150,000

More than 150,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus since the first known death in February. That's an average of 850 deaths per day, or 50 times more deaths than the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. recorded 1,461 deaths on Wednesday, which is one death per minute [CNN].


Raised eyebrows

President Donald Trump said he did not bring up intelligence that Russia had offered bounties to kill American troops when he spoke with President Vladimir Putin last week. Trump said had he known about the intelligence, he would have acted. The information was part of his written intelligence brief in February, but he rarely reads that document [Axios].


Coronavirus relief

Congress is still nowhere near an agreement on another coronavirus relief package. The primary sticking point is extending $600 per week in extra jobless benefits [Politico].


Back to school?

The president of the American Federation of Teachers says teachers in Florida, Arizona and Texas could strike in protest of unsafe working conditions because of the coronavirus [Politico].


Facepalm

Republican congressman Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tested positive for coronavirus. He later made the inexplicable claim that wearing a mask might be responsible for him contracting the virus [Politico].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that masks would be mandatory in the House following Gohmert's positive test. Members and staff will not be allowed in the House Chamber without wearing a mask [CBS News].


Economy

The U.S. will report a record-breaking economic plunge. Consumer spending fell off a cliff in the last quarter, which caused the economy to shrink by a 32 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter [AP].

U.S. gross domestic product dropped nearly 35 during the second quarter [Bloomberg].

The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero as the economy continues to sputter [NYT].


Big tech takes a beating

The chiefs of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook underwent tough questioning from Democrats and Republicans during a contentious congressional hearing on Wednesday [NYT].

Republicans claim that right-wing voices are being censored on social media. Data shows that's not true [CNN].

In a particularly cringe-worthy moment, Florida Republican Greg Steube claimed his campaign's emails ending up in spam folders was evidence of anti-conservative bias [Daily Beast].


SCOTUS

Justice Brett Kavanaugh reportedly urged his colleagues on the court not to rule either way in the high-profile case concerning President Trump's tax returns. Kavanaugh also lobbied the other justices to stay out of a Louisiana abortion case that would have closed all but one abortion clinic in the state [CNN].


Food insecurity

Almost 30 million Americans said they did not have enough to eat last week [Bloomberg].


Portland

Oregon's governor announces that federal officers will begin leaving the city on Thursday [Oregon Public Broadcasting].


Read this right now!

Civil rights leader John Lewis, who died last week, authored an op-ed to be published on the day of his funeral urging Americans to stand up for their beliefs and reject racism and hate [NYT].


Big Brother is watching

Rite Aid deployed facial recognition technology in largely lower-income non-white neighborhoods [Reuters].