Negotiations continued over the weekend on a new coronavirus relief package. On Friday, the Trump administration proposed a roughly $1.8 trillion package, to which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republicans disapproved.
In a letter to Democrats, Pelosi said there are still several major issues that need to be worked out, adding, “Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse.” Senate Republicans are opposed to including state and local funding in a new stimulus package and seek to keep the relief bill even lower than Trump’s $1.8 trillion price tag.
Pelosi, called Trump’s counteroffer “insufficient” and “amounted to one step forward, two steps back” in negotiations.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
For the first time since mid-August, the U.S. recorded its third consecutive day of more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. Health experts predict the U.S. death toll could reach as high as 233,000 by the end of the month. Almost 215,000 Americans have died from coronavirus.
Over the weekend, coronavirus cases set new single-day records in six U.S. states and worldwide. Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia all had record single-day increases in cases, according to NBC News’ tally. The World Health Organization meanwhile announced that 350,766 new infections were reported Friday. [READ MORE]
Since September 29, at least 24 people in Trump’s circle have tested positive for Covid-19. Some of those individuals include wife Melania, counselor to the president Hope Hicks, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Senior adviser Stephen Miller, and Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who helped Mr. Trump with debate preparation. Christie, who suffers from asthma, was admitted to the hospital on October 3. He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday, October 10.
In a memo released on Saturday, Dr. Sean Conley said Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus just 10 days after his initial diagnosis of infection. Conley did not say if Trump had tested negative for it. The diagnosis came on the same day Trump hosted a campaign rally and event supporting law enforcement on the White House lawn. And on Sunday, the White House called on the Commission for Presidential Debates to reschedule the second debate in light of Dr. Conley’s clearance of Trump to participate in public engagements.
Just hours before a scheduled debate between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jaime Harrison, debate organizers were forced to change the format due to Graham’s refusal to test for Covid-19. Harrison expressed concern after his Republican challenger’s recent exposure to GOP colleagues who tested positive for the virus. The candidates instead took part in individual interviews with two television journalists.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have called on Graham, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, to delay the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as his health status is questionable.
According to an ESPN report, an unidentified Chicago Bears practice squad player and a strength and conditioning coach for the Kansas City Chiefs have tested positive for coronavirus. Last weekend, Kansas City practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu tested positive and had been the only known positive case with the team.