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Coronavirus USA: news summary for Friday 09 October

A volunteer wearing facemask and face shield checks for Covid-19 test appointments from motorists arriving at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

US coronavirus/Trump updates live: 9 October 2020

Trump, coronavirus latest: headlines

- Speaker Pelosi announces House Commission on Presidential Capacity, saying Covid-19 treatment has left Trump "in an altered state"

- White House reportedly set to propose $1.8tn coronavirus stimulus bill

 US coronavirus latest: 13:30 PT / 16:30 ET (22:30 CEST) on 9 October

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.


Cases: 36,706,213
Deaths: 1,064,420
Recoveries: 25,511,418


Cases: 7,645,302
Deaths: 213,360
Recoveries: 3,021,252

Related coronavirus articles that may be of interest:

Stimulus check update: Trump new offer not enough to pass bill before election


Stimulus check update: Trump new offer not enough to pass bill before election

Trump's highest offer still unlikely to push stimulus bill over line, according to Mnuchin

WHO expert says 'sad' to see covid-19 cases rising in Europe

The World Health Organization's top emergencies expert said on Friday it was "sad" to see the number of covid-19 cases rising again in Europe, and that governments must take decisive action to shut down transmission of the virus.

"There are no new answers. We know what we need to do," Mike Ryan told a news briefing in Geneva, adding that Europe must be very careful with mass gatherings.

The WHO reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours led by a surge of infections in Europe, which is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.

USA Election 2020: when will Donald Trump return to the campaign?

Presidential Election 2020

USA Election 2020: when will Donald Trump return to the campaign?

President Trump likely to return to the electoral campaign Monday, skipping a rally on Saturday which he'd hoped to attend, scuppered by covid-19 infection.

Covid-19 aid talks go on but Republican leader says deal unlikely before election

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would resume talks on a possible covid-19 stimulus package with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday, while Senate Republicans voiced doubts that a deal can be reached before the 3 November election.

The leading Democrat in Congress, Pelosi said she hoped to reach an agreement on long-sought coronavirus relief as she prepared for a third straight day of talks with Mnuchin, representing the White House in their talks.

Republican President Donald Trump initially withdrew from the negotiations this week only to regain interest in forging a bipartisan accord.

"I do hope that we will have an agreement soon," Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said on MSNBC. She emphasized aid for state and local governments to help pay salaries for police, healthcare workers and other first responders. That has proven to be a major dividing line throughout months of negotiations. The pandemic has infected at least 7.6 million people in the United States and killed more than 212,000.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, said he doubts lawmakers would pass a package before the presidential election. "The proximity to the election and the differences of opinion over what is needed at this particular juncture are pretty vast," McConnell told a news conference in his home state of Kentucky.

White House to make $1.8tn stimulus offer - WSJ

The White House is reportedly preparing to propose a $1.8tn coronavirus stimulus package -a $200bn increase on its previous offer to Democratic congressional leaders.

The Wall Street Journal says Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is to discuss the proposal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday.

Pelosi and fellow Democratic negotiator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been holding out for a bill worth over $2tn.

USA Election 2020: why has Donald Trump refused to take part in a virtual debate?

Presidential Election 2020

USA Election 2020: why has Donald Trump refused to take part in a virtual debate?

Why has Donald Trump refused to take part in a virtual debate?

The Commission on Presidential Debates has called for the second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden to be held remotely, but the President has rejected the offer, calling it a "waste of time".

Full story:

Trump mental health: what has Pelosi said about the 25th Amendment?

US Elections 2020

Trump mental health: what has Pelosi said about the 25th Amendment?

Pelosi releases plan for Commission on Presidential Capacity

Here's a full report on the news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has unveiled a bill seeking to create a Commission that would evaluate the health of the president and assess whether a transition of power would be suitable:

Second stimulus check: are Republicans and Democrats talking?


Second stimulus check: are Republicans and Democrats talking?

Second stimulus check: Republicans and Democrats back talking

Democrats and Republicans have now reopened talks over a bipartisan Covid-19 financial relief package, after President Trump aggressively shut down negotiations.

Full story:

Pelosi unveils bill for Commission on Presidential Capacity

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, has unveiled a bill seeking to establish a House Commission on Presidential Capacity, a body that would evaluate whether the president is in a fit enough state of health to remain in office. 

The creation of the Commission would "enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership", Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin said at a news conference on Friday.

The move comes after Pelosi said she believes President Donald Trump has been left “in an altered state” by coronavirus treatment. “The President is, shall we say, in an altered state right now [...]," she told an interview with MSNBC on Thursday. "There are those who say when you are on steroids or if you have Covid-19, or both, that there may be some impairment of judgment."

This is not about President Trump," Pelosi insisted as she unveiled the legislation on Friday. "He will face the judgment of the voters. But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents."

The bill is thought to be unlikely to pass into law.


Broadway shows shut for over a year due to coronavirus pandemic

The Broadway League has announced the continued suspension of ticket sales for Broadway performances in New York City and extended its reopen date by four months.

The announcement means that Broadway shows will have been shut down for over a year over the course of the pandemic, having closed down on March 12, 2020 as cases started to surge in New York City. At the time, 31 shows were running, including 8 shows that were in preview, according to Broadway World.

Individual productions will decide when to resume performances once the shutdown is lifted. Broadway League says there are nearly 97,000 workers who will remain out of work until the theatre district is reopened.

Two more White House residence staff said to have previously tested positive for Covid-19

Two additional White House residence staff members tested positive for the coronavirus in an outbreak there nearly three weeks ago, according to The New York Times.

The news brings the total number in that outbreak to four people, including three members of the housekeeping staff who work on the third floor of the residence, as well as an assistant to the chief usher, Timothy Harleth.

None of those staff members typically come in direct contact with President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, but Harleth told a group of residence staff members roughly three weeks ago about the outbreak, urged them to “use discretion” and said that he had informed Mrs. Trump and Mr. Trump about the developments.

Trump TV

Donald Trump set to undergo medical evaluation on live TV

President Donald Trump is apparently going to have a “medical evaluation” on television. In an announcement from Fox News, the network said Trump is set to do his first on-camera interview since his Covid-19 diagnosis with Tucker Carlson on Friday. Fox News have confirmed that: “Dr. Marc Siegel will conduct a medical evaluation and interview during the program.” It’s still not yet clear how thorough the examination will be.

New York Jets players and staff sent home after positive Covid-19 test

After a presumptive positive Covid-19 test at the New York Jets facility, all players and coaches were sent home, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. 

The Arizona Cardinals are scheduled to leave for New York today, and there are now questions over whether they can leave to fly East for Sunday’s game against the Jets.

US reporting over 45,000 positive Covid-19 tests every day

CNN - The US is averaging more than 45,000 new Covid-19 positive tests every day, up 8 percent from the previous week, and more than double what the country saw in June.

The latest US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast says US Covid-19 deaths could reach 233,000 by the end of October. Projections from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show more than 2,900 Americans could be dying daily by January.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was "disturbed and concerned" by the country's average case count. "That's no place to be when you're trying to get your arms around an epidemic," he said.

Trump allies claim positive test will help president

Donald Trump's allies Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie believe that testing positive for Covid-19 has been a learning experience for the president. 

Talking on the "The Takeout" podcast, Bossie said that Trump had "learned firsthand what it's like to be a Covid patient" after he spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Lewandowski said that he had a "long conversation" with the president on Saturday, and he was "very upbeat."

Both Bossie and Lewandowski said they would be happy to attend an in-person rally with the president next week if he tests negative beforehand.

"I would have no problem Monday or Tuesday next week seeing him go to a rally," Bossie said.

They also expressed confidence that Trump would win the election. "I would say unequivocally that we are able to win this race," Bossie said.

Trump plans to hold rally just hours after he can likely "return to public engagements"

Donald Trump says he's planning to hold a Saturday rally, hours after his doctor says that's the day he can likely "return to public engagements".

The White House released a memo on Thursday from Trump's physician saying that he believes the president will be able to return to "public engagements" as soon as Saturday and hours after the memo was released, Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity that he is planning to hold a rally on Saturday in Florida. 

"I think I'm gonna try doing a rally on Saturday night if we have enough time to put it together — but we wanna do a rally, probably in Florida on Saturday night," the president said. "We might come back and do one in Pennsylvania the following night, and it's incredible what's going on. I feel so good."  

Trump said he tested positive for Covid-19 on October 1, which would make Saturday the tenth day since his diagnosis.


New York City parents scramble to deal with new school closures as Covid-19 resurges

Last week, public elementary schools in New York City welcomed back students to the classroom as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's blended learning plan after a months-long hiatus.

But this week New York officials began imposing fresh restrictions to curb a worrying rise in infections in several 'hot spots.'

De Blasio told reporters on Thursday that 169 schools had closed in the city under the governor's rules, 61 more than under a plan he had put forward on Sunday that delineated the neighborhoods where closures would be enforced using ZIP codes.

The mayor's plan drew scorn from Cuomo, a fellow Democrat with whom he has often feuded. The governor on Tuesday released new color-coded maps delineating closures, sowing confusion among residents.

New York is one of about 30 out of 50 U.S. states where cases have risen over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. Nationally, both cases and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are rising, hitting record levels in the upper Midwest and West.


With pandemic dominating U.S. election, older voters turning away from Trump

Many older Americans have turned away from President Donald Trump this year as the coronavirus ravages the country, eroding an important Republican support base that helped propel him into the White House in 2016, Reuters/Ipsos polling data shows.

Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden now split American voters aged 55 years and older almost evenly: 47% say they are voting for Biden on Nov. 3 while 46% back Trump, according to Reuters/Ipsos national surveys in September and October.

That could be an alarming sign for the president, who trails Biden with 25 days to go before the election.

Republicans have relied on the support of older Americans in national elections for years, routinely benefiting from a demographic that consistently shows up in force on Election Day.

Trump won the 55-plus age group by 13 percentage points in 2016, according to exit polls. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, achieved the same margin.

WFP 'proud' after winning Nobel Peace Prize - spokesman

It was a 'proud moment' for the U.N. World Food Programme and 'nothing short of a feat' after the organisation won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, its spokesman said.

"The nomination in itself was enough but to then to go on and be named the Nobel Peace Prize winner is nothing short of a feat," spokesman Tomson Phiri said at a Geneva briefing.

He referred to the agency's work in providing food and supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic when airlines were no longer operating, saying it had gone "over and above the call of duty".

Cuba opens most of country to tourism as enters 'new normality'

Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said late on Thursday that most of the Caribbean island nation would open to international tourism starting next week as it moved towards a 'new normality' after containing its coronavirus outbreak.

The country, which closed its borders six months ago in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, has been gradually opening up to tourism ahead of the November-March high season, first in the northern keys and then its Varadero beach resort.

Thirteen of Cuba's sixteen provinces will now be open to tourism, Marrero told a roundtable discussion broadcast to the nation, albeit not yet the capital, Havana which only just appears to have curbed a second wave of infections with strict measures, including a curfew.

International tourism is one of Cuba's top hard currency earners, so its suspension this year has dealt a blow to the cash-strapped economy, even as the United States has continued to harden its decades-old trade embargo.

Two Week 5 NFL games pushed back after positive Covid-19 tests

​​​​​​The NFL on Thursday postponed two Week 5 games after a number of positive COVID-19 tests among players and personnel on multiple teams, as the league works to keep its season on track.

The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots' Sunday showdown in Foxborough has been pushed to Monday, while the Buffalo Bills game against the Tennessee Titans was postponed two days and is set to be contested on Tuesday.

"These scheduling decisions were made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts," the league said in its announcement.

In addition, the league said it would move a Week 6 Thursday night game between the Bills and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs' from Oct. 15 to "later in the weekend," if the Titans and Bills play on Tuesday.

China backs global COVAX vaccine facility to fight Covid-19

​​​​​​China's foreign ministry said on Friday the country has formally joined the global COVID-19 vaccine initiative known as COVAX, becoming the biggest economy to date to pledge support to help finance doses for low and middle-income countries.

A ministry statement did not give details on the level of support Beijing will provide, though President Xi Jinping in May pledged $2 billon over the next two years to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1 million lives to date.

"We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said


Viral surge, fiscal fight may sway U.S. voters more than data

A surge in Covid-19 cases in a number of U.S. states and roller-coaster prospects for new pandemic aid from Congress are threatening to push the importance of traditional economic data to the back burner for voters in the Nov. 3 election.

Overall, likely voters continue to say they have more confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to create jobs than Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

But the former U.S. vice president leads in voters' assessments of each candidate's ability to deal with the pandemic, and he also has the edge in the presidential race, according to the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Trump, who spent three days in a military hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, called off talks this week between the White House and U.S. House of Representatives.


Trump maps return to campaign trail after White House says Covid-19 treatment complete

Republican President Donald Trump on Friday prepared to return to the campaign trail with a pair of weekend rallies after his Covid-19 diagnosis sidelined him for a week in the race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden for the White House.

Trump, who announced he had been infected with the coronavirus on Oct. 2 and spent three nights in a military hospital receiving treatment, said late on Thursday he was feeling "really good" and, with a doctor's blessing, aimed to campaign in Florida on Saturday and in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Trump's illness has kept him from crisscrossing the country to rally support and raise cash in the final weeks before the Nov. 3 election. A return to in-person events would be aimed at convincing voters he is healthy enough to campaign and to govern.

While Trump has released several videos on Twitter, he has not appeared in public since he returned home from the hospital on Monday. Biden has continued to campaign, with events scheduled on Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada.


People wait in line to be tested for Covid-19 at a testing center in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, New York. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

More than 6.6 million Americans have already voted, suggesting record turnout

Americans are rushing to cast ballots ahead of the 3 November election at an unprecedented pace, early voting numbers show, indicating a possible record turnout for the showdown between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

With less than four weeks to go before Election Day, more than 6.6 million Americans already have voted, more than ten times the number who had at this time in 2016, according to the United States Elections Project, which compiles early voting data.

The shift has been driven by an expansion of early and mail-in voting in many states as a safe way to cast a ballot during the coronavirus pandemic and an eagerness to weigh in on the political future of Trump, said Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, who administers the project.

"We've never seen this many people voting so far ahead of an election," McDonald said in an interview earlier this week. "People cast their ballots when they make up their minds, and we know that many people made up their minds long ago and already have a judgment about Trump."


Trump says Covid-19 aid talks have restarted, good chance for deal

US President Donald Trump on Thursday said talks with Congress have restarted over further Covid-19 economic relief and that there was a good chance a deal could be reached, but gave no other details about a possible agreement.

"Now they are starting to work out," he told Fox Business Network in a telephone interview about talks, after he cut off negotiations via a post on Twitter earlier this week.

On Wednesday evening, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the possibility of Congress passing a bill to help the ailing US airline industry.

WHO reports record one-day rise in global coronavirus cases, up over 338,000

The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours.

Deaths rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million. India reported 78,524 new cases, followed by Brazil at 41,906 and the United States with 38,904 new infections.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on 2 October. The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on 17 April. 

Traces of Coronavirus found on bleached surface after 8 days

Non-infectious fragments of coronavirus can remain on surfaces which have been cleaned with bleach for as long as eight days, according to a new report.

It has long been known that Coronavirus virions can remain infectious for up to 72 hours on surfaces but a new study by mSystems has looked at how long the virus can remain in various different environments, and in some cases, remain infectious through contact.

Using the E2E approach, this study showed that, in some cases, non-infectious viral fragments of SARS-CoV-2 persisted on surfaces for as long as eight days even after bleach treatment.

Trump Covid-19 steroid makes him "very energetic"

Dr Anthony Fauci has claimed today that the steroid dexamethasone that President Donald Trump was treated with while in hospital for Covid-19, makes people “very energetic”.

Speaking to MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Thursday, the top US infectious disease expert said  “When you're on steroids, there are a number of side effects. It makes you hyper energetic, it sometimes interferes with your ability to sleep.

“If you're on it [dexamethasone] a very long time, and which he's not, and they don't plan on having him on it for a long period of time, there are long range side effects.”

25th Amendment: Pelosi announces talks on Presidential removal

US Election 2020

25th Amendment: Pelosi announces talks on Presidential removal

The Speaker of the House questioned the President’s mental state and looks set to begin succession discussions tomorrow, but what is the 25th Amendment?


US appeals court blocks extension of Wisconsin's absentee ballot receipt deadline

A divided US appeals court on Thursday blocked a federal judge's ruling that would have allowed Wisconsin election officials to count absentee ballots that arrive up to six days after the 3 November presidential election, as mail-in voting surges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to put the changes on hold until the case is fully resolved likely means that ballots arriving after 3 November will be disqualified. The appellate ruling also blocked a week-long extension of the state's online and mail-in registration deadline.

Wisconsin is one of a handful of battleground states that will decide the contest between Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The pandemic has prompted an unprecedented wave of election-related litigation between the parties.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders that it was too close to Election Day to make significant changes and that alterations were better left to elected officials, rather than the judiciary.

"If the judge had issued an order in May based on April's experience, it could not be called untimely," the majority wrote. "By waiting until September, however, the district court acted too close to the election."

The Democratic National Committee, which had sought the accommodations, could appeal the decision, either to the full 7th Circuit or to the US Supreme Court. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Coronavirus US latest news: welcome

Hello and thank you for joining us for our round-the-clock coverage of all news related to how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the United States.

We'll be keeping an eye on developments in the Covid-19 crisis in the US as well as the latest news surrounding economic relief talks and what is happening with the recently infected president, Donald Trump.


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