“The United States, after battling the coronavirus for eight months, recorded over 99,000 new cases on Friday, a global record. Two dozen states reported their worst weeks for new cases; none showed any improvement,” the New York Times reports.
“Fourteen states reported single-day records for new cases on Friday: Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Montana, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oregon, Kansas, Ohio, Colorado and Maine. And three states hit record deaths: Tennessee, Montana and New Mexico.”
A new Stanford University study estimates that 18 of President Trump’s campaign rallies from June 20 through September 22 have led to at least 30,000 coronavirus cases and more than 700 deaths.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he was replacing New York’s weekly quarantine list with testing rules for out-of-state visitors, requiring travelers to test negative for the novel coronavirus before and after arrival, WABC reports.
Under the new requirements, travelers to New York must test negative for COVID-19 within three days of arrival. They then must self-quarantine for at least three days before getting tested again. If they test negative on the fourth day, they will no longer have to self-quarantine.
Attorney General William Barr — who has recently faced criticism from President Trump for not prosecuting his political rivals — has told friends and advisers in recent weeks that he hopes to stay on for some time in the next term, if Trump wins the election,” the Washington Post reports.
“The assertion from the president’s top law enforcement official might otherwise be unsurprising, if not for the public pressure Trump has put on Barr in recent months to deliver results from an investigation Barr specially commissioned to review the FBI’s 2016 probe of possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign.”
“If Joe Biden wins the White House, he and his choice for attorney general will quickly face thorny questions about how they plan to address alleged wrongdoing by President Trump and other members of his administration,” Politico reports.
“But the more immediate and urgent question facing newly appointed Justice Department officials will be what to do with a slew of prosecutions and lawsuits already underway that many current and former DOJ officials regard as ill-advised or unfair. For starters, there are nearly 300 federal criminal cases stemming from the ‘law and order’ policy Trump and Attorney General William Barr extolled to quell rioting and looting that emerged from some of the widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd in an encounter with Minneapolis police in May.”
“The National Guard Bureau has established a new unit made up mostly of military policemen that could be dispatched to help quell unrest in coming days, after a turbulent summer in which National Guard members were deployed to several cities,” the Washington Post reports.
“The unit, which also could be used to respond to natural disasters and other missions, was formed in September and initially described as a rapid-reaction force. But as one of the most divisive elections in American history closes in, National Guard officials have softened how they characterize the service members, instead referring to them as ‘regional response units.”
Josh Venable: “I am a lifelong Republican. And I am exhausted.”
“Nearly all my career, I have worked for Republican candidates and conservative causes, managing campaigns, organizing coalitions and raising money. In 2010, I helped lead the Michigan Republican Party to its most successful election cycle in history. And for nearly two years, I served as U.S. Department of Education chief of staff in the Trump administration.”
“But this is 2020, so of course this year is different. I cannot vote for the Republican nominee for president. For the good of the party I have supported my entire life, but more importantly, for the sake of the country I love, I implore all patriotic Republicans to join me.”
Daniel Dale told the Los Angeles Times that President Trump lies so much he had to recently “make a decision” to stop counting each one of the president’s false claims and “just focus on the big stuff.”
Ron Brownstein writes that, even if Donald Trump is defeated, it “still wouldn’t neutralize Republican power.”
“Republicans have erected a series of defenses that could allow them to impede their rivals—even if demographic and social change combine to more clearly stamp Democrats as the nation’s majority party in the years ahead. And that could make the 2020s the most turbulent decade for America since the 1850s, when a very similar dynamic unfolded.”
BuzzFeed News says researchers claim that a single number they call the “political stress indicator” can warn when societies are at risk of erupting into violence. It’s spiking in the US, just like it did before the Civil War.
A federal judge on Friday ordered the U.S. Postal Service to adopt “extraordinary measures” at some processing locations to ensure the timely delivery of millions of ballots before Tuesday’s presidential election, Reuters reports.
“British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a new month-long lockdown for England after being warned that without tough action a resurgent coronavirus outbreak will overwhelm hospitals in weeks,” the AP reports.
Johnson said at a televised news conference that “no responsible prime minister” could ignore the grim figures.
He added: “Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day.”
“An unnerved yet energized America is voting with an urgency never seen before in the approach to a presidential election, as a record 85 million people have cast ballots despite an array of challenges: a pandemic, postal delays, long lines and court rulings that have tested faith in the country’s electoral system,” the New York Times reports.
“The impact of this huge surge in turnout is one of the most unpredictable facets of the election, as strategists in both parties parse early returns for signs of any advantage. Joe Biden is counting on a strong early vote to help him flip states like Florida and Arizona that President Trump carried in 2016. But Republicans are banking on their voters to turn out in bigger numbers on Election Day and deliver battleground wins, as they did in key states in 2016.”
The prime minister of Belgium, which has one of the world’s highest Covid-19 infection rates, announced a national lockdown on Friday, calling it a “last chance” to keep the country’s health care system from collapse, the New York Times reports.
The Guardian reports England will go into lockdown next week for at least a month.
“The percentage of tests for Covid-19 coming back positive in South Dakota has soared to 46%. That’s more than eight times the World Health Organization’s recommended 5% threshold for businesses to be open,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“As Covid cases surge across the U.S. and in Europe, South Dakota and North Dakota hold a distinct position: Each has more new virus cases per capita than any other states have seen since the pandemic began. South Dakota has the most and North Dakota the second-most.”
Wrote South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) in the Rapid City Journal: “Those who don’t want to wear a mask shouldn’t be shamed into wearing one.”
An American citizen abducted last week in Niger has been rescued during a high-risk U.S. military raid in neighboring Nigeria, ABC News reports.
“The mission was undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the U.S. citizen, Philip Walton, 27, before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on Oct. 26.”