House

Amid outcry, postmaster general to testify before House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a public backlash over mail disruptions, the Trump administration scrambled to respond as the House prepared an emergency vote to halt delivery delays and service changes that Democrats warned could imperil the November election.

The Postal Service said it has stopped removing mailboxes and mail-sorting machines amid an outcry from lawmakers. President Donald Trump flatly denied he was asking for the mail to be delayed even as he leveled fresh criticism on universal ballots and mail-in voting.

“Wouldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House. “I have encouraged everybody: Speed up the mail, not slow the mail.”

Embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify next Monday before Congress, along with the chairman of the Postal Service board of governors.

Democrats and some Republicans say actions by the new postmaster general, a Trump ally and a major Republican donor, have endangered millions of Americans

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Voters can add fresh new voices to the Florida House. Here are the Herald’s choices| Editorial

From North Miami to Kendall to Key Biscayne and down the Florida Keys, Miami-Dade and Monroe county residents on Tuesday will select their voices in Tallahassee by voting for representative in the Florida House. Some races will be decided on Tuesday; others in November.

Here are our recommendations for the Aug. 18 primary:

HOUSE 102

Voters in this North Miami-Dade District, which spills into Broward — have three abundantly qualified and accomplished candidates from which to choose. (A meeting time could not be scheduled A fourth candidate, Dennis Hinds, did not respond to the Editorial Board’s invitation for an interview.)

Williams
Williams

Felicia Robinson is a former two-term Miami Gardens City Council member, elected in 2010. During her tenure, she made government more accessible to her constituents, creating several health-education programs and another worthwhile community conversation called “Meet Me Monday.” “I would bring in different people from the community and from

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CDC’s COVID-19 Response Was ‘Muzzled’ By White House

Bill Gates said that the White House “muzzled” the COVID-19 response of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and he offered thoughts on vaccinations and coronavirus conspiracies in a new Wired interview released Friday.

Gates was “surprised at the U.S. [coronavirus] situation because the smartest people on epidemiology in the world, by a lot, are at the CDC,” he told Steven Levy, Wired’s longtime tech writer and editor at large. Gates announced in April that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would shift its “total attention” to fighting COVID-19.

“I would have expected them to do better,” the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist said. “You would expect the CDC to be the most visible, not the White House or even Anthony Fauci. But they haven’t been the face of the epidemic. They are trained to communicate and not try to panic people but get people to take things seriously. They

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Trump wants to deliver GOP nomination speech at White House. Is that legal?

President Trump is now mulling the White House as a locale for his Republican National Convention acceptance speech. He has already canceled plans to host festivities in Jacksonville, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Well we are thinking about it. It would be easiest from the standpoint of security,” he told “Fox and Friends” Wednesday. “We are thinking about doing it from the White House because there’s no movement. It’s easy, and I think it’s a beautiful setting and we are thinking about that. It’s certainly one of the alternatives. It’s the easiest alternative.” The president later added that while some speeches will be virtual, others will be live at different locations in Washington, D.C. “I’m going to do mine on Thursday night and that will be live.”

But his suggestion has raised legal and ethical questions about hosting campaign activity on the federal government grounds.

The Hatch Act forbids the

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Five Democratic candidates battle for two House District seats in northern Miami-Dade County

An open Aug. 18 primary with no Republican candidates running will decide which Democrats will represent House District 107 and House District 108 in northern Miami-Dade County.

Two Democrats are seeking to replace term-limited incumbent Barbara Watson in House District 107, which runs from North Miami to Miami Gardens.

And in House District 108, which covers parts of Miami-Dade County that include Biscayne Park, Miami Shores and part of downtown Miami, incumbent Dotie Joseph is looking to fend off two challengers — including the former state representative she defeated in the 2018 primary.

The novel coronavirus has forced the candidates to find non-traditional ways to reach voters in the predominantly Black districts, both of which lean heavily Democratic. Some candidates are using technology to host virtual events. Others are placing door hangers and fliers outside of voters’ houses — but staying socially distant — and one candidate is using a

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Nearly 3,500 Public Health Experts Sign Letter Defending Fauci Amid White House Attacks

Nearly 3,500 public health experts sent an open letter to President Donald Trump amid a spate of attacks launched over the last two weeks at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, calling those seeking to undercut him a “dangerous distraction.”

In the letter, which was organized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the group calls the coronavirus pandemic “one of the greatest challenges the United States has faced in its history.” But the signatories, which include two previous heads of the Food and Drug Administration, a former U.S. surgeon general and a former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said they were troubled by efforts to smear Fauci, who they said has provided a clear voice to Americans during the health crisis.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, he has remained one of the world’s most trusted scientists on COVID-19, daily

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Democrats must abolish the filibuster if they win the Senate and White House

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new edition of Insider Today. Please sign up here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Well, it’s not the hardest test. They have a picture and it says ‘what’s that’ and it’s an elephant,” — Chris Wallace of Fox News, interviewing President Trump about the mental acuity test that the President brags about acing. 

WHAT’S HAPPENING

PreviousNext Police respond to protesters during a demonstration, Friday, July 17, 2020 in Portland, Ore.
PreviousNext Police respond to protesters during a demonstration, Friday, July 17, 2020 in Portland, Ore.

Dave Killen/The Oregonian via Associated Press

Congress is taking up a new emergency relief bill. House Democrats have passed a $3 trillion bill, but Senate Republicans and the President say they want to spend less than $1 trillion. Extra unemployment benefits helping more than 30 million families will expire at the end of July if Congress doesn’t act. 

The son of a federal judge was murdered and her husband was wounded. A gunman disguised as

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White House ‘red zone’ warning, DeSantis ‘pretty good shape’ message, and, oh, crowded primaries

It’s Monday, July 20. Fifty-one years ago today, Apollo 11 landed two men on the moon. Today, the nation is asking its people to follow much simpler science and halt the spread of the coronavirus.

One small step might be to wear a mask. It may also take another shutdown in parts of Florida, where Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough counties represented 41% of new cases in the state last week. And it takes a messaging strategy that persuades.

Our moon shot: We now know three things: mask wearing and social distancing must become the norm, the investment into contact tracing and rapid testing must be done in exponentially higher numbers than they have been in Florida, and government must make available isolation hotels for those who test positive and do not have a place to quarantine.

Let’s take a look at where Florida policy is in that context.

We’re a

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‘Science should not stand in the way’ of schools reopening, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says

WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday emphasized that schools reopening this fall shouldn’t be contingent on science surrounding coronavirus, but then claimed the “science is on our side here” as the pandemic continues unabated.

In response to a question about what President Donald Trump would say to parents who have kids in school districts that may be online-only, McEnany said: “The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open. And when he says open, he means open in full, kids been able to attend each and every day at their school.

“The science should not stand in the way of this,” she added, saying it is “perfectly safe” to fully reopen all classrooms. 

A parent’s guide to online school: 9 questions to ask to vet your back-to-school choices

McEnany claimed “science is on our side,” citing one study that said the risk of critical

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