CORONAVIRUS: The US has reported upwards of 500,000 new cases this past week. We’ll repeat: there were more than half a million new coronavirus cases in the US this past week. This comes as the White House science office listed “ending the Covid-19 pandemic” as the top accomplishment of Prez Trump’s first term. Speaking of Trump, he’s set to announce that Medicare and Medicaid will cover out-of-pocket costs for any potential coronavirus vaccine that’s given emergency use authorization. Oh, and if you’re wondering if there’s a stimulus update: the Senate just adjourned for two weeks. Yes, really. Meanwhile, Russia’s imposing a nationwide mask mandate. And in Italy and Spain, some protesters clashed with police over new restrictions.
ELECTION: More than 70 million ballots have already been cast in the 2020 US presidential election. And ICYDK, less than 140 million people in total voted in the 2016 election. Meaning the US is poised for record voter turnout. You read that right. On that note: there’s been a lot of talk about whether every mail-in ballot will end up being counted. (Which is probably a good time to remind you that if you haven’t yet mailed in your ballot, try dropping it off or going to vote in person to make sure your vote counts.) Enter: this federal court, which just set a plan to help ensure the US Postal Service delivers ballots quickly. Think: allowing extra and late delivery trips.
DISASTERS: It’s no secret that Prez Trump doesn’t exactly believe in climate change. And, subsequently, isn’t a big fan of certain actions that would help stop climate change. So recently, the Trump team basically fired the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (aka NOAA)...and installed new political staff who’ve been known to question facts about climate change. Already, these new staff have slapped stricter controls on communications at the agency. Cue concerns that this new shift could eliminate a big source of gov info about climate change. Meanwhile, Hurricane Zeta is strengthening as it heads toward Louisiana and Mississippi. The storm is expected to make landfall later today.