1/ Trump tested negative for the coronavirus “on consecutive days,” White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said. Conley’s memo did not specify on which consecutive days Trump had tested negative. Trump was tested using an antigen test, which are considered to be less accurate than molecular tests. Conley added: Trump is “not infectious to others.” (CNN / Bloomberg / CNBC)

  • Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine trial was paused because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers. Eli Lilly also paused a trial of its monoclonal antibody drug — the same class of medicine Trump received — for safety concerns. (Washington Post / CNN / Politico / STAT News)

  • 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~38,000,000; deaths: ~1,084,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~7,848,000; deaths: ~216,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • 💻 COVID-19 Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / CNN / The Guardian

2/ Trump, eager to prove he’s healthy despite his recent COVID-19 hospitalization, returned to the campaign trail on Monday night in Florida and kicking off four straight days of rallies. While claiming himself cured of COVID-19, Trump asserted he is “immune” to the coronavirus – there is no conclusive scientific backing for the claim. “I feel so powerful,” Trump said before leaving Washington. “I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women. Just give you a big fat kiss.” (New York Times / NBC News / USA Today)

3/ Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate’s “first order of business” when it returns on Oct. 19 will be to vote on a “targeted” coronavirus relief bill, including new funding for the small business Paycheck Protection Program. House Democrats, Senate Republicans, and the Trump administration, however, are still far apart on a deal. Over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a roughly $1.8 trillion deal — about $400 billion less than the bill House Democrats passed earlier this month. Pelosi dismissed the proposal, and suggested that Trump “only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the [stock] market to go up.” Nancy Pelosi also told House Democrats that McConnell’s proposal was a nonstarter. Trump, meanwhile, tweeted for Congress to “Go big or go home!!!” on a “STIMULUS!” deal. (CNBC / Bloomberg / Politico / Axios)

4/ Amy Coney Barrett largely refused to answer questions about how she might rule on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, if she would recuse herself from any lawsuit about the presidential election, and whether she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade on the second day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. When asked how she would rule if she gets on the court in time to hear a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act, Barrett insisted that she’s “not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act” and that she’s “not hostile to the ACA.” Barrett told the committee that she doesn’t have a judicial “agenda” on abortion while declining to answer if she believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and can be overturned. In 2006, however, Barrett signed an open letter calling Roe v. Wade “barbaric” and “an exercise of raw judicial power.” Barrett also declared that she would not “allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people.” She declined, however, to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases. (Washington Post / NBC News / NPR / Politico / The Guardian / New York Times / Axios / Washington Post / CNBC)

5/ Trump continued his public criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, tweeting that Fauci’s pitching arm is “far more accurate than his prognostications” – a reference to the nation’s top infectious disease expert poor first pitch at Nationals Park. Trump’s criticism comes after Dr. Fauci balked at the Trump campaign including him in a political ad that made it look like he was endorsing Trump. Dr. Fauci said in a statement that “the comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.” Dr. Fauci also demanded that the Trump campaign refrain from using him in future campaign ads, saying it would be “outrageous” and “terrible” if he was featured in another commercial and it could “come back to backfire” on the campaign. Dr. Fauci, however, said “I’m not going to walk away from this outbreak, no matter who’s the president.” (CNN / Daily Beast / ABC News / NBC News / Politico / Axios)

  • Trump’s campaign is running a political ad that features the Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley without the officer’s “knowledge or consent,” according to a defense official. (Politico)

✏️Notables

  1. 🚨 The Supreme Court approved a Trump administration request to end the 2020 census count earlier than planned. Lower courts previously ordered the administration to keep counting through Oct. 31. The administration had sought to stop counting in order to to apportion House seats and distribute federal funds for the next 10 years by Dec. 31. [Editor’s note: This is breaking news. I’ll have a full overview tomorrow] (NPR / USA Today / CNBC)

  2. Trump asked the Supreme Court to block a lower court’s ruling that would give the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office access to years of his income tax returns. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear his appeal, it will be the second time the court has heard the case. In July, the court ruled that presidents are not immune from investigation, sending the case back to lower courts for Trump’s lawyers to fight the subpoena. (CNBC / Axios)

  3. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Congress that accused Trump of violating anti-corruption provisions in the U.S. Constitution over his private businesses accepting payments from foreign governments. Without comment, the justices let stand a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals to dismiss the lawsuit filed by 215 members of Congress. (Washington Post / Reuters)

  4. More than 10.6 million voters have cast their ballots in the November election. By Oct. 16 of the 2016 presidential election, about 1.4 million voters had cast a ballot. Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Virginia have received more early ballots than they did in the 2016 presidential election. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  5. Georgia voters overloaded polling places on the first day of early voting Monday as state and local officials reported glitches with the new and touch-screen voting system. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / New York Times)

  6. More than 3 million new voters registered in Texas after the 2016 election, meaning about 1 in 5 Texas voters in 2020 were not registered in 2016. (CBS News)

  7. A federal appeals court upheld Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that limited counties to one mail-in ballot drop-off location. The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, all appointed by Trump, rejected arguments that claimed Abbott’s order suppressed voting rights by making it harder to cast a ballot. (USA Today / Washington Post)

  8. The Virginia voter registration system crashed on the last day for voters to register before Election Day. Officials said that a cut cable was to blame for the “temporary” system shutdown. (CBS News / Daily Beast / WUSA9)

  9. A federal judge dismissed an attempt by the Trump campaign and the Republican Party to make ballot dropboxes in Pennsylvania unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Ranjan ruled that the Trump campaign has no standing because of the lack of evidence of actual fraud. (Washington Post / CNN / Axios / WHYY)

  10. The California Republican Party admitted to placing more than 50 “unauthorized” drop boxes for mail-in ballots in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Orange Counties. The deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes were placed near churches, gun shops, and Republican Party offices, and affixed with a white paper label identifying them as either an “Official Ballot Drop off Box” or a “Ballot Drop Box.” (New York Times / Washington Post / BuzzFeed News / Orange County Register)

  11. Microsoft disrupted a hacking operation that it said could have indirectly affected election infrastructure if allowed to continue. The company won a court order to seize servers used by the Trickbot botnet, a network of infected computers that Microsoft said could have been used to lock up voter-registration systems. (Washington Post / CNN)

  12. Eric Trump canceled a campaign event at a Michigan gun shop after a former employee was linked to the domestic terror plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (ClickOnDetroit)


Become a member.

Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.
Learn more