10 things you need to know today: August 4, 2021
Biden says Cuomo should resign after sexual harassment report, the CDC announces a new targeted eviction ban, and more
Biden says Cuomo should resign after sexual harassment report
President Biden on Tuesday said fellow Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "should resign" after an official report found that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. Most Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., and Albany also said Cuomo should step down. New York State House Speaker Carl Heastie, also a Democrat, said lawmakers would promptly wrap up their impeachment inquiry. The report by state Attorney General Letitia James' office said that a months-long investigation led by former Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim and Anne Clark, a private attorney specializing in harassment cases, concluded that Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women, and in doing so violated federal and state law." Cuomo requested the inquiry but disputed the findings. He has questioned whether the investigators were independent and impartial.
CDC announces new, targeted eviction moratorium
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced a new eviction moratorium covering areas with high coronavirus transmission rates. The policy will last 60 days. Many progressive Democrats in Congress harshly criticized President Biden for letting the original moratorium expire on Saturday, although Biden said a June Supreme Court decision required action from Congress to extend the ban. The new eviction freeze affects counties where the CDC has recommended that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors. The areas covered are home to 90 percent of the U.S. population. Biden acknowledged that even a limited freeze could face court challenges, but the legal process would provide time to get emergency assistance to millions of people in danger of losing their homes.
Pentagon police officer fatally stabbed
A Pentagon police officer died Tuesday after being stabbed at the Pentagon Transit Center, a bus and subway hub. A suspect was fatally shot by law enforcement officers. The violence prompted a temporary lockdown at the Pentagon, the U.S. military headquarters. Defense Department and law enforcement officials did not immediately release many details about the attack. Chief Woodrow Kusse said the officer was attacked on a bus platform outside the building. "Gunfire was exchanged and there were several casualties," he said. Kusse also said investigators were "not actively looking for another suspect at this time." Kusse declined to release the name of the officer who was killed.
DeSantis sticks with anti-mask-mandate policy despite Florida COVID surge
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) doubled down on his opposition to mask and vaccine mandates on Tuesday, despite record new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state. Florida had 11,515 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, setting a record for the third straight day. The figure was just 1,000 in June. DeSantis said the number of people in hospitals for COVID treatment was expected to drop in coming weeks. He blamed the surge of infections on hot weather that has forced Floridians inside, rather than insufficient mask-wearing and vaccinations. President Biden criticized DeSantis and other officials resisting new mask mandates. "If you're not going to help," Biden said, "at least get out of the way of people trying to do the right thing."
Biden administration to vaccinate migrants at border facilities
The Biden administration plans to start offering coronavirus vaccines to migrants in U.S. custody along the Mexico border, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two Department of Homeland Security officials knowledgeable about the plan. The migrants reportedly will get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, avoiding the difficulty of arranging a second shot. DHS plans to vaccinate people soon after they cross the border, as they await processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Those facing deportation will be offered the vaccine, as will those likely to be released into the United States pending their court hearings. Only a limited number of migrants have been vaccinated in long-term holding facilities.
NYC to require proof of vaccination for dining indoors
New York City plans to start requiring people to prove they have have received at least one coronavirus-vaccine dose to eat indoors at a restaurant, enter a gym, or go to a theater. The new program, called "Key to NYC Pass," will start on a voluntary basis on Aug. 16, with enforcement beginning in mid-September. People will be able to show their vaccine status using a paper CDC vaccine card or an existing vaccine passport app. The program is the first such vaccine mandate in a major city. "The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time. We're going to stop the Delta variant," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Tuesday news conference. "That means getting vaccinated right now."
Senate approves highest honor for officers' response to Jan. 6 attack
The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation seeking to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol against the deadly Jan. 6 attack by a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters. The vote was unanimous. The bill goes next to President Biden, who is expected to sign it. The proposal to award the officers the legislative branch's highest honor calls for striking four medals to go to the Capitol Police, the Washington, D.C., police department, the Architect of the Capitol, and the Smithsonian Institution. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died shortly after a clash with rioters. Four others have since committed suicide.
Dixie Fire 'explosive growth' forces more evacuations
The huge Dixie Fire in Northern California renewed its rapid expansion this week, forcing the Plumas County Sheriff's Office to order a fresh round of evacuations covering the Lake Almanor area on Tuesday. "Firefighters worked through the night to protect structures in the Greenville area after the explosive fire growth experienced during late afternoon yesterday," Cal Fire reported Tuesday, warning that "dry, hot, and windy conditions" were expected to lead to more "active fire behavior." More than 5,100 firefighters are working to contain the blaze, which started July 14 in the burn scar of the deadly 2018 Camp Creek fire. As of early Tuesday, the Dixie Fire had burned 253,052 acres, making it the 11th largest in state history with the flames just 35 percent contained.
Missouri governor pardons St. Louis couple who waved guns at protesters
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has pardoned a St. Louis couple — lawyers Patricia and Mark McCloskey — who pleaded guilty a month ago to misdemeanor charges for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their house last year. The McCloskeys were on a list released Tuesday naming 12 people who had been granted pardons. The couple brandished guns outside their home after a group of demonstrators entered their gated community to get to the mayor's house to protest police brutality. The McCloskeys said they were protecting their property after demonstrators damaged a gate and defied a no-trespassing sign. Patricia McCloskey was fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to second-degree harassment. Mark McCloskey was fined $750 after pleading guilty to fourth-degree assault.
Ex-coal lobbyist endorsed by Trump wins Ohio primary
Former coal lobbyist Mike Carey won the Tuesday Republican primary for a vacant House seat in Ohio. Carey, who had the backing of former President Donald Trump, dominated a crowded field with 36 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race. Bob Peterson was in second with 14 percent. The vote was seen as a test case for Trump's influence with Republican voters after another candidate he endorsed lost a special election for a Texas congressional seat last week. After last week's election, Trump ramped up his support of Carey, holding a last-minute tele-rally for him on Monday. A pro-Trump PAC added more than $350,000 in digital campaign ads in the last week, more than Carey and most of his opponents had spent on their campaigns by mid-July.