Downtowner DC June 17, 2020

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Mayor Muriel Bowser approved the Black Lives Matter mural on 16th Street. Courtesy Office of the Mayor.

NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS TEST POSITIVE

The D.C. National Guard, mobilized to respond to the protests triggered by George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, reported that some of its members tested positive for COVID-19. The number of members with the disease has not been made public due to “operational security.”

PROTESTERS TOLD TO GET TESTED

If you’ve been out protesting in the D.C. area, Mayor Muriel Bowser wants you to get tested for COVID-19. The mayor expressed her concern that a spike in coronavirus cases could follow the large Black Lives Matter gatherings, at which social distancing was impossible and mask-wearing far from universal.

FAKE: LINCOLN MEMORIAL PHOTO

The photo circulating online of a heavily graffitied Lincoln Memorial, supposedly vandalized during the Black Lives Matter protests, was confirmed to be false by the National Park Service, WUSA9 reported. Another photo making the rounds that shows an employee cleaning green paint from the memorial is from 2013.

MAJOR MARCH PLANNED FOR AUG. 28

Preparations are underway for 100,000 people to come to D.C. in late August to march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial for criminal justice reform. The family of George Floyd and the Rev. Al Sharpton have applied for a permit for the Aug. 28 event, to coincide with the March on Washington’s 57th anniversary.

MAY HOUSING SALES PLUMMET

Typically, May is one of the best months for D.C.-area home sales, but due to COVID19 the month’s totals were the lowest in a decade. A lack of listings left many potential buyers with nothing available. Listing service Bright MLS said pending sales were down almost 20 percent from May of 2019 and closings were down 34.2 percent.

LAYOFFS COMING TO GWU

The GW Hatchet reported that George Washington University President Thomas LeBlanc sent an email to faculty association president Andrew Zimmerman saying that a predicted 2020-21 revenue shortfall of between $80 and $320 million will mean layoffs. LeBlanc is taking a pay cut and freezing merit salary increases for faculty.

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