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  • More than 6.6 million people worldwide -- including nearly 1.9 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Friday, June 5, continue below:  US biotech firm wins contract to deliver 10M doses of coronavirus vaccine candidate  Update 7:18 a.m. EDT June 5: Novavax Inc., a Maryland-based biotech company, said Thursday it has landed a contract worth as much as $60 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to mass produce its novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. The therapeutic candidate, which goes by the experimental name NVX-COV2373, started a Phase I safety trial with volunteers in May. Per the DoD contract, Novavax will deliver 10 million doses of the vaccine in 2020 that could be used in late-stage clinical trial or could under an Emergency Use Authorization if the US Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine, CNN reported. Mexico records 3rd consecutive daily record increase in new coronavirus cases  Update 6:40 a.m. EDT June 5: For the third consecutive day, Mexico has reported record-setting new coronavirus diagnoses. With 4,442 new cases recorded Thursday, Mexico’s total infections now stand at 105,680 and have resulted in at least 12,545 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Brazil’s coronavirus deaths surpass Italy’s fatalities Update 6:22 a.m. EDT June 5: With 1,473 additional novel coronavirus deaths recorded in the 24 hours ended Thursday, Brazil’s virus-related death toll surpassed that of Italy, once the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak. According to Brazil’s health ministry, the South American nation’s coronavirus deaths now total 34,021 compared with Italy’s 33,689. Meanwhile, Brazil’s total infections have swelled to 614,941, meaning it trails only the United States with slightly fewer than one-third of the U.S. infection count. US coronavirus cases near 1.9M, deaths top 108K Published 12:41 a.m. EDT June 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb toward 1.9 million early Friday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,872,660 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 108,211 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 375,133 cases and 30,174 deaths and New Jersey with 162,530 cases and 11,970 deaths. Massachusetts, with 102,063 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,201, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 124,759. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 55,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 122,168 cases, resulting in 4,444 deaths • Pennsylvania: 78,335 cases, resulting in 5,832 deaths • Texas: 70,555 cases, resulting in 1,776 deaths • Florida: 60,183 cases, resulting in 2,607 deaths • Michigan: 58,241 cases, resulting in 5,595 deaths • Maryland: 55,858 cases, resulting in 2,668 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington and Iowa each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 19,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 16,560; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 14,438 and South Carolina with 12,415; Utah, Kentucky and Kansas each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Delaware, Nevada and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Arkansas and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 6,907 and South Dakota with 5,247. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • Authorities responding to reports of a gunshot in Alabama’s Valhermoso Springs community made a grizzly discovery just before 2 a.m. Friday. According to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, deputies discovered the bodies of seven adults – both male and female – at a Talacuh Road residence. Within one hour of discovering the crime scene, deputies had secured the scene and determined there was no immediate threat to the surrounding area. The sheriff’s office has not yet identified the victims. Valhermoso Springs is south of Huntsville, Alabama, near the Tennessee River. Please check back for updates to this developing story.
  • A deer fawn with rare piebald markings on its coat was captured on wildlife cameras on a conservation preserve in Collier County. The Naples Daily News shared the video captured by William Freund of the FSTOP Foundation.  Fewer than 1% of deer have piebald coats which have either white patches or are completely white, according to the University of Florida.  App users click here to see the video.  So why are these deer so rare? It takes a genetic code from both the buck and doe and if it is passed on to the fawn, there’s maybe a 50\50 chance that fawn will develop some type of deformity, like bent legs or a twisted backbone. This little one may have bent legs, check out the video and let us know what you think. Only a few can live normal lives with piebaldism. 
  • If you click here to see the ad dubbed “Make Space Great Again”  on YouTube all you see is a note saying it has been removed by the uploader. The video as was released by the campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump Wednesday and garnered close to 4,000 views before it was pulled down on Thursday. NASA told space.com it was surprised by the content which appeared to violate the agency's advertising regulations on the depictions of its astronauts and said they were not aware of the video before it became public.  The video was also removed from the campaign's Facebook and Twitter pages. NASA video footage was reportedly featured in the ad including SpaceX’s first astronaut launch,  as well as scenes of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley and their families.  Retired NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, who is married to Hurley, complained about the video via twitter saying it was “wrong.”  She wrote, 'I find it disturbing that a video image of me and my son is being used in political propaganda without my knowledge or consent.' NASA's advertising guidelines state, 'Astronauts or employees who are currently employed by NASA cannot have their names, likenesses or other personality traits displayed in any advertisements or marketing material.' While we obviously can’t show you the ad that was pulled down, but we did find this ad with the same title published by the Patriotic Populist.  App users click here to see the video. 
  • Charges have been filed against all four Minneapolis police officers involved in the situation that led to the May 25 death of George Floyd, 46, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Charges against former officer Derek Chauvin, who was previously charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, have been upgraded to second-degree murder. The other three officers involved -- Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao -- were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Floyd died on Memorial Day after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage and demonstrations which have spread nationwide. Live updates for Friday, June 5 continue below:  Video vindicates Philadelphia student charged with assaulting police Update 5:24 a.m. EDT June 5: A Temple University student arrested for assaulting police during a Philadelphia protest Monday has been vindicated by video of the incident. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Evan Gorski was accused of pushing an officer off his bike and fracturing his hand during a confrontation between police and demonstrators protesting police brutality. Video released Wednesday instead showed an officer striking Gorski with a baton, while another officer pinned the 21-year-old engineering student’s face to the ground. Gorski was released Wednesday. 2 National Guardsmen injured in DC lightning strike Update 4:55 a.m. EDT June 5: A lightning strike in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square injured two National Guardsmen around midnight Thursday. Both guardsmen were transported to a nearby hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for the district’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said via Twitter. There were no other reports of injuries associated with the strike. NYC mayor: Essential workers’ arrests after curfew are ‘NOT acceptable and must stop’ Update 4:38 a.m. EDT June 5: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio implored police to safeguard the rights of essential workers after viral videos recorded late Thursday showed the arrest of a food delivery worker out past the city’s 8 p.m. curfew.  In one video, a man is seen holding an insulated backpack from a food delivery company. A bicycle is splayed at his feet, and at least six officers have him surrounded. “Are you serious? Look, look, look I’m not even doing anything,” the man can be heard shouting, while officers tell him to “relax” and begin removing his backpack. A second video shared a few minutes later shows the unidentified man being loaded into a police van. NYPD officials told The Washington Post the man’s credentials were later verified at a nearby precinct, and he was released. California mayor resigns after sending email claiming local police never killed a ‘good person of color’ Update 4:11 a.m. EDT June 5: The mayor of Temecula, California, resigned late Thursday after sending an email earlier in the week that claimed local police had never killed a “good person of color.”  The email, sent by Mayor James “Stew” Stewart Tuesday night, was in response to a constituent asking what his administration is doing to address systemic racism in policing. After the communication was made public, Stewart claimed talk-to-text software had mistakenly added the word “good,” The Press-Enterprise reported. “As you know the City of Temecula does not have its own Police Department. We contract with Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. And I don’t believe there’s ever been a good person of color killed by a police officer. So I’m kind of confuse what you are looking for,” the email read. Stewart said he failed to proofread the email before sending after working a 12-hour shift at his barber shop, The Press-Enterprise reported. In the statement announcing his resignation, Stewart wrote, “City of Temecula, I hear you, I agree with you, and I am deeply sorry,” the newspaper reported. “I understand that even my sincerest apologies cannot remedy this situation. Because actions speak louder than words, I will step down as your Mayor and City Council Member effective immediately,” he added. 1 shot, 2 possibly injured near Denver protest Update 2:41 a.m. EDT June 5: A chaotic scene unfolded in Denver Thursday night after a man was shot one block away from protesters gathered near the capitol building. Denver Police confirmed one man had been shot and transported to a nearby hospital, but they offered no additional details on his condition or possible motivations for the shooting.  Two other “walk-in” patients – one with a gunshot wound and another suffering stab wounds – arrived at the hospital a short time later, but a police spokesman told The Washington Post that officers have not confirmed if those injuries are connected to the shooting of the first unidentified man. 2 Buffalo police officers suspended after video shows them pushing, injuring elderly man Published 2:27 a.m. EDT June 5: Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, have been suspended without pay after video of protests appears to show them knocking down a 75-year-old man. WARNING: Links in this post may contain video some readers might find disturbing due to its violent nature. The video shows the man being pushed by officers and then falling backward. The victim appears to bleed from his head while lying motionless on the ground. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said in a Thursday night statement he was “deeply disturbed” by video of the altercation and an immediate investigation has been launched by the city’s police commissioner. According to The Washington Post, officers who were not directly involved but witnessed the incident initially described the man as “tripping and falling,” but Brown launched his investigation immediately upon viewing the footage. Capt. Jeff Rinaldo with the Buffalo Police Department told the Post the victim is in stable condition with a laceration and possible concussion. 'After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening. My thoughts are with the victim tonight,” Brown said in the statement. Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the incident “unjustified and utterly disgraceful.” xxx

Washington Insider

  • Even as the number of people demonstrating over the police killing of George Floyd dwindled to a small group on Thursday afternoon in the nation's capital, workers were busy installing new high fencing around the park area known as the Ellipse just to the south of the White House, significantly expanding the security zone for President Donald Trump. 'It's a sad commentary that the (White) House and its inhabitants have to be walled off,' said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. 'We should want the White House to be opened up,' the Mayor told reporters. Critics immediately compared the new fencing to the President's push to build a wall along the border with Mexico. 'And American taxpayers, not Mexico, will again be sent the bill,' said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). By Thursday afternoon, workers had run the new fencing all the way down to, and along Constitution Avenue, which crosses in between the White House and the Washington Monument. The move to close off the Ellipse - an over 80 acre park which often hosts families, tourists, joggers, and picknickers - was reminiscent of other moves by the federal government to increase security, without the consent of the Washington, D.C. government. For example, after the Oklahoma City bombing, Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to traffic. Roads were also closed to through traffic on Capitol Hill near House and Senate office buildings, and security bollards were placed in front of a number of federal buildings, museums, and monuments. Because the federal government controls many of those areas, they are not under the direct jurisdiction of the District of Columbia. 'I'm also concerned that some of the hardening that they are doing may be not just temporary,' the Mayor said of the new security fencing. Extra fencing has already been put in place to the north of the White House, to wall off Lafayette Square from demonstrators. Here's a satellite map of the area around the White House to give you a better idea of the changes which are being made: The red area at the top is Lafayette Square. This is normally open to the public, but now a tall fence at the northern end along H Street does not allow anyone into the park. The yellow area is the normal White House security perimeter. The Old Executive Office Building is on the left, and the Treasury Department is on the right. The orange area at the bottom is how the perimeter is being extended with new fencing to add in the Ellipse, which is normally open to the public.  The road at the bottom of the graphic is Constitution Avenue.