- Michelle Obama on Tuesday released a scathing video, in which she condemned Trump as a “racist”.
- Donald Trump spends his first full day in the White House on Tuesday since leaving the hospital where he was being treated for coronavirus.
- Joe Biden campaigns in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
- Two new polls show Biden widening his lead nationally.
- Early voting begins in Indiana and Ohio.
- Pandemic survivors have slammed Trump’s suggestion that the coronavirus is nothing to fear, with 28 days until the election on November 3.
Tuesday, October 6:
18:00 ET – Facebook bans all QAnon accounts from its platforms
Facebook said it will ban groups that openly support QAnon, the baseless conspiracy theory that paints President Donald Trump as a secret warrior against a supposed child-trafficking ring run by celebrities and “deep state” government officials.
The social media giant said Tuesday that it will remove Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts for “representing QAnon” — even if they don’t promote violence, The Associated Press reported.
The QAnon phenomenon has sprawled across a patchwork of Facebook groups, Twitter accounts and YouTube videos in recent years. QAnon has been linked to real-world violence such as criminal reports of kidnapping and dangerous claims that the coronavirus is a hoax.
17:45 ET – Trump tweets polls in Pennsylvania showing Biden lead are ‘fake’
How does Biden lead in Pennsylvania Polls when he is against Fracking (JOBS!), 2nd Amendment and Religion? Fake Polls. I will win Pennsylvania!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
An average of polls in Pennsylvania in last month show Biden with a 6.5 percentage-point lead over Trump, according to RealClearPolitics.com. Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by a narrow 0.62 percentage-point margin.
17:00 ET – St. Louis couple indicted for waving guns at protesters
A grand jury on Tuesday indicted the St. Louis couple who displayed guns while hundreds of racial injustice protesters marched on their private street.
Al Watkins, an attorney for the couple, confirmed to The Associated Press the indictments against Mark, 63, and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, 61.
The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, have become folk heroes among some conservatives, and were featured at the Republican National Convention.
They argue that they were exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, and were protected by Missouri’s castle doctrine law that allows the use of deadly force against intruders.
16:55 ET – Biden warns of ‘something darker’, ‘more dangerous’ happening than ‘just our broken politics’
In a fiery speech from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Biden warned of “something bigger going on in this nation than just our broken politics. Something darker. Something more dangerous.”
The speech, which derided “division” and again cast the election as a battle for the country’s “soul”, referenced the president’s response to ongoing racial justice protests across the country. It comes days after the first presidential debate, when Trump demurred when asked to condemn far right and white supremacist groups.
“I’m not talking about ordinary differences of opinion,” Biden said. “No, I’m talking about something different, something deeper.”
“[It’s] true many Americans seek not to overcome our divisions, but to deepen them,” he said.
“We cannot and will not allow extremists and white supremacists to overturn the America of Lincoln, of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass,” he said.
16:45 ET – Pelosi slams Trump for ending stimulus talks
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Donald Trump and the “complete disarray” of the White House on Tuesday after Trump halted coronavirus stimulus talks, saying the president was “putting himself first” at the country’s expense.
“Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress,” the House speaker said after Trump postponed negotiations on a new plan until after the November 3 presidential election.
“Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray,” she said, adding that Trump was rejecting Federal Reserve warnings that too little support would result in a weak recovery with unnecessary hardship for millions of American households and businesses.
16:30 ET – Biden again tests negative for coronavirus
Biden has again tested negative for the coronavirus, according to his campaign.
Biden has been tested regularly since Trump announced he had tested positive. The two candidates shared a stage, but remained distanced, during the first presidential debate last Tuesday.
16:15 ET – FDA safety guidelines likely push COVID-19 vaccine authorisation past election
The US Food and Drug Administration told coronavirus vaccine developers on Tuesday it wants at least two months of safety data from half of their trial volunteers in order to authorise emergency use, a requirement that would likely push any US vaccine availability past the November 3 presidential election.
The FDA released the guidance laying out more stringent recommendations for drugmakers hoping to apply for an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for their experimental vaccines.
The New York Times reported on Monday that the guidelines had been blocked by the White House. However, the FDA released a document containing a summary of advice it had given to vaccine makers suggesting the additional safety measure earlier on Tuesday. It later released the new guidance.
The White House could still force authorisation of a vaccine without that additional safety data. However, doing so would put it in open disagreement with the FDA and its career scientists, and add to the perception that politics was playing a role in pushing out a vaccine.
16:00 ET – Biden expands lead in Michigan: Poll
Biden has expanded his lead over Trump in battleground Michigan and the two candidates are tied in North Carolina, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
Biden had 51 percent support from likely voters, compared to Biden’s 43 percent in Michigan. Both candidates had 47 percent support in North Carolina.
15:30 ET – Pence, Harris at odds over debate plexiglass: Report
Vice President Pence is requesting that no plexiglass dividers be placed on his side of the stage at Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate, the Washington Post has reported.
The announcement from the vice president comes after the Commission on Presidential Debates said that dividers had been agreed to as a safety measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The commission and the Biden campaign both told the newspaper they understood that the Pence team was in agreement with the notion of plexiglass barriers. But Pence’s team said they did not believe the plexiglass was medically necessary given other precautions in place at the event.
“If she wants it, she’s more than welcome to surround herself with plexiglass if that makes her feel more comfortable,” Short said. “It’s not needed.”
15:00 ET – Trump calls off coronavirus relief talks with Democrats
Trump has called off negotiations with Democratic lawmakers on coronavirus relief legislation until after the election, even as cases of the virus are on the rise across much of the country before flu season.
“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump wrote on Twitter a day after emerging from a hospital stay for COVID-19 treatment.
Read more here.
…request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business. I have asked…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
14:30 ET – Michelle Obama calls Trump ‘racist’ in scalding video
Former First Lady Michelle Obama has called Trump a “racist” president whose strategy of fearmongering, division and promoting ugly conspiracy theories could “destroy” America if he is re-elected.
Obama made the statements, who most direct attack yet on the president, in a 24-minute video offering closing arguments for Biden four weeks before November 3.
Obama described Trump and his Republican allies as unfairly “stoking fears” about African Americans, saying the president is “morally wrong” for taking actions that intimidate voters and for “lying” about how minorities will ruin US suburbs, she said.
“What the president is doing is once again patently false, it’s morally wrong, and yes, it is racist,” said the 56-year-old wife of Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president.
Obama said that, as black woman, having “done everything in my power to live a life of dignity and service and honesty, the knowledge that any of my fellow Americans is more afraid of me than the chaos that we are living through right now, well that hurts,” she said. “It is a heaviness that sits on our hearts.”
Please RETWEET the *heck* out of this stunning “closing argument” by Michelle Obama. https://t.co/vtexiiX7UL
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) October 6, 2020
14:00 ET – Biden previews Gettysburg speech
Biden has previewed a speech he is set to give in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, saying it will be about “the soul of America and racial equality and what significant trouble we’re in right now”.
“I’m making a speech that I’ve worked and worked and worked on about how the soul of America and racial equality and what significant trouble we’re in right now,” Biden told reporters.
“Some people may think it’s a little dramatic, but I think it’s appropriate. We have to unite this nation and I’ve decided to do it from Gettysburg. I’ve worked on this speech very, very, very hard. You’ll see it and know it. I mean every word of it,” he said.
13:30 ET – US military chiefs self-quarantine after coronavirus hits Coast Guard
The top US military leaders are self-quarantining after the Coast Guard’s Number 2 tested positive for the coronavirus, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday.
The Coast Guard disclosed earlier on Tuesday that Admiral Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, had tested positive on Monday for the virus. Ray had attended a meeting last week with service chiefs, including Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“Out of an abundance of caution, all potential close contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining and have been tested this morning,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“No Pentagon contacts have exhibited symptoms and we have no additional positive tests to report at this time.”
13:15 ET – Twitter raises red flag over Trump flu tweet
Twitter Inc has responded by putting a warning label on the tweet by Trump comparing the coronavirus to the flu.
Twitter said the post included potentially misleading information.
Earlier in the day, Facebook Inc removed a similar post by Trump, according to CNN.
The tweet came hours after Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as the president has sought to down play the risk of the virus.
13:00 ET -Trump doing “extremely well,” no COVID-19 symptoms: White House physician says
Trump is doing “extremely well” and reporting no symptoms of COVID-19, a day after returning to the White House after being hospitalized with the highly contagious disease, his doctor said in a statement on Tuesday.
Sean Conley, a Navy commander, said a team of physicians met with the president on Tuesday morning.
“He had a restful first night at home, and today he reports no symptoms. Vital signs and physical exam remain stable, with an ambulatory oxygen saturation level of 95-97 percent,” he said in a statement released by the White House. “Overall he continues to do extremely well.”
12:45 ET – Florida governor extends voter registration after site crash
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extended the state’s voter registration deadline Tuesday after unexpected and unexplained heavy traffic crashed the state’s online system and potentially prevented thousands of enrolling to cast ballots in next month’s presidential election.
DeSantis will extend the deadline that expired Monday until 7 PM ET Tuesday.
Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, who oversees the voting system, said in a statement Tuesday that the state “will work with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process”.
12:30 ET – US Postal Service warns ruling could undermine mail before election
The US Postal Service asked a federal judge to clarify a ruling on election mail, warning the decision could hinder the agency’s ability to make prompt mail deliveries before the presidential election.
Four US judges have issued preliminary injunctions barring the Postal Service from making service reductions ahead of the November presidential election.
The Postal Service asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to clarify his September 27 ruling warning it “would undermine the Postal Service’s ability to timely deliver the mail before the upcoming election”.
12:00 ET – White House officials block strict FDA vaccine guidelines: Report
White House officials are blocking strict new federal guidelines for the emergency release of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the New York Times.
The officials are objecting ot provision in guidelines that all-but assure that no vaccine would authorised before the election on November 3, people familiar with the approval process told the Newspaper.
Trump has repeatedly accused “deep state” actors in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of trying to slow the approval of a vaccine until after the election. He has repeatedly said, despite the most ambitious estimates from experts, that a vaccine could be ready by the election, prompting fears the administration would try to force through a vaccine before it has met safety standards.
The FDA is seeking other ways to make sure vaccines meet the guidelines, according the newspaper, including sharing the guidelines with an outside advisory committee of experts that is supposed to meet publicly before any vaccine is authorised.
11:30 ET – White House says will take more precautions to protect staff around Trump
The White House will take more precautions to protect staff around President Donald Trump following his positive test for COVID-19 last week, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah told Fox News.
“We always take precautions at events we host, and I certainly think in light of the President’s positive test and the First Lady, we’re going to take even more for the time being to protect essential staff around him,” Farah said.
Asked by reporters if Trump would speak on Tuesday, Farah said they would hear from him in some form, though she declined to answer when asked if he planned a televised address.
10:45 ET – President Trump says he is ‘looking forward’ to the debate
While continuing treatment for coronavirus on his first full day back at the White House, US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he was feeling great, and looking forward to the next presidential debate scheduled for October 15.
His opponent Joe Biden has said he would attend the debate if medical experts said it was safe.
It is unclear exactly when and where the president contracted the virus and how long he might remain contagious.
I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
10:00 ET – Biden makes ad push into rural Ohio as early voting begins
Democrat Joe Biden is expanding his ad buys into every corner of Ohio as early voting begins Tuesday, signalling his campaign’s growing hopes that a state Trump won easily four years ago may be within his grasp.
The new spots will air on radio in rural, traditionally Republican areas of the state, the campaign told The Associated Press, as well as on TV in Dayton.
Toni Webb, Biden’s Ohio state director, said the presidential candidate will use the ads to speak “directly with hardworking families across the Buckeye State about his positive vision for unifying the country” – including his plans to “strengthen healthcare, build our economy back better, and deliver for working families”.
Trump carried Ohio over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a comfortable eight percentage points in 2016. He now finds himself locked in a competitive battle for the Midwestern battleground and its 18 electoral votes, with polls showing the candidates tied with 97 percent of voters saying their minds were made up.
09:30 ET – Trump tweets US is ‘learning to live’ with coronavirus
Defying critics, Trump has tweeted that US citizens are learning to live with COVID-19, a day after he returned to the White House for further intensive treatment after being hospitalised with the coronavirus.
Trump, who returned late on Monday after nearly four days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, was due to receive a fifth transfusion of the antiviral drug remdesivir while being treated with the steroid dexamethasone, normally used only in the most severe cases.
Trump has repeatedly played down the disease, which has killed more than one million people worldwide. The US has the world’s highest death toll from the pandemic, with more than 209,000 fatalities. Trump has also not addressed the fact that his access to healthcare and leading therapeutics is far more privileged than that of most citizens.
“Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
09:00 ET – Two polls in two days show Biden increasing national lead
Two polls in two days show Biden increasing his national lead over Trump.
A nationwide CNN poll conducted by SSRS has Biden leading by 16 points nationally over Trump, garnering 57 percent support from likely voters, compared with Trump’s 41 percent support.
Meanwhile, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Biden up 14 points nationally. Both polls were conducted after the debate last week but before Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Polling averages also show Biden ahead of Trump in six battleground states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona. In Pennslyvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Biden leads by more than five points, according to RealClearPolitics.
Read all the updates from Monday, (October 5) here.