Read Time: 8 Minutes
- The U.S. reported 38,691 new cases and 635 additional deaths. 14,508 patients are receiving critical care.
- All the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining at home after a positive COVID test for Admiral Ray, the Vice Commandant of the US Coast Guard.
- White House physician Sean Conley has just released a statement saying that President Trump is reporting “no symptoms” after being discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center during his treatment for the novel coronavirus.
“Vital signs and physical exam remain stable, with an ambulatory oxygen saturation level of 95-97%. Overall he continues to do extremely well, I will provide updates as we know more,” Conley wrote.
- Stephen Miller, a top aide to President Donald Trump, tested positive for Covid-19 today, according to a person familiar with the matter.
- White House press aide Jalen Drummond has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the third aide under White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to test positive and yet another attendee of the Rose Garden event considered a “super-spreader” to contract the virus.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation has rejected a petition from a labor union that would issue a departmentwide mandate requiring all passengers on DOT-approved transportation to wear masks, underscoring the lack of universal health protocols deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the federal government.
- President Trump lashed out at the news media for its focus on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic – less than 24 hours after he returned to the White House from being treated for COVID-19.
Trump tweeted: “The Fake News Media refuses to discuss how good the Economy and Stock Market, including JOBS under the Trump Administration, are doing. We will soon be in RECORD TERRITORY. All they want to discuss is COVID 19, where they won’t say it, but we beat the Dems all day long, also!!!”
- President Trump downplayed the coronavirus by comparing it to the flu, even though COVID-19 has a mortality rate 10 times higher than most strains of the flu.
“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu,” Trump tweeted. “Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”
NOTE: More people in the U.S. have already died from the coronavirus than those who died from influenza during the past five flu seasons combined.
- Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell is warning that a failure to provide further support for the coronavirus-wracked economy could lead to a downward spiral of layoffs and economic decline that undoes all the recovery from the 2008 recession.
- A White House decision to halt release of new standards for emergency authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine came after officials close to President Donald Trump told the FDA that the pharmaceutical industry had objected to the tougher requirements.
- The FDA is calling on drugmakers to submit two months of safety data before applying for a COVID-19 vaccine approval — even after President Trump blasted the precautions and the White House sought to block the formal release of the guidelines.
- Rick Bright, who alleges the Trump administration retaliated against him after he raised the alarm on the nation’s COVID-19 testing strategy due to “political considerations,” has resigned from the government. In a newly filed complaint, Bright warned that Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who is one of Trump’s COVID-19 advisers, was “calling the shots” at the White House despite not having a background in infectious diseases.
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials have been slowed after contractors did not recruit enough minority participants to determine how the product will affect different demographics.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has done little to punish companies when their workers get sick or even die from the coronavirus, as major employers and President Trump’s political appointees have pushed for a much more lenient approach to handling risks like COVID-19 on the job than previous administrations.
OSHA has received 10,485 complaints and referrals about COVID-19 risks at workplaces and closed 8,702 of them during the pandemic. But in these cases — some involving companies worth millions — the agency hasn’t proposed a single penalty greater than $30,000 for coronavirus-related risks.
- The San Diego Unified School District is removing letters from President Donald Trump that his administration placed inside food boxes as part of a federal coronavirus relief program for families in need.
Critics have accused Trump of politicizing poverty and using the food relief program as a campaign tool.
- A third-grade teacher in North Carolina died over the weekend following a recent COVID-19 diagnosis that required her students to quarantine, roughly two months after the school district resumed some in-person classes.
- Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) last week became the first governor in America to rescind a statewide mask mandate, almost two months after imposing it as coronavirus cases spiked over the summer.
Racial & Social Issues
- Wolf City, Texas police officer Shaun Lucas has been charged with murder after fatally shooting a Black man named Jonathan Price as Price was attempting to break up a fight between a man and a woman at a gas station.
The officer allegedly used a Taser on Price as he was walking away and shot the man while he was convulsing on the ground.
- The Anti-Defamation League says it has found a “deluge” of anti-Semitic tweets targeting Jewish lawmakers, including conspiracy theories linked to billionaire philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros, “explicit antisemitic language,” tropes related to Jewish “power and control” and tweets “questioning the loyalty and faith of Jewish incumbents.
- Facebook announced today that it will remove any pages, groups and Instagram accounts linked to QAnon, the baseless fringe movement, which is celebrated by some on the far right.
The move goes beyond a policy the company announced in August of taking down QAnon content associated with potential violence.
- A grand jury in St. Louis returned an indictment on Tuesday against the white couple who brandished guns at Black protesters as they marched past their home in June in a menacing display caught on video that earned them a spotlight at the Republican National Convention and the admiration of President Trump.
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced it will be dedicating a $250 million grant to be spent over the next five years to “transform the way our country’s histories are told in public spaces.” The new endeavor aims to bring more context to pre-existing monuments, relocate others and fund the creation of new ones depicting people from diverse communities.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, are calling for an end to “structural racism” saying so long as it exists “untapped potential will never get to be realized.”
“It is not about pointing the finger, it is not about blame. I will be the first person to say, again, this is about learning. And about how we can make it better.”
- The five U.S. attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by President Trump, recoiled in May 2018 against an order to prosecute all illegal immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents. They told top Justice Department officials they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.
But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.
“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”
- The Trump administration is set to publish additional immigration reforms aimed at making it more difficult for skilled foreign workers to acquire visas, another step in the White House’s attempt to restrict immigrants entering the U.S.
- The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods hit a record high in August, despite Trump’s 2016 campaign promises to reduce it dramatically by negotiating new trade deals and getting tough on unfair foreign trade practices, a Commerce Department report says.
- A newly released report from the Department of Homeland Security, which a whistleblower alleges was delayed for months in an effort to benefit President Trump ahead of the election, reveals that white supremacists remain “the most persistent and lethal threat” in the country.
- Senate Judiciary Committee pressed the DOJ to explain the omission of a 2006 anti-abortion newspaper advertisement signed by Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, in her materials to the committee.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he expects Republicans will confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election and added “there’s nothing I can see that would keep that from happening.”
- More than 3.8 million Americans already cast ballots for the general election, compared to just 75,000 by this point in 2016, according to a data from the U.S. Elections Project.
- Vice President Pence is requesting that no plexiglass dividers be placed on his side of the stage at Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate, after an announcement Monday by the Commission on Presidential Debates that dividers had been agreed to as a safety measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- As President Trump recovers from coronavirus, his campaign says he will debate Democratic nominee Joe Biden in person next week for the second presidential debate.
It’s unclear, however, if the president will be healthy enough to attend the debate, or whether he would be exposing other attendees to a contagious virus that has killed roughly 210,000 people in the U.S.
- Joe Biden said that the next presidential debate should be called off if President Donald Trump is still positive for COVID-19.
- President Trump lashed out at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after he pledged to enact legislation making Roe v. Wade “the law of the land” if it were overturned by the Supreme Court, falsely accusing the former vice president of being “in favor” of late term abortions “right up until the time of birth, and beyond.”
- Florida extended the deadline for voter registration after the state’s online portal crashed under the weight of heavy traffic hours before the the Oct. 5 deadline.
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a law allowing local clerks a limited window to process mail ballots ahead of Election Day, as election experts warn results may take longer than usual because of the time it takes to process and count absentee votes.
- A federal judge pushed back Arizona’s voter registration deadline through Oct. 23, ruling in favor of advocates who argued the coronavirus pandemic hindered registration efforts. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and the Republican National Committee opposed the lawsuit in court.
- Former first lady Michelle Obama launched a series of blistering attacks against President Trump in a lengthy video called her “Closing Argument,” describing Trump’s policies as “racist” and accusing him endangering American lives with his behavior during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Search your hearts, and your conscience, and then vote for Joe Biden like your lives depend on it.”
- The Lincoln Project launched a $1 million campaign against President Trump in Texas as Election Day looms.
The Republican anti-Trump group is targeting Hispanic and female voters in the Lone Star State, where polls show a competitive race between the president and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
- Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, around the level reported before the elections in 2004 and 2008. High enthusiasm levels are bipartisan, with 80 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans both saying they are now more enthusiastic than in the past.
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