The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 9 Minutes

10/14

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The U.S. reported 47,184 new cases and 676 additional deaths. 15,079 patients are receiving critical care. 
  • With 33 states reporting a rise in new COVID-19 cases and a nationwide uptick in hospitalizations, officials worry this could be the beginning of the fall surge experts have warned about.
  • Eli Lilly’s late stage clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody treatment has been paused by federal regulators due a safety concern. The trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
  • FDA inspectors found serious quality-control problems at an Eli Lilly plant making one of two coronavirus drugs praised by Trump as a “cure.”
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said that shortages of testing supplies are disconcerting, and speak to the disconnect between the information that he receives and the experiences of those who are working on the ground. 

“That’s really very disconcerting, in October of 2020, when we knew about those shortages in the spring of 2020,” said Fauci.

  • The federal government said Tuesday it was investing close to half a billion dollars in a cartridge-based on-the-spot coronavirus test that it said would help “dramatically” expand its supply of tests by next spring.
  • President Trump attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci Tuesday morning after the nation’s top infectious disease expert criticized the president’s reelection campaign for featuring him in a political advertisement.

Trump tweeted: “Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications. “No problem, no masks”. WHO no longer likes Lockdowns – just came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”

  • President Trump urged Congress to “go big or go home” on another round of coronavirus stimulus, amid broad objections within his own party to his latest $1.8 trillion proposal.

“STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

  • Two dozen COVID-19 cases have been officially linked by officials in Minnesota to people who attended President Trump campaign events in the past month, most of them attendees at airport rallies hosted by Trump.
  • With the holidays approaching, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield warned that small family gatherings are becoming a growing source of coronavirus spread.
  • Bill Gates called out the federal government for inadequacies in coronavirus testing and sending out what he called “bad messages” on best practices, such as wearing masks.

The billionaire philanthropist, whose foundation is the largest private underwriter of public health initiatives, said the U.S. still has time to do “far, far better” in its COVID-19 testing implementation, criticizing the government — without calling out the Trump administration explicitly — for long test-result wait times and poor contact tracing efforts.

  • The Labor Department announced that Secretary Eugene Scalia’s wife, Trish, has tested positive for coronavirus. Both Scalias attended the Rose Garden event on September 26 where President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee. 
  • Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • American golfer Dustin Johnson, who sits atop the World Golf Rankings, has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • After announcing five new COVID-19 positive tests within the football team earlier on Tuesday, the University of Florida has paused team activities. 
  • A party venue in Long Island has been slapped with $12,000 in COVID-19 violation fines after 37 cases were traced back to a birthday party held there.
  • For the first time in the 178-year history of the New York Philharmonic, the symphony orchestra is canceling its entire season. 
  • Nineteen student-athletes from the swimming and diving teams at the University of Delaware were sanctioned and suspended after violating the school’s COVID-19 protocol. 
  • The Philadelphia Eagles announced they will welcome fans to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time this season for their game vs. the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Occupancy will be limited to 7,500 people, which includes players, coaches, team and stadium personnel, media and fans.

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said that “some 65 staff” members had to quarantine after he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19.
  • A Broward County, Florida first grader tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the first day of school on Friday.
  • Wisconsin reached a new state record for the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single day with 3,279. The grim milestone comes as cases see another surge across the U.S. heading into the fall flu season.
  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) said COVID-19 cases were rising at a “concerning rate,” and warned new restrictions could be needed, with the city’s seven-day average daily case rates as “high right now as they were at the height of the pandemic back in May.”
  • Utah is experiencing “one of the worst outbreaks in the country” and has announced a new three-tier Covid-19 monitoring system for counties, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said Tuesday. 

Counties will be placed on a low, moderate, or high transmission level which will determine things like when masks are required to be worn, and how large of a group can gather.

  • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is announcing a partial rollback of the state’s economic reopening, as coronavirus numbers increase rapidly. 

“When the community spread of the virus becomes uncontrollable – and we are fast approaching that point – our only option is to simply shut down those opportunities for the virus,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement.

  • Eighteen employees from a United States Postal Service processing center in Las Vegas have tested positive for coronavirus since Sept. 26.
  • The UK government is accused of ignoring its own scientists, who three weeks ago suggested considering a so-called “circuit-breaker,” a short lockdown to bring coronavirus incidence levels down.
  • The Mayor of London said it was “inevitable” the UK’s capital would meet the threshold for tougher coronavirus restrictions in the coming days.
  • Germany has reported 24,584 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days — the highest weekly count since April. 
  • Bavarian state premier Markus Söder is warning that Germany could “lose control of the coronavirus” pandemic, urging “something must be done this week,” ahead of a key meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s federal states.
  • Russia reported 13,868 new cases on Tuesday — another record-high daily increase, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.

Moscow is the worst affected city with 4,618 new cases — also a record-high daily increase.

Presidential Campaign

  • A federal appeals court reinstated Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order limiting ballot drop sites to one per county. The decision means more than a dozen satellite locations in at least two counties will remain shut down.
  • As early voting began in Texas on Tuesday, there were reports of hours long wait times as some voters turned out in the pre-dawn hours.
  • An accidentally cut cable has caused the entire Virginia voter registration online system to go down on the last day to register to vote before election day.
  • Early voting got off to a delayed start in Fort Bend County, Texas after an election system glitch left voters unable to cast ballots when the polls opened at 8 a.m., causing frustration for voters and prompting recriminations from elected officials.

Election computers apparently were set for next week instead of Tuesday, causing the system to go down countywide and hundreds of people waited in lines to vote, according to Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton.

  • Georgia officials reported record-breaking voter turnout Monday, the first day in the state for early voting, with 126,876 ballots cast for the Nov. 3 elections. 

The secretary of state’s office announced the record-breaking voting total Monday, adding the previous record was around 90,000 voters.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced they would donate $100 million to shore up election security efforts, a month after the couple donated $300 million for the same issue. 

The funds will go to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which received $250 million as part of the previous donation. Another $50 million from the previous donation went to the Center for Election Innovation and Research to help secretaries of state across the nation boost election security efforts. 

The two donations together total $400 million, the same amount appropriated by Congress this year for state and local election officials to address challenges to elections posed by COVID-19.

  • A new billboard displayed right outside the Des Moines International Airport in Iowa, where President Trump is set to hold a campaign rally on Wednesday, warns it will be a “superspreader event.”

The billboard reads: “TRUMP COVID SUPERSPREADER EVENT,” along with a large arrow pointed toward the airport where the president will speak to supporters.

  • Michelle Obama and LeBron James are teaming up their voter engagement organizations, with the former first lady saying making a plan to vote early is “critical” this year.

Obama’s organization, When We All Vote, and the James’ group, More Than a Vote, announced their new partnership’s shared goal for the voter drives is to “build momentum and excitement around voting early,”

  • President Trump’s son Eric canceled a campaign event for his father in Michigan on Tuesday after the venue hosting it revealed a former employee was involved in an alleged plot to kidnap the state’s Democratic Governor.

Trump Administration

  • President Trump filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court asking the justices to shield his tax records from a New York grand jury subpoena.

The filing from Trump’s personal attorneys marks the second time the president has asked the court to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from obtaining eight years of his tax records.

In July, the justices voted 7-2 to reject Trump’s argument that presidents have sweeping immunity from the criminal process, but said Trump could mount other legal objections in lower court proceedings.

  • The FBI says the men accused in a group plot against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer also discussed kidnapping Virginia governor Ralph Northam.
  • The World Trade Organization opened the door for the European Union to impose tariffs on $4 billion worth of U.S. exports, saying the EU’s retaliation over America’s tax breaks for Boeing were legal.

The EU will have to request further authorization for new tariffs in areas such as agriculture, meaning they will not be enacted immediately.

  • The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing.
  • The Justice Department filed a complaint against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to first lady Melania Trump, alleging that she breached a 2017 nondisclosure agreement with the publication of her new tell-all book.
  • The Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to shut down the census count early.
  • Embattled Bureau of Land Management official William Perry Pendley told a Wyoming public radio station he has not been “ousted” from his job at the agency despite a court ruling saying he illegally served as its acting chief.

Racial & Social Issues

  • An armed security guard hired to protect a television news crew at a weekend protest shot and killed a protester after he reached into his shirt, causing the guard to fear for his safety, according to a lawyer representing the guard’s family.
  • A Black man is suing Galveston, Texas, and its police department for more than $1 million after a 2019 incident in which he was handcuffed and tied to officers on horseback as they led him down a street.
  • Facebook will start banning ads that explicitly discourage people from getting vaccinated, as it also announced a new flu vaccine information campaign.

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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