10 things you need to know today: October 11, 2020

White House doctor says Trump 'no longer considered a transmission risk,' Trump holds 1st public appearance since COVID-19 diagnosis at White House, and more

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(Image credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

1. White House doctor says Trump 'no longer considered a transmission risk'

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley released a memo Saturday night saying President Trump is "no longer considered a transmission risk" and is safe to come out of isolation more than a week after he first tested positive for the coronavirus. Conley didn't reveal much more information than that, but he said the decision was based off Trump's Saturday morning "COVID PCR sample." That doesn't mean the president tested negative for COVID-19, but Conley said, "there is no longer evidence of actively replicating virus." Trump is also reportedly still fever-free and all other symptoms have "improved," but Conley didn't say if he was still exhibiting any. The president made his first public appearance at the White House on Saturday afternoon and is prepared to resume campaign activities this week.

The New York Times NPR

2. Trump holds 1st public appearance since COVID-19 diagnosis at White House

President Trump hosted a gathering with reportedly somewhere between 300 and 400 people in attendance on Saturday on the South Lawn of the White House, marking his first public event since he was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 last week. Trump was scheduled to speak for about 30 minutes, but wound up only utilizing 18, an unusual instance of efficiency for the president. His voice reportedly sounded "a touch hoarse," but he showed no outward signs of illness and said he was "feeling great." During his speech, Trump said he believes the coronavirus "is going to disappear" largely to thanks "science, medicine," and "the American spirit." The event was not billed as a campaign rally, but the president opened the address by declaring, in reference to his Democratic opponents, "we got to vote these people into oblivion."

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Axios CBS News

3. Pelosi, Republicans criticize White House coronavirus relief funding offer

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Saturday that the Trump administration's latest coronavirus relief funding offer "amounted to one step forward and two steps back." She explained that the major divides between Democrats and the White House were over an apparent lack of national coronavirus containment strategy and inadequate funding for child care and supplemental insurance benefits. Republicans, meanwhile, told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that Trump's bill was too big during a Saturday conference call. Per Politico, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said "there's no appetite to spend" what either the White House or Pelosi have put on the table, while some of his colleagues including Sen. John Borrasso (R-Wyo.) and fellow Tennessean Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) suggested passing legislation that costly would lead to GOP defeats at the ballot box this November.

The New York Times Politico

4. Louisiana begins post-Delta recovery

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said during a Saturday press conference that Hurricane Delta dumped more than 15 inches of rain on Lake Charles over two days and more than 10 inches on Baton Rouge. Flooding was reportedly considered the greatest concern in the fallout from the latest named storm to hit Louisiana during a tumultuous hurricane season. Delta carved a very similar path to the one Hurricane Laura, which caused significant damage and killed 32 people, took just weeks ago. No deaths were connected to Delta as of Saturday evening. Hundreds of thousands of customers lost power because of the storm across multiple states in the Gulf Coast region, including a peak of 638,000 in Louisiana. That number has since dropped to around 358,000, so restoration is happening relatively quickly.

Fox News

5. At least 20 people dead after bus, train collide in Thailand

At least 20 people were killed and 30 others injured after a bus heading to a Buddhist temple collided with a train in central Thailand on Sunday morning. The accident occurred near the Khlong Kwaeng Klan railway station, about 40 miles east of Bangkok. The tour bus was carrying about 60 factory workers who were on their way to a ceremony at a temple in the Cha Choeng Sao province for a ceremony marking the end of Vassa, which is known as "Buddhist Lent." The vehicle was crossing a railway track when it was hit by a freight train headed to the capital. The crossing reportedly has an alarm, but no barrier to block traffic when a train is coming. The province will reportedly install speed bumps and barriers and cut down trees near the crossing to improve visibility.

Al Jazeera CNN

6. 1 dead, 1 in custody after shooting during dueling Denver protests

One man was shot during dueling left- and right-wing protests in downtown Denver on Saturday and later died at a hospital. Another man was in custody. The suspect is reportedly a private security guard, who was working for a television station. The shooting occurred when the victim, who was apparently participating in what was described as a right-wing "Patriot Rally," sprayed mace at the suspect, who then shot the man with a handgun outside the Denver Art Museum. Denver Police Department Division Chief Joe Montoya told The Denver Post the incident started as a verbal altercation, but he said he could not confirm either the shooter's or the victim's affiliation.

The Associated Press The Denver Post

7. Armenia, Azerbaijan again accuse each other of breaching fragile ceasefire

Armenia and Azerbaijan again accused each other of intense shelling on civilian areas amid a Russian-brokered ceasefire following two weeks of heavy fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan said Armenian forces killed at least nine people and wounded dozens of others in the second largest Azeri city, Ganja. Armenia's defense ministry called the accusation "an absolute lie" and in turn alleged Azerbaijan was breaking the truce. Arayik Harutyunyan, the leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, said the situation in the region's capital city Stepanakert — which has been heavily bombed since the fighting broke out — was "calmer" on Sunday, but added "that can change quickly."

Al Jazeera France 24

8. Chris Christie released from hospital

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced Saturday morning that he has been released from the hospital, where he spent a week being treated for COVID-19. Christie thanked the "extraordinary doctors and nurses who tended to him," and while short on specifics about his illness and treatment, he did say that "I will have more to say about all of this next week." CNN had previously reported that Christie received the antiviral drug remdesivir, which President Trump was also treated with during his bout with the coronavirus last week. The governor had initially said he checked himself into the hospital for precautionary reasons because he has a history of asthma. He was one of several people connected to the White House who contracted the virus in recent weeks and had helped Trump prepare for the first presidential debate shortly before both men tested positive.

Chris Christie CNBC

9. Report: U.S. looking to revive travel corridor with U.K.

The White House's National Security Council has approved moving forward with a plan aimed at opening travel with shortened quarantine periods between New York City and London as soon as the holiday season, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. U.S. officials are apparently looking to revive international travel because of the increased availability of COVID-19 testing. Travelers would need to be tested for the coronavirus before departure and after arrival to avoid quarantining at their destination. The Trump administration and foreign governments will both have to agree to the plan. It appears initial talks are revolving around a U.S.-United Kingdom corridor, and discussions have also reportedly involved German officials. Currently, American citizens traveling to the U.K. must quarantine for 14 days, and the U.S. bars entry to travelers from the U.K. and Europe unless they are citizens or permanent residents.

The Wall Street Journal

10. Swiatek wins French Open

Iga Swiatek, an unseeded 19-year-old, became the first ever tennis player from Poland to win a Grand Slam singles title after she defeated her 21-year-old American opponent Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open in February, 6-4, 6-1 in the French Open Final on Saturday. The 54th-ranked Swiatek had only played in seven major tournaments before this year's French Open and never made it past the fourth round. But she didn't drop a set during her run to the title, becoming the first woman to achieve the feat at Roland-Garros since Justine Henin in 2007. The men's French Open final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was under way Saturday morning.


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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.