10 things you need to know today: October 12, 2020

Trump returns to campaign trail declaring himself "immune" to virus, Barrett heads into Senate confirmation hearing, and more

COVID investigation blockade
(Image credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Trump returns to campaign trail as Biden expands polling lead

President Trump said Sunday that he was ready to hit the campaign trail again, declaring himself "immune" following his treatment for COVID-19. "I'm immune," Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel's Sunday Morning Futures. "The president is in very good shape to fight the battles." Trump continues to face questions about his health, with some medical experts skeptical about the White House physician's Saturday announcement that Trump had completed his treatment and was no longer considered a transmission risk. Trump held a White House event with a few hundred supporters on Saturday and plans to resume full-fledged rallies with an event in Florida on Monday that is seen as the start of a final push before Election Day after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, expanded his solid lead in the polls.

The Associated Press

2. Barrett heads into Senate confirmation hearing

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says in remarks prepared for her four-day confirmation hearing, set to begin Monday, that as a judge she seeks to "reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be." The Supreme Court will shift to the right, with a 6-3 conservative majority, if Barrett is confirmed to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The change could result in rulings to curtail abortion rights, invalidate ObamaCare, expand gun rights, and uphold voting restrictions pushed by Republicans. Democrats are opposing her, noting that millions of votes have already been cast and arguing that the winner of the Nov. 3 election should appoint the next justice. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will be among the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Barrett.

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Reuters The New York Times

3. White House regroups after both parties reject coronavirus relief proposal

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent a letter Sunday urging Congress to redirect $130 billion in unused Paycheck Protection Program funding while negotiations continue on broader new coronavirus relief. The appeal came after members of both parties rejected the administration's new $1.8 trillion stimulus proposal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told fellow House Democrats in a letter on Sunday that negotiations with the White House on a new round of coronavirus relief remained at an impasse. Pelosi said Trump's $1.8 trillion proposal was "grossly inadequate," partly because it did not include the $75 billion and a new national plan for testing, tracing, and virus treatment that Democrats have demanded.

The Wall Street Journal The Washington Post

4. Denver police identify suspect in protest killing as security guard

Denver police on Sunday identified the suspect in a fatal shooting at a Saturday protest as Matthew Robert Dolloff, 30. Dolloff was arrested immediately after the shooting and remained in jail Sunday on suspicion of first-degree murder. Dolloff was working as a security guard for 9News, a Denver television station, at the time of the incident. Photos of the confrontation show the victim, whom authorities did not immediately identify, slapping Dolloff, then discharging a can of pepper spray at him before the shooting. On Sunday, conservative groups held a rally at Denver's Civic Center and dozens of socialist and communist activists held a food drive as a counter-protest.

The Denver Post

5. California finds fake 'official' ballot drop boxes

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office has received complaints about what appear to be unauthorized ballot drop boxes in Los Angeles, Orange, and Fresno counties, The Orange County Register reported Sunday night. The boxes appeared to have been set up by California Republicans, the newspaper reported, citing social media posts. The metal boxes, which purport to be "official," have been reported at local political party offices, churches, and headquarters for GOP candidates. "Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it's a violation of state law," Padilla said. A felony conviction would land perpetrators in prison for two to four years. The California Republican Party did not respond to the Register's requests for comments.

The Orange County Register

6. S.C. Democrat Jaime Harrison shatters Senate fundraising record

Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), raised $57 million in the third quarter, shattering the Senate quarterly fundraising record. Harrison has pulled even with Graham in the deep red state. The previous record of $38 million was set by former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas in his 2018 bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Challengers in races that will determine control of the Senate have been out-raising incumbents for months. Other Democrats around the country also are raising unprecedented amounts for their Senate bids as the party ramps up its effort to regain control of the Senate. Theresa Greenfield, the Democrat challenging Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, raised $28.7 million, a quarterly record for a Senate candidate in that state.

The New York Times CNN

7. Fauci says Trump ad uses his words without permission

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top federal infectious disease expert, said Sunday that he had not agreed to be featured in President Trump's latest campaign ad, which shows Fauci saying that he "can't imagine that anybody could be doing more" to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The ad suggests that Fauci was speaking about Trump. Fauci said his words were taken "out of context," and that he was referring to the efforts of the broader effort by the coronavirus task force and public health agencies in general. "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate," Fauci said in a statement. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh defended the ad, saying that the comments were taken "directly from Dr. Fauci's mouth." Fauci and Trump have frequently clashed over how to respond to the pandemic.


8. Lakers defeat Heat to win 1st NBA title in 10 years

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat on Sunday night to win the 2019-2020 NBA Championship, the team's first title in a decade. The 106-93 victory in Game 6 of the best-of-seven series gave the Lakers their 17th NBA championship, tying a record set by the Boston Celtics. LeBron James took his fourth Finals MVP award, leading the team in Game 6 with a triple-double — 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Anthony Davis contributed 19 points and 15 rebounds in Sunday's game. James has now won four championship rings with three teams. The season was the longest in NBA history, finishing 352 days after it began due to disruption by the coronavirus pandemic.


9. 14 states mark Indigenous Peoples' Day

Fourteen states — Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin — along with the District of Columbia, and more than 130 cities will celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday with virtual or outdoor gatherings. The events honoring Native American cultures will be observed in addition to or instead of Columbus Day. Groups honoring Native Americans and other indigenous peoples say its wrong to celebrate the explorer whose voyages started the colonial period that decimated indigenous populations in the Americas. South Dakota in 1989 became the first state to recognize the day. Many groups defend Columbus Day as a fitting tribute to the explorer who "discovered" the New World, and to Italian American heritage.

USA Today

10. Nadal wins his 13th French Open

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal beat rival Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to win his 13th French Open title on Sunday. The victory was the 20th Grand Slam victory for the Spaniard, tying Roger Federer's record. Djokovic congratulated Nadal after the players exchanged a gracious hug over the net on the famed red clay court after the match. "What you're doing on this court is unbelievable," Djokovic said, acknowledging that Nadal had simply overpowered him. "Not just on this court, throughout your entire career you've been a great champion and today you showed why you're King of the Clay." Nadal said he wanted to send a message of encouragement to the world. "We are facing one of the worst moments that I think we remember in this world, facing and fighting against this virus," he said. "Just keep going, stay positive."

NBC News

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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.