The Past 24 Hours or So

10/6

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 38,444 new cases and 328 additional deaths. There are 14,283 patients receiving critical care. 
  • President Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center by helicopter Monday evening, with Marine One touching down on the White House South Lawn about 15 minutes later. He walked out of Walter Reed under his own power, but did not take questions from reporters gathered outside.
  • President Trump, who remains highly contagious for COVID-19, was seen almost immediately removing his face mask upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed hospital where he has been treated for coronavirus.
  • “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” Trump tweeted of the virus that’s infected more than 7.4 million Americans, killed nearly 210,000 and resulted in the president getting airlifted to a hospital.
  • Veteran news anchor Dan Rather blasted President Trump in a pair of tweets for his brief appearance in an SUV outside Walter Reed Medical Center as just the latest in a series of what Rather referred to as “photo ops,” writing: “Covid motorcades, signing blank papers, and tear gas walks to a church: the tragedy of Donald Trump’s photo ops.”
  • The White House is not contact tracing guests and staff who attended a Rose Garden event for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, despite many viewing it as a possible spreader of coronavirus. At least 11 attendees at the event have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said that he has requested a briefing from the Secret Service on its safeguards for agents exposed to COVID-19, a day after President Trump left his hospital suite while undergoing treatment for the virus to greet supporters from his motorcade, putting his protective detail at risk of exposure.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee is postponing a hearing with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe after several GOP members were either diagnosed with or possibly exposed to the coronavirus and McCabe said that he would not testify before the committee given the uptick in coronavirus cases in the Capitol.

The move comes as Republicans are moving forward with their plan to start Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett next week.

  • The CDC revised its guidance on the coronavirus Monday, acknowledging that it can sometimes spread through airborne particles that can “linger in the air for minutes to hours” and among people who are more than six feet apart.

“These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation,” the CDC’s new guidance says. “Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”

The agency added that it is “much more common” for the virus to spread through close contact than through airborne transmission.

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has tested positive for Covid-19, she tweeted in a statement Monday morning. McEnany emphasized that she had previously tested negatively “consistently” and is experiencing no symptoms.
  • Two of McEnany’s deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, have also tested positive.
  • Several reporters slammed White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for not wearing a mask during briefings, with one saying she “recklessly endangered lives.”

“I felt safer reporting in North Korea than I currently do reporting at The White House. This is just crazy,” one reporter said.

  • Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California has tested positive for COVID-19. Pastor Laurie was at the Prayer March on the Mall with Mike Pence and Franklin Graham and the Rose Garden event later that day.
  • More than half of Americans blame the federal government for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a higher number than those who said they primarily blamed foreign governments such as China for the disease’s spread.
  • In a series of public attacks on President Trump, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy said that Trump’s high-dollar fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club unnecessarily exposed hundreds of people to COVID-19.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered new restrictions on pandemic hot spots in New York City, although they do not go as far as the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, had requested.
  • Thirteen workers at a Minneapolis steakhouse were quarantining after the restaurant catered a private fundraiser attended by President Donald Trump during his visit to Minnesota last week. 

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Attorneys for Breonna Taylor’s family are calling for a new special prosecutor to reopen her case and for Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to recuse himself from the matter.
  • The Supreme Court has allowed a lawsuit to proceed against Kim Davis, a former Kentucky county clerk who gained national attention in 2015 for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples despite the high court’s decision legalizing same-sex unions across the country.
  • Fred Gerteiny, a television sports reporter in Connecticut, was fired after referring to Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) as “Uncle Tom” in a since-deleted tweet. 

Gerteiny’s tweet was in response to Scott, who is the only Black GOP senator, who addressed President Trump’s “stand back and stand by” remarks on the white supremacist Proud Boys group during Tuesday night’s presidential debate

Trump Administration

  • The EPA is turning its oversight of a number of environmental issues on tribal lands over to the state of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma requested the authority in July using a little-known provision of a 2005 law carved out especially for the state. The move will give the state more oversight over environmental issues for Oklahoma’s 38 federally recognized tribes, something the Cherokee Nation called a “knee-jerk reaction to curtail tribal jurisdiction [that] is not productive.”

  • Eric Trump has answered questions under oath from New York investigators as part of an ongoing civil probe into whether the value of Trump Organization assets were inflated to gain tax benefits.

Monday’s virtual deposition was spearheaded by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who launched the investigation into the First Family’s assets last year.

  • A U.S. appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration cannot resume detention of unaccompanied immigrant children in hotels.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump’s campaign is waging a behind-the-scenes effort to threaten low-profile county officials into ignoring election rules and sowing doubt in the mail voting process.

Trump’s campaign launched an “unusually aggressive” push on the local level, sending 100 county election officials in North Carolina “threatening letters” and “misinformation” to urge them to disregard a new rule that makes it easier for voters to fix mistakes on their mail ballots, according to the Associated Press. The warnings came after the state Board of Elections settled a lawsuit after ballots cast by Black voters in the state were disproportionately rejected.

  • More than 100,000 absentee ballot requests have been invalidated in several Iowa counties after a judge sided with the Trump campaign and Republican Party, upholding a recent law making absentee voting harder in Iowa. The law, which was pushed by Republican state lawmakers this summer, complicates and slows down procedures for processing absentee-ballot requests, making it needlessly difficult for county auditors trying to get voters their ballots in time.
  • The Commission on Presidential Debates has approved plans for plexiglass to be used in Wednesday’s VP debate amid mounting concerns about COVID-19 transmission.
  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would follow medical experts’ advice when asked whether it was safe to take part in next week’s scheduled debate as President Trump undergoes treatment for COVID-19.

“Listen to the science. If scientists say that it’s safe…then I think that’s fine,” Biden said. “I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate for me to do.

  • Civil rights and voter advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas officials after Abbott issued a new proclamation allowing only one mail ballot drop-off location per county, effectively shuttering dozens of voting sites across the Lone Star State.
  • Four years ago, African American voter turnout fell for the first time in decades, and Donald Trump was able to wrestle away battleground states Barack Obama had won in both 2008 and 2012. In this election cycle, reporting suggests Biden can win states with relatively large Black populations, such as North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania, if African American turnout reaches 2012 levels.

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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