October 25, 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Vice President Mike Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite his exposure to a top aide who tested positive for the coronavirus. The vice president’s office says that under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, Pence is considered a “close contact” of his chief of staff, Marc Short, but will not quarantine. The vice president’s office says Pence does not have to quarantine because he is considered as essential worker. Pence himself tested negative.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett won crucial backing when one of the last Republican holdouts against filling the seat so close to Election Day announced support ahead of a confirmation vote expected Monday. Sen. Lisa Murkowski declared her support Saturday as the Senate worked through a rare weekend session that’s set to continue Sunday. President Donald Trump’s nominee already appeared to have enough Republican support to push past Democratic opposition. But the nod from Murkowski gives Barrett a boost. Democrats are mounting procedural hurdles but have to real ability to stop the confirmation, which they argue should be left for winner of the presidential election to decide.
Republicans have criticized a push by some on the left to expand the number of seats on the U.S. Supreme Court if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the presidency and Democrats win full control of Congress. But Republicans have done just that in recent years with some state supreme courts. In Arizona and Georgia, Republican legislatures passed laws signed by Republican governors that led to so-called “court packing” by expanding the number of seats on the states’ high courts. Democrats said the moves were designed to ensure conservative court majorities.
BALTIMORE — A day after the U.S. set a daily record for new confirmed coronavirus infections, it came very close to doing it again. Data published by Johns Hopkins University shows that 83,718 new cases in the U.S. were reported Saturday, nearly matching the 83,757 infections reported Friday. Before that, the most cases reported in the United States on a single day had been 77,362 on July 16. Close to 8.6 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and about 225,000 have died. Both statistics are the world’s highest. India has more than 7.8 million infections but in recent weeks its daily number have been declining.