THE TRUMPS HAVE COVID — KIFOWIT FALLOUT — U. of I. SALIVA TEST CONFUSION – Politico

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THE TRUMPS HAVE COVID — KIFOWIT FALLOUT — U. of I. SALIVA TEST CONFUSION

TGIF, Illinois. Well, we wondered what the October surprise might be and here we are.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The startling news comes just days after Trump ridiculed his opponent, Joe BIden, for how he wears a mask and months after the president downplayed the disease that’s already killed 208,000 Americans. Now he’s the Covid headline across the globe.

At about midnight, Illinois time, the 74-year-old president tweeted: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” The news came on the heels of senior White House aide Hope Hicks also testing positive.

The ripple effect has already been dramatic. Though other world leaders have contracted the disease — Britain’s Boris Johnson and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro — Trump is older and at higher risk than those men, according to The New York Times. “And the news of an American president contracting a potentially lethal virus carried global repercussions beyond that of any other world leader. Financial markets fell in Asia and looked set to open lower in Europe and the United States.”

The AP reports the reaction has been a mix of shock, sympathy and mockery.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not immediately return calls for comment — it’s early. Her and Pritzker have bumped heads with Trump repeatedly for how the White House’s handling of the coronavirus. Pritzker is in isolation himself this week after an aide contracted Covid-19.

POLITICO’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman report that the White House physician has said the president and first lady will “remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.” The doc’s memo

A spokeswoman for Pritzker said: “The governor wishes the president and first lady a speedy recovery.”

There are plenty of big questions now: How will it affect the presidential campaign? What will voters think? How will the greater apparatus of government respond?

The uncertainty trickles down to states and cities, too. What about the Covid relief bill? Will it get new attention across the country?

Last night, before Trump’s announcement, House Democrats approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill — a measure unlikely to see the light of day in the Senate.

The uncertainty of federal funding comes as the clock ticks for Lightfoot to present her next budget in a few weeks. The hope has been that federal funding will help alleviate at least some of the pain that’s been caused by Covid-19 blowing a hole in the city’s revenues.

But for now, all eyes are on the White House.

Republicans are already leveraging Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit’s announcement that she’ll challenge Rep. Michael Madigan for the speakership when that vote comes up in January.

It took just a few hours for the House Republican Organization to come out with media advisories highlighting Democrats in tight races. “Decision Time for Reitz: Kifowit or Madigan,” said one announcement. The message was aimed at Democratic state Rep. Nathan Reitz, who’s being challenged by Republican David Friess for the 116th District House seat. The HRO sent out similar missives addressing other Democrats, too.

As the Tribune’s Dan Petrella and Rick Pearson point out, Kifowit’s power move “provides new fuel” for Republicans to poke at Democrats regarding the ComEd scandal and Madigan’s link to it all — even though he hasn’t been charged with anything.

House Democrats, meanwhile, don’t appear compelled to jump on Kifowit’s bandwagon. They’re focused on their elections and important measures for the upcoming legislative session that’s expected to include a groundbreaking “Black Agenda” focused on criminal justice and policing reform.

Kifowit’s “announcement before an election seems personal and self-serving weeks before the presidential election,” said Rep. La Shawn Ford, echoing other representatives who talked to Playbook. “The election for speaker is over three months away and the national election is a month away, so this move is not about the big picture.”

In making her announcement, Kifowit has also opened herself up to scrutiny about whether she has what it takes to fundraise or strategize. The House speaker also must be able to build coalitions.

That she stood alone at her press conference suggests she has a long way to go. It takes 60 votes to become speaker.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]

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No official public events.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 25 new deaths to the coronavirus Thursday and 2,166 new confirmed cases. That’s a total of 8,696 deaths and 295,440 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Sept. 24 through 30 is 3.5 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.3 percent.

— U. of I.’s saliva test wasn’t given FDA emergency use authorization after all: “The university can continue to administer its saliva-based test — which has already been used to test tens of thousands on campus and in the university community — but had to change the language it uses regarding FDA regulation. The university blamed the situation on confusion over FDA protocols. The university said it believed the saliva-based test had earned emergency use authorization through a study comparing it with a separate FDA-authorized test developed by Yale University researchers,” by Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos.

— Pfizer CEO: ‘Disappointed’ in presidential debate, vows no political pressure on Covid shot: “Albert Bourla’s memo to staff asserts Pfizer’s independence in the face of strong pressure from the White House to deliver a shot before Election Day,” by POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle.

HHS ad blitz sputters as celebrities back away: “The $300 million, taxpayer-funded campaign to tout the administration’s response to Covid-19 falls behind schedule amid widespread criticism,” POLITICO’s Dan Diamond.

She got her coronavirus miracle, surviving 3 weeks in a coma. Then came the hard part: “Karla Taylor-Bauman, 50, of Lake Villa, still faces a tough recovery four months after getting out of the hospital. But, unable to work, she’s now facing foreclosure,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

Could the coronavirus pandemic mean a longer school year in the future?: “State Superintendent Carmen Ayala told the committee that the board is considering how to assess the extent of the losses so that there’s data showing the impacts of the shift to remote learning. But the data may not be available until the end of the school year. In the meantime, the board is looking into the learning priorities for each grade level that were created with input from educators across the state,” writes Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.

Joffrey Ballet extends Covid-19 cancellations into 2021: “Chicago dance company calls off next year’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Little Mermaid’ premieres,” by Sun-Times’ Darel Jevens.

Lightfoot headed for City Council showdown she could lose on volatile issue of civilian police review: “Lightfoot said Thursday she declared an impasse and decided to move forward with her own version of civilian police review after the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, with whom she has worked “hand-in-glove for well over a year,” failed to make a counter-proposal on ‘outstanding issues,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Chicago sees deadliest September since early 1990s with 81 homicides: “The Chicago Police Department said overall crime is down 7 percent year-to-date in 2020 compared to last year, but thus far the number of homicides (50 percent increase) and shootings (51 percent increase) remain well above 2019 figures,” by WTTW’s Matt Masterson.

City says it won’t reopen schools until it completes air quality checks: “The teachers union has cited ventilation as a key safety concern,” by Chalkbeat’s Mila Koumpilova.

Lightfoot dresses in a Halloween costume to unveil pandemic rules for the holiday… some on social media called it “cringey”….But as the Tribune’s Gregory Pratt and Alice Yin report, there was a reason: “Wearing a black and red outfit with a cape emblazoned with ‘Rona Destroyer,’ Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday unveiled a series of Covid-19 rules for the upcoming holiday that she said will allow people to celebrate safely, including a requirement that everyone wear masks.”

… Speaking of holidays: Christkindlmarket cancels outdoor holiday markets in Chicago and Milwaukee, will begin selling online instead Nov. 1, by Tribune’s Abdel Jimenez.

Chicagoans line up, at a distance, on first day of early voting: “The early voting site at Clark and Lake streets will be the city’s only in-person early voting location until Oct. 14,” by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek.

Anti-violence groups build up mental health support for workers ‘exposed to so much trauma:’ “We’re trying to make the community healthy, but yet we have to do that within, and in the workplace that doesn’t happen too often,” says Steven Rucker, ambassador for the Alliance of Local Service Organizations, or ALSO. By WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.

Fulton Market showroom could break Chicago record: “The developer of Herman Miller’s new Chicago location is looking for a big payday and plans to break ground this month on another office building in the neighborhood,” by Crain’s Danny Ecker.

Playboy to become a public company again: “Playboy Enterprises Inc., the storied men’s magazine publisher turned prolific brand licensor, will return to the public markets after nearly a decade through a special-purpose acquisition company. Playboy said Thursday it will merge with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp., which will then take the Playboy name and trade under the symbol PLBY. The equity purchase price is $239 million,” by Bloomberg.

— Column: She waited on MLK and ‘watched six generations grow up here.’ Now, after 58 years, ‘Momma’ Harper is leaving North Lawndale: This week, Louise Harper “walked away from the restaurant and the people whom she considers as family. At 77, she said she is retiring and moving to Florida. The new owners plan to keep the restaurant going, but everyone knows it will seem different without the woman people in the neighborhood fondly call ‘Momma,’” by Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton.

Blackhawks Foundation, A Better Chicago partner to invest $2M in West Side: “The new program, One West Side, is part of an enhanced commitment to West Side philanthropy by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation under executive director Sara Guderyahn,” by Sun-Times’ Ben Pope. Video about their partnership

To get elected, Alsip Mayor John Ryan bragged of cutting predecessor’s pay. Three years later, he wants a big raise.: “The south suburban mayor’s push for the $10,000 raise, to $85,000 — with 2.5% yearly increases — also comes a year after federal agents paid him a visit,” by Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth.

Ex-pot regulator, now on Cook County Bd., offered paid help to weed shop hopefuls: “Bridget Degnen was among multiple ex-state employees who have sought to cash in as officials award the next round of highly lucrative pot shop licenses,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.

Judge Mauricio Araujo quits before panel could remove him over sexual harassment accusations: “Cook County judge faced the prospect of being booted from office Tuesday over ‘clear and convincing evidence’ of inappropriate, harassing behavior toward women,” by Injustice Watch’s John Seasly.

Pritzker vows to fight climate change with clean energy: “But key decisions by the Chicago Democrat’s administration could ensure Illinois remains one of the nation’s biggest contributors of lung-damaging, climate-changing pollution for years to come. Illinois already is a major supplier of coal, the chief source of heat-trapping gases warming the planet,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.

Conservative conspiracists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman charged in voter suppression probe: “Michigan‘s attorney general announced the charges, which include intimidating voters and conspiracy to violate election law through a robocall campaign” that also hit Illinois, by POLITICO’s Matthew Choi.

After 14 years on the run, corrupt former Chicago cop gets 13 years in prison: “A federal jury convicted Eddie Hicks last year of leading a robbery and extortion crew in the 1990s, using his gun and badge to rip-off drug dealers,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Divorce court filing reveals allegation that R. Kelly molested preteen girl In 2009: “Andrea Kelly outlined the allegation, which has not been previously reported, in a 2014 legal filing seeking sole custody of the couple’s three children,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith

Homer Glen man sentenced in Markham bribe scheme: “Thomas Summers, of Homer Glen, owner of Alsip-based Alsterda Cartage and Construction Co., was convicted by a federal jury of making false statements to FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents during a November 2016 interview as part of an investigation into bribes being paid to then-Markham Mayor David Webb Jr. by contractors seeking to maintain or expand business dealings with the city,” by Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan.

Former Crystal Lake cello instructor sentenced to 3 years in attempted sexual assault of 14-year-old student: “A jury last month found Kenneth Kang, 70, of Palatine, guilty of 10 counts of attempted criminal sexual assault. Kang was acquitted of more serious charges of criminal sexual assault,” reports Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.

Republicans want to subpoena Madigan to speak before investigative committee: “Reps. Tom Demmer, Deanne Mazzochi and Grant Wehrli said they’ve drafted subpoenas and sent them to the committee’s chair, Rep. Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

Madigan says it’s not ‘ethically improper’ to find government jobs for people: “What Madigan didn’t mention when discussing the numerous jobs he’s secured for people during more than 50 years in politics is how that practice has benefited him and what it’s cost taxpayers and electricity ratepayers,” writes Tribune’s Ray Long.

Who says marijuana has to be smoked? A new line of cannabis-infused beverages will roll out in Illinois next summer: “Canadian pot firm Canopy Growth, which is partly owned by beer and spirits company Constellation Brands, announced Thursday that its line of cannabis-infused beverages will be available in Illinois and California next summer,” by Tribune’s Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz.

Biden puts Ohio in play: “The once-perennial bellwether state looked out of reach for Democrats this year. But buoyed by polls and GOP divisions, Biden is making a run at it,” by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo and Natasha Korecki.

— Commentary: Republican Ray LaHood says he’s voting for Biden.

Trump requires food aid boxes to come with a letter from him: “We are a nonpartisan organization,” said Greg Trotter, a spokesman for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “While the content of the letter is not overtly political, we think it’s inappropriate to include a letter from any political candidate just weeks from an election.” by POLITICO’s Helena Bottemiller Evich

Trump’s ex-national security adviser says president is ‘aiding and abetting’ Putin, by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey

Trump condemns white supremacist groups 48 hours after debate, by POLITICO’s Matthew Choi

Katie Beirne Fallon is now EVP and chief global impact officer for McDonald’s. She previously was EVP of global corporate affairs for Hilton.

Monday: Valerie Jarrett headlines a Women for Toni (Preckwinkle) fundraiser. Details here

THURSDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to ReadyNation Illinois State Director Sean Noble for being answering correctly that Mahalia Jackson was the first American Gospel performer interviewed by Studs Terkel on WFMT.

TODAY’S QUESTION: Who was the first Latino elected to the Illinois Senate? THE THIRD PERSON to correctly guess gets a mention in the next Playbook (yeah, we’re mixing it up a bit, friends). Send your best guess to [email protected].

Today: McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, Illinois Covid-19 testing strategy coordinator John Arenas, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Media Relations Manager Marlena Baldacci, attorney Peter Baugher, former Ald. Willie Cochran, comms consultant Michelle Damico, the Associated Press’ Tom Krisher, former Cook County Commission candidate Patricia Joan Murphy, ActBlue State outreach associate Caroline Pokrzywinski, and PR pro Lisa Spathis.

Saturday: state Rep. Mike Marron (104th), Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell, Springfield Ald. Andrew Proctor, Forest Preserves General Supt. Arnold Randall, and political campaign consultant Hugo Jacobo.

Sunday: Rep. Lauren Underwood, 50th Ward Ald. Debra Silverstein, congressional candidate and former state House Rep. Jeanne Ives, former Cook County Clerk David Orr, and CMAP Program Director Timothy McMahon.

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October 2, 2020 at 08:24AM

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