UNC-CHAPEL HILL TO RENAME THREE BUILDINGS CURRENTLY NAMED AFTER SLAVERS: UNC-Chapel Hill is removing the names from three campus buildings that honor individuals who are tied to white supremacy and racism. A fourth building will keep its name, but signs will clarify which members of a family it honors. The campus Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to remove the names of Charles B. Aycock, Julian S. Carr and Josephus Daniels from their respective buildings. The name of Thomas Ruffin Sr. will be stripped from that residence hall, but it will still honor his son, Thomas Ruffin Jr. These men “occupied high positions of influence and public trust” and used that power against Black people, according to the university’s Commission on History, Race & A Way Forward, which made the recommendation to remove the names.
ANOTHER REPUBLICAN QUITS LEGISLATURE, SO SHE CAN LOBBY IN EARLY 2021: Conrad, a Forsyth County Republican, wrote Speaker Tim Moore on Tuesday about her decision to step down on Friday. Conrad announced last year she wouldn't seek reelection in 2020. Conrad, a marketing firm owner, didn't give a reason for her resignation in the letter. She told the Winston-Salem Journal she's not ready to leave the state capital for good. “Lobbying is one of the exciting opportunities I am considering, as I have too much energy and passion for politics to retire,” said Conrad, 68. “I look forward to being back in Raleigh in a new role next year." Leaving her 74th House District seat now means Conrad's mandated six-month wait before she could lobby the General Assembly would end early next year.
BETSY DEVOS JOINS PENCE IN VISIT TO THALES ACADEMY: Inside, Pence wore a mask as he went into a fourth-grade classroom, then took it off to tell the students how he was “excited to be here with each and every one of you” and talked about his job. DeVos was in the classroom as well. A teacher wore a mask as well as several of the students sitting at their desks. DeVos did not have a mask on while Pence spoke. Joining Pence and DeVos on the trip, Pence tweeted, were Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Republican Reps. David Rouzer, Richard Hudson and Mark Walker, who all represent North Carolina in Congress. “To Open Up America Again is to open up schools again!” Pence tweeted. He said that Thales Academy reopened on July 20 “after putting in 40,000 man hours to keep students [and] faculty safe!” Among the protesters gathered near Thales Academy were Jami Olvera and Alex Receveur, both 14 and rising freshmen at Apex High School. They stood in a line with some other friends, holding signs with messages promoting LGBT rights and remote schooling. “We’re just out here to show we’re not going to tolerate homophobia, transphobia, anything like that,” Olvera said.
COVIDIOT REP. LOUIE GOHMERT TESTS POSITIVE, SAYS HE WILL TAKE HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE: On Wednesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), a vocal critic of masks as a way to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, tested positive for the illness. Hours later, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he and his doctor had already agreed on a treatment: Hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug pushed by President Trump and his allies despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and medical experts that it isn’t effective as a coronavirus treatment and could carry significant health risks. “My doctor and I are all in,” Gohmert said Wednesday night, adding that he would start taking the drug “in the next day or two.” Gohmert’s interview followed a day of heavy blowback as the congressman ignored expert advice on how to avoid spreading the potentially deadly virus, as he insisted on returning to the Capitol and filmed a new video questioning the effectiveness of masks. Gohmert has repeatedly spread falsehoods about the coronavirus and ignored medical best practices, The Washington Post reported. He has often walked through the Capitol without a mask and in proximity to other people — including Attorney General William P. Barr on Tuesday. Barr tested negative for the virus on Wednesday.
BARACK OBAMA UNLEASHES ON TRUMP DURING ZOOM MEETINGS: During his conversation with Mr. Pritzker, Mr. Obama spoke about how Mr. Trump has a core base that “filters out any contradictory information.” “It’s just glued to Fox News and Breitbart and Limbaugh and just this conservative echo chamber — and so, they’re going to turn out to vote,” Mr. Obama said. “What he has unleashed and what he continues to try to tap into is the fears and anger and resentment of people who, in some cases, really are having a tough time and have seen their prospects, or communities where they left, declining. And Trump tries to tap into that and redirect in nativist, racist, sexist ways.” The former president dismissed Mr. Trump’s continued focus on the Confederate monuments as a distraction amid the coronavirus pandemic — “that’s like his No. 1 priority” — but also characterized it as a menace that “gives you a sense of what this is about.” He then pivoted to what those “darker impulses” have wrought in history. During the event with Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Obama called out Mr. Trump for stoking “anti-Asian sentiment” when talking about the virus, which the president has called the “kung flu” and “Chinese virus.” “That still shocks and pisses me off,” Mr. Obama said. He went even further as he told the virtual crowd that he hoped his seriousness of purpose was emanating through the screen. “We already saw this guy win once,” he said. “After he bragged about physically assaulting women — and that didn’t seem to matter. So, enough said. Let’s get to work.”