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Michelle Obama kicks off first night of DNC, postal workers ring alarm bells and 100 years of women's suffrage

President Donald Trump ‘can not meet this moment,’ Michelle Obama tells Americans on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.
Image: Michelle Obama addresses the virtual convention on Aug. 17, 2020.
Michelle Obama told Americans to vote for Joe Biden like their "lives depend on it" at the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday. DNCC / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The Democratic National Convention got off to an impassioned start, U.S. Postal workers ring alarm bells over mail delays and do fever checks for COVID-19 really work?

Here's what we're watching this Tuesday morning.

'Just not right': Michelle Obama delivers searing indictment of Trump as DNC kicks off

Michelle Obama delivered a scathing indictment of President Donald Trump's policies and character Monday on the first night of the all-virtual Democratic National Convention, accusing the White House of sowing "chaos" and "division" and showing a "total and utter lack of empathy."

Coming at the end of a jam-packed two-hour program that tackled the coronavirus crisis, racial justice and the nation's economic woes, Obama acknowledged Americans' weariness with the current state of affairs, but pleaded with them not to check out.

"If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can, and they will if we don't make a change in this election," she said.

The first night of the almost all-virtual event also included speeches by former Democratic presidential contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, as well as Govs. Gretchen Whitmer and Andrew Cuomo.

A group of Republicans also addressed the DNC and urged Americans to vote against the leader of their own party, calling President Donald Trump "disappointing" and "disturbing."

In an effort at counter-programming, Trump hit the campaign trail in Minnesota and Wisconsin on Monday. He criticized his opponent Joe Biden, mocked Democrats for moving their convention online and continued to accuse them of trying to abuse mail-in ballots, a claim he levels without evidence.

"The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged," Trump said during a rally in Wisconsin. "Remember that."

  • Catch up: Watch a highlight reel from the first night of the DNC. And read our live blog for analysis and fact-checking.
  • Day 2: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will be one of the featured speakers this evening. Tune into NBC News for a special report from 10 to 11 p.m. ET. MSNBC and will also feature ongoing coverage.

'Never seen anything like it': Postal workers raise alarm on mail delays

Five days a week, Lori Cash leaves her house when it's still dark out to get to her job at the Depew Post Office in upstate New York.

Cash, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, is responsible for opening post office doors and greeting the waiting delivery trucks at 2:30 a.m.

These days, her early morning work schedule isn't what's causing her to lose sleep, she said. Instead, Cash is troubled by the dramatic changes she has witnessed at the Postal Service, which she said are forcing unprecedented delays in mail delivery.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Cash, president of the American Postal Workers Union Western New York Area Local 183.

In a series of interviews with NBC News, other postal workers echoed her concerns and laid the blame for the recent delivery delays squarely on recent overhauls implemented by Louis DeJoy, the longtime Republican donor who took over as postmaster general in June.

Trump denied Monday that he had done anything to slow mail delivery as accusations grow that he and DeJoy have politicized the postal service and hamstrung the agency's work. DeJoy also agreed to testify before Congress next week on the issue.

Fever checks are a common way to check for COVID-19 symptoms. But are they reliable?

Fever checks have widely become the first level of coronavirus detection as businesses, stores and schools try to reopen, but a new study cautions that relying on them as a single screening tool could lead to a false sense of security.

While a temperature check can detect people who are showing symptoms, there are a significant number of people who could be contagious that don't develop a fever, said a co-author of the study from the University of Southern California.

Meantime, a newly authorized saliva-based coronavirus test is a step in the right direction, but it won't do much to ease the strain on labs as they process test results, experts say.

And the American response to the epidemic remains as polarized as ever. Less than half of American adults say they would get a government-approved coronavirus vaccine if one becomes widely available, according to new data from an NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll.

Get the latest updates on coronavirus pandemic here.

100 years of suffrage: Black women and the vote

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, turns 100 today.

But Black women have only really enjoyed that right for half the time of other women — and many are still fighting to exercise it.

"For Black women, our right to vote is only secured with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965," said Valethia Watkins, an associate professor of Afro-American studies at Howard University.

Listen to the latest episode of our Into America podcast which digs into Black Women and the 19th Amendment.


THINK about it

Trump's USPS sabotage proves the 2020 fix is in — now Democrats need to act like it, David Rothkopf writes in an opinion piece.


A recovering alcoholic shares "ugly drunk" stories as rise in pandemic drinking sparks concerns.


Looking to make the switch to an electric toothbrush, here's what to look for before buying.

Quote of the day

"Being president doesn't change who you are; it reveals who you are. Well, a presidential election can reveal who we are, too."

Former first lady Michelle Obama during her to the Democratic National Convention.

One fun thing

Crowds packed a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life.

With nary a mask in sight, revelers at the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park appeared to be enjoying themselves despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

Wuhan, the former epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak, lifted its strict 76-day lockdown in April.

Despite the disease originating in China, the number of new cases in China have tapered off as new cases in the rest of the world continue to rise. The country saw just 582 new cases in the last seven days, according to NBC News' latest count.

A performer waves to the crowd at a water park in Wuhan, China on Saturday.AFP - Getty Images

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Thanks, Petra