What Now?! – July 20, 2020

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Joe Biden is ahead of Donald Trump in the presidential race by 15 points among registered voters, 55% to 40%.

However, Biden’s margin reduces to 54% to 44% among likely voters.

Trump’s job approval is now 39% to 57%.

Key finding: “Trump’s recent decline in support is concentrated in states that have averaged at least 30 daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, a group that includes Florida, Texas, Arizona and Georgia.”

A new Fox News poll shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump nationally, 49% to 41%.

With coronavirus cases rising across the country and the U.S. death toll topping 137,000, President Trump dismissed concerns about the spike in infections, telling Fox News that “many of those cases shouldn’t even be cases,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “Many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day. They have the sniffles and we put it down as a test.”

New York Times: Five takeaways on President Trump’s efforts to shift responsibility.

President Trump said he would not consider a national mandate on mask wearing in a new interview with Fox set to air on Sunday, CNN reports. Said Trump: “No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that, no.”

Wall Street Journal: Face masks really do matter. The scientific evidence is growing.

President Trump, in an interview Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, questioned former Vice President Joe Biden’s capacity to do a similarly tough interview, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Let Biden sit through an interview like this, he’ll be on the ground crying for mommy. He’ll say ‘mommy, mommy, please take me home.’”

LOL. That is the easiest challenge for Biden to accept. I expect Chris Wallace will interview Biden this week.

“Each morning at 8 as the coronavirus crisis was raging in April, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, convened a small group of aides to steer the administration through what had become a public health, economic and political disaster,” the New York Times reports.

“Seated around Mr. Meadows’s conference table and on a couch in his office down the hall from the Oval Office, they saw their immediate role as practical problem solvers. Produce more ventilators. Find more personal protective equipment. Provide more testing.”

“But their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They referred to this as ‘state authority handoff,’ and it was at the heart of what would become at once a catastrophic policy blunder and an attempt to escape blame for a crisis that had engulfed the country — perhaps one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in generations.”

The whistleblower complaint into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s allegedly “questionable activities” seen by the McClatchy Report shows that repeated attempts were made to advise legal advisers about his behavior.

The whistleblower also promised new evidence to back up allegations against Pompeo according to the complaint, which was redacted in part because of an ongoing inquiry, which is the first time such an inquiry has been confirmed.

Said the whistleblower: “I directly witnessed much of the behavior.”

The Lincoln Project is out with a new ad: “Trump is building his wall — just not the one he promised.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) was told by the White House at the height of the coronavirus pandemic that he’d have to personally appeal to and express gratitude to President Trump if he wanted the federal government to help his state get swabs for cornovirus testing, the New York Times reports.

Sources say it was Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, who voiced the apparent quid pro quo in April.

Joe Biden’s campaign bought ads in swing states yesterday during Chris Wallace’s feisty “Fox News Sunday” interview with President Trump, Axios reports.

The minute-long ad, “Tough,” will air in the major markets in the six core swing states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. The ad never mentions Trump’s name, but the intention is a stark, dramatic contrast in approach to the virus, laced with a positive, hopeful message.

“During a background briefing with reporters in December, President Trump’s reelection campaign team gave only passing mention of Ohio. Certainly no one suggested a full-scale fall advertising strategy for the state he carried convincingly in 2016,” the AP reports.

“But less than four months until this November’s election, Trump is facing an unexpectedly competitive landscape in Ohio because he has lost ground in metropolitan and suburban areas, threatening the overwhelming advantages he has in rural areas, state data show.”

“White House health advisor Anthony Fauci has praised New York for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the state responded ‘correctly’ to bring its outbreak under control,” CNBC reports.

Said Fauci: “We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York. New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”

“The Republican governor of Georgia said that the country will ‘never be the same’ without Rep. John Lewis, who died Friday at age 80. The Democratic speaker of the house called Mr. Lewis ‘a titan of the civil rights movement.’ The House minority leader said that Mr. Lewis ‘never stopped working to improve the lives of others,’” the New York Times reports.

“Aside from issuing a boilerplate proclamation for flags to be flown Saturday at half-staff at the White House and public buildings, President Trump said nothing.”

“In the midst of an outpouring of bipartisan tributes that flowed late Friday evening and into the next day, Mr. Trump’s silence on the death of Mr. Lewis, one of his most prominent critics, grew more glaring as he posted a flurry of retweets.”

“The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill,” the Washington Post reports.

“The administration is also trying to block billions of dollars that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and billions more for the Pentagon and State Department to address the pandemic at home and abroad.”

“Kanye West is moving forward in an effort to gather the 10,000 signatures necessary to appear on the presidential ballot in South Carolina, only days after qualifying to run in Oklahoma,” according to New York.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) honored the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who died yesterday, by posting a photo of himself with the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who died late last year, Business Insider reports.

The photo was even briefly Rubio’s profile image on Twitter before it along with his tweet disappeared.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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