Sep 17, 2020
Hospitalizations Spike for COVID-19 in Missouri
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Hospitalizations for the coronavirus have risen in recent days across Missouri, according to data from the state health department.
The most recent data shows 1,021 patients in hospitals with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 on Saturday, the second-highest day on record.The highest was Sept. 9, when 1,040 patients were hospitalized. The fourth-highest number of hospitalizations on record occurred Friday, with 1,008 patients.
The number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically since the state reopened for business in mid-June. Missouri reported 1,191 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 106,587 since counting began in March. Seven more deaths also were reported. All told, 1,739 Missourians have died from COVID-19.
PAGE MAINTAINS POWER IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY
The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday turned aside two bills that sought to take away pandemic-related power from County Executive Sam Page and the health department.
St. Louis County has had more cases and deaths than any other Missouri jurisdiction, and Page, a Democrat, has initiated stricter guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus than those required statewide by Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
Among those restrictions are limits on youth sports competitions, which have drawn several protests and rallies in recent days.
One bill turned down by the council would have given it more involvement in how long a pandemic-related emergency declaration from the county executive could last. The other bill would have required two-thirds of council members to approve extending orders from the health department director.
The council, in a 4-3 vote, declined to take up either bill.
MORE MASK MANDATES
At least two more jurisdictions are taking new steps aimed at slowing the virus' spread.
The St. Francois County Health Board in southeast Missouri on Tuesday approved a countywide mask mandate, the Park Hills Daily Journal reported.
The approval came despite heated opposition and protests from some residents of the county, which is about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray signed an emergency order mandating face coverings in most indoor areas except homes. The St. Joseph News-Press reported that the mandate takes effect Thursday. The mask mandate comes as hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been spiking in St. Joseph.
NATIONAL GUARD REMAINS MOBILIZED
Parson has signed an executive order extending mobilization of the Missouri National Guard through Dec. 30, a move the governor said will allow the Guard to continue assisting in COVID-19 response efforts.
Parson initially mobilized the National Guard on March 27 to support Missouri’s COVID-19 response. The governor’s office said the Guard’s role has included testing support, transporting supplies and equipment, and meal distribution.
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Donald Trumps Company Charged Secret Service $500 A Night For Rentals, Even As Club Was Closed For COVID-19
Donald Trump’s company reportedly charged the U.S. Secret Service more than $500 per night to rental a three-bedroom cottage at the president’s New Jersey golf club — even as the facility itself was closed during the COVID-19 crisis.
As The Week reported, the golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was forced to close as the entire hospitality industry was hit by the spread of the virus and statewide lockdowns back in the spring. But the absence of visitors and employees did not stop the Trump Organization from continuing to charge taxpayers for the security detail to rent a cottage, the report noted.
The outlet reported that the company charged the Secret Service more than $21,800 to stay on the property, including a $567-year-night fees for a three-bedroom cottage close to the president’s personal villa. The charges also included two more rooms that cost $142 to $283 per night, the report found.
Trump never visited the New Jersey resort during this time, The Week noted, though his daughter, Ivanka, did.
As Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold wrote on Twitter, the Trump Organization did not comment about why they continued to charge the agency for the rooms even as the club was closed. He reported that the evidence appears to contradict claims from Eric Trump that they charged very low rates for the agency, as low as $50 per night.
“We are still trying to prove @erictrump right! He said the Trump Org charges the US govt ‘like 50 bucks’ for hotel rooms. But no luck so far!” he wrote on Twitter. “We’ve looked at 100s of bills, and not found a single one that matches Eric Trump’s claim. The rates were all higher, up to $650/night.”
Fahrenthold said he continued to seek information from the company that could back up the claim, but had not yet received a reply.
Heres the email from Trump Bedminster’s GM, announcing the club was closing for covid on 3/17/20.
And here are two bills, showing @realdonaldtrump’s club charging the Secret Service about $16,000 while the club was shuttered.
Why? Trump Org wouldn’t say. pic.twitter.com/8Rjlx0x1QA
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) September 17, 2020
The president has faced criticism for his refusal to divest from his personal business, something his predecessors have done. Trump instead said he turned over the operations to his adult sons and has no involvement with the running of the business, though critics said he has remained closely tied to the organization and still benefits financially from the taxpayer funds that Secret Service and others have paid to stay at properties. As The Inquisitr reported, the charges included $54,000 for tents that were erected at a New Year’s Eve party at the his Mar-a-Lago resort — a party that Trump himself did not attend.