Trump Administration, Week 198, Friday, 30 October – Thursday, 5 November 2020 (Days 1,379-1,385)


Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.


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Friday, 30 October 2020, Day 1,379:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 30 October 2020: U.S. Breaks Daily Record With Over 99,000 New Cases as Coronavirus Surge Quickens. Nearly two dozen states are reporting their worst weeks ever for new cases. The S&P 500 had its worst week since March. The New York Times, Friday, 30 October 2020:

  • New C.D.C. report shows how quickly the virus can spread within households, even when the first case is a child.

  • Big Tech meltdown and rising virus cases lead S&P 500 to worst week since March.

  • Regeneron says it will stop enrolling seriously ill Covid-19 patients in its antibody trials.

  • C.D.C. advisers consider measures that would provide early vaccine access to many people of color.

  • New York has a plan to allow schools in hardest-hit areas to reopen.

  • Belgium locks down in a ‘last chance’ bid to keep its hospitals from collapse, and other news from around the world.

  • College health officers are putting plans into place ahead of Thanksgiving break.

  • Outbreaks in swing states could have election consequences.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 30 October 2020: U.S. reports nearly 100,000 new cases in one day as infections surge in battleground states, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Rick Noack, Kim Bellware, Paulina Villegas, Miriam Berger, Taylor Telford, Hannah Knowles, and Darren Sands, Friday, 30 October 2020: “The United States reported nearly 100,000 new coronavirus cases in a day on Friday, setting a record as a fall wave of infections surge in every swing state that will be crucial to next week’s presidential election. The number of infections nationwide surpassed 9 million reported infections on Friday, just 15 days after the tally hit 8 million. At least 229,000 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Belgian authorities on Friday announced a six-week closure of nonessential businesses and tight limits on social contacts as the country tries to stave off caseloads that could fill hospitals to capacity within a week.
  • A growing number of government scientists and physicians are pushing back against the president’s political agenda when it comes to the pandemic.
  • State health officials say they do not have enough money to distribute a coronavirus vaccine once it is approved.
  • U.S. household spending, the primary engine of the economy, soared in September before coronavirus infections started increasing across the country, fresh economic data shows.

Trump rolled back more than 125 environmental safeguards. Here’s how. The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, and John Muyskens, Friday, 30 October 2020: “[O]ver the course of nearly four years, [the Trump] administration has steadily loosened oversight of polluting industries, eroded protections for endangered wildlife and stymied Obama-era efforts to address the globe’s most daunting environmental threat: climate change. A Washington Post analysis has found that as Trump’s first term winds to a close, he has weakened or wiped out more than 125 rules and policies aimed at protecting the nation’s air, water and land, with 40 more rollbacks underway. The administration has accelerated its push to deregulate in the weeks before the election, to ease requirements on power plants that leak waste into waterways, weaken efficiency standards for dishwashers, scale back oversight of mine safety and approve seismic drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge.”

Continue reading Week 198, Friday, 30 October  – Thursday, 5 November 2020 (Days 1,379-1,385)

Donald Trump Jr. says Covid deaths are ‘almost nothing’ on a day reporting 90,000 infected, 1,000 dead. The president’s son dismissed medical experts as ‘truly morons’ in an interview on Fox News. NBC News, Rebecca Shabad, Friday, 30 October 2020: “Donald Trump Jr. falsely claimed Thursday that Covid-19 deaths have dwindled to ‘almost nothing,’ despite there being around 1,000 reported in the United States the same day. In an interview on Fox News’ ‘The Ingraham Angle,’ the president’s son said that medical experts who have been talking about a surge in cases are ‘truly morons.'” See also, On a day when Covid deaths near 1,000, Trump tweets that deaths are ‘way down’ while Donald Trump Jr tells Fox News that deaths from coronavirus are ‘almost nothing,’ The Guardian, Friday, 30 October 2020: “As coronavirus deaths in the US approach 1,000 a day in the current record surge of infections, Donald Trump and his son, Don Jr, appear intent on publicly disputing the lethality of the outbreak at repeated opportunities. Don Jr sat for an interview with Fox News on Thursday night during which he called critics of the Trump administration’s approach to the pandemic ‘truly morons’ and said that deaths from Covid-19 in America right now are ‘almost nothing.'”

After Trump accuses doctors of profiteering, medical professionals push back, The New York Times, Jacey Fortin, Friday, 30 October 2020: “At a rally in Michigan on Friday, President Trump repeated an extraordinary and unfounded claim that American doctors were profiteering from coronavirus deaths. ‘You know our doctors get more money if somebody dies from Covid,’ Mr. Trump said, adding that in Germany and other countries, deaths were characterized differently if there appeared to be multiple causes. ‘With us, when in doubt, choose Covid,’ he said. Medical professionals and organizations quickly denounced those comments and lauded the work of nurses, doctors and other health care workers, many of whom have risked their lives and worried about the health of their families as they cared for people who were infected with the coronavirus. ‘The suggestion that doctors — in the midst of a public health crisis — are overcounting Covid-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous and completely misguided charge,’ Susan R. Bailey, the president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement on Friday. ‘Rather than attacking us and lobbing baseless charges at physicians, our leaders should be following the science and urging adherence to the public health steps we know work — wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing physical distancing,’ she added.”

Internal Documents Kept by the Department of Health and Human Services Reveal Covid-19 Hospitalization Data the Government Keeps Hidden From the Public, NPR, Pien Huang and Selena Simmons-Duffin, Friday, 30 October 2020: “As coronavirus cases rise swiftly around the country, surpassing both the spring and summer surges, health officials brace for a coming wave of hospitalizations and deaths. Knowing which hospitals in which communities are reaching capacity could be key to an effective response to the growing crisis. That information is gathered by the federal government — but not shared openly with the public. NPR has obtained documents that give a snapshot of data the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collects and analyzes daily. The documents — reports sent to agency staffers — highlight trends in hospitalizations and pinpoint cities nearing full hospital capacity and facilities under stress. They paint a granular picture of the strain on hospitals across the country that could help local citizens decide when to take extra precautions against COVID-19. Withholding this information from the public and the research community is a missed opportunity to help prevent outbreaks and even save lives, say public health and data experts who reviewed the documents for NPR.”

Trump’s pandemic agenda shoved government scientists aside. They’re attempting an 11th-hour comeback. Alarmed by the worsening pandemic and a president who mocks the virus at rallies, health agency scientists are challenging the administration’s approach in ways small and large. The Washington Post, Laurie McGinley, Lena H. Sun, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 30 October 2020: “After months of being sidelined or outright attacked by President Trump, a growing number of government scientists and physicians are pushing back against the president’s political agenda when it comes to the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration issued beefed-up safety standards for a vaccine in September, making the president’s push for a vaccine before Election Day all but impossible. After initially acquiescing to the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed controversial guidelines that had called for less testing for individuals exposed to the novel coronavirus who showed no symptoms. And Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator who no longer sees Trump regularly, travels the country urging state and local officials to adopt mask mandates, close down bars and restrict large gatherings — measures antithetical to Trump’s contention that the virus has been defeated and people should return to their lives.”

Election 2020 Updates: Biden and Trump Barnstorm a Midwest That Is Now a Virus ‘Red Zone.’ A federal judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to implement “extraordinary measures” in 22 districts. A conservative voter-rights group in Minnesota asked the Supreme Court to block the governor’s order mandating face masks in public places. The New York Times, Friday, 30 October 2020:

  • Trump and Biden campaign through Midwest states with ‘red zone’ virus outbreaks.

  • After Trump accuses doctors of profiteering, medical professionals push back.

  • Trump, in Minnesota, lashes out at Democrats for limiting crowd sizes.

  • Minnesota will not contest a ruling ordering it to set aside ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day.

  • With early voting underway in Florida, Democrats worry about Black and Latino turnout.

  • In Iowa, Biden criticizes Trump’s virus response and trade policies that ‘cost farmers and manufacturing so badly.’

  • A judge orders the Postal Service to take ‘extraordinary measures’ to deliver ballots on time in 22 districts.

  • Voters suing Minnesota over a mask mandate are asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

Election 2020: Trump and Biden crisscross Midwestern battleground states, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Colby Itkowitz, Marisa Iati, and Meryl Kornfield, Friday, 30 October 2020: “President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden crisscrossed Midwestern battleground states on Friday, each staging multiple events across the critical region. In back-to-back rallies in Michigan and Wisconsin, states that helped deliver him the presidency in 2016, Trump continued to dismiss the rise of coronavirus cases and resurfaced a baseless allegation that doctors were profiting off the pandemic. In Minnesota, Biden was visibly annoyed by pro-Trump protesters who sought to disrupt his car rally here — at one point referring to them as the ‘ugly folks over there beeping the horns.’ Meanwhile, Vice President Pence sought to shore up support in Arizona, while the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), looked to expand the map in Texas, a state Trump easily won four years ago.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Early voting continues to soar as Texas passes total turnout from 2016. Nationwide, the number of Americans who have voted early passed 86 million by Friday evening. The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins and Amy Gardner, Friday, 30 October 2020: “Early voting continued to soar beyond historical levels throughout the country Friday, with Texas blowing past its total turnout from the 2016 election and nearly a dozen other states closing in on the same milestone. With four days left until Election Day, more than 9 million people have cast their ballots already in Texas, according to the secretary of state’s office — an unprecedented number for the Lone Star State, where broad get-out-the-vote efforts, shifting demographics and a tightening presidential race have energized the electorate. In 2016, the total turnout in Texas was just shy of 9 million.”

Republicans shift from challenging rules to preparing to challenge individual ballots, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman, Emma Brown, and Beth Reinhard, Friday, 30 October 2020: “In Nevada, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit this week seeking images of the signature of every registered voter in Democratic-leaning Clark County — a potential first step toward challenging individual votes on grounds that the signed ballots don’t match the signatures on file. In Texas, Republican officeholders and candidates sued this week to have more than 100,000 votes invalidated in the Houston area because they were cast at drive-through voting centers the GOP has asked a judge to declare illegal. And in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, election officials will set aside any mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day — even if they were mailed before the polls closed — to facilitate potential court challenges. For months, Republicans have pushed largely unsuccessfully to limit new avenues for voting in the midst of the pandemic. But with next week’s election rapidly approaching, they have shifted their legal strategy in recent days to focus on tactics aimed at challenging ballots one by one, in some cases seeking to discard votes already cast during a swell of early voting.”

Swing-state voters face major mail delays in returning ballots on time, U S Postal Service data shows. The delays loom large over 28 states that require ballots to reach election officials by Election Day to be counted. The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage and Christopher Ingraham, Friday, 30 October 2020: “Absentee ballots are taking longer to reach election offices in key swing states than in the rest of the country, new data shows, as the U.S. Postal Service rushes to deliver votes ahead of strict state deadlines. Over the past five days, the on-time rate for ballots in 17 postal districts representing 10 battleground states and 151 electoral votes was 89.1 percent — 5.9 percentage points lower than the national average. By that measure, more than 1 in 10 ballots are arriving outside the Postal Service’s one-to-three-day delivery window for first-class mail.”

Trump Is Said to Have Set Aside Career Intelligence Briefer in Favor of Updates From Political Appointees, The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman, Friday, 30 October 2020: “President Trump has dispensed with intelligence briefings from a career analyst in favor of updates from political appointees including John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence and a longtime partisan defender of his, in the closing weeks of an election targeted by intensifying foreign interference, according to interviews. While the president has long distrusted the intelligence community and displayed frustration with head of the C.I.A. and antipathy toward the F.B.I. director, Mr. Ratcliffe has served as a more supportive figure. He secured influence in part by delivering on the president’s political agenda, chiefly by declassifying documents related to the Russia investigation, moves said to please Mr. Trump. Critics have attacked Mr. Ratcliffe’s embrace of Mr. Trump, saying Mr. Ratcliffe cannot be trusted to deliver unvarnished facts in this highly polarized election and is focused on politics in what is supposed to be an apolitical role. Mr. Ratcliffe, who took the job in May, has shown little interest in the work force or making sure the intelligence community’s budget is being properly allocated, former officials said.”

U.S. Expels Migrant Children from Central America to Mexico, Violating a Diplomatic Agreement With Mexico, The New York Times, Caitlin Dickerson, Friday, 30 October 2020: “U.S. border authorities have been expelling migrant children from other countries into Mexico, violating a diplomatic agreement with Mexico and testing the limits of immigration and child welfare laws. The expulsions, laid out in a sharply critical internal email from a senior Border Patrol official, have taken place under an aggressive border closure policy the Trump administration has said is necessary to prevent the coronavirus from spreading into the United States. But they conflict with the terms upon which the Mexican government agreed to help implement the order, which were that only Mexican children and others who had adult supervision could be pushed back into Mexico after attempting to cross the border.”

Dow Wraps Up Worst Month Since March, The Wall Street Journal, Jem Bartholomew and Dawn Lim, Friday, 30 October 2020: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined Friday, closing out its worst week and month since March in the final lap of the presidential race. Volatility reigned in the week before the Nov. 3 contest. Investors have been spooked by a record high in coronavirus infections in the U.S., fresh lockdowns in Europe that threaten economic growth and a mixed bag of earnings reports from big technology companies.”


Saturday, 31 October 2020, Day 1,380:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 31 October 2020: England Sets Lockdown as Resurgent Virus Consumes Europe. The United States reported nearly 100,000 new cases, a single-day record, with two dozen states breaking records. The New York Times, Saturday, 31 October 2020:

  • England tells residents to stay home, adding to Europe’s growing lockdowns.

  • With nearly 100,000 new cases, the U.S. breaks the daily record.

  • Cuomo requires incoming travelers to New York to undergo testing.

  • A mask altercation involving two sisters and a store guard in Chicago ends with attempted murder charges.

  • A Stanford study tries to quantify infections stemming from Trump rallies.

  • Georgia’s governor, who attended a Trump rally where virus precautions were flouted, is now self-quarantining.

  • New Zealand’s preview of a post-virus world.

Stanford Study Seeks to Quantify Infections Stemming From Trump Rallies, The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Saturday, 31 October 2020:”A group of Stanford University economists who created a statistical model estimate that there have been at least 30,000 coronavirus infections and 700 deaths as a result of 18 campaign rallies President Trump held from June to September. The numbers, which will surely reignite accusations from Democratic leaders and public health officials that the president is putting voters at risk for political gain, are not based on individual cases traced directly to particular campaign events. Instead, the Stanford researchers, led by Professor B. Douglas Bernheim, the chairman of the university’s economics department, conducted a regression analysis. They compared the 18 counties where Mr. Trump held rallies with as many as 200 counties with similar demographics and similar trajectories of confirmed Covid-19 cases before the rally date. The events took place from June 20 to Sept. 12; only the first two — in Tulsa, Okla., and Phoenix — were held indoors. The president has held about three dozen additional rallies since the study ended in September. Based on their models, the researchers concluded that on average, the 18 events produced increases in confirmed cases of more than 250 per 100,000 residents. Extrapolating that figure to the 18 rallies, they concluded that the gatherings ultimately resulted in more than 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and that the rallies had ‘likely led to more than 700 deaths,’ though those deaths would not necessarily have occurred solely among attendees.”

‘A whole lot of hurt’: Dr. Anthony Fauci warns of covid-19 surge and offers a blunt assessment of Trump’s response to the pandemic, The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “President Trump’s repeated assertions the United States is rounding the turn on the novel coronavirus have increasingly alarmed the government’s top health experts, who say the country is heading into a long and potentially deadly winter with an unprepared government unwilling to make tough choices. ‘We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,’ Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious-disease expert, said in a wide-ranging interview late Friday. ‘All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.'”

White House sidestepped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute hydroxychloroquine to pharmacies, documents show. Trump touted the pills to treat covid-19. The Washington Post, Christopher Rowland, Debbie Cenziper, and Lisa Rein, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “The White House decision to set aside the mandatory safety controls put in place by the Food and Drug Administration fueled one of the most disputed initiatives in the administration’s response to the pandemic: the distribution of millions of ineffective, potentially dangerous pills from a federally controlled cache of drugs called the Strategic National Stockpile. Over a span of four days in early April, the White House ordered the distribution of 23 million hydroxychloroquine tablets from the stockpile to a dozen states, enough pills for 1.4 million covid-19 patients, according to public records obtained by The Post in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The Post review found that the process was marked by haphazard planning, little or no communication to local authorities about the flow of pills into their communities, and a lack of public accounting about where they ended up.”

A woman died of coronavirus on a plane. Her fellow passengers were never notified. The Washington Post, Ian Duncan, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “When Spirit Airlines learned that a Texas woman had died of covid-19 on one of its flights in July, the airline said it alerted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and received an acknowledgment from the agency. But Spirit spokesman Erik Hofmeyer said it was never asked by health authorities to share passenger manifests to aid in tracking down people who might have been exposed. State health officials in New Mexico, where the woman was declared dead after the Dallas-bound flight was diverted to Albuquerque, acknowledged they failed to investigate, as did the CDC. The first the woman’s fellow passengers probably heard that her death was caused by the virus was in October, when The Washington Post and other news organizations were able to determine what flight the woman had been on, building on limited details about the case that were released by officials in Dallas County. By that time, it was far too late for the information to be useful in helping slow the potential spread of the virus.”

Election 2020 Updates: Obama Joins Biden as Campaigns Trade Attacks in Final Push. In Texas, vehicles flying Trump flags tried to force a Biden-Harris campaign bus off a highway, an incident the president chuckled over later. The New York Times, Saturday, 31 October 2020:

  • Obama and Biden, in their first joint rally of 2020, take turns attacking Trump.

  • Trump, campaigning in Pennsylvania, says the vote count could take weeks.

  • Vehicles flying Trump flags try to force a Biden-Harris campaign bus off a highway in Texas.

  • A highly respected poll of Iowa finds a surge of Trump support.

  • A Republican lawsuit over drive-through voting in Houston could invalidate more than 120,000 votes.

  • Police in North Carolina use a chemical spray to disperse a get-out-the-vote rally.

  • Early vote totals tick past 90 million, nearing two-thirds of 2016 turnout.

  • Kamala Harris makes a final push in South Florida, where Democratic turnout has lagged.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Trump and Biden offer dire warnings in Saturday campaign stops as early voting continues to set records, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, John Wagner, Hannah Knowles, and Derek Hawkins, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “In the final 72-hour stretch before Election Day, both campaigns were laser-focused on states that President Trump won narrowly four years ago, with former vice president Joe Biden focusing on Michigan, holding rallies with former president Barack Obama, and Trump making multiple stops around Pennsylvania. Early voting continues to set records, with at least 90 million Americans already having cast ballots, essentially guaranteeing that the majority of ballots will be cast before Election Day.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Obama hammers Trump’s claim that doctors have inflated coronavirus numbers, The Hill, Max Greenwood, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “Former President Obama laid into President Trump on Saturday over his claim that doctors have tried to profit off of the coronavirus pandemic by intentionally inflating the number of COVID-19 cases. Speaking at a drive-in rally for former Vice President Joe Biden in Flint, Mich., Obama hammered Trump for complaining about the media coverage of his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected more than 9 million people in the U.S. and killed roughly 230,000. ‘His closing argument this week is that the press and people are too focused on COVID,’ Obama said to cheers and honking cars. ‘COVID, COVID, COVID, he’s complaining. He’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage. And now he’s accusing doctors of profiting off of this pandemic. He does not understand the notion that somebody would risk their lives to save others without making a buck,’ the former president added. Obama’s remarks at the rally, the first of two in Michigan on Saturday, came a day after Trump claimed without evidence that doctors have purposefully inflated the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. because they ‘get more money if somebody dies from COVID.'”

Biden Team Cancels Texas Event After Highway ‘Ambush’ by Trump MAGA Cavalry. Dozens of pickup trucks, many with Trump flags, surrounded a Biden campaign bus as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin. The Daily Beast, Kelly Weill, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “Joe Biden’s presidential campaign canceled a Friday event in Austin, Texas, after harassment from a pro-Trump contingent. Texas has emerged as a battleground state in Tuesday’s presidential election, with polls showing the typically Republican stronghold now only marginally favoring President Donald Trump. The Biden campaign scheduled a Friday event in the state, in a bid to drum up last-minute support. But when the Biden campaign bus drove to Austin, it was greeted by a blockade of pro-Trump demonstrators, leading to what one Texas House representative described as an escalation ‘well beyond safe limits.’ The cancelation comes amid national anxiety about voter intimidation, a tactic the Trump campaign has implicitly endorsed.” See also, Biden camp cancels multiple Texas events after a ‘Trump Train’ surrounded a campaign bus, The Texas Tribune, Kate McGee, Jeremy Schwartz, and Abby Livingston, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a Friday incident in which a group of Trump supporters, driving trucks and waving Trump flags, surrounded and followed a Biden campaign bus as it drove up I-35 in Hays County, a law enforcement official confirmed to The Texas Tribune Saturday. The confrontation, captured on video, featured at least one minor collision and led to Texas Democrats canceling three scheduled campaign events on Friday. The campaign officials cited ‘safety concerns’ for the cancellations.”

President Trump’s Taxes: A Reader’s Guide. The New York Times, Saturday, 31 October 2020: “Over the last several weeks, The New York Times has published the findings of its investigation into more than 20 years of President Trump’s federal income tax records — information that he has fought to keep hidden in defiance of presidential tradition. That series of reports is the culmination of work that began more than four years ago, with a scoop in a mailed manila envelope in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign: three pages from Mr. Trump’s 1995 income tax returns. The resulting story, reporting that Mr. Trump had declared a $916 million business loss that year, offered a glimpse into the opaque finances of a man running for president, in large part, on his image as a self-made and wildly successful business mogul. Since then, by obtaining and reporting on a growing body of his tax information, a group of Times journalists has continued to expand public understanding of the president’s business career. Their reporting chronicles how Mr. Trump’s father bankrolled his first fortune, his history of deploying often questionable methods to avoid paying taxes, the billions of dollars in business losses that have defined his career and the real and potential conflicts of interest accompanying his time in the White House. Together, the articles … offer the most complete portrait ever assembled of this president’s singularly complex finances.”


Sunday, 1 November 2020, Day 1,381:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 1 November 2020: Trump Suggests He May Fire Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘After the Election,’ Trump’s comment further escalated the tension between his administration and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, as coronavirus cases surge. Europe’s case count tops 10 million as lockdowns multiply. The New York Times, Sunday, 1 November 2020:

  • Trump suggests he may fire Fauci ‘after the election.’

  • As lockdowns multiply, Europe’s cumulative coronavirus cases pass 10 million.

  • The candidates descending on the battleground states will soon be gone. The virus won’t be.

  • As I.C.U. beds fill in Missouri, small hospitals are stuck holding Covid patients in emergency rooms.

  • With U.S. coronavirus cases mounting, Thanksgiving could be an ‘inflection point.’

  • Dr. Scott Atlas, Trump’s Covid adviser, apologizes for appearing on a Russian news show.

  • Is the source of the White House outbreak really unknowable? A study suggests otherwise.

  • Slovakia sets a different kind of coronavirus record, testing half its population in a single day.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Tests Show Genetic Signature of Coronavirus That May Have Infected Trump. The White House did not take basic steps to investigate its outbreak. We worked with geneticists to sequence the virus that infected two journalists exposed during the outbreak, providing clues to how it may have spread. The New York Times, James Glanz, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “President Trump’s illness from a coronavirus infection last month was the most significant health crisis for a sitting president in nearly 40 years. Yet little remains known about how the virus arrived at the White House and how it spread. The administration did not take basic steps to track the outbreak, limiting contact tracing, keeping cases a secret and cutting out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The origin of the infections, a spokesman said, was ‘unknowable.’ But one standard public health technique may still shed some light: tracking the cluster’s genetic fingerprints. To better understand the outbreak, The New York Times worked with prominent geneticists to determine the genetic sequence of viruses that infected two Times journalists believed to have been exposed to the coronavirus as part of their work covering the White House. The study reveals, for the first time, the genetic sequence of the virus that may have infected Mr. Trump and dozens of others, researchers said. That genome is a crucial clue that may allow researchers to identify where the outbreak originated and whether it went on to infect others across the country. The White House has not disclosed any effort to conduct similar genetic testing, but the study’s results show that it is still possible, even weeks after positive tests. Additional sequencing could help establish the path of the virus through the White House, the role of a possible super-spreading event for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the origin of an outbreak among the staff of Vice President Mike Pence in the last week or so.”

A once restrained Fauci unleashes on White House coronavirus approach days before election, CNN Politics, Maeve Reston, Sunday, 1 November 2020: As President Donald Trump fights his way through the final days of the presidential campaign denying the pandemic — by lashing out at doctors, disputing science and slashing the press for highlighting rising coronavirus case counts — the long-running rift between the White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci burst into the open Saturday night. For months as Trump undercut his own medical experts, sidelined scientists and refused to take basic steps to control the virus while mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist held his tongue and took the President’s attacks in stride as he continued to plead with the American people to physically distance and wear masks. But Fauci’s restraint appeared to have evaporated in a Washington Post interview published Saturday night, in which he called out the White House for allowing its strategy for fighting the virus to be shaped in part by a neuroradiologist with no training in the field of infectious disease — who granted an interview to a Kremlin-controlled propaganda network the same day Fauci’s remarks were released. The nation’s top infectious disease expert also told the Post he appreciated chief of staff Mark Meadows’ honesty when he admitted to CNN’s Jake Tapper during a recent interview that the administration has given up controlling the spread of the virus.”

Election 2020 Updates: Trump Defends Drivers Who Surrounded Biden Bus as ‘Patriots,’ The New York Times, Sunday, 1 November 2020:

  • Trump defends Texas drivers who surrounded Biden bus, while the president’s supporters block traffic in New York and New Jersey.

  • Biden team begins final push in Pennsylvania, starting with two events in Philadelphia.

  • In Michigan, Iowa and North Carolina, Trump blusters into a stiff headwind.

  • Texas’ top court denies a G.O.P. push to throw out over 120,000 votes; a federal case is pending.

  • Delays in the delivery of mail-in ballots rise, especially in battleground states.

  • In Michigan’s Macomb County, some Trump supporters see only a ‘landslide’ possible.

  • Biden releases a list of over 800 fund-raisers who put together at least $100,000 for his campaign.

  • The Trump campaign again tries to falsely paint votes counted after Nov. 3 as illegitimate.

  • Kamala Harris pitches a multicultural America to Georgia’s diversifying suburbs.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Biden focuses on Pennsylvania while Trump hits 5 states in final Sunday, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Paulina Firozi, and Meryl Kornfield, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “With Election Day two days away, President Trump held rallies Sunday in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Former vice president Joe Biden spent the day in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where he also expects to spend most of Monday after a trip to Ohio, a state Trump won by about eight percentage points. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), stopped in Georgia and North Carolina, while Vice President Pence attended a church service in North Carolina before returning to Washington in the afternoon.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Competition remains fierce in two of the most important battleground states, with Biden holding a slight lead over Trump in Pennsylvania and the two candidates in a virtual dead heat in Florida, according to Washington Post-ABC News polls.
  • Across the United States, political signs have been set ablaze, cars have been vandalized, and neighborhood scuffles and shouting matches have proliferated in the waning days of the most toxic election season in more than half a century.
  • Biden leads Trump by nine percentage points nationally, 52 percent to 43 percent, according to an average of national polls since Oct. 12. Biden’s margin in the battleground state of Michigan is also nine points; it’s eight in Wisconsin, seven in Pennsylvania, five in North Carolina, four in Arizona and three in Florida.
  • The Democratic governors of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin called for patience while votes are counted in their states, stressing that it may take longer than usual.

Peaceful march to the polls in North Carolina is met with police pepper spray and arrests, causing outcry on eve of election, The Washington Post, Barry Yeoman and Isaac Stanley-Becker, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “The voters came in black sweatshirts emblazoned with the mantra of the late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who celebrated ‘good trouble.’ Fists and iPhones raised, they chanted ‘Black lives matter’ and promised ‘power to the people,’ as they made their way from a Black church to the base of a monument to a Confederate soldier. In its shadow, they paused for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, honoring George Floyd, the Black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for what was later determined to be 7 minutes and 46 seconds. The participants in Saturday’s ‘I Am Change’ march had intended to conclude at an early-voting site to emphasize turnout in the final days of the presidential campaign. Those plans were thrown into disarray when law-enforcement officers in riot gear and gas masks insisted demonstrators move off the street and clear county property, despite a permit authorizing their presence. As tensions escalated, officers deployed pepper spray and began making arrests. Among those caught in clouds of the irritant were children as young as 3 years old, as well as elderly residents and a disabled woman, said participants in the march.”

FBI is investigating alleged harassment of Biden campaign bus by Trump supporters, CNN Politics, Josh Campbell, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “The FBI is investigating the alleged harassment of a Joe Biden campaign bus last week by motorists displaying Trump 2020 flags, an FBI spokesperson confirmed Sunday. ‘FBI San Antonio is aware of the incident and investigating,’ FBI spokesperson Michelle Lee told CNN. The incident took place in Texas on Friday as the campaign bus was traveling from San Antonio to Austin as part of a push to urge Biden supporters to cast their ballots on the state’s last day of early voting. A Biden campaign official described the motorists’ actions as an attempt to slow down the bus and run it off the road. People in vehicles that were part of a ‘Trump Train’ began yelling profanities and obscenities and then blockaded the entire Biden entourage, according to a source familiar with the incident. At one point they slowed the tour bus to roughly 20 mph on Interstate 35, the campaign official said. The vehicles slowed down to try to stop the bus in the middle of the highway. The source said there were nearly 100 vehicles around the campaign bus. Biden staffers were rattled by the event, the source said, though no one was hurt.”

Texas Supreme Court rejects Republican-led effort to throw out nearly 127,000 Harris County votes. A handful of Republican activists and candidates had asked the state’s highest civil court to rule Harris County’s drive-thru voting locations illegal and invalidate votes that have already been cast. The challenge has also been filed in federal court. The Texas Tribune, Jolie McCullough, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “A legal cloud hanging over nearly 127,000 votes already cast in Harris County was at least temporarily lifted Sunday when the Texas Supreme Court rejected a request by several conservative Republican activists and candidates to preemptively throw out early balloting from drive-thru polling sites in the state’s most populous, and largely Democratic, county. The all-Republican court denied the request without an order or opinion, as justices did last month in a similar lawsuit brought by some of the same plaintiffs. The Republican plaintiffs, however, are pursuing a similar lawsuit in federal court, hoping to get the votes thrown out by arguing that drive-thru voting violates the U.S. constitution. A hearing in that case is set for Monday morning in a Houston-based federal district court, one day before Election Day. A rejection of the votes would constitute a monumental disenfranchisement of voters — drive-thru ballots account for about 10% of all in-person ballots cast during early voting in Harris County.”

U.S. judge orders the US Postal Service to reinforce ‘extraordinary measures’ ballot delivery policy, Reuters, David Shepardson, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) must remind senior managers they must follow its ‘extraordinary measures’ policy and use its Express Mail Network to expedite ballots ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, under an order signed by a U.S. judge. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order on Sunday, to which the USPS agreed, said the postal service must reinforce its ‘special procedures’ to ensure it ‘delivers every ballot possible by the cutoff time on Election Day.’ USPS will also reinforce to managers that ‘all ballots with a local destination must be cleared and processed on the same day or no later than the next morning for delivery to local offices, from now through at least November 7.'”

We Have Never Had Final Results on Election Day. President Trump has been trying to pre-emptively delegitimize ballots counted after Nov. 3. But states have always counted past election night. The New York Times, Maggie Astor, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “For weeks, President Trump and his allies have been laying groundwork to challenge the results of the election if he loses. Now, in the final days of the campaign, he has settled on a blatantly ahistorical closing argument: that the votes in a fair election should not be counted past election night. ‘The Election should end on November 3rd., not weeks later!’ he tweeted on Friday, two days after telling reporters in Nevada, ‘Hopefully, the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after Nov. 3 to count ballots, that won’t be allowed by the various courts. You would think you want to have the votes counted, tabulated, finished by the evening of Nov. 3,’ he said at a campaign event a week earlier. In reality, the scenario Mr. Trump is outlining — every vote in a modern election being ‘counted, tabulated, finished’ by midnight — is not possible and never has been. No state ever reports final results on election night, and no state is legally expected to.”

Lindsey Graham says women ‘have a place in America’ and ‘can go anywhere’ if they are against abortion, Business Insider, Yelena Dzhanova, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “On the campaign trail Saturday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham said women are welcome anywhere in the country — provided that they’re anti-abortion. The Republican senator took the stage at a campaign event in Conway, South Carolina, his home state, and praised Amy Coney Barrett, the newly appointed Supreme Court justice. ‘You know what I like about Judge Barrett? She’s got everything,’ Graham said. ‘She’s not just wicked smart, she’s incredibly good. She embraces her faith. I want every young woman to know there’s a place for you in America if you are pro-life, if you embrace your religion, and you follow a traditional family structure — that you can go anywhere, young lady,’ he continued.”

Men who are alleged to have plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer attended multiple anti-lockdown protests, photos and videos show, The Washington Post, Aaron C. Davis, Dalton Bennett, Sarah Cahlan, and Meg Kelly, Sunday, 1 November 2020: “On April 30, outside the Michigan Capitol, protesters gathered to demand that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer end the business closures and other measures she had imposed to slow the transmission of the coronavirus. Speaker after speaker denounced the Democratic governor. One Republican congressional candidate told protesters they were ‘the tip of the spear’ in the fight against tyranny. Another aspiring official said that by supporting conservative candidates they could ‘slap Gretchen Whitmer right across the face.’ In the crowd that day, according to photos and videos, were Adam Fox and at least five others who are now charged in the plot to kidnap Whitmer or, in related cases, providing material support for a planned terrorist act. According to court records, the defendants, with the 37-year-old Fox accused of being the plot leader, were members of extremist groups and aimed to ‘snatch’ the governor and put her on ‘trial’ for restrictions such as banning large public gatherings. Although charging documents placed them at one political rally, a Washington Post examination of images and video found that the men were present at at least seven rallies in Michigan in the six months before their arrests. One of the defendants is seen in a widely circulated photo of several armed men — unidentified at the time — looking down on lawmakers inside the Capitol from a balcony above. Three others are captured in a photo of masked men appearing to stand guard at an ornate entry outside the chamber, an image that has been published — without names — by multiple news organizations.”


Monday, 2 November 2020, Day 1,328:


Some Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 2 November 2020: Dr. Deborah Birx Delivers Stark Warning to White House on Eve of Election Day, The New York Times, Monday, 2 November 2020:

  • ‘We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic,’ Birx wrote in a White House memo.

  • A relentless virus surges, burying the Mountain West and pushing many states to the brink.

  • ‘Clearly, Coloradans have lapsed’: New virus cases are setting records in Colorado.

  • Pregnant women with Covid-19 are more likely to need intensive care, a new C.D.C. study finds.

  • D.C. public schools change plans for students to return after a sickout by teachers.

  • Merkel likens the pandemic to the challenges Germany faced after World War II as a new lockdown begins.

  • The death risk from Covid-19 for elderly people varies sharply among countries.

  • In people without symptoms, a rapid test misses more infections than it spots, a study says.

  • Schools in Cambodia can begin reopening.

Other significant developments are included in this article

Some significant updates in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 2 November 2020: Trump suggests he will fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after election, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Rick Noack, Brittany Shammas, and Jennifer Hassan, Monday, 2 November 2020: “As coronavirus cases continued to explode, some European nations reimposed shutdowns, with leaders saying they fear the situation would worsen if no action is taken. But in the United States, where new infections hit a record high Sunday and some hard-hit communities braced for a surge in deaths, President Trump was critical of such ‘draconian’ moves. He also suggested Sunday he might fire the nation’s top infectious-disease expert.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • After Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, offered a critical assessment of the White House’s response to the coronavirus crisischants of ‘Fire Fauci’ broke out at Trump’s Sunday campaign rally in Florida. ‘Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,’ Trump said. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wrote in a Monday tweet, ‘We need a president who actually listens to experts like Dr. Fauci.’
  • The seven-day average of new daily coronavirus infections in the United States hit 81,740 on Sunday, a new high. Record-shattering numbers of hospitalizations were also recorded in nine states. More than 9,201,000 coronavirus cases and 230,000 fatalities have been reported nationwide since February, according to data tracked by The Post.
  • A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found pregnant women who catch the coronavirus are at greater risk of death and severe illness than women who are not pregnant, even as the risk overall remains small.
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said Sunday that he had come into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus and would self-quarantine ‘over the coming days.’
  • Prince William had the virus in the spring, around the time his father was infected, according to British media outlets.
  • White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas has apologized for agreeing to an interview with Russian state television, which is registered as a foreign agent in the United States, saying in a Sunday tweet that he allowed himself ‘to be taken advantage of” by the RT network.
  • As historic numbers of Americans cast early ballots for the 2020 presidential election, they’re encountering disparate policies on masks.

Top Trump adviser Deborah Birx bluntly contradicts President Trump on covid-19 threat, urging all-out response, The Washington Post, Lena H. Sun and Josh Dawsey, Monday, 2 November 2020: “A top White House coronavirus adviser sounded alarms Monday about a new and deadly phase in the health crisis, pleading with top administration officials for ‘much more aggressive action,’ even as President Trump continues to assure rallygoers that the nation is rounding the turn on the pandemic. ‘We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality,’ said the Nov. 2 report from Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. ‘This is not about lockdowns — it hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented.’ Birx’s internal report, shared with top White House and agency officials, contradicts Trump on numerous points: While the president holds large campaign events with hundreds of attendees, most without masks, she explicitly warns against them. While the president blames rising cases on more testing, she says testing is ‘flat or declining’ in many areas where cases are rising. And while Trump says the country is rounding the turn, Birx notes that the country is entering its most dangerous period yet and will see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week.”

Election 2020 Updates: Early Votes Near 100 Million as Campaign Races to a Close. President Trump is … already gearing up to challenge the results in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden is holding three rallies today. The New York Times, Monday, 2 November 2020:

  • ‘The power to change the country is in your hands,’ Biden says at a rally in Cleveland.

  • Biden campaign: ‘Under no scenario’ will Trump be declared a winner on election night.

  • Trump says he will declare victory ‘when there is victory, if there is victory.’

  • Around the country, the National Guard prepares for Election Day deployments.

  • Washington, a city on edge about the election, boards itself up.

  • A federal judge is weighing the fate of 120,000 Texas ballots that the G.O.P. is trying to throw out.

  • The Trump campaign asked a Pennsylvania county where the ballots will be kept, rattling local officials.

  • Battleground states are seeing the most voting misinformation.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Trump increasingly raises specter of fraud as Biden closes on unity, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, Marisa Iati, Keith McMillan, Reis Thebault, Matt Zapotosky, and Amy B Wang, Monday, 2 November 2020: “On the eve of Election Day, President Trump increasingly raised the baseless claim that the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Pennsylvania’s deadline for receiving ballots will open the door to widespread voter fraud — and election night violence. Democratic nominee Joe Biden closed his campaign Monday night exactly how he started it more than a year and a half ago: By telling voters he would be a unifying president if elected.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

As Voting Nears End, Battle Intensifies Over Which Ballots Will Count. President Trump and his allies say they intend an aggressive challenge to how the votes are counted in key states, and Democrats are mobilizing to meet it. The New York Times, Jim Rutenberg, Michael S. Schmidt, Nick Corasaniti, and Peter Baker, Monday, 2 November 2020: “With the election coming to a close, the Trump and Biden campaigns, voting rights organizations and conservative groups are raising money and dispatching armies of lawyers for what could become a state-by-state, county-by-county legal battle over which ballots will ultimately be counted. The deployments — involving hundreds of lawyers on both sides — go well beyond what has become normal since the disputed outcome in 2000, and are the result of the open efforts of President Trump and the Republicans to disqualify votes on technicalities and baseless charges of fraud at the end of a campaign in which the voting system has been severely tested by the coronavirus pandemic. In the most aggressive moves to knock out registered votes in modern memory, Republicans have already sought to nullify ballots before they are counted in several states that could tip the balance of the Electoral College.”

A federal judge denies a bid to throw out more than 127,000 votes in Texas. But most drive-in sites are closed on Election Day. The New York Times, David Montgomery and Nick Corasaniti, Monday, 2 November 2020: “A federal judge in Houston on Monday rejected Republican efforts to invalidate more than 127,000 votes that were cast at drive-through locations in Harris County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. But he also found that the tents housing most of the drive-through sites did not properly qualify as ‘buildings,’ so he allowed only one of the ten locations to stay open on Election Day. The lawsuit was one of the most aggressive moves by Republicans in an election marked by more than 400 voting-related lawsuits.” See also, Federal judge allows Texas’s Harris County to count ballots cast via drive-through voting, The Washington Post, Neena Satija, Brittney Martin, and Aaron Schaffer, published on Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “A federal judge on Monday rejected Republicans’ attempt to invalidate more than 100,000 ballots cast via drive-through voting in Harris County, Tex., home to Houston. But he also cautioned those who have not yet voted to avoid using those centers on Election Day. ‘If I were voting tomorrow . . . I would not vote in a drive-through just out of my concern as to whether that’s legal or not,’ said U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, an appointee of President George W. Bush, noting that an appellate court could overrule him. The plaintiffs in the case — Houston conservative activist Steve Hotze and a handful of GOP candidates — appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Early Tuesday morning, the appeals court denied the motion.”

Judge rejects Republican efforts to halt early vote counting in Las Vegas, CNN Politics, Stephanie Becker, Monday, 2 November 2020: “A Nevada judge rejected a GOP lawsuit seeking to halt early vote counting in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, over stringency of signature-matching computer software and how closely observers can watch votes being counted. With less than 24 hours before Election Day, District Court Judge James Wilson denied the Nevada Republican Party and the Trump campaign their request challenging procedures for poll observation and mail-in ballot processing in heavily Democratic Clark County.”

Early voting numbers are truly astounding, Vox, Alissa Wilkinson, Monday, 2 November 2020: “More than 97 million people have already cast ballots in the 2020 election — an early turnout record that shows this year’s election carries enormous weight with Americans. In 11 states, the number of votes cast so far in 2020 is at least 90 percent of the total cast in the entire 2016 election. About 24 hours before polls are set to close on Election Day, the number of votes cast was almost 98 million, about two-thirds of which came via mail-in ballots. The rest of the voters showed up at a polling place to vote in person. The early voting figure is just shy of 71 percent of 2016’s total numbers nationwide. In some states, the early voting numbers have already cruised past 90 percent of 2016 total voting levels, including several key swing states or states with close Senate races: Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and Georgia.”

In the Trump Campaign, Government Agencies and Officials Have Often Provided Help. The sustained effort by President Trump, members of his cabinet and other officials to use the powers of incumbency has gone far beyond anything done by his predecessors. The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Michael Crowley, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Edward Wong, Monday, 2 November 2020: “President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, has hit the road in recent weeks — not touring war zones, but promoting Mr. Trump’s record in swing states…. In the days and weeks leading up to Election Day, Mr. Trump has employed every tool at his disposal to win another four years in the Oval Office in a consequential election that is likely to help determine the limits on a president’s ability to bend the government to his whims. While the national security adviser is a traditionally nonpartisan job, Mr. O’Brien has been part of a sustained effort by the president, members of his cabinet and top aides to use the powers of incumbency in ways that go far beyond his predecessors, harnessing the levers of government power and the authority of Mr. Trump’s office to help him stay there.”

Kentucky State Police quoted Hitler and encouraged cadets to be ‘ruthless’ in a training program, The Washington Post, Jaclyn Peiser, Monday, 2 November 2020: “The 33-page slide show used to train cadets for the Kentucky State Police encouraged ethical and moral decision-making, selflessness, pride and honor. But in doing so, the police also quoted Adolf Hitler and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and encouraged trainees to pursue violence at all costs. ‘The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence,’ Hitler wrote in his anti-Semitic manifesto ‘Mein Kampf,’ which was included on a police training slide titled ‘Violence of Action.’ The line was one of three times the state police quoted the Nazi leader in the training material. The slide show was first reported Friday by Manual RedEye, a student newspaper at Louisville’s duPont Manual High School. The students were given the documents by a local lawyer, who received them through an open-records request for a lawsuit against the police agency. After the report published, state officials responded with anger and condemnation. In a statement to The Washington Post, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) called the materials ‘unacceptable. We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action,’ Beshear said. The report comes as hate crimes are on the rise and as law enforcement has been under intense scrutiny over claims of excessive force. Kentucky police have been in the national spotlight since the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker who was fatally shot in March by Louisville officers during a raid on her apartment.”

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Black Lives Matter Organizer DeRay Mckesson, Forbes, Elana Lyn Gross, Monday, 2 November 2020: “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered a lower court to rehear a case brought by DeRay Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter organizer who has been sued by a police officer who was injured at a protest Mckesson organized in 2016, with the high court noting that the impending decision on whether organizers can be held personally liable for violence could deter people from exercising their First Amendment right. The unnamed police officer sued Mckesson, arguing his negligence in organizing the protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana enabled the assault to occur. Mckesson argued that under the First Amendment, he couldn’t be held personally liable unless he intended for the violent act to occur. The District Court agreed with Mckesson and dismissed the negligence claims citing the First Amendment, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the decision and said he could be held liable because a violent confrontation with a police officer was a foreseeable consequence of staging a protest on a highway. In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court said the appeals court should have looked at state law from the Louisiana Supreme Court before ruling on a decision that could have implications for other First Amendment cases.  The Supreme Court ordered the appeals court to rehear the case to decide if the police officer’s lawsuit against Mckesson can proceed or if it is unconstitutional for him to be held personally liable.” See also, Supreme Court rules in favor of Black Lives Matter organizer DeRay McKesson, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue, Monday, 2 November 2020: “The Supreme Court wiped away a lower court opinion related to Black Lives Matter protests that critics argued would chill the speech rights of demonstrators and dismantle civil rights era precedent that safeguards the First Amendments’ right to protest. The lower court allowed a Louisiana police officer to move forward with lawsuit to hold the organizer of a Black Lives Matter protest, DeRay McKesson, accountable for injuries the officer sustained in 2016 when he was hit by a heavy object. McKesson himself did not hurl the object; the person who did is still unidentified. In an unsigned order, the justices sent the case back down to the lower courts to further review Louisiana law holding that before getting to important constitutional questions, more guidance from state courts is necessary.”


Tuesday, 3 November 2020, Day 1,383:


Election 202o Highlights: With a Record Mail-in Vote and Fears of Postal Delays, a Federal Judge Orders a Sweep for Undelivered Ballots. As the polls opened on Tuesday, more than 100 million Americans had already cast ballots. The New York Times, Wednesday, 3 November 2020:

  • With 101 million votes cast early, the U.S. heads toward its highest turnout in over a century.

  • Voters take center stage as Election Day brings a bitter campaign to a close.

  • Trump says he will declare victory ‘when there is victory, if there is victory.’

  • Nearing the finish line in Scranton, Pa., Biden says, ‘You got to run through the tape, man.’

  • On voters’ minds: the pandemic, the protests and the TLC channel.

  • The Trump campaign set up ‘war rooms’ in the White House complex, blurring politics and government.

  • A relatively smooth start to voting, with few reported disruptions.

  • In battleground states, lines at many polls were long but moved quickly.

  • As Democrats try to retake the Senate, Susan Collins of Maine fights for her political life.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020 Updates: Biden and Trump Are Locked in Tight Race as Uncounted Votes Remain, The New York Times, Tuesday, 3 November 2020:

  • Biden conveys confidence and asks for patience as votes are counted in crucial battlegrounds.

  • Trump, attacking the democratic process, falsely says he won.

  • Ballots have never been fully counted on Election Day.

  • Big gains among Latinos in the Miami area power Trump to victory in Florida.

  • Democrats’ path to Senate control narrows as Republicans hold onto critical seats.

  • Twitter and Facebook labeled posts from Trump, but only one moved to limit their spread.

  • Democrats are on track to hold their House majority as Republicans see early victories.

  • Some candidates have already broken barriers.

  • Voting and vote-counting have been mostly smooth, but reports of voter intimidation are up.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Trump falsely asserts election fraud and claims a victory, The Washington  Post, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, Derek Hawkins, Paulina Firozi, Meryl Kornfield, David Weigel, and Amber Phillips, Tuesday, 3 November into Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “With millions of votes yet to be counted, President Trump falsely asserted election fraud, pledged to mount a legal challenge to official state results and made a premature claim of victory in a bitterly contested race that may take days to resolve. In remarks at the White House early Wednesday, Trump claimed that he won several states that are still counting ballots, including GeorgiaNorth Carolina and Pennsylvania. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, insisted earlier that ‘we believe we’re on track to win this election’ and pleaded for patience, citing PennsylvaniaWisconsin and Michigan, where votes were still being tallied. ‘It ain’t over till every vote is counted,’ Biden said.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Election 2020 Live Updates: Nation Braces for a Long Wait, With Key States Undecided, The New York Times, Tuesday, 3 November and Wednesday, 4 November 2020.

A staggering 100 million Americans voted early, suggesting a record turnout, The New York Times, Michael Cooper, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “More than 100 million Americans had cast their ballots even before the polls opened on Election Day, a record early vote that showed that many people had taken advantage of the changes many states made to voting safer during the pandemic and suggested that the nation was on pace to set a record for turnout. As the polls prepared to open on Tuesday, a staggering 100.3 million ballots had already been cast, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a nonpartisan website run by Michael P. McDonald, a University of Florida professor who compiles data from across the nation. That number is nearly three-quarters of the total of over 138 million votes cast in the 2016 election. Several states have already recorded more votes than they did during the whole 2016 election, including Texas, Washington, Montana and Hawaii, and several battleground states, including Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, were nearing their 2016 totals.”

Here are the voting lawsuits that could lead to post-election fights over ballots, The Washington Post, Elise Viebeck, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “A number of important voting lawsuits remain unresolved or could still be appealed, legal challenges that could lead to post-election fights over which ballots will count in key states. After an unprecedented year for election litigation, at least a dozen major cases related to voting rules are still pending in key states, including Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Minnesota and Nevada, according to a tally by The Washington Post. Some cases involve preliminary rulings that could be revisited after Election Day. In at least two states — Pennsylvania and Minnesota — election administrators plan to segregate certain ballots in case of later court action. The lawsuits cover fundamental aspects of voting during the coronavirus pandemic, such as when mail ballots must arrive to be counted, whether ballots cast by alternative means — such as drive-through voting lanes — are valid, and procedures for counting mail ballots.

U.S. Postal Service tells U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan that it cannot complete sweep for delayed ballots by deadline, Reuters, David Shepardson, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “The U.S. Postal Service told a judge it could not complete his order to sweep mail processing facilities on Tuesday afternoon for delayed election ballots and immediately dispatch any for delivery in about a dozen states, including closely fought battlegrounds Pennsylvania and Florida. USPS data showed as of Sunday about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities. While ballots may be delivered without scans, voting rights groups fear mail delays could cause at least some of those votes to be disqualified. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday had ordered the sweep in response to lawsuits by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates. Affected by the order were processing centers in central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit. Sullivan ordered postal officials to complete the inspections by 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) and certify by 4:30 p.m. ET (2130 GMT) that no ballots were left behind.” See also, U.S. Postal Service disregards court order to conduct sweeps in 12 postal districts after more than 300,000 ballots can’t be traced. A federal judge ordered mail service and law enforcement agents to comb processing plants for votes as delays continue. The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage and Christopher Ingraham, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “The U.S. Postal Service turned down a federal judge’s order late Tuesday afternoon to sweep mail processing facilities serving 15 states, saying instead it would stick to its own inspection schedule. The court order came after the agency disclosed that more than 300,000 ballots nationwide could not be traced.”

Voter intimidation lawsuit filed after police use pepper-spray at North Carolina march, NBC News, Erik Ortiz, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “A federal lawsuit is accusing police in North Carolina of voter intimidation after they deployed pepper spray during a get-out-the vote rally and hauled several participants to jail in a chaotic display of pre-Election Day discord. The complaint, filed late Monday against the police chief of Graham, a rural community west of Durham, and the Alamance County sheriff, says that protesters were not expecting conflict at Saturday’s ‘I Am Change’ march, but that the situation escalated ‘when deputies and officers planned and orchestrated the violent dispersal’ of a peaceful crowd.”

Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told top generals and news anchors that the military would have no role in the election, Axios, Jonathan Swan, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley held an off-the-record video call with top generals and network anchors this weekend to tamp down speculation about potential military involvement in the presidential election, two people familiar with the call tell Axios. The nation’s top military official set up Saturday’s highly unusual call to make clear that the military’s role is apolitical, one of the sources said — and to dispel any notion of a role for the military in adjudicating a disputed election or making any decision around removing a president from the White House.”

QAnon Supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia Is Headed to Congress. Her victory in Georgia underscores an uncomfortable truth for Republicans: The 2020 election brought QAnon into their party. The New York Times, Matthew Rosenberg, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “QAnon scored its first national political victory on Tuesday when Marjorie Taylor Greene, a supporter of the convoluted pro-Trump conspiracy theory, won a House seat in Georgia, bringing into the halls of Congress an online movement that has inspired real-world violence and been branded a potential domestic terrorism threat by the F.B.I. Ms. Greene was among at least a dozen Republican congressional candidates — some estimates put the number upward of 20 — who had expressed some degree of support for QAnon and its baseless belief that President Trump is fighting a cabal of Satanist child-molesting Democrats and deep-state bureaucrats who seek global domination. Most were running for reliably Democratic seats. Ms. Greene’s victory was expected — she was running unopposed in one of the most conservative districts in the country — as were losses by most of the other QAnon-linked candidates. None of the results altered what by now has become apparent inside and outside the Republican Party: This is the year conspiracy theories, QAnon foremost among them, gained a new foothold in the party. The influx of QAnon-linked candidates was only the most high-profile example of how a phenomenon that began on the troll-infested fringes of the internet had moved offline and into American political life, enabled by Mr. Trump’s own espousal of conspiracy theories and continual railing against the political establishment. The question now is whether the election represents the beginning of QAnon’s political rise or its high-water mark. Much will depend on how Mr. Trump fares.”

U.S. undertook cyber operation against Iran as part of effort to secure the 2020 election, The Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency have taken recent actions to ensure that foreign actors do not interfere in the 2020 election, including an operation in the past two weeks against Iran, U.S. officials said. The move against Iranian hackers working for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came shortly after they launched an operation two weeks ago posing as a far-right group to send threatening emails to American voters and also posted a video aimed at driving down confidence in the voting process, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the operation’s sensitivity.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 3 November 2020: Battleground States Where the Virus Is Raging Will Likely Decide the Election, The New York Times, Tuesday, 3 November 2020:

  • U.S. voters are picking a president during an alarming stretch of the pandemic.

  • Trump will be in charge of the U.S. pandemic response until at least January. Experts are worried.

  • The University of Wisconsin cancels another football game as 27 people test positive.

  • John Elway, the football Hall of Famer and Denver Broncos general manager, has tested positive for the virus.

  • Birx suggests the White House has spent too much time on preventing lockdowns and not enough on controlling the virus.

  • How do you run a polling site during a pandemic? With lots of masks, for starters.

  • This is what voting looks like in 2020: Flags, masks and face shields.

  • The virus has turned a Navajo Nation family’s life ‘upside down.’

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, 3 November 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people who test positive for the virus can still vote in person, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Karla Adam, Lateshia Beachum, and Isabelle Khurshudyan, Tuesday, 3 November 2020: “Voters who have not yet submitted ballots by mail headed to the polls Tuesday amid what one top health official called ‘the most concerning and most deadly phase’ of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has claimed at least 231,000 lives in the United States, and record numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations are forcing doctors in rural states to get creative. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are in isolation after testing positive can still cast ballots in person.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.


Wednesday, 4 November 2020, Day 1,384:


Election 2020: Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada remain uncalled, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, Josh Dawsey, Rosalind S. Helderman, Christine Spolar, Paulina Firozi, Hannah Knowles, and Emma Brown, Wednesday, 5 November 2020: “Democratic nominee Joe Biden is 17 electoral votes away from a victory in the presidential race, projected by Edison Research to flip Michigan and Wisconsin. Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada remain uncalled. The projection comes as President Trump’s reelection campaign attempted to halt vote-counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan, sought a recount in Wisconsin and challenged the handling of ballots in Georgia.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Arizona: Counties continue to count, with more than 300,000 ballots left to process and count. Maricopa, the state’s biggest county, plans to release more votes around 1 a.m. Eastern.
  • Georgia: Trump’s lead has narrowed to roughly 32,000 Wednesday night as the state’s most populous and Democratic counties tally their remaining votes.
  • Nevada: Updated vote totals won’t be released until noon Eastern on Thursday, officials said.
  • North Carolina: Just 117,000 outstanding ballots remained Wednesday, revealing the challenge for Biden to overcome Trump’s lead in the state.
  • Pennsylvania: More than 1 million ballots were still to be counted as of 2:30 p.m.

Election 2020 Updates: Biden, Flipping Michigan and Wisconsin, Says It’s ‘Clear’ He Will Reach 270. President Trump’s campaign threatened legal challenges after its path to victory narrowed, with Joe Biden winning two critical states in the upper Midwest. Several other battlegrounds remained too close to call. The New York Times, Wednesday, 4 November 2020:

  • As Biden wins Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump’s path to re-election narrows.

  • Speaking in Delaware, Biden says it’s ‘clear’ he will reach 270 electoral votes.

  • Biden is closing the gap on Trump in Georgia.

  • As final votes are counted in Arizona, Biden’s lead narrows.

  • Protests by both sides spread across the U.S. as votes are counted.

  • The path to 270: Here is the state of play in states that could decide the presidency.

  • Amid challenges from the Trump campaign, Pennsylvania keeps counting.

  • Gary Peters holds on to his Senate seat in Michigan, as Susan Collins is re-elected in Maine.

  • Trump is turning to the courts as his options narrow.

  • Will the Supreme Court intervene in the election? Here’s what we know.

  • As in 2016, polls gave a misleading picture of the race. What happened?

  • Biden surpasses Obama’s 2008 popular-vote total (with asterisks).

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020 Live Updates: Races in Georgia and Arizona Tighten as Vote Counting Continues, The New York Times, Wednesday, 4 November into Thursday, 5 November 2020.

As America Awaits a Winner, Trump Falsely Claims He Prevailed. Trump made his unfounded claim even though no news organizations declared a winner between him and Joseph R. Biden Jr., and a number of closely contested states still had millions of mail-in ballots to count. The New York Times, Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “With no winner declared in the 2020 presidential race, President Trump appeared in the White House just after 2 a.m. on Wednesday to brazenly claim he had already won the election — and to insist that votes stop being counted even though the ballots of millions of Americans had yet to be tallied. Speaking with a mix of defiance, anger and wonder that the election had not yet been called in his favor, the president recounted his standing in an array of battleground states before falsely declaring: ‘Frankly, we did win this election.’ No news organizations declared a winner between Mr. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr., and a number of closely contested states still had millions of mail-in ballots to count, in part because state and local Republican officials had insisted that they not be counted until Election Day. Mr. Trump said, without offering any explanation, that ‘we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,’ and added: ‘We want all voting to stop.’ No elected leader has the right to unilaterally order votes to stop being counted, and Mr. Trump’s middle-of-the-night proclamation amounted to a reckless attempt to hijack the electoral process as results in key battleground states were still not final, something without precedent in American politics. The president contradicted himself about the vote-counting as he claimed he was gaining strength in Arizona, where votes cast on Election Day were breaking in his favor but where mail-in ballots favored Mr. Biden, the Democratic nominee. Mr. Trump spoke at times from a teleprompter, but he veered off his prepared remarks to make unfounded claims about voting fraud. ‘We don’t want them to find any more ballots at 4 in the morning,’ he said.”

Fact Check: Almost everything Trump has said after Election Day is wrong, CNN Politics, Daniel Dale, Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “President Donald Trump spent much of the year laying the groundwork for the strategy of concerted dishonesty he has deployed in the hours after Election Day. First, months ago, he began falsely portraying mail-in ballots as rife with fraud. Second, he falsely claimed that Democratic governors who don’t like him are in charge of ballot-counting. Third, he falsely argued that there is something nefarious and even perhaps illegal about the normal practice of counting votes after Election Day. All of this nonsense, the dozens of voting-related lies we’ve had to debunk over and over and over, appeared to be in service of this current moment — a close election in which he could try to turn the seeds of doubt he had systematically planted in supporters’ minds into full-blown rejection of his possible defeat. Trump launched the plan into action in the early hours of Wednesday morning, delivering a wildly inaccurate White House address in which he baselessly alleged he had already won and baselessly alleged a fraud was being perpetrated against him. Then he retreated to Twitter — on which almost everything said for the rest of the day was wrong. How serially wrong? As of 5:30 PM, Twitter had affixed some sort of fact check caution label to six of his Wednesday tweets — and you could make a good argument that some of the others deserved the same treatment.”

TV Anchors and Pundits Criticize Trump’s Baseless Claims of Fraud, The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum and John Koblin, Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “Television news networks spent a meticulous election night reporting state-by-state results with prudence and context. Then President Trump got involved. In a wee-hours appearance from the East Room of the White House, Mr. Trump claimed without evidence that the election was being taken from him by ‘a very sad group of people.’ His baseless statements — including an unfounded claim that the election was ‘a major fraud on our nation’ — stirred up anchors at major networks, some of which cut away from his remarks before he was finished. ‘This is an extremely flammable situation, and the president just threw a match on it,’ the anchor Chris Wallace told viewers on Fox News. Referring to Mr. Trump’s false claims that he had ‘clearly won’ Georgia and North Carolina, neither of which has finished counting votes, Mr. Wallace said: ‘He hasn’t won these states. Nobody is saying he’s won the states. The states haven’t said that he’s won.’ Every major network carried Mr. Trump’s remarks live around 2:30 a.m. Eastern time. Most offered a quick fact-check afterward, although NBC and MSNBC did not wait for him to conclude before breaking in. ‘We’ve got to dip in here because there have been several statements that are just frankly not true,’ the NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie told viewers. Brian Williams, helming MSNBC coverage, said: ‘We are reluctant to step in, but duty-bound to point out that when he says, “We did win this election, we’ve already won,” that is not based in the facts at all.'”

Trump campaign mounts challenges in four states as narrow margins raise stakes for battles over which ballots will count, The Washington Post, Elise Viebeck, Robert Barnes, Tom Hamburger, and Rosalind S. Helderman, Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “President Trump’s reelection campaign said Wednesday that it would launch a legal blitz to try to halt vote-counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan, would seek a recount in Wisconsin and challenged the handling of ballots in Georgia, threatening to draw out the final results of the razor-thin White House contest. The campaign’s aggressive legal posture while the presidential race remains unresolved underscored how the close margins in key states have raised the stakes for litigation over which ballots will count. It comes after Trump, who has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the election, pledged to get the courts to determine its outcome. Democrats said they were unfazed by what they said was legal posturing by the president’s campaign. They said they were well-prepared to fend off any lawsuits or appeals.”

Justice Department Tells Prosecutors Armed Agents Are Allowed in Ballot-Counting Venues, The New York Times, Katie Benner, Wednesday 4 November 2020: “The Justice Department told federal prosecutors in an email early on Wednesday that the law allowed them to send armed federal officers to ballot-counting locations around the country to investigate potential voter fraud, according to three people who described the message. The email created the specter of the federal government intimidating local election officials or otherwise intervening in vote tallying amid calls by President Trump to end the tabulating in states where he was trailing in the presidential race, former officials said. A law prohibits the stationing of armed federal officers at polls on Election Day. But a top official told prosecutors that the department interpreted the statute to mean that they could send armed federal officers to polling stations and locations where ballots were being counted anytime after that.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 4 November 2020: U.S. Records 100,000 Cases in a Day for the First Time, The New York Times, Wednesday, 4 November 2020:

  • 100,000 cases in a single day push the U.S. into new terrain.

  • Italy will lock down six regions and prevent many people from crossing between them.

  • The pandemic was both a top issue and a threat as Americans went to the polls.

  • Voters who saw containing the virus as the most important issue favored Biden.

  • North Dakota candidate, who died of Covid-19 last month, wins seat in state legislature.

  • With their restaurants forced to close early, Italians are crossing into tiny San Marino for dinner.

  • A mutation in the virus has prompted Denmark to kill millions of infected mink.

  • China imposes even more stringent rules on those trying to enter the country.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 4 November 2020: United States tops 100,000 new virus cases in a day for the first time, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Rick Noack, Paulina Villegas, Karla Adam, Chico Harlan, and Darren Sands, Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “The United States recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus infections in a single day for the first time on Wednesday as the nation waited to learn the results of a presidential election carried out in the shadow of a pandemic.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The United States reported more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Seventeen states — including Kansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and West Virginia — on Wednesday reported record numbers of patients hospitalized with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. In many of these states, hospital capacity is under serious threat.
  • Nationwide, more than 9,445,000 coronavirus cases and more than 232,500 covid-19 fatalities have been logged since February.
  • European countries such as England, Italy and Greece have announced new restrictions, including partial or total lockdowns as they face a sweeping second wave of infections.
  • Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, urged Americans to wear masks in the winter, arguing it could save up to 130,000 lives.
  • Coronavirus cases in American children increased by record numbers in the last week of October, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
  • A top scientist involved in the development of Oxford University’s vaccine candidate said there is ‘a small chance’ that the vaccine could become available by late December, according to Reuters.

U.S. Exits Paris Climate Accord after Trump Stalls Global Warming Action for Four Years, Scientific American, Wednesday, 4 November 2020: “The U.S.’s exit from the historic 2015 Paris climate agreement takes effect today, capping four years of President Donald Trump aggressively rolling back the Obama administration’s climate-change-mitigation policies. The acceleration of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions on Trump’s watch has been blunted by state- and city-level efforts, a burgeoning renewable energy market and the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic downturn. But the Trump-era rollbacks could still ultimately lead to more heat-trapping carbon entering the atmosphere over the next decade or more.”


Thursday, 5 November 2020, Day 1,385:


Election 2020: Trump, as lead narrows in vote counts in Pennsylvania and Georgia, repeats baseless claims of fraud, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, Meryl Kornfield, Emma Brown, Reis Thebault, Hannah Knowles, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Derek Hawkins, Jon Swaine, and Tom Hamburger, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “The margins have narrowed in the counts in both Pennsylvania and Georgia, as votes continue to be tallied and Democratic nominee Joe Biden moves closer to the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory. No new counts are expected from Nevada or Arizona until Friday. President Trump and his allies met with two immediate defeats in court, in Georgia and Michigan, as they pressed unsubstantiated claims of fraud as officials count ballots. Trump on Thursday evening unleashed a tirade from the White House briefing room that was filled with falsehoods about the U.S. electoral system.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Georgia: Trump’s lead in the vote count in Georgia is about 1,800 votes as of 11:15 p.m. Eastern. Just over 14,000 votes were left to be counted, and about 8,900 requested overseas and military ballots have until tomorrow to arrive.
  • Pennsylvania: Trump’s lead in the count dropped to under 23,000 votes as of midnight.
  • Arizona: Biden’s lead in the vote count narrowed to about 46,000 votes as of 9 p.m. Thursday. At least 293,000 ballots remain to be counted statewide. Maricopa County, the state’s largest, plans to update its count at 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Friday.
  • Nevada: According to the secretary of state, there are 190,000 ballots to be counted. About 90 percent are from Clark County, home to Las Vegas. The next update on the count will be at noon Eastern Friday.
  • North Carolina: Election officials said they will review about 41,000 provisional ballots from voters whose eligibility may be questioned, along with around 110,000 outstanding absentee ballots. They expect to finalize their count by Nov. 12. Biden is about 76,000 votes behind Trump.

Election 2020 Updates: As Counting Continues in Key States, Biden Makes Gains in Pennsylvania, The New York Times, Thursday, 5 November 2020.

In a speech of historic dishonesty, Trump tried to reinforce his long-planned effort to retain power, The Washington Post, Philip Bump, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “Well into a presidency defined by disinformation and falsehoods, President Trump managed something remarkable on Thursday evening. Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room, he offered the most thoroughly dishonest comments of his tenure. For 15 minutes, he delineated nonsensical allegations about the state of the presidential election, claiming to be the victim of nefarious efforts to prevent him from earning a second term. And when he finished, after espousing obviously false claims to a room of reporters who knew better, he didn’t even have the courage to face their inevitably probing and challenging questions.” See also, Trump’s White House statement: Falsehood upon falsehood, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “President Trump’s statement in the White House briefing room on Thursday evening was a litany of falsehoods and grievances, with some baseless conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure.” See also, Fact Check: Trump delivers the most dishonest speech of his presidency as Biden closes in on victory, CNN Politics, Daniel Dale, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “President Donald Trump delivered the most dishonest speech of his presidency on Thursday evening. I’ve watched or read the transcript of every Trump speech since late 2016. I’ve cataloged thousands and thousands of his false claims. I have never seen him lie more thoroughly and more egregiously than he did on Thursday evening at the White House. On the verge of what appeared to be a likely defeat by former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump emerged in the press briefing room and took a blowtorch to the presidential tradition of defending the legitimacy of the democratic process. Aside from some valid criticism of errors by pollsters, some legitimate boasting about his performance with various demographic groups and some legitimate boasting about Republicans’ down-ballot performance, almost everything Trump said was not true.” See also, Statement by the Bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity, Count Every Vote, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “In response to President Trump’s briefing this evening, the bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity — a group of more than 40 former elected officials, former Cabinet secretaries, retired military officials, and civic leaders — issued the following statement: ‘The president spent 15 minutes using the podium of the White House to make false claims that undermine the integrity of our elections and do a disservice to the hard-working election officials around the nation who have performed their duties admirably. There is absolutely no basis for these irresponsible claims. Politicians can say whatever they choose, but it is the American people who decide their leaders, not the other way around. Our constitutional process demands we count every vote.'” See also, In Torrent of Falsehoods Trump Claims Election Is Being Stolen, The New York Times, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “Even for President Trump, it was an imagined version of reality, one in which he was not losing but the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy stretching across the country in multiple cities, counties and states, involving untold numbers of people all somehow collaborating to steal the election in ways he could not actually explain. Never mind that Mr. Trump presented not a shred of evidence during his first public appearance since late on election night or that few senior Republican officeholders endorsed his false claims of far-reaching fraud. A presidency born in a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace appeared on the edge of ending in a lie about his own faltering bid for re-election…. The New York Post, which published salacious articles on Hunter Biden planted by Mr. Trump’s associates before the election, headlined an article: ‘Downcast Trump Makes Baseless Election Fraud Claims in White House Address.’ Even Fox News noted it had seen no ‘hard evidence’ of widespread wrongdoing.” See also, CNN’s Anderson Cooper describes Trump as ‘an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun’ after the president ranted about the election from the White House podium, Business Insider, Sonam Sheth, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “President Donald Trump on Thursday aired a grievance-filled speech from the White House podium full of false conspiracy theories alleging widespread election fraud. The rant came as Trump trailed the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, in electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency following the 2020 election. Among other things, Trump falsely declared himself the winner of the election; claimed the mail-in voting process was ‘corrupt’ and ‘destroyed our system’; repeated a lie that he had an early lead in some states before it ‘miraculously’ got ‘whittled away in secret’; claimed a substantial number of ‘illegal votes’ were cast in the election; and said he won states that he actually either lost or have not yet been called. CNN’s Anderson Cooper didn’t mince words when reacting to Trump’s remarks after the fact. ‘I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this from the president of the United States,’ he said. ‘It’s sad and it is truly pathetic. And of course it’s dangerous and of course it will go to courts, but you’ll notice the president did not have any evidence presented at all. Nothing. No real, actual evidence of any kind of fraud. He talked about people putting up papers in windows, he talked about things that he’d seen on the internet,’ Cooper added. ‘That is the president of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world. We see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.'”

Control of the U.S. Senate Hinges on Georgia Results, The Wall Street Journal, Cameron McWhirter and Lindsay Wise, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “The outcome of those two races could shift the balance of power in the Senate, as Democrat Jon Ossoff tries to unseat Republican Sen. David Perdue, and Democrat Raphael Warnock faces off against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Messrs. Ossoff and Warnock have been critical of President Trump, while Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler have allied themselves with the president. Under Georgia law, if no candidate gets more than 50%, the two top vote getters, regardless of party, compete in a runoff to be held on Jan. 5. The Warnock-Loeffler race already is headed for a runoff, as the Associated Press projected Tuesday. Mr. Perdue’s share of the vote was at 49.88% as of late Thursday, with about 16,105 outstanding ballots still to be counted, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Mr. Ossoff was at 47.81%. Some provisional and military ballots are also yet to be counted.”

US Postal Service processed 150,000 ballots after Election Day, jeopardizing thousands of votes, The Washington Post, Jacob Bogage and Christopher Ingraham, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “More than 150,000 ballots were caught in U.S. Postal Service processing facilities Wednesday and not delivered by Election Day, agency data shows, including more than 12,000 in five of the states that have yet to be called for either President Trump or Democratic challenger, Joe Biden. Another 39,000 ballots were processed Thursday, agency data shows, including more than 4,000, in the remaining swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Despite assurances from Postal Service leaders that agency officials were conducting daily sweeps for misplaced ballots, the mail service acknowledged in court filings that thousands of ballots had not been processed in time, and that more ballots were processed Wednesday than on Election Day. The number of mailed ballots not delivered by Election Day is expected to grow as more postal data is released in the coming days. Some election experts worry such delays could run up against even more generous ballot acceptance windows that some states have granted.”

The Rise and Fall of the ‘Stop the Steal’ Facebook Group, The New York Times, Sheera Frenkel, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “But an hour later, the group uploaded a minute-long video to its Facebook page with a pointed message. The grainy footage showed a crowd outside a polling station in Detroit, shouting and chanting ‘stop the count.’ Below the video, which was quickly shared nearly 2,000 times, members of the group commented ‘Biden is stealing the vote’ and ‘this is unfair.’ The viral video helped turn the Stop the Steal Facebook group into one of the fastest-growing groups in Facebook’s history. By Thursday morning, less than 22 hours after it was started, it had amassed more than 320,000 users — at one point gaining 100 new members every 10 seconds. As its momentum grew, it caught the attention of Facebook executives, who shut down the group hours later for trying to incite violence. Even so, the Stop the Steal Facebook group had done its work. In its brief life span, it became a hub for people to falsely claim that the ballot count for the presidential election was being manipulated against President Trump. New photographs, videos and testimonials asserting voter fraud were posted to the group every few minutes. From there, they traveled onto Twitter, YouTube and right-wing sites that cited the unsubstantiated and inaccurate posts as evidence of an illegitimate voting process.”

Management company owned by Jared Kushner files to evict hundreds of families as moratoriums expire. Kushner’s company, Westminster Management, and other landlords prepare to remove tenants behind on rent during the pandemic. The Washington Post, Jonathan O’Connell, Aaron Gregg, and Anu Narayanswamy, Thursday, 5 November 2020: “Westminster Management, an apartment company owned in part by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, has submitted hundreds of eviction filings in court against tenants with past due rent during the pandemic, according to interviews with more than a dozen tenants and a review of hundreds of the company’s filings. A state eviction moratorium currently bars Maryland courts from removing tenants from their homes, and a federal moratorium offers renters additional protection. But like other landlords around the country, Westminster has been sending letters to tenants threatening legal fees and then filing eviction notices in court ― a first legal step toward removing tenants. Those notices are now piling up in local courthouses as part of a national backlog of tens of thousands of cases that experts warn could lead to a surge in displaced renters across the country as eviction bans expire and courts resume cases.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 5 November 2020: U.S. Sets Yet Another Daily Record of Coronavirus Cases: 121,000, The New York Times, Thursday, 5 November 2020:

  • Coronavirus cases at U.S. colleges have hit a quarter million.

  • A nasal spray blocked infection in lab animals, raising hopes for a new weapon against the virus.

  • A day after smashing the single-day record, the U.S. leaps to a new one: 121,000 cases.

  • England begins a new lockdown, and Greece will soon follow.

  • Serbia’s Orthodox patriarch tests positive after presiding over a packed funeral.

  • The first U.S. criminal negligence case over the spread of the virus in a nursing home moves forward.

  • Hopes rise for a quick vote on a new stimulus package.

  • A Missouri election official who worked at the polls despite testing positive has died.