George Floyd protests: officer bailed as protesters topple Confederate statue in Virginia – live
Officer involved in George Floyd killing freed on bail, as statue of Confederate president toppled in Richmond, Virginia
- Thomas Lane posts $750,000 bail
- Jefferson Davis statue toppled in Richmond
- US has topped two million coronavirus cases
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The protests over the killing of George Floyd and the run-up to November’s election have all been taking place against the ominous backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak.
Recorded cases in the US – according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker – have breached the two million barrier. To put the accelerated spread of the disease in some perspective, it took 14 weeks to go from one case to one million cases. It only took another six weeks to go from one million to two million.
Deficiencies in the stockpile of testing kits, swabs, ventilators and protective equipment for medical staff marked the opening stanza of the pandemic in the US. It was a muddled and sometimes astonishing response embodied by Donald Trump, who predicted the virus would vanish in the April sunshine, squabbled with state governors and pondered the merits of injecting bleach or taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven anti-malarial drug.
Jon Ossoff, the 33-year-old media executive, has won Georgia’s Democratic primary for a Senate seat. He will contest it in November against Republican David Perdue, a Trump ally. Democrats are looking to flip the seat in what should be a competitive race in November.
That might not be the main thing to draw out of Tuesday’s election though. It was beset with organisational problems, with voting queues extending even longer than usual due to coronavirus social distancing rules.
It wasn’t just in-person voting that malfunctioned on Tuesday. It was also impossible to watch Georgia’s expanded vote-by-mail system meltdown – forcing tens of thousands of voters who requested, but never received, absentee ballots to either join these long lines during a pandemic, or forfeit their civic voice entirely – without envisioning a train wreck this fall. Not just in Georgia, but in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and many other crucial states where any repeat of the chaos we have already seen this spring could precipitate a constitutional crisis unlike any other in our history. We are in deep, deep trouble and seemingly completely unprepared for this November’s elections.