Good news: Humanity has triumphed in the battle against robocalls. Bad news: We may not be faring as well in the world of infectious diseases.
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A SCOTUS win for the popular vote
States can insist members of the Electoral College support the winner of the popular vote on Election Day, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rather than risk altering the course of history. The unanimous decision will prevent most of the 538 presidential electors from seeking to upend the results of the presidential race when carrying out their ministerial duties a month after the election. Thirty-two states already require the people chosen on Election Day to cast ballots for the winner of their states' popular vote. In some of those states, rogue electors can be replaced or fined. Eighteen states have no such requirement.
Plus, some robocall relief: The Supreme Court also upheld Monday a nearly 30-year-old ban on automated calls to cellphones despite concerns that it violates the First Amendment. The justices ruled that a recent exception to the law allowing robocalls to people who owe the government money must be eliminated.
Open or closed? Masks or no masks? We're confused.
The process of easing social distancing restrictions, then slamming them back in place, could be America's new tumultuous reality – one that threatens the psyche of many, experts say. At least 21 states have paused their plans to reopen their economies, just weeks after unveiling those measures. These stops and starts can trigger feelings of frustration and fatigue.
Florida surged past 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Sunday, exactly one month after most of the state entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan. Some states with cases on the rise have countered with statewide mask mandates. Florida has not.
Then there's the executive branch: President Donald Trump has resisted wearing a mask when in public places. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has stressed repeatedly that masks are a recommendation — not a requirement. Others in the administration, such as Vice President Mike Pence and the coronavirus task force, have urged people to wear masks.
Microdroplets of infectious coronavirus could be airborne for hours and current social distancing practices may not be enough to stop infection and spread, experts argue.
What everyone’s talking about
Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a Black bird watcher in New York City, has been charged with filing a false report.
At least 8 people, including 3 children, are believed to be dead after two planes collide over an Idaho lake.
There's been no COVID-19 resurgence in New York yet, officials say, but "if you were at a protest, go get a test, please."
Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and became a famed abolitionist. His first wife made that possible.
"A moment of reckoning": Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan talk racial injustices, equal rights.
Texas woman tied to slaying of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen appears in court.
Trump calls for NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace to apologize for noose "hoax."
Read the room, new diseases
As if a novel coronavirus wasn't enough. In China's Inner Mongolia region, local health authorities announced a suspected positive case of bubonic plague Sunday. And in Michigan, health officials are warning against anaplasmosis, a tick borne disease that mimics COVID-19 symptoms.
About that bubonic plague case... Health officials in Bayannur said a farmer was sickened and hospitalized but is in stable condition. Although tied to historic pandemics, plague illnesses still occur around the world and in the United States every year.
And that tick disease... Anaplasmosis is still rare in Michigan but the number of cases reported annually in the state is on the rise. There were 12 documented cases reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 2019.
Oh, and an amoeba that destroys brain tissue has been confirmed in an unidentified person in Florida, health officials say.
In memory of the stars
Charlie Daniels, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame best known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died Monday morning after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83. Country music stars and other celebrities took to social media to pay their respects, including Luke Combs, who tweeted about Daniels. "The country music flag is flying at half mast today. RIP Charlie Daniels," Combs wrote.
Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor who struggled with the coronavirus for months, died Sunday at age 41. "God has another angel in heaven," his wife Amanda Kloots confirmed on Instagram. Cordero's battle for life, highlighted by Kloots on Instagram, often showed the immense love for the actor with frequent updates that featured friends sending daily versions of his "Rock of Ages" song "Live Your Life." Friend Zach Braff, who starred with Cordero in Broadway's "Bullets Over Broadway," shared on Instagram: "I have honestly never known a kinder person."
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Trump's claim that 99% percent of coronavirus cases are "harmless" — an assertion at odds with a wide array of data on death rates.
What we know: The latest on mounting pressure that could prompt the Washington NFL team to change its name.
"N95 mask and hand sanitizer at the ready": The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the future of Gen Z travel.
The man in a famous 9/11 photo has died from COVID-19 in Florida: "He was a fighter."
A "moral obligation": Milwaukee Public Schools board members are laying the groundwork for what they hope will be a new push to address hyper segregation.
The family drama about a family drama
Move over, John Bolton. Due to "high demand and extraordinary interest," Mary Trump's tell-all book is now publishing July 14 – two weeks early. The book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man," was originally scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster on July 28. The book, written by the president's niece, is described by the publisher as "a revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him." A New York appellate court last week ruled the publication could go ahead over the Trump brothers' attempts to block it. But a temporary restraining order remains on Mary herself.
A (tax) break from the news
Have you filed your tax return yet? July 15 is the new April 15, and as many as 11.3 million people still had not received federal income tax refunds for 2019 taxes. Here's what you should know.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SCOTUS, election, coronavirus, Florida, Trump: Monday's news