• 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~16,846,000; deaths: ~663,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~4,399,000; deaths: ~151,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

1/ More than 150,000 people have died in the United States from the coronavirus – five months after the first reported death in the U.S. – and more than a fifth of the world’s 662,000-plus recorded deaths. Florida, North Carolina, and California set new state records for coronavirus-related deaths reported in a single day on Wednesday. An average of nearly 1,000 virus-related deaths a day have been reported over the past week – worst rate since early June. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / CNN)

  • A Texas Republican who has been walking around the Capitol without a mask or maintaining social distance tested positive for the coronavirus. Rep. Louie Gohmert, who was scheduled to fly to Texas with Trump this morning but tested positive during a pre-screen at the White House, suggested that he contracted coronavirus because he recently started wearing a mask more frequently. Gohmert also attended Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr in person and footage from earlier in the day shows Gohmert and Barr walking together, with neither wearing a mask. A Justice Department spokeswoman said Barr will be tested today because of his proximity to Gohmert at the hearing. (Politico / Washington Post / Daily Beast / CNN / CNBC)

2/ Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all removed a video shared by Trump that baselessly claims that there is a “cure” for the coronavirus. There is no cure. The video, published by Breitbart, shows a group of people calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” and claiming to be doctors who have worked with COVID-19 patients. One member of the group, who identified herself as Dr. Stella Immanuel, claimed that “You don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of coronavirus because hydroxychloroquine is a “cure.” Immanuel’s other medical claims include doctors using alien DNA in medical treatments, that the government is run by lizard-like “reptilian” aliens, that certain medical issues like endometriosis, cysts, infertility, and impotence are caused by sex with “spirit husbands” and “spirit wives” in a dreamworld. Trump also retweeted tweets defending the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine – including one that accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of having “misled the American public” – despite the FDA saying it was “unlikely to be effective” and carried potential risks. In June, the FDA revoked an emergency use authorization for the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19, and in a July 1 update, the FDA warned that there were reports of serious heart rhythm problems and other safety issues, including blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who served under Trump, added that hydroxychloroquine “definitively” does not work as a coronavirus treatment. Dr. Fauci, meanwhile, said that all the “valid” scientific data shows hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective in treating COVID-19. Twitter also briefly locked Trump Jr.’s account after he tweeted the video and called it a “must watch!!!” (CBS News / NBC News / New York Times / CNBC / Axios / Daily Beast / CBS News)

  • Trump said he was “very impressed” by Immanuel and her fellow Frontline Doctors. “I can tell you this,” Trump said, “she was on air along with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine and I thought she was very impressive in the sense that from where she came, I don’t know which country she comes from, but she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients, and I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her.” Trump then pivoted to the video he shared, saying “For some reason the internet wanted to take them down and took them off. I guess Twitter took them off and I think Facebook took them off. I don’t know why I think they’re very respected doctors.” (CNN / Daily Beast)

  • Pence and his staff met with the group of Frontline Doctors after social media sites removed the video for misinformation. Immanuel was not among them members to meet with Pence. (CNN)

  • Russian intelligence services have been spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic to American and Western audiences. (New York Times / Associated Press)

3/ Trump falsely claimed that large portions of the U.S. are “corona-free,” despite a federal report that 21 states have outbreaks so severe that they are in the so-called “red zone.” 28 states are in the “yellow zone,” and only one state, Vermont, is in the “green zone.” Trump’s trade adviser, meanwhile, refused to answer what Trump meant when he said the U.S. is “getting towards corona-free” but touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus even though the FDA has determined that it is “unlikely to be effective.” Peter Navarro, who is not a medical professional, added: “I’m sitting on 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine at the FEMA stockpile and that would save – that’s enough for 4 million Americans.” Trump also defended sharing a misleading video that claimed hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for the virus, telling reporters that “from a safety standpoint it’s safe.” (New York Times / Axios / ABC News / New York Times)

4/ Trump wondered aloud why “nobody likes me” during a White House coronavirus briefing. Trump also questioned why Dr. Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx have a higher approval rating than him, despite the fact that they serve on the White House coronavirus task force and have helped shape the administration’s policies. “He’s got this high approval rating,” Trump said a day after he retweeted a message claiming Fauci had misled the public. “Why don’t I have a high approval rating — and the administration — with respect to the virus?” He added, “They’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me,” before concluding: “It can only be my personality.” (New York Times / Axios / CNN)

  • Trump abruptly ended a press briefing after being asked about retweeting misinformation and his support for a doctor who downplayed masks, and suggested that alien DNA was used in medical treatments. (CNN)

  • Trump criticized governors for moving too slowly to open their states’ economies amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying “we’ll see what happens with them.” (Bloomberg)

  • An hour before Dr. Anthony Fauci threw the first pitch at the season opener between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals, Trump announced that he, too, had been invited to throw out an opening pitch of his own. Trump, however, had not actually been invited by the Yankees and soon after tweeted that “won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch.” (New York Times)

✏️ Notables.

  1. The Trump administration will reject new DACA applications and limit renewals for more than 640,000 so-called “Dreamers” enrolled in the program. The White House said after the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s plan to end DACA the administration would “limit the scope” of the program while it reviews its legality. (NBC News / CBS News / Associated Press / Politico)

  2. Trump’s lawyers filed a new challenge to the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena for his tax returns, arguing that the subpoena was “wildly overbroad,” issued in “bad faith,” and amounts to “harassment.” On July 9, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump was not immune from state criminal probes, but that Trump could challenge the subpoena on other grounds. (Reuters)

  3. The Trump administration agreed to a “phased withdrawal” of Customs and Border Protection and ICE agents from Portland. Under an agreement between Gov. Kate Brown and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, state police will provide security for the exterior of federal courthouse, while federal officers will continue to provide security for the interior of the building. The Justice Department, meanwhile, will send nearly 100 federal agents and officers to Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee in an expansion of Operation Legend. (New York Times / Bloomberg / USA Today / Axios)

  4. A watchdog group accused Trump’s reelection campaign of obscuring nearly $170 million worth of campaign spending through so-called “pass-through” vendors that paid subcontractors on behalf of the campaign. In an FEC complaint, the Campaign Legal Center said American Made Media Consultants and Parscale Strategy, two companies run by campaign leadership, have been disguised as vendors offering services to the campaign, but in reality they serve as a “clearing house” for firms pay out contracts to various subcontractors and vendors without revealing the ultimate recipients of the donor money. (ABC News / Washington Post)

  5. Trump never confronted Putin about alleged Russian bounties paid to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, saying “I have never discussed it with him.” Trump spoke with Putin last week and later said, “We don’t talk about what we discussed.” But when asked this week, Trump said he didn’t raise the issue because the phone call was meant “to discuss other things” and because “frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.” Trump has spoken to Putin at least eight times since the intelligence about the alleged Russian bounties was included in his President’s Daily Brief in February. (Axios / Washington Post / Daily Beast / The Hill / New York Times)

  6. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany couldn’t explain why the coronavirus stimulus bill includes $1.75 billion for a new FBI building. “So, this was part of the President’s priority of updating the FBI building, keeping it in DC, and it’s been one of the things that’s been mentioned that’s in this bill and it’s a part of one of the President’s priorities and it’s been a priority for several months.” She added: It is “not a dealbreaker.” (CNN)

  7. Trump directed to the CIA to block former CIA director John Brennan from accessing his official records. It’s common practice, however, for the CIA to allow former directors review classified files when writing books about their careers so they ensure they don’t expose any national secrets. Brennan’s book, “Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad,” is scheduled to be published on Oct. 6. (Washington Post)

  8. The Trump administration will cut back its deployments in Germany by nearly 12,000 troops, shifting some units to Belgium and Italy. About 6,400 troops will return to the U.S. (NBC News / Associated Press / New York Times)