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20 Posts

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not support Trump's reelection bid, his spokesperson says

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker tours The New England Center for Children on July 13.

Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, said he will not support President Trump’s reelection bid, his communications director Lizzy Guyton told CNN affiliate WCVB in an email Wednesday. 

“The governor cannot support Donald Trump for president and is focused on seeing Massachusetts through the pandemic,” Guyton writes in the email. “He’ll leave the election analysis to the pundits.”

At a news conference earlier on Wednesday, the governor said he would “take a pass” when asked who he was supporting for President. Baker’s office later clarified to say he was taking a pass on the question, not on voting in this year’s election, according to WCVB.

Baker has publicly sparred with Trump in the past, slamming the President’s “bitterness, combativeness and self-interest” in the wake of nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd, and characterizing Trump’s refusal to accept a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election as “appalling and outrageous.”

CNN has reached out to Baker’s office for further comment.

Biden campaign releases ad featuring George Floyd's sister

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign released a new ad on Wednesday featuring Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, who describes Biden as “the change that we need” and encourages people to vote.

In the 30-second spot titled “Change,” Bridgett Floyd recalls how Biden reached out to her family after her brother died in late May at the hands of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes..

“He was there to listen, he was very sincere,” Floyd said of Biden.

She then addresses the importance of voting saying, “Your vote does matter — that one vote makes a difference.”

George Floyd’s death – which was captured on video — sparked national outrage and led to protests calling for racial justice nationwide and across the world.

In June, Biden traveled to Houston to offer condolences to Floyd’s family. The Democratic nominee also taped a video message for Floyd’s funeral service saying that US cannot “again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul.”

The ad, which is part of a larger effort from the Biden campaign to court Black voters, comes on what would have been George Floyd’s 47th birthday.

Biden also recognized the significance of the day in a tweet saying that Floyd “should be alive to celebrate it.”

“I made a promise to his family that I won’t let him become just another hashtag — and I’ll work every day as president to keep that promise,” the tweet read.

Fauci says Trump is not a Covid-19 transmission risk

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens to questioning at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on September 23 in Washington, DC.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, confirmed Wednesday that President Trump is not a Covid-19 transmission risk, but said he cannot vouch for the people around him.

“People were asking, ‘Is the President putting other people in danger because he had been infected?’ and the answer to that is no. He is not,” Fauci told CBS on Wednesday.

The National Institutes of Health released a statement Wednesday confirming that Trump is not infectious.

“I was asked by the White House to take a look at all of the totality of the Covid related tests that he undertook, as well as to do one of the tests at the NIH in our own laboratories,” said Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci added: “I and one of my colleagues who’s very experienced in this, Dr. Cliff Lane, came to the conclusion, I think certainly correctly, that he is of no threat to transmit the virus to anybody else.” 

When asked about the potential that aides or Secret Service agents who travel with Trump may pose a transmission risk to others, Fauci said, “I can’t vouch for anybody else that’s there – whether they’ve been tested or whether they’ve been careful in their interactions with people.”

Trump is holding a rally in Iowa tonight

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at Johnstown, Pennsylvania on October 13. It's his first campaign event since testing positive for the coronavirus.

President Trump is expected to attend a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, tonight — his second campaign event since his bout with Covid-19

CNN spoke to seven Trump supporters ahead of the rally and none had any concerns about Covid-19, with one woman saying, “If I’m gonna get sick and die I guess it’s my turn.”

“I put myself at risk every time I go to the grocery store. I go to McDonald’s. I go to work. I do anything. I’m not gonna stop living,” she added.

When asked about the President’s coronavirus diagnosis, one person said, “You know you can’t tell people, you gotta show ‘em, you gotta show ‘em. I think it’s to his benefit because now he’s experienced it and he’s shown the rest of us that you know, what don’t live in fear because the left wants you to live in fear. We’re not having it. People are sick of it.”

Directly across from tonight’s rally at the Des Moines Airport, a large billboard reads “TRUMP COVID SUPER SPREADER EVENT” with an arrow pointing to the event. 

The billboard was paid for by the Iowa Rural America 2020 Steering Committee campaign, according to a news release obtained by CNN.

California has received 10 times as many ballots as this time in 2016

George Hiu and Alfred Gonzales move a cart stacked with trays of mail-in ballots at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on October 13 in San Jose, California.

California has received 10 times as many ballots than it did at this time in the 2016 general election, with 1.5 million ballots returned so far, according to the secretary of state. 

There are more than 21 million registered voters in the state. 

The huge numbers are a sign of both tremendous voter enthusiasm and voters heeding the call to vote early.

“More Californians voting early will mean a safer Election Day for everyone—voters, poll workers, and elections officials alike. By voting early, you help preserve in-person voting for those who need it—including our neighbors with disabilities, those who need language assistance, or those who need access to Same Day Voter Registration,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement. 

Trump says son Barron is doing "fine" after positive Covid 19 test 

President Donald Trump and his son Barron wave as they board Air Force One on August 16.

President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that his son, Barron, is doing “fine” after testing positive for coronavirus. 

“Barron’s fine,” Trump said when he was asked about how his son was doing. 

He offered no other comments about Barron before boarding Marine One and heading to a campaign rally in Iowa. 

Shortly before the President’s departure, first lady Melania Trump revealed in an essay posted by the White House that Barron, 14, tested positive for the virus. She said in the essay that her son had “no symptoms,” and has now tested negative.

Texas' Harris County breaks previous record for highest second day of early voting 

Harris County, Texas, has broken a record for the highest number of votes cast in the second day of early voting, according to a tweet from the county clerk’s office.

The tweet says that more than 76,000 votes have been cast on Wednesday in Harris County, which includes the Houston-metro area. 

The previous record was in 2016, when 73,542 people voted on the second day. 

Maps on the voting website show that wait times range from a few minutes to 40 or more at the 122 locations in the county. 

Polls are open in Harris County through 7 p.m. local time today. 

Barron Trump tested positive for Covid-19, first lady says

In this August 16 file photo, President Donald Trump walks with First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron as they arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey.

In an essay posted on the White House website, first lady Melania Trump said she has now tested negative for the virus. But her son, Barron, 14, tested positive. 

“Naturally, my mind went immediately to our son,” she writes after she and President Trump’s diagnosis. Barron initially tested negative, but was tested again and turned up positive. She said Barron had “no symptoms,” and has now tested negative.

As for her symptoms, she said they were “minimal, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after.” The first lady said she had body aches, cough, headaches and was extremely tired. 

She also described her treatment plan, saying:

“I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food. We had wonderful caretakers around us and we will be forever grateful for the medical care and professional discretion we received from Dr. Conley and his team. It was an unfamiliar feeling for me to be the patient instead of a person trying to encourage our nation to stay healthy and safe. It was me being taken care of now, and getting first-hand experience with all that COVID-19 can do. As the patient, and the person benefitting from so much medical support, I found myself even more grateful and in awe of caretakers and first responders everywhere. To the medical staff and the residence staff who have been taking care of our family—thank you doesn’t say enough.”

Georgia's secretary of state assures citizens that "everyone will have the opportunity to vote"

People in Marietta, Georgia, wait in line to vote on October 12.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says some voting places are seeing longer lines due to some precincts being “more favored by voters” as well as pandemic guidelines. 

“Well, some of the longest lines, for example, we saw in Fulton County so far that I’ve heard of actually have been in North Fulton County, and so that’s not I would say that’s probably 50/50 Republican, Democrat area. It’s not really any demographic group, obviously. And then down to State Farm, you know, it’s 10-15 minutes. Our Implementation Director, Gabriel Sterling, voted there Monday, I believe it was, and I think it took him 17 minutes,” Raffensperger said.

“It’s just something that some precincts are more favored by voters and they just have longer lines. Everyone will have the opportunity to vote. We’re just expecting a record turnout. You have a pandemic, and that’s the other thing that we tend to forget. If you look at those lines, they look like they’re long, but everyone is spaced six feet out on center and that just makes your lines look a whole lot longer. It also takes longer to actually vote through the process because the machines have to be cleaned down, wiped, and so it’s just a slower more cumbersome process just due to the pandemic,” Raffensperger added.

Regarding a bandwidth issue affecting voting locations, Raffensperger said it’s a capacity problem.

“The amount of information that’s just flowing. It’s like everyone jumping on 285 in the morning, and sometimes you have to stagger out the rush hour,” added Raffensperger. 

Trump is “not infectious for anyone else," NIH directors say

President Donald Trump holds a rally in Sanford, Florida, on October 12.

CNN has obtained a statement from the National Institutes of Health, saying that Dr. Clifford Lane and Dr. Anthony Fauci have reviewed the President’s recent medical data, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and have concluded that President Trump is not infectious.

“At the request of the White House, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., and H. Clifford Lane, M.D., NIAID Deputy Director, Clinical Research, reviewed the totality of the COVID-19 test results from the President, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that was done at the NIH,” the NIH said in an emailed statement. “They affirmed that all current evidence indicates that the President is not infectious for anyone else.”

 The test was collected and analyzed by NIH Tuesday evening.

Trump touts his coronavirus recovery during Zoom Rose Garden appearance

President Donald Trump speaks from the White House Rose Garden during a Zoom call on October 14.

President Trump railed against the media and touted his coronavirus treatment and recovery Wednesday as he addressed the Economic Clubs of New York, Washington Chicago, Sheboygan, and Pittsburgh in a remote event. 

Trump spoke from a podium in the White House Rose Garden, the event produced via Zoom with “White House” at the bottom left corner of Trump’s screen. His voice sounded raspy at the top of the event and he cleared his throat twice while speaking. 

The President praised his administration’s coronavirus response and “aggressive and early action,” as well as initial aid package – his comments coming as talks remain stalled on Capitol Hill. 

“We’re rounding that final turn” on the pandemic, he reiterated.  

After his coronavirus diagnosis, he noted, “I wasn’t feeling so hot,” adding that Regeneron “made me feel very good very fast,” calling it a “cure.”

“Who knows, maybe I would have recovered beautifully anyway. All I know is once I had Regeneron, it worked out very well,” he said of his treatment. 

Trump went on to claim that the media has “undermined our public health efforts and put innocent lives in danger.”

“We must allow lower risk Americans to resume normal activity,” slamming “unscientific lockdowns pushed by left wing politicians.”

He warned of a “depression” and tax increases in a Biden administration and touted his perceived economic successes, repeatedly railing against the Obama administration. 

Trump sought to cast Joe Biden as weak on immigration and on China, claiming, “If I don’t get elected in a little while, 20 days, China will own the United States,” adding at one point that he is “not interested in making friends in the corrupt media.”

One day after questioning his own support among suburban women, Trump warned that in a Biden administration there would be “an economic catastrophe of unimaginable proportions” and “your suburb will be gone. The American dream will be gone.”

At one point, he suggested Biden wouldn’t have agency in his own potential administration: “It isn’t really him that wants to do it, it’s other people that are at a much higher level than Joe.”

He also took a moment to directly address the Democrats listening to his remarks: “I know I’m speaking to some Democrats and some of you are friends of mine. You will see things happen that will not make you happy. I don’t understand your thinking. I don’t understand how you can be backing such policies. But you’re wrong.”

Trump will participate in a rally this evening in Des Moines, Iowa. It will be his third rally in three days.

These voters are waiting hours to cast their ballots in Georgia

People wait to vote in Fulton County, near Atlanta, on October 14.

We’re in Fulton County, near Atlanta, where long lines of voters have turned out to cast their ballots. Some voters in Georgia were forced to wait up to eight hours yesterday as the state saw a record turnout on the first few days of early voting.

CNN’s Amara Walker is speaking to people, some of whom have been waiting in line since 6 a.m.


Are you having difficulty registering or voting, whether in person or by mail? Tell us more about it here.

Georgia's secretary of state says bandwidth issue affecting some voting places is "capacity problem"

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference in Atlanta on October 14.

Regarding a bandwidth issue affecting voting locations, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it’s a capacity problem.

“Everyone will have the opportunity to vote. We’re just expecting record turnout,” said Raffensperger.

“You have a pandemic, and that’s the other thing that we tend to forget. If you look at those lines, they look like they’re long, but everyone is spaced six feet out on center and that just makes your lines look a whole lot longer. It also takes longer to actually vote through the process because the machines have to be cleaned out, wiped, and so it’s just a slower more cumbersome process just due to the pandemic,” added Raffensperger. 

“Georgia voters are excited and setting records every hour,” said Raffensperger

Some context: Monday was the first day that Georgia offered in-person voting opportunities. There were some early hiccups reported, including glitches that slowed down voting at one supersite in Atlanta.

Elsewhere, early voters endured long lines, sometimes snaking around buildings, according to local reports.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hopes to peel the Peach State away from President Trump, who won by five percentage points in 2016. There are also not one but two Senate races on the ballot in Georgia, with two incumbent Republicans trying to fend off challengers.

With reporting from Nick Valencia, Annie Grayer and Marshall Cohen.  

Texas could turn blue for Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke says

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 14.

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says Texas could turn blue this election and vote for Joe Biden. 

“We don’t wait for Pennsylvania to count the returns for days or maybe even weeks. We don’t allow Donald Trump the opportunity to try to steal or prematurely or illegally claim victory when the results are still in doubt,” he added. “Texas will decide this mathematically, psychologically in every way that matters. And we can turn the page on Donald Trump and begin that next chapter for our country. That’s how important Texas is and Texas can happen.”

O’Rourke also criticized a late-night ruling that upheld Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive limiting only one ballot drop box location per county in the state.

“It’s really unfortunate because it enables the voter suppression that has kept so many of our fellow Texans historically from being able to cast their ballot and have their vote counted. It’s compounded by voter ID laws, racial gerrymandering, a number of other really bad practices made much worse since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013,” he said.

In-person early voting began in Texas on Tuesday, with long lines and massive turnout.