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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after video surfaced of one of the officers holding his knee to a man’s neck as the man struggled to breathe one day earlier. The man, identified by attorney Benjamin Crump as George Floyd, was pronounced dead after the incident. Authorities, including the FBI, are investigating. Update 3:45 p.m. EDT May 26: In a statement posted Tuesday on Twitter, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirmed the officers involved in the incident had been fired. “This is the right call,” he said. A video of the incident caught by a passerby and posted online early Friday showed an officer holding his knee to George Floyd’s neck after responding to a report of a forgery in progress, according to police and attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family. “We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get off his neck,” Crump said Tuesday in a statement. He called the actions of police “abusive, excessive and inhumane' and noted that Floyd was being detained for questioning about a non-violent charge. Authorities continue to investigate. Original report: The FBI is investigating after video surfaced early Tuesday that appeared to show a police officer holding a knee against a man’s neck as he struggled to breathe shortly before he was pronounced dead at a hospital. The 10-minute video was caught by Darnella Frazier, who was on her way to meet with friends Monday night when she saw a man on the ground near a police cruiser and began to record, The Washington Post reported. In the video, later posted on Facebook, the man on the ground can be heard shouting that he can't breathe. “Don’t kill me!” he said, according to the Post. In a news briefing early Tuesday with police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the officer seen in the video with his knee to the man’s neck “failed in the most basic human sense,” according to KARE. 'For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man,' he said. 'For five minutes.' Police said they were called around 8 p.m. Monday to a report of a forgery in progress on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South. Officers who responded found a man in his 40s who was believed to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police said officers ordered him to step away from his car and that afterward he “physically resisted officers.” 'Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,' police said in a statement released after the incident. 'Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.' In video of the incident, bystanders can be heard questioning officers’ treatment of the man. “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” a bystander tells one of the two responding officers in the video, according to WCCO. “You’re (expletive) stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” The video shows when the man on the ground appears to lose consciousness. “Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth … that he should be with us this morning,” Frey said Tuesday, according to KARE. The two officers who responded to the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave as authorities investigate, according to WCCO. Neither the officers nor the man who died were identified.
  • Authorities in Texas are asking for the public’s help identifying a man who set a hotel clerk on fire during an attempted robbery Sunday night in Fort Worth. Fire department spokesperson Mike Drivdahl on Tuesday called the attack, which left the clerk with minor injuries and damaged the hotel, 'an absolutely horrific crime.' “We need your help to put the suspect in custody,” he said. Video footage shared by investigators showed the suspect talking to the clerk from behind a partition around 10:15 p.m. at the Budget Host Inn on Tanacross Drive. In the video, the man can be seen squirting a clear liquid out of a bottle and through a hole in the partition, onto the clerk. Fire investigators said the man made demands and threatened to burn the clerk alive if he refused. Surveillance footage showed the man carried through with his threat and set the liquid ablaze before fleeing from the area in a white four-door vehicle. The arsonist was described as a possibly Hispanic male with long hair. In video pulled from a nearby gas station, he could be seen wearing a teal shirt and a ball cap. Before attempting to rob the hotel, fire investigators said the man covered his tee with a pink button-down T-shirt and turned his cap inside out. Anyone with information about the crime was asked to contact Lt. James Horton at 817-392-6229 or call Tarrant County Crime Stoppers to leave an anonymous tip at 817-469-TIPS.
  • A woman apologized for calling the police on a black man Monday after the two argued about her unleashed dog in New York City’s Central Park. The incident resulted in her being fired from her job Tuesday. Part of the confrontation between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper -- who are not related -- was recorded on Christian Cooper’s cellphone in a wooded area of Central Park known as the Ramble, CNN reported. He posted the video on Facebook. His sister, Melody Cooper, also posted the encounter on Twitter. “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” Amy Cooper, who is white. told CNN. She added that she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.” The Ramble is a wildlife habitat where dogs tend to disturb birds, which is why Christian Cooper commented about the unleashed dog to Amy Cooper, WABC reported. Dogs are supposed to be leashed in that area of Central Park, according to the park’s website. “She was actually standing right next to the sign that says dogs in the Ramble have to be leashed at all times,” Christian Cooper told the television station. As Christian Cooper began recording, Amy Cooper asked him to stop and approached the man, WPIX reported. “I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” ”My thinking was, I can sort of capitulate to this racial intimidation, or I could just do what I’m doing and continue recording,' Christian Cooper told WABC. As Christian Cooper continued to record the exchange, Amy Cooper is shown making a telephone call. “There is an African American man. I am in Central Park,” she said as she struggles to control the dog. 'He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. ... I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble. Please send the cops immediately.” Police responded to the park after the 8:10 a.m. call, officials told WPIX. “Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute,” an NYPD spokesperson told the television station. “There were no arrests or summonses issued and both parties went on their way.” Amy Cooper surrendered the dog to the shelter where he had been adopted from while the dispute is being investigated, according to  Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc. “The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” the post stated. “I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper told CNN, adding that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.” “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening,' she told the network. 'It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.” Amy Cooper was originally placed on administrative leave by her employer, investment company Franklin Templeton. However, the company announced Tuesday afternoon that she had been terminated, “effectively immediately.” “We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave,” the company’s statement read. New York City Councilman Mark Levine called the incident “disgusting.” “Filling a false police report is a crime,” he tweeted. “Being racist is reprehensible. There needs to be accountability for this.”
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is allowing Floridians to request a start date change for unemployment claims. Floridians collecting regular state unemployment can use a new form to request the date change: https://claimdate.myflorida.com/recertification For Floridians receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the DEO still has yet to provide directions on how to backdate claims. According to Orlando State Rep. Anna Eskamani, an outspoken advocate for Floridians seeking UC, the DEO is mailing checks for the “waiting week,” which is the one-week waiting period before benefits can be paid out.  Anyone whose waiting week took place after March 29th should be eligible. People collecting UC are also eligible for back-pay and $600 weekly payments from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). “DEO is aware that a LOT of people are missing both back-pay and their $600 payments,” Eskamani said. “DEO has made this issue a priority to address and assures us that money is being released daily, but we have asked the Department for a way to track the federal $600 (FPUC) benefits.”
  • More than 5.5 million people worldwide – including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Tuesday, May 26, continue below:  NHL will use 24-team playoff format if season resumes Update 4:48 p.m. EDT May 26: The NHL said it will scrap the remainder of the regular season and adopt a 24-team playoff format if the league is able to resume play. The plan is not a guarantee that play will resume, Commissioner Gary Bettman said adding the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association must still figure out health and safety protocols. Face coverings to be required in public in Virginia Update 3:30 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia on Tuesday announced face coverings will be required in public places statewide beginning on Friday, according to WJLA. The governor said Tuesday at a news conference that the order will apply to stores, restaurants, public transportation and any places where people can gather in groups, WJLA reported. “I am taking this step because science increasingly shows us that the virus spreads less easily when everyone is wearing face coverings,” he said, according to the news station. As of Tuesday morning, 39,342 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Virginia. Health officials said at least 1,236 people have died of coronavirus infections statewide. 109 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC Update 2:55 p.m. EDT May 26: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Tuesday that 109 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,334. Bowser said that as of Tuesday, 440 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus infections. In a statement, the mayor said that officials have seen '13 days of sustained decrease in community spread of COVID-19. Still, she urged residents to continue to stay at home for all but essential purposes. Delaware to allow for outdoor weddings, graduation ceremonies with up to 250 guests Update 1:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. John Carney of Delaware announced Tuesday that he’s lifting restrictions that barred people from holding outdoor gatherings as the state looks to reopen businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning June 1, outdoor weddings, graduation ceremonies and other events with as many as 250 people attending will be allowed, Carney said. People who attend such events will be required to wear cloth face coverings and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. As of Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, officials in Delaware had recorded 9,055 cases of COVID-19 statewide. At least 335 people have died of coronavirus infections, according to state health officials. “We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” Carney said Tuesday in a statement. “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point. Let’s continue to be cautious and responsible as we ease our way into this new normal.” More than 38,000 coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana Update 1:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Officials in Louisiana reported 245 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 38,054. Statewide, at least 2,596 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 28,700 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said. Officials urge people who crowded Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks to self-quarantine Update 12:55 p.m. EDT May 26: Leaders in Kansas City and St. Louis are urging people who partied close together at Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend to self-quarantine for two weeks. Big crowds were reported at swimming pools, bars and restaurants at the popular central Missouri lake. Postings showed people without masks partying and swimming together, seemingly ignoring guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and from the state, to keep at least 6 feet apart. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page called it “reckless behavior.” He asked the county’s health department to issue a travel advisory, citing concerns raised by residents and employers just as the county was beginning to reopen after weeks of shutdown caused by the virus. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, both Democrats, took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the crowds at the lake, which draws from the metropolitan areas on both sides of the state, along with neighboring Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Iowa. “If you were part of a group that didn’t socially distance or wear masks, please, for the health of your family, coworkers and friends, stay home for the next 14 days,” Krewson said in a tweet. Kansas City Health Director Rex Archer echoed the call for a 14-day self-quarantine. 703 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 12:45 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Tuesday that 703 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 155,764. Murphy noted that reports of new cases, which fell Tuesday below the more than 900 new cases reported one day earlier, might be delayed due to the long holiday weekend. “The key metrics from our hospitals continue to move in the right direction,” he said in a Twitter post. “We continue to see many positive signs that we can keep moving forward. We’re seeing many more good days than bad.' Officials also reported 54 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, 11,191 people have died statewide of COVID-19. Pence’s press secretary returns to work after recovering from COVID-19 Update 12:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, said Tuesday that she’s returned to work after recovering from a coronavirus infection. President Donald Trump said May 8 that Miller was diagnosed with COVID-19 “all of a sudden.” Miller said Tuesday that she tested negative three times for COVID-19 before returning to work. “Thank you to all my amazing doctors and everyone who reached out with support,” Miller wrote Tuesday in a tweet. “I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband who took great care of his pregnant wife.” Miller is married to Stephen Miller, the president’s senior adviser. New Jersey allows professional sports teams return to training, competition Update 12:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that professional sports teams are now allowed to resume training and competition in the state. “While leagues make their own decisions about operations, I am confident that teams are equipped to practice and eventually play in a responsible manner, protecting the health and safety of players, coaches, and team personnel,” the governor said, according to NBC News. New York Gov. Cuomo to meet with President Trump on Wednesday Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said he will meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. Cuomo said at a news conference Tuesday that he plans “to talk about a number of things” with the president, including the possibility of ramping up infrastructure projects to boost the economy. “There is no better time to build than right now,” Cuomo said. “You need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and it’s infrastructure. Now is the time to do it. It’s especially the time to do it when some of the volume is lower.” Jacksonville, Florida mayor says city ‘would be honored’ to host RNC Update 12 p.m. EDT May 26: The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida said Tuesday that the city “would be honored to host the Republican National Convention” after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention from North Carolina due to the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. >> Read more on WFTV.com In a series of Twitter posts, Mayor Lenny Curry said his administration and Gov. Ron DeSantis “have created a regulatory framework that operates in (a) way that is attractive to significant events like these.” He offered up the city’s partnership with the UFC, which led to several fan-free shows at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena earlier this month, as evidence that the city “has strongly demonstrated the ability to host large events in a safe (and) responsible way.' Earlier Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said his state would be willing and able to safely host the RNC, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. As of Tuesday morning, 50,916 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in Florida and 2,259 people have died the viral infection. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection. In North Carolina, officials said that as of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and 766 people have died statewide. 73 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that 73 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number was slightly less than the 95 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Georgia offers to host RNC after Trump threatens to pull convention from North Carolina Update 11:10 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia on Tuesday offered his state up as host of the Republican National Convention after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the RNC from it’s planned setting in North Carolina over the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,' Kemp wrote in a post on Twitter. Trump said in a series of tweets published Monday that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper must immediately tell organizers whether or not they’ll be able to host the convention as expected from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. “Plans are being made by thousands of enthusiastic Republicans and others to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” the president wrote. “They must be immediately given an answer by the governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” Cooper said Monday that state health officials are working with the Republican National Committee and reviewing their plans for holding the convention, WSOC-TV reported. “North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety,” Cooper said, according to WSOC-TV. As of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina and 766 people have died, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection. New Jersey to allow for socially distanced graduation ceremonies Update 10:45 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that schools will be allowed to begin holding outdoor graduation ceremonies in July provided they comply with social distancing measures. Murphy said the ceremonies will be allowed beginning July 6. The date is about two weeks later than graduations are typically held, according to North Jersey.com. 4,043 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 10:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 4,043 new coronavirus infections Tuesday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 265,227. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,048 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. Wall Street up as recovery hopes overshadow virus worries Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 26: Wall Street opened sharply higher Tuesday as hopes for economic recovery overshadow worries over the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 jumped to nearly a 3-month high, recovering much of its post-pandemic losses. Investors are shifting their focus to how various nations are adapting to getting back to business, while striving to keep new COVID-19 cases in check. Reassuring comments by the head of China’s central bank also helped spur buying. Benchmarks in Paris, London and Tokyo also gained on Tuesday. Brooklyn Nets allowed to begin voluntary player workouts, reopen training facility Update 9:05 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials with the Brooklyn Nets said the NBA team plans to reopen its practice training facility Tuesday, two days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said professional sports teams in the state would be allowed to begin spring training statewide. In a statement obtained by CNN, team officials said they plan to reopen the HSS Training Center for voluntary player workouts beginning Tuesday. “The organization will strictly follow the protocols outlined by the NBA and infectious disease experts to ensure that all precautions are taken in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for players and staff,” the statement said, according to CNN. Several Nets players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for coronavirus infections in March. Global deaths near 347K, total cases soar past 5.5M Update 7:44 a.m. EDT May 26: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 346,700 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,518,905 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 13 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,102.  The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,662,768 cases, resulting in 98,223 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 374,898 cases, resulting in 23,473 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 362,342 cases, resulting in 3,807 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 262,547 cases, resulting in 36,996 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 235,400 cases, resulting in 26,834 deaths. • Italy has reported 230,158 cases, resulting in 32,877 deaths. • France has confirmed 183,067 cases, resulting in 28,460 deaths. • Germany has reported 180,802 cases, resulting in 8,323 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 157,814 cases, resulting in 4,369 deaths • India has recorded 146,371 cases, resulting in 4,187 deaths. Colorado restaurant owners sue state over Mother’s Day license suspension Update 7:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The owners of a Colorado restaurant who defied statewide shutdown orders by allowing throngs of customers to dine on Mother’s Day have field suit against the state for having their license suspended. The suit was filed Friday by the owners of C&C Coffee & Kitchen in Castle Rock against Gov. Jared Polis; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and its director; and the local tri-county health department in Douglas County District Court, The Washington Post reported. The suit alleges owners Jesse and April Arellano were denied their “livelihood and ability to operate their business after they simply allowed customers onto their premises to serve food and beverages.” More specifically, it claims that Polis’ statewide restrictions lack empirical evidence to accurately quantify the novel coronavirus pandemic’s toll because they are based on “fluctuating, often inaccurate projections,” the Post reported. Meanwhile, Polis announced Monday that Colorado restaurants will be allowed to reopen dining rooms beginning Wednesday but with strict capacity measures enforced, The Denver Post reported. Global coronavirus cases top 5.5 million Update 5:53 a.m. EDT May 26: The worldwide total of novel coronavirus cases eclipsed 5.5 million early Tuesday. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, a total of 5,508,904 cases have now been diagnosed globally, resulting in at least 346,508 deaths. South Korea links nearly 250 coronavirus cases to popular Seoul entertainment district Published 4:41 a.m. EDT May 26: A popular nightlife district in South Korean capital Seoul has been linked officially to 247 novel coronavirus cases since social distancing restrictions were eased. According to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 83,000 tests have been performed specific to the Itaweon district outbreak, and about 30% of those who tested positive have remained asymptomatic. D.C. officials confident they can contain coronavirus by July Published 3:33 a.m. EDT May 26: The greater Washington, D.C., area could have enough testing equipment, laboratory capacity and contact tracers to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, but only if the public remains vigilant, The Washington Post reported. According to public health officials in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, the region is expected to reach peak capacity for testing and tracing by June or early July, the Post reported. Read more here. Largest Latin American airline files for bankruptcy amid coronavirus disruptions Update 2:14 a.m. EDT May 26: LATAM Airlines Group has filed for bankruptcy, and the largest Latin American airline cites the novel coronavirus pandemic as the primary cause. In a statement posted to its website, the company said it will reorganize operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. Specifically, CEO Roberto Alvo said LATAM will refocus “on transforming our group to adapt to a new and evolving way of flying, with the health and safety of our passengers and employees being paramount.' No immediate impact is expected to affect reservations, employee pay, flight vouchers or passenger and cargo operations, according to the statement. US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths surpass 98K Update 1:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Tuesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,662,302 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,223 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 362,764 cases and 29,229 deaths and New Jersey with 155,092 cases and 11,147 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,271 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,416, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 112,017. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 51,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 96,400 cases, resulting in 3,769 deaths • Pennsylvania: 71,925 cases, resulting in 5,146 deaths • Texas: 56,409 cases, resulting in 1,533 deaths • Michigan: 54,881 cases, resulting in 5,241 deaths • Florida: 51,746 cases, resulting in 2,252 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 31,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Alabama and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 13,458; Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,178 and Kansas with 9,125; Delaware, Kentucky, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Nevada and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases; Oklahoma and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • As President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to use his bully pulpit to criticize the use of mail-in ballots in the 2020 elections, election officials in his home state of Florida are sending a much different message than the President, openly encouraging voters to cast their vote by mail. 'Consider requesting a vote-by-mail ballot,' the Sarasota County, Florida Supervisor of Elections office tweeted on Tuesday just a few minutes after the President again denounced mail-in voting. 'If you haven't requested #VoteByMail for the upcoming elections yet, we're making it really easy!' tweeted Craig Latimer, the Supervisor of Elections in Hillsborough County, Florida. 'Vote from home this fall!' the Orange County, Florida Supervisor of Elections office tweeted last Friday. 'Request your vote-by-mail ballot today.' 'Do something patriotic to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice,' tweeted Jennifer Edwards, the Supervisor of Elections in Collier County, Florida. 'Request your Vote-by-Mail ballot.' Vote-by-Mail in Florida - which is the same as Absentee-by-mail in other states - accounted for 2.7 million of the over 9 million votes cast in the 2016 elections by Florida voters, and has been highly encouraged by leaders of both parties in the state. 'We figured out how to do it in a safe manner,' said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.  But while President Trump uses Vote-by-Mail in Florida, he has repeatedly charged using the mail for voting is susceptible to election fraud. 'There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,' the President tweeted on Tuesday. The most recent high profile example of fraud involving mail-in absentee ballots was in 2018 in North Carolina, where a Republican victory for the U.S. House was overturned after evidence of fraud involving a man hired by the GOP candidate. In 2018, Republicans - led by President Trump - made repeated claims of possible election fraud in Florida as the votes were counted after Election Day - but a recent investigation found no evidence of vote tampering. Only five states have all vote-by-mail elections - Colorado, Hawaii, Utah, Oregon and Washington State - but most states have expanded their absentee-by-mail voting options in 2020 because of the Coronavirus outbreak. President Trump signed into law a bill which included $400 million to help states prepare for increased numbers of mail-in ballots, but he has said he would block any additional funding for that purpose. A federal government report said that in 2016, 23.7 percent were cast using by mail absentee voting - that should increase dramatically this year.