News of Trump and three Senate Republicans testing positive for coronavirus has made the difficult relief bill negotiations even more complicated.

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the chamber would be out until Oct. 19, suggesting lawmakers were not close to a deal following a week of discussions between Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

No new relief has been passed since March, despite continued high unemployment and the financial struggles of corporations and small businesses due to the pandemic.

Last week, Democrats proposed spending $2.2 trillion, but the Trump administration agreed to spend $1.6 trillion, including a $400 weekly pandemic jobless benefit.

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her staffers have tested positive for coronavirus.

McEnany, who is asymptomatic, says she will begin to quarantine.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he will debate the president during the upcoming October 15 debate if scientists say it’s safe and added he is “looking forward” to the possible town hall style debate.

Since Trump’s recent Covid-19 diagnosis, the New Jersey Health Department has been launching contact-tracing efforts after Trump’s fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club Thursday.

The department announced it has reached out to those who attended the fundraiser and staff members at the golf club are being interviewed to assess their level of exposure to the president and his aides. Most of the club’s staff members live in Somerset County, the department said. [READ MORE]

Sunday was the first National Covid-19 Remembrance Day. To honor the nearly 210,000 lives lost during the pandemic, the organization COVID Survivors for Change set up 20,000 empty chairs set up outside the White House. Each chair represents 10 lives lost to COVID-19.

A program of “advocacy, art and real people’s stories” was live-streamed and hosted by Grammy Award winning singer Dionne Warwick. Speakers included family members of those who have died from COVID-19, as well as survivors and frontline workers.

In a proposal to the governor, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has requested to again close schools and nonessential businesses, including dining, in nine zip codes within the five boroughs that have experienced a recent uptick in coronavirus cases.

On Friday, the state’s daily case count topped 1,500 for the first time since May. There are currently 20 hot spot zip codes in the state and are responsible for 21% of the new cases in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters during a press conference.

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