OVER A QUARTER MILLION NC RESIDENTS HAVE CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS: At least 260,099 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 4,157 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 1,807 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,584 the day before and a record high of 2,716 on Friday. About 7.2% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest day for which data were available. That’s higher than the 5% target set by health officials. At least 1,148 people in North Carolina were reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, down from 1,181 the day before. Private schools in North Carolina have more coronavirus clusters than public schools, The News & Observer reports.
CHARLOTTE CHURCH ORDERED TO CLOSE AFTER CONTINUING TO HOLD CROWDED EVENTS: A North Carolina health official on Saturday ordered a large church to close its doors temporarily because of concerns it is helping spread the coronavirus by disregarding social distancing measures. Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris ordered the United House of Prayer for All People to close all of its buildings and said the church has not cooperated with efforts to stem the virus’s spread, the Charlotte Observer reported. Harris said at least three deaths and more than 121 confirmed cases of the virus have been linked to the church, which held a weeklong church event earlier this month. The county said the church has continued to hold large gatherings despite recommendations not to do so and has failed to implement social distancing measures. The church did not immediately return a request for comment. The church had planned a weeklong revival that was set to last through the end of the month, but the “abatement of an imminent hazard” order announced Saturday will remain in effect until midnight Nov. 5, the newspaper reported.
PENCE HOLDS RALLY IN KINSTON, FAILS TO MENTION COVID OUTBREAK AMONG HIS STAFF: Late Saturday, the New York Times and other outlets reported that five Pence advisers had tested positive for COVID-19, including Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff. Pence tested negative, the Times reported, and is keeping up his campaign schedule. His wife, Karen Pence, also tested negative. She’ll visit Wake County on Monday. Pence did not address the positive cases in his remarks, instead covering ground that will be familiar to many who have been following the race closely or even just watched television commercials in recent months: that Democratic nominee Biden has been a politician for 47 years, that Trump restricted travel from China after the coronavirus started spreading, and that he believes Trump is the best person to lead America’s recovery from the economic devastation wreaked by COVID-19. The Kinston trip was the first of several the Pence family is making to North Carolina this week. Karen Pence will stop in New Hill on Monday. The Trump campaign has announced that Mike Pence will be back in North Carolina on Tuesday with visits to Wilmington International Airport and Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport.
DURING LUMBERTON RALLY, TRUMP CALLS CORONAVIRUS TESTING "FOOLISH": President Donald Trump assured supporters packed shoulder to shoulder Saturday that “we’re rounding the turn” and mocked challenger Joe Biden for raising alarms about the pandemic. Meanwhile, Biden bemoaned to a smaller gathering the need to campaign at a distance but said he understood the public health reasons behind it. With coronavirus infections reaching their highest peak of the pandemic just as the election headed into the home stretch, Trump and Biden took starkly different approaches to the public health crisis in appealing for votes in battleground states. ”We don’t want to become superspreaders,” Biden told supporters at a “drive-in" rally Saturday in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, picking up a term that has been used to describe the Rose Garden event in late September in which Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee. More than two dozen people linked to the White House have contracted COVID-19 since that gathering. In Lumberton, North Carolina, his tongue firmly in cheek, Trump called Biden “an inspiring guy" for raising alarm about the pandemic. “You know why we have cases?” Trump said. “’Cause we test so much. And in many ways, it’s good. And in many ways, it’s foolish. In many ways, OK? In many ways it’s very foolish.” Trump continued to criticize Biden for saying during Thursday’s debate that the country was headed for a “dark winter” because of the pandemic — the scenario of a surge in infections that health experts warned about for months. Nearly 224,000 people in the United States have died and more than 83,000 infections were reported on Friday alone, a record. “We’re rounding the turn ... our numbers are incredible,” Trump said. (It's like golf, Donnie. You want lower numbers, not higher, you blithering idiot)
AMY CONEY BARRETT SET TO BE CONFIRMED LATER TODAY: As the presidential race enters its final week — the stakes of which have been magnified by a Supreme Court vacancy — Republicans in the Senate are poised on Monday to bring to a quick close their hastened confirmation of President Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The vote, expected in the evening, comes a day after Democrats in the chamber unsuccessfully tried to filibuster the nomination to protest a decision they say should be left to the winner of the presidential election. The addition of Judge Barrett to the court will give conservatives six of the court’s nine seats, which Democrats have made a focus of the campaign this fall after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They say it threatens women’s reproductive rights and protections for millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act. It also immediately calls into question whether Judge Barrett would recuse herself from ruling on lawsuits over the election, a scenario that has seemingly become more likely each time Mr. Trump has tried to cast aspersions about the integrity of voting. “We’ve made an important contribution to the future of this country,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said in a speech just after the filibuster vote on Sunday. “A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.” Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., providing his clearest answer in weeks about his position on expanding the size of the Supreme Court, said on the news program “60 Minutes” on Sunday that he would establish a bipartisan commission of scholars to study a possible overhaul of the court system. “I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack,” Mr. Biden told Norah O’Donnell of CBS News.