Fauci says the White House held a coronavirus ‘superspreader event’

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Friday said the White House held a coronavirus “superspreader event,” referring to the White House ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. 

“I think the data speak for themselves,” Fauci said during a CBS News Radio interview when speaking on the importance of mask wearing to curb the spread of COVID-19. 


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“We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves,” Fauci said. 

The comment from the nation’s top infectious diseases expert comes after nearly a dozen people who attended the Sept. 26 White House ceremony for Barrett’s nomination tested positive for COVID-19, including President Trump, the first lady, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and several others. 

Many of those in attendance sat close together in the White House Rose Garden, with many not wearing face coverings. 

The phrase “superspreader event” is used to describe places where the virus has spread to a large number of people. 

At least 34 White House staffers and other contacts have been infected with the coronavirus in recent days, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News. 

Fauci also commented on the president’s use of the word “cure” for the experimental antibody cocktail he was given after his coronavirus diagnosis last week. He said there is currently no cure for COVID-19 only therapeutics.

“We don’t have any indication — I think you really have to depend on what you mean by a ‘cure,’ because that’s a word that leads to a lot of confusion,” he said. “We have good treatments for people with advanced disease who are in the hospital.” 


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State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit to challenge House Speaker Michael Madigan for leadership post he’s held for decades

Four-term Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego said Thursday she will challenge longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for leadership of the chamber when the new General Assembly is seated in January.

Kifowit is one of a handful of House Democrats who have called for Madigan’s resignation since federal prosecutors unveiled a deferred prosecution agreement with Commonwealth Edison in July in which the state’s largest utility admitted to a yearslong bribery scheme aimed at currying favor with the powerful speaker.

A Marine Corps veteran, Kifowit has been in the House since 2013 and is running for reelection unopposed in the November.

Kifowit said in a statement that she called for Madigan to resign “for compromising the integrity of the office and undermining public trust.”

“The response from Michael Madigan was to double down and has remained that way,” Kifowit said. “It is clear to me that he doesn’t hold the same values that I do and falls short of what the public expects from an elected official.”

Kifowit’s decision to challenge Madigan a month before the election puts vulnerable House Democrats and Democratic candidates, particularly in the suburbs, into an even more awkward position leading up to the election—whether to back Madigan or her or someone else.

It is a question many were hoping to wait out until after the election despite repeated attacks by Republicans on the issue. But her run provides new fuel to the issue.

There are also questions about the extent of support for her candidacy. Madigan still holds the power and controls the purse strings in the Democratic caucus and has made loyalty paramount during his decades long tenure as speaker.

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Madigan has not been charged in connection with the ComEd probe and has denied any wrongdoing.

At the request of House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, a special House committee is investigating whether Madigan engaged in “conduct unbecoming to a legislator.” The committee heard testimony from an executive with ComEd parent Exelon this week, but Madigan and other witnesses have declined the invitation to testify.

Madigan has been speaker since 1983, with the exception of two years in the 1990s when Republicans took control of the House. House Democrats have been nearly unanimous in voting for him to remain speaker, with only a few dissents. Most recently, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray of Naperville voted “present” in 2019, as did then-Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood in 2017.

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Homeless man held on $20,000 bail after allegedly hitting pedestrian by Public Garden

A 58-year-old homeless man was held on $20,000 cash bail on Friday, a day after police said he walked away after the pickup truck he stole hit a pedestrian by the Boston Public Garden, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

Keith Andrade, whose address is listed as homeless, was arraigned Friday in Boston Municipal Court on charges including larceny of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The victim, whose name was not released, was hit after police said Andrade crashed the stolen pickup truck into the gates of the public garden. She is listed in critical condition, Boston police said.

Andrade’s $1,000 bail in a separate case was revoked. He has two active warrants out of Boston District Court for larceny from a person, police said.

Police said they arrested Andrade once they spotted him Thursday night, hours after the 4:22 p.m. crash in the area of Washington and School streets.

Police said the call first came in of a person struck at the corner of Boylston and Charles streets. Authorities were making “full notifications” soon after, which is done when someone either has died or might die.

Witness Antonio Avanti was waiting for the light on Boylston when he heard the crash and then saw smoke. He told the Herald he jumped out of his car and saw what appeared to be a young woman lying on the ground with people tending to her.

“She had an angel — there was somebody with blue scrubs who was helping her,” Avanti said.

The vehicle — a black Chevrolet Colorado, he said — had jumped the curb and smashed into the iron fencing and stone pillars that form an entrance to the Public Garden at the corner of the two streets, the Boston resident said.

The Chevy pickup truck remained there, propped up on a small pile of debris.

Brendan Kearney of the WalkBoston advocacy group said he counts five fatal crashes in Boston this year, including the one earlier this week in Andrew Square.

He said the city should use its current Boston Common master planning project to take a hard look at the wide streets surrounding the pedestrian-heavy parks downtown that “really just invite speeding.”

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders

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Trump held indoor fundraiser after WH knew Hope Hicks had COVID-19

  • President Donald Trump attended an indoor fundraiser in New Jersey after White House officials learned his adviser, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for COVID-19, multiple reports said.
  • According to CBS News, a small group of officials knew on Wednesday evening that Hicks had tested positive.
  • Trump attended the indoor fundraiser at his golf club around 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
  • It’s unclear when Trump himself learned that Hicks had tested positive and if he knew of her test result before traveling to the fundraiser.
  • The president told Fox News around 9 p.m. EDT Thursday that he got tested for the virus and was awaiting results. Bloomberg News broke the news about Hicks’ diagnosis about an hour earlier.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump attended an indoor fundraiser with his supporters on Thursday even after White House officials knew that his adviser, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, CNN and CBS News reported.

CBS News’ Weijia Jiang tweeted that Hicks tested positive on Wednesday, and that White House aides knew about this by Wednesday evening. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted that “a small group” of White House officials “were aware” of Hicks’ positive test by Thursday morning.

Trump attended a roundtable and fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday. It is not clear if he wore a mask or practiced social distancing at the events. The coronavirus typically spreads via droplets from an infected person, and a majority of infections occur indoors.

Bloomberg News first reported Thursday evening that Hicks had tested positive for the virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19. Shortly after, around 9 p.m. EDT, Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that both he and First Lady Melania Trump had just been tested and were awaiting results.

The president tweeted shortly before 1 a.m. EDT Friday that he and Melania had tested positive and “will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

According to CNN, Hicks was feeling symptomatic as early as Wednesday, when she traveled mask-less with the president and several White House and campaign aides to Minnesota for an indoor fundraiser and an outdoor rally.

She also traveled to Tuesday’s presidential debate in Ohio with Trump, his aides, and several family members aboard Air Force One on Tuesday.

Hicks was pictured not wearing a mask, and the president’s advisers and family — including Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump, Laura Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle — were also mask-less for at least some if not the whole time during the debate.

CNN’s Collins reported that Hicks “started to quarantine” on Wednesday when she felt symptoms, but that it’s not clear what that means because “there’s not a lot of room” on Air Force One.

The White House has said that its policy during the pandemic is that every morning, anyone who arrives to meet with the president is tested.

It’s not clear if the president was tested when Hicks and other White House officials

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Minnesota Democrat sues to have House race held in November

Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) filed a federal lawsuit to allow her district’s House race to be held in November after a minor party candidate’s death pushed the election back to February. 

Craig, who is running to keep her seat for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, filed a federal complaint to counter the state law that forces a February special election after Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s candidate, died suddenly last week. 

Weeks died 40 days before Election Day, which activated a state law mandating the election be delayed. No cause of death was provided. 

Under state law, Craig would be required to vacate her seat when the new Congress was sworn in and wait for the February special election.

Craig argued in a statement that federal law requires the election to proceed in November and that a February election would leave people in her district without representation at the beginning of the 117th Congress. 

“The people of Minnesota’s Second Congressional District deserve to have a voice fighting for them in Washington,” she said.  

“Unfortunately, the process currently in place would deprive Minnesotans of their seat at the table when critical legislation affecting our state will be debated – including bills to rid politics of special interests, ensure quality affordable health care for every Minnesotan and safeguard our family farmers,” she added. 

The Minnesota Democrat said she “strongly” urges voters to continue to fill out their ballots “to ensure that every Minnesotan has the representation they deserve in Congress next year.”

In her lawsuit, Craig alleges Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) is “in clear violation of federal law,” according to CBS affiliate WCCO in Minneapolis

Craig is running against Republican candidate Tyler Kistner, whose campaign released a statement early Monday saying the Democrat “is trying to play politics with Minnesotans’ voting rights.”

“Despite Secretary of State Simon being crystal clear that there will be a special election in February, Angie Craig is trying to rewrite laws to disenfranchise voters,” his campaign said, according to WCCO. “The people in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District will not be fooled.”

His campaign noted the state law was passed in 2013 with bipartisan support and the backing of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party in the state. 

The law requires the election to be delayed to the second Tuesday of February if a major party candidate dies within 79 days of Election Day.

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Woman charged with sending ricin to the White House pleads not guilty, will be held without bail

A woman charged with making threats against President Trump by mailing a package containing ricin to the White House was ordered held without bail Monday by a judge in Buffalo who cited “a very strong case” against her based on an indictment in Washington, D.C.

Pascale Ferrier, 53, of a Montreal suburb, was arrested a week ago as she tried to enter the U.S. through a border crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea on her behalf Monday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr. cited a long history of assassinations and attempted assassinations of U.S. presidents since the killing of President Abraham Lincoln in finding that Ferrier was an ongoing threat to the president and others.

He also read from a letter that prosecutors allege Ferrier wrote to Trump and included in the ricin-laden container, in which she allegedly threatened to find a more dangerous poison or to use her gun to stop him from his presidential campaign.

“It would appear to me the government has a very strong case, especially assuming the legal validity of the alleged admissions at the time of her arrest,” Schroeder said of the woman, who has French and Canadian citizenship.

He ordered her transfer to Washington to face the one-count indictment.

The envelope containing the toxic substance and the threatening letter was addressed to the White House but was intercepted at a mail sorting facility on September 18. No one was harmed.

Besides the letter’s threats was a command to Trump to “give up and remove our application for this election,” authorities said.

The FBI discovered that six additional similar letters appeared to have been received in Texas a few days earlier, according to a criminal complaint.

Her lawyer, Fonda Dawn Kubiak, argued that she should be granted bail. “As Ms. Ferrier sits here today, she is presumed innocent,” Kubiak said.

She called her client “highly educated” with the equivalent of a master’s degree in engineering in France and who was employed by an aircraft engineering company.

Kubiak said Ferrier could reside with her son in Quebec or possibly with family members in Texas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch said Ferrier was trying to enter the United States last week when an officer approached and asked if she was OK. “No, I’m wanted by the FBI for the ricin envelope,” he quoted her as responding.

He said authorities handcuffed her and searched her vehicle, in which they found a semiautomatic handgun loaded with seven rounds of ammunition, nearly 300 rounds of other ammunition, pepper spray, a knife and a stun gun.

“She was loaded for bear, Judge,” the prosecutor said.

He said that ricin had been located at her apartment outside Montreal and that she was likely to face additional charges in Washington, Texas and Buffalo.

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Evil bully, 25, held his ex-girlfriend, 39, prisoner and battered her with bathroom door after she went out with friends

A TERRIFIED domestic abuse survivor feared she would die after her evil ex held her prisoner when she went out with pals.

Katrina Pidden, 39, was battered with a bathroom door by raging Mitchell Liversedge, 25, in one brutal attack.

Katrina Pideen was left battered and bruised at the hands of her thug ex

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Katrina Pideen was left battered and bruised at the hands of her thug exCredit: Mercury Press
She was hit with a bathroom door in one brutal attack

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She was hit with a bathroom door in one brutal attackCredit: Mercury Press
Mitchell Liversedge has now been jailed for five years

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Mitchell Liversedge has now been jailed for five yearsCredit: Mercury Press

She was also held captive by the thug in her own home in Daventry, Northants, and left with horror injuries – including one of her teeth being knocked out.

Her nightmare ordeal came to an end in September last year when a neighbour saw the brute dragging bloodied Katrina across the garden and called police.

The brave retail assistant has now spoken out about the abuse after Liversedge was caged for five years in March for four counts of ABH.

He was also convicted of one charge of false imprisonment, one count of damaging property, one for threatening to destroy or damage property, and one charge of engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship.

Katrina has spoken out about her horror ordeal

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Katrina has spoken out about her horror ordealCredit: Mercury Press
Her tooth was knocked out in one attack

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Her tooth was knocked out in one attackCredit: Mercury Press

Katrina said: “I’d split up with him and he turned up at my house and started getting out of control.

“He threw a drink over me so I took myself into the garden to get away from him.

“He came flying outside, attacked me, hitting me over the head with the kitchen chair.

“He dragged me down the garden by my finger and my finger ended up so swollen that my ring had to be cut off.

“I only had a nightie on so my skin was getting scraped on the path.

“I thought he was going to kill me.”

Katrina feared Liversedge would kill her

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Katrina feared Liversedge would kill herCredit: Mercury Press
She met the brute on a night out last year and he soon became possessive

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She met the brute on a night out last year and he soon became possessiveCredit: Mercury Press

Katrina met Liversedge on a night out in 2019 and says the first four months of their relationship was perfect.

But the thug soon became possessive and banned Katrina from having any male friends.

He also called her “horrible names” if they went out before the emotional abuse turned violent.

Katrina said: “The first time he got violent, he tried to hit me with an iron and threw a cup at me.

“He said it would never happen again but he started pushing me around, throwing me into things then it turned into slaps and then punches and kicks.”

HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call
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