See what the controversial package includes for essential workers and every American household.
Former President Barack Obama on Saturday again criticized the United States’ coronavirus response and said the crisis “spotlights the underlying inequalities” in the nation.
Addressing a virtual event for historically black colleges and universities, Obama said many U.S. leaders “aren’t even pretending to be in charge” during the pandemic. About a week ago, Obama called the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic an “absolute chaotic disaster” in a call with 3,000 people who served in his administration.
The U.S. has the largest coronavirus outbreak in the world by far. There are more than 88,000 deaths and 1.4 million confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the virus has killed more than 310,000 people and has infected more than 4.6 million.
Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing. Scroll down for more details.
Here are some highlights to know:
- The House of Representatives passed a historic measure allowing remote voting amid the coronavirus pandemic and also approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package. The Senate is not expected to take up the bill.
- President Donald Trump announced Friday “Operation Warp Speed,” an effort to develop, produce and distribute a vaccine for the new coronavirus by the end of the year. Experts have cautioned that 12-18 months may be more realistic.
- Five sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam have tested positive for the coronavirus a second time, raising questions about how the vessel can return to sea safely.
- Graduates around the country deprived of a traditional graduation were treated to a star-studded virtual graduation ceremony, including a commencement address from Oprah Winfrey.
What we’re talking about: Are you ready to leave your basement and re-enter society? We answer questions and offer advice on life after quarantine. Things are tough right now, and we want to help you get through it. Get tips on Staying Apart, Together.
Something to smile about: I used this time to turn my lonely feeder into a bird hotspot.
Obama says crisis spotlights inequalities
Former President Barack Obama made several surprisingly political comments and touched on current events when he spoke on “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour livestreaming event for historically black colleges and universities.
As he congratulated graduates and commiserated over the difficult world they face, the former president noted the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, who was killed while jogging on a residential street in Georgia.
“Let’s be honest: A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communicates have historically had to deal with in this country,” Obama said. “We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.”
Obama’s brief criticism of U.S. leaders’ response to the virus — in which he said many leaders “aren’t even pretending to be in charge” — did not name President Donald Trump or any other federal or state officials.
About a week ago, Obama called the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic an “absolute chaotic disaster” and promised to campaign “as hard as I can” for former Vice President Joe Biden in a call with 3,000 people who served in his administration.
Obama will also deliver a televised prime-time commencement address later Saturday for the high school Class of 2020 during an hour-long event that will also feature LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai and Ben Platt, among others.