1/ Another 898,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits last week. After declining from a peak of about 7 million in March, claims jumped to the highest since August. The unemployment rate stands at 7.9% – more than double its pre-pandemic level. (CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

2/ Mitch McConnell won’t bring the White House’s proposed $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus package to the Senate floor. Trump, meanwhile, called for even more stimulus spending, saying “I would go higher” while complaining that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “hasn’t come home with the bacon.” House Democrats, however, are seeking $2.2 trillion, calling the White House’s latest proposal insufficient. (Axios / Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNBC / New York Times)

  • [Research Studies] As many as eight million people may have slipped into poverty since May. (New York Times)

  • The Transportation Department will use a presidential memo calling for punishing “anarchist jurisdictions” when deciding which cities should get pandemic safety grants. The Trump administration has deemed Seattle, Portland, and New York City to be “permitting anarchy” for their handling of protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, racial injustice, and Trump administration policies. (Washington Post)

3/ Trump’s aides privately warned Republican party donors in February about the potential impact of the coronavirus at a time when Trump was publicly insisting that the virus was “very much under control” in the United States. On Feb. 24, senior members of Trump’s economic team briefed board members of the Hoover Institution about the outbreaking, saying they weren’t able to estimate the consequences of the virus on the American economy. The next day, Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, told board members that the coronavirus virus was “contained in the U.S., to date, but now we just don’t know.” Hours earlier, Kudlow told CNBC that the virus was contained and “it’s pretty close to airtight.” Investors who were briefed on the Hoover meetings said that parts of the readout informed their trades. (New York Times)

  • The number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. are surging again with several Midwestern states reporting elevated levels of infections in recent days. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

  • The White House has taken a more hands-on role in shaping recommendations from the CDC than previously reported. “White House advisers have made line-by-line edits to official health guidance, altering language written by CDC scientists on church choirs, social distancing in bars and restaurants as well as internal summaries of public-health reports, according to interviews with current and former agency and administration officials and their emails.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~38,757,000; deaths: ~1,096,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~7,971,000; deaths: ~218,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • 💻 COVID-19 Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / CNBC / ABC News

4/ The U.S. Postal Service agreed to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide. The suit, filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and USPS, was brought by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and argued that changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in the state, resulting in delayed delivery of prescriptions, payments, job applications, and impeded the ability of residents to vote by mail. The postal service agreed to reverse all changes. (ABC News / NPR)

5/ The Senate Judiciary Committee will formally vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The full Senate will begin debate on Oct. 23. Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, told reporters: “We have the votes.” Republicans can confirm Barrett with a simple majority because the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees was eliminated, and at least 51 GOP senators have already signaled their support for Barrett. On the fourth day of Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Democrats tried to indefinitely delay proceedings, arguing that millions of Americans have already voted for the next president and that there’s never been a Supreme Court justice nominated and confirmed this close to an election. The Senate has taken half the average time to consider Barrett’s nomination. (Politico / CNN / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

6/ Trump and Joe Biden will face off tonight in dueling town halls on different networks at the same time. Tonight was supposed to be the day of the second presidential debate, but Trump refused to participate when the Commission for Presidential Debates said it would be hosted virtually because of his COVID-19 diagnosis. After the Trump backed out of the second debate, the commission canceled the debate altogether. ABC, meanwhile, scheduled a town hall with Biden shortly after. On Wednesday, NBC announced that agreed to air a town hall with Trump at the same time that Biden will appear on ABC. Both town halls will start at 8 p.m. ET. Biden’s will last for an hour and a half, while Trump’s will last for an hour. [Editor’s note: What a mess.] (ABC News / NBC News / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

  • [Discussion] 🍿 Biden x Trump Dueling Town Halls open thread

  • At least three people connected to Biden’s presidential campaign have tested positive for the coronavirus. Sen. Kamala Harris’ communications director, Liz Allen, and a member of the flight crew for a recent campaign trip tested positive. The campaign announced a third case as part of its contact tracing efforts from the first two cases. Harris was not in what the CDC defines as close contact with either person. (CNN / ABC News / NBC News)

poll/ 62% of voters say the country is on the wrong track, compared to 29% who say it’s headed in the right direction. (NBC News)

poll/ Biden leads Trump 54% to 43% among likely voters – the highest level of support Biden has achieved since the poll began testing the head-to-head matchup in February. (NPR)