The Rundown for September 10, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,358,247, and the nation’s death toll stands at 190,763, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Politico reported yesterday that a Trump administration appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services is trying to prevent Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, from speaking about the risks that coronavirus poses to children. Emails indicated that Paul Alexander, a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs, tried to control what Fauci said during media interviews. Alexander’s messages contradict mainstream science while promoting political positions taken by the Trump administration.

WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT TARGETS DHS LEADERSHIP… Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is accused in a whistleblower complaint of telling a former senior aide to stop providing intelligence assessments on Russia’s interference in U.S. intelligence. The complaint filed by former acting Homeland Security undersecretary Brian Murphy also claimed that Wolf told him White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien wanted Murphy to begin reporting on Chinese and Iranian interference. Murphy alleged that DHS leaders ordered him to downplay the white supremacist threat and turn up the rhetoric against anti-fascists and other groups protesting systemic racism and police brutality.

TRUMP ADMITS DOWNPLAYING CORONAVIRUS IN RECORDING… Leaked recordings of conversations President Trump had with journalist Bob Woodward capture Trump making multiple damaging statements on a variety of topics. The conversations were recorded over 18 interviews Woodward conducted with the president that were to be included in a book the former Watergate reporter is writing about the president. The book, “Rage,” will be released next week. Trump said in early February that he knew the novel coronavirus was five times more deadly than the seasonal flu but then admitted to playing down its threat in public. Trump also gushes over North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, even referring to it as love at first sight in boyfriend-girlfriend terms. The president is heard complaining that his own generals were “p*ssies” and dismisses Woodward’s efforts to discuss oppression of Black Americans.

BIDEN SPEAKS IN MICHIGAN… Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a proposal to create jobs and punish companies who send them to other countries. Speaking to autoworkers and union representatives in Warren, Michigan, Biden criticized the loss of jobs in the state where the unemployment rate spiked at 24 percent in April. Michigan’s current unemployment rate is 8.7 percent.

FIRES TORCH OREGON, CALIFORNIA… The skies above Northern California turned a disorienting orange yesterday amid wildfires that are raging throughout Oregon and California. At least three people have died and hundreds of homes have been burned in Oregon, where at least 35 active fires have consumed more than 368,029 acres and prompted massive evacuations. Oregon Governor Kate Brown said flames stoked by wind “substantially destroyed” sections of five towns and warned the fires could potentially “be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire” in the state’s history. More than 14,000 firefighters are currently battling the blazes across millions of acres in California. The Creek Fire near Fresno has charred at least 163,138 acres and was 0 percent contained.

ENTERTAINMENT
KOOL & THE GANG FOUNDER DIES
… Kool & The Gang founding member Ronald “Khalis” Bell died of unknown causes yesterday at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 68. Bell was a songwriter, singer and saxophonist while Kool & the Gang became one of the most popular funk bands of the 1970s. The group’s best known songs include “Ladies Night,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Celebration.”

KEVIN SPACEY NAMED IN SEXUAL-ABUSE SUIT… Actor Anthony Rapp and an anonymous plaintiff have filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Kevin Spacey. The suit alleges that both plaintiffs were 14 years old when Spacey Rapp abused them in his apartment. Both men are asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Rapp, who is now 48 years old, plays engineer Paul Stamets in “Star Trek Discovery.”

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
Milwaukee 19 – DETROIT 0
… The Brewers pounded out five home runs and eight doubles in their dismantling of the Tigers. Jedd Gyorko homered twice. Ryan Braun, Tyrone Taylor and Jacob Nottingham also went deep. Corbin Burnes (3-0) pitched one-hit ball over seven innings. Two relievers completed the shutout.

Kansas City 3 – CLEVELAND 0… Royals starter Danny Duffy (3-3) limited the Indians to four hits over 5-2/3 scoreless innings. Adalberto Mondesi’s run-scoring single in the top of the sixth inning provided all the offense Kansas City needed.

N.Y. Yankees 7 – TORONTO 2… The Yankees cruised past the Blue Jays to snap their five-game skid. Deivi Garcia (1-1) surrendered two runs on five hits over seven innings. Gleyber Torres opened the scoring with a solo homer in the top of the second inning and finished with four RBIs. DJ LeMahieu also homered with the bases empty.

Chi. White Sox 8 – PITTSBURGH 1… James McCann knocked in four runs with a pair of homers and a sacrifice fly in leading the White Sox past the Pirates. Dane Dunning (1-0) held the Pirates scoreless on three hits over six innings.

ATLANTA 29 – Miami 9… The Braves set a franchise scoring record with a 23-hit attack that included seven home runs in the romp over the Marlins. Adam Duvall hit three home runs, including a grand slam, in four at bats and finished with nine RBIs. Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a homer, and drove in six runs. Ronald Acuna, Travis d’Aurnaud and Ozzie Albies also homered.

N.Y. METS 7 – Baltimore 6… Pete Alonso’s homer to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning sent the Mets past the Orioles. Jeff McNeil homered for the fourth straight game with a runner aboard. New York also got homers from Michael Conforto and Andres Gimenez.

TEXAS 7 – L.A. Angels 3… The Rangers came up with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put away the Angels. Three of the runs came on a sacrifice fly, walk and a hit-by-pitch. Isiah Kiner-Falefa went 4-for-4 and scored twice.

SAN DIEGO 5 – Colorado 3… The Padres rallied past the Rockies to complete a sweep of the series. Mitch Moreland homered with a runner aboard. Wil Myers tripled home a run and scored the go-ahead run on Jake Cronenworth’s single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mitch Moreland blasted a two-run homer.

Cincinnati 3 – CHI. CUBS 0… Trevor Bauer (4-3) pitched three-hit ball and struck out 10 over 7-2/3 innings and the Reds blanked the Cubs. Mike Moustakas provided the game’s only offense with a three-run homer in the top of the first inning.

OAKLAND 3 – Houston 2… Raul Laureano singled home Tommy La Stella with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Athletics came from behind to upend the Astros. La Stella put Oakland on the board with a two-run double in the seventh.

L.A. Dodgers 6 – ARIZONA 4 (10 innings)… Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock produced run-scoring singles in the top of the 10th inning as the Dodgers outlasted the Diamondbacks. Mookie Betts and Enrique Hernandez smacked solo homers for Los Angeles.

SAN FRANCISCO 10 – Seattle 1… Mike Yastrzemski belted a three-run homer and Evan Longoria drove in three runs as the Giants crushed the Mariners. Tyler Anderson (2-3) shut out Seattle on three hits over six innings.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Detroit (Tarik Skubal, 1-1; Jordan Zimmermann, 0-0) is at St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 2-1; Austin Gomber, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
Oakland (Sean Manaea, 3-2) hosts Houston (Jose Urquidy, 0-0)…
the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy, 4-2) are at Texas (Kyle Gibson, 1-4)…
Washington (Austin Voth, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Robbie Erlin, 0-0)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 1-4) is at Cleveland (Aaron Civale, 3-4)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 2-1) hosts Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta, 3-4)…
Boston (Mike Kickham, 0-0) is at Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 4-3) host Baltimore (Keegan Akin, 0-0)…
Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 5-2) is at the Chi. Cubs (Adbert Zlzolay, 0-0)…
San Diego (Chris Paddack, 3-4) hosts San Francisco (Drew Smyly, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May, 1-1) are at Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-0)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Toronto 125 – Boston 122
… The Raptors prevailed in a double-overtime thriller to force tomorrow’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Kyle Lowery scored a game-high 33 points. Normal Powell delivered 23 points off the bench. Fred VanVleet tossed in 21 points.

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
L.A. Clippers 96 – Denver 85
… The Clippers held the Nuggets to 12 first-quarter points and took control for good with a 21-5 third-quarter spurt on their way to taking a 3-1 lead in the series. Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Game 5 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

the L.A. Lakers vs. Houston in Game 4 with the Lakers leading 2-1

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE…
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 2 – N.Y. Islanders 1
… Nikita Kucherov found the net with 8.8 seconds remaining to lift the Lightning over the Islanders and give them a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Victor Hedman’s goal tied the game with 1:35 remaining. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves at goal. Game 3 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS (in Edmonton)
Vegas vs. Dallas in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1