The Rundown for October 12, 2020

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.

ENTERTAINMENT
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.

SPORTS
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.

MLB
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.

NFL SCORES
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)

The Rundown for October 7, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,497,847 and the nation’s death toll stands at 210,852, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump’s top policy adviser Stephen Miller has tested positive for coronavirus. He is the latest official caught up in an outbreak at the White House that has seen at least 10 others test positive.

TOP MILITARY LEADERS QUARANTINING… Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and several members of the Pentagon’s senior leadership are quarantining after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for coronavirus. A defense spokesman explained that the Pentagon is “conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission” in response to Coast Guard vice commandant testing positive on Monday. The announcement raised major national security questions amid the White House outbreak.

TRUMP HALTS ECONOMIC-AID NEGOTIATIONS… President Trump declared yesterday that he is ending negotiations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders over a new pandemic economic aid package until after the November 3 elections. Trump also said he wants the GOP-controlled Senate to focus on confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The president blamed Pelosi for the failure to reach an agreement on the relief package, while the house speaker accused the president of holding the country hostage, lying about negotiations and having a disdain for science. She questioned whether the president’s drug treatments have impacted his thinking. News of Trump’s announcement prompted markets to dive. The Dow Jones Industrial average fell more than 600 points and closed down 1.3 percent, or 376 points. The S&P 500 dropped 1.4 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite finished down 1.6 percent.

FED CHAIR WARNS OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP… Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned during yesterday’s National Association for Business Economics annual meeting that the U.S. must pursue economic recovery from the pandemic recession. The rise in Covid-19 infections is a major risk, Powell noted, and a second wave of coronavirus could “more significantly limit economic activity, not to mention the tragic effects on lives and well-being.” Powell renewed his call for Congress to provide additional support for the U.S. economy and cautioned that “Weakness feeds on weakness.”

TOP DOJ OFFICIALS DIRECTED BORDER POLICIES… The New York Times cited handwritten notes and the results of a two-year watchdog’s investigation in reporting yesterday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein directed the Trump administration’s border family separation policy in 2018. The two pushed the policies of prosecuting immigrants suspected of illegal crossings and separating mothers from children as young as infants. A Justice Department Inspector General’s 86-page draft report noted that Sessions publicly distanced himself from the policy but refused to sit for an interview with the investigators. The DOJ has repeatedly passed along responsibility for the policies to the Department of Homeland Security.

DELTA STRENGTHENS INTO HURRICANE… Delta strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane yesterday as it continued its approach to the Gulf Coast. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and remain at least as powerful today as it moves from waters off southern Mexico into the northwest Caribbean Sea. It is expected to make landfall in the U.S. between Friday night and Saturday morning.

ENTERTAINMENT
EDDIE VAN HALEN DIES
… Legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen died yesterday at a Los Angeles hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 65. Van Halen moved with his family from the Netherlands to Southern California when he was seven and as a teen he started performing in bands with his older brother. Alex. The two added vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony to form the band Van Halen in 1974. The band rose to stardom in 1978 with its self-titled debut album.

SINGER JOHNNY NASH DIES… Singer Johnny Nash, who crossed over from reggae into pop and performed the 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” died of natural causes at his home in Houston, Texas, yesterday. He was 80. In addition to his own success as a singer-songwriter, actor, producer, and record label executive, Nash is credited with helping launch the career of his friend Bob Marley.

2 MORE MOVIE RELEASES PUSHED BACK… Movie studios and theaters continue to reel from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as two expected blockbuster films announced pushed-back premiere dates yesterday. “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, is set for release on March 4, 2022, instead of October 1, 2021. The highly-anticipated remake of “Dune” has been pushed back from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2021. On the bright side, the fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise has been moved up from April 1, 2022 to December 22, 2021.

SPORTS
NBA FINALS SCORE

L.A. Lakers 102 – Miami
96… The Lakers fought off the Heat to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. LeBron James had game-highs with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Davis added 22 points. L.A. will try to wrap up its first championship in 10 years Friday in Game 5.

MLB PLAYOFF SCORES
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
Houston 5 – OAKLAND 2
(at Dodger Stadium in L.A)…. George Springer homered twice and drove in three runs to lead the Astros past the Athletics for a 2-0 lead in the series. Martin Maldonado also went deep for Houston. Framber Valdez allowed just two runs on five hits over seven innings. The Astros send righthander Jose Urquidy to the mound today in Game 3. Oakland counters with lefthander Jesus Luzardo.

TAMPA BAY 7 – N.Y. Yankees 5 (in San Diego)… The Rays held off the Yankees to even the series at a game apiece. Mike Zunino and Manuel Margot belted two-run homers. Austin Meadows added a solo shot. It will be a matchup of righthanders in Game 3 today when Tampa Bay sends Charlie Morton to the mound, where he’ll face Masahiro Tanaka.

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS
Atlanta 9 – Miami 5 (in Houston)… The Braves erased an early 4-1 deficit to top the Marlins. Travis d’Arnaud blasted a three-run homer and Dansby Swanson added a two-run shot during a six-run bottom of the seventh inning. Ronald Acuna homered to lead off the first. Atlanta will try to make it two straight today when it sends Ian Anderson to the mound. He’ll be opposed by fellow righthander Pablo Lopez.

L.A. Dodgers 5 – San Diego 1 (in Arlington)… Starter Walker Buehler and four relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Dodgers cruised past the Padres. Corey Seager lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly to spark a four-run top of the sixth inning. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw takes the hill for Los Angeles today. San Diego hasn’t announced its starter.

The Rundown for October 6, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,455,184 and the nation’s death toll stands at 210,155, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The outbreak appears to be intensifying in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain region. Cases have risen about 14 percent in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin and more than 20 percent in Montana.

TRUMP RETURNS TO WHITE HOUSE… President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House last night after three days of treatment for COVID-19. Upon arriving at the White House, Trump removed his mask and posed for pictures. The severity of Trump’s illness has been left to speculation, although doctors have been treating him with a steroid, dexmethasone, that is normally used only in the most severe cases.

WHITE HOUSE WON’T CONDUCT CONTACT TRACING… The New York Times reported yesterday that the White House will not conduct contact tracing of guests and staff members who attended a Rose Garden reception on September 26 despite at least a dozen attendees having tested positive for COVID-19 in the 10 days since. The reception was organized to honor Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. Public health experts that it was irresponsible to organize such a closely packed gathering where few people wore masks.

SOUTH CAROLINA ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUIREMENT REINSTATED… The Supreme Court yesterday granted a request from South Carolina Republicans to reinstate the state’s witness-signature requirement on absentee ballots pending appeal. According to the court’s order, any ballots cast before it had acted, and received within two days of the order, cannot be rejected for failing to comply with the witness requirement. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch indicated they would not have counted those ballots.

STATE DEPARTMENT SANCTIONS UKRAINIAN DISINFORMER… The State Department has revoked the visa of a former Ukrainian diplomat who has helped Republicans spread baseless conspiracy theories about the Biden family and foreign meddling in 2016. Andrii Telizhenko had been accused of intentionally spreading Russian disinformation. In mid-September, the Treasury Department sanctioned another ally of President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani for his alleged work as an “active Russian agent” who is part of Moscow’s interference in the 2020 campaign.

DELTA BECOMES HURRICANE… Tropical Storm Delta formed in the southern Caribbean Sea yesterday and strengthened into a hurricane. The storm is expected to make landfall Friday morning somewhere between the Louisiana-Texas border to the west and the Alabama-Georgia border to the east. It would be the third hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast so far this season.

ENTERTAINMENT
ANNE HECHE ELIMINATED ON ‘DANCING’
… Actress Anne Heche was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” in last night’s episode. Heche had teamed up with Keo Motsepe for the ABC competition series. Still in the running are “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama, “The Bachelorette” alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, retired NFL player Vernon Davis, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, actor Jesse Metcalfe, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

PADDY CONSIDINE TO STAR IN ‘THRONES’ PREQUEL… Actor Paddy Considine has landed the leading role in the upcoming HBO “Game of Thrones” prequel. Considine, whose credits include “Hot Fuzz,” “The Borne Ultimatum” and “Peaky Blinders,” will play Viserys Targaryen in “House of the Dragon.” The series is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood anthology on the Targaryen family and is set 300 years before the “Game of Thrones.” The premiere is set for sometime in 2022.

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
GREEN BAY 30 – Atlanta 16
… Aaron Rodgers hit Robert Tonyan with three of his four touchdown passes and the Packers (4-0) cruised past the Falcons (0-4). Rodgers completed 27 of 32 passes for 327 yards.

NFL NEWS… The Houston Texans have fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien following the team’s 0-4 start. The Texans named Romeo Crennel interim head coach. O’Brien 52-48 at Houston since taking over in 2014.

MLB PLAYOFF SCORES
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS
Houston 10 – OAKLAND 5
… Carlos Correa went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and four RBIs in leading the Astros past the Athletics at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Alex Bregman also went deep for Houston, which pounded out 15 hits. Oakland will try to even the series today when it sends Sean Manaea to the mound. He’ll be opposed by fellow lefthander Framber Valdez.

N.Y. Yankees 9 – TAMPA BAY 3… Giovani Stanton unloaded a grand slam to cap a five-run top of the ninth inning and put away the Rays in San Diego. Clint Frazier, Kyle Higashioka and Aaron Judge smacked solo homers for New York. It will be a matchup of righthanders today when Tampa Bay sends Tyler Glasnow against Yankee rookie Deivi Garcia.

TODAY’S NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) vs. Atlanta (Max Fried) in Houston…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler) vs. San Diego (Zach Davies) in Arlington

TODAY’S NBA FINALS SCHEDULE
the L.A. Lakers vs. Miami in Game 4 with the Lakers leading 2-1

The Rundown for October 5, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… President Trump made a public appearance yesterday as the passenger in an SUV that drove along well-wishers who gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The move excited some of his supporters but was widely viewed as propaganda that put at risk staff who accompanied him. At least 10 people in Trump’s family, circle of advisers and recent contacts have recently tested positive. Conflicting information from the White House leaves questions about the president’s condition. Dr. Sean P. Conley admitted yesterday that Trump’s condition had been worse than previously disclosed. He said the president’s blood oxygen levels had dropped in prior days and that he had run a high fever on Friday morning. Trump’s doctors are monitoring the condition of his lungs after he received supplemental oxygen on Thursday and Friday, but declined yesterday to provide details of what they had seen. The 74-year-old Trump was flown to Walter Reed on Friday. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,420,799 and the nation’s death toll stands at 209,821, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced plans to close schools and all non-essential businesses starting Wednesday in nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens where coronavirus rates have spiked.

BIDEN HOLDS DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD IN TWO POLLS… A pair of polls released yesterday show Democrat Joe Biden has opened his widest lead in a month in the presidential race. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found the Biden held a 51-percent to 41-percent lead among voters. Biden held a 53-percent to 39-percent advantage in a NBC/Wall Street Journal survey. In both polls, Biden has been given low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his performance in last week’s presidential debate. A CBS poll found Trump and Biden even in Ohio, with Biden opening a lead in Pennsylvania.

APPEALS COURT SIDES WITH IMMIGRANT CHILDREN… An appeals court yesterday upheld a ban on the Trump administration policy of detaining immigrant children in hotel rooms before expelling them under rules adopted during the coronavirus pandemic. Border agents since March have placed at least 577 unaccompanied children in hotel rooms and expelled them before they could request asylum or other immigration protections. The Trump administration claimed it was expelling most people crossing the border due to public health considerations. Immigrant advocates successfully argued that the administration was using the coronavirus as a pretext to restrict immigration.

TOOMEY TO LEAVE SENATE SEAT… Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has announced that he won’t seek re-election for a third term in 2022. The 58-year-old Toomey has fiercely opposed government regulations and taxation but hasn’t aligned himself with President Trump. Toomey is scheduled to make an announcement this morning.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES… Fire officials in California reported yesterday that 8,200 wildfires have burned “well over” 4 million acres throughout the state. The acreage burned is more than twice the previous record set two years ago and there are still two months remaining in the 2020 fire season. The blazes have destroyed more than 8,454 structures and are blamed for at least 31 deaths.

ENTERTAINMENT
MACHINE GUN KELLY TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Machine Gun Kelly’s “Tickets to My Downfall” sold 126,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. SuperM’s “Super One: The 1st Album” opened in second place on sales of 104,000 units. Joji’s “Nectar” finished in third place with 92,000 copies sold. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped to fourth place on sales of 71,000 units. Deftones’ “Ohms” capped the top five with 43,000 copies sold.

REGAL CINEMAS MIGHT CLOSE… The company that owns Regal Cinemas says it might have to temporarily close its theaters amid the ongoing pandemic. Regal is the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S. behind only AMC. The movie industry was delivered a separate blow over the weekend after producers announced that the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” would be delayed until spring 2021.

SPORTS
NBA FINALS GAME 3

Miami 115 – L.A. Lakers 104
… Jimmy Butler piled up 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in leading the Heat past the Lakers. Miami, which played without starters Gam Adebayo and Goran Dragic, will try to bring the series even in tomorrow’s Game 4.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Baltimore 31 – WASHINGTON 17
… Lamar Jackson threw for two touchdowns and ran 50 yards for a score in leading the Ravens (3-1) past Washington (1-3). Mark Andrews caught both of Jackson’s TD tosses.

CAROLINA 31 – Arizona 21… The Panthers (2-2) built a three-touchdown lead and coasted past the Cardinals (2-2). Teddy Bridgewater ran for a scored and threw two touchdown passes.

TAMPA BAY 38 – L.A. Chargers 31… The Buccaneers (3-1) rallied in the second half to top the Chargers (1-3). Tom Brady passed for 369 yards and hit five different receivers with touchdown tosses.

New Orleans 35 – DETROIT 29… The Saints (2-2) erased an early 14-point deficit to get past the Lions (1–3). Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Tre’Quan Smith 2:19 apart in the second quarter. Latavius Murray ran for two scores.

Minnesota 31 – HOUSTON 23… Dalvin Cook rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings (1-3) held off the Texans (0-4). Adam Thielen caught eight Kirk Cousins passes for 114 yards and a score.

Cleveland 49 – DALLAS 38… The Browns (3-1) built a 41-14 third-quarter lead and coasted past the Cowboys (1-3). Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and Kareem Hunt ran for a pair of scores.

Seattle 31 – MIAMI 23… Russell Wilson ran for two touchdowns, Chris Carson ran for two more and the Seahawks (4-0) topped the Dolphins (1-3). DK Metcalf had four receptions for 106 yards.

CINCINNATI 33 – Jacksonville 25… Joe Mixon rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals (1-3) fought off the Jaguars (1-2-1). Mixon also caught a Joe Burrow scoring pass.

L.A. RAMS 17 – N.Y. Giants 9… Jared Goff connected with Cooper Kupp on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 6:56 remaining to seal the Rams’ (3-1) win over the Giants (0-4).

Buffalo 30 – LAS VEGAS 23… Josh Allen threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Bills (4-0) held off the Raiders (2-2). Stefon Diggs had six receptions for 115 yards.

Indianapolis 19 – CHICAGO 11… The Colts (3-1) rode their defense to a victory over the Bears (3-1). Philip Rivers hit Mo Alie-Cox with a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Philadelphia 25 – SAN FRANCISCO 20… The Eagles (1-3-1) grinded out a win over the injury-struck 49ers (2-2). Carson Wentz ran 11 yards for a score and found T Fulgham with a 42-yard touchdown pass. Alex Singleton returned an interception 30 yards for a TD.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Atlanta (0-3) is at Green Bay (3-0)

TODAY’S MLB PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS…
Houston (Zack Greinke) is at Oakland (Jesus Luzardo)…
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole)

The Rundown for September 30, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,186,527 and the nation’s death toll stands at 205,895, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The New York Times reported yesterday that the Trump administration applied immense pressure to force the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce more evidence that supported President Trump’s efforts to send kids and teachers back to school in person before the election. Olivia Troye, a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff who left her job last month, claims that she was repeatedly asked to instruct the CDC to write more reports that showed a decline in virus cases among young people… Thousands of K-5 and K-8 students in New York City returned to classrooms yesterday for the first time since schools were closed earlier this year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed he won’t hesitate to close them again if cases surge… Disney announced yesterday that it was laying off 28,000 of its theme-park employees in California and Florida due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… President Trump engaged with Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a chaotic first debate in Cleveland last night. Trump spoke at will in responses to moderator Chris Wallace’s questions and while interrupting Biden’s answers. The most fierce exchanges occurred during discussion about Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and taxes. The insults made it tough for either candidate to push through their agenda. Biden called Trump a “clown” and a “racist” and told him: “You’re the worst president America has ever had.” Trump responded: “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.” Earlier yesterday, Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, released their 2019 tax returns. Biden’s returns, posted on his campaign website, show that he and his wife, Jill, made $944,737 in taxable income last year and paid $299,346 in federal income taxes—a 31 percent tax rate. In contrast, Trump paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the past 15 years, and paid just $750 in 2016 and 2017, according to returns obtained by the New York Times. The second of three scheduled debates is scheduled for October 15 in Miami. It will be moderated by C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully.

FLYNN LAWYER BRIEFED TRUMP ON FLYNN CASE… The federal judge overseeing the prosecution of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn indicated yesterday that he isn’t ready to allow the Justice Department to drop the case. U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan questioned Flynn’s lead attorney, Sidney Powell, about her contacts with President Trump and whether she had urged him or Attorney General William Barr to take any actions to influence the decision to abandon the case. Powell initially cited potential executive privilege concerns in refusing to answer, but then revealed that she briefed Trump on the case within the last two weeks and requested that he not issue a pardon. Flynn twice pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents in January 2017 about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration. The Justice Department informed Sullivan in May that it wanted to end the prosecution after Attorney General William Barr decided that Flynn’s false statements to the FBI were not material to any open investigation and were therefore not a violation of the law.

KENTUCKY AG TO RELEASE BREONNA TAYLOR GRAND JURY RECORDING… Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced yesterday that he will comply with a judge’s order and release a recording of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case today. Judge Ann Bailey Smith ordered the release on Monday following a legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror. Cameron said the recording will show that prosecutors presented a “thorough and complete case to the grand jury.” According to the complaint, the grand jury was not given an option of charging Louisville Metro Police Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove in the March 26 fatal shooting of Taylor. Prosecutors presented only possible charges for Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June and charged on Monday with three counts of wanton endangerment.

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN THREE CALIFORNIA COUNTIES… California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared states of emergency in three Northern California counties amid uncontrolled wildfires. The orders were issued in Napa, Sonoma and Shasta counties, where the Glass and Zogg fires have consumed tens of thousands of acres. The Glass Fire has prompted the evacuations of nearly 40,000 residents in Napa and Sonoma counties.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘BORAT’ RETURNS
… Amazon Studios has purchased international rights to the sequel of the 2006 film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” Sacha Baron Cohen returns to star as Kazakstan journalist film, which will premiere late October on Amazon Prime. The film is set for a late October release.

DOLLY PARTON CHRISTMAS… The Dolly Parton Christmas musical “Christmas on the Square” is set for a November 22 release on Netflix. Christine Baranski and Jennifer Lewis also star in the story about a rich woman who returns to her small hometown with the intention of selling land to a mall developer just before Christmas. Parton also released the song, “Christmas on the Square” from her holiday album “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” which will be released on Friday.

SPORTS
MLB PLAYOFFS

AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 1 SCORES

Houston 4 – MINNESOTA 1
… Michael Brantley’s two-run single capped a three-run top of the ninth inning that carried the Astros past the Twins. Reliever Framber Valezz pitched two-hit ball over five scoreless innings. Houston hasn’t announced its starter in today’s Game 2. Minnesota sends righthander Jose Berrios (5-4) to the mound.

Chi. White Sox 4 – OAKLAND 1… Jose Abreu homered with a runner aboard, Adam Engel and Yasmani Grandal added solo homers and the White Sox cruised past the Athletics. Chicago starter Lucas Giolito surrendered a run on two hits over seven innings. Lefthander Dallas Keuchel (6-2) gets the start for Chicago today. Righthander Chris Bassitt (5-2) to the mound.

TAMPA BAY 3 – Toronto 1… Blake Snell took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Rays held off the Blue Jays. Manuel Margo belted a two-run homer. Righthander Tyler Glasnow (5-1) takes the mound for Tampa Bay today. He’ll be opposed by Toronto lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2).

N.Y. Yankees 12 – CLEVELAND 3… Aaron Judge, Greyber Torres and Brett Gardner hit two-run homers as the Yankees walloped the Indians. Torres also singled home a run and was 3-for-3 on the day. New York will send Carlos Carrasco (3-4) to the mound, where he’ll be opposed by Masahiro Tanaka (3-3).

TODAY’S NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD-CARD OPENERS
Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 5-4) is at Atlanta (Max Fried, 4-0)…
the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 3-3) host Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 1-0)…
St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 1-0) is at San Diego (Dinelson Lamet, 3-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 1-0) host Milwaukee (Josh Lindblom, 2-4)

NBA FINALS OPEN TONIGHT… The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers take the court in Orlando tonight in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Both teams have gone 12-3 in the postseason. After entering the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed, the Heat eliminated Indiana, Milwaukee and Boston. The Lakers, who were the Western Conference’s top seed, dispatched of Portland, Houston and Denver. Miami is led by the trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic. L.A. relies on the tandem of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

TENNESSEE TITANS SUSPEND ACTIVITIES… The Tennessee Titans have suspended all in-person club activities after three Tennessee Titans players and five personnel members tested positive for COVID-19. The team’s facilities will be closed until Saturday. ESPN reported that the Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, also have positive tests. It’s not known whether the Titans will play Sunday’s scheduled game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.