The Past 24 Hours or So

10/2

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 45,727 new cases and 946 additional deaths. 14,190 patients are receiving critical care.
  • The president and first lady tested positive for COVID-19
  • Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s closest aides, has tested positive for the coronavirus. She traveled with Trump multiple times this week.
  • Trump tweeted: “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!’
  • Another 837,000 Americans filed for unemployment claims last week. In addition,  650,120 claims were filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that Congress created to help workers who wouldn’t usually be eligible for benefits, such as the self-employed.

Adding these together, there were 1.4 million total first-time claims for benefits last week.

  • Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said if its COVID-19 vaccine is proven safe and effective, it could be available to the general population by late March or early April.
  • Loss of smell and taste are a strong sign that someone is infected with Covid-19, according to new research.
  • A study analyzing more than 38 million articles about the pandemic between Jan. 1 and May 26 that were published in English-language media around the world found President Trump was “likely the largest driver of the COVID-19 misinformation “infodemic.”
  • A newly released study from the CDC found that between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5, weekly COVID-19 cases among adults aged 18-22 increased 55 percent nationally as young people returned to colleges and universities.
  • A new study has found that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that President Trump said he took to ward off coronavirus, did not prevent COVID-19 among health care workers.
  • House Democrats have approved a massive, $2.2 trillion package of coronavirus relief, putting new pressure on Senate Republicans to move another round of emergency aid before the upcoming election.
  • More than 19,000 Amazon workers have contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic, the company revealed in an update on testing released Thursday.
  • States across the country are lifting restrictions on bars and restaurants despite public health experts warning they are a leading source of coronavirus transmission as the country braces for a fall surge.
  • A 19-year-old college student at Appalachian State University in North Carolina died on Monday night from Covid-19 complications.

Chad Dorrill, an apparently healthy second-year student, was living off campus and taking all of his classes online when he developed flu-like symptoms earlier this month. 

  • The NFL announced the Tennessee Titans have additional members of the team who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The league had originally planned to reschedule Sunday’s postponed Titans game with the Pittsburgh Steelers for this coming Monday or Tuesday but now says the game will be slated for later this year.

  • Despite a recent uptick in coronavirus cases, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) would be shocked if another statewide lockdown was needed. “I will be profoundly saddened and I will say shocked if we have to shut the whole place down again,” the governor said. “I just don’t see that.”

Murphy said the recent flare ups in Lakewood are troubling. Lakewood’s test positivity rate on Saturday was 27%. The statewide positivity rate for the same day was 3%, the highest it has been since July.

  • The Pennsylvania House voting session was canceled Thursday after a representative tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Maryland on Thursday reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time since March 28.
  • Ohio health officials observed that 11 counties had a very high spread, or “red counties,” which is more than what the state had in September.
  • Wisconsin reported a grim new milestone Thursday — 27 people died of COVID-19 Wednesday. That is the highest death count on record for the state.

The state is also reporting a record high of at least 683 COVID-19 related hospitalizations,

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced Thursday a new order that allows out-of-state health care workers to practice in the state following “alarming trends” in coronavirus cases.

“The longer it takes for everyone to take Covid-19 seriously, the longer this virus will linger. Right now we can’t live like we’re back to the way things used to be,” Evers said.

  • Wisconsin teachers unions are requesting that virtual learning be implemented from kindergarten through college across the state due to the increase of new Covid-19 cases, according to a release from Milwaukee’s teachers union. 
  • The CEO of a defense contractor in Hawaii has been charged with fraud and money laundering in connection with the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The US Attorney’s office says Martin Kao inflated the payroll figures of his company, Navatek LLC

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Detective Myles Cosgrove, one of the officers involved in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor is crowdsourcing a fundraiser for his retirement. The fund has already raised more than $40,000.
  • The organizer of a rally against policy brutality in Southern California is facing attempted murder charges after she alleged drove into a crowd of counter protesters supporting President Trump with “the intent to kill.”
  • Internal documents from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by NBC News reportedly show that law enforcement officials were directed to make sympathetic comments about Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused of killing two people during racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August.

One set of talking points sent to Homeland Security officials directed them to say that Rittenhouse “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners.”

An additional document with talking points told officials to say that news outlets were improperly labeling the anti-government Patriot Prayer group as racist.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill into law that requires publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to have at least one board member from an “underrepresented community” by the end of 2021.

The legislation defines “underrepresented” as a person who self-identifies as Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American (including Native Alaskan or Hawaiian) or an individual who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

  • Delaware GOP Senate candidate Lauren Witzke is defending the right-wing Proud Boys group, arguing that the male-only organization exemplifies “patriotic masculinity,”

Trump Administration

  • A new executive order from President Trump seeks to use the Defense Production Act as a way to bolster the domestic mining industry.

The order offers more messaging than substance, railing against China and warning the country could cut off access to critical minerals used in technology ranging from iPhones to medical equipment.

  • President Trump is proposing that only 15,000 refugees be allowed to resettle in the United States in the next fiscal year, marking a historic low of admission for some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples.
  • The Trump administration has just finalized a rule that could reclassify many “major” sources of pollution as minor ones, allowing facilities to abide by less-stringent emissions standards for dangerous substances such as mercury, lead and arsenic, likely leading to more pollution.
  • The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest doctors’ group, has filed a petition to the Supreme Court asking it to strike down a rule from the Trump administration barring clinics funded by taxpayers from referring women for abortions.
  • A federal judge has just determined that a law enforcement commission ordered by President Trump violated federal laws on open meetings and that the panel must temporarily stop all work until it complies with those rules. The panel will be allowed to resume operations once it follows the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
  • The Agriculture Department is mandating that campaign-style letters from President Trump be included in millions of federal relief food assistance boxes. House Democrats called the “self-promoting” message “inappropriate and a violation of federal law.”

Presidential Election

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an order Thursday requiring counties to close multiple locations where voters can drop off completed mail-in ballots.

Abbott claims the change is an election security measure. Counties will now be limited to one dropoff site where poll watchers — designated by political parties and candidates — must be allowed to observe ballot deliveries by voters.

The new order takes effect Friday and modified Abbott’s July 27 order that acknowledged the pandemic’s danger by adding six days of early voting and waiving a state law that limits mail-in ballot dropoff to Election Day only.

  • Former Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster says that President Trump is “aiding and abetting” Russian President Vladimir Putin in his effort to polarize Americans and “missed an opportunity” to condemn white nationalism during the presidential debate.

“It should be super easy to condemn white supremacists.”

  • President Trump has just indicated he will oppose changes to the current presidential debate structure under consideration by the nonpartisan commission that oversees the events.

“Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?” Trump tweeted.

  • Facebook said it has removed Trump campaign ads that baselessly connect admission of refugees to transmission of the coronavirus.
  • Two federal judges have ruled in favor of absentee and mail-in voting plans in Montana and Alabama, despite frequent claims from President Trump that mail-in voting will give rise to widespread fraud, contradicting experts who say it is not a meaningful source of fraud.
  • Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl — two notorious conservative political operatives and hoaxers — have been charged by the Michigan AG in connection with an alleged series of racist robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote. 
  • A group of over 1,600 former Justice Department attorneys are accusing Attorney General Bill Barr of seeking to help President Trump win reelection, writing they fear Barr “intends to use the DOJ’s vast law enforcement powers to undermine our most fundamental democratic value: free and fair elections.”
  • The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League warned that members of the Proud Boys and other white supremacist-affiliated groups saw President Trump’s comments during Tuesday night’s presidential debate “as a call to arms.” 

“They see last night as a call to arms, and that’s why it should be so alarming to all of us.”

  • Retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal endorsed Joe Biden, saying the Democratic nominee is “humble enough to respect people who serve and have served.” 

“I think he would set a tone in which he would bring out the best of people. Again, not everyone will agree with every policy, nobody ever will, and that’s healthy in a democracy. But we have to believe in our values, you have to believe that your commander-in-chief at the end of the day is someone that you can trust.

  • Former GOP Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, who previously served as chair of the Republican National Committee, delivered a biting assessment of President Trump’s tenure in the White House, saying his continued leadership is “dangerous to the existence of the republic.”
  • The Trump campaign has moved one of two Wisconsin rallies planned for Saturday amid pushback from local officials who raised concerns about public health risks related to the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign has relocated a rally to Janesville from La Crosse, an official said, citing an issue with the venue in the first location.

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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