Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• According to Oregon epidemiologists, the spike in COVID-19 numbers don't just show that the state has been testing more people over the last few weeks—it's an indicator that the virus is spreading at a faster rate.
• Related: Oregon has passed the 7,000 mark of coronavirus cases, today totaling an extra 511 new cases since last Friday—and it's not just because of increased testing, but rather (according to Dr. Jennifer Vines in a Multnomah County press conference today) from transmissions between friends and family. Sooooo... WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASKS!
• Over the weekend, Portland protesters drew ire from members of law enforcement, who seemed more eager to physically attack protestors than fire munitions into the crowds. Catch up on the Mercury's on-the-ground reporting from Friday and Saturday nights.
#DontShootPDX filed a class action lawsuit on June 5 against the city of Portland, alleging that police have been using tear gas indiscriminately against demonstrators during #GF protests. a temporary restraining order, was granted by the judge.https://t.co/HpDS6JfURc
— Teressa Raiford (@TeressaLRaiford) June 22, 2020
• There are some startling similarities—as well as great differences—in America's treatment of the COVID pandemic as compared to the pre-HIV era. Comic journalist Sarah Mirk presents her illustrated interviews with Queer Portlanders who lived through both.
• Convicted MAX train killer Jeremy Christian is expected to be sentenced tomorrow (Tuesday June 23) after the court date was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
• Two men suspected of a mass shooting (as well as setting a fire to cover the evidence) in Alabama have been arrested in Marion County, Oregon.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Two coronavirus headlines of note: "New cases in the U.S. account for 20 percent of new global cases as the pandemic surges around the world," AND "Clusters around the U.S. have been increasingly linked with social and religious gathering places." (The latter story is particularly notable because it features Oregon's own Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, and the following *chef's kiss* sentence: "Four people who spent time at Cruisin’ Chubbys Gentlemen’s Club, a Wisconsin strip club, recently tested positive.")
• Just to temper people's expectations, thanks to the VERY NECESSARY addition of vote-by-mail in some states, unless there's a landslide victory we might not know who our next president will be on November 3.
• Only a piddling 6,200 people showed up to our idiot president's embarrassing rally this Saturday, and instead of taking the time to pause and reflect on why he couldn't convince more of his death cult to bear witness to his garbo stand-up routine (the bits where he drank a glass of water one-handed and mimed not walking down a ramp were particularly notable), he's instead decided to wholesale blame his campaign manager Brad Parscale, henceforth known as "The Website Guy."
• Next on Trump's itinerary: An appearance at a Phoenix, Arizona megachurch. Arizona, whose COVID-19 cases have doubled over the past two weeks (from 26k to 52k) has instituted new rules in response to this giant spike of infections, including mandatory face masks for Phoenix residents inside a building, and standing at least six feet away from others. However, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has already announced the rule will not be enforced for Trump's visit. The megachurch seats 3,000. Maybe the Website Guy will be able to fill that?
• It was just short of two months ago when Kayleigh McEnany took the Press Secretary job and then (ludicrously) promised "I will never lie to you."
.@weijia asks McEnany why President Trump "uses racist phrases, like 'kung flu'" when discussing coronavirus.
McEnany doesn't answer whether the White House believes the phrase is racist, and says "the media is trying to play games with the terminology" https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/Ti6wzUVqJH
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 22, 2020
• For those hoping to see even more stupid human tricks from our demented slumlord-in-chief, the Biden campaign sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates committing to three scheduled dates (Sept 29, Oct 15, Oct 22), and a fourth for the VPs (Oct 7), which will presumably be the only debate to feature two people reliably forming complete thoughts and sentences.
• Speaking of Veeps: With a month to go before Biden's self-imposed deadline for choosing, it's looking more and more likely that his VP pick is going to be Sen. Kamala Harris. Hey, remember that one time they were in a debate and Harris completely wrecked Biden with a story about busing?
• House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, in response to Attorney General Bill Barr getting up to some weapons-grade fuckery while trying to remove SDNY Attorney Geoffrey Berman, agreed that Barr deserves to be impeached, but doing so would be "a waste of time" because Republicans in the Senate are "corrupt." Nadler will instead be trying to pull $50 million from Barr's budget.
• Black guards at the Minneapolis jail holding Derek Chauvin, the officer charged in George Floyd's death, say they've been intentionally prohibited from accessing Chauvin's holding cell, where white officers have allowed him policy-breaking privileges like having access to a cell phone. Eight Black guards filed a discrimination complaint with the state for these violations Friday.
• One day after a noose was found in the garage stall of Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace:
• You need some guaranteed laughs, right? Then don't miss the I, ANONYMOUS SHOW, livestreaming into your home this Friday, June 26, and featuring loads of unhinged true confessions and rants as well as a hot-shit lineup of nationally beloved comics including Mohanad Elshieky, Maggie Maye, and Josh Gondelman! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!
• And finally, the latest hilariously perfect Trump lip sync from the FANTASTIC Sarah Cooper.