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Today is July 4 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch. Below are my opinions on the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room, in my opinion. And don’t forget to download the free DML App from the Google Play or Apple App Store to remain connected to me throughout the day.

1. Mexico closes US border in Arizona to stop July 4th visitors, citing COVID-19 fears

Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: As coronavirus cases surge across the U.S., one Mexican state is closing itself off from its northern neighbor out of concern for safety, outlets report.

Officials in Sonora, Mexico moved quickly to slam the border shut before the start of the July Fourth weekend, traditionally a peak tourism time as Americans flock south to celebrate, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

“We are all going to be on alert at this time to prevent them from coming, whether they are Mexicans living in the U.S., Americans or those who want to come to spend the weekend and put a greater burden on us regarding COVID,” Senora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich said in a statement, according to the Daily Star.

A reopening date has not been announced.

DML: The Mexicans can close the border but we cant. This speaks volumes.

2. One letter in ‘Defund the Police’ mural changed, flipping meaning of the phrase
Fox News reports: A “Defund the Police” mural outside Milwaukee’s City Hall was painted over by an anonymous group in an effort to show support for law enforcement but changed back to its original message Friday, according to media reports.

The mural was painted Wednesday to support the nationwide movement to divert funds from police departments toward schools and youth programs. It was later tampered with to spell out “Defend the Police,” with the “D” painted blue, the first “E” covered, and the “U” changed to an “E,” Urban Milwaukee reported.

Around 30 activists painted the original mural without permits or permission from the city. On Friday, Fox News affiliate WITI-TV spotted a paint job to fix the mural underway.

DML: Time to fight back!

3. Cleveland Indians announce plans to consider name change
The Washington Post reports: As Major League Baseball teams began summer camp Friday for their first organized practices in almost four months amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, one club made news for another reason.

The Cleveland Indians acknowledged that they are ready to discuss changing their team name in the wake of news that the Washington Redskins will review theirs before the NFL’s 2020 season.

“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” the team said in a statement. “Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community. We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice. With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name. While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.”

DML: After much consideration, I will be changing my last name because it may be insensitive to some people — (NOT)!

4. As much of US dials back July 4 plans, Trump goes big
The Associated Press reports: While public health officials are urging Americans to avoid large crowds and hold more muted Independence Day celebrations amid a spike of coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump is going big for what he is promising will be a “special evening” in the nation’s capital.

Trump is set hold his “Salute for America” celebration Saturday with a speech from the White House South Lawn that he says will celebrate American heritage, a military flyover over Washington, and an enormous fireworks display that is expected to draw thousands to the National Mall.

The celebration comes one day after Trump kicked off the holiday weekend by traveling to Mt. Rushmore for a fireworks display near the iconic mountain carvings George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The president delivered a fiery speech in which he accused protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”

U.S. President Donald Trump salutes as First Lady Melania Trump places her hand on her heart during during an event at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, U.S., on Friday, July 3, 2020. The early Independence Day celebration, which will feature a military flyover and the first fireworks in more than a decade, is expected to include about 7,500 ticketed guests who won’t be required to wear masks or socially distance despite a spike in U.S. coronavirus cases. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

DML: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

5. Coronavirus Cases in U.S. Are Rising, Even as Death Rates Trend Down
New York Times reports: After a minor late-spring lull, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States is again on the rise. States like Arizona, Florida and Texas are seeing some of their highest numbers to date, and as the nation hurtles deeper into summer, the surge shows few signs of stopping.

Yet the virus appears to be killing fewer of the people it infects — a seemingly counterintuitive trend that might not last, experts said.

In April and May, Covid-19 led to as many as 3,000 deaths per day and claimed the lives of roughly 7 to 8 percent of Americans known to have been infected. Now, even though cases are rising in the majority of states, some of which are hitting single-day records, the number of daily deaths is closer to 600, and the death rate is less than 5 percent.

DML: Build your immune system.

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