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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Former Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former President Trump Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert sounded the alarm on the rapid spike in the spread of the coronavirus in a series of tweets Sunday, saying that "Masks are important, but not enough."

Why it matters: It's a different tone than much of the Trump administration, as cases are spiking in a number of states around the country. Trump baselessly claimed during his Independence Day remarks that 99% of coronavirus cases "are totally harmless."

What he's saying: Bossert shared data on the rising number of new cases in some states...

  • "TX: Cases as of 7/4 (191.8K); cases as of 6/20 (107.7K). Increase of 84K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 416K. Population of TX = 29M, so roughly 1.4% of population is currently infectious."
  • "AZ: Cases as of 7/4 (94.6K); cases as of 6/20 (49.8K). Increase of 44.8K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 220K. Population of AZ = 7.3M, so roughly 3% of population is currently infectious."
  • "CA: Cases as of 7/4 (254.7K); cases as of 6/20 (169.3K). Increase of 85.4K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 427K. Population of CA = 40M, so roughly 1% of population is currently infectious."
  • "GA: Cases as of 7/4 (93.3K); cases as of 6/20 (63.8K). Increase of 30K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 150K. Population of GA = 10.6M, so roughly 1.4% of population is currently infectious."

The bottom line: He then shared a study by the Imperial College of London that suggests that wearing masks should be accompanied by other preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus. "Masks are important, but not enough," he wrote.

  • "What are the hundreds of thousands of infectious people in these states doing right now? Isolating? Are their family members quarantining themselves? How many days does it take for them to notify people with whom they have been in close contact? Are they even notifying others?"

Go deeper

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

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