The Morning Dispatch: Hello, Justin Amash

Happy Wednesday! The TMD we were planning to give you today required a slight rewrite at about 8 p.m. last night, when ex-Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan announced he was forming an exploratory committee to run for president as a Libertarian. Regular business hours, Congressman!

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • As of Tuesday night, there are now 1,012,583 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (an increase of 24,132 / 2.4 percent since yesterday) and 58,355 deaths (an increase of 2,110 / 3.8 percent increase since yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard. Of 5,795,728 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States (202,233 conducted since yesterday), 17.5 percent have come back positive. There are 106,265 Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 complications (a decrease of 22,408 /17.4 percent since yesterday), and 115,936 have recovered from the virus (an increase of 4,427 / 4 percent since yesterday). The number of hospitalizations dropped precipitously overnight and it’s not yet clear why. We hope to provide an explanation in tomorrow’s TMD.

  • The House of Representatives abruptly dropped plans to reconvene at the Capitol next week after a chorus of complaints from lawmakers arguing there were no procedures in place to protect them from the spread of the coronavirus. 

  • In an attempt to prevent further disruptions to food supply chains, President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to compel U.S. slaughterhouses to remain open.

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