Happy Saturday! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,282 words ... 5 minutes.
Most states are progressing on two key criteria for safely reopening parts of their economies: They’re testing more people and finding fewer infections, Axios visual journalist Andrew Witherspoon and health care editor Sam Baker report.
This analysis compares states' performance on two important metrics from the Trump administration’s reopening guidelines — total caseloads, and the percentage of all coronavirus tests that come back positive.
Where it stands: 32 states are moving in the right direction on both fronts.
The big picture: This is a snapshot. A state performing well on these metrics today doesn't mean it'll keep performing well, or that it’s in any way immune from a second wave of infection. It definitely doesn’t mean the state has beaten the coronavirus.
This graphic only shows states' progress on two of the key measures states are advised to use before they start to reopen.
Between the lines: We excluded six states, either because of problems with their data or because they have fewer than 10 cases overall — too small a sample to helpfully track changes.
The bottom line ... Take the data points together, with all the appropriate caveats, and the picture is pretty consistent: Led by big improvements in some of the hardest-hit areas, much of the country is moving slowly in the right direction.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Deadlines begin this month for states to figure out how to hold safe elections this fall, when the coronavirus will still be spreading, Stef Kight reports.
Federal aid for expanded election processes is in limbo. Lawsuits are flying. And the clock is ticking.
Marc Elias, a well-known Democratic elections lawyer who was general counsel for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, tells Axios that by his estimation, there have already been more election lawsuits this year than in all of 2016: "What COVID has done is pour gasoline on a fire."
The Republican Party is invested in election-related court fights in 13 states, according to its recently launched "Protect the Vote" website.
Gavin Roberts, 10, attends the funeral of his father, Charles "Rob" Roberts, 45, a beloved police officer in Glen Ridge, N.J., who died after contracting the coronavirus on duty.
Roberts, who grew up nearby and had dreamed of being a policeman, was posthumously promoted to sergeant, and his family received his badge, NorthJersey.com reported.
Yasmine Protho, 18, graduates with nine other classmates, with limited family attending, at Chattahoochee County High School in Cusseta, Ga.
Pentagon officials presented President Trump with the flag of the U.S. Space Force, the newest branch of the armed services, during a short Oval Office event, AP reports.
🛍️ J.C. Penney, founded by James Cash Penney in 1902, "filed for bankruptcy, punctuating decades of decline and failed turnaround plans for the once ubiquitous mainstay of America’s shopping malls." —Bloomberg
✈️ TSA is "preparing to begin checking passengers’ temperatures at roughly a dozen airports as soon as next week." —The Wall Street Journal
💰 House Democrats' $3 trillion coronavirus rescue package, the HEROES Act, passed by 208-199, but is expected to die in the Senate. Go deeper
🥾 "State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was fired by President Trump in a late-night ouster. Speaker Pelosi warned of a "dangerous pattern of retaliation" against federal watchdogs. —The Washington Post
How it's playing ... N.Y. Times, "When Shoppers Venture Out, What Will Be Left?"
Screenshot from "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," via Nintendo
The Japan-based video game giant Nintendo — founded in 1889 as a playing-card company, and responsible for household names like Mario, Donkey Kong and Pokémon — announced a profit jump amid the pandemic:
"Animal Crossing: New Horizons" is "the latest in a series of games that compel the player to plant flowers, catch bugs in nets and exist in a town inhabited by charming (and sometimes cranky) animal neighbors."
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