Wednesday morning news – July 8, 2020


Trump launches push to reopen schools in fall » President Trump on Tuesday launched an all-out effort to reopen schools this fall. 

At a White House event, the president said we must get students back in class for both academic and mental health reasons. 

TRUMP: We are very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.

The president did not explain how he would pressure governors, but he repeated an earlier claim that Democrats want to keep schools closed for political rather than health reasons. 

Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis Tuesday said his state is planning to reopen classrooms for the start of the new school year. 

POLIS: We all want kids to be back in school in as normal a way as possible. My kids are 8 and 6. I certainly hope that they’re back in school. Denver Public Schools, our biggest school district, is moving that way. But they all know that it’s with a caveat that they might have to go online if there’s an outbreak at a particular school. 

The CDC put out guidance for schools last month, including staggering schedules, spreading out desks, and having meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria.

Trump administration announces withdrawal from WHO » The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that it is pulling out of the World Health Organization. But the pullout won’t take effect until July of next year. 

That means the White House could still rescind the move if circumstances change. And a new administration could change course if President Trump doesn’t win reelection. Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he supports the WHO.

The Trump administration and numerous other countries have sharply criticized the WHO for bowing to Chinese influence and for its response to the coronavirus crisis. 

U.S. government places big bet on vaccine maker » As the push to find a vaccine continues, the U.S. government has granted more than a billion dollars to one of the companies racing to develop one. WORLD’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The federal government has chosen vaccine development company Novavax to participate in Operation Warp Speed. That’s the government program aimed at delivering millions of doses of a safe, effective vaccine by the end of the year.  

The $1.6 billion grant is the largest deal the Trump administration has made with any company under the program. 

Novavax received the funds to complete a Phase 3 clinical trial; establish large-scale manufacturing; and deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the government does not want to have all of its eggs in one basket. He said Novavax adds one more candidate to a “diverse portfolio” of vaccines—increasing the odds of finding “a safe effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Brazilian president tests positive for COVID-19 » Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19.

BOLSONARO: [Speaking in Portuguese]

Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he feels “normal.” He added—quote—“I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations.”

Critics have blasted Bolsonaro for downplaying the coronavirus’s severity as infections and deaths mounted rapidly in the country.

He has also repeatedly said that shutdowns would ultimately cause more hardship than allowing the virus to run its course.

Brazil is the world’s sixth-biggest nation with more than 200 million people. More than 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19.

Georgia Governor declares emergency, authorizes National Guard to halt violence in Atlanta » Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Monday declared a state of emergency and authorized the activation of up to 1,000 National Guard troops. That after a weekend of violence in Atlanta left five people dead, including an 8-year-old girl.

The Republican governor said the troops will provide support at certain locations including the Capitol and governor’s mansion—freeing up law enforcement to patrol other areas.

In an emotional news conference with the girl’s grief-stricken mother, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for an end to the violence. 

BOTTOMS: We are shooting each other up on our streets in the city, and you shot and killed a baby! And it wasn’t one shooter. There were at least two shooters. 

Bottoms, who is Black, said “you can’t blame this on a police officer” and “enough is enough.” 

In a statement, Governor Kemp said “Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead. This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”

Chiefs quarterback inks richest deal in pro sports history » The NFL’s reigning Super Bowl MVP is staying put in Kansas City after signing the richest contract in the history of professional sports.

GAME SOUND: Mahomes looking to flip, takes it in for the touchdown!

Twenty-four-year-old Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes agreed to a 10-year extension worth up to $503 million, according to his agent. The deal signed this week also includes no-trade and opt-out clauses.

Just a few seasons into his pro career, Mahomes already has an MVP award, a Super Bowl MVP and is a two-time Pro Bowler. 

Mahomes’ contract extension begins in 2022. And with that deal, he’ll be the world’s highest paid athlete, surpassing baseball superstar Mike Trout’s $426 million dollar deal with the L.A. Angels.


(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File) In this May 15, 2020, file photo, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro wears a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic during an event at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil. 

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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