Wednesday morning news – June 24, 2020


Fauci optimistic COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in 2020 or early 2021 » On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready by the end of this year. He told lawmakers that several vaccines have shown promise. 

FAUCI: One of them will enter Phase 3 study in July. This is one that has already shown in preliminary studies some very favorable response in the animal models that were developed. 

That’s a study being led by biotech firm Moderna. In Phase 3, about 30,000 people will receive a small dose of the vaccine. 

Fauci, the White House’s top infectious disease expert, testified to a House panel on the federal response to the virus. He noted that a few other possible vaccines are only a few months behind the Moderna test. And he said he’s cautiously optimistic that we’ll have a vaccine either by the end of this year or early next year. 

But in the meantime, he said he is deeply concerned about a recent rise in infections.

FAUCI: Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we’re seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and in other states. They’re not the only ones that are having a difficulty. 

Fauci and other top health officials also said no one at the White House has asked them to slow down testing for the coronavirus. 

That despite a remark by President Trump at his recent Tulsa rally suggesting otherwise. 

Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir said that, in fact, testing is still ramping up

GIROIR: Even without major technological advances, I estimate the nation will have the capacity to perform between 40 to 50 million tests per month by fall. 

He said the nation is now averaging about a half-million tests per day. 

Trump issuing executive order to protect monuments from protesters » President Trump said Tuesday he’ll issue an executive order to help protect monuments across the country. Protesters in recent days have vandalized or destroyed numerous statues and other monuments with ties to the Confederacy or slave ownership. 

Trump spoke to reporters on the White House lawn just before boarding his Marine One helicopter. 

TRUMP: We are looking at long term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists and agitators.  

His remarks came after a group of demonstrators tried to topple a statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park near the White House. 

Trump tweeted a warning that those who vandalize monuments could face 10 years in prison under the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act.

He said Tuesday that the new executive order will—quote—“reinforce what’s already there, but in a more uniform way.”

The president opposes the removal of monuments, calling them an important part of American history. 

Mourners pay final respects to Rayshard Brooks » AUDIO: [Gospel music]

Gospel music filled the sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Tuesday, the same church where Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach.

Scores of mourners wearing face masks gathered there to pay their final respects to Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer earlier this month. 

Among the speakers at the service was Martin Luther King’s daughter, Reverend Bernice King. 

KING: We are here because individuals continue to hide behind badges and trainings and policies and procedures, rather than regarding the humanity of others in general and black lives specifically. 

Friends and family remembered Brooks as a loyal friend, father and husband. His mother-in-law Rochelle Gooden said she’ll always have a living reminder. 

GOODEN: I look at my grandbaby right there, she looks just like him. And when I look at her, I know that he’s not gone. 

Former officer Garrett Rolfe is facing numerous charges, including murder. He opened fire after Brooks fired a stolen police taser at him while fleeing arrest. 

FBI: NASCAR noose incident a misunderstanding, not intentional » NASCAR announced Tuesday that the FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway. And it has determined that the company’s only black driver, Bubba Wallace, was not the victim of a hate crime. 

The FBI opened an investigation after a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega this week. 

But the bureau said evidence revealed that a garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since early last fall, long before the arrival of Wallace’s team. 

NASCAR said in a statement, we “are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba.” 

On Monday, all 39 other drivers marched on the Talladega track and pushed Wallace’s car to the front of the track in a show of support. 

Major League Baseball set to play 60-game season » Major League Baseball is moving forward with plans for a shortened 2020 season. WORLD’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Big league teams will likely play just 60 regular season games this year, compared to the normal 162. 

The league made a unilateral decision to start the season over the objections of the players union. That after a long and heated labor battle between players and owners, mainly over how much players will earn while playing in empty stadiums. 

In a Monday vote, the union’s executive board rejected the league’s latest proposal.

The season is expected to start roughly one month from now. 

The shortened season may include several rule changes for 2020 only. Those include using a designated hitter in the National League and starting extra innings with a runner on second base. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Earthquake strikes southern Mexico » A powerful earthquake shook southern Mexico Tuesday, killing at least two people, while sending thousands fleeing into the streets.

The 7.4 magnitude quake caused a building collapse in the Pacific resort town of Huatulco killing one person and injuring another. A second person died in an apparent house collapse in a small mountain village. 

Otherwise, the Mexican government said reports of damage were mostly minor.


(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP) Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci leaves after testifying before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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