10 things you need to know today: October 5, 2020

Trump briefly leaves hospital to drive by well-wishers, Biden expands his lead over Trump in post-debate poll, and more

Trump does a drive by
(Image credit: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Trump greets well-wishers outside hospital

President Trump briefly left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, where he has been treated for the coronavirus since Friday, to drive by supporters gathered outside. Trump sat in the back of an SUV wearing a black cloth mask. At least two Secret Service members accompanied him in the vehicle. It was not clear whether there was a partition in the vehicle to provide added protection for the occupants inside not infected with the virus, The New York Times reported. Trump's doctors revealed that the president's oxygen levels had dipped twice, indicating that his condition was more serious than some White House officials had suggested, but that he was doing better and could be discharged as soon as Monday. "It's been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID," Trump said in a video posted to social media. "I get it."

The New York Times The Associated Press

2. Biden expands lead over Trump in post-debate poll

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden widened his national lead over President Trump after Tuesday's debate, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. The poll was conducted two days after the acrimonious debate, and before Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Biden surged to a 14-point lead over Trump among registered voters, 53 percent to 39 percent. It is Biden's largest lead of the campaign in this poll. Biden led by 8 points before the debate, the first of three scheduled before the Nov. 3 election, and his biggest previous edge was 11 points. Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who directed the survey with Democrat Jeff Horwitt, said the chaotic debate might have delivered a "shock to the system," but Trump has a history of bouncing back.

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The Wall Street Journal NBC News

3. Report: Trump kept quiet about 1st positive COVID-19 test

When President Trump called into Fox News on Thursday night and confirmed that his close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19, he didn't mention that he also had a positive result from a rapid test and was awaiting results from a more reliable screening, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing several people familiar with the matter. Trump told Fox host Sean Hannity he had been tested and would get the results back "either tonight or tomorrow morning." Early Friday morning, Trump tweeted that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for coronavirus. Trump reportedly told an unidentified adviser that his aides should keep their positive test results to themselves, saying, "Don't tell anyone."

The Wall Street Journal

4. California wildfire season surpasses 4 million acres burned

The biggest wildfire season in California history reached a new milestone on Sunday, surpassing 4 million acres burned. The total is now more than double the previous record of 1.8 million acres burned in 2018. At least 31 people have been killed in wildfires this year, and more than 8,200 structures have been destroyed. More than 100 people died in the 2018 season, most of them in the Camp Fire that devastated the town of Paradise, and more than 17,000 homes and 700 businesses were destroyed. The August Complex fire, the largest in state history, was whipped back to life over the weekend by high winds, jumping the containment line. Authorities told people in the towns of Wildwood and Platina to prepare to evacuate.

Los Angeles Times

5. Biden negative in 3rd coronavirus test since Friday

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tested negative for the coronavirus for the third time since his debate last week with President Trump, Biden's campaign said on Sunday. Trump was hospitalized Friday after testing positive and showing symptoms of COVID-19. Biden's campaign has said that the former vice president is tested regularly. His campaign previously said it would only report the results if Biden tested positive, but on Sunday it reversed and said it would release the results after every Biden coronavirus test. Biden was tested twice early Friday after Trump announced his infection. Biden and Trump stood about 13 feet apart during the debate, and neither wore a mask.

The Washington Post

6. NYC to close schools in some neighborhoods as COVID-19 cases rise

New York City will close non-essential businesses and about 100 public schools in nine Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods with spiking new coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday. The closures will start Wednesday, pending state approval. The city is scrambling to contain a rising number of new cases after a slowdown of infections over the summer. An hour before de Blasio's announcement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the state would enforce guidelines in areas with spiking COVID-19 cases, including Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. "Local governments have not done an effective job of enforcement in these hot spot ZIP Codes," Cuomo said. About a dozen neighborhoods have seen positivity rates increase above 3 percent for seven straight days.

The Wall Street Journal The New York Times

7. Strengthening storm could threaten Gulf Coast at week's end

A new tropical depression is developing in the Caribbean and threatening to strengthen before a possible landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast at the end of the week. The National Hurricane Center said the system, currently called Tropical Depression 26, could develop into Tropical Storm Delta on Monday. Tropical Depression 26 could hit the Cayman Islands with tropical storm conditions late Monday. Hurricane conditions are possible on the western tip of Cuba late Tuesday. The storm's strengthening could be accelerated then by interaction with Tropical Storm Gamma, which killed at least six people after hitting Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Delta could be a Category 2 hurricane with top sustained winds of 100 miles per hour by Friday.

Weather USA Today

8. Supreme Court starts term at center of partisan battles

The Supreme Court begins its 2020 term on Monday on the verge of a possible ideological shift to the right as Republicans push to confirm conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a leading voice of the court's liberal wing. The eight remaining justices start the session short-handed as they face a wave of emergency petitions from Democrats and Republicans about the handling of mail-in ballots in the looming elections. President Trump has claimed, without evidence, that an expected surge of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic will result in widespread fraud, and he has said the Supreme Court might wind up ruling on the result of his race against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

USA Today

9. Toomey reportedly won't seek re-election in 2022

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) does not plan to run for re-election in 2022, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The conservative Toomey, 58, is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday. He is now serving his second term, and won both of his Senate races by narrow margins. Toomey is the only Republican holding statewide office in Pennsylvania other than judges, and there was talk he might run for governor in 2022, but he has decided against that, the Inquirer reports. Toomey's office would not confirm or deny the Inquirer's report.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

10. Fashion designer Kenzo Takada dies of COVID-19 complications at 81

French-Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada has died from COVID-19 complications in a hospital near Paris, his family said in a statement to French media on Sunday. He was 81. "It is with immense sadness that KENZO has learned of the passing of our founder," the fashion house confirmed in a statement. "For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry — always infusing creativity and color into the world." Takada was known for what The Associated Press described as his "jungle-infused designs and free-spirited aesthetic that channeled global travel." He retired from his fashion house in 1999 to focus on his art, but remained an icon of French fashion. His Kenzo brand has been owned by French luxury goods company LVMH since 1993.

The Associated Press

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.