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Florida reports more than 11,000 new coronavirus cases, breaking another daily record as Miami imposes curfew

  • Florida on Saturday reported at least 11,445 new coronavirus cases, the state's largest number of daily cases so far, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health.
  • The U.S. reported more than 52,000 new cases as the coronavirus spikes across the American South and West. 
  • Even as Florida reports record case numbers, Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he won't close businesses again and has repeatedly refused to order a statewide mask mandate to curb the spread of the virus.

Florida on Saturday reported at least 11,445 new coronavirus cases, the state's largest number of daily cases so far, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health. 

The virus has infected more than 190,000 people in the state and at least 3,700 people have died. New cases in Florida have increased by 67% based on a seven-day average.

Florida reported Saturday that 14.1% of those tested for the virus were positive, well above the 5% threshold that the World Health Organization advises as a safe level for governments to reopen business. Those testing positive in Florida tend to be younger, with a median age of 35 as of Saturday. 

Though deaths from the virus in Florida have remained on a downward trajectory, Surgeon General  Dr. Jerome Adams has warned that fatalities lag new cases and a clearer picture might not emerge for two weeks or more. 

Even as Florida reports record case numbers, Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he won't close businesses again and has repeatedly refused to order a statewide mask mandate to curb the spread of the virus, though the governor has indicated that Florida won't move forward with its reopening plan for now. 

Florida comprises roughly 20% of new cases in the U.S, which are spiking across the American South and West. The nation has reported more than 52,000 new cases as of Friday, the third day in a row the number has exceeded 50,000. White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned this week that new cases could top more than 100,000 a day. 

Local governments in Florida are taking more aggressive measures. Miami-Dade and Broward Counties announced they were closing beaches for the July 4th holiday weekend. Miami-Dade, Florida's most populous county, has also imposed an overnight curfew from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice and will close some businesses that reopened in June. 

"This curfew is meant to stop people from venturing out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has shown to be spreading the virus rapidly," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement. 

Miami-Dade and Broward have also have announced orders requiring people to wear face masks in public.

Vice President Mike Pence, who visited Tampa on Thursday, praised Florida's governor for his "innovative" response to the pandemic and said that Florida is in a "much better place" to fight the current outbreak. Pence postponed campaign events in Florida due to the increase in positive cases there. The Trump administration has dismissed calls for the federal government to mandate the wearing of masks nationwide.  

The Republican National Convention is still scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida at the end of August, though Jacksonville fundraisers have found that donor money is on hold due to worries about the surge in coronavirus cases.

 Infectious disease specialist Aileen Marty warned Friday that Florida was "heading a million miles an hour in the wrong direction" in dealing with the pandemic and said residents are not following public health guidelines to slow the spread. 

"It's absolutely the saddest thing, the most unnecessary situation that we're finding ourselves in," Marty said in an interview with "CBS This Morning." "And it's behaviorally driven."

The U.S. has reported more than 2.7 million infections since the pandemic hit the nation and at least 129,509 deaths. 

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Trump Claims 'Left-Wing Cultural Revolution' Wants to 'End America' in Divisive Mt. Rushmore Speech









Earlier in the day, a group of mostly Native American protestors had blocked a nearby highway, according to USA Today. Over a dozen protestors, who were demonstrating against the site of the speech, which was held on sacred land, were arrested.

The Trump administration is set to host another Independence Day celebration — this time on the actual July 4 holiday — in Washington D.C.

Saturday's follow-up Trump event will feature a “one-of-a-kind air show," and a roughly mile-long detonation of 10,000 fireworks, according to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who spoke to the Associated Press this week.

A reported 300,000 face masks will be handed out at that celebration in Washington D.C., although no one will be required to wear one, according to the Associated Press, despite local officials' concerns about the spread of the virus.

Trump's Fourth of July celebration in D.C. last year cost more than $13 million, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.

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Ireland's finance chief is still optimistic on a digital tax deal despite US backlash

  • The United States shocked European nations earlier this month when it pulled out of international negotiations over such a tax.
  • The United States has been a fierce opponent of plans to make digital giants pay more in taxes, as the majority of these firms are American. It is the White House's view that digital taxes are unfair toward U.S. companies.
  • But Paschal Donohoe, the Irish minister of finance, told CNBC Wednesday: "I am actually optimistic about our ability to make progress on this inside the OECD."

It may have been the cause of some serious tension between the U.S. and Europe, but the Irish finance minister believes an international deal on a digital tax is still possible.

The United States shocked European nations earlier this month when it pulled out of international negotiations over such a tax. Both sides of the Atlantic had been at odds over plans in certain European capitals to tax technology giants more, but decided to take their differences to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in search of a compromise. The latest U.S. move to leave the talks eroded any hopes for a quick deal.

But Paschal Donohoe, the Irish minister of finance, told CNBC Wednesday: "I am actually optimistic about our ability to make progress on this inside the OECD."

"I think we need to view what is happening inside the OECD at the moment as a pause, that is happening for many different reasons, but I think it will be possible later on in the year or maybe early next year to make progress inside the OECD," he said.

Ireland was one of the few countries voting against an EU-wide digital tax back in 2018, pushing for a broader agreement with other nations beyond the European level. Ireland hosts some large tech firms, which have headquarters there. In addition, the country was asked back in 2016 by European authorities to recoup 13 billion euros in unpaid taxes from Apple. Apple and the Irish government appealed that decision.

The United States has been a fierce opponent of plans to make digital giants pay more in taxes, as the majority of these firms are American. It is the White House's view that digital taxes are unfair toward U.S. companies.

Speaking to CNBC, Donohoe said: "I think it is important that we change how we tax digital companies," while also describing a "genuine concern" over the implications of making changes in this field.

New Eurogroup President 

Donohoe is looking to get a more prominent role in European politics, having thrown his hat in the ring to become the next chair of the Eurogroup, a regular gathering that brings the 19 finance ministers of the euro area together.

Ahead of the vote next week, he told CNBC he still has some more convincing to do to get the majority of his colleagues behind his candidacy.

"The votes are not due to take place until the end of next week, but I have many assurances of support and I am very grateful for those assurances of support. I still have much work to do to gain more votes and to make the case for my candidacy," the finance minister said.

In a letter to his counterparts, he said it would be important to work toward restoring fiscal targets across the euro zone. European governments agreed back in March to scrap fiscal commitments for the time being to allow them to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

"It is not imminent," he told CNBC, "for now all of our focus has to be getting those jobs back, rebuilding income."

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From stateless to displaced, the Rohingya are still searching for hope years after fleeing Myanmar

  • The Rohingya are a Muslim minority from Rakhine state in western Myanmar — formerly known as Burma.
  • Most fled their homes after the military launched a brutal crackdown in August 2017.
  • Today, nearly a million Rohingya refugees live in cramped, temporary housing in the Bangladesh district of Cox's Bazar, home to one of the world's largest settlement camps.

The Rohingya are among the world's most persecuted ethnic minorities — haunted by the past and denied a future.

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world and into their squalid refugee camps, they're confronted by another grim prospect: separation from loved ones.

"There's Covid-19, it's quite clearly spreading in the camps. But the Rohingya will not go to get tested," said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Asia at Human Rights Watch.

"They are afraid of being taken from their family, they are afraid of being isolated, they're afraid of being taken to this horrible detention island called Bhasan Char — which is in the middle of nowhere… It's like a Rohingya Alcatraz," he said, referring to the former island prison in San Francisco.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority from Rakhine state in western Myanmar — formerly known as Burma. Most fled their homes after the military launched a brutal crackdown in August 2017.

Today, nearly a million Rohingya refugees live in cramped, temporary housing in the Bangladesh district of Cox's Bazar, home to one of the world's largest settlement camps.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told CNBC there were 50 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 5 deaths among the refugees in Cox's Bazar as of July 1. Testing was ramped up to 700 a day, and about 0.06% of the 860,000 Rohingya in the camps have been tested. Additionally, Myanmar's health ministry reported 10 confirmed cases in Rakhine, UNHCR said.

It's hard to know the true extent of the outbreak among the Rohingya, argued Robertson.

"People are refusing to go. I think the only people you're really seeing that turn up and get tested are the people who are gravely ill, and have no other choice … they need to get treatment or they may die."

"We have noticed a decline in the number of refugees approaching health facilities for COVID-19 symptoms in the last weeks," said Louise Donovan, a communications officer at UNHCR. She said there appears to be "fear and anxiety among refugees," as those who volunteered to be tested had to be isolated for precautionary reasons.

Additionally, an internet shutdown in camps in Bangladesh and some towns in Rakhine "has meant that people in some villages are unaware of the Covid-19 outbreak," Human Rights Watch said.

Flight from Rakhine 

Often referred to as "the most persecuted minority in the world," the Rohingya have endured decades of oppression and human rights abuses.

A citizenship law in 1982 stripped them of their nationality, making them one of the world's largest stateless communities.

While there have been large migrations to Bangladesh since the 1970s, none was as rapid and massive as the August 2017 exodus that thrust the Rohingya crisis onto the world stage. 

More than 740,000 Rohingya were violently uprooted in the months that followed, driven by a brutal military crackdown that reportedly killed thousands of Muslims. 

At least half of those who arrived in Bangladesh were children. It was a migration that was "unprecedented in terms of volume and speed," the UN said. 

Hundreds of victims and witnesses described scenes of indiscriminate killing, including of children and the elderly. Victims spoke of torture, rape, looting and destruction. Satellite images showed hundreds of villages razed.

Myanmar's security forces said it was a counter-offensive aimed at rooting out terrorism. What sparked the campaign was a series of attacks carried out by Rohingya extremists, who killed 12 members of the Burmese security forces in August 2017.

The UN condemned the operation as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and its High Commissioner for Human Rights at that time slammed the response as "clearly disproportionate" and "without regard for basic principles of international law."

Approximately 600,000 Rohingya are still inside Myanmar "living under threat of genocide," said the UN's fact-finding mission on Myanmar.

Calls for accountability

The Rohingya want justice, Robertson said. They want those who committed the crimes against them to be held accountable.  

Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been accused of failing to protect the Rohingya. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, once touted as the embodiment of democracy, has been criticized for forsaking the oppressed. 

In a January op-ed for the Financial Times, Suu Kyi defended her government. She noted that the UN's independent commission interviewed close to 1,500 witnesses, but she claimed the report said that "some refugees may have provided inaccurate or exaggerated information."

While acknowledging that "the report details killing of civilians, disproportionate use of force, looting of property, and destruction of abandoned homes of Muslims," she maintained that the commission "found no evidence of genocide."

Robertson from Human Rights Watch strongly criticized the former democracy icon.

"She has moved beyond just being a bystander — or someone who wasn't involved — to become part of the cover-up," he said.

The Myanmar government did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.

What the future holds

Education brings hope for a brighter future to the Rohingya children, said Shairose Mawji, Bangladesh chief of field services at UNICEF. 

"Education not only brings knowledge and skills, it also brings hope to children and help counter the frustration and despair of their situation," Mawji told CNBC in an email. "Without adequate opportunities for learning, they are more exposed to dangers of trafficking, child marriage, exploitation and abuse."

There are currently more than 465,000 Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh.

The country agreed in January to grant 10,000 Rohingya students access to a formal school curriculum, a pilot program targeted at those from grades six to nine. It will eventually expand to others, Mawji said. 

Still, only about 13% of teenage boys and 2% of adolescent girls have access to education in the camps, said the UN children's agency, pointing out that girls were disproportionately affected.

Rights groups hailed the pilot program as a small victory, but Robertson was quick to point out that 10,000 kids "is not a lot when you're talking about over a million refugees."

"What you see is a stunting of the educational aspirations of the Rohingya — an entire generation of children who are not getting educated," he added.

The UNHCR was more hopeful.

"With the right investment in education, Rohingya children can begin to chart their own destinies and contribute more to their communities," Mawji said.

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Loans in coronavirus mortgage bailouts see largest weekly decline yet — but there are more red flags

  • As of June 30, 4.58 million homeowners were in forbearance plans, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data and technology firm. This represents 8.6% of all active mortgages, down from 8.8% the previous week.  
  • After rising the previous week, the number of loans in active forbearance plans dropped by 104,000.
  • That is the largest one-week drop since the start of the programs and brings the total volume to the lowest since the first week of May.

The number of borrowers in government and private sector coronavirus-related mortgage bailouts just fell by the largest weekly volume since these plans were put in place.

There are, however, warning signs that the programs could swell again.

As of June 30, 4.58 million homeowners were in forbearance plans, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data and technology firm. This represents 8.6% of all active mortgages, down from 8.8% the previous week. Added up, all the loans in forbearance represent just under $1 trillion in unpaid principal ($995 billion).  

After rising the previous week, the number of loans in active forbearance plans dropped by 104,000. That is the largest one-week drop since the start of the programs and brings the total volume to the lowest since the first week of May. The current volume is down by 183,000 from the peak on May 22.

"A return to declining forbearance volumes this week was not entirely unexpected. Last week's forbearance volumes may have been adversely affected by late fees charged on the 15th of the month, which tend to put upward pressure on the number of homeowners entering into plans in the following days," said Andy Walden, Black Knight economist and director of market research.

Volume also likely fell in part because more than half of all active forbearance plans, many of which were set up with initial 90-day periods, began in late March and early April. They would therefore be scheduled to expire or be reviewed for extension in June.

About 2.2 million loans would fall into that category, so the drop therefore suggests that some of those borrowers did not need an extension, but many more of them did. 

"There is still great uncertainty ahead, given the recent spike in COVID around the country and the scheduled end of expanded unemployment benefits on July 31," added Walden.

According to daily mortgage payment tracking data, as of the end of June, roughly a quarter of homeowners in forbearance had actually made their June payment anyway. That's as compared to 46% in April and approximately 30% in May.

The bulk of the loans in forbearance are government backed and part of the mortgage bailout program in the CARES Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law in March. It allows borrowers to miss monthly payments for at least three months and potentially up to a year. Those payments can be remitted either in repayment plans, loan modifications, or when the home is sold or the mortgage refinanced. For loans not backed by the government, most banks and private lenders have set up similar plans. 

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Biden Makes A Mockery Of Trump’s ‘We’re Going To Win So Much’ Boasts In New Ad

Donald Trump’s boast on the 2016 campaign trail that the United States would “win so much, you’re going to be sick and tired of winning” if he was elected president is turned against him in Joe Biden’s latest attack ad.

In the video, Trump makes his audacious claims alongside an animated graph showing how the coronavirus is spiraling out of control in America, unlike other countries who’ve largely managed to curb further mass outbreaks.

“Mr. President, it’s too much,” the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign team captioned the clip:

The ad was shared on social media Thursday as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to surge across the country.

At least 50,000 people are now testing positive for the contagion every day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned this week that the daily case count could soon pass 100,000.

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Tucker Carlson Delivers Yet Another Vitriolic Diatribe Against Black Lives Matter

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday launched his latest attack on Black Lives Matter, likening what he called the “hysteria” surrounding the movement to a pandemic.

“Hysteria is the most communicable disease known to man and we’re now living through a pandemic of it,” said Carlson, who last month told viewers a BLM “mob” was coming for them and falsely claimed anti-racism protesters were “the armed militia of the Democratic Party.”

The “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host said Wednesday that the “outbreak” (of what he described as hysteria) began with the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May.

“Minneapolis was our Wuhan,” said Carlson, referencing the city in China where the coronavirus originated. He then turned his ire on the attempted removal of statues of Christopher Columbus.

“What does Christopher Columbus have to do with George Floyd?” the widely watched TV personality asked. “Christopher Columbus was not a Minneapolis police officer, Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator who died more than 500 years ago. Columbus probably never even heard of George Floyd. He almost certainly didn’t mistreat him personally.”

Carlson continued:

So why are people attacking Columbus’ statute? Well, who knows? You’re definitely not allowed to ask. Questions are not permitted during hysteria epidemics. Logic of any kind seems to dramatically increase the severity of the symptoms. A patient may appear to be recovering from hysteria, speaking in nearly complete sentences, bathing independently on occasion. But then a single direct question will send him into a tailspin. A renewed attack of slogan-shouting, anarchist graffiti, hours of hostile tweeting. The disease back in force. It’s safer not to say a word. 

Check out Carlson’s comments here:

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Joe Biden Raises $141 Million, Topping Trump For Second Straight Month

Former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $141 million in June, his campaign announced Wednesday night, topping the total haul of President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee for the second straight month.

Trump and the RNC combined to raise $131 million. 

Both campaigns massively improved upon their fundraising from May, when Biden and the DNC banked $80.8 million and Trump raised $74 million.

Biden has now outraised Trump in both months since reaching a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC in late April, which allowed him to raise much larger sums from a single donor. Trump and the RNC have had a joint fundraising agreement for years.

The Trump campaign, which is trailing by significant margins in public polling, has long planned to have a major financial advantage over the Democratic nominee. But Biden’s fundraising strength, powered by donors large and small, likely means that advantage is smaller than the Republicans would like. 

The Trump campaign said it has more than $295 million on hand, while the Biden campaign did not release a total. The Biden campaign ended May with just $82 million in the bank. 

The Trump campaign announced its fundraising total with great bombast and confidence earlier Wednesday only to be one-upped by Biden’s team Wednesday night.

“After yet another haul of record-breaking support, the voters are speaking loud and clear ― they support President Trump,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement at the time. “As Joe Biden remains hidden in his basement, President Trump is leading this country to a Great American Comeback that will reignite our economy, restore law and order, and usher in a new era of strength.” 

“There’s real, grassroots energy for Joe,” Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon countered on Twitter, noting the Biden campaign’s fundraising list had grown by more than 2.6 million people over the past three months. 

The Biden campaign’s haul was part of an auspicious month for the finances of left-leaning groups and campaigns. The wave of activism powered by the Black Lives Matter movement and growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic led to a record-shattering $392 million in payments through ActBlue, a digital donation processor for Democrats and liberal groups. 



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Anthony Fauci Warns U.S. Could Reach 100,000 Coronavirus Cases Per Day

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned Tuesday that the U.S. could see as many as 100,000 daily coronavirus infections if states where cases are surging don’t begin taking stronger measures to combat the spread. 

Fauci issued the grim warning to a Senate committee while discussing President Donald Trump’s response to the deadly virus.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) referred to comments Fauci made in March, when he theorized the U.S. could see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, with millions more infected, before the end of the pandemic. As of late June, there have been more than 125,000 deaths in the U.S.

“Based on what you’re seeing now, how many COVID deaths and infections should America expect before this is all over?” Warren asked Tuesday. 

“I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I can guarantee you that,” Fauci replied. “Because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they’re doing well, they are vulnerable.”

States such as New York have seen a decline in cases, but others, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, are seeing a resurgence of infections as politicians have pushed to reopen businesses. At least 16 states have now paused their reopening plans amid the spike in cases.

“We can’t just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk,” Fauci said. “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day, I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 cases a day if this does not turn around, so I am very concerned.”

Fauci previously warned that the U.S. would have cases well into the fall.

Trump, meanwhile, has been largely silent on the continued spike in cases, instead focusing on vandalized statues and his own ego. As more than 35,000 new cases and more than 300 new deaths were reported Tuesday in the U.S., the president was busy tweeting about himself.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the number of new infections and deaths reported on Tuesday. 

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Boris Johnson returns to his happy place: upbeat, vague and incoherent

The past few months have been a bit of a downer for Boris Johnson – just one bad news story after another. So it was time for a rewrite. The equivalent of Dallas series nine when it turned out everything had been a dream. Boris would go back to his happy place of last year’s general election campaign, when all he had to do was turn up and say the same old bollocks about “getting Brexit done” and “levelling up the country” and people would be fawning over his every word.

So at the Dudley Institute of Technology in the West Midlands, Johnson rehashed one of his old campaign speeches for the relaunch of “Love Boris”. Only without the bits about Brexit, which was well and truly done now, given that this was the last day he could have asked the EU for an extension to the transition. Here was Boris at his most upbeat. His most vague. His most incoherent. God help baby Wilfred if Boris ever gets round to reading him a bedtime story.

There was the briefest of nods to the coronavirus pandemic, but even here Boris didn’t want to kowtow to all the doomsters and gloomsters who had picked holes in the government’s response over the past few months. Yes, a few people had died and it was awkward that there was a spike in the infection rate in Leicester just as he was planning to ease lockdown restrictions elsewhere in England, but couldn’t we all forget about the bad stuff just for today? Why not concentrate instead on all the hundreds of thousands of people the government hadn’t managed to kill and the millions who had been saved – for the time being, at least – from unemployment through the furlough scheme?

Then we got down to the nitty-gritty. Boris didn’t want to draw comparisons with Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal, though if others did, he wasn’t going to complain. Only FDR had spent 40% of US GDP on a whole load of job creation schemes, while Boris was stumping up the princely sum of 0.2% of UK GDP. Or £5bn of old money that had already been promised in the March budget.

As so often with Boris, his whole speech was based on a lie. He was acting as if he was announcing something new when the money had already been accounted for. You can get away with recycling old columns for the Daily Telegraph, but you quickly get found out as prime minister.

It also turned out that the £5bn was going to have to go an awfully long way as Boris listed the various infrastructure improvements he had in mind for schools, hospitals, roads and housing. Though it did also sound as if he thought hospitals were funded out of philanthropy, as he went out of his way to praise the £35m that Captain Tom had raised for the NHS.

All this, though, depended on Operation Speed – something the prime minister may have taken too literally, as the entire speech sounded as if it was being delivered by someone off his head on amphetamines. Just one long gabble of barely connected sentences with only a passing nod to reality.

Planning rules would be ripped up. Honest Bob Jenrick had merely been a month or two ahead of the game. There would be no more room for “newt-counting”, as the French and Germans were well ahead of us in housebuilding. Just as well we were leaving the EU then. Boris didn’t even appear to realise that he was now promising to build in eight years what he had originally promised to build in five. Speed can do that to you.

Having raced through a long list of government infrastructure projects – Boris is going to get a hell of a shock when he realises who has been in government for the past 10 years to let things gets so bad – he was momentarily concerned that some traditional Tories might think he was a communist for even daring to suggest doing more for those who had been hardest hit by austerity. Not that there had ever been such a thing as austerity. That was just a word dreamed up by the Labour party along with David Cameron and George Osborne.

So just to make sure that everyone knew he also cared deeply about the filthy rich, he proposed a weekly “clap for capitalists” night. Just as on Thursdays the public had gone out on to the streets to applaud the NHS and emergency services, Friday should be the day we go outside to thank Richard “Dirty” Desmond and the other multimillionaires who had done so much to Make Britain Great Again. Though we must be sure to clap very loudly, or some of them might not hear from their tax havens abroad.

Predictably, Boris struggled when it came to the questions. He merely shrugged when it was pointed out to him that £75 a head probably wouldn’t go that far and that right now more people were worried about the more immediate concern of whether they would still have a job in a couple of months than building projects that might take years to complete. “Um,” he said, sure that jobs in the hospitality and services sectors would soon be back on stream.

“Wait for what Rishi has to say next week,” he added, before getting himself into a tangle by committing himself to a public sector pay freeze or a tax rise. Let the chancellor sort that problem out. Boris looked to his handlers before heading for the exit. It had been a shambles, but it had served a purpose. For a few hours he had got people talking about things that may or may not happen instead of coronavirus. And he’d conveniently diverted attention away from Michael Gove’s hopeless efforts to explain to the Commons why the best way to ensure a diverse and decentralised government was to stuff No 10 with trusted “yes men”.

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