In an overnight tweet, President Trump announced both he and the First Lady have tested positive for the coronavirus. Hallie Jackson reports from the White House. "It appears as though he is, at this point, asymptomatic. But there are a lot of questions as we move forward as to other people who may be at risk," Jackson reports. President Trump is considered to be in a high risk group due to his age and weight.
Hours after President Trump announced he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus, reaction came from Pennsylvania's Republican senator. In a brief tweet, Senator Pat Toomey said “Sending along best wishes to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on a full and speedy recovery.” Democrat Sen. Bob Casey has not issued a public comment yet.
"I applaud the 3rd Circuit's decision and hope they come up with the right decision on the appeal," said Gov. Tom Wolf after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on a judge's ruling that threw out Wolf's limitations on crowd size at high school sporting events. While the ruling reinstates Wolf's mandate, the governor seemed to indicate he'd be open to reevaluating the rules that limit crowds at outdoor sporting events to 250 and 25 for indoor sporting events. The governor says, "We'll continue to look to make sure the guidelines we have in place are reasonable."
The PIAA is telling its member schools to talk to their solicitors after a stay was granted to Gov. Tom Wolf and his restrictions on crowd sizes at sporting events, including high school football games.
Pennsylvania's Department of Health reported 1156 new coronavirus cases Thursday. That brings the overall number of cases in Pennsylvania to 160,123 since the pandemic began. 18 more coronavirus-related deaths were also announced Thursday. That moves the state's death toll to 8160.
Pennsylvania St. Rep. Paul Schemel is among the latest to test positive for COVID-19. The Franklin County Republican said Thursday he was experiencing mild symptoms Wednesday and was tested. Schemel says he was last in the Capitol Tuesday, but wasn't symptomatic at that time. Each member of the state House will now be tested.
There's a new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll out today. It shows Democrat Joe Biden leading President Trump by seven points in the race for the White House. More than a quarter of surveyed voters said the economy is the issue most influencing their preference, followed by the coronavirus pandemic, health care and law and order. In the local Congressional race, Democrat incumbent Susan Wild holds a 13 point edge over Republican challenger Lisa Scheller. 414 likely voters within the 7th Congressional District were polled between September 21st and September 24th.
The Lehigh County Voter Registration Office is allowing voters to pick up over-the-counter ballots starting today. This is for voters who have not applied for mail-in ballots in time. People who walk in can fill out an application, have it processed and their vote will be counted in the upcoming election. More than 65,000 Lehigh County voters have applied for mail-in ballots and they will begin to bee mailed out next Tuesday.
The head of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania is calling on lawmakers and the Wolf administration to work together to allow them the right to start preparing mail-in ballots before election day. "It'd be very helpful if the law could be changed to allow counties some additional days ahead of election day just to begin preparation work. Not to count the ballots, not to provide results before election day, just to do the preparation work so that on election day we can have them ready to go," says Lisa Schaefer. She says, as things stand now, an estimated 3,000,000 postal ballots will not be allowed to be opened until the morning of November 3rd.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is formally starting his bid for re-election. The 63-year-old Democrat announced he'll file paperwork with the state's Election Law Enforcement Commission. The move allows him to start raising money for re-election in the 2021 race.
New Jersey voters will finally decide on the November ballot whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Making it legal could bring in millions of dollars of badly needed revenue to New Jersey, especially since the state has taken a major financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy has shown support for legalizing recreational marijuana. Voters will also decide whether to allow 21-year-olds to buy marijuana.
New Jersey lawmakers are pressuring the president to declare a major disaster in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias. The declaration would make counties hardest hit by the storm eligible for more federal resources in an effort to recover from the damage. The request covers 11 counties. Lawmakers wrote the declaration, explaining that statewide damage strained state and local resources, since it was more than double the budget set aside for 2020.