California reverses coronavirus reopenings for businesses’ indoor operations – as it happened

California reverses coronavirus reopenings for businesses’ indoor operations – as it happened

Summary

That’s it for the blog today, thanks for following along. Some links and developments from the day:

  • The Trump administration is increasingly at war with Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top public health expert, over the handling of the coronavirus crisis, as the US continues to report around 60,000 new cases a day.
  • California’s governor has ordered all bars to close statewide and all restaurants, movie theaters and museums to halt indoor operations, in a dramatic rolling back of reopening efforts as coronavirus cases continue to surge.
  • California’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, announced on Monday that classes will remain online-only throughout the fall, pointing to a surge in coronavirus cases that could affect teachers as well as students.
  • Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, has been released from a temporary restraining order and is free to discuss her book about the president.
  • A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked the state of Georgia’s hardline 2019 six-week abortion ban, finding that it violates the US constitution.
  • Andrew Weissmann, an attorney who played a leading role under Robert Mueller in the investigation of Russian election interference, will release a book about the special counsel’s near two-year examination of links between Donald Trump and Moscow.
  • Between February and May, an estimated 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance due to Covid-19 job losses, according to a new analysis.

Judge lifts Mary Trump gag order

Mary Trump, the president’s niece, is allowed to speak freely about her family and promote her book, according to a judge’s ruling, lifting her from a gag order.

Mary Trump’s lawyer said in a statement (via Daily Beast):



The court got it right in rejecting the Trump family’s effort to squelch Mary Trump’s core political speech on important issues of public concern. The First Amendment forbids prior restraints because they are intolerable infringements on the right to participate in democracy. Tomorrow, the American public will be able to read Mary’s important words for themselves.”

Kyle Griffin
(@kylegriffin1)

Mary Trump’s attorney: “The court got it right in rejecting the Trump family’s effort to squelch Mary Trump’s core political speech on important issues of public concern … Tomorrow, the American public will be able to read Mary’s important words for themselves.” https://t.co/5jcJ6fLh5X

July 13, 2020

Here’s the Guardian’s review of the book, and our earlier news coverage:


Report: 5.4m have lost health care in US during pandemic

Between February and May, an estimated 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance due to Covid-19 job losses, according to a new analysis.

The study, reported in the New York Times, found that during those three months more adults became uninsured due to job losses than have ever lost coverage in a single year.

Stan Dorn, author of the study and director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation, told the Times: “This is the worst economic downturn since World War II. It dwarfs the Great Recession. So it’s not surprising that we would also see the worst increase in the uninsured.”

The grim numbers follow recent efforts by the Trump administration to repeal Obamacare. Millions of Americans who have survived Covid-19 or face future infections could lose their insurance or be barred from getting coverage if Trump is successful.

More on that case here:


As California counties have to shut down industries that recently reopened, the Covid crisis continues to rapidly spread across the state’s vast prison system. My colleague Abené Clayton has been tracking the rising number of cases and deaths, and the “historic health screw-up” that spread Covid from prison to prison.

As of today, the California department of corrections and rehabilitation (CDCR) had reported 6,289 coronavirus cases and 33 deaths among incarcerated people. In San Quentin state prison, California’s oldest correctional facility, 1,455 people, or more than one in three prisoners, have tested positive. Most of the state’s prisons remain significantly overcrowded, and health experts say Governor Gavin Newsom’s ongoing promises to do early releases are inadequate.

Despite intense pressure, the governor has continued to refuse to release most older prisoners, given that the majority of people age 65 and above are serving times for convictions considered violent or serious. Advocates say mass releases are the only way to slow the spread of the virus behind bars and in the surrounding communities. More here:


‘Shame on you!’: protester interrupts Florida governor

As Florida governor Ron DeSantis started his update on the worsening Covid crisis in his state just now, a protester in a mask interrupted, shouting: “You are misleading the public. You are blaming the protesters. You guys have no plan, and you are doing nothing. Shame on you!” Watch here:

WFLA NEWS
(@WFLA)

‘SHAME ON YOU!’

A protester just interrupted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Florida coronavirus update, yelling that he’s doing nothing and is lying as coronavirus cases surge. https://t.co/yLokMuiUrp pic.twitter.com/tMYRSuQhhm

July 13, 2020

The protest comes one day after Florida broke the national record for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, adding more than 15,000 cases as its daily average death toll continued to also rise.

DeSantis has said that even with the rising rates and growing safety concerns, he still wants schools to reopen as scheduled next month. The governor also recently downplayed the help his state was receiving from the state of New York for supplies, even though records show his aides thanking New York officials.


Fact check on Trump’s false ‘mortality rate’ comments

As the Covid-19 crisis dramatically worsens across the US, Trump has continued to share the falsehood that the US has “one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere”:

Robert Mackey
(@RobertMackey)

Someone in the White House press corps needs to directly ask Trump why he keeps saying the US mortality rate for Covid-19, which is among the 10 highest in the world, is the lowest, and why he keeps saying the 1918 pandemic was in 1917. https://t.co/fAxpZUXXbo

July 13, 2020

In fact, there are at least 14 countries that have lower death rates than the US, according to CNN, when looking at the 20 countries most affected by the virus. Experts told the network the fatality rate of around 4.5% in the US was the sixth highest in the world – a death toll more than twice as high as Brazil, with the second-highest toll.

Updated


Judge blocks Georgia’s anti-abortion law

A federal judge has permanently blocked a controversial Georgia law passed in 2019, which sought to ban abortions once there was a “detectable human heartbeat”, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The law would have also granted personhood to a fetus, giving it the same legal rights as people after they’re born. US judge Steve Jones ruled against the state today, refusing to leave any parts of the law intact. The ruling permanently blocks the state from enforcing the law, which he had temporarily blocked in October and never went into effect.

The law had faced intense backlash from the film industry, and experts warned it would have deadly consequences for women forced underground:

The governor, Brian Kemp, a Republican and a supporter of the restrictions, has vowed to appeal the ruling, though he will face an uphill battle given that the US Supreme Court last month struck down other abortion restrictions from Louisiana. Some more background from the Associated Press:


At least eight states passed so-called heartbeat bills in 2019, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. South Carolina is still considering one. All of the new bans joined the fate of earlier heartbeat abortion bans from Arkansas, North Dakota and Iowa in being at least temporarily blocked by judges. Louisiana’s ban wouldn’t take effect unless a court upholds Mississippi’s law.

In a separate ruling Monday, a U.S. district judge in Tennessee blocked a Tennessee law that Republican Gov. Bill had signed hours earlier banning an abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy and prohibiting abortions based on race, sex or diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Updated


Hi all – Sam Levin here, taking over our live coverage for the rest of the day, writing from Los Angeles, which is returning to strict closures for a number of industries, as Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge here.

Business owners in LA have told me that it’s been particularly painful to restart and then shut down again, and that they have been pouring money into making their indoor operations safe, with little certainty about when they can properly reopen. Here is a visual from the LA Times that illustrates just how much has shut down again after brief reopenings:

Sandhya Kambhampati
(@sandhya__k)

Big news today: @GavinNewsom ordered all indoor restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos & museums to close in CA.

30 counties, including LA, closed gyms, churches, hair salons, malls & nail salons.@datagraphics is tracking all of it: https://t.co/J53yuzxoYk pic.twitter.com/TNI7PaQzKC

July 13, 2020

Updated


Today so far

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Sam Levin, will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • California governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order that many recently reopened businesses must cease indoor operations, as the state grapples with a surge in new cases of coronavirus. The order impacts restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and museums, among other venues. Bars must also close all operations, according to the order.
  • The justice department released the order commuting Roger Stone’s sentence. The order showed all elements of Stone’s sentences — including his prison time, his probation and his $20,000 fine — have all been voided. The department released the order hours after Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who has presided over Stone’s case, requested clarification on whether the order affected Stone’s probation.
  • Trump falsely claimed he has receive “rave reviews” for commuting Stone’s sentence. In reality, both Democrats and Republicans criticized the commutation as a miscarriage of justice. Republican senator Mitt Romney described it as “unprecedented, historic corruption.”
  • California’s two largest public school districts are going entirely online when classes resume next month. The announcement makes the LA and San Diego districts the largest school districts in the country to announce they will not resume in-person instruction when the new academic year starts.
  • Trump retweeted a claim that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is “lying” about coronavirus. The tweet comes as the White House seeks to raise doubts about the credibility of Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert.
  • A US district judge set a new delay in federal executions. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s injuction came hours before the first federal execution in 17 years was set to take place at a federal prison in Indiana.

Sam will have more coming up, so stay tuned.


Joe Biden released a scathing video about Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, as the president downplays the country’s recent surge in new cases.

Joe Biden
(@JoeBiden)

“We’re leading the world.” pic.twitter.com/QQzaQeKAUj

July 13, 2020

The ad features some of Trump’s recent comments about the pandemic, including his claim that the US is “leading the world” in the fight against coronavirus.

As footage of Trump’s comments plays, a graphic shows the rising coronavirus death toll in the United States. More than 135,000 Americans have now died of coronavirus.

The US has confirmed 3,341,838 cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker, meaning the US accounts for about a quarter of all cases worldwide.


California shuts down indoor operations of many recently reopened businesses

The Guardian’s Vivian Ho reports from California:

California’s governor has ordered all counties across the state to shut down the indoor operations of several recently reopened sectors of the economy, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters and malls following a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The state has seen an average of 8,211 new cases over the past week, an uptick from the 7,876 average recorded the week before. The positivity rate has increased to 7.4%, up from 6.1% a few weeks prior.

Gavin Newsom
(@GavinNewsom)

NEW: #COVID19 cases continue to spread at alarming rates.

CA is now closing indoor operations STATEWIDE for:

-Restaurants
-Wineries
-Movie theaters, family entertainment
-Zoos, museums
-Cardrooms

Bars must close ALL operations.

July 13, 2020

“It’s incumbent on all of us to recognize, soberly, that covid-19 is not going away anytime soon,” said Gavin Newsom, California’s governor.

The order will affect places of worship, fitness centers, zoos, museums, entertainment centers and personal care centers. It comes as the state’s monitoring list of counties experiencing surges has grown to include 30 counties.

Updated


Roger Stone’s clemency order by Trump released

Joanna Walters

The attorney at the Office of the Pardon, that well known corner of the Washington labyrinth, has released the clemency order that Donald Trump signed for Roger Stone last Friday.

Stone was due to report to federal prison tomorrow. But the order voids all elements of his sentence, including the time behind bars, the $20,000 fine and the two years of probation. Earlier today, Judge Amy Berman Jackson asked for a copy of the order to clarify whether it applied to Stone’s probation.

Stone has not been pardoned, however. The president has reportedly encouraged him to appeal his conviction for lying and witness tampering in the Russia investigation. And a pardon implies that someone was guilty.

Kyle Cheney
(@kyledcheney)

JUST IN: The Office of the Pardon attorney has posted the clemency order that Trump signed for Roger STONE.

It voids all elements of his sentence, including a $20,000 fine and two years of supervised release.https://t.co/Ps7OWfvJhl pic.twitter.com/lnuFN50mtv

July 13, 2020

Also, Stone released from home confinement.

Ali Dukakis
(@ajdukakis)

This also releases Stone from home confinement effective immediately, it says.

July 13, 2020

Updated

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