CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,633,174 and the nation’s death toll stands at 224,215, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An outbreak in the Northeast has resulted in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont report a doubling of cases in the past four weeks compared with the previous four weeks. At least 35 states reported more new Covid-19 cases in the last week than the week prior. In Texas, El Paso County is responding to a surge in Covid-19 cases by instituting a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is establishing an alternate care site in El Paso to expand hospital capacity… White House Chief of Staff seemed to concede defeat in the battle to contain the coronavirus but said the administration would instead focus on treatments and vaccines. “We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”
AMERICANS VOTING EARLY… An Associated Press tally has found more people already have voted early than 2016’s early and absentee voting totals. As of yesterday, Americans cast 58.6 million ballots to surpass the 58 million who used early and absentee voting processes in 2016. Twenty-five percent of those are new or infrequent voters, according to the political data firm L2. Experts predict 150 million Americans will turn out to vote this election.
SENATE REPUBLICANS ADVANCE BARRETT NOMINATION… Senate Republicans yesterday advanced Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination in a procedural vote that broke a Democratic filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a final vote for today. Barrett is expected to get the 51 of 53 Republican votes she needs to fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her confirmation would give conservatives a 6-3 ideological majority on the High Court. Democrats have argued that the seat on the court should have been left to the winner of the presidential election.
STATE DEPARTMENT SUSPENDS DIVERSITY PROGRAMS… The U.S. State Department confirmed yesterday that it has suspended employee training programs related to diversity and inclusion but affirmed its commitment to fostering a more diverse workplace. A temporary pause in the programs followed last month’s executive order by President Trump that directed federal agencies to end programs deemed “divisive” by the White House. The executive order forbid the teaching by federal agencies of “divisive concepts” including that the U.S. is “fundamentally racist or sexist.”
ZETA ON APPROACH… Tropical Storm Zeta formed east of Mexico yesterday morning and could be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Forecasters say Zeta could bring storm surge, rainfall and high winds to areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. It is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, tying 2005 as the most active hurricane season on record. If it makes landfall in Louisiana, Zeta would become the fifth named storm to do so this year, setting a record.
TAYLOR SWIFT TOPS ALBUM CHART… Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” sold 77,000 copies to reclaim the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for an eighth nonconsecutive week. Last week’s champ, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped into second place after selling 66,000 units. 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II” dropped into third place on sales of 47,000 copies. Tom Petty’s 1994 album “Wildflowers” sold 44,000 units to re-enter chart at No. 5 after its deluxe reissue on October 16.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… The Liam Neeson thriller “Honest Thief” took in $2.3 million to remain atop the weekend box office. “The War with Grandpa” stayed in second place after taking in $1.8 million. “Tenet” finished third with $1.3 million. “The Empty Man” made $1.2 million to finish fourth. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” came in fifth with $577,000.
WORLD SERIES GAME 5…
L.A. Dodgers 4 – TAMPA BAY 2… Solo homers by Joc Pederson and Max Muncy were the difference as the Dodgers held off the Rays to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits over 5-2/3 innings. L.A. will try to wrap up the series in Game 6 tomorrow.
Buffalo 18 – N.Y. JETS 10… The Bills (5-2) rallied past the Jets (0-7) after spotting them a 10-point lead. Tyler Bass booted six field goals to 53 yards.
Green Bay 35 – HOUSTON 20… Devante Adams had 13 receptions for 196 yards and hauled in two of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes as the Packers (5-1) rolled past the Texans (1-6). Rodgers passed for 283 yards.
WASHINGTON 25 – Dallas 3… Antonio Gibson rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown as Washington (2-5) handled the Cowboys (2-5). Kyle Allen threw touchdown passes to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas.
Pittsburgh 27 – TENNESSEE 24… The Steelers (6-0) built a 17-point halftime lead and held off the Titans (5-1) in a battle of teams that entered the game unbeaten. Ben Roethlisberger found Diontae Johnson with a pair of touchdown passes but was intercepted three times.
NEW ORLEANS 27 – Carolina 24… Wil Lutz kicked a tie-breaking 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and the Saints (4-2) made it stand in beating the Panthers (3-4). Drew Brees completed 29 of 36 passes for 287 yards.
Cleveland 37 – CINCINNATI 34… Baker Mayfield’s fifth touchdown pass of the day was a 24-yarder to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 11 seconds remaining and gave the Browns (5-2) a come-from-behind win over the Bengals (1-5-1). Harrison Bryant had two scoring receptions.
Detroit 23 – ATLANTA 22… Matthew Stafford’s 24-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson on the last play of the game lifted the Lions (3-3) over the Falcons (1-6). Stafford passed for 340 yards on the day. Kenny Goladay rushed for 114 yards.
Tampa Bay 45 – LAS VEGAS 20… Tom Brady was 30-of-45 for 369 yards and threw touchdown passes to four different receivers in leading the Buccaneers (5-2) past the Raiders (3-3). Scott Miller had six catches for 109 yards and a TD.
San Francisco 33 – NEW ENGLAND 6… Jeff Wilson rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns and the 49ers (4-3) hammered the Patriots (2-4). Brandon Aiyuk had six catches for 115 yards.
L.A. CHARGERS 39 – Jacksonville 29… Justin Herbert threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chargers (2-4) past the Jaguars (1-6). He also led the ground game with 66 yards and a TD. Keenan Allen had 10 receptions for 125 yards.
Kansas City 43 – DENVER 16… The Chiefs (6-1) came up big defensively and on special teams in beating the Broncos (2-4) for the 10th straight time. Byron Pringle returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown on a snow-covered field and Daniel Sorenson returned an interception 50 yards for a score. Patrick Mahomes passed for 200 yards and a TD.
ARIZONA 37 – Seattle 34 (OT)… The Cardinals (5-2) came alive in the second half to outlast the Seahawks (5-1). Zane Gonzalez kicked a game-winning field goal with 15 seconds left in overtime. His 44-yarder tied the game with 2 seconds left in regulation. Kyler Murray hit Christian Kirk with two of his three touchdown passes. Deandre Hopkins had 10 catches for 103 yards and a score. Defensively, Arizona intercepted Russell Wilson three times.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
Chicago (5-1) is at the L.A. Rams (4-2)