Three major economies — the United States, China and Russia — have not joined. All three are pursuing their own vaccine plans.
In a virtual appearance before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, insisted that Russia’s vaccine was safe and effective, and offered free shots to U.N. staff. Russia’s approval of the vaccine, which came with much fanfare, occurred before it had been tested in late-stage trials.
More than 130 potential vaccines are estimated to be in development globally.
Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said Tuesday that COVAX “represents the most secure means of access, because it includes vaccines from very different countries of the world.”
Mexico has seen one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, with over 700,000 recorded cases, or 555 per 100,000 people, and nearly 74,000 deaths, according to a Times database.
In other news around the world:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand has apologized after being photographed with supporters without social distancing or masks last week while on the campaign trail, drawing criticism from the public and opposition politicians.
The awards ceremony for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been canceled because of the pandemic, the Norwegian Nobel Institute announced on Tuesday. Instead of the usual ceremony at Oslo City Hall, a scaled-back event will be held at the city’s university with a limited number of guests on Dec. 10.The prize will be announced at a news conference on Oct. 9.
Russia has reported a sharp rise in the number of new cases, with Moscow the epicenter of a nationwide spike in infections. Official figures released on Tuesday showed 6,215 new cases over the previous 24 hours — a marked increase from the start of the month and the highest number of daily cases since mid-July. Of those, 980 were reported in Moscow.
South Korea on Tuesday suspended a plan to provide free flu shots for about 19 million people, amid reports of problems with storing some of the vaccines during transport. The number of newly confirmed cases in the country, which is battling a second wave of infections, has stayed below 100 for the past three days. But millions are set to travel domestically next week to celebrate a five-day holiday.
Sixteen more residential areas in Madrid exceeded the infection rate criteria to return to lockdown restrictions, government data showed Tuesday. Those areas are in addition to 37 that went back under lockdown on Monday, raising the prospect that restrictions on movement will soon spread further across Spain’s capital region. Ignacio Aguado, the deputy head of the Madrid region, said that health care services were struggling to control the spread of the virus, while Salvador Illa, Spain’s health minister, urged residents of Madrid to stay at home as much as possible.
Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Stephen Castle, Troy Closson, Rick Gladstone, Abby Goodnough, Andrew Higgins, Jan Hoffman, Mike Ives, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Apoorva Mandavilli, Victor Mather, Patricia Mazzei, Patrick McGeehan, Raphael Minder, Claire Moses, Campbell Robertson, Simon Romero, Dagny Salas, Anna Schaverien, Christopher F. Schuetze, Megan Specia, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Katherine J. Wu, Carl Zimmer and Karen Zraick.
President Donald Trump listens as Nevada business leaders talk at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
A former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name “Anonymous” revealed himself Wednesday as a former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.
The official, Miles Taylor, said in a tweet six days before Election Day that Donald Trump is “a man without character” and “it’s time for everyone to step out of the shadows.”
Taylor has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s in recent months and had repeatedly denied he was the author of the column — even to colleagues at CNN, where he has a contributor contract. He left the Trump administration in June and endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president this summer.
In a statement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Taylor a “low-level, disgruntled former staffer” who “is a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading.”
“This is everything people hate about Washington — two-faced liars who push their own agendas at the expense of the People,” she later tweeted. “This is the epitome of the swamp!”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows called Taylor’s revelation “a monumental embarrassment,” tweeting, “I’ve seen more exciting reveals in Scooby-Doo episodes.”
Taylor’s anonymous essay was published in September 2018 by The New York Times, infuriating the president and setting off a frantic White House leak investigation to try to unmask the author.
In the essay, the person, who identified themselves only as a senior administration official, said they were part of a secret “resistance” force out to counter Trump’s “misguided impulses” and undermine parts of his agenda.
The author wrote, “Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
The Times identified the author as a “senior official” in the administration and received some criticism online Wednesday for inflating Taylor’s credentials. The newspaper, which said it had granted Taylor anonymity because his job would be jeopardized if his identity was revealed, on Wednesday confirmed Taylor was the author because he has waived his right to confidentiality, and had no other comment.
The allegations incensed the president, bolstering his allegations about a “deep state” operating within his government and conspiring against him. And it set off a Beltway guessing game that seeped into the White House, with current and former staffers trading calls and texts, trying to figure out who could have written the piece.
Trump, who had long complained about leaks in the White House, also ordered aides to unmask the writer, citing “national security” concerns to justify a possible Justice Department investigation. And he issued an extraordinary demand that the newspaper reveal the author.
Instead, the author pressed forward, penning a follow-up book published last November called “A Warning” that continued to paint a disturbing picture of the president, describing him as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander in chief.
To a certain extent, he’s since been overshadowed by other former government officials, both during the impeachment hearings and after, who went public condemning Trump’s behaviour with their names attached.
Taylor’s behaviour also leaves questions for CNN. He was asked directly by the network’s Anderson Cooper in August whether he was “Anonymous” and answered: “I wear a mask for two things, Anderson, Halloween and pandemics. So, no.”
Josh Campbell, a national security correspondent for CNN, tweeted that he had also asked Taylor if he was “Anonymous” and was told no.
CNN said Taylor would remain a contributor.
In an essay published Wednesday on Medium.com, Taylor said he published the op-ed and book anonymously because he wanted the focus to be on the arguments, instead of who was writing them.
“We got the answer,” he wrote. “He became unhinged. And the ideas stood on their own two feet.”
Taylor said the nation could no longer rely on bureaucrats to steer Trump toward what’s right since “he has purged most of them anyway.”
“He doesn’t deserve a second term in office,” he wrote, “and we don’t deserve to live through it.”
Former GOP consultant Reed Galen, one of the founders of the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project, tweeted that Taylor “isn’t a hero.” He added: “He sat in those rooms, in those councils of power and allowed the banality of evil to work. … Heroism isn’t silence until it’s convenient and personally advantageous to stand up.”
Months into the COVID-19 pandemic states are setting records for the most new cases and deaths in a week since the pandemic began.
The Dodgers’ Justin Turner left World Series Game 6 with a positive COVID-19 test but returned to the field for a celebration and photos with the trophy. He hugged teammates and posed for photos, but didn’t keep a mask on the entire time.
In Wisconsin, the state saw its worst day in the coronavirus pandemic to-date. Its two-month-long outbreak is one of the worst in the country, and as the state repeatedly breaks daily case records, health experts expect hospitalizations and deaths to continue rising.
And three Western states will partner with California to independently review any FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine before distributing it to the public. Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup,” which will review the safety of any coronavirus vaccine.
Workers considering moving to a lower cost-of-living area amid the pandemic could be hit with a massive pay cut.
For first time since the pandemic began, the U.S. added more than half a million coronavirus cases in a week, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
📈 Today’s numbers: A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows 20 states set records for new cases in a week while three states had a record number of deaths in a week: Nebraska Tennessee and Wyoming. The U.S. has reported more than 8.7million cases and more than 226,600deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 44million cases and 1.2million deaths.
The team’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 reached a threshold set by the league that requires teams to stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and then reassess the situation. According to Big Ten protocols, instead of rescheduling the game, it will be declared a no contest and will be neither a victory nor a loss for either team.
As of Wednesday morning, 12 people within the football program had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days. That includes six players and six staff members, including Chryst. Additional test results are pending.
Chryst is the second Big Ten coach known to contract the coronavirus.
– Jeff Potrykus
Dow sheds 750 points as coronavirus cases spike, stimulus talks hit impasse
The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 750 points, adding to recent declines after the blue-chip average shed 650 points on Monday. The S&P 500 shed 1.8%, and was off 5.3% from its record heading into Wednesday. The Nasdaq Composite slumped 1.6%. The declines were led by losses in companies that would benefit from the economy reopening, including airline and cruise liners.
Optimism that the pandemic may have been brought somewhat under control has dissipated as infections continue to rise in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world. Investors are clamoring for Congress to deliver more virus relief for the U.S. economy, but they’re increasingly acknowledging it won’t happen anytime soon. The uncertainty surrounding the upcoming U.S. election also has left market players wary.
– Jessica Menton
Eli Lilly makes deal with US to supply nearly 1M doses of monoclonal antibody
The company agreed to provide the initial doses within two months of receiving an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Lilly applied for the EUA several weeks ago, the same day President Trump declared he had been “cured” from COVID-19 by a similar drug made by Regeneron.
Preliminary studies suggested that both bamlanivimab and Regeneron’s drug REGN-COV2 could be safe and effective at treating patients suffering from mild to moderate COVID-19, although definitive studies have not yet been completed.
The federal government this week stopped a trial of bamlanivimab in sicker COVID-19 patients, saying that early results suggested it was unlikely to prove effective against the disease. Lilly said it could manufacture up to 1 million doses of bamlanivimab by the end of this year, and substantially more next year, as it brings more manufacturing capacity online.
– Karen Weintraub
US reports more than 500K COVID cases in a week, setting another pandemic record
For first time since the pandemic began, the United States added more than half a million coronavirus cases in a week, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
This is the third day in a row the U.S. set a record for how many coronavirus cases it reported over the previous seven days.
On Tuesday, the country recorded 502,828 new coronavirus cases in the previous week. On Monday, the figure was 489,918, and on Sunday the number was 481,519. The previous record from the spring and summer surges was at the end of July with 471,230 cases.
The U.S. has blown past the earlier records by 6.7 percent.
At the latest week’s pace, an American tests positive for COVID-19 every 1.2 seconds and dies from the disease every minute and 47 seconds.
– Michael Stucka
SUNY students must provide COVID-19 negative test before leaving for Thanksgiving break
COVID-19 widespread testing is crucial to fighting the pandemic, but is there enough testing? The answer is in the positivity rates.
All students in over 64 of SUNY’s colleges and universities, which is more than 140,000 students, must receive a negative test result within 10 days of leaving. Schools are required to submit a plan to test all of their on-campus students within that window by Nov. 5.
“By requiring all students to test negative before leaving, we are implementing a smart, sensible policy that protects students’ families and hometown communities and drastically reduces the chances of COVID-19 community spread,” said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.
Most SUNY schools will shut down residential facilities after Thanksgiving break and shift to remote learning.
Wisconsin reports worst day of pandemic yet with 64 deaths
The state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.
There were 1,385 people hospitalized due to the virus in Wisconsin, including 339 in intensive care units. Both were all-time highs. Hospitalizations have seen rapid, unimpeded growth for the last five weeks, straining short-staffed health care systems across the state.
“This is no longer a slow-motion disaster,” said Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “This is a disaster in warp speed. And it’s maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying.”
– Sophie Carson, Alison Dirr and Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dodgers’ Justin Turner left World Series Game 6 with positive COVID test
Minutes after the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their first World Series title since 1988, Major League Baseball announced that third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19.
Fox broke the news on the postgame show following the Dodgers 3-1 win in Game 6 on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and Turner’s positive test was confirmed by commissioner Rob Manfred.
“Obviously we’re concerned when any of our players test positive,” Manfred said. “We learned during the game. He was immediately isolated to prevent spread.”
MLB had not reported a positive test in 57 days, and there was a soft bubble in place for the World Series.
– Jesse Yomtov
Hawaii to allow visitors from Japan with negative tests starting Nov. 6
Starting Nov. 6, Hawaii will allow visitors from Japan to bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of departing for the islands.
But Japanese travelers will still have to spend two weeks in quarantine upon returning home, which will likely limit the number of people taking advantage of the plan.
Hawaii earlier this month implemented a similar testing program for travelers from other parts of the U.S. Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy gets more travelers from Japan than any other foreign country. Before the pandemic, the state would welcome about 5,000 visitors from Japan daily. Those numbers have dwindled to almost none.
NBA union head unsure about season’s potential start in December
With the NBA’s owners proposing to start next season around Christmas, should the players view it as an early holiday present? Or would they like to return the gift?
“I don’t know what I think yet,” Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “We are in the throes of discussing it and in the throes of evaluating what it means in terms of the revenue-related issues that have been raised. Frankly, we’re also spending some time trying to get information on what this means in respect to player health.”
Some of that information varies by team.
The NBA Finals ended on Oct. 11, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat with just over two months to recover before the proposed start of next season. But eight teams have not played since the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11 because of the coronavirus outbreak. After the NBA resumed at the quarantined campus near Orlando, six more teams ended their season by mid-August and another eight by late August.
– Mark Medina
White House science office lists ‘ending the COVID-19 pandemic’ as accomplishment
The White House’s science policy office on Tuesday listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” among the Trump administration’s first-term accomplishments, as the U.S. breaks records for new coronavirus cases daily.
A press release from the Office of Science and Technology Policy lists the “decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease” as a success.
However, the disease has not been defeated, and the White House has signaled they are not going to be able to control it before a vaccine is available.
The U.S. has reported 489,769 COVID-19 cases in the last week, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. It’s another record high since July when the nation saw a peak in cases.
– Savannah Behrmann
Moving during COVID-19 pandemic could come with a massive pay cut
Though workers may no longer need to put up with tight spaces and high costs to land top work opportunities because of the pandemic, moving from the nation’s hottest job markets could cost them as much as 30%, according to new research Glassdoor shared exclusively with USA TODAY.
Whether they are decamping for a new job or signing on remotely for their current company, where employees clock in will increasingly determine how much they take home, Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain told USA TODAY.
“Traditionally, wages almost never fall, but we are in an environment where I am basically predicting that wages will fall for a lot of jobs,” Chamberlain said. “The reason wages never fall is that workers never do things like this. They never pick up and move to radically different cities en masse.”
HEY! How you guys doing? Longtime British Americanophile “reaching out” across the Atlantic. I’m here to heart you, USA. I’m like “hope the hurting stops soon” (strong-arm mid-tone emoji).
I guess you’re all making a list of The Worst Things Trump Did, then checking it twice because really, who’d believe it. And I know he’s primarily your monstrous problem. But even Brits are citizens of what we used to call “the free world”. Your president was once the leader of it. And one of the very worst things Trump’s done is to make Ronald Reagan look like an intellectual giant. Simply by comparison, Trump has humanised Reagan and elevated his memory to sainthood.
I’m currently researching the Gipper for a project and honestly, next to Trump he genuinely seems like … not the good guy, exactly? But definitely presidential. “Let’s make America great again” was Reagan’s slogan, of course. It was about “American values”, making America great in the world again. Trump’s slogan initially stood for rebuilding economic power. Now it’s shorthand for “let’s win the culture war I relentlessly inflame and sure, bring on an actual armed civil war if I lose the election”.
Of course, Trump’s humanity is at such undetectable levels he makes literally anyone else look like St Francis of Assisi. Infuriatingly, even deadweight predecessors like the Bush dynasty look competent. But Reagan? Along with millions of others in the 1980s, I was there at marches and demonstrations, noisily railing against hated neoliberal Raygun, his nuclear missiles, his utterly insane space force. Oh how we disdained him, this doddery warmonger, this huckleberry clown of a politician. It never occurred to us that 40 years on we’d be contemplating someone so much more clueless, so very much stupider, than Reagan.
None of my business, dear Americans, I know. You’re absolutely right. It’s not my country, it’s yours. You’re the ones pledging allegiance from sea to shining sea. I should butt out. And yet. All this used to be my business, back in the day when Potus was de facto leader of “the west” and led the forces of laissez-faire capitalism against the Evil Empire of Communism. “Ideology”, we used to call it. Man, we thought Reagan was the devil incarnate 40 years ago. Now the news is basically “Self-Satirising Human Cronut Yesterday On Twitter Said …”
As I write this letter of solidarity, I’m watching the televised presidential debate for election 1980, 40 years ago. Jimmy Carter the bruised defender, looking for a second term. Reagan the interloper, the disrupter, landing blow after blow on Carter – the failing economy, the Tehran hostages, the correct pronunciation of “nuclear”. Reagan was the older man but he sounded younger. What is frankly astonishing is the dignity of the debate itself. Here were political enemies – diametrically opposed on every issue – politely disagreeing, listening, yielding when time ran out. Basic human respect. And you stop and think – how is this normal, being nostalgic for normality itself?
Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan during a debate in 1980. Photograph: The Ronald Reagan Presidential L/Reuters
Trump often invokes Ronald Reagan as an inspiration, and you can see how the analogy crosses his mind, like tumbleweed. Reagan too arrived at the White House from the world of entertainment. But Reagan had been governor of California for two terms. And president of a powerful union, the Screen Actors Guild. And served in the military. Reagan’s primary domestic objective of “getting government off the backs of the people” undoubtedly helped Trump the young shark-eyed entrepreneur – greedy to build, greedy for profit, greedy for tax credits.
Reagan consistently said that a free press was a prerequisite for a free country, and that it should hold presidents to account. Imagine that: a president inviting scrutiny. Trump dismisses any story he doesn’t like as “fake news” and deals only with Fox – his Pravda, his Tass. Unlike Trump, Reagan was self-aware enough to know his limitations. He surrounded himself with smart counsel and experts. Trump lives in a bubble of sycophancy.
Some of the stuff Trump’s pulling isn’t new, it’s just louder. You couldn’t imagine any of the other presidents not wanting America First. And like Trump, Reagan was an authoritarian who sent armed police in to break up civil protest. Reagan was indifferent to Aids; Trump is indifferent to Covid-19. More than 89,000 people died of Aids over seven years under Reagan administrations. Covid deaths in the US over seven months under Trump are 225,000 and rising …
In his foreign policy dealings, Reagan believed in statecraft, that ancient art of diplomacy now apparently lost in the murk of history. He saw his primary task as leading the world to peace and was prepared to sit down with cold war adversaries to thrash out a disarmament program. Does Trump even have a foreign policy, besides “screw you”? A resurrected Reagan would be aghast at Trump meeting Commie-In-Chief Kim Jong-un three times to discuss nuclear weapons with no tangible results.
Reagan’s statecraft did not hinge on whether the particular head of state “liked him”. Reagan’s preoccupation wasn’t self-aggrandisement. He sought world peace, and found gratification in good deeds. When his mind had gone, his memories lost, all knowledge of being President entirely faded, he remembered this: he had saved 77 people from drowning as a young lifeguard. That, in his shattered mind, was his legacy. In Trump’s bizarro world, drowners are losers.
Anyway, I’ll sign off. You have important stuff to do, like choosing a president. I wish you good luck; we’re all aware Kamala Harris is a result and a heartbeat from becoming America’s first female Potus. Things could be worse, no doubt. But they could also be better. The best to you and yours, my brothers and sisters.
I remain your most ardent admirer,
A Brit, Esq
Ian Martin is a comedy writer. His credits include Veep, The Death of Stalin, Avenue 5, The Thick of it and more