In our news wrap Monday, final-stage trials got underway in the biggest COVID-19 study so far. The first of 30,000 volunteers received initial dosages of a vaccine candidate developed by the National Institutes of Health and drugmaker Moderna in record time. Also, the Miami Marlins canceled their first home game amid reports that at least 14 players have tested positive for COVID-19.
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Republicans in the U.S. Senate say they are ready tonight with a new trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief plan.
It comes as the nation pandemic's death toll nears 150,000. It also comes ahead of a Friday deadline for federal jobless benefits to expire. Reports say the Republican bill cuts them from $600 a week additional to $200. We will get the details after the news summary.
Final stage trials got under way today in the biggest COVID vaccine study so far. The first of 30,000 volunteers received dosages at sites around the U.S. The vaccine was developed at record speed by the National Institutes of Health and by drugmaker Moderna.
But the head of the Food and Drug Administration promised that safety still comes first.
Although we have gone at significant speed to get to this point, our job at FDA and our solemn promise to the American people is that we will judge based upon the data and upon the gold standard that we have at FDA regarding safety and efficacy of a vaccine.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called for President Trump to commit to no White House involvement in vaccine development.
Meanwhile, the White House confirmed today that National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has the virus and is self-isolating. President Trump said today that he had not seen O'Brien lately.
Major League Baseball also has an outbreak, just days after finally beginning its season. The Miami Dolphins (sic) called off tonight's home opener amid reports that at least 14 players have COVID-19. That, in turn, forced the cancellation of the New York Yankees' game tonight in Philadelphia, where Miami had played over the weekend.
The body of civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis has arrived in Washington for one last time. A motorcade carried his casket into the city today, stopping at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House.
Later, in the Capitol Rotunda, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the tributes to Lewis.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:
He understood the power of young people to change the future. When asked what someone can do who is 19 or 20 years old, the age that he was when he set out to desegregate Nashville, Lewis replied, "A young person should be speaking out for what is fair, what is just, what is right."
Former Vice President Biden was among those paying final respects to the congressman.
He will lie in state through tomorrow.
Six American cities are appealing to Congress to bar deployments of federal agents. The mayors of Albuquerque, Chicago, Kansas City, Portland Oregon, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., made that request today. It followed new violence in Portland and other cities over the weekend.
We will return to this, later in the program.
South Texas and Northern Mexico faced more rain and flooding today from remnants of Hurricane Hanna. The storm made landfall Saturday near Port Mansfield, Texas, as a Category 1 storm. It wrecked boats, tore up marinas and flooded communities near Corpus Christi. More than 200,000 customers lost power in an area already hard hit by COVID-19.
Separately, Hurricane Douglas narrowly missed Hawaii on Sunday, sweeping just north of the islands. The storm brought heavy rain to Maui and piled up massive waves off Honolulu. But no major damage was reported.
In China, the U.S. Consulate in the Western city of Chengdu officially closed today. It's retaliation for the U.S. shutting down China's consulate in Houston. Chinese authorities entered the now empty Chengdu consulate in protective gear, while onlookers lamented the rising tensions with the U.S.
Man (through translator):
We are all ordinary Chinese citizens, but I still pay great attention to the relationship between China and the U.S.
Because we need to go and travel in the U.S. and some of our relatives need to go and study in the U.S., these things will all be greatly affected, including the economy between the two countries, which will gradually deteriorate and even break apart.
The U.S. has four other consulates in China.
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan are down 13 percent so far this year from the same period last year. The United Nations reports that the total killed and wounded was just short of 3,500 through June. It's due in part to fewer attacks by international forces since a U.S. withdrawal agreement with the Taliban.
Back in this country, lawyers for President Trump are trying again to block the release of his tax returns. They asked a federal court in New York today to quash a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, arguing that it is overly broad. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an earlier claim that the president is immune from criminal subpoenas.
There's word that Google will let employees work from home until at least next July. Today's decision by the company affects nearly 200,000 employees and contract workers.
And on Wall Street, stocks started the week on an upbeat note. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 114 points to close at 26584. The Nasdaq rose 173 points, and the S&P 500 added 23.
And a quick correction. Just a moment ago, I meant to say the Florida Marlins when reporting the baseball story. My apology.