Rubio calls for ‘frequent, detailed & transparent updates’ from White House regarding Trump’s health

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) urged the White House to be more transparent regarding President Trump’s condition after he announced early Friday he had tested positive for COVID-19.



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Rubio calls for 'frequent, detailed & transparent updates' from White House regarding Trump's health


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Rubio calls for ‘frequent, detailed & transparent updates’ from White House regarding Trump’s health

“A significant increase in conspiracy theories & outrageous claims since the President’s diagnosis. Lies spread much faster than fact checking. This is why we need frequent, detailed & transparent updates from @WhiteHouse. And why we should all be skeptical of outlandish rumors,” he tweeted.

Trump first announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. He is experiencing mild symptoms, including reportedly a low-grade fever, and was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later Friday.

White House senior adviser Hope Hicks and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel have also tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as at least three senators who attended a Rose Garden ceremony earlier this week.

The diagnosis sent Washington into a spiral Friday, with some Twitter users floating conspiracy theories over Trump’s state, including that China was responsible since that is where the pandemic first broke out.

The usually verbose president has only tweeted twice since his diagnosis was announced.

Trump’s physician will hold a press conference at Walter Reed Saturday morning.

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Trump plans mass events in Wisconsin where White House task force calls for social distancing.

Wisconsin is listed in the document as the state with the third-highest rate of new cases in the country, with 243 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous week, about 2.6 times greater than the national average. Ahead of Trump’s scheduled rally in Green Bay, the Bellin Health System said Tuesday that its hospital in that city is at 94 percent capacity as covid-19 continues to spike in the community.

“During the intense period of viral surge, large numbers of acutely infected individuals caused exponential growth in infections,” the task force report reads in a section about Wisconsin. “Although young adults are the most affected group currently, spread to other age groups is inevitable.”

The task force report, which is sent to the leaders of all 50 states and D.C., is distributed weekly with specific recommendations for curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, along with progress reports on testing and county-by-county assessments of the prevalence of the virus. The reports are not made public.

The debate over whether Trump should gather large crowds comes as the president faced off against his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, for the first presidential debate, offering sharply different opinions on whether public health recommendations against large crowds are justified.

During Tuesday’s debate, Trump defended his events as opportunities for his supporters to gather to hear him and claimed that there has been “no negative effect” from his rallies, even though health officials in Tulsa said a spike in covid-19 cases was “likely” sparked by an indoor Trump gathering in June.

The president also said he was “okay with masks” but falsely claimed that scientists are divided over their value. Health experts have said mask-wearing, hand-washing, social distancing and being careful about crowds currently make up the best defense against the virus.

Biden, by contrast, said Trump has been “totally irresponsible” in the way he has handled social distancing and masks, and in holding large rallies.

“Basically he has been a fool on this,” Biden said of Trump.

“If you could get the crowds, you would have done the same thing,” the president responded. “But you can’t. Nobody can.”

In addition to the White House task force’s guidance, local concern has been growing in Wisconsin about Trump’s planned events, which are scheduled for outdoor airplane hangars without universal mask mandates. Gov. Tony Evers (D) said Tuesday in a news briefing that Trump should either cancel the events or require mask-wearing by everyone who attends.

“This virus is real, and it is devastating our communities, and it will continue to do so until we all get on the same team,” Evers said in a press call about the recent spike in the state’s cases.

He told Wisconsin residents that wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing or staying at home, and he asked them to cancel family barbecues, play dates or dinner parties, and make all large gatherings virtual.

Ryan Westergaard, the state’s chief medical officer, said Tuesday that Wisconsin is “in a

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Tennessee House leadership calls for review of Nashville’s use of COVID-19 relief funds

Republican leadership in the Tennessee House has asked the state comptroller to conduct a “thorough review” of Nashville’s management of $131 million in state and federal COVID-19 relief funding.



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In response to Nashville’s lagging economic recovery and anticipating additional requests for state aid from the state’s budget next year, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, and 10 other House Republicans sent Comptroller Justin Wilson a letter Friday, asking him to review the city’s use of federal relief funds.

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“In Tennessee, we do let locals do what they need to do, but we’re not here to write a blank check and go into a partnership blind,” Sexton said in an interview with The Center Square. “So we are asking the comptroller to give us some thorough review of where their spending has been.”

Sexton called out Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s restrictive economic policies that have prevented many businesses from fully reopening after mandatory pandemic-related shutdowns.

“When he’s saying that business is what keeps this economy thriving and growing, and they need businesses to be open, it calls into question why he shut down Nashville for as long as he has, and why it’s the worst performing city in America right now, and why it’s the worst performing county in our state right now,” Sexton said.

The letter noted that of the more than 19,000 local governments in the country, only 36 municipalities were provided direct federal COVID-19 relief. Sexton said Cooper’s request for additional funding from the state earlier this month raised questions about how the city used the significant funding it already received.

“They had $121 million coming from the federal government, we gave them 10 additional million – so that’s $130 million. They said they needed another $82 million from the state. And then on top of that, they’re raising taxes about 34%, potentially,” Sexton said.

Gov. Bill Lee denied the city’s request for an additional $82 million in state funding last week.

In response to House leadership’s request, Cooper’s office said Nashville is ready for the comptroller’s review.

“We welcome the comptroller’s audit,” Chris Song, a spokesperson from Cooper’s office told The Center Square, praising the work of Metro’s COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee.

“Nashville’s direct CARES Act allocation has been spent directly on our COVID-19 emergency response and responsibly allocated to address the greatest need in our community, helping struggling Nashvillians keep food on their tables and roofs over their families’ heads, providing our residents with job placement assistance, and supporting our small businesses during the sharpest and most sudden recession in our lifetimes,” Song said.

Cooper outlined how the city has spent the federal funds in his letter requesting additional funds from the state earlier this month. According to Cooper, the city has spent $51.3 million on mass COVID-19 testing operations in the city, labor costs and hazard pay for more than 3,000 critical infrastructure employees and personal protective equipment.

Additionally, the city spent $24

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Union Representing Public Works Employees Calls On Mayor, Supes To Address Bathroom Issue

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)

Union leaders representing more than 350 San Francisco Public Works employees are calling on Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors to require the city to provide dedicated restrooms for its workers.

Because DPW workers are tasked with cleaning the city’s streets and often handle biohazards like garbage, urine and feces, union officials said the need for clean bathrooms and handwashing facilities has become urgent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Back in July, dozens of Public Works employees staged a rally at the department’s Operation Yard, calling for bathrooms and handwashing facilities on the job, alleging the department barred workers from using the operation yard during their lunch breaks.

Although the workers were encouraged by DPW to use the public Pit-Stop toilets, the Laborers’ International Union of North Americas, Local 261 says its workers feel unsafe using those facilities and sharing them with homeless people who, according to union officials, may liken them to police.



But DPW officials said, including the Pit-Stop toilets, workers had a total of 50 facilities throughout the city to choose from. The department also said it provided the workers with hand sanitizer, as well as water and soap to clean up on the job.


Union officials, however, said that’s still not enough.

“How can the city not provide clean, safe, restroom and handwashing facilities? It is inhumane for San Francisco to treat its own employees and citizens this way,” union spokeswoman Theresa Foglio-Ramirez said in a statement Wednesday. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses were open, these employees could more easily find a clean bathroom facility at a restaurant, business, gas station or shop. That is no longer case — and may not be the case for a longtime to come.”


Union leaders allege the workers are being retaliated against because of whistleblowing that led to the federal criminal charges for former DPW Director Mohammed Nuru, who is currently facing jail time over an alleged scheme to bribe a San Francisco International Airport commissioner.

“We believe that this denial of clean, safe bathroom and handwashing facilities is not merely an oversight or penny pinching by public works, but instead is direct retaliation for the Union’s early complaints about corrupt practices in the public works department,” Foglio-Ramirez said. “We were among the first to blow the whistle on now disgraced department head Mohammed Nuru. Our early warnings about abuses and illegal activities played a role in the Department of Justice investigation of illegal City Hall contracts and hiring practices. Instead of being rewarded for bring corruption to light, we are being punished by public works.”


Although union officials said they filed a grievance with the city’s Human Resources Department seven months ago over the bathroom issue, the union said its concerns have gone unheard.

In a letter sent to Breed and the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, union officials asked for immediate action, saying “We demand humane treatment of these employees — our members — who are performing some of the most

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Bear conflict calls surge in B.C.’s northern Interior this year

B.C.’s northern Interior has seen a huge spike in bear conflict calls over the past six months, according to conservation officers, even after years of educating the public not to leave garbage in open areas as attractants for wild animals.

Many Prince Rupert residents were shocked when an adult male black bear was killed downtown by an RCMP officer on Sept. 10. Last Tuesday in Prince George, a female bear was put down by a conservation officer.

The number of bear-related complaints since April is unusual, said B.C. North Coast conservation officer Sgt. Tracy Walbauer, who has worked in his position for two decades.

“We typically have between 300 and 600 bear complaints a year, and we’re already at 900 and we’re just half way through the fiscal [year],” he said. “We typically don’t get busy until the fall.”

Walbauer said bear sighting calls come mostly from the growing Kitamaat and Terrace villages and rarely from Prince Rupert, but his team has received 14 reports this year from the city.

But it’s a far cry from the increase in bear sightings in Prince George, where conservation officer Sgt. Steve Ackles says there have been 1,270 reports of black bears.

A black bear wanders around by a park on McKay Street in Prince Rupert, B.C. (Jamie Lavallee-Pritchard)

Ackles has worked in his position for 15 years. He said Prince George destroys about 40 bears per year, but it has already put down 30 over the past six months.

“It’s disheartening,” he said. “Apparently, the public doesn’t want to save bears or keep themselves safe.”

Ackles said Prince George residents are responsible for the high number of bear sightings and deaths.

“You drive down any street in Prince George and you’ll see garbage cans stored in front of their garage doors,” he said.

The two cubs left behind by the female bear destroyed in Prince George were transferred to Smithers’ Northern Light Wildlife Society co-founded by Angelika Langen. 

She said it’s painful to watch the baby bears losing their mother, but people should be accountable for managing their garbage well, instead of blaming officers who kill the animals.

“Not pointing out where the problem really lies is not helping,” said Langen to Carolina De Ryk, host of CBC’s Daybreak North. “If you just gloss it over and not really control where the problem is, it’s never going to change.” 

Tap the link below to listen to Angelika Langen’s interview on Daybreak North:

The Northern Lights Wildlife Society is frustrated by the amount of attractants being left out in northern communities, leading to the shooting of bears and orphaning of cubs. 6:37

Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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Man charged with 7 hoax ‘swatting’ calls that brought police to same house, police say

A 35-year-old New Jersey man swatted Ramsey police seven times since June by leaving anonymous tips about made-up domestic disturbances, authorities said.

Vadim Pinskiy was arrested last week at his Fair Lawn home following a months-long investigation and charged by Ramsey police with seven counts of making false reports to law enforcement as well as one count each of harassment and stalking. Pinskiy knew the victims, though Ramsey police didn’t say how.

Pinskiy began his swatting spree in June when he sent an anonymous tip to the State Police’s Regional Operations Intelligence Center reporting a domestic disturbance involving possible violence at a home, Ramsey police said.

When cops arrived, the learned the tip was a hoax. Pinskiy provided six more tips to the Ramsey police department’s anonymous tip line about domestic disturbances at the same home since June, none of which proved to be accurate, police said.

Police eventually traced the IP address for the tips and obtained a search warrant, officials said

Under a tougher law passed in 2015, the crime is punishable by five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Kamala Harris visits Supreme Court to pay tribute to ‘titan’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg; calls on Dems to win Senate and White House

Kamala Harris stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday to pay tribute to “titan” Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and show she’s ready to fight for the iconic liberal justice’s legacy.



a group of people walking down the street: Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris (L) and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, stop in front of a memorial outside the US Supreme Court as the US mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Ginsburg died September 18, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign.


© Brian Stukes
Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris (L) and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, stop in front of a memorial outside the US Supreme Court as the US mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Ginsburg died September 18, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate joined throngs of mourners outside the court building in Washington D.C. as she quickly moved to shape the looming, titanic partisan battle over replacing Ginsburg.

“The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher,” Harris tweeted after offering prayers for Ginsburg and her grieving family. “Millions of Americans are counting on us to win and protect the Supreme Court—for their health, for their families, and for their rights.”

With early voting underway in five states and Election Day just over six weeks away, Democrats and Republicans were largely unified late Friday in praising Ginsburg as a leading legal thinker and advocate for women’s rights. But strategists in both parties also seized on the moment to find an advantage.

According to the Associated Press, multiple Republicans close to the White House believe that Trump will likely nominate a woman, who could serve as a counterweight of sorts to Biden’s choice of running mate Kamala Harris, who would be the first woman to serve as vice president.

Trump himself did not immediately comment on replacing Ginsburg.

Republicans hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate and Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tie-breaking vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. But several GOP senators have expressed various degrees of uneasiness with the idea of jamming a replacement through so close to a presidential election.

“We cannot let them win this fight,” said Harris in a statement to supporters on Saturday. “Millions of Americans are counting on us to stand up, right now, and fight like hell to protect the Supreme Court — not just for today, but for generations to come.“

“The work of holding Senate Republicans accountable to the standard they set in 2016 starts now. To Joe and me, it is clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.”

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New Jersey governor calls YouTubers’ massive party at ‘Jersey Shore’ house an ‘egregious display of knucklehead behavior’

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy again denounced the behavior of partygoers in the state, this time citing a recent house party that drew more than 1,000 guests and resulted in eight arrests.



Philip D. Murphy wearing a suit and tie: "It was irresponsible from top to bottom in every respect," Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.


© POOL via News 12 NJ
“It was irresponsible from top to bottom in every respect,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.

“It was irresponsible from top to bottom in every respect,” Murphy said during a press conference Wednesday, calling the party, which was held on Monday night, an “egregious display of knucklehead behavior.”

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The governor explained that young people can have fun — but must continue social distancing and wearing masks, as the US struggles to contain the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Since mid-August, the percent positivity rate among 14-18 year-olds has grown from 3% to 7%, while for 19-24 year-olds it’s risen from 2.7% to 7.1%, said state health commissioner Judy Persichilli.

“We are continuing to see case numbers climb among young people,” she said. “Many of these cases and clusters are a result of parties and social gatherings.”

Murphy made similar comments in late July, after it took police officers over 5 hours to break up a party with over 700 attendees.

“Come on folks! Come on,” Murphy said at the time. “That’s needlessly putting men and women in uniform and their families at risk.”

Monday’s party took place at a New Jersey boardwalk house featured in MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

A group of YouTube pranksters, known as the Nelk Boys, organized a promotional event at the house, according to Seaside Heights Police Detective Steve Korman. The party was dispersed at about 9:30 p.m.

The Nelk Boys, who are from Toronto, currently have more than 5.73 million subscribers, according to their YouTube page.

The eight people arrested at the “Jersey Shore” house are between the ages of 18 and 26. Charges included disorderly conduct, obstruction, and resisting arrest, Seaside Heights police said in a press release.

Police also said that “glass bottles and rocks were thrown at officers during and after the arrest” of at least one of the eight people.

“I’m totally disgusted,” Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz said. “We would never recognize this type of activity in our community.”

The town’s bureau administrator, Christopher Vaz, also told CNN that there was no special event application or municipal approvals of any kind regarding the gathering and that the majority of attendees appeared to be “high school-aged kids.”

“Jersey Shore” member and longtime house owner Danny Merk said he took responsibility for the incident.

“The police handled it perfectly,” Merk said. “It just became crazy.”

The “Nelk Boys” did not respond immediately to CNN’s requests for comment.

As of Wednesday, New Jersey has had 197,792 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 16,054 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.



a screen shot of a computer: The party at Seaside Heights, hosted by the "Nelk Boys."


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The party at Seaside Heights, hosted by the “Nelk Boys.”

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Woodward Calls Donald Trump ‘A Bulldozer,’ Widespread Denial In White House About COVID-19

Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward characterized President Donald Trump as a “bulldozer” in an interview Tuesday and claimed there was widespread denial among White House staffers about the severity of COVID-19.

“I think there was denial across the board,” Woodward told the Post about White House aides and their knowledge of COVID-19. Woodward described Trump as “a one-man band” who is “going to do what he wants to do on impulse or on information he has.”

“He’s a bulldozer to the staff and, quite frankly, to the country,” Woodward continued. “And he just says what he wants, and so there’s no control. And this is one of the problems of the Trump presidency, that he doesn’t build a team. He doesn’t plan.”

Woodward conducted 17 on-the-record interviews with Trump in order to write his newly released book “Rage.” During one interview with Woodward in February, Trump admitted to downplaying COVID-19. 

“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump told Woodward. The comments drew criticism from Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who alleged Trump of lying to the public about the virus.

In an interview with Fox & Friends on Tuesday, Trump said he read Woodward’s new book and called it “very boring.” 

“I actually got to read it last night. I read it very quickly and it was very boring,” Trump told the news outlet. “But there was not much in that book.”

It’s unclear why Trump chose to do the interviews with Woodward. Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Trump wanted Woodward to like him. 

“Trump loves brands, and Woodward has been the gold standard for 50 years of investigative journalism around the presidency, so it’s the same reason why he likes the Gray Lady, he likes The New York Times. It’s the paper of record traditionally in his hometown, so even though both excoriate him, he’s attracted to them the way a low-IQ small moth would be to a flame,” Scaramucci told Politico last week. “Trump is always convinced that if he talks to the person, he is going to elucidate and enlighten that person and get them to like him.”

Woodward began his career at the Washington Post in 1971 and garnered fame for his reporting on the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein in 1972, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Woodward has written 19 books on U.S. politics and the presidency. He previously wrote “Fear,” an account of the first two years of the Trump administration and “Obama’s Wars,” about the 44th president’s handling of foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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A top House Democrat calls for the suspension of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over campaign finance allegations.

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, on Monday called on the Postal Service’s board of governors to suspend Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, while she investigates allegations that he asked former employees to make campaign contributions to Republicans and gave them bonuses to defray the cost.

“If these allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy could face criminal exposure — not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our committee under oath,” Ms. Maloney said in a statement. “We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the board of governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place.”

Ms. Maloney’s committee on Wednesday issued a subpoena for documents she said Mr. DeJoy had withheld from Congress related to mail delays and communications with the Trump campaign. Since then, Mr. DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and onetime executive of a shipping company based in North Carolina, New Breed Logistics, has been accused of cultivating an environment at his former company that left employees feeling pressured to make donations to Republican candidates, and rewarded them with bonuses for doing so.

The practice was described to The New York Times by three former employees at New Breed Logistics who said that workers would receive bonuses if they donated to candidates he supported, and that it was expected that managers would participate. A fourth employee confirmed that managers at the company were routinely solicited to make donations. The four former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retaliation.

The former employees did not say how explicit Mr. DeJoy was about linking the campaign contributions he was encouraging to the extra compensation, but three of them said it was widely believed that the bonuses were meant to reimburse the political donations, an allegation first reported by The Washington Post.

Federal campaign finance law bars straw-donor schemes, in which an individual reimburses someone else to donate to a political campaign in order to skirt contribution limits. But it is legal to encourage employees to make donations, as Mr. DeJoy routinely did.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, has called for the North Carolina attorney general to investigate the allegations. At a hearing last month, Mr. DeJoy angrily denied a suggestion by Representative Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee, that he had reimbursed his employees’ political donations.

“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” Mr. DeJoy responded. “What are you accusing me of?” A spokesman for Mr. DeJoy has insisted that he followed federal and local laws.

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