Covid-19 🦠 Newsbites
Washington Post: Birx disputes Trump in calling for 'much more aggressive action' to combat pandemic
Dr. Deborah Birx sounded an alarming note about the state of the coronavirus in an internal White House report, saying the US is entering its "most deadly phase" yet, one that requires "much more aggressive action," according to The Washington Post.

The dire warning from Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, is at odds with public comments made by President Donald Trump in the closing days of the presidential election, who is falsely claiming the US is "turning the corner" on the pandemic while pressuring Democratic governors to "open" their states despite surging cases nationwide.

"We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic ... leading to increasing mortality," Birx wrote in an internal report Monday, obtained by the Post. "This is not about lockdowns -- It hasn't been about lockdowns since March or April. It's about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented."

Trump’s Closing Argument on Virus Clashes With Science, and Voters’ Lives
The president has continued to declare before large and largely maskless crowds that the virus is vanishing, even as case counts soar, fatalities climb, the stock market dips and a fresh outbreak grips the staff of Vice President Mike Pence. Hopping from one state to the next, he has made a personal mantra out of declaring that the country is “rounding the corner.”

Mr. Trump has attacked Democratic governors and other local officials for keeping public-health restrictions in place, denouncing them as needless restraints on the economy. And venting self-pity, the president has been describing the pandemic as a political hindrance inflicted on him by a familiar adversary.

... Like much else about Mr. Trump’s mode of leadership, his view of the pandemic has found an enthusiastic audience from a minority of the country. A national poll published recently by The Times found that nearly two in five voters agreed with Mr. Trump that the worst of the crisis was over. The president’s push to fully reopen the economy is not without appeal, at least to the voters who already support him, and they have remained loyal through various personal and political scandals, policy breakdowns and an impeachment trial.

North Dakota candidate, who died of Covid-19 last month, wins seat in state legislature.
A North Dakota man who died from the coronavirus last month won a seat in the state legislature, according to results.

David Andahl, a 55-year-old cattle rancher, died last month, after being hospitalized with the coronavirus, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Mr. Andahl’s mother, Pat Andahl, told the newspaper that her son, a Republican who in June defeated a longtime incumbent in the primary vote, had been looking forward to joining the state legislature.

“He had a lot of feelings for his county and his country and wanting to make things better, and his heart was in farming,” Ms. Andahl told the Tribune. “He wanted things better for farmers and the coal industry.”

Mr. Andahl, who won 36 percent of the vote, and Dave Nehring, who won 41 percent of votes, were elected to represent North Dakota’s eighth state house district.

Because mail-in voting began in the state on Sept. 18, Mr. Andahl’s name could not be removed from the ballot after his death, North Dakota’s secretary of state, Alvin Jaeger, said.