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Good morning. School reopenings are upon us. Joe Biden is considering Susan Rice as a running mate. And the virus is surging in many countries.
Much of the world is now coping with a coronavirus resurgence.
The number of new daily cases has risen more than 20 percent in both Europe and Canada over the past week. It’s up about 40 percent in Australia and Japan. Hong Kong reported 145 cases yesterday, its highest one-day count yet and the sixth straight day of more than 100 new cases.
All of these increases are worrisome reminders that crushing the virus is not a one-time event, at least not until a vaccine is available. It involves constant vigilance.
As countries take steps toward more normal functioning — reopening schools, workplaces and restaurants, for instance — they will often spark new outbreaks, which in turn will require more tests, quarantines and even limited lockdowns.
And yet all of these places are in a very different situation from the United States:
Even with the recent surges, the outbreaks elsewhere are much more contained and manageable than in the U.S. The U.S. has had about 15 times as many confirmed new cases, per capita, as Canada over the past week and 12 times as many as Hong Kong or Europe.
As a result, these other places still have the chance to keep their recent outbreaks from turning into something worse. Hong Kong has prohibited restaurant dining, limited public gatherings to two people and required mask-wearing in public at all times. Belgium is limiting people’s social contacts outside their family to the same five people over the next four weeks.
Much of the U.S. is responding less aggressively, even though its outbreak is more severe. Until that changes, many parts of the U.S. reopening — schools, pro sports and more — are likely to suffer setbacks, epidemiologists say.
In other virus developments:
3 MORE BIG STORIES
1. Back to school is already here
The city of Jefferson, Ga., is planning to host in-person classes beginning Friday, making it one of the first schools in the nation to do so. The move has divided the city, a preview of the debates that are likely to grip other communities as the school year draws near.
Though thousands of new coronavirus cases are being reported daily in Georgia, Jefferson school officials did not make masks mandatory. Local students have picked sides: Two high school seniors created an online petition calling for a mask requirement, while a competing petition demanded that masks remain a choice.
Related: “When schools open, there will be cases,” Emily Oster, a Brown University economist, writes in an Opinion piece. “It is necessary to have a concrete plan for what will happen when this occurs.”
2. Barr vs. House Democrats
Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to appear before a House committee today for a hearing on the federal response to the nationwide protests over police brutality. The hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. Eastern, is certain to be tense.
Barr will criticize “armed mobs” that have set out to “destroy the property and livelihoods of innocent business owners,” according to his prepared testimony. Democrats plan to portray Barr as trying to stoke chaos by sending federal agents into cities and covering up the president’s misdeeds, while Republicans are likely to celebrate Barr as a defender of the rule of law.
More on the protests: Demonstrators are asking themselves whether nightly clashes with law enforcement serve their purposes or Trump’s.
3. Considering a Biden-Rice ticket
Joe Biden said this spring that he hoped to choose a vice-presidential nominee by Aug. 1 — which is Saturday. His advisers now say that deadline could slide, partly because he does not need a running mate until the Democratic convention, which is scheduled to start Aug. 17.
But a fairly consistent short list of candidates has emerged. The top of that list appears to include three senators (Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth), two House members (Karen Bass and Val Demings) and one person who has never held elected office: Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser.
As The Times’s Alexander Burns — who has just written a story on Rice — told me yesterday: “Rice’s strengths as a V.P. candidate say so much about the strange and scary kind of campaign we’re in. In a normal campaign, Democrats would probably be deeply wary of choosing someone who’s never been shouted at by voters in an unruly town hall meeting. But there aren’t going to be unruly town hall meetings because of a terrifying pandemic, and Rice has a profile that seems to convey seriousness in that context.”
Here’s what else is happening
IDEA OF THE DAY: A post-Trump G.O.P.
President Trump’s disapproval rating in the FiveThirtyEight polling average has reached its highest level since early 2019: 55.8 percent. And his political struggles have some political analysts beginning to imagine what a post-Trump Republican Party might look like.
“With every bad poll and with every divisive tweet, the crisis in the Republican Party will become more acute and the conversations about its future more urgent,” writes Elaine Kamarck of the Brookings Institution.
Among the predictions:
The party will double down on Trump’s populist economics and cultural conservatism but sand off its inflammatory edges. Republicans like Nikki Haley, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton seem to be angling for this path, The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein writes.
Part of this approach, Commentary’s Noah Rothman argues, would be rejecting the personality-driven style that has undermined Trump’s effectiveness: “Even Trump’s prospective successors have subtly but detectably sought to guide the conservative movement’s young activists away from the Trumpian affectation that now threatens to scuttle his presidency.”
One factor that will shape the outcome, writes Bret Stephens of The Times, is whether Trump loses narrowly or in a landslide — if he loses at all.
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PLAY, WATCH, EAT, READ
Ice cream, with a side of social justice
Few ice cream brands have publicly supported Occupy Wall Street and declared, “We must dismantle white supremacy.” Though Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, sold their company to Unilever two decades ago, the brand has maintained its founders’ progressive spirit.
In an interview, the childhood friends discussed how social justice and ice cream mix, their most famous disagreement (it was about the size of the chunks in their products) and what would go into a Trump-inspired flavor.
Make your own: Here’s Melissa Clark’s guide to ice cream. It includes nondairy alternatives and recipes that don’t require an ice cream maker.
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David
P.S. You can see today’s print front page here.
Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about the battle over unemployment benefits. The new “Popcast” asks what “Folklore” portends for Taylor Swift’s musical evolution.
Correction: Yesterday’s newsletter mistakenly suggested that the W.N.B.A and Major League Baseball were the only two major U.S. sports to have resumed. Major League Soccer has, too.
Lalena Fisher, Ian Prasad Philbrick and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected].