World news – CDC director suggests masks are ‘more guaranteed to protect against Covid’ than vaccine – live


Joe Biden is running an hour behind in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was scheduled to deliver remarks on the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

The Democratic nominee was supposed to start his speech at 2:30 pm ET, but he has not yet appeared at the podium set up in Wilmington’s Queen theater.

Biden received a briefing from public health experts on how to safely and equitably distribute a vaccine earlier today.

Regarding the timeline of distributing a vaccine, CDC Director Robert Redfield told senators today, “If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third — late second quarter, third quarter 2021.”

Here’s some fun news: Saturday Night Live announced that comedian Jim Carrey will play Joe Biden in its next season.

SNL creator Lorne Michaels told Vulture in an interview published today, “There was some interest on [Carrey’s] part. And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength, and … hopefully it’s funny.”

SNL is set to premiere on October 3 with a limited in-person audience, in line with New York’s recommendations on mitigating the spread of coronavirus.

The White House has just announced that Trump will hold a press conference at 5 pm ET today.

The president will likely be pressed on his comments yesterday downplaying the importance of face masks.

Trump said during his ABC News town hall last night, “A lot of people don’t want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good.”

But CDC Director Robert Redfield told senators today that face masks may be “more guaranteed to protect me against Covid” than a vaccine.

A new set of Senate polls shows Democrats pulling ahead in Maine and running neck and neck in the Republican-leaning state of South Carolina.

According to the new polls from Quinnipiac University, Democratic candidate Sara Gideon is 12 points ahead of Republican Senator Susan Collins in Maine, 54%-42%. Collins is seeking her fifth term in the Senate, but she is considered one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection this year.

New Quinnipiac Senate polls –MAINE:Sara Gideon (D): 54%Susan Collins (R): 42%SOUTH CAROLINA:Lindsey Graham (R): 48%Jaime Harrison (D): 48%KENTUCKY:Mitch McConnell (R): 53%Amy McGrath (D): 41%

Another poll of South Carolina shows Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison tied with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, 48%-48%.

A third poll of Kentucky provided some good news for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who is 12 points ahead of Democrat Amy McGrath, 53%-41%.

If Joe Biden wins the presidential race, Democrats need to flip three seats in the Senate to take control of the chamber. If Biden doesn’t win the White House, Democrats will need to flip four seats to seize the Senate.

Election experts have said control of the Senate is definitely up for grabs, and Senate Republicans’ campaign arm warned in a recent memo that the chamber is “at risk” of falling into Democrats’ hands.

A memo by Senate Republicans’ campaign arm has admitted that control of the upper chamber is “at risk” and that Democrats could win the Senate in November’s elections.

The September 2020 political update from the National Republican Senatorial Committee summarizes the state of the race of 10 states with Senate races around the country and how the outcome of each could factor into whether Republicans or Democrats control the chamber in January.

The memo, obtained by the Guardian, has been circulating among political operatives, donors and interested parties. It comes just shy of 50 days before the November 2020 elections.

“The next few weeks will define the future of our country for generations to come,” the NRSC memo reads.

Memos like these are often shaped like dispassionate updates but in actuality they are often used to convince interested parties that races slipping out of reach are still in play. They are also often used to juice donations to lagging candidates and counter trending narratives.

Democrats need to pick up three or four seats to take control of the Senate. The fact that the NRSC memo categorizes seven Senate races as ones that simply can’t be lost or deserve serious attention suggests that it’s possible, but not certain that Democrats can take control of the Senate.

Shortly before leaving the podium, McEnany was asked about the announcement that HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo will be taking a leave of absence, following reports that he pressured CDC officials to alter key reports on coronavirus.

McEnany did not address Caputo’s departure and instead pivoted to discussing the normalization agreements signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House yesterday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany deflected a question about Trump retweeting a baseless accusation that Joe Biden is a pedophile.

When asked for evidence of that extraordinary allegation, McEnany said, “I’m not here to talk about Joe Biden.”

It should be noted that McEnany has repeatedly attacked Biden by name from the podium of the White House briefing room.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to answer questions about Trump’s health care plan, which the president has been promising to release for more than a year.

A reporter noted that three senior health officials testified today they were not involved in the formulation of such a plan.

« I’m not going to give you a readout of what our health care plan looks like and who’s working on it. if you want to know, come work here at the White House » — Kayleigh McEnany

When asked who was working on the proposal, McEnany gave a vague answer, saying “multiple stakeholders” in the White House were involved.

After a reporter pressed for a more specific answer, McEnany said, “I’m not going to give you a readout of what our health care plan looks like and who’s working on it. If you want to know, come work here at the White House.”

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dodged a question about whether any White House staffers had recently tested positive for coronavirus.

A member of the White House press pool was told earlier today that a couple staffers tested positive this morning, delaying the distribution of tests to reporters.

The White House called the journalists from the pool 30 minutes late to get our routine covid test. I was told they were late because « It was a very busy morning. We had a couple of positives today »

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted the president supported mask usage to limit the spread of coronavirus, despite Trump’s comments at his town hall last night.

But here’s what Trump said yesterday: “A lot of people don’t want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good. … The concept of a mask is good, but it also does … you’re constantly touching it.”

McEnany claimed Trump was trying to highlight the potential “unintended consequences” if masks are not worn properly.

McEnany opened the briefing by praising the Big Ten’s announcement that the conference would play a shortened season of college football, after initially saying the season was canceled.

Trump previously took credit for helping the conference make its decision, but a Big Ten president told NBC News that Trump “had nothing to do with our decision and did not impact the deliberations.”

A Big Ten president involved in the decision to resume the season tells @NBCNews, “President Trump had nothing to do with our decision and did not impact the deliberations. In fact, when his name came up, it was a negative because no one wanted this to be political.”

Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs for the department of health and human services, is taking a leave of absence amid a controversy over his efforts to pressure CDC officials to alter key reports on the coronavirus pandemic.

HHS said in a statement, “Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing that HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo has decided to take a leave of absence to focus on his health and the well-being of his family. Mr. Caputo will be on leave for the next 60 days.”

The department also announced that one of Caputo’s deputies, Dr Paul Alexander, would be permanently leaving HHS.

The announcement comes days after reports emerged that Caputo had urged the CDC to alter reports on coronavirus because they “would undermine the president’s optimistic messages about the outbreak.”

Caputo also received criticism for suggesting (without evidence) that CDC officials were forming a “resistance unit” to undermine Trump.

The HHS spokesperson said in a Facebook live video, “There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to furlough staff at City Hall, including himself, in response to a budgetary shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The policy would affect 495 mayoral staff members, who would have to take an unpaid, weeklong furlough at some point between October and March 2021. The furloughs would apply to everyone from administrative assistants to Mr. de Blasio and the office of his wife, Chirlane McCray.

Facing a $9 billion, two-year revenue shortfall because of the coronavirus’s impact on the economy, Mr. de Blasio this year closed the city’s budget with $1 billion in unspecified labor savings.

De Blasio has previously warned that he would have to lay off 22,000 city employees if New York did not receive federal aid or permission from the state to extend its debt limit. So far, neither has come through.


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