Good morning! It’s Friday, September 18, 2020. Election Day is 46 days away. The first presidential debate is 11 days away. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.
Democrats fret about Biden operation: “As Mr. Trump barrels ahead with crowded, risky rallies, some Democrats in battleground states are growing increasingly anxious about the trade-offs Mr. Biden has made. With some polls tightening since the beginning of the summer, they are warning him that virtual events may not be enough to excite voters, and urging him to intensify in-person outreach.”
. . . “The concern among these Democrats is whether, in closely fought states that may be won on the margins, the Biden campaign is engaging every possible voter with an affirmative case for his candidacy, when the other side simply has more traditional tactics they are willing to use.” (New York Times)
- “Biden’s weakness with Black and Latino men creates an opening for Trump” (Politico)
Former Pence aide endorses Biden: “President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic showed a ‘flat-out disregard for human life’ because his ‘main concern was the economy and his reelection,’ according to a senior adviser on the White House coronavirus task force who left the White House in August.”
“Olivia Troye, who worked as homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Vice President Pence for two years, said that the administration’s response cost lives and that she will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this fall because of her experience in the Trump White House.” (Washington Post)
- “DeVos’ former top aide joins anti-Trump group” (Politico)
Green Party left off of key ballots: “In a sweeping victory for Democrats, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued three significant rulings Thursday that extended the deadline for absentee ballots, allowed more ballot drop boxes and removed the Green Party candidate from the presidential ballot.”
“The rulings come following court challenges from the state Democratic Party, which has been aiming to ease Pennsylvania's absentee voting procedures amid the pandemic and a surge in mail-in ballots and to have the Green Party off the ballot due to its potential to take votes from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.” (CNN)
- Pennsylvania is now the second battleground state where a court has ordered ballots to be sent without the Green Party on them, following Wisconsin earlier this week. The absence of the Green Party represents a major shift from 2016, when nominee Jill Stein won more votes in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin than President Trump’s margins of victory in each state.
Inside the CDC: “A heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections, according to several people familiar with the matter as well as internal documents obtained by The New York Times.”
“The guidance said it was not necessary to test people without symptoms of Covid-19 even if they had been exposed to the virus.” (New York Times)
Trump administration scrapped mask plan: “The White House scrapped an effort to send hundreds of millions of cloth masks to every U.S. household in April, choosing instead to distribute the masks to nonprofit organizations and state and federal agencies, according to an internal email from a senior Trump administration official obtained by NBC News.”
“A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News that 600 million masks have been distributed around the country to nonprofits and state and federal agencies through the means the Trump administration ultimately chose. The mask distribution program was called Project America Strong.” (NBC News)
All times Eastern.
President Donald Trump will receive an intelligence briefing at 12 p.m. He will then travel to Bemidji, Minnesota, where he will speak at a campaign event at 7 p.m.
Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Arizona. He will participate in a Hispanic Heritage Month roundtable hosted by Libre Initiative in Phoenix and host a “Veterans for Trump” campaign event in Litchfield Park.
The Senate is not in session.
The House will meet at 12 p.m. for a pro forma session.
The Supreme Court is on summer recess.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will travel to Duluth, Minnesota. He will tour a union training center and deliver remarks.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will deliver remarks at the “Turn Up and Turn out the Vote Virtual Bus Tour” hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee.
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