Fauci: ‘Clearly we don't have this under control.’


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On the roster: Fauci: ‘Clearly we don’t have this under control.’ – Bipartisan uproar over bounties on troops – Biden treating Michigan like a red state – McGrath hangs on to win, but tougher task ahead – Gripped it, ripped it

Axios: “Anthony Fauci testified to a Senate committee Tuesday that he would ‘not be surprised’ if the U.S. begins reporting as many as 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day, adding, ‘I’m very concerned and not satisfied with what’s going on because we’re going in the wrong direction.’ The country is currently seeing about 40,000 new cases daily, but that number will rise rapidly ‘if this does not turn around,’ Fauci said. He added that the outbreaks in various parts of the country put ‘the entire country at risk’ and ‘clearly we don’t have this under control.’ Earlier in the hearing, Fauci warned that some states are ‘skipping over’ checkpoints in the federal reopening guidelines and that this is leading to new hotspots in states like Texas, Florida and Arizona. He added that even states and localities that ‘did it right’ regarding reopening still have individuals who engaged in an ‘all or none phenomenon’ — disregarding social-distancing measures and face mask usage while out socially.”

Mask rules Trump tried to escape in Charlotte come to Jacksonville – NYT: “Florida billed itself as a coronavirus oasis when it wooed the Republican National Convention: The pandemic seemed under control, and Republican state and city leaders welcomed a major televised event to show off the progress and cement votes for President Trump in the nation’s biggest presidential battleground. That pitch collided with the grim reality of the coronavirus and its explosive surge in Florida when Jacksonville, the convention’s new host, imposed a requirement on Monday that people wear masks indoors, precisely the mandate that the Republican Party had hoped to avoid for its celebrations. The mask order is almost certain to rankle Mr. Trump, whose demands for a traditional, packed rally forced the move earlier this month to Jacksonville from Charlotte, N.C., in the first place. The resurgence of the virus in Florida, where the number of new cases has been rising nearly every day, has turned the convention into an even riskier gamble.”

Noem: No corona restrictions for Trump’s Mt. Rushmore rally – KMGH: “South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said in a Fox News interview on Monday that the state would not be enforcing social distancing measures at a Fourth of July event that President Donald Trump will attend later this week. Noem added that while the state would provide masks to those attending a Fourth of July celebration at Mt. Rushmore on Friday evening, it would not require people to wear them. ‘We will have a large event on July 3. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing,’ Noem told Laura Ingraham of Fox News on Monday.”

McConnell denounces stigmatizing mask use – Politico: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated Monday that Americans should continue to wear masks, emphasizing that there is ‘no stigma’ associated with them. The Kentucky Republican’s remarks come as the United States faces another surge in coronavirus cases, with spikes in states like Florida, Arizona and Texas. They also mark a contrast with President Donald Trump, who has refused to wear a mask in public or encourage Americans to do so even as his vice president over the weekend urged Texans to use face coverings during a visit to Dallas. In a floor speech, McConnell said the United States is currently in a ‘middle ground’ between lockdowns and life before the pandemic, and encouraged the adoption of ‘new routines.’ ‘We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,’ McConnell said. ‘Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It is about protecting everyone we encounter.’”

Lawmakers eye leftovers from corona bailout – WaPo: “The stimulus program that has both infuriated and sustained small-business owners since its launch in April is now set to close with more than $130 billion left unused, prompting lawmakers to consider how to repurpose the money for the still-ailing economy. With the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program coming just before midnight Tuesday night, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) are leading a group considering how best to use the remaining funds to help small businesses as they begin to reopen. Rubio is working on legislation that would create new programs to expand uses for the funds, such as allowing chambers of commerce to apply as well as directing more money to certain businesses that prove they were affected by the pandemic.”

“When the dimensions of a State attain to a certain magnitude, it requires the same energy of government and the same forms of administration which are requisite in one of much greater extent.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 13

Variety: “Carl Reiner, the writer, producer, director and actor who was part of Sid Caesar’s legendary team and went on to create ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and direct several hit films, has died. He was 98. … His most popular films as a director included ‘Oh God,’ starring George Burns, in 1977; ‘The Jerk,’ with Steve Martin, in 1979… In 2017, Carl Reiner, his longtime friend and frequent comedy partner Mel BrooksNorman LearKirk Douglas and other nonagenarian Hollywood legends were featured in the HBO documentary ‘If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast’… Born in the Bronx, he graduated from high school at 16 and worked as a machinist while studying acting. After brief stints in summer stock and on the Borscht Belt circuit, he entered the Army during WWII. His acting talents brought him to the attention of Maurice Evans’ special services unit… For the remainder of the war he toured South Pacific bases in G.I. revues.”

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Trump: 39.4 percent
Biden: 49.6 percent
Size of lead: Biden by 10.2 points
Change from one week ago: Biden ↓ 1 point; Trump ↓ 1.6 points
[Average includes: NPR/PBS/Marist: Trump 44% – Biden 52%; CNBC: Trump 38% – Biden 47%; NYT/Sienna: Trump 36% – Biden 50%; Fox News: Trump 38% – Biden 50%; Quinnipiac University: Trump 41% – Biden 49%.]

(270 electoral votes needed to win)
Toss-up: (109 electoral votes): Wisconsin (10), Ohio (18), Florida (29), Arizona (11), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15), Iowa (6)
Lean R/Likely R: (180 electoral votes)
Lean D/Likely D: (249 electoral votes)
[Full rankings here.]

Average approval: 41.4 percent
Average disapproval: 55 percent
Net Score: -13.6 points
Change from one week ago: ↓ 0.8 points
[Average includes: NPR/PBS/Marist: 41% approve – 57% disapprove; CNBC: 39% approve – 52% disapprove; NYT/Siena: 41% approve – 56% disapprove; Fox News: 44% approve – 55% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 42% approve – 55% disapprove.]

WSJ: “Republican and Democratic lawmakers united around demands that the White House detail intelligence indicating Russia had paid bounties to insurgents to have American forces killed in Afghanistan, and explain why President Trump apparently wasn’t briefed on the threat to U.S. troops. … ‘Anything with any hint of credibility that would endanger our service members, much less put a bounty on their lives, to me should have been briefed immediately to the commander in chief and a plan to deal with that situation,’ Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday. … Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) called for Congress to focus on getting information. ‘No. 1, Who knew what, when?’ he said. ‘And did the commander-in-chief know? And if not, how the hell not? And No. 2, What are we going to do as a proportional cost in response? In a situation like this, that would mean GRU and Taliban body bags.’”

Report: White House officials knew of reports for more than a year – AP: “Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence. The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019. The White House did not respond to questions about Trump or other officials’ awareness of Russia’s provocations in 2019. The White House has said Trump was not — and still has not been — briefed on the intelligence assessments because they have not been fully verified. However, it is rare for intelligence to be confirmed without a shadow of a doubt before it is presented to top officials.”

WSJ: “Joe Biden is building out his team in Michigan, tapping a veteran of red-state Democratic campaigns to oversee operations there. The former vice president’s campaign said Eric Hyers would serve as Michigan state director. Mr. Hyers was the campaign manager for Democrat Andy Beshear’s successful 2019 bid to unseat Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican. President Trump, who won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016, heavily backed Mr. Bevin, whose tenure at times had been rocky. Mr. Hyers also ran Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s re-election campaign in 2016. Mr. Bullock won Montana by roughly 4 percentage points on the same night Mr. Trump beat Hillary Clinton there by 20 points. The Great Lakes State hadn’t supported a Republican presidential candidate for 28 years until Mr. Trump, who won there in 2016 by fewer than 11,000 votes. Democrats, after winning several prominent races in the state in 2018, are eager to put Michigan back in their column.”

Biden campaign to push failing grade for Trump – WaPo: “As states report exploding numbers of coronavirus cases, Joe Biden on Tuesday plans to escalate his criticism of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic and detail how he would stem the virus, which has killed at least 124,000 Americans. Biden will tie together a raft of proposals he’s offered since January, including providing free testing and treatment for the disease and guaranteed paid leave for those who must stay home from work while sick, according to a campaign document outlining his themes that was obtained by The Washington Post. The document, in the form of a scorecard that the campaign will push via social media, is intended to hammer home the areas where Biden’s campaign believes that Trump has fallen short. Broad categories include the president’s failure to ‘level with the American people’; his inability to provide testing and treatment; shortfalls in securing a supply chain for protective equipment; and failures to protect workers, older Americans and small businesses.”

Trump ad buys focused on defense – CNBC: “President Donald Trump’s campaign, facing a growing disadvantage in polls, has started reserving spots for a television ad blitz set to run in several swing states during the final months of the race. The ad buy, worth more than $90 million, comes as some in the Trump campaign see warning signs in multiple key states… Ad tracking firms Advertising Analytics and Medium Buying announced that Trump’s campaign is reserving ad time starting in September in the key states of Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  Trump won all six states in 2016. The ad buy comes on top of the ads currently airing against Joe Biden in North Carolina. Advertising Analytics originally said on Monday that the buy is worth over $16 million. Later, they noted that the buy across all of the states was worth $95 million.”

Bloomberg: “Former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath fended off a late surge by a progressive state legislator to win the Kentucky Democratic primary contest and become the challenger to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. McGrath had the backing of party leaders and a massive fundraising advantage, but State Representative Charles Booker, a Black progressive, capitalized on momentum from the protests following the killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis… McGrath, who is White, was declared the winner by the Associated Press a week after the June 23 primary as state election officials counted thousands of ballots sent by mail as the coronavirus pandemic made voters wary of going to polling places in person. McGrath defeated Booker 45% to 43% of the votes with 91% of precincts reported. She will have an uphill battle to try and unseat McConnell, who is seeking a seventh term.”

Turnout strong as Huntsman battles for return to office – Salt Lake Tribune: “Though the global pandemic has forced gubernatorial candidates off the campaign trail and shut down in-person polling places, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen still holds onto hope that voters will participate in Tuesday’s primary in record numbers. … The statistics so far appeared to back up her positive thinking. On Monday, state elections officials reported that county clerks statewide had already processed nearly 345,000 ballots, meaning they’ve already heard from about 23% of the state’s active voters. By comparison, overall voter turnout in the 2016 and 2018 primaries stood at about 26% and 29% respectively. … The campaign of gubernatorial hopeful Jon Huntsman has encouraged party switching, with polling showing that he has an edge among unaffiliated and Democratic voters. Meanwhile, former House Speaker Greg Hughes, a more conservative candidate, has called these organized efforts an ‘attack’ on the GOP and ‘a concerted effort of Democrats dishonestly invading our party in an attempt to defeat me.’”

Fox News: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools, in a narrow but significant win for the school choice movement. In the 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court essentially backed a Montana tax-credit scholarship program… Tuesday’s ruling is a victory for school choice proponents and some conservative religious groups who had challenged the provision in court. Montana’s program was similar to many across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality.”

Elaina Plott
 in Alabama with Jeff Sessions on his wild ride – NYT

Effort to roll back protections for online platforms goes mainstream – Roll Call

Douthat : ‘The ghost of Woodrow Wilson – NYT

House Dems squeeze GOP with symbolic ObamaCare vote as Trump seeks repeal – Politico

Pelosi keeps proxy voting through at least mid-August – Roll Call

“I guess that makes us even, because I wouldn’t support him for president either.” – Nikki Haley, in a statement to McClatchy, responding to John Bolton’s comment that he wouldn’t support her presidential bid.

“Each year in the summer you seem to dedicate a portion of the Halftime Report to the history /culture/people of West Virginia. Since the birthday of West Virginia just past can we expect it? Always enjoy that and am looking forward to another. Wished I had saved the past ones.” – Craig Williams, Freeport, Ill.

[Ed. note: Good man, Mr. Williams! In my long years making political notes, I have always tried to observe West Virginia Day each June 20, the anniversary of our 1863 entrance into the Union and a state holiday. Unfortunately this year, the celebration fell on a Saturday and I failed to devote space on the Friday before. It had nagged at me these past 10 days, and your note was just what I needed to abandon wasted regret in favor of action. We will look for a good occasion this summer to extoll the wondrous virtues of the 35th state and her people. America could use a little more of what’s wild, wonderful and almost heaven. Thank you!]

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Fox News: “Ian Poulter admitted that he farted during a golf tournament over the weekend. During the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut on Sunday, the camera was focused on fellow golfer Greg Chalmers, and after he took a swing, viewers tuning in could hear a loud noise, which turned out to be a fart. Poulter, who took credit right away, said on camera, ‘Did you get that?’ In response, Chalmers said, ‘Stay over there. Is that supposed to be more silent than that?’ Poulter later commented on Twitter taking ownership. ‘3 club wind this morning on the first tee. Always beware of the live mic,’ Poulter wrote on the social media site. After Chalmers said, ‘I like the (fart) in the closed caption. That really confirmed it for me,’ Poulter responded by saying, ‘The best bit everyone thinks it was you.’ … ‘I guess it’s one way to protect social distancing,’ Poulter said.”

“But now that everyone from Ted Turner to George Bush, Dow to Exxon has professed love for Mother Earth, how are we to choose among the dozens of conflicting proposals, restrictions, projects, regulations and laws advanced in the name of the environment?” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on June 17, 1991.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.


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