3.45am BST

White House chief of staff held 70-person indoor wedding for his daughter

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows held a 70-person indoor wedding for his daughter in Atlanta in May in defiance of state and municipal guidelines, the New York Times reported earlier today.

The wedding, the Times reports:

Took place early in the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans were canceling or postponing their own weddings and other long-planned gatherings to comply with public health restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

Photographs from the May 31 event, posted online, show no masks or distancing among the crowd of several dozen tuxedo-clad attendees.

3.41am BST

The squeeze on Britain’s beleaguered retail sector from tighter coronavirus restrictions reducing numbers of shoppers on the high street clung on into September, data showed Friday, AFP reports.

Latest figures from industry body the British Retail Consortium and analytics company ShopperTrack showed that UK retail footfall was down by 30.1% in September compared with a year earlier.

The data did show a slight month-on-month improvement in September from August – although local lockdown restrictions weighed on sentiment.

Britain began emerging in June from a nationwide lockdown that lasted almost three months.

The lockdown sparked a surge in online shopping as people shunned high streets and switched to computer screens and smartphones.

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey meanwhile warned Thursday that recession-mired Britain faced the prospect of an “uneven” recovery, as the government battles a second wave of rising infections with tighter restrictions and localised lockdowns.

“When you look at areas of activity in the economy that require more close social interaction, it’s no surprise that they have been the weakest to recover,” he said at an online conference.

3.30am BST

Mexico’s health ministry on Thursday reported 5,300 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 370 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 804,488 infections and 83,096 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

3.12am BST

Wisconsin sets up field hospital as cases surge

The US state of Wisconsin has opened a field hospital to meet an alarming rising demand for care as coronavirus cases surge and overwhelm hospitals, CNN reports.

Governor Tony Evers said in a news conference earlier, “We obviously hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different and more dire place today, and our health care systems are being overwhelmed.”

Eric Topol

These states are in really tough shape with not only very high, record new confirmed cases per capita, but also rising death tolls (US overall at ~2.0/M)
The dire situation in Wisconsin, via @cmyeaton https://t.co/ebopAYsI3o pic.twitter.com/ZI4ztaSMwG

October 9, 2020

Evers said in a statement that the state “is in crisis right now”:

From CNN:

Only two US states report a decline of new cases and nationwide hospitalizations are increasing. The field hospital is a stark illustration of the extensive outbreak across Wisconsin, which has pushed hospitals to the brink, led to renewed limits on public gatherings, infected US Sen. Ron Johnson and forced the NFL’s Green Bay Packers to put an “indefinite hold” on having fans at historic Lambeau Field this season.

To combat the outbreak, Gov. Evers issued an emergency order limiting public gatherings to no more than 25% of a room or building’s capacity. The state had previously allowed bars and restaurants to operate at 50% capacity.

“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behaviour to save lives,” Evers said in a statement. “We are continuing to experience a surge in cases and many of our hospitals are overwhelmed, and I believe limiting indoor public gatherings will help slow the spread of this virus.”The order, which went into effect Thursday morning, applies to any gatherings at locations open to the public, including stores, restaurants and other businesses with public entry, according to the release.

3.01am BST

Trump has told Hannity that “the vaccines are going to be coming really soon.”

He again repeats that the experimental treatment he received is a “cure”. There is no known cure for coronavirus.

Trump claims that “we’re going to get it to everybody free of charge. It’s going to hospitals it’s starting very soon. The military is going to be delivering it.”

A reminder that several high-level military officers are currently quarantining and at least two have tested positive for coronavirus.

And that Trump does not have the power to make the treatment free without new legislation.

And that he has ties to Leonard Schleifer, the CEO of Regeneron, which produces the experimental treatment Trump credits with “curing” him.

Trump’s relationship Schleifer, whom he reportedly calls “Lenny”, adds to growing questions over the president’s almost exclusive access to experimental treatments unavailable to most other Americans, even as he has continued to downplay the threat of coronavirus based on his own experience.

Aaron Rupar

Trump claims that the military will soon be delivering whatever drugs he took to get over the coronavirus to hospitals so people can get the same treatment he did for free. (Is there a single person who believes this?) pic.twitter.com/S49dGFwIQd

October 9, 2020

2.53am BST

Debate commission won’t rethink virtual debate

More from AP:

The chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates says it is not reconsidering shifting the second debate from virtual back to in-person, despite a request from President Donald Trump’s team.

Frank Fahrenkopf told The Associated Press late Thursday that the nonpartisan group’s decision was not going to be reversed. That means the second debate is probably not going to happen at all.

The commission decided to make the Oct. 15 debate virtual after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. Fahrenkopf says that the group wanted to “protect the health and safety of all involved” and that the decision was guided by the advice of the Cleveland Clinic, its heath partner for the 2020 debates.

Trump’s doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said in a letter Thursday evening that Trump would be cleared to resume public activities Saturday, 10 days after his diagnosis.

Earlier Thursday, Trump balked at the virtual event and said he wouldn’t participate. Biden’s campaign then said Biden would participate in a town hall hosted by ABC News on 15 October instead.

2.52am BST

22 October debate between Biden and Trump likely slated to go on, says commission

The chair of the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has told The Associated Press that the final debate, scheduled for 22 October, is still slated to go on with both candidates present as planned.

But next Thursday’s debate seemed to be gone, after the Trump team objected to the commission’s format change.

2.47am BST

Trump has so far repeatedly avoided the question of whether he had been tested since he tested positive.

Hannity: Have you been tested recently?

Trump: Yeah I just saw the doctors today they think I’m in great shape

Hannity: Did you test negative?

Trump: And I’ll tell you I took this Regeneron and it’s phenomenal.

Aaron Rupar

Trump won’t tell Hannity if he’s had a negative coronavirus test. He just ignores the question and starts ranting. pic.twitter.com/GOtYbRCDqv

October 9, 2020

2.44am BST

Trump says he will be tested tomorrow and that ‘There’s no reason to test all the time’

Here is the audio of Trump on Hannity.

“I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night, if we have enough time to put it together,” he says.

Asked whether he’s had a test since testing positive last week, Trump said, “Well what we’re doing is probably the test will be tomorrow. The actual test, because there’s no reason to test all the time.”

So, if Trump is telling the truth (and this is a big if) it sounds like nobody is able to confirm whether Trump has tested negative for coronavirus because he has not been tested – rather than that he has tested positive, which would be bizarre.

Aaron Rupar

Holy shit. Trump, who won’t say if he’s tested negative for coronavirus (so he either hasn’t been tested or is still testing positive), says he plans to do a rally this Saturday night in Florida. pic.twitter.com/e6s5O5kEHY

October 9, 2020

at 2.47am BST

2.38am BST

Trump tells Hannity he has not been tested again for coronavirus, says he wants to hold rally on Saturday

Trump has told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he wants to hold a rally on Florida or Pennsylvania on Saturday and has “conceded”, CNN reports, that he has not been tested again for coronavirus.

Kaitlan Collins

“I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night if we have enough time to put it together,” President Trump tells Sean Hannity. He said it would potentially be in Florida or Pennsylvania. He concedes he has not been tested again.

October 9, 2020

2.28am BST

Democrats in the US Congress have announced a plan to create a commission to review whether Donald Trump is capable of carrying out his presidential duties or should face removal from office.

The office of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced a Friday press conference about the bill after she expressed concern that Trump, who is under treatment for coronavirus at the White House, is suffering a “disassociation from reality”.

The president has unleashed a barrage of erratic and self-contradictory tweets and declarations in recent days that have left staff scrambling and raised concerns over his stability.

Pelosi, who is negotiating a Covid-19 economic stimulus plan, responded at her weekly press conference: “The plan isn’t for the president to say that he’s a perfect physical specimen. Specimen, maybe I can agree with that … And young, he said he was young.”

Trump “is, shall we say, in an altered state right now” and “the disassociation from reality would be funny if it weren’t so deadly,” the 80-year-old speaker added while wearing a mask.

Trump reacted angrily to Pelosi’s manoeuvre, tweeting: “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”

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