Trump to visit Kenosha amid protests over police shooting of Jacob Blake – live | US news

Donald Trump and William Barr on their way to Kenosha, Wisconsin
Donald Trump and William Barr on their way to Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

9.38am EDT

Jacob Blake’s family members have indicated they do not intend to meet Trump when the president visits Kenosha, Wisconsin, today.

Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, said yesterday that he would not “play politics with my son’s life,” as the 29-year-old man remains hospitalized from multiple gunshot wounds to the back.

Blake Sr said the family has received threats, and he had to take his other son, 20, to the hospital for depression. “I received some threats, and it affected my son,” Blake Sr said.

Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, said of Trump’s visit to Kenosha, “President Trump is a racist who stokes racial tensions. He has been stirring racial tensions since he got in the White House. Why, as Jacob’s uncle, would I want to talk to him? Our focus is on Jacob and healing the community.”

Justin Blake added that Blake Sr has indicated he “has no interest in speaking with President Trump.”

9.20am EDT

Fauci pushes back against conspiracy theory on coronavirus death toll

Dr Anthony Fauci pushed back against a conspiracy theory questioning the country’s coronavirus death toll, which Trump shared in a retweet this weekend.

The theory centers on the issue of comorbidities, conditions like hypertension and diabetes that can make someone more susceptible to becoming severely ill with coronavirus.

Some have pointed to the presence of comorbidities in the vast majority of coronavirus deaths to argue that those people did not actually die from coronavirus. But as Fauci emphasized, that argument has no basis in reality.

“The numbers that you’ve been hearing, the 180,000-plus deaths, are real deaths from Covid-19,” Fauci told “Good Morning America” today.

“Let there not be any confusion about that. It’s not 9,000 deaths from Covid-19. It’s 180-plus thousand deaths.”

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, at least 183,602 Americans have now died from coronavirus, and the country has confirmed more than 6 million cases of the virus.

9.03am EDT

Donald Trump’s appetite for baseless conspiracy theories scaled new heights on Monday when he alleged that people in “dark shadows” are controlling Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The US president made a mysterious claim about “thugs” in “dark uniforms” flying into Washington and also compared police brutality against African Americans to golfers cracking under pressure.

‘Dark shadows’ are controlling Joe Biden, claims Trump – video

With the presidential election just two months away, Trump was interviewed at the White House by Laura Ingraham, a host on the conservative Fox News network. “Who do you think is pulling Biden’s strings?” she asked. “Is it former Obama people?”

The president replied: “People that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows. People that –”

Even Ingraham, evidently sympathetic to Trump, interjected: “What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory. Dark shadows. What is that?”

Trump insisted: “There are people that are on the streets, there are people that are controlling the streets.”

The conversation then took an even stranger turn. “We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend,” the president said. “And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”

A puzzled Ingraham pressed for details. Trump deflected cryptically: “I’ll tell you some time. It’s under investigation right now.”

8.47am EDT

Trump to visit Kenosha amid ongoing protests over Blake shooting

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

Donald Trump will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, today, as protests continue over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an African American father of six who was repeatedly shot in the back by an officer.

Trump’s visit also comes less than a week after 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing two protesters in Kenosha.

Donald Trump appears to defend Kenosha gunman – video

But while Democratic nominee Joe Biden has condemned recent violence, including the alleged actions of Rittenhouse, Trump has instead defended the accused murderer.

“I guess he was in very big trouble,” Trump said at a press briefing yesterday. “He probably would have been killed but it’s under investigation.”

Those comments, as well as Trump’s repeated calls for “law and order,” have sparked concerns that the president’s Kenosha visit will only further inflame racial tensions in the city.

Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, said in a letter to Trump, “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

Trump will soon leave for Kenosha, so stay tuned.

Originally published: 2020-09-01 08:25:39

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