CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,803,884, and the nation’s death toll stands at 214,063, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Johnson & Johnson announced yesterday that it is pausing its clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine after a study participant came down with an “unexplained illness.” The trial involves 60,000 patients.
SECRET SERVICE TRIPS LUCRATIVE FOR TRUMP… The U.S. Secret Service has spent $238,000 at the President Trump’s properties while protecting his children while they travel, the Washington Post reported yesterday. According to the report, rooms were charged at an average of $630 per night when agents accompanied Ivanka Trump on more than a dozen spring trips to the Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, while the state was under strict stay-at-home orders. The report was part of the Post’s ongoing investigation into Trump using taxpayer dollars to benefit his own private businesses.
JUDGE BARRETT HEARINGS UNDERWAY… Judge Amy Coney Barrett vowed to fulfill her duties “faithfully and impartially” yesterday on the first of her four days of Supreme Court nomination hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans insisted that Barrett was well-qualified despite her holding no bench higher than appellate court. Democratic senators called Barrett’s conservative views a threat to the Obamacare healthcare law during a deadly pandemic and called out Republican hypocrisy in the efforts to approve her before the November 3 presidential election.
REPUBLICANS MUST MOVE ‘ILLEGAL’ BALLOT BOXES… California state officials issued a cease-and-desist order yesterday to prevent the Republican Party from setting up unofficial and illegal ballot drop boxes. GOP officials have acknowledged setting up the boxes. The order issued by Attorney General Xavier Becerra gives the GOP until tomorrow to remove all boxes.
DELTA BRINGS RAIN NORTHWARD… The aftermath of Hurricane Delta brought heavy rain to mid-Atlantic and Northeast states yesterday. The storm is blamed for four deaths in Louisiana and Florida since making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. More than 140,000 people remained without power yesterday in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
JESSE METCALFE ELIMINATED FROM ‘DANCING’… Actor Jesse Metcalfe was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” last night. He had been partnered with professional dancer Sharna Burgess in the competition. 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, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.
THE WANTED’S TOM PARKER BATTLING BRAIN TUMOR… Tom Parker, a member of the popular U.K. boy band The Wanted, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The 32-year-old Parker acknowledged in an interview with OK! Magazine that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma. He said the diagnosis came six weeks ago after he had suffered a pair of seizures.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE…
TAMPA BAY 4 – Houston 2 (in San Diego)… The Rays cruised past the Astros to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Starter Charlie Morton pitched five-hit ball over five scoreless innings. Manuel Margot slugged a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Zunino added a solo shot in the seventh. Tampa Bay will try to make it three straight today when they send lefthander Ryan Yarbrough to the mound. He’ll be opposed by Houston righthander Jose Urquidy. Gametime is 8:40 p.m. Eastern.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE…
Atlanta 5 – L.A. DODGERS 1 (in Arlington)… The Braves came up with four runs in the top of the ninth inning to put away the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series opener. Austin Riley smacked a go-ahead solo homer. Ozzie Albies added a two-run blast. The win was potentially costly for Atlanta, as left fielder Adam Duvall left the game early with an injury to his left oblique. Righthander Ian Anderson takes the mound for the Braves today. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. Eastern.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
NEW ORLEANS 30 – L.A. Chargers 27 (OT)… The Saints (3-2) rallied after halftime to outlast the Chargers (1-4). Taysom Hill came in at quarterback for New Orleans and ran 9 yards for a game-tying score with 52 seconds left in regulation. Drew Brees passed for 325 yards and a score. Emmanuel Sanders had 12 catches for 122 yards.
TODAY’S NFL SCHEDULE…
Buffalo (4-0) is at Tennessee (3-0)