protester was charged with sabotaging an NYPD van. Jeremy Trapp was arrested last month after he allegedly cut the van’s brake lines, and an unsealed court document revealed that Trapp was the subject of a days-long undercover operation. (Jessica Wolfrom)
  • A Minneapolis commission blocked plans to put an initiative on the November ballot that could have led to the dismantling of the city’s police department. The proposal would replace the police department with a new public safety agency. (Holly Bailey)
  • Chicago officials recommended an officer lose his job after the 2014 shooting of Roshad McIntosh, a Black teen. The officer, Saharat Sampim, was at the scene of the shooting and allegedly made false statements but was not the officer who killed the 19-year-old. That officer has not been charged. (Donna Owens)
  • Democrats introduced a bill to give the Federal Reserve a new mandate: “to minimize and eliminate racial disparities in employment, wages, wealth, and access to affordable credit.” (Heather Long)
  • Former clients of acting DHS chief Chad Wolf received millions in contracts from the department. Before he worked at the agency, Wolf lobbied for over a decade at Wexler & Walker. “Since then, several of Wolf’s former clients reaped a total of at least $160 million in contracts from DHS," CNBC reports. A DHS spokesman said Wolf has no involvement with any government contracts. 
The State Department's new chief watchdog resigned after less than three months on the job.

“Stephen Akard’s departure was announced to staff by his deputy, Diana R. Shaw, who told colleagues that she will become the temporary acting inspector general effective on Friday,” John Hudson reports. "Akard became inspector general after President Trump abruptly fired Steve Linick in May at the recommendation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. That decision immediately prompted criticism from lawmakers because Linick had been investigating allegations that Pompeo and his wife, Susan, had improperly used State Department resources. Linick was also examining several other issues, including Pompeo’s decision to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the objections of Congress. [Trump] has fired five officials in recent months who lead inspector general offices across the federal government. … Shaw said Akard was taking a position with a law firm in Indiana … 

"He is an ally of Vice President Pence, for whom he worked as the head of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. That connection to Pence and his decision to keep his title as head of the State Department Office of Foreign Missions, a position that comes under the oversight responsibilities of the inspector general, drew criticism from good-government experts.”

Lebanon on the brink

A vast store of explosive materials sat in Beirut for years despite repeated warnings.

“For seven years, residents of the Lebanese capital went about their daily lives unaware that 2,750 tons of a highly volatile explosive material were stored in the heart of their city like a ticking time bomb,” Sarah Dadouch, Loveday Morris, Suzan Haidamous and Joby Warrick report. “A portrait is now emerging of the staggering malfeasance that allowed it to sit in a warehouse in Beirut’s port for so many years — and of the repeated warnings that were ignored for so long. … U.S. defense officials say the explosions appear to have been a calamitous accident.”

The initial shock over the explosions has turned into anger.

At least 135 are dead, more than 3,000 are injured and more than 100 are still unaccounted for. The governor of Beirut said more than 300,000 people in a city of 2.2 million have been left homeless, Liz Sly, Dadouch and Louisa Loveluck report. International “offers of aid did little to alleviate the bitterness on the streets of Beirut. ‘Even if foreign countries send help, the government will steal it,’ said a 23-year-old student who was among hundreds of volunteers who showed up to help clear the streets of debris and broken glass.” 

  • “I have no idea how I’m not dead,” Dadouch writes in a gripping, first-person account. She survived the explosion a day before the 10th anniversary of her departure from her hometown of Damascus, Syria, but her apartment was destroyed. And, after a search, she found her cat alive. 
  • Satellite images show the extent of the destruction, which has altered the face of the Mediterranean city. (Laris Karklis and Miriam Berger)

Social media speed read

The Trump campaign keeps altering pictures of Biden to take them out of context:

The Trump team even used a picture of Biden praying in a church to suggest he is losing it. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) shared an alarming update after a secret briefing:

And here’s some comic relief amid the daily darkness:

Videos of the day

Seth Meyers mocked Trump for not being able to pronounce Yosemite:

Jimmy Fallon ridiculed Trump's Axios interview: