NPR News

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET Thursday

A little more than four months before Election Day, the campaigns of President Trump and challenger Joe Biden each announced massive fundraising totals as the former vice president's effort to unseat Trump gains momentum.

Despite a pandemic and the subsequent economic free-fall, Trump's reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee announced Wednesday evening they had raised $266 million for the three months ending June 30, including $131 million in June alone.

So you want to wear a face mask? Good call.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel well, can help curb the spread of the coronavirus — since people can spread the virus even without showing symptoms. That's the main reason to wear a mask: to protect other people from you.

A decade after being banned amid concerns about wildfires and groundwater pollution, and despite protests by Native Americans and recommendations from public health officials to avoid public gatherings, fireworks will once again be exploding over Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of western South Dakota on Friday, anticipating the Fourth of July.

As protests swept the nation following the police killing of George Floyd, there was a surge of reports that Nextdoor, the hyperlocal social media app, was censoring posts about Black Lives Matter and racial injustice.

In an interview with NPR, Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar said the company should have moved more quickly to protect posts related to Black Lives Matter by providing clearer guidance.

Pennsylvania officials announced Wednesday that residents must wear face coverings when outside the home, the latest in a series of mask mandates in various states to combat the spread of COVID-19.

A group of former George W. Bush administration officials has pledged to "engage and mobilize disenchanted GOP voters" through a new super PAC formed to elect Joe Biden to the White House.

The group — 43 Alumni for Biden, a reference to Bush, the 43rd president — described its formation as an effort to restore "the principles of unity, tolerance and compassion to the greatest elected office in the world."

The surge in COVID-19 infections throughout Alabama is forcing Gov. Kay Ivey to rethink plans to reopen the state.

For the last seven days, Alabama has logged an average of nearly 1,000 new daily coronavirus cases, with hospitalizations at their highest level since the pandemic began.

Dr. Basim Ali graduated at the top of his medical school class in Pakistan and landed a residency at a renowned teaching hospital in Texas, where he'll be on the front lines of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S.

"There's obviously some degree of anxiety about what that's going to be like," Ali said by phone from Karachi before coming here. "But there's also this understanding that this is what we signed up for."

The federal agency charged with preventing terrorist attacks and securing the border announced Wednesday that it would deploy personnel across the country to carry out President Trump's orders to protect statues and monuments from vandalism amid ongoing protests for racial justice.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the department has established a Protecting American Communities Task Force to secure historic landmarks against "violent anarchists and rioters."

Gov. Gavin Newsom is ordering 19 counties to shift many business operations outdoors or close them immediately, citing a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases. The state recorded nearly 6,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the governor said.

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