Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2021

Federal eviction moratorium expires, Senate still working on text of bipartisan infrastructure deal, and more


Federal eviction moratorium expires

The pandemic-related federal ban on evictions expired Saturday night despite a last-minute effort from President Biden and House Democrats to extend the deadline earlier this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated she was caught off guard by Biden's call for Congress to act and was unable to corral the votes necessary or pass it via unanimous consent before the House adjourned for a weeks-long recess. The Senate was in session Saturday but did not address the issue. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) slept outside the Capitol this weekend to try to convince Congress to return, while protesters gathered outside Pelosi's San Francisco home and taped a fake eviction notice to her door. Per Reuters, more than 15 million people in 6.5 million U.S. households are behind on rental payments.


Senate still working on text of bipartisan infrastructure deal

The Senate ended a rare Saturday session without producing the final text of a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. "They need a little more time," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "I'm prepared to give it to them." While understanding of the scale of the task at hand, Schumer did warn that he's prepared to keep lawmakers in Washington for as long as it takes to complete a vote on the plan, Fox News reports. That could be sooner than later — the bipartisan group working on the text said it expects to have the bill ready by Sunday, Reuters reports.


Florida reports new single-day COVID-19 infection record

Florida on Saturday recorded 21,683 new COVID-19 cases, marking the state's highest number of new infections in a 24-hour period since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations are also nearing last year's peak. Florida's vaccination rate is middling. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has made it clear he won't be instituting any major restrictions in the state despite the latest surge. "In Florida there will be no lockdown, there will be no school closures," he said Friday after signing an executive order that overrules local authorities aiming to require students to wear masks when they return to school next month. "There will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida." 


Biden administration officials optimistic about rise in vaccinations

While the U.S. is facing a new COVID-19 surge fueled by the more contagious Delta variant, it appears vaccinations are also rising again. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain noted that the U.S. has administered more than 700,000 COVID-19 shots for four consecutive days for the first time "in a long stretch," while data indicates more American adults are receiving their first dose "than any time in the past 8-10 weeks." He added that "we are seeing particularly strong increases in the states that are hard hit by Delta." Per The Washington Post, several states with low vaccination numbers have increased their rates significantly, including Louisiana and Arkansas, which have seen recent bumps of 114 percent and 96 percent, respectively.


Australia's McKeon ties Olympic record for most medals by a female athlete

Australian swimmer Emma McKeon picked up her seventh medal of the 2020 Olympics on Sunday after her team won gold in the women's 4x100 medley relay. The hardware ties her with Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya, who also won seven medals at the 1952 Helsinki Games, for the record by any female Olympian. Only American swimmer Michael Phelps, who took home 8 in 2004 and 2008, has more in a single Olympics. McKeon won four golds and three bronzes. Meanwhile, as swimming wrapped up Sunday, American Caeleb Dressel took home his fourth and fifth gold medals of the Tokyo Games after winning the men's 50-meter freestyle and, along with his teammates, the men's 4x100 medley relay. Fellow American Bobby Finke had a comeback victory in the men's 1,500-meter freestyle for his second gold medal of the Tokyo Games.


Italy's Jacobs wins first Bolt-less 100 meters since 2004

Italian sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs won the men's 100 meters on Sunday in Tokyo, becoming the first person not named Usain Bolt to win the heralded Olympic event since 2004 and grab the unofficial title of "fastest man in the world." Jamaica's Bolt, a track and field legend, took home gold in 2008, 2012, and 2016, but did not compete in the Games this year. Jacobs was not among the favorites in the race, so his 9.80-second victory is considered a rather shocking upset. It's the first time an Italian has won the 100 meters. American Fred Kerley, who had previously primarily competed in the 400 meters, took home silver, while Canadian Andre de Grasse came in third to capture the bronze.


Biles out of floor exercise final

American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from Monday's floor exercise final at the 2020 Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Sunday. The news isn't particularly surprising as Biles has been experiencing a phenomenon known in gymnastics circles as the "twisties" and has decided to focus on her mental health. She's still eligible to compete in the balance beam final on Tuesday, but remains undecided. On Sunday, her teammates Mykayla Skinner and Sunisa Lee, who won gold in the all-around final, won silver and bronze in the vault and uneven bars finals, respectively.


Myanmar junta chief promises elections by 2023

Min Aung Hlaing, the head of Myanmar's military junta, gave a televised address Sunday in which he promised multi-party elections by August 2023. After the military staged a coup and deposed Myanmar's elected government in February, the junta said the state of emergency would last for one year. Now, that's up to two and a half years. Even if Min Aung Hlaing sticks to the plan, there are serious doubts that a 2023 election would be seen as free or fair, Al Jazeera reports. Since the power grab, protesters have continuously taken to the streets, though the demonstrations have recently taken on a more limited form following the junta's crackdown. More than 900 people have been killed opposing the takeover.


Trump committees reel in $82 million in first half of 2021

Federal Election Commission filings published on Saturday show that former President Donald Trump's political action committees raised more than $82 million in the first half of 2021, giving them around $102 million cash on hand. The significant amount demonstrates Trump's continued ability to reel in money should he enter the 2024 presidential race, Axios writes. Per Politico, "the scenario is virtually unprecedented" since no former president has ever raised nine figures' worth of donations "to power a political operation." All told, in the last six months Trump's groups outraised the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, while coming close to the Republican National Committee.


Second victim in California movie theater shooting dies from wounds

A second person has died following a shooting at a movie theater in Corona, California, on Monday. The victim was 19-year-old Anthony Barajas, who was well-known on the social media app TikTok. He and an 18-year-old woman, Rylee Goodrich, were both shot in the head during a screening of the movie The Forever Purge. Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene, while Barajas was taken to a hospital. He was put on life support and died of his wounds Saturday, police said. Mike Hestrin, Riverside County's district attorney, said a 20-year-old man has been charged with murder. Authorities have not released a motive.


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