The Wider World

White House task force to continue

PRESIDENT TRUMP (at left) meets with coronavirus task force. Dr. Anthony Fauci is in center (Shutterstock).

The White House Coronavirus Task Force will not be winding down, despite an announcement on Tuesday that it would be handing over its role to federal agencies.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday that the group would “continue on indefinitely,” according to the New York Times. He later said, “We will have something in a different form.”

Vice President Mike Pence had said on Tuesday the group was moving toward completing its work, distributing its functions to other parts of the government, especially the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the Associated Press.

The task force has been the public voice of the federal governments’ response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. It made Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a national celebrity.

The president has banned Fauci from testifying on the virus before the House of Representatives, saying that that body was full of “Trump haters.” Democrats have a majority in the House. He will testify before the Senate, where the Republicans have a majority.

High court rejects challenge to closures

SUPREME COURT building in Washington, D.C. (Wikipedia).

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected without comment a request to lift an order by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf closing all “non-essential businesses” to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

According to United Press International, the petitioners claimed that the order was causing “irreparable harm.” Their suit was rejected first by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, then the nation’s high court.

Opponents of “stay-at-home” and closures of businesses, parks and beaches have argued that such orders violate constitutional rights. The state attorney general replied that ending the restrictions was “premature” and clashed with public health data.

Money to Favre intercepted by auditor

Brett Favre, a former NFL star hired to give speeches from a fund to help needy families, is repaying the $1.1 million he took although he never gave the speeches.

Favre, who starred for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, has already returned $500,000 and has pledged to give back the remaining $600,000 in installments.

According to the Associated Press, his action was prompted by an audit of spending by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. He will not face criminal charges.

The audit turned up $94 million in “questionable spending” by the MDHS.

Weather: Cooling trend coming

It’ll be getting cooler day by day in Orange County. Highs will be 82 on Thursday, dip to 80 on Friday, and then slide to 78 on Saturday and 75 on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Overnight lows will be in the high to mid 60s. Friday should be sunny, with a chance of rain on Saturday, then cloudy on Sunday.

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