The Past 24 Hours or So

10/10

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 57,542 new cases and 904 additional deaths. 14,777 patients are receiving critical care.
  • Only 2 states are showing a downward trend in new cases compared to the previous week — Hawaii and Alabama. At least 28 states are showing upward trends and 20 states are holding steady.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said that there was a “superspreader event” at the White House late last month, a stark assessment of the string of positive coronavirus cases among the president and top aides. At least 34 White House staffers and contacts have been infected.

“Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.”

  • Public health officials in Washington, D.C. are calling for COVID-19 tests to be administered to anyone who attended the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event which has seen several attendees test positive for coronavirus including President Trump, Kellyanne Conway and multiple Republican lawmakers.
  • Nine people who attended a campaign rally for President Trump in Bemidji, Minn., last month have tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the latest member of Congress to contract the virus.
  • President Trump participated in his first on camera interview since testing positive for COVID-19, acknowledging that he experienced fatigue and could have faced a more dire outcome without the access to medical care he has as president.
  • The White House blocked the CDC from implementing a rule mandating all passengers and employees to wear face coverings on public and commercial transportation. The order, which would have been the administration’s most stringent measure to curb the coronavirus’s spread, was drafted under the CDC’s “quarantine powers” and had the backing of Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. But the White House’s coronavirus task force, headed by Vice President Pence, declined to consider it.
  • Inching closer to Democrats’ demands, President Trump and his aides on Friday offered Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package, sources said, as the president urged the negotiators to “go big.”

The new figure was a jump from the White House’s $1.6 trillion offer last week, but there was no indication that Pelosi would come down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package. 

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump tweeted on Friday morning, a striking reversal from his position on Tuesday when he said he would walk away from negotiations.

  • Twenty-eight states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, have experienced surges in new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, a trend that could be treacherous as the flu season approaches.
  • The CDC warned that there is an “urgent need” to address the spread of coronavirus among young adults. The study found that COVID-19 hotspots in June and July first began rising among young people aged 24 and under, before later rising in older, more vulnerable age groups.
  • Morgan Wallen, slated to perform on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live,” was dropped as the show’s musical act after breaking coronavirus prevention protocols. Footage surfaced showing the country singer partying without a face mask at a football game between Alabama and Texas A&M.
  • Dr. Deborah Birx reminded the Northeast to take action before the coronavirus takes off again. 

“People let down their guard when they were with friends and family, and they took off their masks, and they share dinner, or they share drinks inside, and those become spreading events,” she said.

  • The Broadway League announced on Friday that all ticket sales for Broadway performances in New York City will be suspended through May 30, 2021.
  • Florida will be “like a house on fire” in another few weeks because the state has dropped coronavirus precautions, and President Trump probably should not hold a rally there right now, infectious disease specialist Mike Osterholm said. 

“Florida is ripe for another large outbreak.” “What they’ve done is opened up everything as if nothing had ever happened there…in eight to 10 weeks, and I will likely bet that Florida will be a house on fire. “

Trump Administration

  • President Trump called into Rush Limbaugh’s talk radio show for two hours and lashed out at several people including LeBron James, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
  • President Trump again lashed out at Attorney General William Barr after it was revealed that the U.S. attorney investigating the origins of the Russia probe is not expected to release any information related to his inquiry before the election.

“If that’s the case, I’m very disappointed,” Trump told conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. “I think it’s a terrible thing. And I’ll say it to [Barr’s] face.”

“It’s a disgrace. It’s an embarrassment,” Trump added. “See, this is what I mean with the Republicans. They don’t play the tough game.”

  • President Trump dropped an F-bomb on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show while referring to putting Iran “on notice.” 

“Iran knows that, and they’ve been put on notice: If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before,” Trump said.

  • An appraisal of a New York property that resulted in President Trump receiving a $21 million tax break appears to have relied on unsupported assertions, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. The New York Attorney General’s office has indicated it is investigating whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of Trump’s Seven Springs estate.
  • President Trump’s tax records reveal that he engineered a windfall of more than $21 million during his 2016 presidential run, The New York Times reported Friday. A hotel Trump owns with casino mogul Phil Ruffin made payments to several companies Trump controlled, one of which that has zero employees, and that money then flowed to the president himself at a time when Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was in need of funds and many of his businesses were losing money. The hotel wrote off the payments as a business expense according to the Times.
  • Five suspended officials in the US Agency for Global Media filed a lawsuit against the agency and its Trump-appointed CEO Michael Pack over allegations executives are breaking the law by promoting a pro-President Trump agenda. Journalists were allegedly punished for negative stories about Trump, as well as stories about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the racial justice protests across the country.
  • President Trump chastised Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for calling him “complicit” in the extremism associated with the FBI-thwarted scheme to kidnap her, condemning the Democratic leader for not thanking him after his Justice Department foiled the plot. 

“Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist.”

  • Last month was the hottest September on record, beating out the same month in 2019 and 2016 — the previous two warmest Septembers ever recorded. The Trump administration has repeatedly downplayed the impact of global warming.
  • Hurricane Delta made landfall in Louisiana Friday evening as a Category 2 storm. Delta set a new record by becoming the 10th named storm to hit the continental United States this year

Presidential Campaign

  • Twitter said Friday it would add new labels and restrictions on tweets when U.S. politicians try to spread election misinformation, joining other social media companies in tightening its rules in the final weeks of the election season.

The changes come after criticism that fact-check labels on certain tweets, including those from President Donald Trump about mail-in voting, were inadequate to counter the misinformation directed at voters.

  • Around 50,000 voters in Ohio received inaccurate absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election, according to The Franklin County Board of Elections. The board said Friday that it has already begun the process of printing replacement ballots which will be sent to USPS within 72 hours for delivery.

“Every voter who received an inaccurate ballot will receive a corrected ballot.”

  • A federal judge on Friday denied a motion to extend voter registration in Florida after a technical issue on the state’s website may have prevented 20,000 additional people from signing up to vote in next month’s election.
  • A federal judge shot down a Texas proclamation limiting each county in the state to just one ballot drop-off location in this year’s elections, handing Democrats a key win in a competitive state.
  • Frank Fahrenkopf, a co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, said President Trump’s campaign has presented “no evidence whatsoever” that he has tested negative for the coronavirus amid controversy over the remaining presidential debates.
  • The Commission on Presidential Debates has officially cancelled the second debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden scheduled for Oct. 15 after the candidates signaled they planned to attend other events that day amid a dispute over the terms for the debate.

“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22.”

  • A Michigan township employee had his hand sliced open and required 13 stitches after he tried to remove an illegally placed Trump-Pence 2020 sign that had been booby-trapped with razor blades.
  • President Trump will hold a campaign rally on Monday in Sanford, Florida, his first time hitting the campaign trail since testing positive for COVID-19. The announcement comes despite the fact that the White House has yet to say whether Trump is still infectious.
  • With just less than four weeks until Election Day, the number of ballots mailed in and in-person votes cast early surpassed the 5.5 million mark Wednesday, according to the United States Elections Project, which compiles early voting data. That figure is more than 73 times the number of votes that were cast at this point in 2016. Florida and Virginia have led the spike in early voting, with more than 947,000 and nearly 770,000 votes being cast in each state, respectively.
  • More than 200 retired generals and admirals endorsed Joe Biden for president in a letter published Thursday, saying he had the character and judgment to serve as commander-in-chief instead of President Donald Trump, who has failed “to meet challenges large or small.”

Some of the officers who signed the letter supporting Biden had retired only in the past few years, including Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, who served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Trump before he retired in August 2019; Vice Adm. Gardner Howe, a Navy SEAL leader who also retired last year; and retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, who oversaw the Coast Guard until 2018.

  • More than 1,600 faith leaders have endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president as of Friday, including some who could influence evangelical votes. Vote Common Good, which compiled the endorsements this week, says it is the largest group of clergy to endorse a Democratic candidate for president in modern history.
  • Democrats are warning their voters not to become complacent as Joe Biden builds up a formidable polling lead in the race for the White House. They say the political terrain is extremely volatile and that even small changes in their projected turnout models could produce wild swings in the Electoral College.
  • Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., slammed President Trump for using her father’s image in a political ad, calling it “beyond insulting.” 

“My father should not be used in ways strongly misaligned with his vision and values, @realDonaldTrump. My father was working for an America with leaders who have answered the call to conscience and compassionate action.”

  • Sharon Robinson, the daughter of legendary professional baseball player Jackie Robinson, scolded President Trump after his campaign released an ad featuring her father’s photograph: “The Trump campaign is in opposition to all that Jackie Robinson stood for and believed in. We’re insulted and demand that his image be removed!”

Racial & Social Issues

  • As a means to help consumers track and avoid establishments that have a history of racism, restaurant and business-reviewing site Yelp is implementing a new feature that will place a Consumer Alert label on business pages that have reviews of “overtly racist actions.”
  • An incident caught on video shows Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stopping a Black man on a jog in Boston this week, prompting a massive outcry from local officials who said “racial profiling and stops like these are wrong, unjustified, and will not be tolerated.”
  • A district judge has agreed to let Derek Chauvin — the former Minneapolis police officer who fatally knelt on George Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes in May — live outside of the state of Minnesota as he awaits trial. The judge cited “safety concerns” for Chauvin. 
  • A Texas grand jury indicted Netflix for the “lewd” representation of children in a controversial French film called “Cuties.” The indictment charges the popular streaming site for “promotion of lewd visual material depicting child” for its drama about a young girl who is torn between her conservative Muslim family’s values and her desire to join a dance team.

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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