CDC redefines close contact; NJ Gov. Murphy




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Coronavirus: living samples found on frozen food packaging in east China’s Qingdao, CDC says




Living samples of the coronavirus have been detected on frozen food packaging in the east China port city of Qingdao, according to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The announcement came after a CDC investigation into an outbreak of Covid-19 in Qingdao, which started last month and was linked to two port workers who had been patients at the same hospital.However, the agency has not shown conclusively that the workers were infected by handling infected packages or…



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| CDC reports much higher COVID-19 hospitalization rates for Black, American Indian and Alaska native populationsTalking About Men’s Health™


Please note that the CDC uses “Whites” rather than “Caucasian” in its reports, so I followed suit here.

 

COVID-19 is hitting some populations harder than others, and statistics are beginning to bear that out. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that COVID-19 hospitalization rates for some non-Caucasian people have approached nearly 5 times that for Whites.

Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska native persons had an age-adjusted hospitalization rate approximately 4.9 times that of non-Hispanic White persons, the CDC said. Rates among non-Hispanic Black person, and among Hispanic or Latino persons, were both about 4.7 times the rate for non-Hispanic White persons.

Overall, the cumulative hospitalization rate for all ages was 151.7 per 100,000, according to the CDC. Hospitalization rates were highest for people ages 65 and up (412.9 patients per 100,000), followed by patients ages 50 to 64 (228.1 per 100,000 patients).

Weekly hospitalization rates among all ages peaked during the week ending April 18, the CDC said, with a rate of 10.1 patients per 100,000 population. A second peak, during the week ending July 18, saw a rate of 8.0 hospitalizations per 100,000 population, the CDC said. Data for more recent weeks may change as hospitalization rates for those weeks are reported.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that nearly half of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19. This stress manifests itself physiologically, leading to increased incidence of multiple health problems — already a concern for many African Americans and others living in disadvantaged communities across the country.

The impact of anxiety and stress on men’s behavior, including their effects on African American, Native American and Alaska Native men, were among the topics discussed at a May 2019 conference, Behavioral Health Aspects of Depression and Anxiety in the American Male. Men’s Health Network sponsored the conference, which was partially funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

PCORI also has recently funded a study to compare coping strategies for under-served communities. The two-year study at The Research Foundation for The State University of New York will compare the efficacy of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teleconference vs. an MBSR mobile app to help under-served communities cope with COVID-19 related stress.





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Australian Government opts to enshrine cashless debit card, or CDC, system for welfare recipients


Welfare recipients forced into a trial that saw them allocated cashless debit cards (CDCs) designed to curb gambling, drug and alcohol abuse could soon be stuck on the program permanently.

This week’s Federal Budget allocated an undisclosed amount to make the CDC trials ongoing, and two days later a bill was introduced to the lower house.

The Senate is expected to vote on it by Christmas, while an inquiry is accepting public submissions until October 23.

What do the changes mean?

Under the scheme, the majority of a person’s Centrelink payment goes directly onto an ‘Indue’ card, designed to restrict their spending.

Since 2016, the card has been trialled in the East Kimberley (WA), the Goldfields (WA), Ceduna (SA) and the Bundaberg-Hervey Bay region (QLD).

The outback city of Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields region became a CDC trial site in 2018.(ABC Goldfields: Rhiannon Stevens)

This bill would make the four trial sites permanent and introduce the CDC to about 25,000 people in the Northern Territory and Cape York.

What was the response to the news?

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the Government was confident the CDC had a positive impact on both participants and the broader community.

But many groups were quick to condemn news of an expansion, including the Australian Council of Social Services and Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT.

In the East Kimberley, MG Corporation executive chairman Lawford Benning supported the rollout in 2016.

But he has since withdrawn his support, saying the program has yet to deliver positive social outcomes, and that promised wrap-around support services hadn’t eventuated.

Anne Ruston stands in front of a mural responding to journalists' questions
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says the CDC supports vulnerable welfare recipients to improve their financial literacy.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

He said local leaders weren’t consulted about moves to make the card permanent.

“We all want to be equally consulted or have that opportunity to play a part in making our community safe…this got sprung upon us,” he said.

But Wunan Foundation executive chairman Ian Trust, who has long been an advocate for the card, said he wasn’t concerned about a permanent program.

“My view is that the cash welfare system is basically past its use by date,” he said.

“It’s time we come up with something that’s a bit more innovative about how we try and get people to move off this safety net into real employment, and in a lot of cases acquiring a better lifestyle.”

A head shot of Ian Trust
Wunan Foundation chairman Ian Trust is standing by the cashless welfare card.(ABC Rural: Tom Edwards)

He said there needed to be more incentives for people to take up short-term work, like fruit picking, so they could transition off welfare and into employment.

I lost my job during the pandemic. Will I be added to the CDC?

In March, the Federal Government paused the process of adding new participants, while the scheme continued for those registered before the pandemic.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewart, who has long opposed the CDC, said it needed to be explained whether the pause would continue because “it is highly likely that people newly on income support will now be put on the card”.

Ms Ruston told the ABC “the pause on new participants remains in place”, and would not explain when it would be lifted.

Can you leave the program?

You can if you meet the criteria. But it’s a lengthy process.

There’s an exemption for those whose mental or physical health is at risk, and another exemption if you can demonstrate responsible management of your affairs, including finances.

The latest government data from September shows 502 exemption applications were approved and 730 were rejected, while 329 people were still waiting to be assessed.

For Kalgoorlie carer Danny Ulrich, it took about eight months to leave the “tyrannical and unfair” trial.

Kalgoorlie carer Danny Ulrich, who looks after his disabled brother.
Former police officer Danny Ulrich was placed on the card because he was a carer for his disabled brother.(ABC Goldfields: Rhiannon Stevens)

“From personal experience, leaving it is not as easy as people think,” he said.

Under the new bill, people who’ve been approved to leave the scheme could be forced back on it if authorities no longer believe they’re managing their financial affairs.

It’s something that deeply concerns Mr Ulrich, who says he’s repeatedly asked why his CDC online account has remained open despite him leaving the program in February.

What happened to the University of Adelaide study?

After a botched attempt to assess the first trial sites, the University of Adelaide was hired to evaluate the East Kimberley, Ceduna and Goldfields trials.

The evaluation was expected to be delivered late last year.

Ms Ruston said researchers needed more time due to COVID-19 delays and a high number of survey responses.

But in an interview with the ABC last month, O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said he believed the release of the report was “imminent”.

Mr Wilson and Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt went on to say they didn’t need the study to know the card should continue.

Mr Wyatt said there was community evidence in trial sites of a reduction in alcohol abuse, a reduction in physical assaults and improvements for school students.



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CDC: 11,000 People Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus on Flights


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified nearly eleven thousand passengers who were potentially exposed to the coronavirus during flights.

The agency, however, admitted that because of incomplete contact-tracing information and the fact that the virus incubates over several days, it has not been able to directly confirm a transmission case while in the air.

“CDC is not able to definitively determine that potential cases were associated (or not) with exposure in the air cabin or through air travel given the numerous opportunities for potential exposure associated with the entire travel journey and widespread global distribution of the virus,” Caitlin Shockey, a spokeswoman for the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, told the Washington Post

Moreover, since March 1, nearly nineteen hundred Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees—the vast majority of them airport checkpoint screening officers—have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are currently 215 TSA employees with active infections, according to the agency. 

This particular report comes after other studies in Asia and Europe pointing toward further evidence that the coronavirus has the potential to spread on commercial flights.

Late last month, one woman was found to have contracted the coronavirus in a restroom on an airplane, according to researchers from Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea.

The study, published in the CDC Prevention’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the twenty-eight-year-old woman was among 310 passengers on an evacuation flight amid the coronavirus outbreak from Milan, Italy, to Incheon, South Korea, on March 10.

“On the flight from Milan, Italy, to South Korea, she wore an N95 mask, except when she used a toilet,” the study’s authors wrote. “The toilet was shared by passengers sitting nearby, including an asymptomatic patient. She was seated three rows away from the asymptomatic patient.”

Before boarding, the airport’s medical staff performed physical examinations, medical interviews, and body temperature checks on the passengers.

“Given that she did not go outside and had self-quarantined for three weeks alone at her home in Italy before the flight and did not use public transportation to get to the airport, it is highly likely that her infection was transmitted in the flight via indirect contact with an asymptomatic patient,” the researchers wrote.

Despite the findings, the CDC has determined that the virus does not spread easily on flights.  

In one particular case, 328 passengers and crew members were tested for the coronavirus after it was revealed that a March 31 flight from the United States to Taiwan had been carrying twelve passengers who were exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. But when the test results came back, all the other passengers and crew members tested negative. 

Similar examples abound, and one possible explanation for the low risk of infection is that the air in modern aircraft cabins is replaced with new fresh air every two to three minutes. 

Moreover, most planes now feature air filters that are designed to trap 99.99 percent of particles, face masks and coverings are mandatory, and there are more thorough cabin cleanings after each flight.  

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.  

Image: Reuters



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CDC, Halloween; US deaths near 200k; Hollywood union deal




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CDC reverses testing guidance; public split on vaccine




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Trump Loyalists Tried to Influence C.D.C. Virus Reports


“These cases are clusters,” Linda Vail, a county health officer, said in an interview on Saturday evening. “Here, there and everywhere. We have a serious, serious spike in cases all tied to a particular demographic. This is an urgent situation.”

The university, which has an enrollment of about 50,000, announced in mid-August that classes would be remote and asked most students who would have lived on campus to stay home. However, around 35,000 students with off-campus leases returned to East Lansing before the semester began on Sept. 2, said Emily Gerkin Guerrant, a university spokeswoman, and 2,800 students — including athletes, international students or students without stable housing — were allowed to stay in the dorms.

Under the recommended quarantine, students should leave their residences only for in-person classes, or to get food or medicine, Ms. Vail said. Though the quarantine is a recommendation, she said it may be changed to an order for large houses, where groups of more than 10 students live together.

Elsewhere in the state, several students at the University of Michigan recently took to TikTok to voice outrage about campus health policies, including the jury-rigged housing the university has used to quarantine those who test positive. They expressed support for continuing strikes by graduate students, some of whom are instructors and have demanded the right to work remotely, increased testing transparency and other virus protections.

There have been 367 confirmed cases since March, according to the school’s database, and 19 cases since students returned in late August for a mixture of in-person and remote learning.

Students who test positive are not required to use the university’s quarantine housing and can choose to stay in their own housing for quarantine, said Rick Fitzgerald, a University of Michigan spokesman. He added that the single-occupancy apartments used for quarantine included a refrigerator and oven and that the university was trying to find microwaves to give to students so they can heat up meals delivered by the university.





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Trump ignores CDC guidelines for his convention speech


President Donald Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention will feature 1,500 guests on the South Lawn of the White House with no social distancing, no mask mandate and only a few of them tested for COVID ahead of the week’s grand finale.

Row after row of white folding chairs were set up on the lawn, a bottle of water with a red elephant logo on the seats. The chairs are only inches apart. Most of the guests were not wearing masks. 

The president came out to check out the stage ahead of his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination – the end of a week-long convention dedicated to the Trump presidency.

He was seen doing a mic test as guests were starting to arrive. He bent down to speak to a few people in the crowd. 

President Donald Trump checks out the stage and does a mic test ahead of his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday

Row after row of white folding chairs were set up on the South Lawn, with no social distancing

Row after row of white folding chairs were set up on the South Lawn, with no social distancing

Very few guests in the crowd of 1,500 were wearing face masks

Very few guests in the crowd of 1,500 were wearing face masks

President Trump's speech is the grande finale of the convention

President Trump’s speech is the grande finale of the convention

Most Republican members of Congress were invited to attend – although it’s unclear how many will be present. First lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the adult children of the president are also expected to attend along with many high-ranking Republican officials.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said a ‘number’ of people at the invitation-only event would be tested, which he said was ‘pretty safe’ given the ‘circumstances.’

‘There are a number of folks that’ll be tested. A number of folks that’ll be encouraged to wear masks. And to that extent, I think it’s a pretty safe environment given the circumstances,’ he told reporters at the White House on Thursday evening. 

Asked whether that means some, but not all, attendees will be tested, Meadows replied: ‘I didn’t say that. … I chose my words carefully.’

Washington D.C. limits gatherings to 50 people but, because the White House is the property of the federal government, it is not subject to those restrictions.

The opening video of the night, featuring a voice over by actor Jon Voight, railed against Democrats ‘telling you what to wear.’

About five empty rows of chairs in the back were being removed as convention programming prepared to start. 

President Trump leans over the stage to talk to supporters ahead of his speech

President Trump leans over the stage to talk to supporters ahead of his speech

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky arrives at the White House for the president's speech

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky arrives at the White House for the president’s speech

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham arrives at the White House for the speech

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham arrives at the White House for the speech

There were 1,500 guests invited included Trump family members, elected officials, supporters, first responders and friends

There were 1,500 guests invited included Trump family members, elected officials, supporters, first responders and friends

MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell (R) poses for a photo on the South Lawn

MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell (R) poses for a photo on the South Lawn

The president's supporters walk to the White House for his speech

The president’s supporters walk to the White House for his speech

Trump will use his Republican Convention nomination acceptance speech Thursday evening to rail against Joe Biden as ‘extreme’ and create a clear divide between the two party’s vision for the next four years.

‘At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas,’ Trump is expected to say in excerpts from the speech obtained by Politico and published Thursday morning.

‘We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years,’ he will say. ‘At the Democrat convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda. But that’s not because they don’t have one. It’s because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee.’

The speech for Trump to formally accept his nomination for reelection will be delivered on the South Lawn of the White House in front of a crowd of more than 1,500 people around 10:30 p.m.

Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s director of communications, told reporters during a press call Thursday that the president will use his time focusing on failures of Biden because he says the media won’t do it.

‘The media generally has ignored or glossed over many of the criticisms of Joe Biden’s record and what his plans for the future are should he get elected,’ Murtaugh said.

He added that Trump’s speech will be ‘tough’ because Americans have ‘tough choices in front of them… and unless the president does it, the media will be tempted not to cover it.’

The venue for the remarks was relocated several times with constantly shifting lockdown rules in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Campaign officials revealed to CNN last Wednesday night that the crowd size could top 1,500. And, if first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s live audience speeches in prior nights are any indication, it’s unlikely proper social distancing will be observed. Also similar to previous nights, there’s likely no expectation that masks will be worn by attendees. 

Law and order will be the focus of the president’s speech, which was still being revised Wednesday night, but aides have signaled to the Associated Press that the contents will not be as dark as some of his other previous remarks – mainly his ‘American carnage’ inaugural address.

On Thursday evening, Trump is expected to offer himself as the last defense against the radical left threatening the American way as his recent stump speech has centered on anarchists overrunning city streets.  

The president’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said Trump will give a message of hope for the next four years while proposing solutions for issues currently facing Americans.

‘Last week, what you heard, was a lot of complaints and a lot of rhetoric, a lot of people who were complaining about a lot of things in America without offering a lot of solutions,’ Kushner said during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday morning.

‘Tonight, what you’re going to hear from President Trump, is a very hopeful vision for America,’ he said. 

President Donald Trump is expected to rail against Joe Biden in his Republican nomination acceptance speech on the final night of the convention Thursday

President Donald Trump is expected to rail against Joe Biden in his Republican nomination acceptance speech on the final night of the convention Thursday 

Trump's will speak on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday evening to close out the 2020 Republican National Convention in front of a live crowd of 1,500 people

Trump’s will speak on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday evening to close out the 2020 Republican National Convention in front of a live crowd of 1,500 people

The president is expected to further distinguish himself as the law and order president and the last defense against the radical left threatening the American way as riots continue to ravage Wisconsin in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting

The president is expected to further distinguish himself as the law and order president and the last defense against the radical left threatening the American way as riots continue to ravage Wisconsin in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting 

The looting, arson, murder, violence and general unrest sparked in Kenosha, Wisconsin after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father of three, was shot seven times by a white police officer. While he is currently paralyzed from the waist down, it is not clear if the paralysis is permanent

The looting, arson, murder, violence and general unrest sparked in Kenosha, Wisconsin after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father of three, was shot seven times by a white police officer. While he is currently paralyzed from the waist down, it is not clear if the paralysis is permanent

‘He’s obviously going to explain this is a serious election with serious consequences and he’s going to explain what the consequences would be of making a change at this point,’ Ivanaka Trump’s husband said.

In recent days, the president has framed the violent unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting as fallout from inept leadership in Democrat-run areas, and the inability of those individuals to control their cities.

Incidentally, the mayor of Kenosha, John Antaramian, is a Democrat.

As Black Lives Matter protests and riots ravaged the nation after George Floyd’s death starting at the end of May and prevailing since then, Trump has further painted himself as the ‘law and order’ president.

Trump announced Wednesday that he would send in the National Guard to Kenosha and criticized Wisconsin’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers for not doing so – even though he already deployed guard troops on Monday.

Some Democrats are worried that the social unrest, looting, rioting and clashes in the battleground state and beyond are feeding Trump’s argument that this is what life would look like under the so-called radical left.

The Democratic Party is especially worried that the more violence suburban swing voters witness, the more their sympathy for the peaceful protesters will diminish.

THURSDAY REPUBLICAN CONVENTION LINE UP 

Donald J. Trump, President 

Ben Carson, Housing and Urban Development secretary

Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky senator 

Tom Cotton, Arkansas senator 

Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader and California representative  

Jeff Van Drew, New Jersey representative who flipped Democrat to Republican in the midst of his term 

Ivanka Trump, president’s eldest daughter and senior adviser  

Ja’Ron Smith, president’s assistant for domestic policy

Ann Dorn, widow of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn was shot and killed while working as a security guard

Debbie Flood

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and president’s personal lawyer

Franklin Graham, evangelical leader

Alice Johnson, ex-inmate pardoned by Mr. Trump

Wade Mayfield

Carl and Marsha Mueller, parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian worker who was tortured and killed by ISIS

Dana White, UFC president   

Initially, Trump was scheduled to make his speech from the original location of the Republican Convention in Charlotte, North Caroline. But after Democratic Governor Roy Cooper told organizers they could not give Trump his desired crowd for the speech, the president moved it to Jacksonville, Florida, where, at the time, lockdown orders were less restrictive.

Once Florida went back into lockdown due to surges in cases, Trump was forced to scramble yet again to choose a new location for the speech.

His decision for the White House has been slammed by critics who claim it is in violation of the Hatch Act.

Trump has defended the move, claiming it is the cheapest and most convenient alternative and saying the Hatch Act does not apply to the president – and his administration insists it’s OK because it’s his residence.

The final night of the unconventional Republican Convention will also include speeches from some of the president’s cabinet members and Capitol Hill allies, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who flipped from Democrat to Republican in the middle of his term.

Trump’s eldest daughter and Senior Advisor Ivanaka Trump will also address the convention following Wednesday night’s focus on what the president has done to boost women during his tenure.

The former mayor of New York City and president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani will make an appearance.

Some star power will be added to the night with UFC President Dana White delivering remarks on behalf of the president.

In an appeal to his Evangelical base, Franklin Graham will speak on the final night.

Carl and Marsha Mueller, the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian worker who was tortured and killed by ISIS, have a speaking slot as well as Ann Dorn, the widow of former St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn, who was shot and killed while working as a security guard.

Also speaking Thursday is Alice Johnson, the ex-inmate who Donald Trump pardoned at the request of pop culture icon Kim Kardashian.

Mike Pence’s remarks Wednesday, where he accepted the renomination as vice president, also were focused on unrest across the nation as he issued a stark warning about Joe Biden, saying the country ‘won’t be safe’ in Biden’s America.

It was one of many rhetorical bombs Pence lobbed as Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent at an outdoor speech at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, where crowd members seated in spaced folding chairs called out for ‘four more years!’ 

Pence hailed Trump in a prime time speech as someone who ‘does things his own way’ as he accepted the Republican nomination for vice president where he wove together stories of patriotism with scathing attacks on Biden and Democrats.

Pence alternately praised Trump for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, and blasted the Democratic nominee for stressing a season of ‘darkness’ at his party’s convention last week. 

‘Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America’s cities. The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,’ Pence warned, after calling for ‘law and order’ on the streets.

‘And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we’re not going to defund the police, not now not ever.’

Convention organizers constructed a colorful patriotic backdrop at the historic fort, amid unfolding events in Kenosha, Wisconsin that intruded, following a white police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man. Hours before Pence spoke, police arrested Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, and charged him with first degree intentional homicide in connection with a shooting that happened amid protests over the Blake incident, leaving two dead and one injured. 

Rittenhouse was a white Trump supporter who crossed from Illinois to Wisconsin with his long gun and seemed to coordinate with militias before the deadly shootings.  He had been pictured in February at a Trump rally in Iowa. 

On the podium: Mike Pence spoke in the center of Fort McHenry for more than half an hour to make the case for four more years of the Trump presidency

On the podium: Mike Pence spoke in the center of Fort McHenry for more than half an hour to make the case for four more years of the Trump presidency

'You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America' said Vice President Mike Pence

‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America’ said Vice President Mike Pence

Historic site: Mike Pence spoke at Fort McHenry, where Old Glory flies like it did in 1814 - a point he made in his speech

Historic site: Mike Pence spoke at Fort McHenry, where Old Glory flies like it did in 1814 – a point he made in his speech

Big night: Mike Pence arrived hand in hand with his wife Karen for his speech - in which he said she would go back to teaching in a classroom next week

Big night: Mike Pence arrived hand in hand with his wife Karen for his speech – in which he said she would go back to teaching in a classroom next week

The Milwaukee Bucks are boycotting Wednesday's playoff game against the Orlando Magic in response to the police shooting of 29-year-old African-American man Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police on Sunday. In this picture, referees huddle on an empty court prior to tip-off

The Milwaukee Bucks are boycotting Wednesday’s playoff game against the Orlando Magic in response to the police shooting of 29-year-old African-American man Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police on Sunday. In this picture, referees huddle on an empty court prior to tip-off

The sporting world has been thrown into chaos as professional athletes from the several sports codes boycott matches over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake. LeBron James reportedly walked out of an NBA meeting on Wednesday evening, and his LA Lakers have allegedly voted to boycott the remainder of the basketball season

 The sporting world has been thrown into chaos as professional athletes from the several sports codes boycott matches over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake. LeBron James reportedly walked out of an NBA meeting on Wednesday evening, and his LA Lakers have allegedly voted to boycott the remainder of the basketball season

Former President Barack Obama has voiced his support for the sports boycott, seeing it as a  sign of peaceful protest

Former President Barack Obama has voiced his support for the sports boycott, seeing it as a  sign of peaceful protest

Protesters gathered near the courthouse in Kenosha for the fourth night in a row, defying a 7pm curfew to denounce the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake. Peaceful marchers pictured on Wednesday evening walking in Kenosha

Protesters gathered near the courthouse in Kenosha for the fourth night in a row, defying a 7pm curfew to denounce the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake. Peaceful marchers pictured on Wednesday evening walking in Kenosha

A protester holds up her hands during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha on Wednesday evening, marking a fourth evening of walk outs demanding justice

A protester holds up her hands during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha on Wednesday evening, marking a fourth evening of walk outs demanding justice

Donald Trump denounced the violent protests unfolding in Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Blake on Wednesday

The White House also said Wednesday it would sent up to 2,000 National Guard troops in addition to the agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Donald Trump denounced the violent protests unfolding in Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Blake on Wednesday

But Pence made no reference to that, nor to the extraordinary boycott of the NBA playoffs in protest at the shooting of Blake. It was started by the Milwaukee Bucks, then spread on Wednesday night with LeBron James tweeting ‘f*** this,’ reportedly calling for a full-scale boycott and Barack Obama congratulating the teams on speaking out. MLB, NLS and WNBA teams also called off games in solidarity. 

Pence, who heads the president’s coronavirus task force amid the pandemic that has seen more than 5 million Americans be infected with COVID-19, acknowledged those killed or harmed by the virus in his speech. 

‘We’re finding our way forward again,’ Pence said. ‘In this country we mourn with those who mourn and we grieve with those who grieve,’ he continued, eschewing the president’s favored term: ‘China virus.’ 

Pence called it a ‘time of testing’ for the nation. 

‘In the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation had begun to recover, we’ve seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities,’ he said. 

 ‘President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest. But rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech,’ he said.

 ‘But rioting and looting is not peaceful protest,’ Pence said. 

He claimed Biden would send the nation on a ‘path of socialism and decline.’ 

Pence spoke to Trump’s strength and character, while acknowledging Trump’s unpredictability, after Democratic speakers called him unfit for office. 

‘He does things in his own way, on his own terms. Not much gets passed him,’ Pence said. ‘And when he has an opinion, he’s liable to share it. He’s certainly kept things interesting. But more importantly President Donald Trump has kept his word to the American people. 

Vice President Mike Pence is joined onstage by U.S. President Donald Trump after delivering his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee during an event of the 2020 Republican National Convention held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland

Vice President Mike Pence is joined onstage by U.S. President Donald Trump after delivering his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee during an event of the 2020 Republican National Convention held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland

(L-R) Audrey Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, US Vice President Mike Pence and Charlotte Pence Bond stand on stage at the end of the third night of the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, August 26, 2020. The family was featured in a sleek video that played before his speech

(L-R) Audrey Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, US Vice President Mike Pence and Charlotte Pence Bond stand on stage at the end of the third night of the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, August 26, 2020. The family was featured in a sleek video that played before his speech

The Trumps and Pences listened to Clay Adkins' rendition of the 'Star-Spangled Banner'

The Trumps and Pences listened to Clay Adkins’ rendition of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’

I'll BRB: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sits with Vice President Mike Pence's Press Secretary Katie Miller behind Trump/Pence supporters listening to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as he delivers his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee during an event of the 2020 Republican National Convention held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., August 26, 2020

I’ll BRB: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sits with Vice President Mike Pence’s Press Secretary Katie Miller behind Trump/Pence supporters listening to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as he delivers his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee during an event of the 2020 Republican National Convention held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., August 26, 2020

Pumped up: Donald Trump gestures to the crowd and Melania waves as they celebrate the end of Mike Pence's speech

Pumped up: Donald Trump gestures to the crowd and Melania waves as they celebrate the end of Mike Pence’s speech

Mother: Mike Pence singled out his mom Nancy Pence for thanks, saying she is '87 years young' and that he might only be her second favorite candidate on the Trump-Pence ticket

Mother: Mike Pence singled out his mom Nancy Pence for thanks, saying she is ’87 years young’ and that he might only be her second favorite candidate on the Trump-Pence ticket

Salute: Donald Trump saluted in the direction of wounded veterans who were in the front row for Mike Pence's speech

Salute: Donald Trump saluted in the direction of wounded veterans who were in the front row for Mike Pence’s speech

He blasted Biden for the tone of the Democratic convention, which he characterized as bleak. 

‘Joe Biden said that we were living though a season of darkness,’ Pence said.

‘But as President Trump, said where Joe Biden sees American darkness we see American greatness.’

The former two-term Indiana governor and six-term congressman also called Biden, who spent four decades in the Senate, a ‘career politician.’ 

In outdoor remarks in Baltimore – a city Trump called ‘a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess’ during a spat with the late Rep. Elijah Cummings last year – Pence spoke to a crowd that included Meal of Honor winners, Purple Heart recipients, and a Gold Star mother, as well as the family of a fallen police officer.

‘In these challenging times our country needs a president who believes in America,’ Pence said. ‘America needs four more years of president Donald Trump in the White House.’

Pence told the crowd as he accepted his nomination: ‘I humbly accept your nomination to run and serve as vice president of the United States.’

Backed by flags at the fort where Francis Scott Key penned the poem that became the National Anthem, Pence repeatedly talked up patriotism and national heritage, hours after shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

‘Let me be clear: the violence must stop – whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha,’ Pence said. ‘Too many heroes have died defending our freedom to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.

During his law and order speech, Pence mentioned Department of Homeland Security agent Dave Patrick Underwood, who was killed amid protests in California.

‘He was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California,’ said Pence. ‘Dave’s heroism is emblematic of the heroes that serve in blue every day.’ 

What he did not mention was that Underwood was not killed by protesters. Authorities have charged a suspect affiliated with the boogaloo boys, the Washington Post reported, a fringe group whose adherents say they want to start a race war.

Speaking at a virtual convention that flashed repeated night-time images of monuments and statues in Washington D.C., Pence said those who topple them would be prosecuted to the ‘fullest extent.’ 

Anthem: Having railed against athletes who kneel, Mike Pence and Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence all put their hands on their hears as The Star Spangled Banner was played

Anthem: Having railed against athletes who kneel, Mike Pence and Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence all put their hands on their hears as The Star Spangled Banner was played

Gesture politics: Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to supporters as he and Melania get ready to leave after Mike Pence's acceptance speech

Gesture politics: Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to supporters as he and Melania get ready to leave after Mike Pence’s acceptance speech

That's my guy: Donald Trump points to Mike Pence as he takes to the stage at Fort McHenry

That’s my guy: Donald Trump points to Mike Pence as he takes to the stage at Fort McHenry

Hail to the chief: Mike Pence led the applause when Donald and Melania Trump arrived to greet him at the end of his speech

Hail to the chief: Mike Pence led the applause when Donald and Melania Trump arrived to greet him at the end of his speech

With the first lady: Donald and Melania Trump make their way to the stage at Fort McHenry, MD

With the first lady: Donald and Melania Trump make their way to the stage at Fort McHenry, MD

President's surprise appearance: The audience did not know that Donald Trump was going to come to greet Mike Pence at the end of the vice-president's speech

President’s surprise appearance: The audience did not know that Donald Trump was going to come to greet Mike Pence at the end of the vice-president’s speech

Meet the guests: There was no social distancing and few signs of people wearing masks as Donald Trump and Mike Pence greeted the crowd after the president's unscheduled appearance

Meet the guests: There was no social distancing and few signs of people wearing masks as Donald Trump and Mike Pence greeted the crowd after the president’s unscheduled appearance

WHITE ‘DOUBLE KILLER,’ 17, AT MAGA RALLY

The 17-year-old gunman charged with the fatal shooting of two BLM protesters in Kenosha attended a Trump rally earlier this year. 

Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with first degree intentional homicide on Wednesday after viral video footage showed the teen shooting three people during the third night of Jacob Blake protests in Wisconsin. 

Two people were shot dead just before midnight on Tuesday – one in the head and one in the chest. One of the slain men has since been identified as Anthony Huber. A third man, a 36-year-old from West Allis, Wisconsin, was shot in the arm but his wounds were not believed to life-threatening. 

According to video footage and witness accounts, the gunman first shot someone at a parking lot, then jogged away, stumbled and fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in him.

Rittenhouse was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois – 15 miles from Kenosha. Court records say the teenager ‘fled the state of Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution for that offense’. 

In the wake of his arrest, photos and videos have emerged revealing the teenager had a strong admiration for law enforcement, with much of his social media containing references to Blue Lives Matter – the movement that supports police – and at a MAGA rally at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, in February.

Police-obsessed gunman, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, charged with murder of two BLM protesters during Kenosha riots sat front row at a Trump MAGA rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in January this year

Police-obsessed gunman, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, charged with murder of two BLM protesters during Kenosha riots sat front row at a Trump MAGA rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in January this year

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first degree intentional homicide following the shooting death of two protesters in Kenosha on Tuesday. Social media photos show the teen had a strong admiration for law enforcement and guns

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first degree intentional homicide following the shooting death of two protesters in Kenosha on Tuesday. Social media photos show the teen had a strong admiration for law enforcement and guns 

‘If you want a president who falls silent when our heritage is demeaned or insulted, he’s not your man,’ he said. 

But he did stop short of mentioning Confederate monuments, which the president has repeatedly said have to be preserved. 

He also blasted Biden for saying at the Democratic convention that no miracle is coming – part of the Democratic convention’s repeated attacks on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.  

‘Last week Joe Biden said that no miracle is coming. Well what Joe doesn’t seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles,’ said Pence, who Trump picked in part due to his support among evangelical voters.

‘And I’m proud to report that we are on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year,’ he said.

He also painted a rosy economic picture, saying that the country had ‘gained back 9.3 million jobs,’ omitting the actual unemployment figure of more than 11 million, and the uptick in new jobless claims last week.

Pence also backed reopening schools saying his wife would be returning to the classroom.

In contrast Barron Trump’s school is not reopening. 

‘Because of the strong foundation that President Trump poured in our first three years, we’ve already gained back 9.3 million jobs over the last three months,’ he said.

‘And we’re not just opening up America again—we’re re-opening America’s schools. I’m proud to report that my wife Karen, a lifelong school teacher, will be returning to her classroom next week.’

Pence presented the election as an all-or-nothing choice about the American future.   

‘Last week, Joe Biden said democracy is on the ballot but the truth is, our economic recovery is on the ballot, law and order is on the ballot. But so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country,’ Pence claimed.

‘It’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or more Democrat. The choice in this election is whether America remains America.

‘It’s whether we will leave to our children and our grandchildren a country grounded in our highest ideals of freedom, free markets, and the unalienable right to life and liberty — or whether we will leave to our children and grandchildren a country that is fundamentally transformed into something else.’

He described the Trump vision as ‘freedom and opportunity’ in an attempt to offer a positive vision after a dark version of ‘Biden’s America,’ a section of his speech which did not acknowledge that the violence he described happened during his and Trump’s administration. 

When he concluded his remarks, Pence said: ‘And with President Donald Trump in the White House for four more years and with God’s help, we will make America great again again.’

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump flew to the event to join Pence on stage and chat with supporters, keeping a few feet away and avoiding the handshakes and hugs of conventions past due to the coronavirus ravaging the nation.

Then country singer Trace Adkins sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ whose lyrics recount the British bombardment and waving flag at the fort during the War of 1812.

But at that point social distancing was abandoned, with the crowd rushing to get close to the Trumps and the Pences as they left the stage and came down to the front of the audience.

Among those at the front were wounded veterans, some of whom Pence fist-bumped and chatted with.

The president and first lady posed for selfies – a rare spontaneous engagement for Mrs. Trump, and the second day in a row she has been with her husband.

READ MIKE PENCE’S FULL SPEECH TO THE RNC FROM FORT MCHENRY

Good evening, America.

It is an honor to speak to you tonight from the hallowed grounds of Fort McHenry. The site of the very battle that inspired the words of our national anthem.

Those words have inspired this Land of Heroes ever since.

It was on this site 206 years ago when our young Republic heroically withstood a ferocious naval bombardment from the most powerful empire on earth.

They came to crush our revolution, to divide our nation, and to end the American experiment.

The heroes who held this fort took their stand for Life, liberty, freedom and the American flag. Those ideals have defined our nation.

Yet they were hardly ever mentioned during last week’s Democratic Convention.

Instead, Democrats spent four days attacking America. Joe Biden said we were living through a ‘season of American darkness.’

But as President Trump said, ‘where Joe Biden sees American darkness, we see American greatness.’

In these challenging times… our country needs a president who believes in America. Who believes in the boundless capacity of the American people to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and defend the freedoms we all hold dear…America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House!

Before I begin, allow me to say a word to the families and communities in the path of hurricane Laura.

Our administration is working closely with authorities in the states that will be impacted and FEMA has mobilized resources and supplies for those in harm’s way. This is a serious storm. We urge all those in the affected areas to heed state and local authorities.

Stay safe, and know that we’ll be with you every step of the way to support, rescue, response, and recovery in the days and weeks ahead.

Four years ago, I answered the call to join this ticket because I knew that Donald Trump had leadership and the vision to make America great again.

For the last four years, I have watched this President endure unrelenting attacks and get up every day and fight to keep the promises he made to the American people.

So, with gratitude for the confidence President Donald Trump has placed in me, the support of our Republican party, and the grace of God, I humbly accept your nomination to run and serve as Vice President of the United States.

Serving the American people in this office has been a journey I never expected. A journey that would not be possible without the support of my family, beginning with my wonderful wife Karen, a lifelong school teacher, an incredible mother to our three children and an outstanding Second lady of the United States. And WE couldn’t be more proud of our three children: Marine Corp Captain Michael J. Pence, his wife Sarah, our daughter Charlotte Pence Bond, author and wife to Lieutenant Henry Bond, who is currently deployed and serving our nation in the United States Navy and our recent law school graduate daughter Audrey and her fiancée, who like so many other Americans, had to delay their wedding this summer, but we can’t wait for Dan to be a part of our family. In addition to my wife and kids, the person who shaped my life the most is also with us tonight, my mom Nancy. She’s the daughter of an Irish immigrant, 87 years young, mom follows politics closely. And truth be told, sometimes I think I’m actually her second-favorite candidate on the Trump-Pence ticket. To mom and to my father looking down, thank you, I love you.

Over the past four years, I’ve worked closely with our President. I’ve seen him when the cameras are off. Americans see President Trump in lots of different ways but there’s no doubt how President Trump sees America. He sees America for what it is… a nation that has done more good in this world than any other . . . a nation that deserves far more gratitude than grievance . . . and if you want a president who falls silent when our heritage is demeaned or insulted, then he’s not your man.

We came by very different routes to this partnership and some people think we’re a little bit different. But I’ve learned a few things watching him deal with all we’ve been through these past four years. He does things his own way, on his own terms. Not much gets past him and when he has an opinion, he’s liable to share it. He’s certainly kept things interesting, but more importantly, he’s kept his word.

In a city known for talkers…President Donald Trump is a doer. Few presidents have brought more independence, energy, and determination to that office.

Four years ago we inherited a military hollowed out by devastating budget cuts, an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the great depression… ISIS controlled a land mass twice the size of Pennsylvania and we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values like freedom of religion, and the right to life.

That’s when President Trump stepped in.

From Day one, he kept his word. He rebuilt our military, created the Space Force, the first new branch of our armed forces in 70 years… and we returned American astronauts to space on an American rocket for the first time in nearly a decade.

And after years of scandal that robbed our veterans of the care they earned, President Trump kept his word. We reformed the VA … and veterans choice is now available to every veteran.

Our armed forces and our veterans fill this land of heroes and this historic fort. Tonight we have among us.. four recipients of the Medal of Honor… 6 recipients of the Purple Heart and a Gold Star mother, of a gallant Navy SEAL … wounded warriors from Soldier Strong, a group that serves injured veterans … We’re honored by your presence. Thank you for your service.

With heroes just like these we defend this nation every day and we’ve taken the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms on their soil.

Last year, American armed forces took the last inch of ISIS territory, crushed their caliphate and took down their leader without one American casualty. Earlier this year, I was there when President Trump gave the order to take out the world’s most dangerous terrorist.

Iran’s top general will never harm another American again because Qassem Soleimani is gone.

My fellow Americans you deserve to know, Joe Biden criticized President Trump following his decision to rid the world of both of those terrorists. But it’s not surprising because history records that Joe Biden even opposed the operation that took down Osama Bin Laden.

It’s no wonder Bob Gates, Secretary of defense under the Obama Biden Administration said Joe Biden had ‘been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.’

So, we’ve stood up to our enemies and we’ve stood with our allies.

Like when President Trump kept his word and moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel, setting the stage for the first Arab country to recognize Israel in 26 years.

And closer to home, appointed more than 200 conservative judges to our federal courts, supported the right to life and all our God given liberties including the second amendment right to keep and bear arms.

But when it came to the economy, President Trump kept his word and then some…to pass the largest tax cut and reform in American history, rolled back more federal red tape than any admin, unleashed American energy and fought for free and fair trade.

in our first three years, Businesses large and small created more than 7 million jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs. America became a net exporter of energy for first time in 70 years.

Under President Trump, unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, hit their lowest levels ever!

On this 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, I’m proud to report that under President Donald Trump we achieved the lowest unemployment rate for women in 65 years and more Americans were working than ever before.

In our first three years, we built the greatest economy in the world. We made America great again.

And then the coronavirus struck from China.

Before the first case of coronavirus spread within the United States, President Trump took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China.

That action saved an untold number of American lives. And bought us time to launch the greatest national mobilization since World War II. President Trump marshalled the full resources of the federal government and directed us to forge seamless partnerships with governors across America in both parties. We partnered with private industry to reinvent testing and produce supplies and we’re now conducting 800,000 tests per day… have coordinated the delivery of billions of pieces of Personal Protective Equipment… And we saw to the manufacture of 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. And no who required a ventilator was ever denied a ventilator in the United States. We built hospitals, we surged military medical personnel and enacted an economic rescue package that saved 50 million American jobs.

As we speak we’re developing a growing number of treatments, including convalescent plasma that are saving lives all across the country. Last week, Joe Biden said ‘no miracle is coming.’ What Joe doesn’t seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles and we’re on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.

After all the sacrifice in this… year like no other – all the hardship– we are finding our way forward again.

But tonight, our hearts are with all the families who have lost loved ones. We mourn with those who mourn, and we grieve with those who grieve. And this night I know millions of Americans will pause and pray for God’s comfort to each of you

A country doesn’t get through such a time unless its people find the strength within. The response by doctors, nurses, first responders, farmers, factory workers, truckers, and everyday Americans who are putting the health and safety of their neighbors first has been nothing short of heroic.

Veronica Say-ez put on her scrubs and went into work day in and day out in one of New York’s busiest hospitals. She stayed on the job until it was done. Her brother William is a New York City firefighter. and they’re emblematic of heroes all across this country. You’ve earned the admiration of your fellow Americans, and the thanks of a grateful nation.

Thanks to the courage and compassion of the American people, we are slowing the spread, we are protecting the vulnerable, we are saving lives, and we are opening up American again.

Because of the strong foundation that President Trump poured in our first three years, we’ve already gained back 9.3 million jobs over the last three months. And we’re not just opening up America again—we’re re-opening America’s schools. I’m proud to report that my wife Karen, a lifelong school teacher, will be returning to her classroom next week.

To all the heroic teachers, faculty, and staff…You have our thanks.

In the days ahead, as we open up America again and open up America’s schools, I promise you we’ll continue to put the health of America first.

And as we work to bring this economy back, we all have a role to play and we all have a choice to make.

On November 3rd, you need to ask yourself: Who do you trust to rebuild this economy? A career politician who presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression? Or a proven leader who created the greatest economy in the world.

The choice is clear to bring America all the way back, we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.

My fellow Americans, we are passing through a time of testing. For in the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation has begun to recover, we’ve seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities.

President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest, tearing down statues is not free speech. Those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country.

 

Let me be clear: the violence must stop – whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha.

Too many heroes have died defending our freedoms to see Americans strike each other down.

We will have law and order on the streets of America.

President Trump and I know the men and women that put on the uniform of law enforcement are the best of us. They put their lives on the line every day.

People like Dave Patrick Underwood was an officer of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service, who was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California. We are joined tonight by his sister Angela. Angela, we grieve for your family and are grateful for his service. And America will never forget Dave Patrick Underwood and his service and sacrifice to this nation.

The American people know we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement, and standing with African American neighbors to improve the quality of life in our cities and towns.

From the first days of this administration, we have done both.

And we will keep doing both for four more years in the White House.

Joe Biden says America is systemically racist. And that law enforcement in America has a, quote, ‘implicit bias’ against minorities.

And when asked whether he’d support cutting funding to law enforcement, and he replied, ‘Yes, absolutely.’

Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to unsafe streets and violence in America’s cities.

The hard truth is… you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police – not now, not ever.

My fellow Americans, we are passing through a time of testing. Soon, we will come to a time for choosing.

Joe Biden has referred to himself as a ‘transition candidate.’ But many are asking: A transition to what? Last week, Democrats didn’t talk much about their agenda, and if I were them, I wouldn’t want to either.

Bernie Sanders, did tell his followers that Joe Biden could be the most liberal President of modern times, and confirmed that, quote, ‘Many of the ideas we fought for, that just a few years ago were considered radical, are now mainstream’ in the Democratic Party.

At the root of their agenda, is the belief that America is driven by envy, not aspiration — that millions of Americans harbor ill-will toward their neighbors, instead of loving our neighbors as themselves. The radical left believes the federal government must be involved in every aspect of our lives to correct those American wrongs. They believe the federal government needs to dictate how Americans live, how we should work, how we should raise our children — and, in the process, deprive our people of freedom, prosperity, and security. Their agenda is based on government control; our agenda is based on freedom.

Where President Trump cut taxes—Joe Biden wants to raise taxes by nearly $4 trillion.

Where this President achieved energy independence for the United States. Joe Biden would abolish fossil fuels, end fracking, and impose a regime of climate change regulations that would drastically increase the cost of living for working families.

Where we fought for free and fair trade this President stood up to China and ended the era of economic surrender.

Joe Biden has been a cheerleader for communist China – wants to repeal all the tariffs that are leveling the playing field for American workers and actually criticized President Trump for suspending all travel from China at the outset of this pandemic.

Joe Biden is for open borders; sanctuary cities; and free lawyers and healthcare for illegal immigrants. President Trump has secured our southern border and built nearly 300 miles of the wall.

Joe Biden wants to end school choice. President Trump believes every parent should have the right to choose where their children go to school regardless of their income or area code.

Joe Biden supports taxpayer funding of abortion right up to the moment of birth. President Donald Trump has been the most pro-life President in American history.

When you consider their agenda it’s clear: Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for a radical left.

The choice in this election has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher.

Last week, Joe Biden said democracy is on the ballot but the truth is… our economic recovery is on the ballot, law and order is on the ballot. But so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country.

It’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or more Democrat. The choice in this election Is whether America remains America.

It’s whether we will leave to our children and our grandchildren a country grounded in our highest ideals of freedom, free markets, and the unalienable right to life and liberty — or whether we will leave to our children and grandchildren a country that is fundamentally transformed into something else.

We stand at a crossroads, America.

President Trump set our nation on a path to freedom and opportunity from the very first day of this administration. But Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline.

President Donald Trump believes in America and the goodness of the American people, the boundless potential of every American to live out their dreams in freedom. Every day, President Trump has been fighting to protect the promise of America. Every day, our President has been fighting to expand the reach of the American dream. And on everyday, President Donald Trump has been fighting for you. Now it’s our turn to fight for him.

On this night, in the company of heroes, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of serving as Vice President of this great nation. I pray to be worthy of it. And I will give that duty all that is in me.

In the year 2020, the American people have had more than our share of challenges, but thankfully we have a President with the toughness, energy and resolve to see us through. Those traits run in our national character… as that invading force learned on approach to this fort on September 1814. Against fierce and sustained bombardment, our young country was defended by heroes, not so different from those with us tonight. The enemy was counting on them to quit. But they never did. Fort McHenry held. And when morning came our flag was still here.

My fellow Americans, we are going through a time of testing. But if you look through the fog of these challenging times, you will see… our flag is still there.

That Star – Spangled Banner still waves ove’r the land of the free and the home of the brave. From these hallowed grounds, American patriots in generations gone by did their part to defend freedom. Now it’s our turn.

So let’s run the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents, fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire …let’s fix our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith and freedom…and never forget that ‘where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,’ That means freedom always wins….

My fellow Americans, thank you for the honor of addressing you tonight and the opportunity to run and serve as your Vice President again. I leave here today inspired. And I leave here today more convinced than ever that we will do as Americans have done through our long and storied past, we will defend our freedom and way of life in November of 2020, we will re-elect our president and principled Republican leaders across this land…and with President Donald Trump in the White House for four more years, and Gods help…we will make America great again, again.

May God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.



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Infections are on the rise among children in the US: CDC


“This may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults,” the agency said in its guidance. “Comparing trends in paediatric infections before and after the return to in-person school and other activities may provide additional understanding about infections in children.”

Children between 5 and 17 years old also test positive for the coronavirus at higher rates than any other age group, according to CDC data, with positivity rates exceeding 10 per cent in public and private lab tests.

The virus incubation period is the same for children as it is for adults. Children are far less likely to develop severe symptoms, but when they are hospitalised for complications from the virus, about one-third are sent to the intensive care unit, the same rate as adults, according to the CDC.

The new academic year could bring new challenges.

In Mississippi, where most children are returning to school for in-person learning, more than 100 students and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days and hundreds more have been forced to quarantine. Nearly half the state’s schools have reported cases, the Clarion-Leger recently reported. The state also has the highest daily reported deaths in the country, according to tracking by The Washington Post.

In an effort to speed up testing, the US Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorisation for a new saliva-based coronavirus test that it is hoped will cut turnaround times in commercial laboratories.Credit:AP

Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, said on Sunday that the virus spread was not pervasive enough in Mississippi schools to justify any shutdowns. He said the state had plans in place to take action if infections became more widespread. He dismissed concerns about school outbreaks, claiming, without citing specific evidence, that most infected children had contracted the virus from elsewhere in the community.

“Keep this in perspective. We have 300,000 kids in classrooms. We’ve had approximately 100 cases that have been confirmed positive,” he told CBS News’ Face the Nation.

“The point is, no kid, whether they’re in school or not, is completely immune from getting the virus. And so we’ve got to take measures to make sure that those kids have the opportunity to learn.”

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In other places where the academic year is beginning, virus concerns have already forced officials to cancel classes or reverse plans to bring students back after attempting to reopen amid the pandemic.

A Nebraska school district on Saturday pushed classes back for a week after three staff members tested positive. Schools in Georgia and Tennessee also recently cancelled classes after students and staff fell ill with COVID-19.

In Arizona, a school district that voted to resume in-person learning despite missing state health benchmarks paused its reopening indefinitely after teachers threatened to refuse to show up, citing fears about the virus spread.

“We have received an overwhelming response from staff indicating that they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students,” Gregory Wyman, the district superintendent, said in a note to parents over the weekend.

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The series of false starts doesn’t bode well for districts that have moved forward with in-person reopening plans advocated by the Trump administration, which has insisted that a return to school is essential for academic and social wellbeing.

White House officials have continued to press their case for reopening schools. Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, told Face the Nation on Sunday that he didn’t believe the coronavirus posed serious risks to children. He said he and Ivanka Trump had no qualms about their children returning.

Kushner defended the administration’s handling of the pandemic response as new daily coronavirus cases and deaths appear to have flatlined nationwide.

“We know a lot more than we did five months ago,” he said.

The United States continues to report more than 1000 coronavirus-related deaths every day. Health officials reported 1220 new deaths and 57,120 new infections on Saturday – roughly even with the 1117 deaths and 56,555 cases announced on the same day the previous week.

France continue to raise concerns

The French Health Ministry on Sunday reported 3015 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the second day in a row in which new cases had surpassed 3000.

Increased infections in France have led to outdoors face mask rules being applied in major cities and towns across the country, including in Paris.

Increased infections in France have led to outdoors face mask rules being applied in major cities and towns across the country, including in Paris.Credit:AP

However, the daily count was below the 3310 cases reported on Saturday, when a new post-lockdown high was reached, the ministry’s data showed.

The number of coronavirus clusters being investigated in France has increased to 263.

The number of people in hospital was up slightly at 4860, adding to a rise recorded a day earlier, while the number of intensive care patients was unchanged at 376 after increasing the previous day, the ministry said.

France’s cumulative death toll from COVID-19 for hospitals and nursing homes rose by one to 30,410.

A sharp rise in cases in France – which the government says is partly but not solely due to an increase in testing – has led the authorities in the country’s two largest cities, Paris and Marseille, to expand zones where wearing a mask is mandatory outdoors.

The government is also set to propose that masks be worn nationwide in shared indoor workspaces.

German testing bungle

The German state of Bavaria said on Sunday it has tracked down most of the people returning from abroad who had tested positive for the coronavirus, but were not notified of their result.

Bavaria said in a statement that it had found 903 of the 949 people who tested positive out of a total of 44,000 travellers returning to the country, while it could not locate personal data for 46 of the positive tests.

The tests had been carried out up to two weeks ago at special centres that were opened with great fanfare in the southern state, but problems with data entry meant that the travellers had been waiting for their test results for days.

Bavarian state Premier Markus Soeder apologised for the problems on Thursday, promising to fix the mistakes by adding extra staff.

Some conservatives see Soeder as the best candidate to run for the German chancellorship in next year’s election, succeeding Angela Merkel, who has said she will not stand for a fifth term. Soeder has so far said he will stay in Bavaria.

Germany has managed to keep the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths relatively low compared to other European countries, but there are concerns about a possible second wave of the pandemic.

On Saturday, Germany saw the biggest increase in confirmed coronavirus cases since late April, a rise of 1415. On Sunday the increase was just 625, although fewer cases are usually registered at the weekend.

Italy closes nightclubs

Italy is to shut discos and clubs and make it compulsory to wear a mask outdoors in some areas at night in the first reimposition of restrictions as cases of coronavirus pick up across the country.

New cases in the past week in Italy were more than double those registered three weeks ago and the median age of people contracting the virus has dropped below 40, data showed.

The new rules will start on Monday and will run until early September.

Masks will be required between 6pm and 6am in areas close to bars and pubs.

“We cannot nullify the sacrifices made in past months. Our priority must be that of opening schools in September, in full safety,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Facebook.

Speranza urged young people to be as cautious as possible because “if they infect their parents and their grandparents, they risk creating real damage”.

The government had kept clubs open despite mounting criticism that they attracted large crowds, that social distancing was not being respected and masks were not being worn.

Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli conceded there would be economic damage, but said he saw no alternative.

On Sunday, 479 new cases were confirmed, down from 629 on Saturday, with nightlife, the return of holidaymakers, and younger generations flouting social distancing rules being blamed for the recent hike.

Italy has recorded more than 35,000 coronavirus deaths.

Testing on holidaymakers landing in Rome’s airports began on Sunday after the government said on Wednesday that people travelling from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain must be screened for the virus.

Washington Post, Reuters

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