AP News in Brief: 10-19-20

  • President Donald Trump supporters celebrate during his speech at a political rally at the Carson City Airport, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Carson City, Nev. (AP Photo/Lance Iversen)

Trump, Biden go on offense in states they’re trying to flip

CARSON CITY, Nev. — President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden went on offense Sunday, as both campaigned in states they are trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election that is just over two weeks away.

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Trump began his day in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before a fundraiser and an evening rally in Carson City. Once considered a battleground, Nevada has not swung for a Republican presidential contender since 2004.

The rally drew thousands of supporters who sat elbow to elbow, cheering Trump and booing Biden and the press. The vast majority wore no masks to guard against the coronavirus, though cases in the state are on the rise, with more than 1,000 new infections reported Saturday. The president, as he often does, warned that a Biden election would lead to further lockdowns and at one point appeared to mock Biden for saying he would listen to scientists.

“He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression,” Trump said.

Biden, a practicing Catholic, attended Mass in Delaware before campaigning in North Carolina, where a Democrat has not won in a presidential race since Barack Obama in 2008.

Millions more virus rapid tests, but are results reported?

WASHINGTON — After struggling to ramp up coronavirus testing, the U.S. can now screen several million people daily, thanks to a growing supply of rapid tests. But the boom comes with a new challenge: keeping track of the results.

All U.S. testing sites are legally required to report their results, positive and negative, to public health agencies. But state health officials say many rapid tests are going unreported, which means some new COVID-19 infections may not be counted.

And the situation could get worse, experts say. The federal government is shipping more than 100 million of the newest rapid tests to states for use in public schools, assisted living centers and other new testing sites.

“Schools certainly don’t have the capacity to report these tests,” said Dr. Jeffrey Engel of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. “If it’s done at all it’s likely going to be paper-based, very slow and incomplete.”

Early in the outbreak, nearly all U.S. testing relied on genetic tests that could only be developed at high-tech laboratories. Even under the best circumstances, people had to wait about two to three days to get results. Experts pushed for more “point-of-care” rapid testing that could be done in doctors offices, clinics and other sites to quickly find people who are infected, get them into quarantine and stop the spread.

Michigan governor pushes back against Trump chants

DETROIT — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that President Donald Trump is inciting “domestic terrorism” following “lock her up” chants at his rally in the state the night before.

Whitmer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the rhetoric is “incredibly disturbing” a little more than a week after authorities announced they had thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap the Democratic governor.

“The president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” Whitmer said. “It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans. People of good will on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down.”

At a rally in Muskegon Saturday evening, Trump urged supporters to push Whitmer to reopen the state following COVID-19 restrictions. When the crowd starting chanting “lock her up” Trump added, “Lock ’em all up.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” said Trump’s statements were “irresponsible” and accused him of injecting fear tactics.

Armenia, Azerbaijan blame each other for truce violations

YEREVAN, Armenia — Despite a second attempt at a cease-fire, Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations Sunday of violating the new truce in their destructive conflict over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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The latest truce, which was announced Saturday and took force at midnight, was the second attempt to establish a cease-fire since heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sept. 27. The fighting and shelling has killed hundreds of people — both combatants and civilians — and marks the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over the region in more than a quarter-century.

The fighting, involving heavy artillery, rockets and drones, has continued despite repeated calls for cessation of hostilities coming from around the globe. It also raises the specter of a wider conflict that could draw in Russia and Turkey and threaten Caspian Sea energy exports.

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