President claims Dr Fauci is wrong over why US has more coronavirus cases as TikTok fights back against White House

Donald Trump has challenged Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, over why the United States has more coronavirus cases than other countries. Dr Facui said in front of a House subcommittee it was because the US only shut down 50 per cent of its economy, but Mr Trump says it’s due to the country testing more.

Although the president has blamed testing, that doesn’t explain the surge in death toll and hospitalisations. In the month of July, 10 days posted more than 1,000 people dying from the coronavirus in a one day. The month prior only had three days within the month hitting that number.

This comes as the president has said he would ban popular video app TikTok over security concerns.

Mr Trump said a ban could be implemented on Saturday. On Friday he said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority” before adding: “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”

TikTok’s US general manager came back with a video on Saturday to users, saying the app was not going anywhere.

Key impeachment witness Alexander Vindman penned a Washington Post op-ed against the president following his resignation. The lieutenant colonel accused Mr Trump of using “bullying and retaliation” against him after he spoke during the House impeachment trials against the president.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is nearing the announcement of his vice presidential choice. The top contenders and their advocates are making final appeals. The leading contenders include California Senator Kamala Harris, California Representative Karen Bass and Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Representative Karen Bass responded to scrutiny on Saturday after a Scientology event she attended 10 years ago resurfaced. Ms Bass defended her attendance by stating she was trying to be accepting of all organisations in her community while acknowledging the recent allegations against Scientology.

President Donald Trump said he will take action as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video app which has become a source of national security and censorship concerns.

Trump’s comments came after published reports that his administration is planning to order China’s ByteDance to sell TikTok. There were also reports on Friday that software giant Microsoft is in talks to buy the app.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters Friday on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.” He added, “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”

Presumptive Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden is getting closer to naming the woman who would serve as his vice president if he wins November’s US election.

His campaign has not set a date for the announcement and there is still time for the contenders and their advocates to make appeals to Mr Biden, who is 77 and would be the oldest person elected president if he wins the race to the Oval Office.

Mr Biden, who himself served as vice president to Barack Obama, had initially indicated in May he would make a decision around August 1 but campaign sources now suggest a decision could come in the week starting on August 10.

That is one week before the party convention formalises Mr Biden’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump for the keys to the White House.

Running mates are often announced on the eve of a convention.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman says Trump’s ‘campaign of bullying’ led him to retire

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman penned an op-ed in The Washington Post on Saturday following the announcement he would be retiring from the Army.

“After 21 years, six months and 10 days of active military service, I am now a civilian. I made the difficult decision to retire because a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies forever limited the progression of my military career,” he wrote.

Mr Vindman experienced attacks from President Trump after he testified before Congress during the president’s impeachment hearings. His testimony became key in the impeachment inquiry, as he expressed alarm over Mr Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the phone call, Mr Trump asked for the country to open an investigation into political rival Joe Biden.

The former lieutenant colonel then experienced what he think was impeachment retaliation following the testimony after his promotion to colonel was delayed this summer.

But in the op-ed, Mr Vindman said he did not regret testifying before Congress.

“At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment,” he wrote. “Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.”

Mr Vindman added he stood “by his conviction” even though he received retaliation from the president.

“America has thrived because citizens have been willing to contribute their voices and shed their blood to challenge injustice and protect the nation. It is in keeping with that history of service that, at this moment, I feel the burden to advocate for my values and an enormous urgency to act,” he wrote.

The lieutenant colonel submitted his letter of resignation on 8 July.

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