As the US edges closer toward 9 million total cases, voters are out casting ballots in several swing states where outbreaks are widening — making it difficult to judge which way they will vote.
President Donald Trump and his rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, went head-to-head in one of those battlegrounds on Thursday, showing their sharply divergent approaches to the virus at dueling rallies in Florida.
In spite of that vulnerability, the President downplayed the fall surge during his huge rally in Tampa — where there was no social distancing and few supporters wore masks. At one point, Trump told rallygoers: “We know the disease. We social distance. We do all of the things that you have to do. … If you get close, wear a mask.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: Do people in California really eat through their masks?
Californians are not required to wear “complex” or “special” masks, as the President claimed on Wednesday; basic face coverings, even homemade ones, are acceptable there. Though Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a statewide mask order, Californians are not required to wear masks at all times; they can remove them when at home, when alone in a room outside their home, when outdoors and more than 6 feet from others, and when eating or drinking. And while people can transmit the coronavirus or get infected while wearing masks, face coverings have proven effective in reducing the chances of transmission; they are much better than “nothing.”
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Many counties that hosted Trump rallies had a significant increase in coronavirus cases
The 17 rallies occurred between August 17 and September 26. Of the host counties that had increased infection rates, eight had declining rates in the preceding month before the rally. The other six counties already had increasing rates of infection.
Europe tried a scalpel on the second wave. Now it’s going back to the sledgehammer
Germany and France both announced new four-week national lockdowns on Wednesday night — an acknowledgement that their attempts to control the outbreaks through local measures have failed. They followed the Czech Republic and Ireland, which put country-wide restrictions in place earlier this month. Spain and the United Kingdom could be next.
Taiwan just went 200 days without a locally transmitted Covid-19 case. Here’s how they did it
As much of the world struggles to contain new waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan just marked its 200th consecutive day without a locally transmitted case of the disease.
China’s most controlled region is facing the country’s biggest coronavirus outbreak in months
While the rest of the country is reporting only a handful of daily cases — with most of those imported — Xinjiang has this week recorded dozens of new infections.
It’s the country’s biggest coronavirus cluster since more than 180 infections were reported in the capital Beijing in June. And it has raised eyebrows, given the heavy surveillance and security prevalent in the region, and the drastic response the government enacted earlier this year.
ON OUR RADAR
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are now engaged in a public war of words, casting new doubt on whether they will be able to reach agreement on stimulus legislation even after the November election.
- An influential model of the coronavirus pandemic has predicted 399,000 total coronavirus deaths in the US by Feb. 1, a 15,000-death increase over last week’s prediction.
- Clemson’s star quarterback Trevor Lawrence tests positive for Covid-19 and will not play Saturday against Boston College.
- In what could be a glimpse into the future of air travel, United Airlines will begin offering free coronavirus tests to passengers on select routes.
- Parisians rushed to escape the city before a fresh lockdown came into force, causing a snarl of traffic in the French capital on Thursday night.
- Poland’s total number of coronavirus infections has tripled in less than a month, reaching more than 300,000 total cases.
- Germany has reported record new Covid-19 case numbers for a third straight day.
There are 9.9 million Americans who are not up-to-date on their rent or mortgage payments, and at risk of eviction. Long before Covid-19, the United States was facing a homelessness crisis. Now, as the economic toll of the pandemic weighs on families, many are scrambling to figure out how to obtain or sustain a place they call home.
“There are other symptoms that I have, so many years after, that I think are resonating with your Covid long-haulers, people who talk about, you know, brain fog, difficulty concentrating … difficulty making new memories.” — Dr. Craig Spencer, Ebola survivor