A Federal Agency Tells Its Employees: No References To ‘Anything COVID Related Is Needed’
The Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service sent a memo to its federal employees that they should make no references "to any stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, or anything COVID related..." without the agency's leadership approval. Meanwhile, Stat examines the U.S. pandemic response. Other news from the administration relates to immigration, citizenship and the VA.
Federal Agency Tells Employees 'No Reference To Anything COVID Related'
A federal fisheries management agency has barred some of its employees from making formal references to the COVID-19 pandemic without preapproval from leadership, according to an internal agency document. The National Marine Fisheries Service's guidance document, dated June 22, says it applies to the agency's formal rules and management announcements. The four-page memo says the agency's "preferred approach" is making "no reference to anything COVID related," and it offers preapproved replacement phrases such as "in these extraordinary times." (Herz, 6/26)
How A Review Of The U.S. Response To Covid-19 Could Get Started
By the most basic of measurements — rates of illness and death — the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been catastrophic. Nearly 130,000 Americans have died of the respiratory disease since February. Over 2.5 million have become sick. And perhaps most jarringly, in states like Arizona, Texas, California, and Florida, the situation appears to be getting worse, not better: New coronavirus cases and deaths are skyrocketing amid substantial resistance to basic public health measures like social distancing and wearing masks. (6/29)
Judge Orders ICE To Free Detained Immigrant Children Because Of COVID-19
Citing the unrelenting spread of the coronavirus, a federal judge has ordered that all children currently held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody for more than 20 days must be released by July 17. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of California issued the scathing order Friday afternoon, saying the Trump administration had failed to provide even the most basic health protections for children and their families amid the pandemic. (Romo, 6/26)
Los Angeles Times:
Trump Policy And Coronavirus Leave Agency Bankrupt, Tens Of Thousands Of Potential Voters In Limbo
Azra Nazir had a dress picked out, gray and blue. She had the subway directions. And in a rarity over two decades as an emergency room nurse, the 59-year-old had a few days off — her first in months of battling the coronavirus at its epicenter in Brooklyn.After 20 years in the United States, where she secured asylum after leaving her native Pakistan, she would attend the ceremony at the end of March, raise her right hand, and become an American citizen at last. (O'Toole, 6/28)
The VA Resists Call To Make Its Motto Gender Neutral
From Richmond to Seattle, cities are taking a fresh look at – and sometimes taking a sledgehammer to – statues of slave owners. U.S. military bases named for Confederate generals are under scrutiny, and the Marine Corps has banned Confederate flags. Some veterans would like to see this momentum help change the gender-exclusive motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs. But the VA is doubling down, and planning to put additional plaques at 140 national cemeteries, bearing the line from Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address that is its motto: "...To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan." (Lawrence, 6/28)