CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,549,429 and the nation’s death toll stands at 211,793, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… 25 states have reported rises in cases three states have taken action this week… The outbreak has infected “34 White House staffers and other contacts” in recent days, according to an internal government memo. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, General Gary Thomas, has tested positive after meeting Friday with Coast Guard vice commandant Admiral Charles Ray, who has tested positive. On Tuesday, top military leaders said they would quarantine because of their exposure to COVID-19.
VICE PRESIDENT DEBATE… Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Senator Kamala Harris clashed early and often during last night’s vice presidential-debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Harris promoted the Joe Biden platform and attacked Pence for his role in an administration that has mishandled a pandemic, crashed the economy and attacked the Affordable Care Act. Pence countered by defending the Trump administration’s economy and tax policy. The two also expressed their views of the Supreme Court and the differences over environmental policies.
APPEALS COURT RULES TRUMP TAX SUBPOENA VALID… A federal appeals court yesterday ruled against Trump’s latest attempt to block a subpoena for his tax returns. The decision marked the fifth time courts have blocked Trump’s efforts to withhold his tax returns from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The appeals court found the subpoena was not too broad in its scope, nor could the reason for its issuance solely be relegated to a “political fishing expedition,” as lawyers representing Trump unsuccessfully argued. Vance has been investigating a number of financial crimes, including hush payments. Last month, the New York Times obtained and published most of Trump’s returns, which showed that he paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and did not pay taxes in 11 of the 15 years examined.
TRUMP 12 POINTS DOWN IN HIS FAVORITE POLL… President Trump’s favorite poll is the latest to join others in finding that his numbers have been falling since the first presidential debate and his infection with the coronavirus. The Republican-leaning Rasmussen poll says Trump trails Democratic challengers by 12 points. Voters surveyed between September 30 and October 6 favored Biden by a 52-to-40-percent margin. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesterday found Biden leading Trump in Florida and the two virtually tied in Arizona.
DELTA MAKES LANDFALL IN MEXICO… Delta made landfall yesterday in Puerto Moreles, Mexico, as a Category 2 hurricane and is taking aim at the Texas-Louisiana border. The latest forecast calls for it to arrive near Cameron, Louisiana, tomorrow afternoon as a Category 3 hurricane. A hurricane watch has been issued for Texas and Louisiana. A storm surge watch was issued from Texas to the Alabama-Florida border.
MORGAN WALLEN WON’T PERFORM ON ‘SNL’… Country star Morgan Wallen has been disinvited as the musical guest on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” NBC rescinded the offer after the 27-year-old Wallen was seen partying without a mask and kissing multiple women while at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa over the weekend. Wallen posted an apology to SNL, his fans and his band on social media yesterday.
ELLEN RATINGS TUMBLE… Ratings continue to tumble for Ellen DeGeneres, who has been scandalized by rude behavior and abusive workplace environment. Tuesday’s fourth season premiere of the comic’s primetime NBC series, “Ellen’s Game of Games,” got a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49, which represents a 30-percent drop from from the Season 3 premiere last January. Ratings for DeGeneres’ daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” slipped 16 percent in total audience.
MLB PLAYOFF SCORES…
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
Oakland 9 – HOUSTON 7 (at Dodger Stadium in L.A)…. The Athletics erased a 7-4 seventh-inning deficit to get past the Astros and pull within 2-1 in the series. Chad Pinder belted a game-tying three-run homer and lifted a sacrifice fly. Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, Mark Canha and Matt Olson hit bases-empty homers. Oakland will try to even the series today when it sends Frankie Montas to the mound. He’ll be opposed by fellow righthander Cristian Javier.
Tampa Bay 8 – N.Y. YANKEES 4 (in San Diego)… Randy Arozarena homered for the third straight game and the Rays also got homers from Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perez in doubling up on the Yankees to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Starter Charlie Morton surrendered a run on four hits over five innings. New York will try to bring the series even today behind lefthanded starter Jordan Montgomery. Tampa Bay counters with righthander Ryan Thompson.
NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
ATLANTA 2 – Miami 0 (in Houston)… Rookie starter Ian Anderson pitched three-hit ball over 5-2/3 innings and four relievers preserved the shutout as the Braves blanked the Marlins to go up 2-0 in the series. Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud smacked solo homers. It will be a matchup of righthanders today as Atlanta’s Kyle Wright opposes Miami’s Sixto Sanchez.
L.A. DODGERS 6 – San Diego 5 (in Arlington)… The Dodgers held off the Padres to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Cody Bellinger homered and made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Fernando Tatis of a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning. Corey Seager stroked a two-run double. Max Muncy produced a pair of run-scoring singles. San Diego will try to get in the win column today behind rookie Adrian Morejon. Los Angeles sends Julio Urias to the mound in a matchup of lefthanders.
TONIGHT’S NFL SCHEDULE…
Tampa Bay (3-1) is at Chicago (3-1)
NFL NEWS… A total of 22 Tennessee Titans players and staff have contracted the coronavirus. 11 of the players have placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this season. The status of Sunday’s against the Buffalo Bills is unknown. The NFL and NFLPA are reportedly investigating whether the Titans violated COVID-19 protocols.