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Ron Johnson says he still has many unanswered questions

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has been at the forefront of raising fringe theories about President Biden’s son Hunter, the coronavirus, and the 2020 election results.

In recent weeks, he has come under further scrutiny for claiming in a series of radio interviews in his home state that the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol was not a “Armed insurgency” and for using his time at a Senate hearing to read a first-time account of someone who postulated that “provocateurs” and “false Trump supporters” were behind the attack.

Mr Johnson has a reputation as one of Washington’s most accessible and high-profile Republicans, regularly defending his point of view to the mainstream news media – something many of his GOP colleagues fail to do.

He spoke to The New York Times on Thursday about his theories on who was responsible for the Capitol attack and what he would like to see included in Congress’ investigation into it. The interview has been lightly edited and condensed.

You were on the radio recently to say it was not an armed insurgency. I was curious to know what the origin of this prospect was for you.

When I think armed, I think of firearms. And yes, we don’t know. I have no idea. This is one of the questions I have: How many firearms have been seen, have they been confiscated? How many shots were fired? I believe the only ones who were fired were from the police. And I said I would defend the police for taking action. I don’t understand what uproar is. But apparently there is an uproar somewhere. Someone is offended.

And I would say that if it’s rightly called an “armed insurgency,” it was a pretty ragtag. And again, I’m not taking issue with the destruction or the destructive capacity of things like masts and bats and that sort of thing, but again, words make sense.

Well, what do you think of who put together the group that stormed the Capitol?

I do not know and I ask the question. I’m not making any assumptions.

There are so many unanswered questions, which seems like a bit of the baseline in so many things that I’m trying to get to the bottom of. But here we are almost two months later, and there is only basic information missing here.

At the Senate hearing the other day you read The Federalist track it suggested that there were some sort of provocateurs and “false Trump supporters” who had plans to generate unrest from the crowd. And I asked myself, do you share this analysis?

I think it’s important, if we really want to understand the whole truth, to understand exactly what happened, we have to look at different points of view, different perspectives.

I read this article, I think, as soon as it was published, which was shortly after January 6th. And that intrigued me. Because there was an individual who, again, I didn’t know him at the time. In fact, I spoke to him yesterday for the first time. But I didn’t know who he was. Looks like he had a pretty good experience. He’s an instructor who focuses on this type of psychological warfare and that type of thing. So he seemed to be a keen observer.

And I was just mesmerized that he wrote his thoughts down, about 14, 15 pages, without looking at any news. So it’s a sort of spotless accounting. And these are really the kind of eyewitness accounts you want to examine. I’m not saying you accept everything. You don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions. I think you kind of have to take what he said he saw at face value.

Do you think, as federalist author Michael Waller wrote, that there were fake Trump protesters in the crowd?

That’s what he said he thought he saw. I think later in the article he didn’t see anyone he would have thought were bogus Trump protesters, he didn’t see them engage in violence. I think he writes that in his article. Yeah. I leave his independent testimony. I was not there.

Again, I am not drawing any conclusions. Again, many news articles assume, imputing all kinds of conclusions. They say I say things that I don’t say at all. All I’m saying right now is that we need to ask a lot of questions.

I wonder why you think it’s interesting to give an audience to Mr. Waller’s claims that there were either provocateurs or false Trump supporters in the crowd, given the lack of evidence.

I do not question its veracity. I think he’s probably telling the truth. That’s what he saw. I do not agree with any conclusion. I’m not sure he’s really drawing too many conclusions other than concluding that he saw four types of individual bands that stood out from the crowd.

This might be a flawed part of the evidence, but why exclude it? Just because it doesn’t necessarily tie into the story someone else wants to tell about the day? I’m not interested in stories, I’m interested in truth.

Some of your Republican colleagues in Congress have talked a lot about the involvement of Antifa or Black Lives Matter in instigating what happened. Do you share this conviction?

It doesn’t really seem like this is the problem. It seems, again, that everything is early, I didn’t draw any conclusions, but it seems that if there was any pre-planning by groups, it was white supremacist groups, like the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers, that sort of thing. This is what it appears.

I have seen videos of other people claiming to be antifa in their hotel rooms. I don’t know if this has been verified. But no, again, I’m not drawing any conclusions. But for now, it seems there have been provocateurs or agitators. It would appear that these are probably white supremacist groups that have already been named. But I didn’t speak to the FBI

You were with Maria Bartiromo and you spoke of being against violent extremists on the left or on the right. And it looks like you sort of landed on the position that it was right-wing groups that were involved in organizing what happened on January 6th.

It seems that these white supremacist groups seem to be responsible for it. I really condemn her. I mean, I’m not happy.

I have attended many Trump rallies. You talk to a lot of people. You see the vibe in these crowds. And it’s festive. It’s joyful. You love America. And it’s definitely for law enforcement and anti-breaking the law. Which is, again, why I certainly don’t suspect, even a large pro-Trump crowd, I didn’t expect any violence from them.

You said you wanted what you were saying to be correct. And you read Mr. Waller’s article, but you didn’t necessarily do your due diligence to see if what he was saying was verified.

What do you mean, checked? This is his eyewitness account. What else is there to check out on this? I read his credentials where he taught at Fort Bragg. I mean, you can see in the article what his credentials are. He looked pretty solid.

A few days later, the Washington Post wrote an article that came very close to describing things as Mr. Waller also did. From my perspective, it added credibility: what he saw, other people sort of saw, noticed, and drew similar types of conclusions. Again, this is just one piece of information that needs to be looked at, that needs to be considered, that needs to be tested, that needs to be verified, compared to other things.

Again, I am not afraid of information. I am amazed at the number of people. And how quickly people put the conspiracy theory label on something, or call it misinformation.

You said tens of millions of Americans did not trust the election results. I wonder, how much do you think this is because Republican leaders since President Trump have told them not to trust the election results?

I think there are several reasons for this. But I would say that the main reason is that they saw their television screens, the observers not being able to observe. They see in states where all of those other counties can get millions of votes, but in a few big counties in swing states, they just can’t get the total votes until 10 p.m. for some reason. It just raises a certain level of suspicion.

Well in Wisconsin is because

It’s unfortunate that the mainstream media has proven to be so incredibly biased that people across the aisle, across the political spectrum, simply don’t trust them anymore. This is also part of the problem.

One last thing. Where are you at to be re-elected next year?

I haven’t decided. You don’t need to make up your mind for a while.

Do you have a timeline for this?

Yeah. But I’m not necessarily going to reveal it to you.

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Congressional sergeants-at-arms are faced with questions about the security failures that led to the assault on Capitol Hill.

Senate and House Sergeants-at-Arms Michael C. First occupation since the War of 1812.

Former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund told the Washington Post that they refused to comply with his requests to put the National Guard on hold ahead of the Congressional Electoral College certification, which supporters of Trump ultimately disrupted, as they were too concerned about the “Optics” of such a move.

The jobs forced the two to balance an array of often conflicting forces, according to interviews with former colleagues, law enforcement experts and former sergeants-at-arms. Attempts to reach Mr. Stenger and Mr. Irving were unsuccessful.

Both positions derive their power directly from legislators. The Senate elects its sergeant-at-arms and the president of the chamber chooses this chamber. Mr. Stenger, who worked for the Senate, and Mr. Irving, his House counterpart, skillfully attempted to satisfy the 535 lawmakers who often had competing demands that made even mundane decisions like replacing window locks with delicate issues, according to interviews.

But the accusations by Mr Sund, who had reported to the two men, sparked criticism that Mr Stenger and Mr Irving had placed the policy on the safety of lawmakers, staff and journalists assembled for the count. electoral college vote.

Terrance W. Gainer, who previously served as both Capitol Police Chief and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, said emergencies at Capitol Hill typically exposed issues with the chain of command that had worsened for periods of time. calmer. He said that during the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shooting and the 2011 East Coast earthquake, security officials on Capitol Hill had differing views on how to respond, which complicated their response.

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Biden’s choice for Pentagon faces questions over ties to contractors

WASHINGTON – Three weeks ago, a Navy ship off the coast of Hawaii launched a military contractor’s experimental missile to intercept and successfully destroy for the first time in space a decoy claiming to be an incoming nuclear weapon .

The same company that helped achieve that feat, Raytheon Technologies, was chosen this year for another contract for a program that could end up costing up to $ 20 billion to build a new generation of nuclear-armed cruise missiles. for the United States.

And Raytheon – whose 195,000 employees make fighter jets, weapons, high-tech sensors, and dozens of other military products – has spent the past few years selling billions of dollars in weapons and radar systems to corporations. allies in the Middle East, some of whom were used to wage a war in Yemen.

Now, Raytheon may soon have another point of distinction: A member of its board, retired Army General Lloyd J. Austin III, has been appointed by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. for be the next secretary of defense.

Raytheon is not General Austin’s only connection to military contractors. He was also a partner in an investment firm which purchased small defense firms. And his shift from the arms industry to a leadership role in the Pentagon is part of a pattern President Trump has started in recent years.

Mr Trump chose James N. Mattis, also a retired four-star general who later sat on the board of General Dynamics, another major military contractor, as first secretary of defense. Mark T. Esper, former chief lobbyist for Raytheon, succeeded Mr Mattis.

It is a deviation from the norm. Defense secretaries who served before Mr. Trump’s tenure – at least three decades dating back to President George Bush’s tenure – did not come directly from boards of directors or executive suites of entrepreneurs, although some, like Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama’s last defense secretary, served as industry consultants.

Mr Biden’s decision to appoint General Austin has drawn a new wave of questions about the commercial ties of the people Mr Biden chooses for his administration.

These links are particularly relevant to the Pentagon, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year on weapons and other supplies. During Mr. Trump’s tenure, the military budget grew by around 15%, reaching $ 705 billion in the last fiscal year, one of the highest levels in constant dollars since World War II.

“It is important that the Secretary of Defense brings independence of thought to this role, and it is deeply concerning when a candidate comes directly from one of the major military contractors,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of Arms Control. Association, which pushes to reduce nuclear weapons and military spending.

He added: “Raytheon, I would point out, has a huge financial stake in the upcoming decisions of the Biden administration, Congress, Secretary of Defense.”

Inside Raytheon, officials were said to have been excited by the prospect of a board member becoming secretary of defense, according to a person who works with the company. But that person and another who works with Raytheon have warned that the appointment could lead to unwanted review of the company.

Even members of Mr. Biden’s own party had urged Mr. Biden to refrain from nominating anyone for the post of defense secretary who came directly from the world of military contractors.

“US national security should not be defined by the results of Boeing, General Dynamics and Raytheon,” Representative Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, said in a statement last month.

As Secretary of Defense, General Austin would need to sell any shares he owns in Raytheon or other defense contractors, or any company that does business with the industry, and he would most likely prohibited from directly participating in any contractual decision or other “special matter” that directly affects companies with which he had financial ties during the previous two years, if Mr. Biden follows the ethical guidelines adopted for the first time by Mr. Obama.

General Austin joined the Raytheon Technologies board of directors through a merger in April between Raytheon Company, better known as the maker of Patriot and Tomahawk missiles, and United Technologies, a maker of commercial and jet engines. military and aviation electronics, whose board of directors Gen. Austin joined in June 2016 after retiring from the military.

Raytheon’s deposits indicated that as of October General Austin owned more than $ 500,000 in Raytheon stock. While on the board of directors of United Technologies, General Austin received a total of $ 1.4 million in stock and other compensation over four years.

Raytheon now ranks as one of the world’s largest military contractors, with Raytheon boasting in a Wall Street earnings report that it has a record backlog of backlog of federal government orders totaling $ 73 billion.

His aggressive campaign over the past five years to sell billions of dollars in precision-guided bombs and bomb parts to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – which used these weapons to strike civilians as part of disastrous war in Yemen – caused an uproar. human rights groups and some members of Congress, who have repeatedly tried to block the sales.

But Raytheon, who pays an army of well-connected lobbyists, has defeated the opposition and sold the guns – in part thanks to his close ties to the Trump administration.

General Austin was also a partner in an investment firm called Pine Island Capital, where he joined the board in July. The company has recently been on a buying spree from small military contractors, including Precinmac Precision Machining, which sells specialized parts for rocket launch systems and machine guns.

By the time General Austin joined the company, Pine Island said he was “already fully engaged, working with us on new investments, bringing experience and judgment to our portfolio companies,” which include InVeris Training Solutions, which provides virtual firearms training.

General Austin, Anthony J. Blinken, the choice of Mr. Biden as Secretary of State, and Michèle A. Flournoy, who had been another candidate by Mr. Biden for the post of Secretary of Defense were added to the Pine Island team because of their connections, the company has made it clear as it has been promoting itself over the past few months before selling off $ 218 million in stock to prepare to buy other industry targets. defense.

Pine Island has a partnership with WestExec Advisors, a consulting firm founded in part by Mr. Blinken and Ms. Flournoy. Another member of Raytheon’s board, former Pentagon official Robert O. Work, has also been involved with WestExec and advised Mr. Biden’s transition on national security planning.

While WestExec has advised at least one defense contractor, a WestExec spokeswoman did not answer questions about whether Raytheon was a client, explaining that the firm had nondisclosure agreements with many clients and “Do not comment on potential customers”.

Responding to questions about General Austin’s ties to defense contractors, Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Mr. Biden’s transition, said that “every member of the cabinet will comply with all disclosure requirements and strict ethical rules – including challenges where appropriate. ”

He added that if confirmed, General Austin and Mr. Blinken would both sell any stake in Pine Island.

It is not clear how much of the shares they own in Pine Island.

Mandy Smithberger, director of Project on Government Oversight, which tracks federal contracting decisions, said the problem of hiring former industry executives as senior Pentagon officials is broader, as they often bring with them them a pro-industry mindset.

As a result, she said, it might be more difficult for Mr. Biden’s administration to make the tough choices that will be necessary as the United States faces large budget deficits and growing demands. increase in public health programs in order to be better prepared for the next world. pandemic.

“The defense industry is already way too close to the Pentagon and if the Biden administration is to reform the department in the way we know it has to happen, that has to change,” Ms. Smithberger said. “What is in the best interest of our national security may not be the same as what is in the best interest of the defense industry.”

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At the end of his term, Trump faces further questions about payments at his hotel

WASHINGTON – It was a month before Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, and one of his aides had a tricky question: Wasn’t there going to be a backlash when it was learned that the inauguration had spent the donor money at Mr. Trump’s Washington hotel, even if other places cost much less or even be free?

“These are events in honor of PE at his hotel, and one of them is with and for family and close friends,” wrote Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, then event planner for Mr. Trump, in an email to a colleague in December 2016, referring to Mr. Trump as president-elect and saying she raised the issue to “express my concern.”

As Mr. Trump’s presidency draws to a close, expenses like these are under new legal scrutiny in the form of a civil case being pursued by the District of Columbia attorney general.

At the heart of the matter is a question – whether Mr. Trump and his family have profited from his public role, sometimes to the detriment of taxpayers, competitors and donors – which has been a lingering theme of his tenure in the White House. .

More than 200 companies, special interest groups and foreign governments frequented Mr. Trump’s properties during his presidency while reaping profits from him and his administration. Sixty of them spent $ 12 million on his properties in the first two years of his tenure.

The Trump family business has received millions of dollars in payments from the Secret Service, the State Department, and the U.S. military to Trump properties across the country and around the world. The president has visited his properties for at least 417 days since taking office, sometimes with world leaders. And he and his affiliated political committees have spent more than $ 6.5 million in campaign funds at his hotels and other businesses since 2017, including a $ 1 million final in the weeks leading up to the election last month.

In the ongoing trial, Washington Attorney General Karl A. Racine argues that Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee illegally overpaid his family business by $ 1.1 million for events held at the city’s Trump International Hotel in January 2017. Ivanka Trump was filed in the case last week.

Questions about spending, influence and lobbying around the 2017 inauguration also caught the attention of federal prosecutors in two different offices in New York City, with charges against at least one donor.

But despite all the attention on the matter, Mr. Trump is poised to step down without a clear resolution of the limits there should be on a president’s ability to profit from his public role.

Lawsuits by nonprofit groups and attorneys general in Washington and Maryland claiming Mr. Trump violated the Constitution’s so-called emoluments clause were never resolved during his tenure and now risk being sacked once he is out of power.

“It’s more than frustrating,” said Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard, who was involved in the emoluments dispute. “The most serious questions regarding the abuse of presidential power and the use of the presidency as a center of personal gain and profit remain unanswered. The wheels of justice are clearly turning slower than some would have hoped. “

The issue played out most prominently at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which opened in late October 2016, two weeks before Mr. Trump’s election.

The hotel became a focal point for lobbyists, White House aides, Congressional Republicans and hundreds of others who were looking for a way to impress Mr. Trump, even though the tax records obtained by New York Times show that the property continued to lose money through at least 2018.

The Trump family tried to sell their hotel lease last year before recovering momentum when the coronavirus pandemic struck. With revenues certainly declining this year, Mr. Trump will have to decide whether to relist the property after he leaves, or perhaps hope that its value will rise if it shows up again.

“Fifty percent of people still won’t enter the hotel,” said William W. Moyer, a hotel broker, noting that many potential customers who were not Mr. Trump’s supporters have avoided the property. “And the other 50% wanted to go. You’re not going to turn people’s loyalty on or off like a switch. “

The case Mr. Racine is pursuing is progressing after spending several years collecting evidence about the arrangements between the Presidential Inauguration Committee and the hotel.

Mr. Trump’s inauguration was unlike any other in American history: he raised more than $ 107 million, double the previous record, as corporate donors poured tens of millions of dollars into the committee inaugural. Spending also proceeded at a record pace.

At the Trump Hotel, the grand opening committee and guests attending the grand opening were already planning to fill most of the 263 rooms, which Mr. Racine said meant ballroom space would typically be offered. for free or at least with a significant discount.

But when the hotel initially asked the inaugural committee to pay $ 450,000 a day to rent the ballrooms and other common spaces, it prompted immediate questions from Ms Wolkoff, who has since broken up with the Trump family, and Rick. Gates, then the inaugural committee. vice president, who would then plead guilty to the charges arising from the special advocate’s investigation.

“First, the cost itself seems pretty high compared to other property buyouts for the week,” Gates wrote in an email to Ivanka Trump 38 days before the inauguration. “Second, I’m a little worried about the perspective of the PIC paying Trump Hotel high rent and the media making a big deal out of it,” he added, referring to the presidential inauguration committee.

Ms Trump wrote to Mickael C. Damelincourt, the hotel’s general manager, and asked him to call Mr Gates to negotiate a better deal for the inaugural committee. “It should be a fair market rate,” Ms. Trump said in a follow-up email, which quickly led to a new offer of $ 175,000 per day.

Ms. Wolkoff nonetheless expressed concerns.

“In my opinion, the maximum rental fee should be $ 85,000 per day,” she replied to Mr. Gates and Ms. Trump in an email where she also noted that other properties, like the train station Union, had offered their spaces for the inauguration for free.

This series of emails – filed in court documents as part of the trial – is at the heart of the case that Mr. Racine, a Democrat, is pursuing.

The inaugural committee paid $ 220,000 for the hotel rooms, including $ 75,259 to rent the so-called Trump Townhouse, marketed as an ultra-luxurious suite.

Two of the days the inaugural committee paid the hotel $ 175,000 to rent the ballroom, no event used it, according to the lawsuit. And on the third day, while using the ballroom for a lunch – again paying $ 175,000 – another nonprofit had only paid $ 5,000 to rent the same presidential ballroom space for a event related to the inauguration that morning.

The committee also paid the hotel for costs associated with a “friends and family” event for Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. that their father was not scheduled to attend. The inauguration staff were so uncomfortable sponsoring the rally that they tried to cancel it, court documents have shown. But Mr. Damelincourt opposed it.

“Rick… just heard that the Friday night reception had been canceled.” Is it correct? Mr. Damelincourt wrote. “Hard for us if it’s like it’s a lot of income.” The event was then postponed and took place the night Mr. Trump was sworn in.

Ivanka Trump was questioned for five hours last week about it, in one of a series of depositions that also included Mr. Damelincourt and Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a major donor to Mr. Trump who was chairman of the inaugural committee . . Ms Wolkoff will be examined under oath this week and Mr Gates this month.

After her testimony, Ivanka Trump condemned the investigation, as did her brother Eric Trump, who oversees the hotel’s operations.

“It’s a game of political vendetta,” Eric Trump said in an interview, echoing his sister, who said on twitter that the case was “another politically motivated display of retribution and waste of taxpayer money.”

So far, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge José M. López has sided with the attorney general, rejecting a motion by the Trump Organization and the inaugural committee to dismiss the case. Judge López has allowed the parties to go ahead with depositions and other so-called findings until March to prepare for a possible trial.

The civil action brought by Mr. Racine is distinct from two separate cases raising constitutional questions regarding the intersection of Mr. Trump’s public role and his activities. The two cases focusing on the Constitution’s emoluments clause will be on more fragile ground once he leaves office, lawyers involved in the cases have said.

A Federal District Court judge ruled in one of the emoluments lawsuits in March 2018 that Maryland and the District of Columbia had the right to continue their cases challenging whether Mr. Trump’s businesses could accept payments from other governments. And for the first time, the court defined what an emolument is, accepting the broader definition advocated by Maryland and the District that it represented just about any payment from a foreign government to the president’s businesses. instead of a payment made to the president explicitly in exchange for some official action he would then take, as he had argued.

But one of the remedies sought by their lawsuit was an order directing the president to stop accepting those payments. Once he leaves office, this result will indeed be achieved, which may undermine the matter.

“We are having high-level discussions on the viability and survival of the issue,” Racine said of the emoluments case.

The future of the Trump Hotel in Washington is also unresolved.

The hotel bar is open again after closing in the spring when the virus reached its peak. But traffic is still very slow, in part because the hotel limits entry to only those with reservations due to virus restrictions.

Zach Everson, who runs an online newsletter that tracks hotel activities, said his fate could be in part determined by how much of an energy broker Mr. Trump remains.

“Any business that is backed in part by people who want to stand in its favor, once you take the official power that it had to grant that favor, I don’t know how they can keep it going,” Mr. Everson. “But with Donald Trump, he has already been able to pull a rabbit out of the hat.”

White House affairs were still coming up on Friday.

Jason Miller, a Trump campaign aide, showed up at lunchtime without his name on the list. He told a security guard at the hotel entrance that he was there for a meeting with attorneys Eric Hershmann and Justin Clark, two other assistants to Mr. Trump.

For a while, Mr. Miller was barred from entering.

“I work for the president,” he told the security guard, before finally being let in.

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Coronavirus data in the United States: frequently asked questions


What is the source of this data?

Since the end of January, The Times has been tracking coronavirus cases and deaths when they are announced using data released by countries, states and local health officials. Times staff work around the clock to create, verify and maintain this data.

March

April

May

June

July

August

Seven.

Oct.

Nov.

New cases

7 day average

Case 11.9 million 187,428 + 73%
Death 253,448 1 962 + 63%
Hospitalized 80,698 + 50%

Day with data report anomaly.

Hospitalization data from the Covid Tracking Project; The 14-day change trends use 7-day averages.

This data is used in Times reports and charts, sometimes as cumulative counts, new daily totals, or per capita counts.

Data on cases and deaths in the United States is publicly available on Github.

The Times also shares test and hospitalization data collected by the COVID Tracking Project, and case and death data for most countries from Johns Hopkins University.

How often are the virus tracking pages updated?

The Times virus tracking pages are updated several times a day. Most states update their data daily, although a few report less frequently. Many counties only update on weekdays.

Rhode Island, for example, doesn’t typically show up on weekends, and this trend can be seen in the daily graphical white space below. Monday or Tuesday counts may include weekend totals.

New cases reported daily in Rhode Island

March

April

May

June

July

August

Seven.

Oct.

Nov.

New cases

7 day average

Deaths reported daily in Rhode Island

March

April

May

June

July

August

Seven.

Oct.

Nov.

New deaths

7 day average

Note: The seven day average is the average of one day and the previous six days of data.

Local governments may also revise the reported number as they get new information, and may provide updated data in press releases or on social media.

Why are the numbers different from what I see in my state or county?

The Times data comes from states, counties and regional health departments. Local officials often report earlier than states, so this can be a source of variation. The Times does not use federal data for cases and deaths.

Jurisdictions typically count cases and deaths based on a person’s residence, rather than where they tested positive or died, although there are exceptions to this in Alaska, Hawaii, and Vermont. .

Regional and local counting methods may vary. To learn more about the data for a specific report, see About the data on each report page.

The Times is also making some tweaks to create a more consistent dataset across all jurisdictions. For example, some states do not include cases in correctional facilities in the county totals, and The Times includes these cases in the appropriate county when possible.

In specific situations, such as an outbreak on a cruise ship or military ship, The Times has tracked cases based on where patients were treated.

There are also variations in the way states and counties report probable cases and deaths, which are described below.

What are the probable cases and deaths, and are they included in the data?

While confirmed cases and deaths are counts of individuals whose coronavirus infections have been confirmed by a molecular laboratory test, probable cases and deaths are counts of individuals who meet criteria set by state and federal governments. , including verified exposure to the virus, common symptoms, and other test that suggested the virus.

Confirmed cases and deaths are widely seen as an undercount of the impact of the virus, so many states and counties have started reporting probable cases of the coronavirus after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released reports. instructions for doing it in April and again in August.

Not all governments report them in the same way: some only publish confirmed cases and deaths, some report confirmed and probable numbers separately, and others report a combined confirmed and probable figure. If a jurisdiction reports probable cases and deaths, these are usually presented on the health ministry’s website, although sometimes these are not clearly labeled. The Times verifies this information with authorities and includes probable cases and deaths when reported, as recommended by the CDC

Probable cases and deaths may include people who test positive from a rapid antigen test. Public health officials say cases based on antigen tests are likely undercounted across the country.

To see if a condition includes probable cases and deaths, visit the individual status pages listed at the bottom of that page.

Why doesn’t the page show how many people have recovered?

Data on the number of cured patients or currently active cases are not routinely available at the county level. The number of people who have recovered, as tracked by some states and counties, is an estimate based on the assumption that people diagnosed with Covid-19 have recovered after a certain time if they have not died. The criteria vary by state. Health officials usually don’t follow up with people to find out when they are recovering.

Why do spikes sometimes appear in the daily tables of cases and deaths?

The Times data is based on the date the cases and deaths are announced, as that is the closest real-time data to states. Governments sometimes revise the data or report a large one-day increase in cases or deaths without specifying when those cases and deaths occurred, which can lead to an irregular trend in reported daily numbers. The Times excludes these anomalies from the seven-day averages where possible.

For example, The Times noted a few anomalies in the US daily death data, which are detailed here.

New deaths reported daily in the United States

March

April

May

June

July

August

Seven.

Oct.

Nov.

Many deaths of undetermined days

New deaths

7 day average

These are days with a data reporting anomaly. Learn more here.

To see a detailed list of all reporting anomalies, visit the individual status pages listed at the bottom of this page.

Why do cumulative counts sometimes decrease?

Health authorities frequently remove or reshuffle cases and deaths after receiving new information, resulting in a slight decrease in the state and county total counts. Common reasons include eliminating duplicates or cases and deaths that turn out to involve people who live in other jurisdictions. From time to time, governments report larger declines after changing case-or-death definitions, as Massachusetts did in September.

How do Covid-19-related deaths compare to other causes of death?

The Times looked at government mortality data to determine the number of “excess deaths” that occurred this year and compared those deaths to official coronavirus death tally. This US page and this international page are updated regularly as data becomes available.

Coronavirus monitoring

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Danish study questions the use of masks to protect wearers

Half received surgical masks and were told to wear them when leaving their homes; others were told not to wear masks in public.

At that time, 2 percent of the Danish population was infected – a lower rate than in many places in the United States and Europe today. Social distancing and frequent hand washing were common, but masks were not.

About 4,860 participants completed the study. The researchers had hoped that the masks would halve the infection rate in carriers. Instead, 42 people in the mask group, or 1.8%, were infected, compared to 53 in the unmasked group, or 2.1%. The difference was not statistically significant.

“Our study gives an indication of how much you gain from wearing a mask,” said Dr. Henning Bundgaard, lead author of the study and cardiologist at the University of Copenhagen. “Not a lot.”

Dr Mette Kalager, a researcher at Telemark Hospital in Norway and Harvard School of Public Health, was convinced. The study showed that “while there may be a symbolic effect,” she wrote in an email, “the effect of wearing a mask does not significantly reduce the risk” for wearers.

Critics were quick to note the study’s limitations. Among them: The incidence of infections in Denmark was lower than it is today in many places, meaning that the effectiveness of masks for wearers may have been more difficult to detect. Participants reported their own test results; mask use has not been independently verified and users may not have worn them correctly.

“There is no doubt that masks work like source control,” preventing people from infecting others, said Dr Thomas Frieden, chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives, an advocacy group, and former director of the CDC, who wrote an op-ed describing weaknesses in the research.

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Adam Schiff, chief antagonist of Trump, questions life after Trump

That could change if Mr Newsom names a short-term placeholder instead or if Senior State Senator Dianne Feinstein, 87, retires. Mr Schiff has positioned himself to embark on a statewide race in the country’s most populous state, with his big campaign war chest and highly recognizable name.

As extremes in his party struggle to determine what went wrong with voter turnout programs, digital data mining and the party’s ideological orientation, Mr. Schiff’s take on the outcome of the elections is pretty straightforward. The 2020 competition, he argued, was a referendum on Mr. Trump, hosted by a historically polarized country. Mr Biden won the referendum, but Democrats lost House seats they won in 2018, where Mr Trump remained popular.

In the wake of the election, he argued that Democrats should follow Mr Biden’s lead and redouble their focus on the economy, prioritizing job creation, reducing healthcare costs for health and by offering coherent responses to the forces of globalization and automation that have contributed to the explosion of income inequalities and left millions of unemployed or underemployed.

“We are the party of working families, but not all working families recognize it,” he said. “This is the first challenge.”

The second, he said, concerned the dangerous divergence in U.S. information flows, which Schiff said reinforced divisions that prevent the kind of consensus needed to resolve the country’s most pressing problems.

Mr. Schiff, a member of the moderate New Democrats despite his fiery leadership in Trump’s resistance, praised both extremes of the Democratic caucus. He called Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed progressive whose democratic socialist views have been militarized by the right, “enormously talented”, suggesting that Democrats have benefited from her work in motivating young voters. He said more moderate members like Reps Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia had “unlocked the key to victory in really tough parts of the country.”

“We are a big enough party not only to welcome them all, but also to take advantage of their talents and experience,” he said.

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Louisiana teenager’s disappearance and death raise questions over police response

Days after his family reported his disappearance, 15-year-old Quawan Charles was found dead in a sugar cane field, more than 20 miles from his home in Baldwin, Louisiana, with his face severely disfigured.

A preliminary autopsy revealed that his death was likely caused by drowning. But the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and the slowness of local police to act prompted the boy’s family to carry out an independent autopsy and question whether his death could have been avoided.

“It looks like something hateful happened to Bobby,” Ron Hall, a family lawyer, said in an interview, using the nickname Quawan. “Whether it is an intentional act or grossly negligent indifference to human life, it is always horrible.”

On October 30, Quawan’s mother had planned to pick him up from his father’s house for a haircut at 3 p.m., but he did not answer his phone, according to Mr Hall. Since he hadn’t responded by 7 p.m., his parents started to worry. His father forced his bedroom door locked, realized he was missing and called the Baldwin Police Department, Mr Hall said.

Police assured Quawan’s parents he was likely at a football game or with friends, Hall said. No orange alert has been issued.

Frustrated, the family took matters into their own hands and learned that Quawan had been picked up by Janet Irvin and her son, without his parents’ permission, Mr Hall said. He was taken to their home in the nearby parish of Iberia, he said.

It is not known when, why or how Quawan left Irvin’s house, Mr Hall said. Ms Irvin did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday and the Baldwin Police Department, which is investigating Quawan’s disappearance, did not respond to questions.

Quawan’s parents contacted authorities in the nearby parish of Iberia on November 3 to involve them in the search.

Hours after being informed that Quawan could be under their jurisdiction, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Deputies discovered the body of a teenager around 6 p.m. in a muddy field near Loreauville, a small rural community not far from home of the Irvins, after pinging Quawan. cell phone, Hall said.

After finding the body, the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office opened a homicide investigation that included questioning those allegedly with Quawan prior to his disappearance and searching their home, the office said in a report. press release Saturday. A spokeswoman declined to respond if this included Ms Irvin and her son.

“We have interviewed these same people and are currently monitoring their whereabouts,” the statement said. Video evidence recorded near the area where his body was found indicates that Quawan was alone for some time before and after being seen on the recording, according to the statement.

A preliminary autopsy report released by the Iberia Parish coroner on Friday said Quawan’s cause of death was drowning, citing muddy water found in his airways and hyper-swollen lungs. In the report, the coroner attributed the scratches and wounds on Quawan’s face to “aquatic animal activity” and said the boy had not suffered any injuries prior to his death.

A toxicology report has not yet been published.

There are several bodies of water near the cane field where Quawan was found, Mr Hall said, but none are larger than two feet.

“If in fact he died of drowning – and we say that as an if – we question how exactly that would have happened,” Mr Hall said. “Can someone who is 5 feet 6 inches tall drown in two feet of water?” No, unless there is some other cause associated with it. “

Credit…via Associated Press

The Baldwin Police Department, which also did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday, said in a statement Tuesday that it would take charge of the investigation into his disappearance. Quawan’s death is said to be investigated – as a homicide – by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. The police department added that “proper protocol was used to report the minor as missing.”

The family ordered an independent autopsy and sent an investigator to capture drone footage of the fields where Quawan was found, Mr Hall said.

Quawan was a quiet teenager who had seven siblings, according to Mr Hall. He had a low-key sense of humor that manifested itself when getting to know someone and had recently adopted a dog he named My Baby, according to the Washington Post.

“Like a lot of teenagers, he was just at that age where you’re trying to find your place in this world,” said Andre Arceneaux, a local activist who founded Stand Black, an advocacy group. “He was just a good kid and something happened to him that we don’t know the ins and outs of yet.

When his family saw photos of Quawan taken at the coroner’s office the night he was found – a quarter of his mutilated face was gone, revealing half of his teeth in a gruesome, forced smile – they compared his appearance to that of Emmett Till, a 14- year-old black boy who was killed in 1955, remembers Mr. Arceneaux, who was with them at the time.

Quawan’s mother decided to post one of the photos, Arceneaux said.

“She kind of had the courage to say, ‘The world needs to see my child; the world needs to see what it looks like, ”said Mr. Arceneaux. “Sometimes it takes something like that for people to see the seriousness of what happened.”

On a GoFundMe page for Quawan’s family, Mr. Till and Mr. Charles are shown side by side, their faces captioned “1955” and “2020”. As of Saturday afternoon, more than $ 235,000 had been raised for autopsy and funeral costs.

Quawan’s death was not deemed to be racially motivated by authorities or his family, Mr Hall said.

Mr Arceneaux said the inability of the police to immediately search for Quawan during the football game or to issue an Amber alert was a sign of a larger problem.

“It doesn’t matter if it was racially motivated or not, whatever the situation surrounding her death, the fact that the police departments didn’t act the way they would if Quawan was a 15 year old white girl named Katie, that’s the problem, ”Arceneaux said.

The United States Civil Liberties Union supported the call for an independent and transparent investigation, according to a statement from Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the Louisiana ACLU.

“The disrespect and lack of transparency shown by local officials in response to Bobby’s tragic and suspicious death is unacceptable,” Odoms Hebert said in a statement. “We join the family in demanding a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bobby’s death.”

Quawan’s family staged protests outside the Baldwin Police Department and the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office to demand justice and get answers. They believe that if action had been taken earlier, Quawan could be alive today, Hall said.

“He’s still a child,” he said. “If there is a 1% chance of preventing what happened to Bobby – anything – if you put all the resources into finding this child, then you take that chance.”

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Travel and coronavirus tests: your questions answered

Many places offer coronavirus testing, including some hospitals, emergency care clinics, pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Some churches and fire stations also offer testing. Airlines like Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, and American Airlines offer testing at the airport or at nearby drive-thru sites for passengers heading to certain destinations. Some airports have clinics at the terminals. Companies, including CareCube and Pixel by LabCorp, will mail you a test and return a sample to you; they promise to send you your results within 12 to 34 hours and 36 hours, respectively. JetBlue has a partnership with Vault Health for testing by mail.

It’s a good idea to start by contacting your doctor’s office to see what all of the options are available for testing and how long it will take to get results. If you don’t have a primary care provider, a good place to start is with city and state health department websites, which outline the different options and locations for testing.

You should take a coronavirus test before you travel. Figuring out the exact time can be difficult, but you can’t wait too long to take the test because you might not get the results in time to go on a trip.

For these reasons, many destinations, including France, Aruba, Bonaire, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii, require the test to be taken within 72 hours of departure. Abu Dhabi and Croatia require test results to be within 48 hours of departure. Some airlines, like Egypt Air, allow travelers to use the results of a test taken up to 96 hours before travel, depending on their destination and destination.

You can enter a test site, but it’s a good idea to make an appointment and not wait until the last minute to take the test.

It depends.

If you are taking a test because you are preparing to go on a trip, you should look for test providers who will provide you with the results within 36 hours, so that you have your results when you leave for your trip. Keep in mind that different tests will have different wait times for results. Rapid tests typically return results within an hour, and PCR test results tend to take a few days because samples need to be sent to a lab.

There is always a chance that your results won’t arrive on time, so try to be flexible in your travel plans.

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Questions and answers on bidens and a deal in China

In the final days of the campaign, President Trump and his allies are engaged in a last-ditch effort to raise questions about the ethics of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. by trying to tie Mr. Biden to relations. international trade of Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, and one of his brothers, James.

Their efforts drew on a number of sources, including emails, photographs of encrypted text messages and other material provided by Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter and James Biden. Many of these documents relate to a joint venture project in 2017, after Mr Biden left, with a Chinese partner. The deal ultimately fell apart.

Here are some questions and answers about the situation.

There is no evidence in the records that Mr. Biden was involved in or profited from the joint venture.

Messages, emails and other encrypted documents reviewed by the New York Times do not show Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing the former vice president’s role in the project.

Mr. Biden’s tax returns, which he released, show no income from such a business. There is nothing illegal about doing business in China or with Chinese partners; Mr. Trump has long pursued deals in China, partnered with a government-controlled company, and maintained a corporate bank account there.

The Biden campaign has dismissed any claims that the former vice president had any role in the deal negotiations or an interest in it.

Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, said the former vice president never had any interest in the project. “Joe Biden never even considered getting involved in business with his family, or any overseas business,” he said.

In Thursday’s second presidential debate, Mr Biden said: “I have never taken a dime from a foreign source in my life.”

The messages produced by Mr. Bobulinski appear to reflect a meeting between him, the former vice president and James Biden in May 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. The messages do not specify what was discussed.

Mr Bates did not respond to questions about Mr Bobulinski’s claim that he had met the former vice president. But Mr Bates said the Chinese deal was never discussed by Mr Biden with members of his family. “He never had any conversation on these matters,” Mr. Bates said.

An email sent on May 13, 2017 by another member of the company explains how the various partners in the deal could theoretically split the equity and refers to the question of whether “the big guy” could get 10% . The document does not specify who this person is, saying only “10 detained by H for the big one?”

Mr. Bobulinski said it was clearly the former vice-president.

Mr Bates said that Mr Biden “has never held shares in such trade deals and that no member of his family or anyone else has ever held shares for him.”

Documents produced by Mr Bobulinski show that in 2017, Hunter Biden and James Biden were involved in negotiations for a joint venture with a Chinese energy and finance company called CEFC China Energy.

Bobulinski’s archives include emails, contracts, business plan documents, and photographs of encrypted messages between the US partners. The Times could not independently authenticate all of the tapes, but the tapes referred to in this article are consistent with previous interviews and reports from The Times. The Biden campaign did not dispute that Hunter and James Biden were involved in negotiating the deal with the Chinese company.

Records make it clear that Hunter Biden viewed the last name as a valuable asset, angrily citing the “mark of his family” as the reason it was valuable to the proposed business.

The documents also show that the countries Hunter Biden, James Biden and their associates planned to target for deals overlapped with countries in which Joe Biden had previously been involved as a vice president. A 42-page plan includes a section specifically highlighting former Vice President Biden’s role in facilitating increased trade with Colombia, which is one of the targets of the joint venture, along with Luxembourg, Oman and Romania.

Hunter Biden’s role in the deal, according to one of the documents, “has been essential in building the relationship, conveying goodwill around the president,” referring to Ye Jianming, the president of CEFC.

The Times reported in 2018 that Ye met privately with Hunter Biden at a Miami hotel in May 2017, where the Chinese executive proposed a partnership to invest in U.S. infrastructure and energy deals. The planning for the Miami meeting appears to be reflected in some of the messages posted by Mr. Bobulinski.

The documents indicate that CEFC China originally announced it would send $ 10 million in early 2017 to the joint venture.

CEFC focused on trading oil futures and securing rights to overseas oil fields in conflict-torn regions like Chad, South Sudan and Iraq. He was looking to expand his global businesses, both as an energy company and as a project funder, and turned to Hunter and James Biden and their associates, including Mr. Bobulinski, for help. to find new business.

An early draft of the business plan stated that Hunter and James Biden and their American associates “had forged alliances with the highest levels of government, banks and corporations.”

As of August 2017, there were signs of problems with the deal. Mr Bobulinski wrote to CEFC to point out that the promised $ 10 million payment had not been deposited into the bank account of the US partners.

There is conflicting information that this money was never delivered by the Chinese partner. An election year probe into allegations of corruption against the Bidens by two Senate committees, which found no evidence of influence or wrongdoing on the part of the former vice president, suggested that the CEFC money could have passed, prompting Mr Bobulinski to ask James Biden. if that was the case in a recent post.