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Daily Trail Markers: Trump and Biden spar over jobs report as COVID cases spike

Trump and Biden respond to latest jobs report
Trump and Biden respond to latest jobs report... 01:52

About 4.8 million American jobs were added in June, the Labor Department said on Thursday, as the states began to reopen more businesses, according to CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster. The unemployment rate dropped from 13.3% to 11.1%, but when a misclassification is taken into account the real unemployment rate was really about 12%, a drop from about 16% in May.

After major job losses in March and April, the U.S. is still down about 15 million jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some economists also note that June's report may not provide an accurate picture of the current moment because the information comes from early and mid-June. At that point almost all states had lifted stay at home orders and relaxed restrictions on businesses, but some states have had to tighten regulations in recent days due to another spike in cases of the coronavirus. The report also showed the number of permanent job losses increased by about 588,000 in June to 2.9 million. 

"The job market is truly dreadful; latest data show it's somewhat less dreadful than before," University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers tweeted.

President Trump praised the report as a sign that the "economy is roaring back," and added, "This is not just luck what's happening. This is a lot of talent." 

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he was happy to see more people getting back to work but that this is no time to cheer, reports CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson. "There is no victory to be celebrated," Biden said. "Millions would still have their job if Donald Trump did his job." 

The biggest job gains in June came in the leisure and hospitality industry added 2.1 million jobs during June, while retail generated 740,000 jobs and education and health services added 568,000.

FROM THE CANDIDATES

JOE BIDEN

In brief online remarks Thursday about the latest jobs report Thursday, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports Biden took a clear tonal difference from the White House that has been championing reopening the economy even as COVID-19 cases spike nationwide. The former vice president said the real number we should focus on is the approximately 50,000 cases of coronavirus per day, a stat Mr. Trump left out of his jobs announcement. 

The former VP mocked the president's interview yesterday, in which he said he "hoped" the virus would "disappear." Biden said "it was like déjà vu all over again." He questioned, "That is still his best answer?" 

And late last night, Biden's fundraising effort claimed another win — for the second month in a row — outraising Trump's fundraising arm. Biden's joint fundraising effort brought in $141 million in June alone, $10 million more than the president's reelection effort raised.

PRESIDENT TRUMP

Businessman and former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has been hospitalized in Atlanta following a COVID-19 diagnosis, according to a statement posted to his Twitter account Thursday. CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga says the 74-year-old co-chairman of "Black Voices for Trump" and contributor to conservative media outlet Newsmax was hospitalized Wednesday after developing "serious" symptoms. "Mr. Cain did not require a respirator, and he is awake and alert," the statement noted. 

The surrogate for President Trump attended his June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On Twitter, Cain posted a photo of himself seated at the rally alongside other Trump surrogates and without a face mask. "We honestly have no idea where he contracted it," Dan Calabrese, the editor. of his website, wrote Thursday in a blog post. "I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week, including to Arizona where cases are spiking. I don't think there's any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected." 

All of Mr. Trump's campaign staffers who traveled to Tulsa self-quarantined after at least eight members of the advance team tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told CBS News that Cain did not come into direct contact with the president during the rally. "Contact tracing was conducted after the Tulsa rally but we do not comment regarding the medical information of individuals. Regardless, Mr. Cain did not meet with the President," Murtaugh said in a statement.

CBS NEWS COVID CHRONICLES

FESTIVAL WORKERS IN MAINE

CBS News is chronicling what has changed for the lives of residents across the nation in 2020 amid the pandemic. In the latest edition of the series, CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga reports Maine's largest festival attracts over 150,000 visitors each year from across the country and around the world to the tiny town of Fryeburg. Until this year, the Fryeburg Fair persisted in good harvests and in bad, through the Spanish flu of 1918, two world wars and the Great Depression.

"It wasn't easy to tell people we were going to cancel," said Roy Andrews, president of the Fryeburg Fair, who noted the decision to call off the annual festivities over health concerns proved "pretty unanimous" among board members. "We certainly would not want to create a hot spot in the small town of Fryeburg. We talked to rescue and first aid. They didn't know how they'd be able to handle it." 

For now, the swine and goat grandstand, decades-old firemen's muster kick-off and eight days of harness racing are on hold until 2021, along with the $1.3 million payroll for 650 seasonal workers and the donations to 25 charitable causes. Maine employment numbers in leisure and hospitality have dipped by 50% between February and May 2020, with tens of millions of dollars in economic activity lost to this year's scrapped festival season. 

The state usually hosts 169 festivals a year. According to a 2016 study, Fryeburg's annual shindig contributes over $21.5 million alone to the regional GDP. Yet, with just over 3,000 COVID-19 cases and around 100 deaths, the state of Maine has fared far better than distant East Coast neighbors New York and Massachusetts, who have both endured thousands of coronavirus losses.

STATE-BY-STATE

ARIZONA

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, announced Thursday that $9 million of the state's discretionary federal coronavirus relief money would be doled out for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs' "AZVoteSafe" plan for the upcoming primary, funding everything from face masks for poll workers to voter outreach. 

While the plan was initially designed to be funded by an award of CARES Act money from the Election Assistance Commission, which totals $400 million nationwide, CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin reports Arizona's legislature has yet to formally appropriate the federal election aid. Arizona has already voted in large numbers outside of election day polling places: 75% of the state cast early, mail-in or absentee ballots in the 2016 general election. However, some activists have warned of the challenges posed by a shift to full vote-by-mail system, especially for the state's significant Native American population.

MICHIGAN

Absentee ballot requests have increased by 350% in Michigan for the August primary, compared to the same time period before the primary in 2016, according to CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster. The Michigan secretary of state's office released information on Thursday showing more than 1.3 million people have requested ballots 35 days out from the primary. In 2016, 378,317 people requested absentee ballots 35 days ahead of the primary election. In 2018, voters in Michigan overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution to allow people to vote absentee without providing an excuse. In May, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson mailed absentee ballot request forms to all 7.7 million registered voters in Michigan. "Michigan voters have embraced their right to vote from home with enormous enthusiasm," Benson said in a statement.

NEW MEXICO

The Trump campaign is reportedly going up with its first ad buy of the cycle in New Mexico, where Republicans have expanded their organizing team in hopes of retaking a state that last voted for a GOP candidate in 2004 by a narrow margin. 

CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin reports at a fundraiser for Joe Biden late last month, Jill Biden described the state as "key" to her husband's election effort. However, as the president's campaign was quick to denounce in May, Biden's campaign has not listed the state as part of their "Path to 270" strategy. Recent polls of the state put Biden ahead of the president by more than 10 points

CONGRESSIONAL COVERAGE

IN THE HOUSE

After recent Republican primaries, Democrats are paying more attention to recent open seats in Colorado and Indiana that have become more competitive, reports CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro. Sabato's Crystal Ball has slightly shifted ratings in these seats away from Republicans, with Colorado's 3rd now rated as a "Leans Republican" and Indiana's 5th, the district of retiring Congresswoman Susan Brooks, rated a "Toss Up." 

The rating change in Colorado comes after challenger Lauren Boebert, owner of a gun-themed restaurant, upset five-term incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton by about 11 points. Since then, Boebert has been targeted by Democrats for her support of QAnon conspiracy theories, which claim there's a "deep state" plot to take down Mr. Trump. Boebert's victory in her primary, along with Victoria Spartz in Indiana and Stephanie Bice and Terry Neese in Oklahoma's 5th, signals a trend of an uptick in women Republican House candidates. It's a positive sign for recruitment efforts after a recent record low amount of female Republicans in the House. 

Meanwhile, two freshmen Democrats targeted by House Republicans have released their first campaign ads of the cycle. In both Kendra Horn's and Joe Cunningham's ads, they tout their ability to cross the aisle and, at times, buck their party. "I stood up to my party on the misguided $3 trillion spending bill because it didn't help us address the real needs of our communities," Horn says in her ad in reference to her opposition to the HEROES Act. 

GOVERNOR'S MANSION

UTAH

In Utah's Republican gubernatorial primary, Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox is holding onto a lead against former governor and U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, reports CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro. More than 110,000 ballots still have to be counted, a number that could be higher after more mail-in votes come in. State House Speaker Greg Hughes was also on the ballot, but conceded on Wednesday. 

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