Monday News: Falling like dominoes


CONFEDERATE STATUE IN CLINTON PULLED DOWN, REMOVED: A bronze Confederate statue outside the Sampson County courthouse in Clinton, found bent and teetering on its pedestal Sunday morning, has been removed, according to the county sheriff’s office. The statue was vandalized Saturday night, according to the Sampson Independent. Clinton City Council member Darue Bryant organized a protest at the monument last Monday, he said, after Sampson commissioners did not put the relocation issue on their agenda. The Sampson board of commissioners chairman could not be reached Sunday. A petition Bryant sponsored calling for the statue’s removal had more than 2,700 signatures as of Sunday afternoon.

HUNDREDS OF ANTI-RACISM MARCHERS CONVERGE ON DOWNTOWN GRAHAM: Law enforcement officers guarded the monument as part of a state of emergency declared Friday by the mayor of Graham, located 55 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of Raleigh. The monument has been the target of protests for several years, and calls to bring down it down have intensified since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked national demonstrations. The group marched 1.5 miles from Burlington into downtown Graham, where the statue is located, according to WXII. The protest featured speeches calling for an end to racial oppression. Many demonstrators held signs and at one point chanted, “Racism, we are going to tear your kingdom down.” Several Elon University students and staff took part in the protest, according to social media posts. The university is located a couple miles away from Graham.

UNC CHAPEL HILL PANEL VOTES TO RENAME BUILDINGS CURRENTLY NAMED AFTER RACISTS: The Daniels Building, Carr Building, Ruffin Residence Hall and Aycock Residence Hall are all named after men who “used their positions to impose and maintain violent systems of racial subjugation,” UNC history professor Jim Leloudis said. He is co-chair of the university’s Commission on History, Race & A Way Forward. Now, this request will go to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, who can forward the request on to the UNC-CH Board of Trustees. The full board meets on Thursday and will likely discuss a new policy and process for renaming buildings on campus. In June, the UNC board lifted a 16-year moratorium on the renaming of buildings and historical places on campus, particularly those tied to a racist history. Aycock Residence Hall was named after former North Carolina Gov. Charles Aycock, a UNC alumnus who spearheaded a white supremacy campaign that targeted and suppressed black voters, The News & Observer previously reported. Several universities — including Duke, East Carolina and UNC-Greensboro — have removed the Aycock name from campus buildings.

DEVOS IS UNDER FIRE FOR DEMANDING A COMPLETE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS: Facing widespread pushback, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos doubled down Sunday on her call to fully reopen schools and have children return to “learning full-time” in person by the fall — an effort that has also been championed by President Trump. But while DeVos stressed the importance of getting students back in classrooms, she repeatedly dodged questions during Sunday morning interviews on CNN and Fox News about how that could be done safely amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, prompting fierce criticism from congressional Democrats. “[Betsy DeVos,] you have no plan,” tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) on Sunday afternoon. “I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child.” DeVos’s remarks come as she and Trump have struggled to get school systems nationwide to commit to fully reopening, despite pressuring education leaders and threatening to cut federal funding from schools that do not open. As The Post’s Laura Meckler reported Friday, a number of school districts have announced hybrid reopening plans, meaning students will be in classrooms some days and learning remotely on others. But on Sunday, DeVos defended her position that all schools need to be fully open this fall and prepared to provide students with full-time, in-person education. Supporters of the effort have noted that parents cannot return to work if children are at home, and though there was some success in the spring with remote education, attempts to shift to online learning largely failed in many districts.

TRUMP'S ACOLYTES ARE OPENLY ATTACKING ANTHONY FAUCI NOW: President Trump’s advisers undercut the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, over the weekend, anonymously providing details to various news outlets about statements he had made early in the outbreak that they said were inaccurate. The move to treat Dr. Fauci as if he were a warring political rival comes as he has grown increasingly vocal in his concerns about the national surge in coronavirus cases. He has also noted his lack of access to Mr. Trump. Aides to Mr. Trump released to The Washington Post and other news outlets a list of remarks Dr. Fauci made about the virus when it was in its early stages. It featured several comments White House aides had privately complained about for months. An official told The Post that several other officials were concerned about how often Dr. Fauci had been wrong. Dr. Fauci works for the Trump administration, but the list of his statements was laid out in the style of a campaign’s opposition research document. A poll conducted for The New York Times by Siena College last month showed that 67 percent of Americans trusted Dr. Fauci when it came to the virus; only 26 percent trusted the president. In an interview with last week, Dr. Fauci said that a few states had the virus under control but that “as a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. I mean, we’re just not.” Last week, Mr. Trump told Fox News that Dr. Fauci had been wrong about many aspects of the pandemic. Dr. Fauci “is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” the president said.