The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. US Risks 100,000 COVID-19 Cases Per Day

    You'll need a mask for this. America's top pandemic expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned yesterday that the nation is "going in the wrong direction" and is on course for 100,000 new cases each day. Tuesday's tally was 44,474, the second-highest daily addition to the 2.6 million U.S. cases out of 10.4 million infections worldwide. That explains why Washington has cornered the market on remdesivir — the only drug so far with any promise of treating COVID-19 — alarming authorities in other countries, who won't have a chance to acquire the antiviral medication for three months.

    Follow OZY's pandemic coverage at Coronavirus Central.

  2. HK Police Nab Protesters Under New Law

    The rules have changed. While running street clashes with police have become commonplace in Hong Kong, today the dozens of protesters detained by authorities could face a year in jail. That's because Beijing yesterday imposed its widely condemned national security law in Hong Kong. The region has handled protests with its own laws until now — but under the new rules such dissent, when judged to be "sedition" and also a "grave" offense, could carry a life sentence. The timing is apropos: July 1 is the 23rd anniversary of Britain handing over the territory to China.

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    Bull Market Quarter Strongest in Decades

    Do you feel recovered? The quarter that ended yesterday was, for Wall Street anyway, the most robust in decades. The S&P 500 index led the way, rising by 20 percent, its best since 1998, while the Dow average rose 18 percent, which investors hadn't seen since 1987. Analysts credit huge stimulus efforts by both the Federal Reserve and Congress, in evidence yesterday as the Senate approved a six-week extension of a small business stimulus program that was due to expire at midnight. The bill would extend the Paycheck Protection Program, which has provided 4.8 million loans to help businesses survive the pandemic, until Aug. 8.

  4. Biden Nixes Rallies, Trump Targets Vandals

    Exposure works both ways. Presidential challenger Joe Biden says he'll "follow the doc's orders" and won't hold campaign rallies, while President Donald Trump is canceling an Alabama event. On the civil rights front, Trump's been focused on the "two anarchists" who threw red paint at a George Washington statue, vowing that they'll face 10 years in prison. His Republican allies worry that he's inflaming a culture war when Americans are more concerned about the pandemic, the crashing economy and police violence.

    Ready to shake up the system? OZY's got you covered with its Reset America hat.

  5. Also Important ...

    Establishment-supported Democratic Senate challengers Amy McGrath in Kentucky and John Hickenlooper in Colorado won their respective primaries June 23 and yesterday. An apparent gas explosion has killed 19 people in a medical clinic in Tehran. Comedy legend Carl Reiner has died at age 98, announced his son, acclaimed director Rob Reiner. And baseball legend A-Rod and music star Jennifer Lopez tweeted a hopeful message to the class of 2020.

    Coronavirus update: An increase in infections recorded in Tokyo is alarming experts who were expecting summer to slow the spread.

    Go figure: How did the mysterious disappearance of a French inventor lead to the birth of Hollywood? All is revealed in the latest episode of Flashback, OZY's chart-topping new history podcast. Download now on Apple Podcasts, the iHeart Radio app, or anywhere else you might get your podcasts from.

Intriguing

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    EU Agrees to Open Borders to China, Not US

    In a stinging turnabout, the European Union yesterday decided to reopen its borders to travelers from 14 nations, plus China if it reciprocates — but not countries like the U.S. and Brazil with runaway coronavirus outbreaks. The opening starts today under a plan that divided EU members, with six nations abstaining from the vote. Some diplomats lamented that the controversial list, which included Japan, Algeria and Serbia, wasn't more limited, with one diplomat saying that if science was the only consideration, "we would open up only to Canada, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand."

  2. Czechs Hold 'Farewell' Party for COVID-19

    Too soon? It might be, even though the Czech Republic has posted amazing stats, indicating fewer coronavirus infections than some neighboring nations' death counts. That success, along with today's lifting of border restrictions, inspired thousands of people to symbolically bid "farewell" to the outbreak by joining a pot-luck dinner yesterday on a 1,640-foot table across the landmark Charles Bridge. Organizer Ondřej Kobza said the fete showed "that we are not afraid." The non-distanced gathering defied the World Health Organization's warnings that the pandemic isn't over, and is actually accelerating.

    OZY checks in with workers who want to stay home.

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    The Climate's Right for 'Insurtech'

    It's not the risk, it's the management thereof. Climate change is driving traditional insurance conglomerates out of places like coastal Florida. But "insurtech" industry innovators are wading in, OZY reports, and providing coverage in flood-prone areas and risky hot spots like California's tinder-dry hinterlands. While the big boys often rely upon "the worst tech in the world" to balance risks and rewards, outfits like Chicago-based Kin aren't just covering homes in those locales, they're getting clients to lower their risks by jacking up houses and bracing them for hurricanes, providing smart solutions for those with few alternatives.

  4. Judge Pauses Mary Trump's Tell-All Book

    This can't hurt sales. A New York judge has blocked the release of the presidential niece's book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man. The rare case of stopping publication applies only until a July 10 hearing, when Robert Trump, the president's younger brother, will argue that the "salacious" tome, set to be published July 28, violates a confidentiality agreement concerning patriarch Fred Trump Sr.'s estate. Mary Trump's lawyer decried the ruling as a violation of the First Amendment and vowed to immediately appeal.

    OZY examines the battle over online book reading.

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    Pandemic Kills Minor League Baseball Season

    Without the cheering crowds, hot dogs and future stars, there's no point. While Major League Baseball is still planning to play made-for-TV games later this month, the minor league season was canceled for the first time in history yesterday. The announcement came three months after the season was postponed due to the pandemic, and hot on the heels of MLB's decision not to send players to the minors this year to hone their skills. Minor League Baseball CEO Pat O'Conner said unprecedented times had forced a "sad day for many."