5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump ousts inspector general overseeing coronavirus relief spending

  • Acting Navy secretary resigns over ouster of ship captain

  • New York coronavirus deaths surpass 9/11 total but may be plateauing

  • White House press secretary reportedly replaced by Trump campaign spox

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledges $1 billion to coronavirus relief

President Trump has removed the inspector general tasked with overseeing how the federal government's coronavirus relief package is spent. After Trump signed $2.2 trillion in federal spending, a panel of inspectors general from across Cabinet departments were tasked with ensuring it was distributed and spent as intended. The panel chose Defense Department Inspector General Glenn Fine as its chair, but Trump ousted him from the department on Monday, thus removing him from the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. A Pentagon spokesperson on Tuesday confirmed he was removed both from office and the committee. Trump designated EPA Inspector General Sean O'Donnell as the Pentagon's temporary IG and head of the accountability committee, and nominated Jason Abend, a senior policy adviser at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to fill Fine's role.

Source: Politico

Defense Secretary Mark Esper accepted the resignation of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on Tuesday after a Sunday recording revealed him mocking Navy Capt. Brett Crozier. Modly dismissed Crozier from his post on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt after Crozier sounded the alarm about COVID-19 spread on the ship, with Modly citing "a loss of trust and confidence." Modly addressed Crozier's former crew on Sunday, and they recorded and leaked him calling Crozier "too naive or too stupid" to lead the ship. Modly had only been in his position for a few months after Esper fired former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer in November.

Source: CNN, Politico

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reported that 727 people had died of the new coronavirus in the past day in New York City, bringing the official death toll in the city to 3,202. That's the highest one-day death toll the city has seen yet, and brings the total beyond the number of people who died in New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. New York remains the hardest hit state by the coronavirus, with 138,836 confirmed cases and 5,489 deaths so far. However, ICU admittance numbers are dramatically down across the state, from 395 people admitted on Friday to 89 on Monday. New hospitalizations were up on Monday, but the average of new hospitalizations over the past three days was also down, suggesting the increase is nearing a plateau, Cuomo said.

Source: NBC News

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving her post, and will reportedly be replaced by Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for President Trump's 2020 campaign. Grisham will reportedly return to the East Wing where she'll become the chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump. Grisham's departure comes as former Rep. Mark Meadows replaces Mick Mulvaney as President Trump's chief of staff and "shakes up" the White House communications team. Meadows reportedly clashed with Grisham. In her nine months on the job, Grisham never once held a press briefing. McEnany is known for forcefully defending Trump on network news.

Source: CNN, The New York Times

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is putting a massive $1 billion toward coronavirus relief, he announced on Tuesday. Dorsey said he's moving $1 billion of his equity in Square, the mobile payments company he's also the CEO of, to an LLC called Start Small, which will provide funding to global COVID-19 relief efforts. "After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl's health and education, and UBI," Dorsey added. Dorsey, who said the $1 billion is about 28 percent of his wealth, also shared a sheet that he said will keep track of the donations. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently said he'd give $100 million to aid food banks in the pandemic. But Dorsey's donation, Recode wrote, is "the country's most significant private gift to tackling the coronavirus and its consequences."

Source: Recode
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