• [Early voting expands across the US, almost 20 million have already voted.
  • Donald Trump is to speak to seniors in Florida before heading to Georgia today.
  • Joe Biden focuses on healthcare at campaign events in Michigan.
  • Biden’s campaign outraised Trump’s by $135m in September.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the United States elections. This is Steve Chaggaris and Jihan Abdalla.

Friday, October 16:

13:30 ET – Trump addresses seniors, blasts opponents

In an address on issues affecting seniors, Trump acknowledged that seniors have “born the heaviest burden” of the coronavirus, which he repeatedly called the “China virus.”

“I am moving heaven and earth to safeguard our Seniors from the China Virus, to deliver life-saving therapies in record time, and to distribute a SAFE and EFFECTIVE vaccine BEFORE the end of the year,” Trump said according to excerpts of advance remarks in an event in Fort Myers.

“Seniors will be the FIRST in Line for the vaccine and we will soon END the pandemic.”

According to the excerpts, Trump also planned to that his political opponents are seeking to prolong the pandemic.

“As we gather today, seniors are under threat from a Radical Left movement that seeks to destroy the American Way of Life,” he plans to say. “Their plan to delay the vaccine, delay therapies, and prolong the pandemic will cost thousands of lives.”

U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by Florida Governor Ron Desantis as he arrives at Southwest Florida International Airport ahead of a campaign stop in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S., October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

13:15 ET – At least 25 congressional candidates with links to QAnon to appear on ballots

In a batch of QAnon-linked Republican congressional candidates on ballots across the US this general election season, experts see the product of increased polarisation and a new form of conservatism fostered by the conspiracy-theory friendly Trump.

The web of convoluted conspiracies known as QAnon, which began in 2017 when a shadowy figure known as Q began posting fringe ideas and breadcrumb narratives on sites like 4chan, has gone increasingly viral, although its support offline has been harder to quantify. Researchers say it remains relatively small.

Read more here.

13:00 ET – Biden ahead of Trump in early ratings for dueling town halls

Early data showed Biden led a TV ratings battle with Trump at their competing town hall events, according to Hollywood publication Variety.

More than 12 million vieweres followed Joe Biden’s town Hall on Thursday night, while President Donald Trump attracted roughly 10.4 million, Variety magazine said [Carlos Barria/Leah Millis/Reuters]

Biden pulled in additional than 12 million viewers on Walt Disney Co’s ABC on Thursday night time, whereas Trump attracted roughly 10.4 million on Comcast Corp’s NBC, Selection stated.

Up to date figures, together with the addition of viewership on Comcast-owned cable networks that simulcast the Trump occasion, have been anticipated in a while Friday.

12:25 ET – Pennsylvania reject 372,000 poll functions

Pennsylvania, one of the hotly contested battleground states has rejected 372,000 requests for mail-in ballots.

Native media reported that greater than 90 % of these functions, or about 336,000, have been denied as duplicates, primarily as a result of individuals who had requested mail-in ballots for the state’s June 2 main didn’t realise that they’d checked a field to be despatched ballots for the overall election, too.

Voters have additionally been baffled by unclear or inaccurate info on the state’s ballot-tracking web site, and by a wave of mail poll functions from political events and get-out-the-vote teams.

County workplaces throughout the state have been pressured to rent non permanent employees and work seven days per week to deal with the confusion.

12:20 ET – ‘Hamilton’ forged to host digital fundraiser for Biden marketing campaign

Biden’s presidential marketing campaign introduced that it will likely be holding a digital grassroots fundraiser with the forged of the hit musical Hamilton on Friday night time.

12:00 ET – Biden attracts extra city corridor viewers

Biden drew 12.7 million whole viewers throughout Thursday night time’s dueling city halls on Thursday, whereas Trump drew 10.4 million, based on preliminary figures.

11:40 ET – Trump retweets satirical submit about Joe Biden

Trump retweeted a satire story about Twitter shutting down over reporting on Biden.

“Wow, this has by no means been executed in historical past. This consists of his actually unhealthy interview final night time. Why is Twitter doing this. Bringing extra consideration to Sleepy Joe & Huge T.”

Twitter, didn’t shut down, because the article was written by the satire information web site Babylonbee.

The Tweet additionally precipitated Huge T and Babylon Bee to development on the positioning. Some customers thought “Huge T” was a reference to “Trump.” However Trump later clarified that Huge T was a reference to Huge Tech.

11:15 ET – Rapper launches Black celebration

Rapper Diddy, born Sean Combs by way of a sequence of Tweets introduced that he was launching a Black political celebration, named Our Black Occasion, calling it the “boldest factor” he has ever executed.

The celebration’s web site lists 9 core values that lay out the rights of Black folks in America.

And with early voting already underway throughout the nation the celebration says it’s aimed toward “getting Trump out of workplace.”

“This man actually threatened the lives of us and our households,” he stated in a video.

In one other Tweet, Combs stated “we have to get Biden in and maintain him accountable.”

10:35 ET – Republican governor says he voted for Ronald Reagan

Larry Hogan, a Republican Governor of Maryland stated he “voted for Ronald Reagan” on this 12 months’s election – writing within the identify of the late president and conservative icon.

Hogan stated Reagan is his “hero in politics” and he made the choice after concluding that he might assist neither Trump nor Biden.

“I do know it’s merely symbolic. It’s not going to vary the result in my state. However I assumed it was essential to only forged a vote that confirmed the sort of particular person I’d prefer to see in workplace,” Hogan stated in an interview with the Washington Put up.

10:30 ET – Christie says he was flawed to not put on masks in White Home

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated that he was flawed to not put on a masks on the White Home, after he and Trump each contracted the coronavirus.

In an announcement, Christie stated he has recovered from COVID-19 after a weeklong keep in a hospital’s intensive care unit. He known as on all political leaders to advocate for face coverings, with the follow turning into more and more politicized even because the pandemic has killed greater than 217,000 Individuals.

“I believed that after I entered the White Home grounds, that I had entered a protected zone, because of the testing that and I and plenty of others underwent daily,” Christie stated. “I used to be flawed.”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump stands with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie earlier than their assembly at Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photograph

10:20 ET – Nebraska Senator rips Trump over COVID-19, international coverage

Ben Sasse a Republican US Senator instructed Nebraska constituents in a phone city corridor assembly that Trump has “flirted with white supremacists,” mocks Christian evangelicals in personal, and “kisses dictators’ butts.”

Sasse, who’s operating for a second time period representing a reliably Republican state, made the feedback in response to a query about why he has been prepared to publicly criticize a president of his personal celebration.

He additionally criticised Trump’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic and stated Trump’s household has handled the presidency “like a enterprise alternative.”

10:00 ET – It has been one 12 months since Trump and Pelosi have spoken

An emblem of political polarisation in Washington: Trump and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi haven’t spoken straight since October 16, 2019, precisely one 12 months in the past.

On that date, Pelosi and different Democratic leaders walked out of a gathering on the White Home about Trump’s resolution to withdraw US troops from Syria. As tensions rose, Trump known as Pelosi a “third-rate politician” and shortly thereafter, the Democratic leaders left the assembly.

Pelosi this week stated any negotiations she has with the White Home are by way of Trump’s intermediaries, not with Trump himself.

09:45 ET – White Home was warned Russia focused Giuliani as misinformation messenger: Report

The Washington Put up is reporting the White Home was warned final 12 months that Trump’s lawyer and adviser, Rudy Giuliani, was the goal of a Russian intelligence disinformation operation.

The warnings led Nationwide Safety Advisor Robert O’Brien to alert Trump that any info Giuliani introduced again from his journeys to Ukraine – together with details about Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s enterprise dealings – ought to be thought of as having Russia’s fingerprints on it. Trump reportedly “shrugged his shoulders” and dismissed the issues.

Giuliani is reportedly one of many sources of a disputed New York Put up report that was printed this week about Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine.

Trump reportedly was warned about information Rudy Giuliani gathered in Ukraine [File: Sarah Silbiger/Reuters]

09:30 ET – Biden considerably outraises Trump in September

Joe Biden and the Democrats have introduced their record-breaking September fundraising haul: $383m, and it was suspected this may put him far forward of Trump’s marketing campaign. Now we all know how a lot additional forward Biden is.

Trump’s marketing campaign and Republicans raised $247.5m in September and ended the month with $251.4m money readily available. Biden’s marketing campaign introduced having $432m within the financial institution as of September 30.

The campaigns may have one last pre-election fundraising disclosure subsequent week which is able to give a snapshot of how a lot they’ve readily available as of October 14.

09:15 ET – Trump’s smile and Mister Rogers

Two moments from final night time’s duelling Trump-Biden town halls touched on one unlikely topic: Smiles.

Earlier than asking a query about immigration, a voter stated to Trump: “I’ve to say, you might have an excellent smile … You’re so good-looking once you smile,” prompting a large grin from the president.

Curiously, after the city corridor, the Miami New Occasions caught up with that voter, Paulette Dale, who instructed the newspaper that she is voting for Biden. “I want he would smile extra and discuss much less,” she stated about Trump.

As for Biden, the Trump marketing campaign senior adviser, Mercedes Schlapp, was rising pissed off with the tone of the Biden city corridor and in contrast it with “watching an episode of” Mister Rogers Neighborhood. She was referring to Fred Rogers, the late youngsters’s tv present host who continues to carry smiles to the faces of youngsters and adults and is lauded for his kindness and endurance.

Her remarks precipitated Mister Rogers to development on Twitter with many responses discovering humour in Schlapp’s try at an insult turning into an inadvertent praise of Biden.

09:00 ET – Twenty-one million Individuals have already voted

Turnout totals for early voting – expanded throughout the US because of the pandemic – has shot previous 21 million, far outpacing this level in earlier elections.

The US Elections Undertaking, which tracks early voting throughout the nation, has reported that 21,231,821 folks have already voted forward of Election Day, November 3. In 2016, the whole variety of Individuals who voted early by mail or in-person early voting was 47 million.

Early voters wait to forged their ballots on the South Regional Library polling location in Durham, North Carolina, October 15, 2020 [Gerry Broome/AP]

Extra Democrats than Republicans have forged their ballots to this point, nevertheless, election specialists warning that it’s unknown precisely who these voters voted for till these votes are counted. As well as, Republicans traditionally have participated much less in early voting and historically prove in bigger numbers in particular person on Election Day.


Learn yesterday’s updates here.

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