The United States presidential election is in 17 days.
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. No Covid-19 vaccine in US before election
U.S. President Donald Trump’s election-year October surprise will not be a Covid-19 vaccine as he has repeatedly promised.
Pfizer dashed Trump’s hopes when it announced Friday that it would not seek emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration before the third week of November for the vaccine it is developing
Pfizer has been the front-runner among companies in late-stage clinical trials to come out with a vaccine.
Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, said: “Vaccines follow a timeline of good science, they don’t follow the timeline of electoral politics.”
a. Trial Hitches Slow Covid Vaccine, Treatment Timeline – Bloomberg
b. The Virus & The Vaccine – ABC Australia
2. Guthrie praised for tough questioning of Trump
If there were a winner to emerge from the presidential candidate town halls held Thursday night in Miami and Philadelphia, it might be NBC’s Samantha Guthrie.
For just under 60 minutes in Miami, Guthrie would not let U.S. President Donald Trump easily evade the tough questions:
She asked him why he had a problem making a definitive dismissal of white supremacy.
She prompted him on the little amount he reportedly paid in federal taxes, saying Trump had no legal defense for not releasing his tax returns.
She asked, as many Americans have wanted to know, when had Trump last tested negative before being infected with the coronavirus.
“I don’t know, I don’t even remember, I test all the time,” Trump said about being tested on September 29, the date of the first presidential debate in Cleveland.
Guthrie asked: “That day?”
“Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,” the president replied.“I’m impressed with Guthrie’s preparedness so far – she’s been ready for some of Trump’s regular false claims,” said Daniel Dale, the CNN fact-checking correspondent, via Twitter.
3. Race in U.S. one of topics of last presidential debate
NEW: Kristen Welker, moderator of the Oct. 22 presidential debate at @BelmontUniv, has selected topics: Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, Leadership #Debates2020 https://t.co/kFWvRzIljv— CPD (@debates) October 16, 2020
The racial divide in America gained headline attention over the summer as Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of another killing of a black man by a white police officer took place throughout America and in other parts of the world.
The other topics to be discussed on October 22 will be “Fighting Covid-19,” “American Families,” “Climate Change,” “National Security” and “Leadership.”
The second debate, which was to have been held on October 15, was canceled when Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate after his Covid-19 diagnosis.
4. Twitter changes course on blocking Biden story
Twitter reversed course Friday on blocking users from posting a questionably sourced New York Post report alleging ties between Joe Biden and his son’s business interests, including with a Ukrainian oil company.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said his company had been wrong to block the links to the story.
“Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that,” he tweeted.
Dorsey said “our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great.” The company stated that, as well as including possibly hacked material, “the images contained in the articles include personal and private information,” which violate its policy.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham other senators said the committee would vote on Tuesday on authorizing a subpoena to Dorsey over the matter.
a. Senate committee votes to subpoena CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify – CNBC
5. Biden campaign views Texas in play in final push
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, took an 800-mile campaign trip through parts of Texas this week as the race in a state long a seemingly big guaranteed prize — 38 electoral votes — for Republicans is the tightest it has been in years.
The Associated Press reports that less than three weeks before Election Day, “Texas is just one Sun Belt state where Biden is making an unusual late push.”
Republican U.S. President Donald Trump is leading in most polls in Texas, as expected, but in some Biden is within the margin of error and actually leads in a few.
Biden’s campaign plans to spend $6.2 million on TV advertising in Texas in the race’s final weeks.
A Democrat has not carried Texas in a presidential election since 1976, Georgia since 1992 and Arizona since 1996.
b. Can Democrats, Biden win in a changing South? – Alabama News