Nine days after testing positive for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump delivers a White House address Saturday to hundreds of partisans, in hopes of relaunching his struggling campaign less than four weeks from Election Day.
Trump has declared he is feeling “really good” — but doubts linger over his health, with the president’s doctor appearing more concerned about pleasing his star patient than communicating transparently with the public.
“Right now I’m medication-free, I’m not taking any medications as of, you know, probably eight hours ago,” Trump told Fox News on Friday night, the first on-camera interview since his diagnosis and three-night hospitalization.
For months, taking their cue from a president who mostly shunned, and at times mocked, the wearing of masks, White House advisors were rarely seen masked inside the West Wing.
Since Trump and his wife Melania tested positive, the mood has shifted. A source with knowledge of planning for Saturday’s outdoor event said all guests will be required to wear a mask to listen to Trump give his address from a White House balcony.
A similar gathering two weeks ago, to announce the nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, has been singled out as a likely source of many of the dozens of positive cases since linked to the White House.
Anthony Fauci, the respected director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has referred to it as a “superspreader event.”
Many questions remain unanswered about the White House outbreak, with more than a dozen cases recorded in the president’s inner circle, including his spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.
“When was the president’s last negative Covid test?” asked Pete Buttigieg, a former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, now tipped for a prominent role in a Joe Biden administration should he defeat Trump on November 3.
Trump’s biggest liability — overwhelming public dissatisfaction over his handling of the pandemic — has returned as the headline issue of the campaign thanks to his own infection, with cases again on the rise nationwide.
The seven-day average of new daily cases recorded between October 3 and 9 — 47,184 — was the highest since the week of August 13 to 19 with an average of 47,530 new cases, according to an AFP analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
“Over 213,000 Americans have died from this virus — and the hard truth is it didn’t have to happen this way,” Biden tweeted on Saturday.
Barack Obama’s former vice president — who is currently riding close to 10 points ahead in national polls and has solidified his lead in key battleground states — is continuing to campaign at his own pace.
In the Republican camp,
“The defendant … is not an employee but an independent contractor, and publishing his clients’ addresses as though his clients were his employers would mischaracterize the relationship,” Gants wrote.
The SJC ruling was sought by Francis X. Harding Jr. a self-employed home contractor whom the Sex Offender Registry Board has classified as a Level 3 sex offender, the most likely to reoffend.
According to the SJC, Harding pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to five years of probation among other sanctions in Fall River District Court.
He was required to register as a sex offender and in the years since has listed his Newton home — where he has a workshop — as both his work and home address with the board, the SJC said.
The self-employed contractor has also regularly shared detailed invoices about the homes or businesses where he had worked with probation officers and was considered to be in compliance with his sentence, the SJC said.
But in March 2018, a Revere police officer spotted Harding at a shopping plaza where the officer was conducting a drug investigation, stopped him, and learned he was working at a house in Lynn repairing gutters, the SJC said.
Lynn police confirmed the information and also confirmed an infant child lived there – Harding was barred from working “with’ children under his sentence – leading District Court Judge Cynthia M. Brackett to find that Harding violated his probation.
Harding appealed, drawing support from the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the non-profit Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.
They jointly argued sex offenders already face major problems getting work and the public disclosure would drive drive away potential customers. Steady employment, they argued, has been proven to reduce recidivism among sex offenders, citing several studies, including one that showed 54 percent of unemployed sex offenders in Indiana committed new crimes.
But Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, whose office prosecuted Harding, wrote in court papers that the major focus of the law was to protect children. Prosecutors said that the Lynn family did not know Harding was a registered sex offender and that he was on site for 30 days.
“The entire purpose that registration serves [is] ensuring that authorities know where sex offenders live and work so they can monitor the offenders to prevent recidivism and protect the public, particularly where children are at risk,” prosecutors said.
Gants, who died last month, wrote that Harding had twice been hired by the Lynn homeowners and the second employment took place after they had a child. .
Gants wrote that the sex offender registry law requires offenders to notify local police and the board they have a new employer 10 days before they start work and in those cases where a homeowner needs help right away, the offender could lose the contract.
“We will not infer that the Legislature intended to