August 4: California wildfire cause, stimulus negotiations, Fauci on back to school

[Your Morning]

Good morning! It’s Tuesday August 4, 2020. Here’s a look at your news across the nation:

1️⃣🔥 A wildfire in the mountains east of Los Angeles that forced thousands of people from their homes was sparked by a malfunctioning diesel vehicle, fire officials said. The Apple Fire is one of several fires burning in California. The blaze in Riverside County had consumed nearly 42 square miles and is 7% contained. Why it matters: Volunteers used to “close contact” with evacuees have had to adjust their approach during a time of social distancing.

“I mean, that’s part of the recovery of a disaster, is that you have to show warmth and love and caring. And that’s hard when you’re standing 6 feet away. So that’s the biggest challenge.”

John Medina, American Red Cross spokesman

2️⃣🌀 Hurricane Isaias has been downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. The storm set off flooding and sparked several home fires in the Carolinas. Why it matters: The National Hurricane Center is warning oceanside home dwellers to brace for storm surges up to 5 feet and up to 8 inches of rain in spots, as Isaias moves up the coast. Tornadoes are also possible on Tuesday.

3️⃣💵 After another round of stimulus negotiations Monday, negotiations on Capitol Hill move forward. Following a day of talks with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said both sides are moving in the right direction. Why it matters: It’s progress, but multiple obstacles remain, including an impasse so far on extending a $600-per-week pandemic jobless benefit, funding for the Postal Service, and aid to renters facing eviction. 

4️⃣🏫 Dr. Anthony Fauci said schools should resume in-classroom learning if the infection rate is low. The remarks came from the nation’s leading infectious disease doctor as he joined Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont during his daily briefing on Monday. Why it matters: While virus-related deaths and hospitalizations have fluctuated within the past few weeks, Connecticut is seeing a less than one percent positivity rate for new cases.

“Depending upon what level you’re in, my approach is always, and I’ll say it whether I’m in Connecticut or in any other place, is that the default position should be to try as best as you possibly can to open up the schools for in-person learning. If the infection rate is so low that there is very little chance of there being infections spread, then you should feel okay about doing it.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci

📱 [Trending] across the nation

(Philomel via AP)

📚🌑 A popular online spoof of the children’s favorite “Goodnight Moon,” reworked for the coronavirus, will be published by Penguin Random House this fall.

Currently self-published, “Good Morning Zoom” takes Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved bedtime story and turns it into a narrative about Zoom, bread baking, home schooling and other familiar parts of life during the pandemic.

It’s scheduled for release on Oct. 6.


📅 What to watch for today

🔴 President Donald Trump will hold a signing ceremony for the Great American Outdoors Act at 10:30 a.m. (ET). This bipartisan bill will pump billions into the National Park Service for repairs.

🔴 The U.S. Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee conducts a hearing on “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.” This will begin at 2:30 p.m. (ET).

🔴 Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnke will hold a news conference after returning to Earth on Crew Dragon mission. We’ll be hearing from the two for the first time at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. The Demo-2 test flight for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program was the first to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station and return them safely to Earth onboard a commercially built and operated spacecraft. Behnken and Hurley returned after spending 64 days in space. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

💻📲 We’ll bring you 🔴 LIVE news updates throughout the day on the News Nation Now app and NewsNationNow.com.

📺 Watch News Nation beginning September 1 at 8/7 (CT) on WGN America.

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