In Brief: November 21, 2020

Biden wants Congress to pass virus aid in lame-duck session

WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden is pushing Congress to approve billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 assistance before he takes office, saying in a meeting Friday with the top Democrats in the House and Senate that such a package should be approved during the lame-duck session.

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Biden held his first in-person meeting since winning the presidential election with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, hosting them at his makeshift transition headquarters in a downtown Wilmington, Delaware, theater.

Biden’s new governing team is facing intense pressure to approve another coronavirus relief bill and come up with a clear plan to distribute millions of doses of a prospective vaccine. That comes as Biden is just days away from unveiling the first of his Cabinet picks, which are subject to Senate confirmation.

“In my Oval Office, mi casa, you casa,” Biden, who sat with Schumer, Pelosi and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, all wearing masks and spaced out around a bank of tables, said during the brief portion of the meeting journalists witnessed. “I hope we’re going to spend a lot of time together.”

According to a readout of the meeting later released by Biden’s team, the group “agreed that Congress needed to pass a bipartisan emergency aid package in the lame duck session,” which is the period after Election Day but before Congress adjourns for the year.

Spokesman: Trump’s eldest son tests positive for coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Donald Trump, was quarantining Friday after learning he has been infected with the coronavirus, a spokesperson said.

The younger Trump learned his diagnosis at the beginning of the week and has had no symptoms, said the spokesperson, who was granted anonymity to discuss private medical information.

Trump Jr. is following all medically recommended guidelines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the spokesperson added.

The 42-year-old is the latest member of the president’s family to become infected with a virus that has killed more than 250,000 Americans and infected nearly 12 million others.

President-elect Joe Biden made President Trump’s response to the virus a top issue in the recently concluded race for the White House, though Trump has yet to acknowledge the outcome.

Police: 8 injured in Wisconsin mall shooting; suspect sought

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — Police searched Friday evening for the suspect in a shooting at a suburban Milwaukee mall that left seven adults and a teenager injured.

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber gave no motive for the attack at the Mayfair Mall in a brief update about three hours after the 2:50 p.m. incident near an entrance to the Macy’s store. He said the extent of the eight victims’ injuries was unknown, but all were alive. He added that the shooter was “no longer at the scene” when authorities arrived.

“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s,” Weber told reporters. “Investigators are working on determining the identity of that suspect.”

The chief called the mall an active crime scene and asked people to continue to stay away. He said the mall would remain closed until further notice.

Witnesses told WISN-TV that they had heard what they believed to be eight to 12 gunshots. Some people remained in the mall while police searched for a suspect. The station interviewed several people outside the mall who said they had friends sheltered inside stores while the search was ongoing.

Illinois teen charged in protest slayings posts $2M bail

KENOSHA, Wis. — A 17-year-old from Illinois who is charged with killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin and whose case has become a rallying cry for some conservatives posted $2 million bail Friday and was released from custody.

Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during a demonstration Aug. 25 that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. He posted bond through his attorney at about 2 p.m., Kenosha County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Wright said.

Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, told police he was attacked while he was guarding a business and that he fired in self-defense.

He faces multiple charges, including intentional homicide, reckless endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm. Wisconsin law doesn’t permit minors to carry or possess a gun unless they’re hunting. He is due back in court on Dec. 3 for a preliminary hearing.

His case has taken on political overtones. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have painted Rittenhouse as a trigger-happy white supremacist. Conservatives upset over property destruction during recent protests have portrayed him as a patriot exercising his right to bear arms during unrest. A legal defense fund for him has attracted millions of dollars in donations, and his mother got a standing ovation from women at a Waukesha County GOP function in September.

1st drug for rare rapid-aging disease extends kids’ lives

The first drug was approved Friday for a rare genetic disorder that stunts growth and causes rapid aging in children, after studies showed it can extend their lives.

Kids with the genetic disorder progeria typically die in their early teens, usually from heart disease. But in testing, children taking the drug Zokinvy lived 2 1/2 years longer on average.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the capsules for progeria and a related condition.

Research on the treatment was mainly funded by the Progeria Research Foundation in Peabody, Massachusetts, with help from drug developer Eiger BioPharmaceuticals.

“This is just the first. We’ll find more and better treatments,” said Dr. Leslie Gordon, the foundation’s medical director.

From wire sources

Contestant dies after completing “Wipeout” obstacle course

LOS ANGELES — A contestant on “Wipeout” has died after completing the game show’s obstacle course, authorities and sources close to the production said Friday.

The man in his 30s was declared dead at a hospital shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, Los Angeles County coroner’s spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. The cause of death has not been released, and the man’s name was being withheld until relatives could be notified.

The reality competition show, in which contestants navigate an extreme obstacle course featuring giant balls and pitfalls that often result in spectacular crashes, ran on ABC from 2008 until 2014 and is being rebooted by TBS and production company Endemol Shine North America.

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Two people close to the production said the man had completed the course on the show’s set in Santa Clarita, California, when he needed medical attention. He was helped by on-site medical staff until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The show stopped production Thursday and Friday and has a planned week off next week, they said. Its contestants undergo a medical exam before competing.

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