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Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 30, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days?

July 1

  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Effective July 1, the following businesses will be permitted to reopen or expand operations: indoor amusement facilities (e.g., bowling alleys; 50 people maximum); movie theaters (50 people maximum); outdoor amusement facilities (25% capacity); performing arts venues (50 people maximum); casinos; overnight summer camps; and spas and close-contact personal services (e.g., nail services; 50 people maximum).
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced face coverings in indoor public spaces will be required statewide, effective July 1. Face coverings have been required in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Polk, Hood River, and Lincoln counties since June 24.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Virginia will enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan on July 1. Retailers, restaurants, and bars will no longer be subject to capacity restrictions, and entertainment venues and gyms will be permitted to operate at high capacities. The limit on gatherings will increase to 250 people.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Arizona (Republican trifecta): Gov. Doug Ducey (R) ordered bars, movie theaters, and water parks to close for at least one month. He also ordered public schools to delay the start of the school year until at least August 17. According to KTAR, most of the state’s public school systems traditionally begin their school years in early August.
  • Connecticut, New Jersey, New York (Democratic trifectas): Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced June 30 that visitors arriving in their states from eight additional states will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The three governors announced the joint travel advisory on June 24. The initial list included eight states. The new states include California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and Tennessee.
  • Georgia (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brain Kemp (R) extended the state’s social distancing rules for businesses and vulnerable residents. Kemp also extended the state’s public health emergency until August 11. The emergency includes a ban on gatherings of up to 50 individuals.
  • Kansas (divided government): On June 29, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced she would issue an executive order requiring most Kansans to wear face coverings in public spaces, effective 12:01 a.m. on July 3. Kelly said, “I know Kansans will have many questions about this order – and we will answer them when it is released later this week. But by announcing the requirement today, people in our state will have the appropriate time to acquire the masks.”
  • Kentucky (divided government): On June 29, Kentucky entered into the final stage of its reopening plan. As a result, the state’s stay-at-home order, which did not have a fixed end date, effectively concluded.
  • Michigan (divided government): At 3:00 p.m., June 30, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was expected to announce whether the state or portions thereof, are ready to advance to Phase 5 of Michigan’s reopening plan. She was also expected to discuss the state’s plan for reopening schools in the fall. We’ll have more information on these developments in tomorrow’s newsletter.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that out-of-state visitors from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey will no longer need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced that Nevada would remain in Phase 2 of its reopening plan through the end of July.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): The Western New York region is moving to Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan on June 30.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): At a press conference on Monday, June 29, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced that he was extending several health orders that were set to expire July 1. The orders established reopening requirements for industries like restaurants, gyms, and campgrounds. DeWine said he was extending the orders while he works on developing plans for the next phase of reopening, which could be released as early as Thursday. DeWine also announced that nursing homes can offer outdoor visitations so long as certain requirements are met beginning July 20.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Rhode Island is moving to the third phase of reopening on June 30. Phase 3 allows gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors. It also permits entertainment businesses (like bowling alleys and movie theaters) and some larger events (like concerts and festivals) to reopen with restrictions. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said Rhode Island will require travelers from states with 5% or greater positivity rates to self-quarantine for 14 days or be able to present proof of a recent negative coronavirus test.
  • Tennessee (Republican trifecta): On Monday, June 29, Gov. Bill Lee (R) extended the state of emergency declaration through August 29. The order continues the suspension and extension of some laws, regulations, and deadlines, including allowing restaurants to offer take-out and delivery of alcohol and pushing back the date at which drivers licenses need to be renewed. Lee also issued an executive order permitting local governments to continue to meet remotely.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday, June 30, that he was pausing elective surgeries in four additional counties, bringing the total number of counties with bans on elective surgeries to eight. The eight counties have experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 30, stay-at-home orders have ended in 42 states. Nineteen of those states have Republican governors and 23 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state supreme court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

California, which has a Democratic governor, is the only remaining state with an active stay-at-home order.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired.

Tracking industries: Face coverings

All 50 states are reopening in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states must you wear a face covering in public?

We last looked at face coverings in the June 22nd edition of the newsletter. Since then, no requirements have changed. Two states will implement requirements this week, however.

  • Kansas: Kansas’ face covering requirement will take effect on July 3.
  • Oregon: Oregon’s face covering requirement will take effect on July 1.

No statewide face covering requirements have ended since June 22.

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Alabama Florida Louisiana Montana Oklahoma Vermont
Alaska Georgia Maine Nevada Oregon Virginia
Arizona Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire Pennsylvania Washington
Arkansas Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey Rhode Island West Virginia
California Illinois Michigan New Mexico South Carolina
Colorado Indiana Minnesota New York South Dakota
Connecticut Iowa Mississippi North Carolina Tennessee
Delaware Kansas Missouri Ohio Utah

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced the Healthy At Work reopening plan on April 29. The plan initially took effect May 11, allowing non-essential construction and manufacturing, horse racing, pet grooming and boarding, and office-based businesses to resume operations.

In a press release announcing the plan, Beshear said, “We’ve got to do this right. I believe we can do this right. When we phase back in to work, remember, you don’t need an in-person meeting. Use the telephone. And now that we are starting to open up health care, see your doctor if you need to.”

The state completed the formal plan on June 29 with the reopening of bars and restaurants, public pools, and larger event spaces. The final batch of reopenings also permitted gatherings of up to 50 people.

According to the reopening plan, the following benchmarks were considered in deciding to reopen:

  • 14 days of decreasing cases
  • Increased testing capacity on contact tracing
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) availability
  • Ability to protect at-risk populations
  • Ability to social distance and follow the CDC’s guidelines on large gatherings
  • Preparedness for possible future spike
  • Status of vaccine and treatment

Context

  • Kentucky’s statewide stay-at-home order took effect on March 26. The order did not have a fixed end date. Its provisions began to lapse when the state began its reopening process on May 11. On June 29, Kentucky reached the end of its formal reopening plan, marking the effective end of the stay-at-home order.
  • As of June 29, there had been 14,835 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky and 557 confirmed deaths. A total of 394,773 residents had been tested, amounting to a positive test rate of 3.8%. As of July 2019, Kentucky’s estimated population was 4.5 million. Per 100,000 residents, there have been 329.7 confirmed positives, 12.4 confirmed deaths, and 8772.7 total tests.
  • Kentucky has a divided government, with a Democratic governor and Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

General guidance

Individuals

Kentuckians were encouraged to:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Observe 6-feet social distancing
  • Wear masks per CDC guidance

Businesses

All open businesses are required to comply with the following minimum requirements:

  • Enforce Social Distancing (six (6) feet or more)
  • Universal masking
  • Provide Adequate Hand Sanitizer and Encourage Hand Washing
  • Ensure Proper Sanitation
  • Conduct Daily Temperature/Health checks

Reopening timeline

The below timeline details Kentucky’s reopening process. Click on each date to view the relevant reopening order.

May 9, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Places of worship

May 11, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Non-essential construction
    • Horse racing venues (no fans permitted)
    • Non-essential manufacturing and distribution
    • Office-based businesses
    • Pet grooming and boarding
    • Photography
    • Vehicle dealerships

May 18, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Government offices and agencies

May 20, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Funeral and memorial services
    • Non-essential retail

May 22, 2020

  • The following changes to individual restrictions took effect:
    • Gatherings of up to 10 people permitted
    • Travel restrictions ended
  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Dine-in restaurant services (33% capacity)

May 25, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open at 33% capacity:
    • Barbershops and hair salons
    • Beauty parlors
    • Massage parlors
    • Tanning salons
    • Tattoo parlors

June 1, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Auctions
    • Auto and dirt tracks
    • Aquatic centers
    • Bowling alleys
    • Fishing tournaments
    • Gyms and fitness centers
    • Kentucky State Park lodges
    • Movie theaters
    • Salato Wildlife Education Center

June 8, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Aquariums
    • Distilleries
    • Indoor entertainment (like arcades, laser tag venues, roller skating rinks)
    • Libraries
    • Outdoor attractions
    • Museums
    • Horse shows
    • In-home childcare programs

June 10, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Places of worship (capacity increased to 50%)

June 11, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Kentucky Horse Park
    • Kentucky State Park campgrounds
    • Vehicle dealerships (capacity increased to 50%)

June 15, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Center-based childcare programs and day camps
    • Low-touch youth sports

June 18, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Government offices and agencies (capacity increased to 50%)

June 20, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open at increased, 50% capacity:
    • Funeral and memorial services
    • Non-essential retail

June 22, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Dine-in restaurant services (capacity increased to 50%)

June 25, 2020

  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open at increased, 50% capacity:
    • Barbershops and hair salons
    • Beauty parlors
    • Massage parlors
    • Tanning salons
    • Tattoo parlors

June 29, 2020

  • The following changes to individual restrictions took effect:
    • Gatherings of up to 50 people permitted
  • The following businesses and services were allowed to open:
    • Bars
    • Public swimming and bathing facilities
    • Event venues
    • Youth sports (high-touch sports like football, soccer, and lacrosse can resume practices)

Reactions

  • On April 15, Scott Hofstra, spokesman for the United Kentucky Tea Party, said Kentucky was not reopening quickly enough. He said, “People are frustrated, and they’re not having input on this at all because the governor is dictating. … The governor is putting a higher priority on locking the entire state down for a virus that, as of a day or so ago, had a death rate that is 1/6th of the traffic accidents in Kentucky.”
  • On May 4, La Tasha Buckner, Beshear’s chief of staff, said waiting to reopen based on the Healthy At Work criteria was necessary to public health and would allow the state to make steadier reopening progress. She said, “It’s important that you meet these guidelines, these requirements, because it allows us to be healthy at work. That allows us the successful reopening and to make sure we’re making advancements and staying at the plateau level and hopefully declining.”

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Effective June 29, residents of Anchorage, Alaska, were required to wear masks inside all buildings aside from their homes within the municipality.
  • On June 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied an emergency petition filed by the AFL-CIO. The labor union had sought a court order (a writ of mandamus) to compel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Diseases (ETS) to protect working people from occupational exposure to COVID-19. The AFL-CIO had first petitioned Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia on March 6 to issue the ETS, but Scalia did not act on the petition, prompting the AFL-CIO to take the matter before the D.C. Circuit. The labor union cited a federal law requiring the issuance of an ETS when “employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards.” The D.C. Circuit refused to compel action, saying that OSHA is “entitled to considerable deference” and the agency had “reasonably determined that an ETS is not necessary at this time.” The per curiam decision was made by Judges Karen Henderson, an appointee of George H.W. Bush (R), Robert Wilkins, an appointee of Barack Obama (D), and Neomi Rao, an appointee of Donald J. Trump (R). AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement the day of the decision, saying, “the court’s action today fell woefully short of fulfilling its duty to ensure that the Occupational Safety and Health Act is enforced.”
  • In California, Alameda and Contra Costa counties announced that they were pausing their reopening plans, which both counties were scheduled to proceed to the next phase this week. Two other Bay Area counties, San Francisco and Marin, announced delays to their reopening plans last week.
  • The Cherokee Nation announced June 29 that it would stay in the second phase of its reopening plan through August 3. The third phase was originally planned to begin on July 6. The third phase would allow Cherokee offices to return to full staff, except for those over 65, who would be allowed to continue working from home or taking administrative leave.


Trump campaign makes $95 million ad buy in battleground states

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 30, 2020: The Trump campaign made a $95 million ad buy across several battleground states. Progressive Democrats of America and RootsAction.org published an open letter to Joe Biden calling for him to select Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. blank    blankblank  


Poll Spotlight

Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Fox News • Florida • June 20-23, 2020)


Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Fox News • Georgia • June 20-23, 2020)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“Biden shouldn’t worry about the campaign narrative. Or about unproven and unlikely effects on voter turnout. Or about how his pick contrasts with Donald Trump or Mike Pence. And certainly not about which potential running mate would annoy Trump the most. None of that is likely to matter during the campaign because running mates usually don’t matter. Mainly, Biden should just try to avoid disaster or harming the party.

And remember: If Biden does well, two weeks after the convention we’ll rarely think about his running mate for the rest of the campaign. No matter how strong a selection she is.”

– Jonathan BernsteinBloomberg

“The vice presidency in 2020 is more consequential than it has ever been before. We are in a moment when the Black Lives Matter movement and demands for racial equality are at the forefront of the public discourse. Biden would be wise to seize on that and choose a woman of color for balance. He is an older white man who seems well aware of the opportunity to name a woman like Sen. Harris or Rep. Demings and give them a real shot at succeeding him as president one day.

That is the single most important role of any vice president, the ability to step into the president’s shoes.

– Kate Andersen Brower, author of First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power

Election Updates

  • Progressive Democrats of America and RootsAction.org—which together represent 1.2 million activists—published an open letter to Joe Biden on Tuesday calling for him to select Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. “Biden-Warren would represent a unity ticket, one capable of generating enthusiasm from across the Democratic Party and beyond – and defeating Donald Trump in November,” they wrote.

  • Biden hired Eric Hyers, who managed successful campaigns for Gov. Andy Beshear (Ky.) in 2019 and Gov. Steve Bullock (Mont.) in 2016, as his Michigan state director.

  • The Donald Trump campaign made a $95 million ad buy across several battleground states—Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—starting in September for the two months leading up to the general election.

  • Twitch temporarily suspended Trump’s campaign account. A Twitch spokesperson said, “Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

  • Jacksonville, where the majority of the Republican National Convention is taking place, adopted a face mask requirement on Monday for public and indoor locations. Republican press secretary Mandi Merritt said, “The event is still two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available Covid-19 testing.”

Flashback: June 30, 2016

The Washington Post reported that Chris Christie, Bob Corker, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions were on Donald Trump’s shortlist for vice president.blank

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 29, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened Friday? Click here.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days?

June 30

  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the Western New York region will move to Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan starting June 30.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced Rhode Island will move to the third phase of reopening on June 30. Phase 3 will allow gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors. It will also allow entertainment businesses (like bowling alleys and movie theaters) and some larger events (like concerts and festivals) to reopen with restrictions. Raimondo said Rhode Island will require travelers from states with 5% or greater positivity rates to self-quarantine for 14 days or be able to present proof of a recent negative coronavirus test.

July 1

  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Effective July 1, the following businesses will be permitted to reopen or expand operations: indoor amusement facilities (e.g., bowling alleys; 50 people maximum); movie theaters (50 people maximum); outdoor amusement facilities (25% capacity); performing arts venues (50 people maximum); casinos; overnight summer camps; and spas and close-contact personal services (e.g., nail services; 50 people maximum).
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced Clatsop County will require face coverings in indoor public spaces, effective July 1. Face coverings have been required in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Polk, Hood River, and Lincoln counties since June 24.
  • Vermont (divided government): Beginning July 1, out-of-state visitors arriving from low-risk counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia in a personal vehicle will no longer need to quarantine for 14-days after arriving in Vermont. Vermont residents who visit those counties and then return home will also no longer need to quarantine.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Virginia will enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan on July 1. Retailers, restaurants, and bars will no longer be subject to capacity restrictions, and entertainment venues and gyms will be permitted to operate at high capacities. The limit on gatherings will increase to 250 people.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): On June 27, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered seven counties (including Los Angeles) to close bars. Newsom recommended that nine additional counties also close bars.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Effective June 29, the following businesses are allowed to reopen or expand operations: restaurants and bars (50% capacity); venues and event spaces (50% capacity); and public swimming and bathing facilities (subject to a capacity formula detailed here). Social gatherings of up to 50 people are now permitted.
  • Montana (divided government): Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced nursing homes and assisted living facilities capable of upholding CMS and CDC guidelines can begin reopening to visitors.
  • New Hampshire (divided government): Effective June 29, several industries are allowed to reopen or increase capacity in the state: Movie theaters and performing arts (reopen at 50% capacity), amusement parks (reopen at 25% capacity), overnight children’s camps (reopen), and hotels (from 50% capacity to regular capacity).
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On June 26, the New Jersey Department of Education released a 104-page reopening plan that includes social distancing guidelines and a face-covering requirement for teachers and staff. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that schools would reopen to in-person instruction this fall. Murphy also indefinitely postponed reopening indoor dining, which was set to occur on July 2. Shopping malls are reopening at 50% capacity on June 29.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): Gov. Gary Herbert (R) approved a plan by the Utah State Board of Education for reopening schools in the fall. The Board is requiring all public schools to create and post a reopening plan online by August 1.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On June 27, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said the state would stop counties from advancing to Phase 4 of the reopening plan. Although no counties had been moved into Phase 4 as of the time of the announcement, eight were scheduled to do so.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 27, stay-at-home orders have ended in 40 states. Nineteen of those states have Republican governors and 21 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

The three states with active stay-at-home orders have Democratic governors. They are (with expiration date):

  • New Mexico (June 30)
  • California (no set expiration date)
  • Kentucky (no set expiration date)

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired.

Tracking industries: Bars

All 50 states are reopening in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you go to a bar?

We last looked at bars in the June 17th edition of the newsletter. Since then, five states have opened bars, while two states have closed them. Here’s what has changed:

  • Closed bars that were previously open: Florida, Texas
  • Opened bars that were previously closed: Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Tennessee

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Alabama Delaware Iowa Minnesota New York South Carolina
Alaska Florida Kansas Missouri North Carolina South Dakota
Arizona Georgia Louisiana Montana Ohio Tennessee
Arkansas Hawaii Maine Nevada Oklahoma Utah
California Idaho Maryland New Hampshire Oregon Vermont
Colorado Illinois Massachusetts New Jersey Pennsylvania Virginia
Connecticut Indiana Michigan New Mexico Rhode Island Washington
West Virginia

On April 24, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed Executive Order No. 1477, the Safer At Home order that began the process of reopening the economy. The order took effect on April 27 and was originally set to expire on May 11.

In announcing the order, Reeves said, “This disease has not hit every American fairly. And the economic damage has not hit every American fairly. Wall Street and Hollywood will be fine. Mississippi small businesses and workers are not. That’s who has been asked to shoulder the country’s burden. It’s not fair, and it’s not right. We are starting to re-open our economy. It’s not a light switch that only goes on and off. It’s a dimmer. We can take measured steps to make life better.”

The order said Mississippi could begin reopening because:

“…the incidences of infection in Mississippi have stabilized; there is decreased utilization of hospital resources; a robust testing system is in place capable of promptly detecting any increase in the rate of infection; the healthcare system is capable of treating persons with the COVID-19 and has the capacity to promptly react to any increase in incidences; and the State has in place a plan to rapidly scale up healthcare capacity in the event of an increase in the rate of infection…”

On May 7, Reeves announced that the state was entering Stage 2 of reopening. Reeves replaced the Safer At Home order with the Safe Return order. According to Reeves, this was the final stage of reopening.

Context

  • On April 1, Reeves issued a statewide shelter-in-place order, requiring residents to stay at home unless performing essential activities. The order was originally scheduled to expire on April 20. On April 17, Reeves announced he was extending the shelter-in-place order through April 27. He also announced that nonessential businesses, like clothing stores and florists, could begin offering curbside or delivery services.
  • As of June 28, Mississippi had reported 26,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,042 deaths. Mississippi had an estimated population of 2,976,149 as of July 2019. For every 100,000 Mississippians, the state had 887 cases and 35 deaths.
  • Mississippi has a Republican trifecta. Republicans hold the governorship and have majorities in the state House and Senate.

Plan details

When Reeves extended the statewide shelter-in-place order on April 17, he also eased, for the first time, a few restrictions on nonessential businesses. Beginning that day, nonessential businesses like clothing stores and florists could offer curbside pickup or delivery services. Additionally, Reeves reopened lakes and beaches across the state for fishing and other leisure activities, so long as social distancing was followed.

Stage 1 of Safer At Home

Mississippi entered the first stage of reopening on April 27. Although the shelter-in-place order had expired, the 10-person limit on gatherings remained in place. Vulnerable and elderly individuals were encouraged to continue following the guidelines set out in the shelter-in-place order.

In Stage 1, hospitals and dentists were allowed to resume performing elective surgeries and other medical and dental procedures. Retail businesses could reopen at 50% capacity, so long as they made hand sanitizer available to customers at store entrances.

The following businesses were prohibited from reopening to in-person activities:

  • Places of amusement or entertainment, such as movie theaters and museums.
  • Close contact businesses like salons, gyms, tattoo parlors, and other personal care and personal grooming facilities (these businesses were permitted to sell products through curbside pick-up or delivery).
  • Restaurants and bars (curbside pick-up, drive-thru, or delivery services only).

Stage 2

On May 4, Reeves signed Executive Order No. 1478, which extended the Safer at Home order and further eased restrictions. The order went into effect May 7, at which point the state entered Stage 2 of reopening.

In the second stage, restaurants were permitted to offer indoor and outdoor dining at 50% capacity. Bars, and bar areas, could not reopen. Other rules required deep-cleaning and sanitizing the entire establishment before reopening, and required employees to wear face coverings when interacting with patrons.

Indoor gatherings were still restricted to 10 people, but outdoor gatherings could expand up to 20 people. Parks, including state, municipal, and private parks, were allowed to reopen between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. for recreational activities, so long as social distancing was followed.

On May 8, Reeves signed Executive Order 1480, which once again extended the statewide Safer at Home order and eased restrictions on some businesses.

Under this order, close contact businesses like salons and barbershops were permitted to reopen. Exercise facilities, like gyms, were allowed to reopen. Waiting areas were closed, and only one customer at a time was allowed in a salon or barbershop. Gyms were limited to 30% capacity.

Reeves issued Executive Order 1486 on May 15, allowing tattoo parlors to reopen with restrictions. The order also allowed restaurants that do not serve alcohol to offer indoor dining 24 hours a day and permitted dance studios to reopen subject to the same restrictions as gyms.

On May 22, Reeves extended the Safer at Home order through June 1 and permitted more businesses to reopen.

Under Executive Order No. 1487, outdoor recreational facilities were allowed to reopen with restrictions, and schools could reopen weight rooms and training facilities, so long as they followed the guidelines already in place for gyms. Additionally, team practices could resume at outdoor sports complexes.

Safe Return

On May 27, Reeves announced the Safe Return order would replace the Safer at Home order on June 1. He said Safe Return was the final stage of reopening.

The Safe Return order permitted indoor gatherings to increase to a maximum of 50 people and outdoor gatherings to increase to a maximum of 100 people. If social distancing was not possible, indoor gatherings were limited to 20, while outdoor gatherings were limited to 50 people.

The order allowed all businesses to reopen in Mississippi, including:

  • Bars (50% capacity)
  • Indoor places of amusement, including bowling alleys and playgrounds (50% capacity)
  • Youth sports (no more than 100 people allowed at a game, including players, coaches, and fans)
  • Movie theaters (50% capacity)
  • Libraries and museums (50% capacity)

On June 10, Reeves announced he was extending Safe Return through June 29, with modifications. The revised order allowed gyms and fitness facilities to operate at 50% capacity and allowed indoor and outdoor arenas and venues to operate at 50% capacity.

On June 26, Reeves announced he was extending the “Safe Return” order through July 6, with modifications. The revised order allows concession stands at outdoor sports arenas to open and permits pools to be open 24 hours a day.

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • On June 26, Judge Dolly Gee, of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transfer migrant children held at ICE Family Residential Centers (FRCs) to their families or sponsors by July 17. The order is the result of a complaint filed on March 26, in which plaintiffs, representing detained minors in a longstanding class action, alleged that continued detention of the minors “in congregate detention facilities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and public health national emergency” violated the Flores settlement. The Flores settlement is a 1997 court-supervised stipulated settlement agreement which governs the detention conditions and treatment of noncitizen migrant children held in federal custody. Gee’s order is limited to minors held at FRCs for more than 20 days. It provides that removal “shall be undertaken with all deliberate speed.” The order goes on to state that before removal, “ICE shall urgently enforce its existing COVID-19 protocols,” including social distancing, masking, and enhanced testing at all detention centers. Gee had previously ordered the federal government, on April 24, to “continue to make every effort to promptly and safely release” the minors, an order ICE appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on June 23. Gee was appointed to the court by President Barack Obama (D).
  • The city of Jacksonville, Florida, instituted a face mask requirement. Mayor Lenny Curry (R) said he decided to issue the order after both the Navy and Coast Guard instituted mask requirements at their bases in the city. The Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place in Jacksonville in August.
  • AMC Theaters announced it would delay reopening theaters until July 30. AMC previously set a target date of July 15 for reopening.


Bold Justice: June 29, 2020

Welcome to the June 29 edition of Bold Justice, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S. Need something to read while you’re barbequing on July 4? Check us out on Twitter or subscribe to the Daily Brew.

Arguments

The Supreme Court has finished hearing arguments for the 2019-2020 term. The court agreed to hear arguments in 74 cases, but heard arguments in only 61 cases due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thirteen cases have not been scheduled for argument. Of those, 12 are set to be rescheduled for the October 2020-21 term. The cases were originally scheduled for oral argument in March and April, but those sessions were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The remaining unscheduled case is Sharp v. Murphy. SCOTUS never scheduled arguments for Sharp v. Murphy in the current term. Instead, the justices agreed to hear another case, McGirt v. Oklahoma, which concerns the same legal issues. Oral arguments for McGirt took place on May 11 and a decision is pending.

Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ current term. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ upcoming 2020-21 term.

Opinions

SCOTUS has issued two opinions since our June 22 issue. The court has issued rulings in 47 cases so far this term.

Click the links below to read more about the specific cases SCOTUS ruled on since June 22:

June 22

  • Liu v. SEC was argued on March 3, 2020.

    The case: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued business partners Charles Liu and Lisa Wang, alleging they had misappropriated funds and defrauded investors in their EB-5 visa business. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of the SEC, finding that Liu and Wang violated the Securities Act of 1933, and imposed civil penalties in addition to a disgorgement order requiring Liu and Wang to surrender to the SEC the millions of dollars they raised from investors.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling. Liu and Wang appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the SEC lacked the legal authority to ask the district court to impose a disgorgement order.

    Disgorgement is a “remedy requiring a party who profits from illegal or wrongful acts to give up any profits he or she made as a result of his or her illegal or wrongful conduct.”

    The outcome: In an 8-1 ruling, the court vacated 9th Circuit’s decision and remanded the case. The court said the SEC has the power to seek disgorgement orders as long as the orders do not exceed the wrongdoer’s net profit and as long as the money goes toward repaying any victims.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion of the court. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion.

June 25

  • Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam was argued on March 2, 2020.

    The case: Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a Sri Lankan native, entered the United States without legal permission in 2017 by crossing the border with Mexico. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer apprehended Thuraissigiam and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began expedited removal proceedings. An asylum officer and later an immigration judge decided Thuraissigiam did not have a credible fear of persecution in Sri Lanka.

    Thuraissigiam filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The district court dismissed the petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, ruling the court was not authorized to review claims under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(e).

    On appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the district court’s ruling. The 9th Circuit held that § 1252(e)(2) violated Thuraissigiam’s rights under the U.S. Constitution’s Suspension Clause, which bars suspension of a writ of habeas corpus once it has been issued. DHS appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    8 U.S.C. § 1252(e) provides that judicial review of expedited removal orders is available in habeas corpus proceedings with certain limitations.

    The outcome: The court ruled against Thuraissigiam in a 7-2 opinion, holding 8 U.S.C. § 1252(e) does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Suspension or Due Process clauses. In other words, “asylum-seekers whose initial asylum claims are denied by immigration officials have no right to a hearing in federal court.”

    Justice Samuel Alito delivered the court’s opinion. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Elena Kagan, dissented.

How are opinions released?

The court announces opinions on the homepage of its website, supremecourt.gov, and on the Opinions of the Court – 2019 page. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the court has been releasing opinions online.

SCOTUS does not announce in advance which cases will be decided on a given day or how many opinions will be released. Opinions are released in order of reverse seniority of the authoring justice in 10-minute intervals.

For more information on how SCOTUS releases orders and opinions, click here.

Upcoming SCOTUS dates

Here are the court’s upcoming dates of interest:

  • June 29: SCOTUS will release orders and opinions.
  • June 30: SCOTUS will release opinions.
  • July 1: SCOTUS will conference. A conference is a private meeting of the justices.
  • July 2: SCOTUS will release orders.

The U.S. Supreme Court usually finishes releasing all opinions for the term by the end of June. This year might be different. When was the last time SCOTUS issued opinions into July?

  1. 2001
  2. 1996
  3. 1989
  4. 1968

Confirmations

The Senate has confirmed one new nominee since our June 22 issue.

Since January 2017, the Senate has confirmed 200 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—143 district court judges, 53 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

There are two upcoming Circuit Court vacancies. Andrew Brasher was already confirmed to succeed Judge Ed Carnes on the 11th Circuit. Carnes is expected to assume senior status on June 30. Justin Walker was confirmed to succeed Judge Thomas Griffith on the D.C. Circuit. Griffith is expected to retire on September 1.

Nominations

President Trump has not announced any new Article III nominees since our June 22 edition.

The president has announced 262 Article III judicial nominations since taking office January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017, 92 in 2018, and 77 in 2019. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

Vacancies

The federal judiciary currently has 80 vacancies. As of publication, there were 50 pending nominations.

According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, an additional four judges have announced their intention to leave active judicial status during Trump’s first term.

For more information on judicial vacancies during Trump’s first term, click here.

Committee action

The Senate Judiciary Committee has not reported any new nominees out of committee since our June 22 edition.

Do you love judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? We figured you might. Our monthly Federal Vacancy Count, published at the start of each month, monitors all the faces and places moving in, moving out, and moving on in the federal judiciary. Click here for our most current count.

Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.

Or, if you prefer, we also maintain a list of individuals President Trump has nominated.


We’ll be back on July 13 with a new edition of Bold Justice.


Biden, Trump release campaign staff diversity data

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 29, 2020: Joe Biden and Donald Trump released diversity data about their campaign staff. Florida and Pennsylvania shifted Democratic in the latest race ratings from Sabato’s Crystal Ball.        

Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its race ratings on Jun. 25:

  • Florida moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.
  • Pennsylvania moved from Toss Up to Leans Democrat.

Notable Quote of the Day

“For years, Arizona was to Democrats what Lucy’s football was to Charlie Brown. Despite candidates from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton investing in the state, no Democratic presidential candidate has carried it since Bill Clinton in 1996. In fact, no Democrat won a statewide election in Arizona on any level after 2008 until 2018, despite numerous close calls.

But Arizona is changing.

In the 2008 and 2012 presidential races, the state was 16 points and 13 points more Republican-leaning than the country as a whole, respectively. But in 2016, President Trump won Arizona by only 4 points, making the state just 6 points more Republican-leaning than the nation. And in 2018, four Democratic candidates broke through and won statewide, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.”

– Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight

Election Updates

  • The Joe Biden campaign released diversity data on Saturday showing 36% of senior staff are people of color and 58% are women. The Donald Trump campaign also reported on its diversity with 25% of senior staff being people of color and 56% women.
  • When asked if he would use executive powers to mandate wearing masks in public, Biden said, “I would do everything possible to make it required that people have to wear masks in public.”
  • Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, hosted a virtual fundraiser on Saturday that raised $6 million for Biden.
  • In a tweet on Sunday, Trump praised a video clip of Trump supporters in Florida, which included a man chanting “white power.” Trump later deleted the tweet. White House spokesman Judd Deere said, “He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”
  • The Trump campaign postponed several events with Mike Pence in Texas, Arizona, and Florida this week due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic. Pence spoke at the First Baptist Church in Dallas on Sunday.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 29, 2016

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund released its first ad in the 2016 presidential race supporting Donald Trump.

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 26, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next three days

What is reopening in the next three days?

June 27

  • New York (Democratic trifecta): The statewide stay-at-home order is set to expire on June 27, which will make New York the 40th state to lift a stay-at-home order. Even though the order is active through June 27, it has not applied to any of the state’s regions since New York City entered Phase I on June 8. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced movie theaters, malls, and gyms would not be able to open as part of Phase IV. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced New York City was on track to enter Phase III of the state’s reopening plan starting July 6.

June 29

  • Kentucky (divided government): Effective June 29, bars, public swimming and bathing facilities, venues, and event spaces will be allowed to reopen. Social gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Alabama (Republican trifecta): Alabama Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey released reopening guidance for schools. The guidance allows local school officials to determine face-covering requirements and physical distancing protocols.
  • Arkansas (Republican trifecta): Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced that the state would not proceed with a new phase of its reopening, citing the increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases.
  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said his department is proposing all schools reopen to students in the fall. Cardona said students and staff will be required to wear masks while inside school buildings.
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) announced he is delaying the state’s reopening plan. Delaware was scheduled to enter into Phase Three on June 29. Carney said too many people were not following the health directives issued in previous phases.
  • Florida (Republican trifecta): Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he is not reconsidering Florida’s reopening plan, but said the state is not ready to proceed to the next phase. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended the consumption of alcohol at bars across the state.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): The Iowa Department of Education announced that schools would be allowed to reopen beginning July 1. Officials announced there would be no requirement for students or staff to wear face coverings, undergo health checks, or social distance.
  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brad Little (R) announced Idaho would stay in Phase 4 for at least two more weeks, saying the state did not meet the metrics necessary to finish reopening.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): The state is moving into the fourth phase of reopening on June 26. Phase 4 allows gatherings of up to 50 people. Indoor recreation venues (like bowling alleys and theaters), indoor dining services, and outdoor spectator sports facilities can reopen with limits.
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Effective June 26, lodging establishments are allowed to serve out-of-state visitors (the original target date was July 1). Out-of-state visitors will be required to submit to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine. Alternatively, visitors receiving a negative COVID-19 test no later than 72 hours before arriving in Maine can forgo the quarantine requirement.
  • Michigan (divided government): On June 25, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued an executive order allowing professional sports leagues and teams to resume operations, subject to gathering, event, and capacity restrictions outlined in previous executive orders. Live audiences are not permitted, except for facilities staff and media personnel.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced guidance for schools reopening in the fall. Each school district will develop a plan that complies with state requirements. The state will require faculty and visitors to wear face coverings and encourage students to do the same.
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced the state would pause reopening and likely delay entering Phase 2.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): Twelve more counties moved into the green phase of the state’s reopening plan on June 26. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced Lebanon, the only county remaining in yellow, will be able to enter green starting July 3. The green phase allows most businesses and functions to reopen under state restrictions, including salons, barbershops, spas, casinos, theaters, malls, and gyms. It also allows gatherings of up to 250 people.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said she is not ready to announce Phase 3 of reopening, which was originally expected to begin on June 30.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): In response to a rise in coronavirus cases, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on June 26 he was reimposing some statewide restrictions on businesses, including ordering all bars to close by 12:00 p.m. that day. Restaurants, which are currently allowed to operate at 75% capacity, will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity beginning on June 29. The new order also requires rafting and tubing businesses to close and says local authorities must approve outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
  • Vermont (divided government): Effective June 26, outdoor sporting events of up to 150 people, including spectators and participants, can resume. Spectator areas must allow for social distancing of 100 square feet per person. Additionally, restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity or one person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Places of worship are also allowed to operate according to the same guidelines.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed into law a statewide mask mandate that takes effect on June 26. People must wear a face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces. Masks are not required outdoors if six feet of space can be maintained between people. Children under two are exempt from the mandate.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 26, stay-at-home orders have ended in 39 states. Nineteen of those states have Republican governors and 20 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

The four states with active stay-at-home orders have Democratic governors. They are (with expiration date):

  • New York (June 27)
  • New Mexico (June 30)
  • California (no set expiration date)
  • Kentucky (no set expiration date)

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired.

Tracking industries: Amusement parks

All 50 states are reopening in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you go to an amusement park? We consider theme parks, water parks, and other outdoor entertainment parks here.

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan

Alabama Delaware Iowa Missouri North Carolina South Dakota
Alaska Florida Louisiana Montana Ohio Tennessee
Arizona Georgia Maine Nevada Oklahoma Utah
Arkansas Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire Oregon Vermont
California Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey Pennsylvania Virginia
Colorado Illinois Michigan New Mexico Rhode Island Washington
Connecticut Indiana Minnesota New York South Carolina West Virginia

On April 30, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) released a phased reopening plan called “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.” The plan, developed in consultation with community and business leaders, a state emergency management team, and the state health department, laid out a baseline framework local governments throughout the state would need to follow, while permitting them to impose additional restrictions, if necessary.

The first phase of the plan began on May 4. The state entered the second phase on May 22. On May 26, Kelly announced she would no longer enforce the reopening plan, and instead allow local governments to decide which phase of the plan to adopt.

In announcing the plan, Kelly said, “It has been a difficult time that has taken a painful toll… financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and professionally on Kansans. “But because Kansans took this seriously, COVID-19 has inflicted far less devastation on Kansas than it did in other states.”

She also said that the reopening plan “aims to balance the needs and concerns identified throughout diverse regions of the state, and sectors of the Kansas economy, but without compromising public health and safety. Data must drive this process … not dates.”

The plan says the following metrics would be used to determine if the state would move from one phase to the next:

  • Disease spread
  • Testing rates
  • Death rates
  • Hospitalizations
  • The ability of state and local public health authorities to contain outbreaks and conduct contact tracing
  • The availability of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Additionally, the plan recommends that local governments should look at the rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, COVID-19 hospital admissions, and the trajectory of deaths when deciding whether to loosen or add restrictions.

Context

  • On March 28, Kelly issued Executive Order 20-16, which directed people to stay home unless performing essential activities as defined by the Kansas Essential Function Framework (KEFF). The stay-at-home order took effect on March 30 and was originally scheduled to expire on April 19. However, Kelly extended the order through May 3, at which point she allowed it to expire and the state began reopening.
  • As of June 26, Kansas had reported 12,970 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 261 deaths. Kansas’s estimated population as of July 2019 was 2,913,314. For every 100,000 residents, the state had 445.2 cases and 8.9 deaths.
  • Kansas has a divided government. Democrats control the governorship, while Republicans hold majorities in the state House and Senate.

Plan details

Phase One

Phase One began on May 4, allowing several types of businesses to reopen if they could adhere to certain requirements. Phase One maintained the 10-person gathering limit instituted under the stay-at-home plan.

All businesses were permitted to reopen if they could follow social distancing and sanitation requirements, including enforcing the 10-person gathering limit in areas where patrons could not maintain six feet of distance from one another. Childcare facilities and libraries were allowed to operate under Phase One.

The following businesses were prohibited from opening in Phase One:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Casinos (non-tribal)
  • Theaters, museums, and indoor leisure spaces like arcades
  • Fitness centers and gyms
  • Nail salons, barbershops, hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, and other personal service businesses
  • Summer camps
  • Community centers
  • Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more
  • Fairs, graduation ceremonies, festivals, parades
  • Swimming pools
  • Organized sports

In this phase, individuals were encouraged to wear masks in public settings, and employers were encouraged to allow remote work when possible.

Phase 1.5

Phase 1.5 began May 18 and was not included in the first version of the plan. Kelly announced the inclusion of the new phase on May 14. She said the daily rate of disease spread was too high to move fully into Phase Two.

In Phase 1.5, the state maintained the 10-person gathering limit.

The following businesses and activities were allowed to reopen or resume with restrictions:

  • Commencement ceremonies (no more than 10 individuals in a room or gymnasium and six feet of distance)
  • Personal services businesses like nail salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors (pre-scheduled appointments or online check-in only)
  • Fitness centers and health clubs (group classes prohibited and locker rooms closed)

The following businesses were prohibited from reopening:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Casinos (non-tribal)
  • Theaters, museums, and indoor leisure spaces like arcades
  • Community centers
  • Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more
  • Fairs, graduation ceremonies, festivals, parades
  • Swimming pools
  • Organized sports

Phase Two

Phase Two began on May 22. The state increased the cap on gatherings to 15 individuals.

In Phase Two, recreational, youth, and non-professional sports were allowed to resume. Casinos and indoor leisure spaces, like arcades, were also permitted to reopen.

The following businesses were prohibited from reopening:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Swimming pools (other than those being used for physical therapy or first responder training)
  • Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more
  • Fairs, graduation ceremonies, festivals, parade
  • Summer camps

On May 26, Kelly said she was turning responsibility for reopening over to local governments and would no longer impose a statewide reopening plan. Local governments could decide which phase of the plan to follow based on local conditions.

Phase Three

Phase Three was originally planned to begin no earlier than June 8. In Phase Three, the cap on gatherings is increased to 45 people and no businesses or activities are restricted from reopening or resuming. Individuals are encouraged to adhere to personal hygiene guidelines, and on-site staffing for employers is unrestricted.

Phase Out

Phase Out was the planned final phase of the reopening plan and was scheduled to begin no earlier than June 22.

The plan states that “Once the state is in Phase Out the Governor will make additional

recommendations to maintain public health and safety.” As in the previous phases, local governments were still permitted to impose additional restrictions if necessary. Businesses were encouraged to follow public health measures, and individuals were encouraged to practice social distancing and hygiene protocols.

On Monday, June 22, Kelly recommended that in light of a spike in positive COVID-19 cases, local governments should follow Phase Three of the reopening plan.

Reactions

  • When the plan was unveiled, state Rep. Mark Schreiber (R), who represents District 60, said, “I knew it obviously was not going to be perfect by any means, but I compared it with the guidance from the White House and the CDC that they released a couple weeks ago called ‘Opening Up America’ and it seemed like, to me, that the governor’s plan followed it for the most part. It followed the same basic framework, and I think it was a good document to work off of … I know people would love to open everything back up even as soon as today, but what I’m most afraid of is opening up too quickly and then having a round of increased infections that leads to another shutdown. That would complicate things tremendously, especially for businesses and schools.”
  • State Sen. Jeff Longbine (R), who represents District 17, said, “On the surface, it’s easy to criticize the governor, but I think she’s doing what she feels is best. There are some components that I’m not sure will be quite as workable in practice as they are on paper. For instance, restaurants putting up plexiglass between booths and having them be at 50 percent occupancy. It makes me wonder what kind of expenditure that would have to be, and if it would even be profitable for those types of businesses to reopen if they can only be half full. Some of those aspects of the plan are still troubling to me.”
  • Anthony Hensley (D), the Kansas Senate minority leader, told the Topeka Capital-Journal on April 30 that the plan was “responsible and reasonable.”

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, will partially reopen on July 2. The park will operate without its rides, with a reduced capacity of 2,000 (from the usual 12,000), and require guests to wear masks. Admission will be reduced by 50 percent because of the rides being unavailable.
  • On June 24, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted an emergency stay in favor of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), barring indoor gyms from reopening due to continued risks associated with COVID-19. Whitmer had appealed a June 19 preliminary injunction issued by Judge Paul Maloney, of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, which barred enforcement of Executive Order 2020-110, Section 12(b). The executive order closed “indoor gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, sports facilities, exercise facilities, exercise studios, and the like” in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While Maloney enjoined the executive order, stating that Whitmer had offered “nothing in support of the restriction” nor “any set of facts on which the gym restriction has a rational relation to public health,” the Sixth Circuit disagreed, pointing to “rational speculation” by Whitmer “that heavy breathing and sweating in an enclosed space containing many shared surfaces creates conditions likely to spread the virus.” The Sixth Circuit found that the “public interest weighs in favor of a stay” of Maloney’s injunction. The three-judge panel, which ruled unanimously, comprised Judges Julia Gibbons and Deborah Cook, both appointed by George W. Bush (R), and Chad Readler, who was appointed by Donald Trump (R). Following the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, Whitmer’s office released a statement commending the decision: “In the fight against a global pandemic, courts must give governors broad latitude to make quick, difficult decisions.” Regarding the possibility of an appeal, an attorney for the plaintiffs said they were exploring their options.


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: June 20-26, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.

      The Cook Political Report updated its race ratings on Jun. 19:

  • Michigan moved from Toss Up to Lean Democrat.
  • Iowa moved from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.
  • Ohio moved from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Could a Black woman help boost turnout among Black voters, which dipped in 2016 compared to 2012? Maybe. Some political science research shows that Black people vote at higher rates when a Black candidate is on the ballot, although that finding is somewhat contested, and that research is about voting for a Black candidate, not a white candidate with a Black running mate.

That said, basically the only thing that Abrams, Bottoms, Demings, Rice and Harris have in common is that they are Black, women, and reportedly being considered as running mates by the Biden campaign. It’s really hard to claim that both Demings and Rice — the latter of whom has never even run for elected office — would obviously generate an electoral boost, and that those boosts would be of similar size. If the goal is to pick someone with skill in appealing to Black voters in particular, Abrams would seem to be head and shoulders above the rest of these Black women. She ran for governor and nearly won in a state with a huge Black population, in an election that saw a surge in Black voter turnout that was likely the result of her campaign.”

– Perry Bacon Jr.FiveThirtyEight

“This mythology that because Trump did it once he can do it again ignores the fact that Hillary Clinton is not going to be the Democratic nominee this year, and that is quite consequential. In the late June 2016 Quinnipiac poll, 37 percent had a favorable view of Clinton and 57 percent had an unfavorable view (for a net of minus-20). …

But what about this year? In the new Quinnipiac survey, 42 percent had a favorable view of Biden, 46 percent unfavorable (minus-4). In the five polls so far this year, Biden has averaged 44 percent favorable and the same unfavorable. …

While I believe this election will be almost exclusively a referendum on Trump, Biden’s favorables compared to Clinton’s at this time four years ago argue forcefully that what was going on in 2016 is hardly the case this year. Partisans on either side can continue to believe what they want, but this time is different.”

– Charlie CookThe Cook Political Report

Week in Review

Second presidential debate moves from Michigan to Miami due to coronavirus concerns

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday that the second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, is moving from the University of Michigan to the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said, “Given the scale and complexity of the work we are undertaking to help assure a safe and healthy fall for our students, faculty and staff and limited visitors — and in consideration of the public health guidelines in our state as well as advice from our own experts — we feel it is not feasible for us to safely host the presidential debate as planned.”

DNC tells delegates not to attend the 2020 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Committee announced on Wednesday that delegates should not attend the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden is still expected to accept the Democratic presidential nomination in-person at the event.

Biden, Obama raise $11 million in first joint virtual fundraiser

Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama raised $11 million—$7.6 million during the public portion and $3.4 million during a private event—in their first joint virtual fundraiser on Tuesday night. It was the most money the Biden campaign has raised in a single event.

Trump returns to the campaign trail, visits two battleground states

Donald Trump discussed the coronavirus pandemic, policing, race relations, and Joe Biden at his first campaign rally in months on Jun. 20 in Tulsa. An estimated 6,200 people attended the event, according to Tulsa’s fire department. The venue had capacity for 19,000. Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp said 5.3 million people watched the event online.

On Tuesday, Trump spoke in Phoenix at an event organized by Students for Trump. He also toured the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to mark the construction of more than 200 miles of the border wall. This was Trump’s third visit to Arizona in five months.

Trump visited Wisconsin on Thursday to tour the shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine and record a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Trump, RNC raise $74 million

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $74 million in May, marking the first time they underperformed Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee—who previously announced they had raised $81 million in May—in monthly fundraising. Trump and the RNC have $265 million in cash on hand.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Campaign Ad Comparison

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Every week, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Stephanie Alexander is a Republican staffer with experience in political organizing and finance.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign
    • Battleground states director
    • Midwest regional political director
    • Oklahoma and Arkansas state director
  • 2008-2014 Mike Sanders Oklahoma House of Representatives campaigns, campaign treasurer
  • 2012 Markwayne Mullin congressional campaign, finance director

Other experience:

  • 26/7 Lifestyle Management, founding partner
  • HERA Consulting, president
  • Maverick PAC, administrative director
  • Alexander Companies, vice president
  • Capitol Insight, vice president of government relations
  • Oklahoma Federation of Young Republicans, state chairman
  • Independent contractor for political finance reporting, budgeting, and bookkeeping
  • The One Oklahoma Coalition, finance director
  • Oklahoma House of Representatives, legislative assistant
  • Oklahoma Employees Credit Union, loan officer

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 22-26, 2016

  • June 22, 2016: Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, participated in a televised town hall on CNN.
  • June 23, 2016: Bernie Sanders delivered a speech, titled “Where We Go From Here,” to his supporters about the future of his movement.
  • June 24, 2016: Bernie Sanders said he would vote for Hillary Clinton.
  • June 25, 2016: The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee approved a final draft of the party’s platform that included calls to raise the minimum wage to $15, abolish the death penalty, more strictly regulate Wall Street, establish a multi-millionaire surtax, and review existing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • June 26, 2016: Donald Trump said that former presidential rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich would not be permitted to speak at the Republican National Convention if they did not support him, The New York Times reported.  “If there’s no endorsement, then I would not invite them to speak,” he said.

Click here to learn more.



Pence promotes economy, trade policy in Ohio

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 26, 2020: Mike Pence spoke about the Trump administration’s economic and trade policy in Ohio on Thursday. The Lincoln Project is airing a pro-Joe Biden ad in swing states.

Each Friday, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Daily Presidential News Briefing, Staffer Spotlight - Stephanie Alexander

Stephanie Alexander is a Republican staffer with experience in political organizing and finance.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign
    • Battleground states director
    • Midwest regional political director
    • Oklahoma and Arkansas state director
  • 2008-2014 Mike Sanders Oklahoma House of Representatives campaigns, campaign treasurer
  • 2012 Markwayne Mullin congressional campaign, finance director

Other experience:

  • 26/7 Lifestyle Management, founding partner
  • HERA Consulting, president
  • Maverick PAC, administrative director
  • Alexander Companies, vice president
  • Capitol Insight, vice president of government relations
  • Oklahoma Federation of Young Republicans, state chairman
  • Independent contractor for political finance reporting, budgeting, and bookkeeping
  • The One Oklahoma Coalition, finance director
  • Oklahoma House of Representatives, legislative assistant
  • Oklahoma Employees Credit Union, loan officer

Notable Quote of the Day

“The non-partisan research group Morning Consult conducted surveys during the 2016 campaign and discovered that Trump ran 6% better in Internet Polls than in those done over the phone — a difference not evident for any of the other candidates tested via the two mediums.

The chief researcher, Kyle Dropp, concluded that the data suggests ‘that some polling may be understating Trump’s actual level of support.’

While it’s hard to gauge exactly how many secret Trump supporters are out there, a recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows that 15% of Republican voters are less likely to let others know how they’ll vote in the upcoming election.”

– David Brody, Texas Insider

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden spoke about healthcare during a campaign stop in Lancaster, Penn. He said Donald Trump’s two legacies were his “failure to protect the American people from coronavirus” and efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Lincoln Project is airing a pro-Biden ad in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin on presidential leadership.
  • Trump is traveling to New Jersey this weekend, where there is a quarantine order in place for visitors from coronavirus hotspots. White House spokesman Judd Deere said, “The President of the United States is not a civilian. Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff, guests, and press are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative.”
  • Mike Pence spoke about the Trump administration’s economic and trade policy at an Ohio car factory on Thursday. “Every single promise, President Trump delivered for the people of Ohio,” Pence said.
  • The Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee said they expected 15,000 people to attend the Republican National Convention. The committee is looking for venues to host 500 other independent events.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 26, 2016

Donald Trump said that former presidential rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich would not be permitted to speak at the Republican National Convention if they did not support him, The New York Times reported.  “If there’s no endorsement, then I would not invite them to speak,” he said.

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 25, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days?

June 26

  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): The state is scheduled to move into the fourth phase of reopening on June 26. Phase 4 will allow gatherings of up to 50 people. Indoor recreation venues (like bowling alleys and theaters), indoor dining services, and outdoor spectator sports facilities will be able to reopen with limits.
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Effective June 26, lodging establishments will be allowed to serve out-of-state visitors. The original target date was July 1. Out-of-state visitors will be required to submit to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine. Alternatively, visitors receiving a negative COVID-19 test no later than 72 hours before arriving in Maine can forgo the quarantine requirement.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier regions of the state were on track to enter the fourth phase of reopening on June 26. Phase IV will allow gatherings of up to 50 people. It will also allow industries like higher education and media production to resume operations.
  • Vermont (divided government): Effective June 26, outdoor sporting events of up to 150 people, including spectators and participants, can resume. Spectator areas must allow for social distancing of 100 square feet per person. Additionally, restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity or one person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Places of worship will also be allowed to operate according to the same guidelines.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced that a statewide mask mandate will go into effect on June 26. People will need to wear a face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces. Masks will not be required outdoors if six feet of space can be maintained between people. Children under two are exempt from the mandate.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Gov. David Ige (D) announced out-of-state travelers would be able to avoid the state’s 14-day self-quarantine period if they could provide proof of a recent negative coronavirus test starting Aug. 1. Ige also approved Honolulu’s request to allow live entertainment at bars and restaurants.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued a directive requiring individuals to wear masks in public, effective June 26.
  • Tennessee (Republican trifecta): Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) executive order allowing local elected officials to hold virtual meetings will expire June 30 according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s office. When the order expires, governing bodies will need to vote in-person per the Tennessee Open Meetings Act.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced June 24 that the state would not move into a new phase of reopening for the time being because of a spike in positive COVID-19 cases and an increase in hospitalization. Abbott also suspended elective surgeries and procedures in hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced he will sign an executive order requiring masks in state buildings overseen by the executive branch, higher education facilities, and liquor stores. He also said he might grant Salt Lake County officials’ request to make masks mandatory throughout the county.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): On June 23, Virginia’s health and safety board voted 9-3 to move forward with creating mandatory workplace safety rules. The standards, which the board will finalize over the next few days, would require employers to notify staff if a worker becomes infected, as well as mandating social distancing and sanitation practices.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 25, stay-at-home orders have ended in 39 states. Nineteen of those states have Republican governors and 20 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

The four states with active stay-at-home orders have Democratic governors. They are (with expiration date):

  • New York (June 27)
  • New Mexico (June 30)
  • California (no set expiration date)
  • Kentucky (no set expiration date)

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired.

Tracking industries: Indoor performances

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you go see a concert or play?

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Alabama Delaware Iowa Missouri North Carolina Tennessee
Alaska Florida Louisiana Montana Ohio Texas
Arizona Georgia Maine Nevada Oklahoma Utah
Arkansas Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire Oregon Vermont
California Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey Pennsylvania Virginia
Colorado Illinois Michigan New Mexico Rhode Island Washington
Connecticut Indiana Minnesota New York South Carolina West Virginia

Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced South Dakota’s Back to Normal plan on April 28. Noem said, “Thanks to a strong commitment and respect for the principle of personal responsibility, South Dakotans have dramatically changed the trajectory of our initial COVID-19 projections. With our hospitalization capacity currently at a manageable level, South Dakotans are asked to consider the following steps as we look to get back to normal.”

The plan provided guidance and recommendations for businesses and individuals, including advice on sanitation and capacity limits. It also encouraged local governments to “[c]onsider current and future actions in light of these guidelines.”

Noem said the decision to initiate the plan was based on the following metrics:

  • Symptoms
    • Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within the last 14-day period
    • Plan in place so all persons with COVID-19 symptoms can receive a test upon recommendation from their provider
  • Cases
    • Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period in areas with sustained community spread
    • No clusters that pose a risk to public
  • Hospitals
    • Treat all patients without crisis care
    • Testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing
    • Adequate supply of independently procured personal protective equipment is available for all workforce and patients
  • State
    • SD DOH has the capacity to rapidly investigate
    • COVID-19 cases and initiate containment (isolation and quarantine)
    • SD EOC maintains a rapid response team to support high-risk businesses with a confirmed COVID-19 case

South Dakota is one of seven states that did not issue a stay-at-home order (along with Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming). It is the only state that did not close businesses in response to the coronavirus.

Context

  • Although Noem never issued a statewide stay-at-home order, Executive Order 2020-08 took effect on March 23. The order encouraged individuals to stay home and recommended that businesses suspend or modify practices to meet CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-12 updated and extended the previous order to May 31, when it expired.
  • As of June 24, there had been 6,419 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota and 84 confirmed deaths. A total of 75,077 residents had been tested, amounting to a positive test rate of 8.5 percent. As of July 2019, South Dakota’s estimated population was 884,659. Per 100,000 residents, there have been 725.6 confirmed positives, 9.5 confirmed deaths, and 8,486.5 total tests.
  • South Dakota is a Republican trifecta, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

General guidance

After announcing South Dakota’s Back to Normal plan, Noem said, “I trusted my people, they trusted me to make decisions that were best for us, and they’ve just done an absolute fantastic job. That’s why my plan is not a reopening plan, it’s a back-to-normal plan. We’re working our way back towards getting the life in South Dakota that we love again — and I’m giving them guidance to do that.”

Since South Dakota never released mandatory health orders related to the coronavirus, the reopening plan contained recommendations for individuals and businesses. The following recommendations were included in Noem’s plan:

Guidance for reopening the state government

On May 1, Noem signed an executive order allowing cabinet secretaries in her administration to reopen in-person office activities at their discretion. According to a press release, the order still allowed “admin leave for employees who cannot come in and cannot work remotely. It also allows for approved out-of-state work-related travel.”

Reactions

  • Dr. Benjamin C. Aaker, an emergency medicine physician in South Dakota, said the state needed to issue a stay-at-home order instead of releasing reopening guidelines. “As the rest of the country begins debating how and when to reopen safely, South Dakota never officially closed. Doctors like me have asked Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) to take stronger action, which would give our health professionals the necessary time and resources to manage the coronavirus outbreak. We may soon be facing the challenges and hardships already seen in New York and other cities if a statewide order is not issued immediately.”
  • A group of Watertown physicians wrote a letter supporting Noem’s coronavirus response, saying, “We have witnessed unprecedented cooperation between our local and regional health care facilities, businesses, and population at large. Each entity has taken the crisis seriously and engaged in the necessary steps to keep our people safe and healthy. We especially appreciate the Governor giving us the opportunity to be personally responsible for our own well-being without the mandates and restrictions we see in other states. There is mounting evidence that the infection prediction models do not apply universally across the country and the burden of the disease differs among regions. Governor Noem’s approach has proven thus far to be safe and appropriate and has provided the people of South Dakota the opportunity to demonstrate that they are unique, independent, and responsible. As the State moves forward from the crisis, we encourage people to maintain vigilance about safety measures and look forward to continuing to participate in a coordinated approach to return to normal life.”

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Disney announced that its California theme parks would delay reopening beyond the scheduled July 17 date. The company said the delay was due to the state, which is not releasing its guidelines for reopening theme parks until July 4. In a statement, Disney said two weeks was not enough time to incorporate the guidelines and train its employees.
  • On May 26, the first of 35 lawsuits challenging supermarket chain Giant Eagle’s mandatory face mask policy was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The lawsuits, which Judge Nora Barry Fischer, a George W. Bush (R) appointee, has combined, accuse Giant Eagle of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by requiring all customers to wear face coverings while inside stores. The chain instituted the policy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But plaintiffs allege their physical and/or mental impairments, including respiratory diseases, anxiety disorders, and past traumas, prohibit their ability to wear face coverings while shopping inside. They argue that barring entry into stores for failure to wear a mask violates the ADA because the law “expressly prohibits, among other things, discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of . . . services [and] public accommodation.” The plaintiffs also allege Giant Eagle has misinterpreted a state order mandating that businesses require face coverings except where customers “cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition.” Giant Eagle representative Dick Roberts said the “lawsuits have no merit,” and noted the chain offers curbside and delivery service.
  • The Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, will reopen on July 1. Guests and employees will be required to wear masks, and temperature checks will be administered to those entering the facility.


DNC tells delegates not to attend national convention in Milwaukee

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 25, 2020: The Democratic National Committee advised delegates not to attend the Democratic National Convention in August. Donald Trump is traveling to Green Bay to record a Fox News town hall.


Campaign Ad Comparison
Daily Presidential News Briefing campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 - "#TrumpIsNotWell" – The Lincoln Project

Daily Presidential News Briefing campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 - "Fortitude" – Donald Trump

Notable Quote of the Day

“It’s not just Biden’s margin that stands out, either; he’s also only one of three candidates to crack the 50 percent mark at this point in the cycle. (The other two were Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984, both of whom were incumbents who went on to win landslide victories by 23 and 18 points, respectively.) It’s unlikely that Biden wins by that sort of margin, given our increasingly polarized politics, but it is a sign that there are fewer undecided or third-party voters for Trump to pick up to help improve his position. It also doesn’t bode well for Trump that he is in the worst position of any incumbent since Jimmy Carter in 1980.

But before you declare Biden the winner, remember his lead is not insurmountable. Polls closer to November could very well show a race that is tightening. At this point in the 1988 cycle, Michael Dukakis led nationally by almost 5 points, and in 2000, George W. Bush was up by nearly 8 points. But Dukakis ended up losing by nearly 8 points in November while Bush narrowly lost the popular vote. (He still won the Electoral College, thanks to Florida.)”

– Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight

Election Updates

  • The Democratic National Committee announced on Wednesday that delegates should not attend the Democratic National Convention in August in Milwaukee due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

  • At least two dozen Republican national security officials who served in the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II administrations are endorsing Joe BidenReuters reported the group will publicly endorse and campaign for Biden.

  • The pro-Biden super PAC, Unite the Country, released three television and digital ads on Wednesday highlighting Biden’s economic record and response to the 2008 financial crisis.

  • Biden hired L.T. McCrimmon as North Carolina state director and Alana Mounce as Nevada state director as part of a staff build-up in the two battleground states.

  • Donald Trump is visiting Wisconsin to tour the shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine. He is also traveling to Green Bay to record a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

  • The Trump campaign is suing Priorities USA for airing an ad criticizing Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying it misrepresents his use of the word “hoax.”

Flashback: June 25, 2016

The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee approved a final draft of the party’s platform that included calls to raise the minimum wage to $15, abolish the death penalty, more strictly regulate Wall Street, establish a multi-millionaire surtax, and review existing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.blank

Click here to learn more.



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