J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Democrats' embarrassing special-election loss in Georgia, after the vocal left fanned unrealistic expectations, provokes a wave of bitter post-gaming that targets House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. It's part of a generational argument that's also driving the party's 2020 conversation.

Be smart: With a wobbly start for Trump and his agenda, Dems we talk to as we travel the country have gotten the idea that of course the House will flip in midterms next year. In fact, this year's special elections showed that vulnerability by the other side doesn't necessarily translate into raw votes for you. Republicans are more reliable voters in midterms, and reversing that will be a massive task for Dems.

  • Front page of Silicon Valley's paper, The Mercury News of San Jose, "THE PELOSI PROBLEM: Some fault minority leader for losses," by Casey Tolan: "Some of the toughest ads against the 30-year-old [Georgia Dem candidate Jon] Ossoff were those tying him to Pelosi, whose approval ratings are underwater outside California."
  • The N.Y. Times' lead print story, "Democrats Fume As Georgia Loss Deepens Discord," by Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin, carries this memorable online headline: "Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: 'Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump.'"
  • The money quote: "Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi as House minority leader late last fall, said she remained a political millstone for Democrats. But Mr. Ryan said the Democratic brand had also become 'toxic' in much of the country because voters saw Democrats as 'not being able to connect with the issues they care about.' 'Our brand is worse than Trump.'"
  • NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald: "At a closed-door meeting with colleagues, there were no challenges to the Democratic leadership or any obvious signs of dissent ... But for every Democratic official or operative publicly calling for new leadership, there are others who privately express the same sentiment."
  • A morning-after memo from the head of the House Democrats' campaign arm, DCCC Chair Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, tries to buck up the troops by declaring: "THE HOUSE IS IN PLAY," partly because of "the nationwide collapse of support for President Trump."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.