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U.S. rocked by another night of protests, a setback in the fight against COVID-19 and Christo dies

The flames of protest reached the park across the street from the White House Sunday.
Image: A protester raises a fist near a fire during a demonstration outside the White House over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police in Washington
A protester raises a fist near a fire during a demonstration outside the White House over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. Samuel Corum / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The United States was rocked by a weekend of escalating protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last week.

The demonstrations — some marred by violence and looting — swept through more than 100 cities across the country, including Washington D.C. where protesters set a park on fire across the street from the White House.

Here’s what we’re watching this Monday morning.

Anger, protests erupt across the U.S. again for another night

Many of America's biggest cities were under curfew orders as well as the watchful eyes of National Guard troops overnight as police again clashed with demonstrators protesting the death of Floyd, an African American man who died pleading for his life as a white officer pinned his neck to the ground one week ago today.

Despite the curfews, in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and other major cities, fires raged, looters romped and police vehicles came under attack.

See images from the weekend of angry protests that sparked chaos across the country. Here are some of the latest developments:

A reckoning: Decades of injustice and pandemic are fueling a 'different kind of anger'

In July 2014, a black man suspected of a petty crime was pulled to the ground by New York City police and choked on the pavement as a witness videotaped him crying out, "I can’t breathe."

The death of Eric Garner touched off protests across the city and around the country, energizing a budding project called Black Lives Matter.

But the national reckoning over police brutality in 2014 was not enough to stop the deaths, or to break the fear and anger that millions of Americans feel, NBC News' Jon Schuppe writes.

Those emotions have exploded once again, but this time at a level not seen in decades.

"You’re looking at a different kind of anger that you’ve never seen before," said one former police chief.

Trump dismisses advice to tone down the rhetoric as nation faces growing unrest

President Trump has dismissed advice from his allies urging him to tone down his rhetoric as he has held back from making a formal address.

As the roar of police helicopters and chanting crowds reverberated through the White House grounds for a third night on Sunday, Trump once again opted against seeking to make prime time remarks from the Oval Office, as other presidents have done in times of domestic crisis.

Instead, he spent the day on Twitter, doubling down on a strategy of calling for stronger police tactics that critics have said is only worsening the situation.

News analysis: Trump envisioned "American carnage." Now he's got it, writes NBC News' Jonathan Allen.

Protests could cause catastrophic setback for controlling coronavirus, experts say

With so much going on, it's easy to forget that we're still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Months of careful social distancing has been overturned by the large scale demonstrations gripping many cities across the country.

The large gatherings, infectious disease experts said, could cause a catastrophic setback for controlling COVID-19 in the U.S. as cities and states try to reopen.

"It makes me cringe on a number of levels," said Dr. Katie Passaretti, medical director for infection prevention at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"It's a setup for further spread of COVID," Passaretti added. "It's heartbreaking."

  • Trump said that he is postponing the G-7 summituntil at least September. The move comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly declined to participate in an in-person summit in June.
  • Check out our live blog for the latest on the global pandemic.

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THINK about it

Trump is exploiting the George Floyd protests for political gain. But it could backfire in November, conservative political commentator Noah Rothman writes in an opinion piece.


9 ways to help kids come through the coronavirus crisis stronger.

One hopeful thing

While demonstrators have continued to turn out by the thousands to face off with riot police and National Guard troops, some police officers are taking a different tack.

These officers are choosing to take a knee to show solidarity with the demonstrators and denounce the actions of local authorities in Minneapolis.

"It's all of us versus bad people and bad cops — and we want to get them out of the line of duty and police work, because they make all of us look bad," said one Nebraska police sergeant.

Police officers kneel during a rally in Coral Gables, Fla., on Saturday in response to the recent death of George Floyd. Eva Marie Uzcategui / AFP - Getty Images

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Thanks, Petra Cahill