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Trump’s campaign promises – has he delivered on them?

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Promo image showing Donald Trump
Promo image showing Donald Trump

It’s been four years since Donald Trump made a string of promises during his long 2016 campaign to be the 45th president of the United States. Four years later, his supporters often cite “promises made, promises kept” as a reason why they’re backing him again.

Many of them made headlines – from banning all Muslims entering the US, to building a border wall paid for by Mexico.

But others went a little under the radar, like his pledge to eliminate the national debt.

So how has he done in keeping his promises?

Tax cuts

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before election: Trump promised to lower the corporate tax rate and bring in huge tax cuts for working Americans.

After: The Republican tax plan passed in December 2017, and it largely ticks the box for the president although its merits are hotly disputed. He has had to compromise on his pledge to bring corporation tax down from 35% to 15% (it will be 21% instead).

And the tax cuts for individuals will expire, although Republicans say future governments will simply renew them. But wealthy Americans are expected to benefit more than poorer ones.

Not everyone saw their taxes lowered. For some higher earners in urbanised, mostly Democratic states, taxes went up due to a cap on state and local property and income tax deductions.

Paris climate deal

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before: As a candidate, Mr Trump derided climate change as a hoax concocted by China, and the regulations of Paris as stifling to American growth.

After: After three months of hemming and hawing behind the closed doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the president came down decisively on the side near the exits. Quitting the Paris deal, signed by nearly 200 countries, is unequivocally a promise kept. The exit officially takes effect 4 November, the day after the US election.

Reshaping the judiciary

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before: “I am looking for judges and have actually picked 20 of them. They’ll respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for and what it represents.”

After: He vowed to appoint a conservative justice and he has appointed two – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Mr Gorsuch’s appointment required a procedural change to Senate rules, but it was Mr Kavanaugh’s appointment that was particularly controversial.

Mr Kavanaugh faced sexual assault allegations – which he denied – and was eventually voted through by 50-48 – the tightest nomination vote since 1881.

What’s more, his third nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, is on course to be confirmed. If approved by the Republican-controlled Senate, she could ensure a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for decades to come.

In addition to making his mark on the top court, Mr Trump has appointed nearly 200 conservative judges to lower federal courts.

Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court
If approved, Amy Coney Barrett would be the third justice President Trump has successfully nominated for the top court

Repeal and replace Obamacare

Banner graphic saying "No progress"
Banner graphic saying “No progress”

Before: One of Mr Trump’s trademark rally pledges was to repeal and replace Obamacare – his predecessor’s attempt to extend healthcare to the estimated 15% of the country who are not covered.

It is widely hated by Republicans, who say the law imposes too many costs on business, with many describing it as a “job killer” and decrying the reforms – officially the Affordable Care Act – as an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of private businesses and individuals.

After: Republicans have been unable to pass a repeal or reform bill.

That said, the Trump administration has managed to dismantle parts of the law – enrolment periods have been shortened, some subsidies have been axed, and the fine for people who did not purchase health insurance has been eliminated as part of the 2017 tax plan.

And in December 2018, a federal judge in Texas ruled that repealing this penalty, an “essential” part of the law, meant the entirety of Obamacare is therefore unconstitutional.

The law, however, remains in place as an appeal heads to the US Supreme Court, with a ruling expected sometime in 2021.

A border wall paid for by Mexico

Banner graphic saying "No progress"
Banner graphic saying “No progress”

Before: His vow to build a wall along the US-Mexican border was one of the most controversial of Mr Trump’s campaign promises. Mr Trump also insisted that Mexico would pay for it.

After: Mexico poured scorn on the claim that it would pay for such a barrier, and even Mr Trump appears to have dropped that idea.

Democrats are vociferously opposed to a wall, whereas some Republicans have baulked at a bill that could reach $21.5bn (£17bn), according to a Department of Homeland Security internal report.

In December 2018 the US government went into shutdown after Democrats resisted Mr Trump’s demands for $5bn to fund the wall. He has since redirected defence and some other funds to build or replace sections of the wall, a decision that has faced legal challenges.

As of late May, 194 miles of wall system had been built, mostly to shore up dilapidated or outdated designs of the barrier already in place – just three miles construction was part of an entirely new system.

Bombing IS

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before: During a speech in Iowa in November 2015, Mr Trump warned that he would, using an expletive, bomb the so-called Islamic State group into obliteration.

After: The president dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal on an IS-stronghold in Afghanistan. He also takes credit for driving IS out of parts of Iraq and Syria, saying the group has been “largely defeated”, although that process was under way under Obama. Last year, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself during a raid by US commandos.

Moving Israel embassy

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before: Mr Trump pledged during his campaign to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a divided city which both Israelis and Palestinians claim.

After: In 2017, he said he formally recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and approved moving the US embassy. It opened in May 2018 to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary. The construction of a permanent US embassy building in Jerusalem was approved in 2019.

Military spending

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before: “I’m going to build a military that’s going to be much stronger than it is right now. It’s going to be so strong, nobody’s going to mess with us,” Donald Trump said on the campaign trail in October 2015.

He promised to reverse defence cuts brought in by President Barack Obama in 2013. “We want to deter, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military dominance,” he said.

After: Defence spending has indeed risen steadily throughout the Trump presidency – although overall levels remain below the first years of the Obama administration.

Graph showing annual military spending
Graph showing annual military spending

Military spending increased dramatically from 2002 as the US entered protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It peaked in 2010 as a percentage of GDP – the value of all goods and services – after which the US began stepping back from its engagement in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Cutting regulations

Banner graphic saying "Delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Delivered”

Before: Just a month before his election win in November 2016, Mr Trump said he could cut as many as 70% of US federal regulations if elected.

“It’s just stopping businesses from growing,” he told an audience in New Hampshire.

The promise drew him support from large and small businesses, who helped him to victory that year.

After: The president has slashed through regulations on everything from labour to the environment.

Just days after taking office he signed the Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which mandated that when government departments asked for a federal regulation, they had to specify two others they would drop.

Throughout his term he has continued to slash back red tape. In January 2020 he scrapped protections for US wetlands and streams, and in July he announced changes to the National Environmental Protection Act in a bid to speed up infrastructure projects.

“We are reclaiming America’s proud heritage as a nation that gets things done,” he said.

Bringing troops home

Banner graphic saying "Partially delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Partially delivered”

Before: Mr Trump has long called for the US to leave the Middle East. On the 2016 campaign trail, he said the region was a “total and complete mess” and wished the government had spent the trillions of dollars in the US instead.

His talk of an end to US military deployments overseas predates his presidential run. In 2013, he tweeted: “Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.” That same year, he said the US should “stay the hell out” of the Syrian war.

After: In September 2017, the Trump administration announced the deployment of 3,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Mr Trump said his approach would be based on conditions on the ground. In Syria, the US had led a coalition against IS along with Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, with around 2,000 troops on the ground.

By December 2018, Mr Trump ordered the withdrawal of all US troops from Syria, though about half the troops, approximately 500, still remain.

Mr Trump recently said he has plans to further cut troops in Afghanistan – after reducing them to 8,600 from 13,000 over the spring and summer – before the 3 November election. In February, US and Nato allies agreed to withdraw all troops from the country within 14 months if Taliban militants uphold a new peace agreement.

The president’s efforts to pull down troops has at times been met with criticism from his own officials. Following Mr Trump’s announcement of a Syria withdrawal in part prompted the resignation of US Defence Secretary James Mattis.

Trade deals

Banner graphic saying "Partially delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Partially delivered”

Before: Mr Trump called Nafta “a disaster” and warned that the TPP “is going to be worse, so we will stop it”. He also pledged to correct the trade deficit with China.

After: Mr Trump followed through in his first few days on his pledge to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He later said he would consider re-joining the TPP if he got a better deal.

On 30 November, after protracted negotiations, the US, Canada and Mexico signed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which was designed to replace Nafta and recently came into force. However, the US has reimposed aluminium tariffs on Canada, and Ottawa reciprocated with retaliatory tariffs.

The US and South Korea also signed a revised trade pact in September 2018.

The US and China, meanwhile, became embroiled in an escalating trade battle – with both sides imposing tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

Despite ongoing tensions, in August the US and China held talks over their so-called “phase-one” trade deal – signed early this year – that is aimed at easing the trade war.

Ban on Muslims

Banner graphic saying "Partially delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Partially delivered”

Before: Mr Trump initially promised to ban all Muslims entering the US – a “total and complete” shutdown should remain until the US authorities “can figure out what’s going on”.

But he switched to “extreme vetting” after he became the party’s presidential candidate.

After: As president, he introduced two travel bans which became ensnarled in the courts – but the third had more luck. The US Supreme Court ruled President Trump’s ban on six mainly Muslim countries can go into full effect, pending legal challenges.

The current ban restricts travellers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.

And in January, the US has announced it was expanding its curbs on immigration to include six more countries. Citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar will now be blocked from obtaining certain types of visas.

Cuba thaw no more

Banner graphic saying "Partially delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Partially delivered”

Before: Mr Trump said in September 2016 that he would reverse the deal President Barack Obama had struck to reopen diplomatic relations and improve trade.

After: As president, he told an audience in Miami that he was “cancelling the Obama administration’s one-sided deal.”

In 2017, Mr Trump reimposed some trade and travel restrictions lifted by his predecessor. He kept the embassy open in Havana, although without naming an ambassador to the country.

Last year, the administration announced a ban on travel to Cuba for American group tours as well as cruise ships journeying to the island

Until then, US tourism to Cuba was not permitted, but certain forms of organised group travel, known as “people-to-people” travel, had been allowed.

This month the US administration announced further restrictions, saying it would suspend all private charter flights between the United States and Cuba, to increase economic pressure on Havana. The suspension comes into force on 13 October.

China as currency manipulator

Banner graphic saying "Partially delivered"
Banner graphic saying “Partially delivered”

Before: Mr Trump repeatedly pledged to label Beijing a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, during an election campaign when he also accused the Asian powerhouse of “raping” the US. China has been accused of suppressing the yuan to make its exports more competitive with US goods.

After: In August 2019, the administration officially named China as a “currency manipulator”. The US Treasury department defines currency manipulation as when countries deliberately influence the exchange rate between their currency and the US dollar to gain “unfair competitive advantage in international trade”.

But in January, the US reversed its decision when China had agreed to refrain from devaluing its currency to make its own goods cheaper for foreign buyers.

National debt

Banner graphic saying "No progress"
Banner graphic saying “No progress”

Before: “I know the Wall Street people probably better than anybody knows them,” Donald Trump told the Washington Post in 2016, and promised to clear the country’s then-$19tn national debt “over a period of eight years”.

After: Halfway through that eight-year promise, the US national debt has ballooned by more than a third, hitting $27tn in October 2020. Mr Trump increased the national debt ceiling in 2017, before suspending it until after the 2020 election in July 2019.

It is predicted the debt will rise even further once the full economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic becomes apparent.

Deporting all illegal immigrants

Banner graphic saying "No progress"
Banner graphic saying “No progress”

Before: Mr Trump repeatedly told his supporters that every single undocumented immigrant – of which there are estimated to be more than 11.3 million – “have to go”.

After: As polling day approached, his stance began to soften slightly, then after the election he scaled it back to some two to three million deportations of people who “are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers”.

In fiscal year 2019 deportations were at 267,000, a slight rise on the year before, though not as high as the 2012 peak of 410,000 under the Obama administration.

Mr Trump’s plans for immigration reform faced defeat this summer when the Supreme Court ruled against his administration’s bid to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca), which protects about 650,000 young people who entered the US without documents as children.

Rebuilding infrastructure

Banner graphic saying "No progress"
Banner graphic saying “No progress”

Before: The country’s infrastructure “will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people back to work as we rebuild it”, he said in his victory speech in November.

After: Has repeated his vow to spend big on the country’s roads, rail and airports, but as yet, there is little sign of action. By March 2018 Congress had allocated $21bn for infrastructure spending – far short of the $1.5tn Mr Trump has called for. The money will be spent on a wide range of upgrades and investments, according to a congressional graphic.

In April 2019, Mr Trump and Democratic leaders agreed to spend $2tn on infrastructure, an agreement that later fell apart. This June there were reports the Trump administration had a $1tn plan in the works, but no announcement has been made.

Ditching Nato

Banner graphic saying "Abandoned"
Banner graphic saying “Abandoned”

Before: Mr Trump repeatedly questioned the military alliance’s purpose, calling it “obsolete”. One issue that irked him was whether members were pulling their weight and “paying their bills”. In one New York Times interview in July 2016, he even hinted that the US would not come to the aid of a member invaded by Russia.

After: But as he hosted Nato’s secretary general at the White House in April 2018, the US president said the threat of terrorism had underlined the alliance’s importance. “I said it [Nato] was obsolete,” Mr Trump said. “It’s no longer obsolete.”

In July 2018, Mr Trump reiterated his support at the Nato summit, but suggested the US might still leave if allies did not acquiesce to his budget demands.

Mr Trump has continued to argue that Canada and European members of Nato are not spending enough to support the alliance, and recently said the US will move nearly 12,000 troops out of Germany.

Torture

Banner graphic saying "Abandoned"
Banner graphic saying “Abandoned”

Before: Mr Trump said he would approve waterboarding “immediately” and “make it also much worse”, adding “torture works”.

After: But after his inauguration, the president said he would defer to the countervailing belief, espoused by former Defence Secretary James Mattis and then-CIA director Mike Pompeo, who is now secretary of state.

Mr Pompeo said during his CIA confirmation hearing that he would “absolutely not” reinstate such methods.

Prosecuting Hillary Clinton

Banner graphic saying "Abandoned"
Banner graphic saying “Abandoned”

Before: “Lock her up” was one of the main rallying cries of Mr Trump’s supporters.

They wanted to see Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in prison over the use of her private email server while secretary of state.

And Mr Trump was more than willing to back their calls for, at the very least, a fresh investigation. During the debates, he told Mrs Clinton: “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

After: The president-elect’s tone changed almost as soon as he had won, describing the woman he had said was “such a nasty woman” as someone the country owed “a debt of gratitude”. Later, he said he “hadn’t given [the prosecution] a lot of thought” and had other priorities.

In November 2016 Mr Trump’s spokeswoman said he would not pursue a further investigation – to help Mrs Clinton “heal”.

Climate

News from around our 50 states

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Alabama

Dothan: With the coronavirus pandemic worsening in the state, Dothan school officials are planning a “virtual day” to prepare for the possibility that classes will have to quit meeting in person. The southeast Alabama system will have both junior high and high school students participate in online classes Oct. 30 as a way of “proactively preparing for future closures,” The Dothan Eagle reports. A combination of the pandemic, the upcoming flu season and statewide staffing problems created the need for a test run, the system said in a statement. School districts around the state have used a combination of in-person teaching, online learning and varying schedules to cope with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. The pandemic appears to be getting worse in Alabama as residents grow tired of preventive measures like distancing and mask-wearing, which slowed the spread of the disease after a summertime peak, health officials said.

Alaska

Palmer: An early voting location in the city closed temporarily Friday after a poll worker was diagnosed with COVID-19, the Division of Elections said. The division, in a statement, said the risk to voters who cast ballots early at the main administrative offices of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is considered to be low. The worker wore a face covering, and a partition separated the worker from voters, the division said. Early voting at the location began Monday, and the division said the worker was at the location through Thursday. The Palmer location is undergoing cleaning and is set to reopen Monday morning, the division said. The division highlighted as an alternative in the meantime the Wasilla Public Library, which will continue to have voting hours through Election Day on Nov. 3.

Arizona

Phoenix: State health officials on Sunday reported 1,392 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths. It’s the highest reported single-day case total in the state since Sept. 17. Arizona continues to see a slow yet steady increase in the average number of coronavirus cases reported each day as a decline that lasted through August and September reverses. State Department of Health Services officials said the latest numbers increase Arizona’s totals to 238,163 known infections and 5,874 known deaths. In the past month, Arizona has seen a gradual increase in COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations, but levels are well below the thousands of cases reported on some days in June and July when the state was a national hot spot. The outbreak diminished in August and September as many local governments imposed mask mandates and the state revived some business restrictions.

Arkansas

Little Rock: The state on Friday reported 1,337 new probable and confirmed coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day spike since the pandemic began. “Today we see new cases significantly higher than last Friday,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “Let’s avoid those gatherings where groups are not adhering to social distancing and mask wearing.” The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, which have surged to record highs in recent weeks, increased by 12 to 624 on Friday. The state experienced its largest number of hospitalizations on Tuesday with 637. The increase in cases comes amid an outbreak among state legislators. Five lawmakers last week tested positive for the virus. Hutchinson, a Republican, has limited his meetings and public appearances after being exposed to someone with the virus, though he said he has tested negative four times since the exposure.

California

Redding: Shasta County has been moved back to a less restrictive tier for coronavirus infections after pleading with state officials to avoid closing down businesses. The Northern California county will return to the red tier for substantial virus transmission. State health officials recently announced that the county of 180,000 people would be moved to the purple tier for widespread virus transmission, which would have required business closures. County officials said the state reversed course after evaluating more recent coronavirus data and seeing that cases were declining and that local authorities had made progress stemming outbreaks at a nursing home and evangelical college. “This is a huge relief for our local businesses,” said Public Health Branch Director Robin Schurig.

Colorado

Denver: Citing a steady increase in the state’s coronavirus hospitalization caseload, health officials announced new limits Friday on personal gatherings of people from different households in more than two dozen counties. An amended state health order affecting 29 of the state’s counties limits personal gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households. Gatherings of up to 25 people were previously permitted in those counties, Colorado Public Radio reports. Personal gatherings in 30 other Colorado counties were already restricted to 10 people. No new limits were imposed for five counties with lesser caseloads. The Department of Public Health and Environment said it took the action after investigators determined that COVID-19 cases associated with social gatherings and community exposure had been more common since July.

Connecticut

Hartford: The economic toll inflicted on the state by the coronavirus pandemic has been blunted somewhat by what appears to be an influx of newcomers who are boosting both the real estate market and the state budget. Joanne Breen, the 2020 president of the Connecticut Association of Realtors, said Friday that it has been the busiest year for agents in at least 12 years. Some of that brisk business is due to people who planned to buy homes anyway, she said. But she also said she believes concerns about COVID-19 have made Connecticut a more attractive place for out-of-staters, including New York residents, to move their families. A survey released last week by real estate giant Re/Max identified the Hartford metro area, which includes Hartford, Tolland and Middlesex counties, as having the third-largest year-to-year percentage increase in sales among 53 metro areas across the U.S. when compared with September 2019.

Delaware

Greenwood: A COVID-19 outbreak at Woodbridge High School has led to the district closing the campus for the next two weeks as a safety precaution. During that time, the situation will be investigated, and the building will undergo cleaning, the district said in a letter to families Friday afternoon. In the meantime, all students will shift to remote learning. Woodbridge was one of the few Delaware school districts that started the year with some in-person classes. Two months into the school year, it is also the first district to temporarily close a school as a COVID-19 safety precaution. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 23, 24 students and 75 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in Delaware public schools, according to the Division of Public Health. In private schools, 54 students and 26 staff have tested positive.

District of Columbia

Washington: With a bit of rejiggering, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump played host Sunday to hundreds of superheroes, unicorns, skeletons and even a miniature version of themselves as part of a Halloween celebration at the White House. In years past, the president and first lady personally handed out candy to the costume-clad kids. This year, the treats were provided separately as participants walked along a path on the South Lawn. The kids still briefly met the president and first lady, who waved and offered words of encouragement from a safe distance about how much they liked the costumes. Trump and the first lady have both recently recovered from COVID-19. The spooky celebration was changed up a bit as a result of the pandemic. Guests older than 2 were required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. The same went for all White House personnel working the event.

Florida

Orlando: The top health official in one of the state’s most populous counties is discouraging parents from hosting birthday parties for their children, no matter the size, in an effort to prevent outbreaks of the new coronavirus. Dr. Raul Pino, health officer for Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said half of the 30 attendees at a recent Sweet 16 party in the Orlando area came down with the virus. Last month, an Orange County high school closed for two weeks after students who had attended a birthday party tested positive for the virus. “We will continue to see consequences if we don’t act super-responsibly,” Pino said Thursday at a news conference. Orange County, home to some of the nation’s most famous theme park resorts, has seen a moderate uptick in virus cases in the past few days, Pino said. In recent days, the county’s positivity rate has crossed into the 6% range after being in the 5% range.

Georgia

Atlanta: Two staff members for Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler tested positive for the coronavirus, but a test of the senator came back negative, the senator’s office said Saturday. Loeffler was tested Friday after learning about the positive tests of two Senate staff members, her office said in a brief statement. The statement did not say whether the senator had close contact with the staff members or planned additional tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for two weeks. Loeffler was “more energized than ever to vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as the next Supreme Court Justice on Monday before returning home and traveling the state to meet with hardworking Georgians,” the statement said. She also tested negative earlier this month and continued campaigning after coming into contact with President Donald Trump, who was treated for the virus.

Hawaii

Honolulu: The state had more than 65,000 travelers arrive in the islands in the first week of its pre-travel coronavirus testing program, a state effort to get the tourism-based economy moving again amid the pandemic. State officials said in an email to the Associated Press on Friday that 66,644 people were screened between the Oct. 15 launch and Thursday. Of those visitors – including returning residents, tourists and others – 41,783 tested negative for the coronavirus and were allowed to skip the previously required two weeks of quarantine. Some people came to Hawaii with the wrong kind of test. The state accepts only negative nucleic acid amplification tests. Other travelers on the same flights chose to come to Hawaii without being tested at all. More than 7,500 people on the first week’s flights were ordered to quarantine.

Idaho

Coeur d’Alene: Even as the health care situation worsened in northern Idaho, the Panhandle Health District voted to repeal a local mask mandate, acting moments after hearing how the Kootenai Health hospital in Coeur d’Alene had reached 99% capacity. The state is experiencing its largest coronavirus spike since the pandemic began, with new cases increasing statewide by 46.5% over the past two weeks. Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, has declined to take steps such as requiring masks statewide to slow the virus’s spread. Dr. Joshua Kern, vice president of St. Luke’s in the Magic Valley region that includes Twin Falls and Jerome, said Thursday that he and other medical professionals are scared. “The purpose of any intervention around coronavirus has been to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed, and here I am today saying the hospital is being overwhelmed,” he said. A day later, on Friday, his hospital announced it would send younger patients to Boise.

Illinois

Springfield: The state’s public health director on Friday again pleaded with residents to wear face coverings to slow the spread of the coronavirus, breaking at one point and pausing to compose herself after reporting the day’s grim COVID-19 statistics. As the numbers of cases rise to levels rivaling the nightmare spring when hospitals scrambled for beds to treat the sick, Dr. Ngoze Ezike rallied residents to resist “COVID fatigue” by thinking of health care and other essential workers who cannot avoid the public on a daily basis. “If you’re talking about COVID fatigue from having to keep wearing a mask, think about the COVID fatigue for health care workers … trying to fight for people’s lives,” Ezike said. Illinois health officials on Saturday reported a one-day record for new confirmed cases, adding 6,161. The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 63 more people have died of the virus, bringing the statewide total for the pandemic to 9,481.

Indiana

Indianapolis: The state reported its third-highest single-day total of new coronavirus infections Friday as the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Indiana continued to rise. The 2,519 new infections reported by the Indiana State Department of Health fell short of the 2,880 new infections the agency reported Thursday, which was a daily high of newly reported cases in Indiana. The department’s daily update of its coronavirus dashboard also showed 1,548 Hoosiers hospitalized with the coronavirus, the most since May 5. Of those, 434 were in intensive care, the most since May 17. A greater percentage of Indiana’s ICU beds are filled than at any other point in the pandemic. Almost 70% of beds were in use Friday, according to the health department, leaving 2,150 available ICU beds. That number was more than 3,270 earlier in the pandemic.

Iowa

Iowa City: The state has among the nation’s highest coronavirus death and infection rates, and residents should avoid gatherings in most counties to fight the virus, federal experts say. The virus infected and killed about twice as many people per capita in Iowa as the national average between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reported. That included a 33% weekly increase in deaths. The number of new cases increased, even after climbing for weeks, as did the state’s test positivity rate, the panel said in an Oct. 18 report released Friday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The grim statistics came as Iowa’s hospitals faced a surge of coronavirus patients, hitting a record 536, according to data released Thursday. Despite the crisis, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds routinely says that residents need to “learn how to live with” the virus and that stricter public health measures would harm the economy.

Kansas

Topeka: The state set new records Friday for its largest seven-day increases in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths with what its top public health official called “a generalized spread” of the virus. The state has averaged more than 700 new cases a day this month, and the figure was a record 768 for the seven days ending Friday, beating the previous high mark of 757 for the seven days ending Wednesday. The state Department of Health and Environment reported 1,774 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases since Wednesday, an increase of 2.4% that brought the total for the pandemic to 76,230. Dr. Lee Norman, the state health department’s head, said the generalized spread of the virus in Kansas has resulted from resistance to wearing masks in public, continuing to have mass gatherings, crowded school athletic events, and bringing students back to college and university campuses.

Kentucky

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks at a Second Amendment rally outside the Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort on Jan. 31.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks at a Second Amendment rally outside the Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort on Jan. 31.

Louisville: A member of Congress says he won’t be receiving the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. Republican U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted Thursday that he hopes a vaccine is developed soon, but he doesn’t plan to use it. When asked about it, Massie said in a statement that he didn’t see the vaccine as necessary for him. “I’m not in a high/risk category and I trust my natural immune system response over a pharmaceutically stimulated response,” he said. Massie’s tweet came after President Donald Trump said during a presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden that a vaccine could come within weeks. Nurse practitioner Alexandra Owensby, who is running against Massie in the Nov. 3 election, said in a statement that “the problem is people feel like the vaccine has been rushed.” Owensby said she hopes at some point most Americans will trust the vaccine enough to get it.

Louisiana

Baton Rouge: Republicans in the state House filed a petition Friday to revoke Gov. John Bel Edwards’ coronavirus restrictions for a week, as lawmakers finished a special session in which they sought more power over the Democratic governor’s emergency actions but appeared likely to see that effort vetoed. Republicans are invoking a never-before-used process outlined in state law that allows a majority of House lawmakers to nullify the governor’s public health emergency declaration – and all restrictions tied to it – with a petition. House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said Edwards refused to address legislative concerns about his virus rules “in any substantive way.” The petition sent to Edwards was signed by 65 of the House’s 68 Republicans. The governor lashed out at them as ignoring the risks of the virus outbreak for an “unconscionable” partisan political ploy. “Burying heads in the sand and just pretending COVID isn’t a problem isn’t going to help,” he said.

Maine

Alfred: County officials said Friday that a coronavirus outbreak that sickened more than 80 people at a jail is over. The outbreak at York County Jail in Alfred was connected to a larger outbreak centered on a northern Maine wedding and reception. An employee of the jail attended the wedding, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said. The outbreak linked to the Aug. 7 wedding event sickened a total of 178 people and killed eight. The case total includes the cases from the Alfred jail. The County Commissioners of York County said in a statement Friday that no inmates at the Alfred jail are currently receiving treatment and that all staff have returned to work. An inquiry by an outside examiner continues, the commissioners said. A Maine CDC spokesperson confirmed the jail facility met the criteria to close an outbreak investigation Oct. 12. The Maine CDC has said its investigation into the wedding is also closed.

Maryland

Baltimore: Voters can begin to cast ballots in person this week at dozens of sites statewide. Early voting centers open Monday morning and will operate daily until Nov. 2. Maryland has allowed early in-person voting since 2010, but it wasn’t offered during the June primary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many early voting center locations have changed, with senior centers and privately owned buildings replaced by empty schools to protect health, The Baltimore Sun reports. Local election directors decided on what safety measures to utilize, but socially distanced lines, plastic glass shields and frequent sanitizing of equipment are expected. More than 1.6 million Maryland residents already requested mail-in ballots by a deadline earlier this month. More than 45% of those residents have returned them.

Massachusetts

Boston: The state has ordered the shutdown of every indoor ice skating facility in Massachusetts for two weeks in response to several COVID-19 clusters linked to ice hockey games and practices. The order took effect Friday and lasts until Nov. 7, according to the state Department of Public Health. At least 30 clusters of COVID-19 have been associated with organized ice hockey activities involving residents from more than 60 cities and towns in the state, the department said. Each includes two or more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, for a total of 108 confirmed cases. “This pause will allow for the development of stronger COVID-19 protocols to further protect players, families, coaches, arena staff and other participants, as well as communities surrounding hockey rinks,” the agency said in a statement. College and professional programs are exempt from the order.

Michigan

Lansing: More than 3,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus – the most yet during the pandemic – were reported Saturday amid what a top health official called “alarming increases” in infections around the state. The 3,338 new COVID-19 cases reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services surpassed the state’s previous single-day record of 2,030 new cases set Oct. 15. That earlier record had topped the previous record of 1,953 from early April. The state agency also reported 35 more deaths from COVID-19, raising Michigan’s pandemic toll to 7,182 deaths. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said in a statement that “if rates continue like this, we risk overwhelming our hospitals and having many more Michiganders die.” She said Michigan is continuing to see coronavirus infection clusters associated with facilities, programs and schools.

Minnesota

Minneapolis: The state reported one of its largest one-day tallies of new coronavirus cases Saturday as 2,268 people tested positive. The number of new cases is the second-highest reported during the pandemic, just below the 2,297 cases reported Oct. 16. The positivity rate of testing has also climbed in recent days, an indication that infections are increasing. The seven-day average positivity rate was 6.53%, according to date from the COVID Tracking Project. Health officials have said the uptick in cases is due to more infections spreading among people rather than increased testing showing more cases. The upward trend in new cases has been followed by an uptick in deaths from COVID-19, with the seven-day average number of deaths above 14. The Minnesota Department of Health reported 14 more deaths Saturday, with nine of those in long-term care and assisted-living facilities, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,328.

Mississippi

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs expresses concern at the public's lack of mask-wearing at Gov. Tate Reeves' COVID-19 press briefing in Jackson, Miss., on July 8.
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs expresses concern at the public’s lack of mask-wearing at Gov. Tate Reeves’ COVID-19 press briefing in Jackson, Miss., on July 8.

Jackson: State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and other health officials said COVID-19 is starting to affect more young and white residents in Mississippi as the number of new cases continues to grow. “We’ve seen a pretty dramatic shift where early on, (cases were) two-thirds African American, and now it’s kinda moved to two-thirds Caucasian,” he said during a news conference Friday. Dobbs said even though there are more white residents in the state, things have gotten to the point where the virus is disproportionately affecting that segment of the total population. He encouraged residents to take precautions seriously. “Let’s learn the lessons from the past, and let’s all just be careful,” he said. State epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said younger people, especially the school-age population, are the fastest-growing segment among reported cases. Residents in the 50-59 age range and those over 65 are also seeing higher numbers, he said.

Missouri

St. Louis: Gov. Mike Parson’s coronavirus diagnosis came about a week after he visited a state office building despite being warned about an outbreak among workers, emails show. The emails obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch show that a public relations officer at the Department of Commerce and Insurance asked Parson’s spokeswoman whether the governor wanted to move forward with Sept. 16 event at the Harry S Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City “given the building situation.” Parson, a Republican, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sept. 23. Parson made numerous other in-person visits elsewhere in the days before he tested positive, including a visit to the Mount Vernon Veterans Home, which subsequently logged its first case of the virus. Though some photographs show Parson wearing a mask during this time, others show him without a mask.

Montana

Kalispell: State and county health officials have started cracking down on businesses that aren’t enforcing Gov. Steve Bullock’s mask mandate, which was put in place in July to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services sought court approval in Flathead County to force four businesses to come into compliance with the mandate, the Flathead Beacon reports. The state is seeking temporary restraining orders against Sykes Diner and Mercantile in Kalispell, Remington Bar and Casino in Whitefish, Your Lucky Turn Tavern in Bigfork and Ferndale Market. The governor’s mandate requires face coverings to be worn in all indoor spaces open to the public in counties that have four or more current cases of COVID-19. It also requires businesses to take “reasonable measures” to ensure customers, employees and others follow the mandate.

Nebraska

Lincoln: State public health officials confirmed another 977 coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 61,285, according to its tracking portal. The number tracks with a recent surge in cases that led Gov. Pete Ricketts to reimpose some social distancing restrictions to avoid overwhelming Nebraska’s hospitals. State officials say 559,625 people in Nebraska have gotten tested since the pandemic began, and 498,023 have tested negative. They’ve confirmed 587 virus-related deaths so far. Nebraska’s hospitals still have 1,336 beds available for patients, about 29% of their total capacity. They also have 198 intensive care beds available, accounting for 31% of the total supply, and 632 ventilators that can be used, roughly 77% of the total.

Nevada

Sex worker Alice Little stands outside the closed Bunny Ranch brothel in Carson City, Nev.
Sex worker Alice Little stands outside the closed Bunny Ranch brothel in Carson City, Nev.

Reno: Brothels remain closed under state restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, but a rural county is allowing brothels to offer non-sexual escort services. The Lyon County Board of Commissioners approved the new authorization for the four brothels in the county Oct. 15. Because the brothels remain closed, the sex workers must meet customers elsewhere for escort services authorized under the ordinance. More than 500 people were unemployed due to the brothel closings, brothel owner Suzette Cole told the board. Lyon County Manager Jeffery Page said the closures have hurt the local economy. The authorization for escort services will allow brothels to stay in business and provide income for owners and workers, he said. Sex worker Alice Little said many workers, who are considered independent contractors, left the industry to work elsewhere, but she said that is difficult because of the stigma attached to the work.

New Hampshire

Concord: Anyone who went to five restaurants in Portsmouth, Concord and Peterborough on certain days this month should get tested for the coronavirus, state health officials said Friday. The Department of Health and Human Services said at least four people who have tested positive visited Daniel Street Tavern in Portsmouth while potentially infectious, and anyone who was in the bar area Oct. 9, 14 or 15 should get tested. At least one person has tested positive who visited the Goat Bar and Grill in Portsmouth on Oct. 15. In Concord, at least five people who have tested positive visited the Draft Sports Bar and Grill on Oct. 9 and 11 and Oct. 14-18. And at the Barley House Restaurant and Tavern, potential exposure via two people may have occurred Oct. 12, 13, 14 and 16. Exposure also may have occurred Oct. 13 at the Bantam Grill in Peterborough, where at least one person has tested positive.

New Jersey

Red Bank: Gov. Phil Murphy signed two bills into law Friday aimed at addressing staffing shortages and residents’ isolation at the state’s long-term care facilities, two areas of vulnerability exposed during the coronavirus pandemic. The bills signed Friday were an outgrowth of a consultant’s report released in June. More than 7,000 people have died from COVID-19 in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities, about half of the state’s total deaths. In May, the Democratic governor was forced to send the National Guard to nursing homes hit hard by the new coronavirus. The state’s largest facility, in Andover, was fined more than $200,000 by federal health authorities for putting residents in its care at risk. In April, police acting on an anonymous tip found 18 bodies in a makeshift morgue at the home.

New Mexico

Albuquerque: One of the oldest Roman Catholic dioceses in the nation will again be foregoing Sunday Mass indefinitely as the state marks its latest surge of COVID-19 cases. Archbishop John C. Wester is directing churches within the northern New Mexico diocese to cease regular Mass schedules and encouraging Masses to be streamed online or recorded so they can be accessed at home. He’s also calling for funeral services and weddings to be delayed. The guidance comes as state officials have been pushing people to stay home and adhere to the provisions of an amended public health order that took effect Friday. That includes limiting retail hours and temporarily closing businesses the state determines are hot spots for the virus. Wester pointed to data that shows the demographics of cases migrating toward the younger ages and the uptick of hospitalizations, saying there are concerns about the state’s health care system’s capacity.

New York

New York: The number of people hospitalized in the state because of the coronavirus has climbed back over 1,000, officials said Friday. The figure has increased in the past month but is still far below the peak level of the spring. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were 1,023 hospitalizations around the state as of Thursday. That’s more than double the number that were hospitalized month ago and the first time since late June that the state has seen that many people in hospitals with the virus. At the pandemic’s peak in April, nearly 19,000 people were hospitalized. As is happening around the country to different degrees, New York is seeing an uptick in virus cases as more places like schools and businesses have been opening up. Statewide, 1,637 people tested positive with the virus Thursday, on par with where levels have been for the month.

North Carolina

Charlotte: A state health official on Saturday ordered a large church to close its doors temporarily because of concerns it is helping spread the coronavirus by disregarding social distancing measures. Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris ordered the United House of Prayer for All People to close all its buildings and said the church has not cooperated with efforts to stem the virus’s spread, the Charlotte Observer reports. Harris said at least three deaths and more than 121 confirmed cases of the virus have been linked to the church, which held a weeklong church event earlier this month. The county said the church has continued to hold large gatherings despite recommendations not to do so and has failed to implement social distancing measures. The church did not immediately return a request for comment. On Friday, North Carolina set a new record for a single-day increase in reported COVID-19 cases.

North Dakota

Bismarck: National Guard soldiers have helped to notify 800 people who tested positive for COVID-19 but initially weren’t told, officials said. The notification backlog, which was due to a recent sharp increase in coronavirus cases, was resolved Thursday largely through shifting the role last week of 50 North Dakota National Guard soldiers, health officials said. The soldiers had been informing people they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of the virus. On Tuesday, health officials announced the soldiers would instead notify those who test positive for the virus. The North Dakota Department of Health expects the change in contact tracing to be temporary. As part of the new process, public health officials will no longer reach out to close contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Instead, those testing positive will be instructed to self-notify their close contacts.

Ohio

Columbus: Small businesses, bars and restaurants, low-income renters, arts groups, and colleges and universities are among those eligible for $429 million in federal pandemic dollars being released by the state this week, Gov. Mike DeWine and his fellow Republican legislative leaders announced Friday. The aid package, which the governor has promised for several weeks, is scheduled to go before a bipartisan state legislative spending panel Monday. Its passage is assured with the backing of House Speaker Bob Cupp and Senate President Larry Obhof, who joined the governor at Friday’s virtual news conference. The announcement came on a day when the Ohio Health Department reported 2,518 probable and confirmed cases of the coronavirus, marking the third consecutive day of record-high daily cases in the state.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City: A one-day record increase of more than 1,800 newly confirmed coronavirus cases was reported Saturday by the state health department. The Oklahoma State Department of Health report came one day after Gov. Kevin Stitt again extended a state of emergency due to the pandemic. Stitt on Friday extended for 30 days his emergency order first issued March 15. The health department reported 1,829 new cases for a total of 115,685 since the start of the pandemic and 924 people hospitalized due to the virus, down from a record high of 956 hospitalizations Friday. An additional 11 people have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, for a death toll of 1,245. The true number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Oregon

Salem: The Oregon Health Authority reported 550 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday, the state’s largest daily total since the start of the pandemic. Health officials called the number of cases “troubling” and said that based on current COVID-19 modeling, if Oregon remains on the same path, it could reach capacity in its hospitals by mid-December. The previous daily case count record in Oregon, which also occurred this month, was 484. Officials called Friday’s record-breaking number of new cases “a reminder that Oregonians cannot let their guards down.” Shimi Sharief, the Oregon Health Authority senior health adviser, said health officials “remain cautious” about giving a single day’s total “too much weight.” “That said, we believe this increase is due to continued community transmission from social gatherings, as well as household clusters,” Sharief said.

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg: State officials on Friday announced the highest single-day total of new cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and a rise in the number of young people getting sick with the virus. The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 2,219 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus Friday. That number is almost as high as the two-day total released Monday and tops the state’s previous high count of 2,060 on April 8. “Seeing the highest percent positivity we have seen in several months is concerning. Seeing the highest number of new cases since the pandemic started in Pennsylvania on March 6 is also concerning,” said Nate Wardle, spokesman for the Department of Health. “Nothing is good right now regarding COVID.” State officials are comparing the rate of transmission of the virus to April, when it moved unbidden through nursing homes. But this time, the virus is infecting younger patients.

Rhode Island

Providence: The two highest single-day totals of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Rhode Island since the pandemic began came last week, but the state is conducting more tests than ever. The state Department of Health on Friday said there were 449 new cases confirmed the previous day out of nearly 14,100 tests, a 3.2% positivity rate. The department also adjusted Wednesday’s new confirmed cases up to 470, out of almost 18,000 tests. The previous one-day high was 412 on April 23, but that was out of fewer than 3,000 people tested. The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Rhode Island has now surged over the past two weeks from more than 1.5% on Oct. 8 to more than 2.4% on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. The new confirmed cases over the two days push the state’s total to more than 30,000.

South Carolina

Charleston: More than 71,000 idled workers in the state already have used up their eligibility for state unemployment benefits as the coronavirus pandemic continues, federal statistics show. The Post and Courier reports that the number of people exhausting their 20 weeks of state unemployment eligibility shows many workers who were laid off in the spring don’t have jobs to which to return even though the number of new layoffs has declined. People without additional eligibility can no longer receive money from the state’s unemployment trust fund, which is managed by the S.C. Department of Employment Workforce. But they can claim benefits from two other federal programs that provide as much as 23 weeks of additional financial support. The most recent employment survey estimated there were 65,000 fewer people employed in South Carolina in September than there were in March, when the pandemic was declared.

South Dakota

The entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
The entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Pine Ridge: The Oglala Sioux Tribe has locked down the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in response to a surging number of COVID-19 cases in the state. The lockdown began at 10 p.m. Friday and lasts until 6 a.m. Oct. 30. During that time, all noncritical travel is barred. The tribe said nonessential businesses should close to the public, and travel to nonessential work to or from the reservation should stop. The tribe also said nonemergency medical appointments that require travel to or from the reservation should be rescheduled. Tribes nationwide have taken an aggressive approach to preventing infections amid fears that Native Americans could be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus – and this isn’t the first time the Oglala Sioux Tribe has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began.

Tennessee

Columbia: A hospital is suspending all elective procedures requiring an overnight stay due to a surge in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. As of Friday evening, Columbia’s Maury Regional Medical Center was treating 50 COVID-19 inpatients, 20 of whom were in the medical center’s 26-bed intensive care unit. In response, the hospital is suspending elective surgical procedures that require an overnight stay for two weeks, beginning Monday, it announced Friday. “The time has long passed for our community to take this virus seriously,” Alan Watson, CEO of Maury Regional Health, said in a Friday statement. “We are seeing the impact of our community letting down their guard, and we must make every effort to mitigate the spread of this virus so that it does not further tax health care providers across Middle Tennessee and the entire state.”

Texas

More than 200 vehicles lined up for drive-thru COVID-19 testing in far East El Paso, Texas, on Oct. 14. Many of those waiting for testing said they waited for three hours or more to get tested at the mobile test collection site at the Socorro ISD Student Activities Complex.
More than 200 vehicles lined up for drive-thru COVID-19 testing in far East El Paso, Texas, on Oct. 14. Many of those waiting for testing said they waited for three hours or more to get tested at the mobile test collection site at the Socorro ISD Student Activities Complex.

El Paso: The surge in coronavirus in this border city continued Saturday with a record 1,216 new cases, nearly 20% of the state’s daily count, according to city-county health officials. The city reported 3,346 cases in the previous three days and more than 5,800 in the prior week, according to city-county health reports. El Paso has reported 38,554 total cases since the pandemic began in March. “Now, we need our community to help us by doing their part and staying home, if and when possible, for the next two weeks in order to stop the rapid the spread of the virus,” public health director Angela Mora said in a statement. Gov. Greg Abbott has sent medical equipment and about 500 medical personnel to the region to help fight the virus. President Donald Trump downplayed the toll of the coronavirus during Thursday’s final debate with Joe Biden, claiming that “there was a very big spike in Texas, it’s now gone.”

Utah

Salt Lake City: The state hit another ominous record Friday by tallying the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day as the state struggles to slow a monthlong surge of COVID-19 that is filling intensive care beds at hospitals. After the state reported 1,960 new cases, Gov. Gary Herbert warned in a statement that the state is “on the brink” and once again pleaded with people to adhere to mask mandates in place in 21 of the state’s 29 counties. The Republican governor said people should wear masks anytime they are with people outside their immediate family, even extended family or friends. Capacity at the state’s intensive care units reached 76%, with more people hospitalized last week for COVID-19 than at any other time during the pandemic, state figures show. Four more deaths recorded Friday bring the total to 567. Utah had the seventh-highest rate of newly confirmed infections per capita Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Vermont

Montpelier: A coronavirus outbreak connected to recreational hockey and broomball at an indoor ice rink has grown to 43 cases, including cases at seven schools in various counties, seven workplaces, two colleges and two hospitals, Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said Friday. The cases linked to the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center are not within a single community, and people who played those sports live in counties across the state, he said during the governor’s twice-weekly virus briefing. The number of close contacts to the people infected now likely exceeds 240, Levine said. Vermont reported 28 new coronavirus cases Friday, its second-highest number since early June, with Levine saying half of the newest cases are associated with three outbreaks. At least seven positive virus cases have been linked to a wedding held in Cambridge on Oct. 10, the Health Department said.

Virginia

Radford: Another fraternity at Radford University is facing consequences for allegedly violating pandemic-related safety guidelines. TV station WDBJ reports the school’s Kappa Alppha Psi chapter was placed on an interim suspension and is being afforded a conduct hearing after university officials said the fraternity hosted an off-campus party. Radford University administered 270 COVID-19 tests last week, 59 of which were positive, the station reports. University officials said half of the cases were attributed to the party. “We can do better, and we must do better,” university spokeswoman Caitlyn Scaggs said. The fraternity’s national office did not immediately respond to a message from the station seeking comment. The school suspended a different fraternity in August, also in connection with off-campus gatherings.

Washington

Seattle: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau said Friday that the district will remain in a remote learning model for the rest of the current semester because of an increase in COVID-19 cases. Most students will continue to participate in school virtually through January 2021, Juneau said in a news release. The only exception will be for students who receive special education services that require in-person instruction. Officials made the decision because of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in King County and after consultation with the district’s Re-entry Leadership Team. Juneau said the team – composed of representatives of the School Board, Seattle Education Association, Seattle Council PTSA, the Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools, and students – will meet regularly to talk about next steps.

West Virginia

Charleston: A teachers union lost its bid Friday to stop the state from using its color-coded map to decide whether counties can hold in-person public school classes and athletic competitions amid the pandemic. Judge Carrie Webster denied the West Virginia Education Association’s request for a preliminary injunction after Gov. Jim Justice’s attorney argued the court lacked jurisdiction and said the union did not have evidence that the map is not a rational approach tailored to West Virginia, WCHS-TV reports. The union’s president, Dale Lee, testified that 67% of teachers surveyed had compromising health issues and fears or relatives who were home sick. After the ruling, Lee said the WVEA was disappointed in the outcome. “By choosing to use the lesser of the infection rate or the percentage of positive tests, WVEA and its members believe the governor’s color-coded map changes have created a false picture of COVID spread,” Lee said in a statement.

Wisconsin

Madison: An appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions on indoor public gatherings pending appeal, dealing the Democratic governor a setback in his efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The ruling from the 3rd District Court of Appeals follows Evers’ administration issuing an emergency order Oct. 6 that limited indoor public gatherings to 25% of a building or room’s capacity or 10 people in places without an occupancy limit. The order also came as COVID-19 cases surged in Wisconsin, which last week was among the worst states in the nation in daily new cases per capita, and its hospitals are near capacity. But the powerful Tavern League of Wisconsin argued the capacity limits amount to a “de facto closure” order for bars and restaurants and sued to strike down the order.

Wyoming

Cody: Yellowstone National Park officials have proposed an earlier opening date and later closure during the winter at an entrance for snowmobiles and snow coaches. Park officials announced plans to open the East Entrance from Dec. 15 to March 15, The Billings Gazette reports. The East Entrance is currently allocated two commercially guided snowmobile trips, one non-commercially guided trip and one commercial snow coach on each day of the winter season. The updated dates for opening the gate located west of Cody would coincide with the park’s two other winter gates, the West Entrance near West Yellowstone, Montana, and the South Entrance near Jackson, Wyoming. Access to the park at the North Entrance near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, is the only gate open to automobiles for the entire year. The maximum number of snowmobiles currently allowed in the park from all entrances in a day is 480.

From USA TODAY Network and wire reports

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brothel loophole, ice rink outbreaks: News from around our 50 states

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Elections in the United States Special

Mish Boyka

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Just a few days before Election Day, Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off in what they predict as one of the highest-turnout elections in U.S. history. Although confidence in the polls declined after Hillary Clinton’s defeat four years ago, according to a Cook Political Report, on October 1 Biden would win the election with 290 electoral votes. According to The Economist, on October 6, 2020, Biden would win with 340 electoral votes.

 

It will only be known for sure after November 3. But how did the states vote in 2016? How many electoral votes does each state contribute? What are electoral votes and how is the president actually elected?

 *Caption:

Elections in the United States 2016 Winning Party by State

Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s cartographic boundary shapefiles, 2016 edition

To begin answering these questions, we present the following map with the results of the past elections. In each state you can see which party was the winner and how many electoral votes each state contributes.

Swing States o Estados Bisagra:

Swing States: The swing states of the presidential elections in the United States are highly contested states. There the electoral polls do not give a clear advantage to any party. Also, historically these states have been oscillating between the Democratic and Republican vote. This is why they are also known as battleground states, since they are decisive to win elections at the national level. However, swing states can change with each election. A state considered ensured for a party may even start being contested. This is the case of Texas, a Republican fiefdom in which the polls predict a tight result in the 2020 elections. But the paradigmatic example of swing state is Ohio: in the twelve elections since 1972 it has always voted for the candidate who ended up winning, seven for the Republican candidate and five for the Democrat. Something similar happens with Florida: no candidate has managed to be president without winning in this state in the last twelve elections, with the exception of 1992. The swing states are: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Furthermore, their size makes some of them very decisive: Florida has twenty-nine delegates, Pennsylvania twenty, and Ohio eighteen.

*Caption:

Electoral victories by state in the last 10 elections Democrat/Republican  

Source: Federal Elections Commission  

Legislative, state, and local elections in the U.S.

In the United States, legislative elections are held every two years. State and local elections occur every year.

Legislative elections and midterm elections

In legislative elections, the representatives of their state are elected in Congress. Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government that includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. Legislative elections determine which political party, the Democrat or the Republican, will control each of the houses of Congress for the next two years. Legislative elections are held every two years. In them the voters elect one third of the senators and the 435 members of the House of Representatives. Midterm elections are held right in the middle of two presidential elections. Unlike presidential elections, in which the Electoral College is used to decide who will be the next president, in legislative elections the direct vote of the citizens of a state is used to choose the winners.

The House of Representatives

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives serve two-year terms. This means that the 435 members of the House of Representatives are elected both in midterm-election years and in presidential elections. The number of representatives per state is based on its number of inhabitants. Each representative is at the service of the inhabitants of his congressional district. In order to be elected, a representative must be at least 25 years old, be a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, and live in the state he or she wishes to represent.

*Caption: 

U.S. House of Representatives Party Seat change Democrats Republicans Libertarian Empty seats

Source: House.gov  

The Senate

Senators serve six-year terms. One third of senators are elected every six years, which is why that number of senators (33 or 34) is elected in each Election (both during midterm elections and during presidential elections). There are 100 senators in all, two from each state. To run for the office of senator, a person must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least nine years, and live in the state he or she wishes to represent.

*Caption: 

U.S. Senate Party Seat change Democrats Republicans Independent

Source: Senate.gov  

 

Presidential elections in the United States

Elections for president of the United States are held every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The presidential elections will be on November 3, 2020.

*Caption: 

Number of votes per party in each state

Data from the last 10 presidential elections  

Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Before the general election, most presidential candidates go through a series of primaries and party assemblies or caucuses at the state level. Although primaries and caucuses are handled differently, they both pursue the same goal: they allow states to participate in the selection of the main party candidates for the general election. This electoral process began on February 3 with the Iowa caucuses and the last were the Connecticut presidential primaries on August 11.

What are the state primaries and caucuses prior to the presidential elections?

State primary elections are run by state and local governments. The vote is secret. Caucuses are private assemblies held by political parties. They are held at the county or constituency level. In most, participants are divided into groups depending on the candidate they support. The undecided form their own group. Each group gives speeches in support of their candidate and tries to get the rest to join them. In the end, the number of voters in each group determines how many delegates each candidate won. Both primaries and caucuses can be open, closed, or a hybrid of both. In an open primary or caucus, people can vote for a candidate from any political party. In a closed primary or caucus, only voters who chose that party in their registration to vote can participate. Semi-open or semi-closed primaries and caucuses are variations of the two main types.

How are delegates for primaries and caucuses appointed?

In each primary election or caucus a certain number of delegates are at stake. These are people who represent their state at national conventions. The candidate who receives the majority of the party’s delegates wins the nomination. The parties have different numbers of delegates because they use different rules to appoint them. Each party also has uncommitted delegates or superdelegates. (These delegates are not tied to any of the candidates who will participate in the national convention.) At the end of the primary and caucus elections, most political parties hold a national convention. It is there when the winners receive the party’s candidacy. For more information on your state’s presidential caucus or primary election, contact your state election office or political party of choice.

National conventions

After the primary elections and the caucus assemblies, most parties hold national conventions, during which they launch the campaign for the general elections. What is a national convention? A national convention is the instance where a political party’s final election of its candidates for president and vice president is ratified. To be nominated as a candidate for president, normally the candidate must first win a majority of the delegates. This usually occurs during the primary elections of the political parties and their caucus assemblies. Subsequently, the election is confirmed through the vote of the delegates during the national convention. In the event that no candidate obtains a majority of the delegates during the party’s primaries and assemblies, the convention delegates choose the candidate they are going to nominate. This happens through additional voting rounds.

Delegates: types and amounts required

There are two main types of delegates: Committed delegates, who must support the candidate assigned to them during the primary process or the party caucus. Uncommitted delegates or superdelegates, who can support the presidential candidate of their choice.

Contested and open conventions

In exceptional cases, it may happen that none of the party’s candidates wins a majority of the delegates before the convention. In this case, the convention is considered “contested.” This is solved with one or more additional rounds of votes from the delegates. In the first round of voting, the committed delegates usually must vote for the candidate they were assigned at the start of the convention. Uncommitted delegates do not have this obligation. Superdelegates cannot vote in the first round, unless a candidate has already obtained enough delegates through the primaries and caucuses to obtain the nomination. If none of the nominees wins in the first round, the convention is considered “open.” Committed delegates can choose any candidate in subsequent rounds of voting. Superdelegates can vote in these later rounds. Voting continues until one candidate obtains the majority required to win the nomination. During the convention, the candidate for president officially announces his election for the vice president candidate.

Electoral College

In other elections that take place in the United States, candidates are directly elected by popular vote. However, in the case of the elections for president and vice president, the result does not depend directly on the citizen vote. The winners are determined by the vote of the “electors,” who are part of a process called the Electoral College. Using “electors” as part of the process is established in the Constitution. It was a way of finding a middle ground between a popular citizen vote and a vote in Congress. Who are the electors? Each state has as many electors as there are members in Congress (House of Representatives and Senate). Including the three electors in Washington DC, there are 538 in all. The political parties in each state choose their own list of potential electors.

How does the Electoral College process work?

After you cast your vote for president, your vote goes into a state count. In 48 states and in Washington DC, the winner gets all electoral votes for that state. Maine and Nebraska assign their electors using a proportional system. A candidate needs the vote of at least 270 electors (more than half of the total) to win the presidential election. In most cases, it is possible to project a possible winner on the same night as the November elections, at the end of the count of the popular citizen vote. However, the Electoral College vote, which is the one that officially determines the winner, takes place in mid-December when electors meet in their states. The Constitution does not require electors to follow the popular vote of their state, but it is rare for some to not do so.

Special situations

Winning the popular vote, but losing the election. It is possible to win the Electoral College vote but lose the popular vote. This has happened in 2016, 2000 and three times in the 19th century. What happens if no candidate wins the majority of the electoral votes? If no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the presidential vote is left to the House of Representatives. Its members choose the winner from among the three main candidates. The Senate chooses the vice president from among the two remaining top candidates. This has only happened once. In 1824, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as president.

How can the Electoral College be changed?

The Electoral College process is established in the United States Constitution. It would take a constitutional amendment to change it.

Source: https://www.usa.gov/election

State and local elections

State and local elections can occur annually and at any time of the year. Elections are held to choose the state governor, seats in the state legislature, the mayor of a city, judges, local officials, or for other reasons. State or local voting may also be held when it is necessary to decide on electoral initiatives that affect laws, taxes, and the budget of your state, county or town. The electoral initiative, also known as the popular initiative, is a right that allows citizens to make reforms or modify the law and the electoral ballot without involving the local legislature. There are 24 states that have an initiative process.

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PHOTOS: What A Time To Become An American

Mish Boyka

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The paths to U.S. citizenship are various, but each leads to this oath at a naturalization ceremony.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Immigration has risen steeply in recent decades. More than 40 million people who live in the United States were born outside its borders, and nearly half of those folks are naturalized citizens.

Despite political polarization and the pandemic, thousands of immigrants continue to raise their hands and swear “true faith and allegiance” to the United States of America.

For more than a year, CPR News has been photographing new Americans as they take the Oath of Allegiance, and they shared their stories of what it is like to become citizens now.


Jane Muriithi, her husband James and son Ian at History Colorado in Denver, Oct. 9, 2019

NEW AMERICANS HISTORY COLORADO 191009Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Jane Muriithi, center, husband James at left, and son Ian Muriithi at right were among 50 new Americans at History Colorado on Wednesday Oct. 9, 2019.

Jane Muriithi and her husband James moved to the United States looking for opportunities they weren’t finding in Kenya. James wanted higher education, and Jane wanted a better paying job and more education and career options for her children. From the beginning, they knew they wanted to become citizens.

“That was one of the goals,” said James, “because that was the only way to access the opportunities and identify with the American dream, including education, better job opportunities… the right to vote.”

NEW AMERICANS HISTORY COLORADO 191009Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
James after his certificate of citizenship.

When the family immigrated in 2009, James worked for the Kenya Mission to the United Nations. It took 10 years for the family to receive permanent resident status and then citizenship. In that time, James completed his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and he’s now pursuing his master’s in homeland security. Muriithi is working at Walmart, and their three children are grown and pursuing their own careers and education.

James says he gives advice to other immigrants: “Live within the four corners of the law. Pursue education. Work hard, and pay your taxes.”

Jane adds, “You have to be yourself wherever you are. Respect each other.”

NEW AMERICANS HISTORY COLORADO 191009Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Jane Muriithi steps forward to take possession of her certificate of citizenship.

They also see voting as citizens’ responsibility, and they say that they are weighing candidates’ policies for dealing with the pandemic as they make their decisions.

“America being a nation which values governance and democracy… it was important to get that responsibility to vote,” said James. “ We are looking forward to casting a ballot.”

NEW AMERICANS HISTORY COLORADO 191009Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Americans flags were plentiful.
NEW AMERICANS HISTORY COLORADO 191009Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
President Donald Trump recorded a video message of welcome to 50 United States citizenship candidates at History Colorado.

Mike and Kristen Le Roux at Brown Elementary School on Nov. 15, 2019

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mike and Kristen LeRoux take the Oath of Citizenship on Nov. 15, 2019.

When Mike and Kristen Le Roux and became citizens last fall, it was actually their second time to swap their passport. They grew up in South Africa, met and married in college, and moved to Australia in 1999, where they became citizens. When Le Roux’s athletic career took them to the United States in 2013, they knew that they wanted to change their citizenship again.

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mike and Kristen Le Roux at Denver’s Brown Elementary School on Nov. 15, 2019.

“I’m always of the GFN that, you know, when in Rome be a Roman, and if you want to have a say in the community and the future of your wellbeing, you need to embrace the culture,” said Le Roux. “You want to have a say in how things are run? You need to become a citizen.”

Le Roux, who is 44, came to the U.S. on a visa for professional athletes. He competed in ultra-endurance events, races longer than an Iron Man or marathon, and the U.S. offered more opportunities for racing and coaching than Australia. He and his wife became permanent residents 18 months after they moved. Then, after holding green cards for five years, they applied for citizenship.

“I couldn’t have been happier with the processing time that we had. We couldn’t have done it any quicker,” said Le Roux. “ I know that for others, that’s been maybe slightly drawn out depending on the route that you choose.”

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Kristen Le Roux, with husband Mike, recites the Pledge of Allegiance.

He said he’s also been happy with the move. A fellow racer recommended Pagosa Springs for its altitude, relatively mild weather, and open spaces — all good for training. Le Roux said he and his wife are immersed in the community there, even though he’s slowed down on racing and taken another career path. He’s become the director of emergency operations for the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, where he deals with natural and human-caused disasters in southwest Colorado.

Working in the sheriff’s office, which is an elected position, Le Roux says that he’s involved in politics at the local level. He’s worked on campaigns in the past, and he’s looking forward to casting his own ballot for Republican candidates, including President Donald Trump, in November.

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mike and Kristen Le Roux recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

He acknowledges that, “the political climate at the moment here is tumultuous.”  However, when he compares U.S. politics to those he grew up with in South Africa, he says,“I don’t see it being that bad here. Yes, there are differences, but ultimately everybody’s free. Everybody’s got opportunity.”

Whatever the outcome on Election Day, he says, “I’m not upset either way. We’ll make it work. Life goes on. It’s a great country, and we love it.”

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mike and Kristen Le Roux get their photo snapped after taking the Oath of Citizenship.

Melva Herrera at Colorado National Monument, Sept. 16, 2020

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News
As her mother Rosa Espinosa records on a phone, and her son Tizoc, 2, plays with a flag, Melva Herrera, at right, describes her journey to becoming an American after being brought to the United States as a child. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, she took the Oath of Citizenship with about a dozen others in a ceremony at Colorado National Monument.

Melva Herrera was in high school when she asked her parents for her social security card so she could apply for colleges and student loans. She didn’t have one.

“And me being kind of unaware growing up, it hit me that like, ‘Oh, I’m undocumented.’”

She remembers her parents explained, “There just haven’t been any opportunities in terms of a pathway for citizenship.”

Herrera’s parents brought her to California from Mexico when she was nine months old so that her father would have better work opportunities. Like many people brought to the United States as children without documentation, she didn’t have an option to become a citizen and remain in the U.S.

When people ask her why she didn’t return to Mexico to apply for a visa to come back to the United States, she says, “The United States is all I’ve ever known. If I were to go back — you always hear about people being punished and having to stay there for years, and then they apply, and then they still get rejected.”

Herrera struggled after high school.

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Melva Herrera, at right, took the Oath of Citizenship with about a dozen others in a ceremony at Colorado National Monument.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News

“Instead of looking to go to even a community college, I just went the route of trying to find somewhere I could work,” said Herrera. “I did that for a number of years, just kind of working and kind of just not being able to grow within that company because I didn’t have any sort of visa or citizenship. So it was a little frustrating, and I’d get a little depressed from time to time”

In 2011, Herrera married her husband, an American citizen. That meant her husband could petition for her to receive permanent residence. But she still had to go back to Mexico.

In January 2016, she traveled across the border for the first time since she was an infant.

“So as President Trump was being inaugurated into office, I was in Ciudad Juarez, waiting to find out if I was being accepted for my visa. So that was a little scary being out there on the other side of the border, the unknown — whether I can come back or not.”

She received her green card, and in 2019 she applied for citizenship.

“At the ceremony, one of the words that stuck out to me is they found us ‘eligible’ to be here in this country,” said Herrera. “I’m one of those people who are eligible, who are being allowed to be here and to live here and to have these rights. Whereas, I’ve been here all my life.”

She says she felt like she’s been in a separate community from people who are citizens. Now she’s excited to grow into new opportunities and to vote. She says she’ll cast her ballot for former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.

“People just have no idea that the laws in terms of immigration are just very challenging…. Now my goal is to get that house, to have that American dream, as everyone says, get that nice car and that job and just be happy.”


Phanvichka Rath Fisk at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Centennial, July 31, 2020

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Oath of Citizenship in a parking lot ceremony at the Centennial headquarters of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 31, 2020.

As he entered his freshman year at The King’s College in New York City in 2004, Phanvichka Rath Fisk intended to get his degree and return to Cambodia.

He grew up in the capital city, Phnom Penh in the 1980s during years of continuing instability. Fisk said starvation was a constant threat.

“You constantly have to figure out ways to hustle and find something to eat.” He explained that at a young age, “you expect to go out and kind of make your own way in the world, so that you don’t burden your family.”

He got a scholarship to attend The King’s College, and planned to be in the United States for four years to finish his degree.

“There’s a lot more that I can do, going back to Cambodia, create a path for other people, the kids in the neighborhood I was from… give them the idea that there are possible options,”  Fisk said.

But when he got to New York City, he found a familiar face in his classes, a young woman he’d met on vacation in Southeast Asia. He can’t remember if that was in Thailand or Malaysia, but he remembers that he thought she was “kind of cool.”

They became friends, dated, and got married in a year.

“Once we got married, it was easier for me to find more work if I had a permanent residency. So because I married an American citizen, it was easy for me,” said Fisk. “But at the same time, I’m still holding onto the idea that maybe I should move back to Cambodia at some point. So that’s the reason why it took me forever to apply for a U.S. citizenship because I’ve had the green card for over 10 years.”

This year was a turning point for Fisk, who now lives in Longmont. He said he’s grown jaded about American politics because he sees politicians “flip-flopping back and forth whenever it is convenient for them.” But a mentor convinced him that it’s his responsibility to vote.

Fisk said his friend told him, “‘Politics is always going to be messy, but that’s the whole reason why our country is great — because we all have a role in it… and if you’re not playing your part, then it’s kind of hard for you to really have an GFN about it because you can’t change it unless you’re in it.”

They had that conversation in March, and Fisk took the Oath of Allegiance in July.

He hasn’t decided yet who he’ll vote for, but he said, “Regardless of the outcome, come November, I will be able to tell myself I can live with it. I did my part.”

As he’s thinking through how to mark his ballot, Fisk says he’s looking for candidates with “proactive” approaches to climate change, wildfires, and job creation.


More scenes from Brown Elementary on Oct. 10, 2019

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Students at Denver’s Brown Elementary School form a welcoming line and hand out flags for the Oath of Citizenship ceremony on Oct. 10, 2019.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Family members wave flags as relatives take the Oath of Citizenship.

Scenes from Friends School in Boulder, Feb. 13, 2020

200213 New Americans Boulder Friends SchoolHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Boulder Friends School students sing the National Anthem during the the Oath of Citizenship ceremony Thursday Feb. 13, 2020.
Meghana and Sachin Petkar, of Erie, take the Oath of Citizenship at the Friends School in Boulder on Feb. 13, 2020.
Meghana Petkar, of Erie, walks to pick up her certificate of citizenship.
200213 New Americans Boulder Friends SchoolHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans take the Oath of Citizenship Thursday Feb. 13, 2020 in a ceremony at Boulder Friends School.
Sachin Petkar, of Erie, is congratulated by his daughter Anaya.
Meghana and Sachin Petkar and daughters Anaya Petkar, 7, left, and Arrin, 6, get a snapshot.
200213 New Americans Boulder Friends SchoolHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans take the Oath of Citizenship Thursday Feb. 13, 2020 in a ceremony at Boulder Friends School.
200213 New Americans Boulder Friends SchoolHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans listening during the Oath of Citizenship ceremony at Boulder Friends School.

More scenes from U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services, Centennial, July 31, 2020

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans took the Oath of Citizenship in a parking lot ceremony at the Centennial headquarters of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 31, 2020.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans took the Oath of Citizenship in a parking lot ceremony at the Centennial headquarters of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 31, 2020.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans took the Oath of Citizenship in a parking lot ceremony at the Centennial headquarters of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 31, 2020.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans took the Oath of Citizenship in a parking lot ceremony at the Centennial headquarters of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 31, 2020.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP BROWN ELEMENTARYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
New Americans took the Oath of Citizenship in a parking lot ceremony at the Centennial headquarters of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 31, 2020.

More scenes from Colorado National Monument on Sept. 16, 2020

NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News
German Alcorta, who is 29, was brought to the United States from Mexico as a child. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 he took the Oath of Citizenship at Colorado National Monument.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News
German Alcorta at Colorado National Monument.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Flanked by U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher, left, and park Superintendent Nathan Souder, right, Andy Lambrecht, USCIS Denver field office director, speaks to new Americans during an Oath of Citizenship ceremony at Colorado National Monument on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.
201019-CAL-WOOD-FIRE-MONDAYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A firefighting aircraft flies through smoky skies made orange from the sun’s glow north of Boulder on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. The Cal-Wood fire began on Saturday.
NEW AMERICANS OATH OF CITIZENSHIP COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENTHart Van Denburg/CPR News
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, about a dozen new Americans took the Oath of Citizenship in a ceremony at Colorado National Monument.
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