CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,761,637, and the nation’s death toll stands at 214,767, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump’s physician has cleared him to return to an active schedule, but has not said whether the president has produced a negative coronavirus test. Twitter yesterday flagged a Trump tweet in which he claimed he was now “immune” to COVID-19 following treatment. The social media noted that the tweet “violated Twitter rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information.”
FAUCI DISPUTES APPEARANCE IN TRUMP CAMPAIGN AD… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’ top infectious diseases expert, said President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign used distorted video of him in an ad without consent. Dr. Fauci said he was captured out of context with footage of him saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more” to suggest he was praising the president’s response to the pandemic. However, Dr. Fauci says he was discussing the broader effort, including by the White House coronavirus task force.
BARRETT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS BEGIN TODAY… Four days of Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump’s pick to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat begin today. The selection of Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become politically controversial. Democrats argue that the vacancy shouldn’t be filled until after the election so that voters have a say. Barrett’s nomination would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court.
JAIME HARRISON SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD… Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison of South Carolina raised a record $57 million in the third quarter of 2020 in his bid to unseat U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. The amount raised is easily the most a Senate candidate has ever brought in for a quarter, topping the $38.1 million raised by former Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke during his unsuccessful 2018 U.S. Senate bid in Texas. Recent polls have shown Harrison and Graham are running a tight race.
GAS PRICES DROP A PENNY… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. fell half a penny over the past two weeks to just under $2.25 per gallon, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The Lundberg Survey found that the most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.36 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Houston, where a gallon cost $1.78.
21 SAVAGE & METRO BOOMIN TOP ALBUM CHART… 21 Savage & Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II” sold 171,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. BLACKPINK’s “The Album” finished second with 110,000 units sold. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” jumped one spot to No. 3 on sales of 68,000 units. YG’s “My Life 4Hunnid” finished fourth on sales of 64,000 units. Bryson Tiller’s “Anniversary” at No. 5 with 57,000 copies sold.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “The War with Grandpa” took in $3.6 million to top the weekend box office. “Tenet” slid into second place with $2.1 million. “Hocus Pocus” finished third with $1.1 million. “The New Mutants” made $685,000 to finish fourth. “Unhinged” capped the top five with $660,000.
LAKERS WIN NBA TITLE… The Los Angeles Lakers captured their 17th NBA title last night with a 106-93 win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The title is their first since 2010 and ties them with Boston for the most ever. The Lakers built a 28-point halftime lead and never looked back. LeBron James led the way with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Anthony Davis added 19 points and 15 boards.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE…
TAMPA BAY 2 – Houston 1 (in San Diego)… The Rays held off the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. Starter Blake Snell allowed a run on six hits over five innings in outdueling counterpart Framber Valdez. Randy Arozarena smacked a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mike Zunino’s fifth-inning single scored Willy Adames with the decisive run. Tampa Bay’s Charlie Morton will face Houston’s Lance McCullers in a matchup of righthanders today in Game 2. First pitch is set for 4:07 p.m. Eastern.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES OPENS TODAY… The Atlanta Braves meet the L.A. Dodgers in Arlington today to open the National League Championship Series. Both teams are unbeaten in the postseason. The Braves swept Cincinnati in the Wild-Card round and Miami in the NLDS. Atlanta will send lefthander Max Fried to the mound where he’ll be opposed by L.A. righthander Walker Buehler. Gametime is 8:08 p.m. Eastern.
HOUSTON 30 – Jacksonville 14… DeShaun Watson threw touchdown passes to three different receivers as the Texans (1-4) pounded the Jaguars (1-4).
Arizona 30 – N.Y. JETS 10… Kyler Murray passed for 380 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals (3-2) rolled past the Jets (0-5). Deandre Hopkins had six catches for 131 yards and a score.
PITTSBURGH 38 – Philadelphia 29… Ben Roethlisberger hit Chase Claypool with three touchdown passes as the Steelers (4-0) handled the Eagles (1-3-1). Claypool had seven receptions for 110 yards.
Carolina 23 – ATLANTA 16… Teddy Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Panthers (3-2) past the Falcons (0-5). Robby Anderson had eight receptions for 112 yards. After the game, Atlanta announced the firings of head coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff.
Las Vegas 40 – KANSAS CITY 32… Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes and Josh Jacobs rushed for two scores as the Raiders (3-2) shocked the Chiefs (4-1). Henry Ruggs III had a 72-yard TD reception in the second quarter.
L.A. Rams 30 – WASHINGTON 10… Jared Goff had two scoring tosses and a touchdown run to lead the Rams (4-1) past Washington (1-4). Robert Woods hauled in a 56-yard scoring pass.
BALTIMORE 27 – Cincinnati 3… The Ravens (4-1) rode their defense to an easy win over the Bengals (0-3-1). Patrick Queen returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown. Lamar Jackson threw TD passes to Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews.
Miami 43 – SAN FRANCISCO 17… Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 28 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns and the Dolphins (2-3) crushed the injury-riddled 49ers (2-3). Preston Williams had four receptions for 106 yards and a score.
DALLAS 37 – N.Y. Giants 34… Greg Zeurlein booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Cowboys (2-3) over the Giants (0-5). It was a costly win for Dallas, as quarterback Dak Prescott was carted off the field in the third quarter with a fractured right ankle and underwent season-ending surgery last night.
CLEVELAND 32 – Indianapolis 23… The Browns (4-1) came up with a pair of big plays defensively in fighting off the Colts (3-1). They recorded a fourth-quarter safety and Ronnie Harrison returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown. Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes.
SEATTLE 27 – Minnesota 26… Russell Wilson’s second touchdown pass to DK Metcalf came from 6 yards out with 15 seconds remaining and gave the Seahawks (5-0) a come-from-behind win over the Vikings (1-4). Will Dissly also caught a Wilson scoring toss.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
Denver (1-3) is at New England (2-2)…
New Orleans (2-2) hosts the L.A. Chargers (1-3)
TUESDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE…
Buffalo (4-0) is at Tennessee (3-0)