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2020 Daily Trail Markers: D.C. statehood bill passes the House

The House passed a bill on statehood for the District of Columbia Friday, the latest in a long-standing effort that picked up momentum during the recent protests in the nation's capital reports CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro.  The bill is sponsored by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting representative of the district in the House. Supporters of the bill argued reasons for state include include that D.C.'s population, budget and GDP contribution is higher than other states. With the national movement over the deaths of George FloydBreonna TaylorAhmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks, many black residents in D.C. feel not having statehood or proper representation has also been highlighted. "For decades, racist accusations about District residents not being able to govern ourselves were used to deny us the rights that every other taxpaying American is guaranteed by the Constitution. Still today, without any senators and with no vote in Congress, we are denied full access to our nation's democracy," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

Republicans argue the vote is a political attempt by Democrats to grow their ranks, and both the Senate leadership and the White House have said they will not take the bill up. "D.C. will never be a state," President Trump told the New York Post in May. "Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No, thank you. That'll never happen." 

FROM THE CANDIDATES

JOE BIDEN

At his handful of small, socially-distanced campaign events Joe Biden has made not just policy but pandemic protection an issue of contrast between himself and President Donald Trump, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports.  In an interview with CBS Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA, Biden said if he were president today he would "do everything possible" to use the power of the federal government to require that everyone wear a face mask while in public. "The one thing we do know is that these masks make a gigantic difference," Biden said in the interview. But he mentioned one time in the near future he would potentially not wear a mask: his inauguration. If elected and health conditions call for face masks, Biden said the regular ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol could potentially be re-worked with social distancing. But before Biden marks up his inauguration plans, he of course has to win the November presidential election in 130 days.

Biden picked up endorsements from two people connected to the historic cases paving the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage five years ago, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports. "We won that fight for the freedom to marry because of an ally in the White House, Joe Biden," Jim Obergefell and Judith Kasen-Windsor said in a joint statement given to CBS News, calling Biden the LGBTQ community's "greatest ally." Obergefell was the plaintiff in the historic 2015 case that made gay marriage legal and Karen-Windsor is the widow to the plaintiff whose case in 2013 rendered the Defense Against Marriage Act illegal. "He is the leader our country needs so desperately right now, someone who can bridge the divides that Donald Trump has worked so hard to dredge," Obergefell and Kasen-Windsor wrote.   

PRESIDENT TRUMP

The White House announced a last-minute change to Mr. Trump's travel plans Friday, canceling the president's weekend trip to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, reports CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga. "UPDATE: The President will no longer be traveling to Bedminster, NJ," a one line statement from the White House read. Travelers to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut from COVID hot spots have been instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. As of Friday, those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. Mr. Trump traveled this week to Arizona to check on construction progress on the southern border wall and attend a campaign event at a Phoenix megachurch. But asked if the president canceled his weekend getaway on the heels of a trip to Arizona in order to abide by New Jersey travel restrictions, White House spokesman Judd Deere responded, "It had nothing to do with that." In a press conference Friday, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey declared "the president is deemed to be on the essential workforce category."  He continued "and therefore, he is welcome to New Jersey. So there was no either private or public signal from us otherwise." The U.S. reached an all-time daily high of 40,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday, surpassing a record set in April. As a result, governors in states including Texas are halting efforts to reopen the economy. "We're making a lot of progress with the whole situation that came in from a place called China," Mr. Trump said about the pandemic before a roundtable on federal hiring practices. "We have a little work to do and we'll get it done," Mr. Trump added. Amid the spike in coronavirus cases, voter disapproval of Mr. Trump's job performance is at an all-time high, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released on Friday. Mr. Trump's approval rating sits at 40% overall. A whopping 58% disapprove, with a record-breaking 49% of surveyed voters indicating they "strongly disapprove" of the job Trump is doing.  Biden leads Mr. Trump by 8 percentage points, 52% to 44%, in the general election matchup.

Vice President Mike Pence held the first Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in nearly two months, saying "we slowed the spread, we flattened the curve," despite the U.S. reaching a record new number of COVID-19 cases for a single day. CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar says the 40,000 new cases registered Friday is also a dramatic rise from May when the new cases hovered around 25,000 a day and early June when the average was roughly 20,000 per day. Pence said there are 16 states seeing an increase in cases and positive percentage rates. Roughly half of the new cases are Americans under the age of 35, which Pence said is an encouraging sign. Over the next few days, Pence is set to travel to states hit hardest by recent spikes. On Sunday, Pence will visit Dallas. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday ordered bars to close and starting Monday, restaurants must operate at 50% capacity, a roll back from 75%. Next week, Pence is set to make trips to Arizona and Florida. The vice president said Friday that he will be traveling to these states "to get a ground report," but he will also be campaigning for reelection. The Trump campaign recently announced Pence will make remarks in Tucson, Arizona, and Sarasota, Florida, as part of his "Faith in America" tour, which the vice president kicked off this this week in Wisconsin. Asked about campaigning as cases continue to rise, Pence talked about taking the "proper steps" like screening at events and "giving people the very best counsel" on safety precautions. But Pence acknowledged that "we have an election coming up this fall," adding that he and the president "still want to give people the freedom to participate in the political process." The Trump campaign, despite pleas from local officials to postpone, went ahead with a large indoor rally in Oklahoma last week, which resulted in dozens of campaign staffers and U.S. Secret Service members being forced to quarantine after some tested positive for the coronavirus. 

STATE-BY-STATE

CALIFORNIA

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a budget emergency on Thursday as the state faces a deficit of more than $54 billion because of the response to the coronavirus. CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar writes the announcement came a day after Newsom threatened to withhold $2.5 billion in the upcoming budget from local governments if they don't comply with the state's order on masks, testing and other measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. While the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) refers to rules for wearing masks as "guidance," Newsom's executive order from mid-March allows the state to enforce the public health rules. Newsom has said "we are now at a stage in this pandemic where we have to demand more accountability" and "that is why we are attaching $2.5 billion dollars to that pledge." Newsom said his approach "is to be guided by enforcement at the local level first" but made clear he has tools at his disposal to ensure that local governments are complying with public health guidelines, including the requirement to wear masks in public. The governor said he doesn't want Californians to be fined for not wearing a mask and said enforcement of it could be done on a case-by-case basis like jaywalking.

FLORIDA

The Florida Department of Health reported 8,942 new positive COVID-19 cases on Friday — the state's largest single-day increase — bringing the total number of cases in the state to nearly 123,000, with more than 3,000 related deaths. According to data provided by the FLDOH, the increase in cases also tracks with an increase in the number of people being tested per day. The department received COVID-19 lab results for more than 71,000 people throughout the state on Thursday. As of Friday, residents ages 25-34 years old accounted for more than 23,000 case, which is 19% of the total number of confirmed cases in the state. According to a New York Times coronavirus case count tracker, Florida has the sixth-highest number of cases in the country. CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell reports that during a press conference with health experts on Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis said that he won't mandate face masks throughout the state and that this type of order "wouldn't make sense" in some cities. "The idea that you're just going to mandate and selectively prosecute people, I don't think that that's necessarily going to work. I do think what will work is consistent messaging, letting people know what they can do to help protect themselves, and protect others," said DeSantis. "Some localities require [face masks] and they're going to have to figure out how they're going to use…the long arm of the law to enforce it." On Friday, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended on-site consumption of alcohol at bars across the state, days after the governor warned there would be "no tolerance" for businesses that don't follow the mandated 50% indoor occupancy rule as outlined in the current phase of re-opening. Earlier this week, the DBPR issued an emergency suspension of the alcoholic beverage license of a bar in Orlando after 13 employees and at least 28 patrons tested positive for COVID-19.

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