CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,700,053 and the nation’s death toll stands at 225,696, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the lack of additional stimulus to aid businesses and citizens was blamed for yesterday’s worst day on Wall Street since September. The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 650.19 points, or 2.29 percent, by the end of the day after falling by as much as 890 points earlier. The S&P 500 was down about 1.86 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.64 percent.
BARRETT SWORN IN AS SUPREME COURT JUSTICE… Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge by Justice Clarence Thomas last night following her confirmation in the Senate by a 52-48 vote. Barrett’s confirmation just 30 days after she was nominated by President Trump to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump spoke at a White House ceremony and called the confirmation a “momentous day” for America. Democrats had attacked the nomination process as well as Barrett’s qualifications and voting record. They noted that with eight months to go in former President Obama’s term, Senate Republicans prevented a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia from being nominated until after the 2016 presidential election. Democrats insist it’s hypocritical of the GOP to push through a nomination just eight days before Americans return to the polls to vote for a president.
HIGH COURT RULES AGAINST WISCONSIN BALLOT EXTENSION… The Supreme Court voted 5-3 yesterday in ruling that Wisconsin’s mail-in ballots have to be received by Election Day to be counted. An appeals court had sided with state Democrats who wanted to count ballots that arrived up to six days after Election Day if they were postmarked by November 3. They argued that the extension was necessary due to the pandemic and potential postal delays. Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented from the ruling.
TRUMP, BIDEN CAMPAIGN IN PENNSYLVANIA… With the 2020 presidential campaign heading into its final week, President Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden visited the swing state of Pennsylvania yesterday. At his third and final stop of the day, Trump declared at a rally in Martinsburg, “We win Pennsylvania, we win the whole ballgame.” Biden met with volunteers and spoke to reporters in the city of Chester, near Philadelphia. He criticized Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “The bottom line is, Donald Trump is the worst possible president, the worst possible person to lead us through this pandemic,” Biden said.
90K EVACUATED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE… A wind-whipped wildfire that broke out yesterday near Irvine, California, has forced the evacuation of 90,000 people. As of last night, the Silverado Fire had burned more than 8,000 acres with zero containment. Two firefighters were severely injured battling the blaze. The utility company Southern California Edison admits that its equipment might be to blame for the fire.
MONICA ALDAMA BOOTED ON ‘DANCING’… “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” in last night’s show. Aldama partnered with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy for the ABC competition series. Still in the running are “The Bachelorette’ alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.
TAYLOR SWIFT HAS ANOTHER MILLION SELLER… Billboard announced yesterday that Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Folklore,” has become the first album of 2020 to sell a million copies in the U.S. The album, released on July 24, is also Swift’s eighth studio album to sell more than a million copies in the U.S. Her holiday extended play, 2007’s “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection,” also surpassed a million in sales. “Folklore” features such songs as “Cardigan” and “The 1.”
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
L.A. RAMS 24 – Chicago 10… Jared Goff threw touchdown passes to Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett in leading the Rams (5-2) past the Bears (5-2). Defensively, L.A. picked off two Nick Foles passes.
WORLD SERIES RESUMES TONIGHT… Following yesterday’s off-day, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays meet tonight in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. The Dodgers lead the series 3-2 and will seek to close out their first championship since 1988. L.A. will send rookie righthander Tony Gonsolin to the mound. Tampa Bay counters with lefthander Blake Snell. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m. Eastern.