President Trump once again falsely claimed that coronavirus infection numbers are rising because of the high level of testing.
Daniel Dale: “While the number of daily tests has indeed been rising, there is no doubt there has been an increase in the actual spread of the virus, not just that more cases are being captured. One telltale sign is that hospitalizations are also rising, setting records in some states. Also, the percentage of US tests coming back positive has also been rising since late September. And deaths have started to rise again, too, after the usual lag following the spike in cases.”
“Several states that are likely to decide which party controls Washington next year have exceptionally large coronavirus outbreaks or are seeing cases spike,” Axios reports. “Most voters have already made up their minds. But for those few holdouts, the state of the pandemic could ultimately help them make a decision as they head to the polls — and that’s not likely to help President Trump.”
President Trump once again touted the “tremendous progress” his administration has made against the coronavirus pandemic before baselessly accusing the media of coordinating negative coronavirus coverage to alter the course of the election. Said Trump: “We have made tremendous progress with the China Virus, but the Fake News refuses to talk about it this close to the Election. COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers. Should be an election law violation!”
The seven-day moving average of new daily coronavirus cases stood at 68,767 after Sunday — a level not seen since the highest peak in late July, according to CNN’s analysis of data by Johns Hopkins University.
First Read: The 2020 campaign is closing on the coronavirus.
Dr Anthony Fauci told Yahoo News the country is still experiencing its first wave of coronavirus infections, as cases surge in dozens of states. Said Fauci: “I look at it more as an elongated and exacerbation of the original first wave. We never really cleared and got down to a very low baseline… No matter how you look at it, it’s not good news.”
Olivia Nuzzi has an excellent look at the “tortured self-justification of one very powerful Trump-loathing anonymous Republican.”
Said the Republican of President Trump: “I thought he would lose! I mean, everyone thought he would lose. The idea that he won is still shocking. This is a man who is so completely alien to what this country — the best principles of what this country is about. When I think about the fact that a hundred years from now, people will look back and say, ‘How the fuck did they think this was normal?,’ it makes me sad for the country. He’s a permanent scar on the face of our country.”
Jared Kushner told Fox & Friends that Black people must “want to be successful” in order for President Trump’s policies to help them.
Said Kushner: “One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about. But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”
“Japan’s new prime minister said on Monday the nation will seek to become carbon-neutral by 2050, a move that will require huge changes in its fossil fuel-heavy energy mix in order to succeed,” Axios reports.
If President Trump wins re-election, he’ll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Axios reports.
“The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump’s priorities, starting with Wray.”
“Wray and Haspel are despised and distrusted almost universally in Trump’s inner circle. He would have fired both already, one official said, if not for the political headaches of acting before Nov. 3.”
“The three months of squabbling over a new round of virus relief moved no closer to a resolution over the weekend, all but extinguishing the prospects of a stimulus bill being written, voted on, and signed into law by President Trump before the election,” Bloomberg reports.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’s waiting for another counteroffer Monday from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as she and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows accused each other of ‘moving the goalposts’ in negotiations.”
The U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, 52 to 48. President Trump and Senate Republicans have succeeded in securing a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, just eight days out from Election Day.
Barrett was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas on the South Lawn of the White House at 9 pm, “despite concerns that a gathering for her nomination in September was a super-spreader event for the coronavirus,” The Hill reports.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaking about the Republican rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court: “You will regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”
He added: “Monday, October 26, 2020. It will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”
Associated Press: “With control of the House hardly contested, Pelosi is working to fortify Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and win extra House seats in case Congress is called on to resolve any Electoral College dispute with President Trump.”
“Pelosi said she feels so confident Democrats will keep the House this election, she’s already preparing to win the next one in 2022.”
Said Pelosi: “This year, I’m trying to win it two years in advance — by being so substantial in this election that as soon as we start into the next year, people will see our strength.”
“Nancy Pelosi may be the most powerful congressional leader in modern U.S. history,” Politico reports.
“In the 22 months since she’s returned to the speaker’s chair — an enormous achievement in itself — Pelosi has centralized power in an unprecedented way. It’s due not just to her own maneuvering, but to a variety of circumstances: a chaotic president, a paralyzed Senate, and a national health emergency that’s spurred the most serious economic crisis in decades.”
“For many Democrats, Pelosi is the face of the resistance to President Donald Trump. From clashes over government shutdowns to impeachment to yelling matches in the White House and publicly tearing up a copy of his State of the Union address, Pelosi has been Trump’s chief antagonist. There have been acrimonious relationships between presidents and House speakers before, but never one so public or so bitter. It’s been over a year since the two have spoken.”
“The FBI has failed to produce a legally required report detailing the scope of white supremacist and other domestic terrorism, despite mounting concerns that the upcoming election could spark far-right violence,” the Daily Beast reports.
“According to a key House committee chairman, that leaves the country in the dark about what the FBI concedes is America’s most urgent terrorist threat, as well as the resources the U.S. government is devoting to fight it.”
“The Trump administration-appointed head of a key advisory council on the civil service has resigned over an executive order to strip away protections against political interference in hiring and firing for a large portion of the career federal workforce,” the Washington Post reports.
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under investigation for potentially violating a federal law that forbids federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or while inside federal buildings over his address to the Republican convention in August,” CNN reports.
“President Trump has not laid out an economic agenda for his second term, despite the election being just eight days away,” Axios reports. “This is unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns, and makes it harder for undecided voters to make an informed choice.”
“Trump’s campaign website doesn’t include a section on forward-looking policies, including the economy. Instead, it only lists first-term accomplishments.”
“Joe Biden is running for president on the sort of platform that usually makes business sweat: higher taxes on corporations and investors, aggressive action to phase out fossil fuels, stronger unions and an expanded government role in health care,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Yet many business executives and their allies are greeting the prospect of a Biden presidency with either ambivalence or relief. Credit that not to who Mr. Biden is, but who he isn’t: Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, senators with a much more adversarial approach to business who lost to Mr. Biden in the Democratic primary, or President Trump, whose administration has been marked by economic-policy unpredictability.”
“At least 27 political appointees have exited the embattled Health and Human Services department since the start of the Covid-19 crisis in February and senior leaders are bracing for dozens more officials to depart swiftly if President Trump loses re-election,” Politico reports.
“Such a wave of departures would leave only a shell staff shepherding the department through a uniquely challenging winter of coronavirus outbreaks and drug and vaccine authorizations until Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, according to interviews with 17 current and former HHS officials, some of whom requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.”