What we’re reading: President Trump and First Lady test positive for COVID-19, voting rights groups file suit over Abbott’s executive order


President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hold hands on stage after the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

By Molly Boyce

President Trump and the First Lady test positive for COVID-19

President Trump said Friday he and Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, according to The New York Times.

The president’s announcement followed the reports that his adviser, Hope Hicks, received positive test results after she accompanied him on Air Force One flying to Wednesday’s campaign rally in Minnesota.

The White House did not disclose how long Mr. Trump, 74, will have to quarantine, but it will temporarily interrupt his campaign against former Vice President Joe Biden with only a month before the Nov. 3 election.

Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said the Trumps are doing well, and the president will be able to sustain his duties.

FILE – In this Thursday April 16, 2020 file photo, The Amazon logo is seen in Douai, northern France. Amazon said Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 that nearly 20,000 of its workers have tested positive or been presumed positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

20,000 Amazon employees tested positive for COVID-19

Amazon announced Thursday that 20,000 of its U.S. front-line workers have tested positive for COVID-19 from March 1 to Sept. 19, according to CBS News.

The company said when compared to the general population case rate Johns Hopkins University reported for the same time span, its total case count was 42% lower than what was expected.

Amazon workers and labor groups have been urging the company to release its case numbers for several months, but up until now the company has been silent.

The e-commerce website’s employees filed a lawsuit in June, saying the company failed to follow labor laws and was putting workers in danger amid a pandemic.

Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said Amazon’s report is evidence that “corporate America has completely failed to protect our country’s front-line workers in this pandemic,” and it “demands the highest level of scrutiny.”

A sign indicates a drive-through ballot drop off location at the 700 Lavaca Parking Garage in Austin, Texas, on Thursday Oct. 1, 2020, shortly after an order was announced by Gov. Greg Abbott restricting such drop off locations. Civil rights and voter advocacy groups have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block an order by Gov. Abbott that dramatically reduced the number of drop-off locations for mail ballots. The lawsuit filed late Thursday could be the first of many legal challenges against Abbott’s order that assigns just one drop-off location in each of Texas’ 254 counties and allows poll watchers to observe ballot deliveries. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Voting rights groups file lawsuit against Gov. Abbott’s executive order

Two Texas voters, along with voting rights groups and the state Democratic Party, filed a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott’s restriction on hand-delivering absentee ballots, according to NBC News.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the League of Women Voters Texas and Texas residents Ralph Edelbach and Barbara Mason took the case to Austin’s federal court, calling Abbott’s decision a “burden to voters” and “unconstitutional.”

Abbott’s new order limits the number of locations where voters can hand deliver their absentee ballots to one per county, and voters worry this will increase the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told NBC the restriction is a Republican attempt not to lose the power in the state and “to steal the election from the rising Texas electorate.”

Abbott spokesman John Wittman argued with those claims and said the executive order is accommodating to voters using the mail-in method because it pushes the submission deadline back to Election Day.