New cases hit three-month high as Covid-19 hospitalizations soar
- Thirty-two states reported rising Covid-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
- In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are "early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States." And more state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
- Health officials issued a stay-at-home order for all University of Michigan undergraduate students this week amid a spike in coronavirus cases.
- US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday that household gatherings have become a "major vector" of coronavirus spread.
- But earlier this month, World Health Organization officials said that a study had shown the antiviral drug has "little or no effect on mortality" for patients hospitalized with the virus and doesn't seem to help patients recover faster either.
AstraZeneca to resume its Covid-19 vaccine trial in US
- The company said the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the restart Thursday after reviewing all of the global safety data and concluding it was safe to resume.
- The company has been working with Britain's University of Oxford to develop the vaccine, one of four that started late-stage, Phase 3 trials in the US.
- An internal AstraZeneca safety report obtained by CNN last month showed the study volunteer, a previously healthy 37-year-old woman, "experienced confirmed transverse myelitis" after receiving her second dose of the vaccine, and was hospitalized on September 5.
- The woman was enrolled in the UK arm of the trial, which is run by the University of Oxford.
- The company said in the release Thursday that results from late-stage trials are expected later this year, depending on infection rates where the trials are being conducted.
A university professor has been missing for nearly two weeks after hiking in Mount Rainier National Park
- Sam Dubal, 33, left for Mount Rainier National Park on October 9 and was supposed to return the next day.
- For the first nine days, a group including park rangers, volunteer hikers and helicopter crews from the National Park Service and US Air Force searched for Dubal on the ground and by air.
- But poor weather on Wednesday and Thursday limited the abilities of rescuers to continue searching on the ground.
- Dubal's family started a petition on Thursday asking that rescue teams continue searching for him aggressively for at least 72 more hours.
- Helicopter crews searching for remains on Thursday didn't find a body, Dena Dubal said.
- Because of the gaps in the search process and the now clearing weather in the areas he's suspected to have been traveling in, the family is imploring that rescue teams keep up both the ground and air searches.
Trump and Biden Cast Themselves as Outsider vs. Unifier
- In the end, President Trump and Joe Biden are bringing the campaign dialogue back to how they see themselves, as the outsider versus the unifier.
- Those were the broadest themes struck in the candidates’ second—and, as it turns out, final—debate Thursday night.
- The debate itself was a study in contrasts when compared with the shout-fest that...
Joe Biden maintains big cash advantage in campaign's waning days
- And the reports show Biden outspending the President in the campaign's homestretch: Biden's campaign alone brought in $130 million during the first two weeks of October and spent more than $145 million.
- That's a spending rate of more than $10 million a day over the two-week period.
- Trump, by comparison, raised nearly $43.6 million between October 1 and October 14 and spent $63.1 million, according to filings Thursday night with the Federal Election Commission.
- The President's political operation has struggled to compete financially with Biden in recent months, and Trump has headed to high-dollar fundraising events to shore up his cash position in the waning days of the presidential campaign.
- On Thursday -- just hours before the pair's final confrontation on the debate stage -- Trump made an appearance at a Nashville fundraiser that was expected to bring in $8 million for the campaign.
Hopes for a stimulus deal before Election Day seem dim
- As multiple GOP aides told CNN on Thursday, House committees might be reaching to lay out their priorities, but no one is actually sitting in a room or getting on the phone and hashing out the finer points of this bill right now.
- Still, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was going to have a hard time getting 13 Republican votes -- the bare minimum needed if Democrats in the chamber united behind a plan -- ahead of the election when the electoral futures of his members might be boosted by a deal, he is likely going to have an impossible time getting 13 after an election.
- Pelosi had been telling Mnuchin she wanted a vote ahead of the election, but that started to change Thursday afternoon.
Cars clog highways as families flee Colorado wildfire
- As the cars clogged the highways with people trying to flee the fire in Larimer County, Colorado, a thick layer of smoke could be seen hanging over the area blocking out the sun.
- Strong winds and dry weather are fueling an explosive growth of fires in Colorado.
- And the weather conditions are likely to stay the same for the next couple of days.
- The dry conditions will remain until Friday night, when some light precipitation will begin as rain and then turn into snow for the weekend, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
- The weekend snow of a couple inches could finally help firefighters contain the flames.
- The East Troublesome Fire in Colorado grew about 50,000 acres Thursday, according to the latest update from Incident Commander Noel Livingston.
- And firefighters are continuing to make progress toward containment goals on large fires in several states.
Russian hackers have stolen election data, US officials say
- Washington (CNN) - Russian state-sponsored hackers have targeted state and local governments and in at least two instances have successfully stolen election data, US national security officials said Thursday.
- The Treasury Department responded on Thursday by issuing sanctions against five Iranian entities "for attempting to influence elections in the United States," including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- They come a day after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a hastily arranged news conference that Iran and Russia were interfering in the election and both countries had obtained some voter registration information, though Ratcliffe did not specify what information they had and whether it was publicly available.
- Ratcliffe said Iran was responsible for spoofed emails that appeared to come from a far-right group and threatened Democratic voters, adding that they were intended to damage President Donald Trump -- an assertion that drew criticisms from Democrats, who accused the Trump administration of trying to conflate the interference threat posed by Russia and Iran.
Judge drops third-degree murder charge against former officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd's death
- Chauvin still faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death on May 25, which sparked nationwide protests and a reckoning over race and policing this summer.
- Chauvin, who was released on $1 million bond earlier this month, was seen in videos of the incident kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost eight minutes, while the Black man told Chauvin and three other officers that he couldn't breathe.
- The other now-former Minneapolis officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
- The judge upheld those charges.
- Attorneys for each of the officers did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment Thursday morning.
- CNN has reached out to an attorney representing Floyd's family.
US weekly jobless claims fall to 787,000, below economist estimates - Business Insider
- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined more than expected last week as the nation's labor market continued to show signs of recovery.
- New US weekly jobless claims totaled an unadjusted 787,000 for the week that ended on Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday morning.
- The reading came in below the median economist estimate of 870,000 compiled by Bloomberg and reflects a marked decrease from the prior week's revised total.
- Continuing claims, which track the aggregate total of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, fell to 8.4 million for the week that ended on October 10.
- Still, the reading is the lowest seen since the coronavirus crisis began and marks the first time unadjusted claims stood below 800,000.
- Jobless claims unexpectedly jumped last week after steadily declining, suggesting the labor market's rebound had run out of steam.