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Trump’s ‘last-ditch’ European travel ban contributed to explosion of COVID-19 cases in US: report

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President Donald Trump frequently brings up the travel bans he imposed on foreign nationals from flying into the United States from China and Europe as proof that his response to coronavirus was serious and effective.

But on Saturday, a Washington Post report detailed how Trump’s “last-ditch” European travel ban actually resulted in a new “infusion” of infected people into the United States.

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The problem, wrote Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey, and Aaron Davis, was that Trump’s announcement triggered a wave of panicked Americans returning home all at once from countries with severe outbreaks — and left them crammed tightly together in long lines at airport customs checkpoints, with no ability to practice social distancing.

The article cited the case of Jack Seibert, an American college student in Spain experiencing COVID-19 symptoms whose parents decided to fly him home quickly out of fear that the president’s order would exclude him if he waited — even though the order exempted U.S. citizens.

“Siebert arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago three days later as the new U.S. restrictions — including mandatory medical screenings — went into effect,” said the report. “He encountered crowds of people packed in tight corridors, stood in lines in which he snaked past other travelers for nearly five hours and tried to direct any cough or sneeze into his sleeve. When he finally reached the coronavirus checkpoint near baggage pickup, Siebert reported his prior symptoms and described his exposure in Spain. But the screeners waived him through with a cursory temperature check. He was given instructions to self-isolate that struck him as absurd given the conditions he had just encountered at the airport.” Two days later, his test results came back positive.

“I can guarantee you that people were infected … It was people passing through a pinhole,” Siebert said of the conditions at the customs checkpoint.

“The sequence was repeated at airports across the country that weekend. Harrowing scenes of interminable lines and unmasked faces crammed in confined spaces spread across social media,” said the report. “The images showed how a policy intended to block the pathogen’s entry into the United States instead delivered one final viral infusion. As those exposed travelers fanned out into U.S. cities and suburbs, they became part of an influx from Europe that went unchecked for weeks and helped to seal the country’s coronavirus fate.”

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57 Buffalo cops resign to support suspended officers who pushed down elderly man

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The entire Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team -- a total of 57 officers -- has resigned from the team in support of the two officers who pushed 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the ground, seriously injuring him.

They are still employed, but no longer on ERT.

According to Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans, the cops who pushed Gugino down were just following orders.

“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” Evans, said in a statement.

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GOP official defends post blaming George Soros for ‘staged’ killing of George Floyd: I wanted to ‘get people to think for themselves’

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The chairman of the Harrison County Republican Party in Texas is under fire after he shared a conspiracy theory on his party's Facebook page claiming that the death of George Floyd "staged" by George Soros, CBS19 reports.

The post shared by Lee Lester was also previously shared by Bexar County GOP Chairwoman Cynthia Brehm -- which prompted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to call for her resignation.

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On the minds of Black Lives Matter protesters: A racist health system

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, when he decided to protest, William Smith, 27, used a red marker to write a message on the back of a flattened cardboard box: “Kill Racism, Not Me.”

As he stood alone, somber, he thought about George Floyd, a fellow black man whom he’d watched die on video as a Minneapolis cop kneeled on his neck eight days earlier. “Seeing the life leave his body was finally the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” he said.

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