May 25, 2020

President Trump spent part of Memorial Day taking shots at Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), calling him an "American fraud," misrepresenting his voting record, and spelling his name wrong, all in one tweet.

Lamb, a Marine Corps veteran, represents Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District. The state's primary is next week, and Trump took the opportunity to praise his opponent, Republican Army combat veteran Sean Parnell, while slamming Lamb. "Sean Parnell is an American Hero," Trump tweeted. "Connor Lamm has proven to be an American fraud, and a puppet for Crazy Nancy Pelosi. He said he would NOT vote for her for Speaker, and did. Will kill 2A. Voted to impeach (on nothing). A TOTAL & COMPLETE Sean Parnell Endorsement!"

Lamb was one of more than a dozen Democrats to not vote for Pelosi as speaker of the House in 2019. In response, Lamb tweeted that Trump and other Republicans have been "lying about my record since the day I became a candidate. It hasn't stopped, and it won't stop, until we beat them at the ballot box in November." Catherine Garcia

2:00 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is turning the tables.

Cuomo oversaw the state as it went through America's earliest and harshest COVID-19 outbreak, and was critical of other states' suggestions of banning New Yorkers from crossing their borders. But now that New York is on the mend, he's flipping that policy back on states that aren't doing so well.

In late June, Cuomo and the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey announced anyone visiting from one of 16 states with surging COVID-19 numbers would have to undergo a mandatory 14-day self quarantine. Cuomo expanded that guidance in a Monday press conference, saying travelers from those states will now have to fill out a form divulging their contact information or risk a fine of up to $2,000. The information will presumably be used for contact tracers and perhaps to enforce the quarantine.

The provision is part of an executive order Cuomo will soon sign. When President Trump threatened to quarantine the tri-state area back in March, Cuomo called the idea "preposterous" and a "federal declaration of war."

Cuomo also unveiled an illustrated recap of the state's coronavirus response, which is full of inside jokes for avid Cuomo press conference watchers. Kathryn Krawczyk

1:57 p.m.

The executive chairman of WeWork is expecting the company to be a "profitable venture" in a year after reportedly slashing thousands of jobs since 2019.

A new report from the Financial Times details how the shared workspace company has "slashed its workforce from a high of 14,000 last year to 5,600 people," cutting more than 8,000 jobs. The company recently told employees that it has completed a restructuring process that included these cuts, according to the report.

Marcelo Claure, WeWork's executive chairman, told the Financial Times in an interview that he expects that in "a year from now, you are going to see WeWork to basically be a profitable venture," and the report notes the company is looking at having a positive cash flow a year earlier than expected.

In addition to the cuts, WeWork also "renegotiated leases and sold off assets," the report says. Claure said in the interview that during the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for WeWork's office spaces has been "through the roof" as employees working remotely "basically now come to a WeWork facility to use it one day a week, two days a week, three days a week."

The report notes this number of job reductions at WeWork hadn't previously been reported, although reports emerged last year that major layoffs were happening at the troubled company. Prior to a deal with Softbank announced last fall, WeWork was quite close to running out of money, and last year, the Financial Times reported the company lost more than $200,000 every hour in 2018. Brendan Morrow

1:14 p.m.

The Houston Rockets are already in the NBA's coronavirus bubble in Orlando, Florida, but their without one of their — and the league's — biggest stars. Russell Westbrook, one half of the team's dynamic guard duo alongside James Harden, announced Monday he tested positive for COVID-19 before the Rockets' departure.

The one-time MVP says he's "feeling well" and plans to join the Rockets, who are in the thick of the Western Conference race, once he's cleared.

It's not clear when exactly Westbrook received his positive result, but Houston's first game isn't until July 31, so if his recovery continues to progress, it seems likely he won't have to miss much game time and should be able to contribute in the playoffs. Tim O'Donnell

1:08 p.m.

There is another.

Disney has announced a new animated Star Wars show is in the works for Disney+, this one a spinoff of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It's called Star Wars: The Bad Batch and will revolve around the eponymous group of experimental clone characters from an arc in The Clone Wars' final season, which debuted on Disney+ earlier this year.

"In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose," the announcement said.

The Clone Wars executive producer Dave Filoni is set to return as producer for The Bad Batch. The announcement says it will be set "in the immediate aftermath" of the end of the Clone Wars, which in the Star Wars timeline is followed by the rise of the Empire. The Clone Wars largely took place between the second and third prequel films, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

This is yet another new Star Wars series in the works for Disney+ following the finale of the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker. Live-action series based on Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor are in the works, as is a female-centric series from the creator of Russian Doll. The first live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian, is also set to return for another season later this year. Star Wars: The Bad Batch, meanwhile, will take its first steps into the larger world of Disney+ in 2021. Brendan Morrow

12:56 p.m.

America's outdated systems of storing and transferring health data have never been more obvious — or dangerous.

The U.S. finally has made great strides in increasing the testing capacity it needs to track how COVID-19 is spreading across the country and move toward stopping its stampede. There's just one big problem: That data is often sent via fax machines and phone calls, and is often sent to the wrong places, meaning "the data is moving slower than the disease," the executive director of Houston's Harris County health department Dr. Umair Shah tells The New York Times.

The fax machine is almost as formidable an enemy as COVID-19 at the Harris County Public Health office. The department collects results of coronavirus tests in the area and uses them to contact trace and potentially quarantine people, preferably through a simple data transfer on the computer. But others come via "phone, email, physical mail, or fax," as it's expensive to upgrade data storage systems while still preserving health privacy standards.

That in turn forces workers to physically input a variety of data into the department's database, increasing the chances of mistakes and slowing the COVID-19 tracking process down dramatically. And when a doctor's office sends a mass of results at once, "picture the image of hundreds of faxes coming through, and the machine just shooting out paper," Shah described.

Houston isn't alone in its data dilemma — Washington state even brought in the National Guard to deal with its piles of paper test results earlier in the pandemic. Read more at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

12:14 p.m.

Just a few weeks after it reopened, Hong Kong Disneyland is closing again.

The park is set to "temporarily close" on July 15 "as required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong," Disney announced on Monday, per CNN. It had reopened on June 18.

Hong Kong is facing a surge in COVID-19 cases, on Monday reporting 52 new infections, 41 of which were locally transmitted, Reuters reports. Previously, "from June 13 to July 5 there were no locally transmitted cases in Hong Kong," according to NPR. Schools in Hong Kong closed as a result of the recent uptick, and on Monday, authorities reduced the maximum gathering size to four people from 50, Variety reports. Movie theaters will also need to close again in Hong Kong starting this week.

This comes after Disney began to reopen its Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. Florida has seen record numbers of COVID-19 cases and on Sunday reported more than 15,000 new infections, the most of any state during the pandemic. Brendan Morrow

11:19 a.m.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says he knows it's not "popular to talk about in some Republican circles," but he highlighted the United States' coronavirus testing issues anyway in an op-ed published Monday by CNBC.

In Mulvaney's view, the current economic crisis is public-health driven. For example, he argues the reason people aren't going on vacation is because they're afraid of getting sick, more so than their financial situation. Therefore, he doesn't think Congress' next stimulus package should focus on "ordinary fiscal tools," like sending citizens a check, since that alone won't reinvigorate the economy. "Make people feel safe to go back on an airplane or cruise ship, and they will of their own accord," he wrote.

One of the ways he thinks lawmakers can do this is by focusing on funneling aid to improve testing, which Mulvaney says is still a problem, and he has firsthand experience to prove it. His son, he wrote, was recently tested, but had to wait five to seven days for results, while his daughter tried to get a test before visiting her grandparents only to be told she didn't qualify. "That is simply inexcusable at this point in the pandemic," Mulvaney said. Read the full op-ed at CNBC. Tim O'Donnell

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