1/ Health experts say the fall surge is here with COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing by 5% or more in 37 states. The U.S. is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, 10 states reported their highest single-day case counts on Friday, and only two states – Hawaii and Vermont – are showing downward trends by at least 10% compared to the previous week. (CNN / CNBC / CNN)

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline for the Trump administration to reach a coronavirus stimulus deal before the Nov. 3 election. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, meanwhile, said it’s “too early to tell” whether enough Republicans in the Senate would support the $1.8 trillion package that Trump has backed. (CNBC / Bloomberg / NBC News)

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

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~40,270,000; deaths: ~1,117,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~8,202,000; deaths: ~221,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

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

2/ Trump attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci as a “disaster,” called his other public health officials “idiots,” and claimed that “people are tired of coronavirus.” In a call with campaign staff, Trump suggested that “People are tired of hearing Fauci and these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong.” Trump described Fauci as a “disaster,” adding that “every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb. But there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him.” Trump’s comments came a day after Fauci said is was “absolutely not” surprised that Trump contracted COVID-19 after seeing him on TV in a “completely precarious situation” with “almost nobody wearing a mask.” More than 8,121,000 coronavirus cases and 219,000 fatalities have been reported in the U.S. since February. (Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Axios / The Guardian / CNBC / Washington Post / Bloomberg / ABC News / CNN / CBS News)

  • More than 1,000 current and former CDC officers criticized the “absence of national leadership on COVID-19,” saying the nation’s response to the pandemic has been “unprecedented and dangerous.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • Twitter removed a tweet from Dr. Scott Atlas – one of Trump’s top COVID-19 advisers – for falsely claiming that masks don’t help prevent the spread of coronavirus. (NBC News)

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused Trump of inciting “domestic terrorism” against public officials working to contain the coronavirus a day after Trump encouraged rally-goers who were chanting “lock her up.” Earlier this month, 13 men were arrested and charged in an alleged attempt to kidnap Whitmer. Trump senior campaign adviser Lara Trump defended Trump’s rhetoric, claiming that he was “having fun at a Trump rally.” Meanwhile, a 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple over frustrations with the city’s mask ordinance. (NBC News / Axios / Wichita Eagle)

3/ The Health and Human Services department’s general counsel warned that Trump’s plan to give seniors $200 discount cards to buy prescription drugs could violate election law. Robert Charrow said in a memo that the timing and design of the $7.9 billion plan could invite legal challenges over inappropriately using federal funds so close to the election. Trump administration officials have instructed Charrow and his office to seek approval from the Department of Justice before moving forward with the drug-discount plan. (Politico)

  • The Government Accountability Office will investigate whether the Trump administration interfered with the coronavirus response at the CDC and FDA. The GAO will “review whether the CDC and FDA’s scientific integrity and communications policies have been violated and whether those policies are being implemented as intended to assure scientific integrity.” (Politico)

4/ A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s plan to strip food stamps from nearly 700,000 jobless Americans, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” The Agriculture Department had been “icily silent” about how many Americans would have been denied Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits had the changes been in effect during the pandemic, Chief Judge Beryl Howell said. (CNN / Axios)

5/ Trump’s campaign accused the Commission on Presidential Debates of “pro-Biden antics” and demanded changes to the format of Thursday’s debate. Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien claimed that debate organizers had “promised” that the debate would be about foreign policy rather than “fighting COVID-19,” “American families,” “race in America,” climate change, national security and leadership. While in some election years, the third presidential debate has focused on foreign policy, debate organizers, however, did not announce such a plan in 2020, saying that the third debate would mirror the format of the first: six subjects selected by the moderator. Stepien said the commission had “turned the entire debate season into a fiasco.” (New York Times)

6/ The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Trump administration’s use $2.5 billion in Pentagon money to build a southern border wall. A federal appeals court ruled in June that the administration improperly diverted the money to build more than 100 miles of border wall, saying only Congress could approve the transfer. (NBC News)

7/ The Supreme Court will take up a challenge to Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program, which has forced at least 60,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their requests were heard. In February, an appeals court blocked the program, saying it was at odds with both federal law and international treaties and was causing “extreme and irreversible harm.” (New York Times / Washington Post)

8/ A federal grand jury charged six Russian military intelligence officers in connection with major hacks worldwide, including the French election, the Winter Olympics, and U.S. hospitals and businesses. Known as the GRU, the hacking unit has previously been linked to the hacking and interference operations during the 2016 election. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Politico / Associated Press)

9/ The State Department has about 450 pages of records showing government spending at Trump’s properties, but it will release only two of those pages before the November election. The State Department pays for hotel rooms and other expenses when foreign leaders visit Trump properties, as well as when federal employees follow Trump and his family to Trump’s overseas clubs. (Washington Post)

poll/ Biden’s leads Trump by 11 percentage points among likely voters. (Yahoo News)