The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 10 Minutes

10/1

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 44,391 new cases and 1,061 additional deaths. 14,193 patients are receiving critical care.
  • The White House coronavirus task force continues to issue recommendations to states via weekly reports, this week again strongly recommending mask usage in some states that still do not have statewide mask mandates.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said President Trump’s claims about his stance on the benefits of face masks were “taken out of context” during the first presidential debate: “I have been on the airways, on the radio, on TV, begging people to wear masks”
  • In the audience of the first debate, a handful of people, notably Trump’s children, were not wearing masks. Under Ohio law, all individuals are required to wear a mask indoors when not at home.

At one point a Cleveland Clinic doctor started to approach Trump family guests to offer them masks to wear. None of them ended up putting one on.

  • Drugmaker AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trial in the United States is still on hold after a participant developed a serious illness, but the Food and Drug Administration commissioner won’t say why.
  • Results from a preliminary study out of South Korea shows 9 out of 10 coronavirus patients reported experiencing at least one side effect of the disease after recovery, Reuters reports. 

An online survey of 965 recovered COVID-19 patients conducted by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency found more than 90 percent of respondents reported experiencing side effects associated with the disease, such as fatigue, loss of sense of taste and smell and psychological effects. 

  • The NFL announced that Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game has been postponed. The game will be rescheduled to either Monday or Tuesday so that additional time can be allocated for coronavirus testing. 

The Titans have had four players and five staff members test positive for Covid-19.

  • A limited number of fans will be able to attend the National League Championship Series  and the World Series in Texas next month, MLB announced. Both best-of-seven game series will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

MLB will make about 11,500 tickets available for each game with 10,550 fans spread throughout the ballpark and 950 in suites.

  • The University of Denver has suspended 38 swimming and diving athletes from all team activities for violating state and public health order, and university policies “designed to address the spread of COVID-19.”
  • New Jersey’s Covid-19 positivity rate — the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested — is now at 3%, the highest since mid-July.
  • The reopening of New Jersey schools has been running smoothly, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy *D) said Wednesday. 

“Over the past three weeks we have had minimal disruptions reported,” Murphy said. 

Out of the more than 802 reopening plans across the state, 403 school plans are operating under a hybrid education plan, 81 are open for in-person instruction, 278 plans are utilizing all remote learning and at least 40 plans are using a combination of the plan, Murphy said.

  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed an executive order extending the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions and the public health state of emergency. 
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) ended the statewide mask mandate citing the decline numbers for average new COVID-19 cases have. Reeves said that while the mask mandate was lifted, he would still be wearing a mask and said he expected Mississippians to do the same.
  • Wisconsin reported its highest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations on record Wednesday.

They have 646 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and just 18% of hospital beds are available.

  • Missouri hit another high since July for hospitalizations. Hospitalizations were at 1,139 Tuesday, according to the state’s website. Hospitalizations have been increasing every day since Sept. 6
  • The health department in King County, Washington, said at least 25 cases of Covid-19 have been connected to a spa in the city of Snoqualmie, near Seattle.

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Portland, Oregon Police have arrested a far-right protester and member of the Proud Boys who pointed a gun at antifascist protesters on Aug. 22 in downtown Portland.

Alan James Swinney, 50, is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on multiple assault charges, pointing a firearm at another, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of tear gas, stun gun or mace.

  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said his office did not present murder charges to the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case. The initial shot, which Cameron said Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, admitted to firing, gave Mattingly and Cosgrove cover for every shot they returned, regardless of its result, the attorney general said. Cameron said that includes shots fired into an upstairs apartment, where people were at home at the time.
  • Deonte Lee Murray, 36, has been charged with attempted murder in the ambush shooting of two Compton police officers earlier this month, two weeks after he was involved in an armed standoff with cops over an alleged carjacking.    

Murray was charged with two counts each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon after he allegedly walked up to a police cruiser and shot the two deputies multiple times back on September 12.

Murray, who authorities said “hates” cops, has been in police custody since September 15 after an armed standoff over an alleged carjacking on September 1 where a 51-year-old man was shot in the leg.  

Authorities at the time denied his arrest was connected to the ambush of the two cops despite the massive SWAT team presence and several law enforcement sources telling the media it was.  

Police confirmed Wednesday the two incidents were related and said a gun discarded by Murray during the September 15 incident was the same one used in the cop shooting. 

  • Secret grand jury recordings in the Breonna Taylor case will be released on Friday after a judge granted a two-day delay.       

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a motion on Wednesday asking a court in Louisville for a week’s delay to allow the names of witnesses and their personal information, including addresses and phone numbers, to be redacted.

  • Five Mountainside, New Jersey police officers and a part-time department employee will share a $2.45 million settlement after alleging workplace harassment and bullying.

The accusations — including repeated displays of a dildo named “Big Blue,” pranks involving nudity, a homophobic barb known as the “gazer game,” racial slurs and other misdeeds — were aired in a May 2018 lawsuit against Mountainside.

  • Costume and party supplies store Party City ordered one of its franchises to pull a kids’ Confederate soldier costume from its shelves after facing backlash about the outfit being racist.

One of the costumes was labeled “Confederate Officer” and came with a Confederate flag on the hat, while the other was supposed to be Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

  • California has just become the first state to approve the creation of a task force focused on figuring out how to pay reparations for slavery, including details on what form of compensation should be awarded as well as its recipients.
  • A San Antonio teacher says she was fired for wearing a mask with the “Black Lives Matter” slogan inscribed on it after a school official texted her saying to change her masks before parents visited the campus because the assistant headmaster wanted to avoid discussing “the current political climate.”

Trump Administration

  • A report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee says that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to keep pace with the technological and political strides made by China over the last two decades, a lag that risks leaving policymakers permanently in the dark about a growing, strategic challenge to the country’s national security.
  • A top official at the Interior Department has slowed the release of a study on polar bear populations in Alaska that could influence whether the Trump administration is allowed to open their habitat to oil and gas drilling. 

Reporters who obtained a copy of the unreleased report say it shows the area the Trump administration has expanded drilling in is where a large percent of polar bears build their dens to give birth.

  • Senior Trump administration officials have filed a whistleblower complaint with the State Department’s inspector general over allegations that Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, violated federal law and abused his authority, according to a copy of the complaint.

The complaint alleges Pack wanted to force out the complainants because they were part of the “Deep State” and had “played a role in the delay” of Pack’s confirmation to his position at the USAGM.

  • FBI Director James Comey sought to defend the bureau’s 2016 investigation into Russian election interference as Senate Republicans alleged bias against the Trump campaign by top officials, repeating President Trump’s claims that the FBI targeted him.

While Comey indicated he would’ve made some decisions differently, he defended the investigation as a whole.  

“I would say in the main it was done by the book, it was appropriate and it was essential that it be done…There are parts of it that are concerning … but overall I’m proud of the work,” Comey said. 

  • Comey testified before lawmakers that personal debt is a serious consideration when granting security clearances because it could be leveraged by a foreign foe, warning that President Trump’s reported hundreds of millions in debts coming due during a second term would make him “vulnerable to coercion by an adversary.”
  • A federal judge has just ordered the Department of Justice to publish information redacted from the Mueller report that had been designated as privilege, saying the Trump administration failed to justify certain redactions from the report on the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
  • A federal judge has begun contempt proceedings against Trump Commerce chief Wilbur Ross after he allegedly defied her order to continue census collection until the end of next month.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump’s supporters broke into a “lock her up” chant about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as the president warned of the dangers of allowing refugees to resettle in Minnesota at a recent rally. Trump said “Biden will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp.”

“What is going on with Omar?” he said, citing unproven claims tying Omar to a ballot harvesting scheme. “I’ve been reading these reports for two years about how corrupt and crooked she is. Let’s get with it. Let’s get with it.”

  • “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated Tuesday night’s chaotic presidential debate, says he is “sad” with the way the “night turned out.” 

“I guess I didn’t realize — and there was no way you could, hindsight being 20/20 — that this was going to be the president’s strategy, not just for the beginning of the debate but the entire debate,” he said before adding:  “I’m a pro. I’ve never been through anything like this.”

  • President Trump’s comment during the first presidential debate that he is “urging supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” is sparking fears among election officials and voting rights experts that there could be major election chaos and voter intimidation at the polls in November. 

“Everyday citizens can’t just show up in the polling places unless they are there to vote…they can’t just be there to watch other peoples’ votes,” one expert said. “It is concerning that the president would reference that kind of activity, and it is illegal.”

  • A day after saying the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by,” at the first presidential debate, sparking widespread backlash, President Trump claimed he didn’t know about the far-right group and who they were and shared a new message: “stand down.”

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are,” Trump told reporters when departing for a campaign trip to Minnesota. “I can only say they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.”

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates will give future moderators the option to cut candidates’ microphones following complaints about Tuesday’s initial debate
  • NBA star LeBron James has recruited 10,000 volunteers to help at polls in Black electoral districts this November as he fights against voter suppression.
  • A non-partisan voter registration organization said it recently saw a 1,500 percent surge in use through Instagram after reality star and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner included a link to its online resources along with an Instagram post encouraging her followers to vote.
  • Several celebrities shared a new advertising campaign that uses manipulated “deepfake” videos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to suggest the greatest threat to democracy is voter suppression rather than foreign interference and the domestic spread of misinformation.
  • Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said he will be stepping away from his company and any role with the campaign to seek help for what he called “overwhelming stress” on him and his family. 

The statement comes after Parscale has reportedly been hospitalized days earlier after his wife reported he was at their Fort Lauderdale, Fla. home with guns and threatening to harm himself.

  • Former Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot said this week that he will not vote for President Trump in November, saying our entire system of government “is at risk.”

“Even as a Republican, I will not be supporting Donald Trump for president, and I will not be voting for him.”

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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