Jun 28, 2020

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

🏳️‍🌈 Happy Sunday. Today is the 50th anniversary of the Pride march in New York that helped ignite the gay rights movement worldwide. Details.

1 big thing: Trump’s superpower turns to kryptonite
Screenshot from CNN

No president in our lifetime has enjoyed a more mesmerizing, seemingly unbendable hold on his political base than Donald Trump. He shifts their views on big topics like the FBI or Vladimir Putin and retains their support regardless of what he says or does.

  • Why it matters: This connection is turning fast into a liability for Trump and the entire GOP because the president and his mostly white, mostly male base are on the opposite side of most Americans on the epic topics of our day — wearing masks, combating coronavirus, and condemning racial inequality and police brutality.
  • They are now basically egging each other on. 

Breaking ... President Trump this morning retweeted (then deleted) a video of a man in a golf cart with a "TRUMP 2020" sign who yelled "white power!" at Trump critics.

  • Trump added the note: "Thank you to the great people of The Villages," a retirement community in Florida. "The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall."
  • White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told reporters: "President Trump is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters."

When the tweet was still up, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only Black Republican senator, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union":

  • "[Y]ou can't play it because it was so profanity laced. The entire thing was offensive. ... I think it's indefensible."

The context: Advisers both inside and outside the White House have urged the president to tone down his violent rhetoric, which many worry could escalate racial tensions and hurt him politically, Jonathan Swan reported.

The big picture: Top Republicans have told us for five years that Trump’s base will ultimately cost the party power.

  • The nation is growing too diverse and too progressive.
  • These Republicans warned that tough-guy, noninclusive action and talk would backfire — first with minorities, then with educated white people.

The polls suggest strongly this is unfolding in real time.

  • In addition to the N.Y. Times polls above, which showed Joe Biden with strong leads in the six top battlegrounds (subscription), the Fox News Poll this week showed Biden up 9 points in Florida, and tossups in Georgia and Texas — Republican strongholds — and North Carolina.

Between the lines ... N.Y. Times columnist Ross Douthat writes (subscription): "[W]hat was likely to be a slow-motion leftward shift, as the less-married, less-religious, more ethnically diverse younger generation gained more power, is being accelerated nationally by the catastrophes of the Trump administration, which is putting states in play for Democrats five or 10 years early."

The response ... Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, told me:

  • "This election, like all elections, will be a choice. In this case, a choice of President Trump’s record of building the best economy anyone has ever seen with the experience to do it again, versus Joe Biden’s record ... With four months to go before the election, Americans will understand these differences ... They won’t want to take a chance on Joe Biden."
2. Global virus crisis is getting worse
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

We hit a grim global coronavirus milestone — 10 million confirmed cases worldwide as of this morning — and are closing in on another: 500,000 deaths, Axios World Editor Dave Lawler writes.

  • Why it matters: The world may now be past peak lockdown — with economies reopening from Spain to South Africa — but it has not seen the worst of the virus. More than one in five cases recorded during the entirety of the pandemic came in the last two weeks alone.

The big picture: As the virus has reached every country on earth, the eye of the storm has shifted from China, to Europe, to the developing world.

  • Latin America is now the global epicenter, with South Asia not far behind and sub-Saharan Africa bracing for impact. The U.S. and Brazil continue to record by far the most new cases. Together with Mexico, they also accounted for half of all deaths recorded over the past week.
  • India will likely surpass those countries in the coming weeks, according to Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor at the University of Michigan who has been modeling India's outbreak.
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The bottom line: The harsh reality remains that poorer countries are fighting the same virus that stretched health care systems and crippled economies in the rich world with weaker infrastructure and far fewer resources.

3. Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Getty Images

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told Axios in an interview that global travel may never fully recover, and that he sees a future where people travel much more within their own countries, possibly for longer stays.

  • "I will go on the record to say that travel will never, ever go back to the way it was pre-COVID; it just won't," Chesky told Kia Kokalitcheva and me by Zoom from his home in San Francisco earlier this month, during a conversation about the company's new plan to measure discrimination.
  • "There are sometimes months when decades of transformation happen."

Chesky, who said travel has changed more tectonically than during the Great Recession of 2008, said Airbnb data shows these trends:

  • "People are not getting on airplanes, they're not crossing borders, they're not meaningfully traveling to cities, they're not traveling for business."
  • "They're getting in cars. They're traveling to communities that are 200 miles away or less. These are usually very small communities. They're staying in homes and they're staying longer."

Share this story.

4. Pic du jour
Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP

When the National Women's Soccer League opened the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah yesterday, players for the Portland Thorns (left) and the North Carolina Courage knelt during the national anthem.

  • Why it matters: This is "the first professional sports league in the North America to return to play after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down leagues across the country," The Salt Lake Tribune notes.
5. Texas may have to roll back even more
On Thursday, tubers floated down the Comal River near San Antonio. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Experts tell the Dallas Morning News that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) may have to shut down even tighter to avoid a virus disaster during next weekend's Fourth of July celebrations:

  • Abbott, who oversaw one of the country’s most aggressive reopenings, is backtracking amid a record surge: "Bars are closed again. Restaurants can be only half full. And no one can rent an inner tube to float down the state’s rivers."
  • "Yet scores of other venues that can hasten the spread of the virus remain open, including gyms, camps, amusement parks and churches."
6. Princeton banishes former president
Woodrow Wilson, then Princeton president, at a roll-top desk in 1909. Photo: JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images

Princeton announced that it'll strike the name of Woodrow Wilson, class of 1879, from its School of Public and International Affairs and a residential college because his "racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake."

  • "Wilson's racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time," President Christopher Eisgruber wrote.
  • The Woodrow Wilson School will now be "The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs." Wilson College will be "First College."

"During his time as University President," writes the student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, "Wilson actively prevented Black applicants from matriculating, writing, 'It is altogether inadvisable for a colored man to enter Princeton.'"

7. Mississippi to drop Confederate imagery
The "Stennis flag" is a proposed alternative to Mississippi's current state flag. Photo: Brandon Dill for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Both chambers of Mississippi's legislature passed the biggest hurdle toward removing the Confederate Stars and Bars from the state flag, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger reports.

  • The legislation, expected to pass soon in final form, "would immediately take down the flag and set up a nine-member commission to design a new one."
  • "That design would include the words 'In God We Trust' and no Confederate symbols," and would go to voters in November.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who had long refused to wade into the flag debate, tweeted yesterday:

See his full statement.
8. 🎂 Stat du jour: Number of 100-year-olds doubles
A wave of change: Age structure of the U.S. Graphic: Census Bureau

The number of U.S. centenarians almost doubled to 100,000 from 2010 to 2019, Bloomberg writes from new Census data.

9. Rolling Stones threaten to sue Trump
The Stones in Havana in 2016. Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP

The Rolling Stones are threatening to sue the Trump campaign after "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was played at the Tulsa rally:

  • "This could be the last time President Donald Trump uses Stones songs," the group said in a statement yesterday (via Deadline):
Despite cease & desist directives to Donald Trump in the past, the Rolling Stones are taking further steps to exclude him using their songs at any of his future political campaigning. ...
BMI [which manages music rights] has notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for ... playing music that has not been licensed.
10. ⚾ Opening Day matchup

Major League Baseball's Opening Day is expected to feature the world champion Nationals' Max Scherzer vs. the Yankees' Gerrit Cole in D.C., the N.Y. Post reports.

Mike Allen

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