After defending spending part of his Memorial Day weekend golfing as “exercise” and retweeting a snide remark at his political opponent for wearing a mask, President Donald Trump is sending a clear message Tuesday that he wants state to open up “ASAP.”
It comes as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus nears 100,000 lives, after the World Health Organization warned of a “second peak” in the global pandemic and following viral videos on U.S. soil of some Americans ignoring social distancing guidelines over the weekend.
Trump also issued a threat to Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, a Democrat, on Memorial Day that if the coronavirus restrictions in the state are not lifted, the Republican National Committee might move its August 2020 convention to Florida.
While the president looks forward to a “strong third quarter,” some states in lockstep with his agenda of an aggressive reopening are seeing new spikes.
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Here are Tuesday’s most significant developments in Washington:
McEnany reiterates Trump’s charge that NC governor could use COVID-19 as political excuse to hamper GOP convention
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referred questions this morning on decision-making surrounding the president’s threats to pull the GOP convention from North Carolina to the RNC and campaign but suggests that the state’s Democratic governor could use the coronavirus as a political excuse to restrict the event.
“The president wants to ensure that politics is not at play and determining how and when the convention can work,” she said. “He wants to make sure a Democrat governor is not putting in place extraneous restrictions that would prohibit him from having the convention and holding it.”
Gov. Roy Cooper has been following federal guidelines in responding to the virus in his state, which saw its highest one-day spike in cases over the weekend.
— ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps
WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine, drug touted by Tump
The World Health Organization has temporarily halted its global trial of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump, due to safety concerns.
WHO director general said in a Monday briefing the “temporary pause” is in effect as safety data is being reviewed, while Trump pointed to its “tremendous, rave reviews” one day earlier.
“I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive,” Trump told Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Sharyl Attkisson.
Trump said he finished a “two-week course” of the drug himself, paired with zinc, after weeks of promoting it at coronavirus task force briefings and on Twitter as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
White House proclamation on Brazil travel ban takes effect Tuesday night
A travel ban on foreign travelers arriving in the U.S. from Brazil will now take effect at 11:59 tonight, two days earlier than originally planned.
The White House issued a revision to the proclamation late Monday but did not provide an explanation.
“This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on May 26, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on May 26, 2020,” it read.
— ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps