Wednesday morning news – July 1, 2020

Fauci warns U.S. COVID-19 cases could hit 100k per day » Dr. Anthony Fauci says U.S. coronavirus cases could grow to 100,000 a day if Americans don’t start following public health advice. 

The country’s top infectious disease expert told members of a Senate panel that too many people have behaved as though the pandemic is over. 

FAUCI: A lot of people came out on Memorial Day, which was about four weeks ago and were out on the beaches and in the bars. Right now, we are seeing the result of that in Florida and in Texas and in certain other locations. 

Asked to forecast the outcome of recent surges in some states, Fauci said he can’t make an accurate prediction but believes it will be “very disturbing.”

Regarding a coronavirus vaccine, Fauci said there are no guarantees, but he is cautiously optimistic. 

FAUCI: Again working with the companies and the investment made by this Congress, hopefully there will be doses available by the beginning of next year. 

He also said he believes it’s possible to safely return kids to school in much of the country. And he said that’s important to avoid the “unintended consequences” of keeping them home. 

EU reopens borders to 14 countries but not to U.S. » The European Union is reopening its borders today to travelers from more than a dozen countries, but the United States is not on that list. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Southern EU countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain are desperate to entice summertime visitors to breathe life into their damaged tourism industries. And American tourists make up a big slice of the summer tourism market.

But with the recent rise in U.S. coronavirus cases, the EU will continue turning away American travelers for at least another two weeks.

Citizens from 14 countries, including Canada, will be allowed to visit EU member states. Among the other major nations not on that list are Russia, Brazil, and India. 

China was also left out. The EU said China is “subject to confirmation of reciprocity”—meaning Beijing must lift all restrictions on European citizens. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

White House: Trump has now been briefed on alleged Russian bounty » The White House says President Trump is now in the loop about intelligence that Russian military operatives may have offered to pay bounties to militants in Afghanistan for killing U.S. troops.

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Tuesday had strong words for whoever leaked the intel and blasted The New York Times for publishing it. 

MCENANY: This report makes it more difficult to come to a consensus on this matter, to verify intelligence. And number two, this level of controversy and discord plays directly into the hands of Russia and unfortunately, serves their interest. 

The White House maintains that the president was never briefed on the intelligence until now, explaining the intel was unverified and that some intelligence officials had their doubts about it. 

McEnany said, “Make no mistake. This president will always protect American troops.” 

House Democrats received a briefing on the matter Tuesday at the White House. And Majority Leader Steny Hoyer complained that President Trump is wrongly dismissing the report. 

HOYER: The president called this a hoax publicly. Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it is a hoax. 

Senate Republicans who attended a separate briefing largely defended the president, echoing the White House’s argument that the intelligence was unverified.

China enacts Hong Kong “national security” law » Twenty-three years after the Chinese government pledged to give Hong Kong 50 years of autonomy, the mainland has stripped the former British colony of its freedoms.  

China has now enacted a contentious so-called “national security” law that could quash dissent. Rather than going through the Hong Kong legislature, Beijing imposed the law. It will criminalize what it calls subversive and secessionist activities.

Protesters again demonstrated against the law on Tuesday…

AUDIO: [Sound of protest]

But authorities quickly cracked down. This is the sound from a shopping center atrium as police in riot gear closed in on protesters. 

The chilling effect on free speech is already evident. A major pro-democracy group disbanded after its founding members quit over fears of the new law. And Hong Kong National Front, a political party advocating the territory’s independence, also disbanded its local office but said its divisions in Taiwan and the U.K. will continue its work.

Carl Reiner dies at 98 » Comedy legend Carl Reiner has died at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 98 years old. 

After working with comedian Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows in the 1950s, Reiner wrote the first 13 episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

He also acted in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and the latest Oceans Eleven movies. He’s heard here in a sketch called “The 2000-Year-Old Man.”

SKETCH: In the history of man, nobody’s ever lived more than 167 years, as a man from Peru would claim to be. But you claim to be 2,000. Yes, I’ll be—I’m not yet—I’ll be 2,000 October 16th. 

He was married to his wife, Estelle, for 64 years until her death in 2008. They had three children who survive them, including actor-director Rob Reiner.

(Al Drago/Pool via AP) Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 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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