HomeCoronavirusBarack Obama leads tributes to civil rights leader John Lewis – live

Barack Obama leads tributes to civil rights leader John Lewis – live

… and welcome to another day of coverage of US politics, as the US wakes to the news that John Lewis, hero of the civil rights movement, last of the “Big Six” leaders and a Democratic congressman since 1987, has died. He was 80, and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

In tribute, Barack Obama said Lewis “loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise”.

Obama also said it was “fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was at a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who were helping to lead this summer’s demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death”.

Other tributes have poured in but as the sun came up over Washington, there had been nothing from the Trump White House. For a depressing flashback, there’s this from January 2017, when Lewis questioned the legitimacy of the Republican’s win at the polls: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad.”

Lewis’s life was of course quite the opposite: all action, all results and far from sad despite the brutality he faced and the hardships he endured. Here’s David Smith, our Washington bureau chief, on Lewis’s legacy in the age of Black Lives Matter. And here’s our obituary, and a look at Lewis’s life in pictures.

Elsewhere, the coronavirus pandemic continues, unchecked by the federal government, states which reopened too soon and still can’t even mandate the wearing of masks in public and, alarmingly, states like California which did lock down and seemed to be winning but are now seeing deadly reverses.

Daily case records have been rising with stunning regularity, hospitals are filling up and according to the Johns Hopkins figures here, more than 3.6m cases have been confirmed in total, and nearly 140,000 people have died.

Here’s Tom McCarthy’s look at why worse awaits in the fall:



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