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PATRICK SEMANSKY / AP

Donald Trump had a tough week. As my colleague David A. Graham put it: “From his campaign to the coronavirus, from the economy to the courts, from polls to policy, Trump stumbled on every front.”

To top it all off, on Saturday night, the president’s much-hyped rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma—the one with more than a million ticket requests, his campaign bragged beforehand—ended up at about two-thirds capacity at best. Thousands of seats remained empty.

“Coming home from Tulsa, the intensely image-conscious president no longer looked like a winner,” David writes. “As Trump, a consummate marketer, has always known, appearances matter—and right now Trump looks like a loser.”

Below, our writers make sense of three recent Trump defeats (and one ongoing controversy).

There were signs that Trump was furious in Tulsa.

Andrew Ferguson, our staff writer, watched the events unfold on cable television:

Having taken the stage in Tulsa, he skipped the usual impromptu jests and goofs of a man whose highest aspiration is to be the center of attention of an adoring crowd. Instead he plunged straight into his scripted remarks as they unspooled from his teleprompter.

The Supreme Court continues to rule against the administration.

“Trump keeps losing not because of something obscure, but because of something fundamental: his abuse of the executive branch,” two legal experts argue.

Team Trump failed to block John Bolton’s book.

The former national security adviser’s memoir comes out tomorrow, despite allegations from Trump’s camp that it spills classified information.

Graeme Wood, our staff writer, read every word. “Close observers of Washington and geopolitics will find much in it to savor,” he writes, but the general reading public will be disappointed, “because it has little of the salacious backbiting” that defined other accounts of the Trump administration.

The abrupt dismissal of Geoffrey Berman on Friday is an ongoing scandal.

Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes parse three plausible—and troubling—reasons Attorney General William Barr would have tried to force out Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

GETTY / THE ATLANTIC

One question, answered: Can colloidal silver be used to treat COVID-19?

“The pandemic has sparked an interest in dubious cures such as colloidal silver—and some are trying to capitalize on it,” Olga Khazan reports:

Though topical silver can be used in wound care, almost all mainstream scientists say colloidal silver doesn’t do much of anything—except, in extreme cases, turn a person’s skin blue. Most doctors would say these individuals’ positive experiences are most likely the result of a placebo effect, or of the disease resolving on its own. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, silver has “no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth.”

Nevertheless, people’s deep faith in colloidal silver speaks to how the uncertainty of COVID-19 has fueled a desire for alternative remedies.

What to read if … you want practical advice:

What to read if … you’re looking for an evening long read:

Thirty years ago, the world discovered Romania’s “child gulags,” where tens of thousands of abandoned children were raised. Their experience raises the question: Can an unloved child learn to love?

BIANCA BAGNARELLI

Dear Therapist

Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. This week, she advises a daughter concerned about her mother:

I do not believe that a day has gone by since I came home, more than two months ago, that my mom has not cried.  … How can I best suggest that she reach out to a therapist or other means of support without giving her the impression that I do not care and do not want to continue helping?

Read the rest, and Lori’s response. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.


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