Newsletter: What To Expect At The Virtual DNC

Democratic National Convention
For four consecutive nights beginning on Monday, Democrats from across the country will gather — in front of their computers, television screens and smart phones. Matt Rourke / Associated Press
Democratic National Convention
For four consecutive nights beginning on Monday, Democrats from across the country will gather — in front of their computers, television screens and smart phones. Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Newsletter: What To Expect At The Virtual DNC

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Hey there, it’s Monday! And it’s already a busy news week. I’m ready for my … fourth … cup of coffee. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. The Democratic National Convention starts today. Here’s a look at the party’s platform.

The four-night virtual event, which includes scheduled speeches from Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama, is expected to conclude Thursday with the formal nomination of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The party will also be voting on their platform. Included in the 91-page plan is a goal of net-zero carbon emissions “no later than 2050,” decriminalizing marijuana and more police accountability. The platform does not use the terms “defunding the police” or “Medicare for All.” Read the full plan in the link. [NPR]

The event comes as Illinois Democrats are facing a lot of questions about the future of their chairman due to a sprawling corruption investigation. [WBEZ]

And Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a virtual DNC roundtable this morning that President Donald Trump’s administration is “mounting a full-out assault on every pillar of our democracy, including the integrity of our elections.” [Chicago Tribune]

Follow NPR’s live coverage of the convention here. And listen live each night starting at 8 p.m. on 91.5 FM. [NPR]

Meanwhile, a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC found that Biden is leading Trump 53% to 41% among registered voters. [Washington Post]

And big donors are giving more money to Democrats than Republicans for the first time in a decade, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. [NPR]

2. Some doctors say patients believe social media over medical professionals

Even before COVID-19, doctors often dealt with patients misled by online information. But the phenomenon during the pandemic is “like nothing [doctors] had seen before,” according to a recent study of dozens of medical professionals in the U.S. and Europe.

Researchers blame political leaders who amplify fringe theories and social media platforms for not doing enough to curb misinformation. [New York Times]

In Illinois, state officials today reported 1,773 new known cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths. Since the pandemic began, the state has reported more than 206,000 cases and 7,700 deaths. [WBEZ]

And new restrictions go into effect tomorrow for Illinois counties near St. Louis. Gov. JB Pritzker’s office said the “mitigation efforts” were put in place after three straight days with positivity rates of 8% or higher. [Chicago Tribune]

3. 50 lives and 4 ZIP codes tell Chicago’s story of COVID-19 inequality

The first person to die of COVID-19 in Illinois was Patricia Frieson, a Black woman from Chicago. Nine days later, her sister Wanda Bailey died. A month into the pandemic, 70% of Chicago’s COVID-19 deaths were Black residents.

Since then, Chicago Latinos have suffered the highest infection rates.

The early indicators of stark racial disparities led a team of WBEZ reporters to spend months reaching out to hundreds of relatives of Chicagoans who died from COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

Four ZIP codes best illustrate the city’s inequalities and surface some of the reasons why they exist. [WBEZ]

4. Did Chicago police use a controversial “kettling” tactic during a weekend protest?

Police Superintendent David Brown today denied that officers surrounded a crowd of protesters with only a narrow exit — a tactic known as “kettling” — during a weekend protest that ended with 24 arrests and several injuries.

Yet protesters and journalists posted videos and photos appearing to show that practice, which has been met with lawsuits and large city settlements in the past.

What led to the confrontation? Protesters say that police pushed them and used mace and batons as they tried to leave. But the Department released a video they say shows “agitators locked arms and advanced on police lines.” [Block Club Chicago]

Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers signed an open letter denouncing the police’s use of force. [Chicago Tribune]

5. Special prosecutor says Kim Foxx’s office released false statements in the Jussie Smollett case

Special prosecutor Dan Webb said today that he does not support filing criminal charges despite “substantial abuses of discretion” by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office in the Jussie Smollet case.

Among Webb’s findings is that Foxx texted and called a Smollett relative for at least five days after she learned the actor was a suspect, not a victim. Webb also said Foxx and her top assistant, Joseph Magats, made at least six false or misleading public statements about dismissing the charges and Foxx’s recusal.

Foxx’s office said it “categorically rejects” the finding that the state’s attorney abused her discretion and made false statements. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Sixty-four people were shot, 5 fatally, in Chicago this weekend. [Sun-Times]

  • The Trump administration has finalized plans to open the largest remaining stretch of wilderness to oil and gas companies. [New York Times]

  • College freshmen are navigating new challenges due to COVID-19. [WBEZ]

  • President Trump and the U.S. postmaster general face a lawsuit to force funding. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

The pandemic has led a lot of us to find new ways to pass the time. But this group of friends in Scotland can add treasure hunting to their list. When the friends took to a nearby field with metal detectors, they came across a “nationally significant find” — a 3,000-year-old object from the Bronze Age.

They quickly called the Treasure Trove Unit. (Yes, that’s the name of an actual government body.) After a 22-day excavation, the team found a sword still in its scabbard, a chariot wheel and an entire horse harness. The soil preserved the pieces’ wood and leather, which are incredibly rare to find intact. [Smithsonian]

Tell me something good …

This week is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. That has me reflecting about the women who fought for equality, long before they had the official right to vote.

One woman who always inspires me is Ida B. Wells, a Black female journalist and anti-lynching activist who spent her entire career fighting for equality for African Americans and women. She was often shut out of white-led women’s suffrage organizations, yet went on to found the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, which fought for civil rights for all people. She led a remarkable life that can’t be summed up in a few sentences.

What about you? Is there a woman who fought for equality who inspires you? Feel free to tweet or email me your responses, and they might be shared here this week.

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! We’ll see you tomorrow. P.S. Did a friend forward you this email? Sign up to receive the Daily Rundown in your inbox.