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Presidents’ press conferences have a “disturbing impact”



Presidents' press conferences have a "disturbing impact"
Presidents' press conferences have a "disturbing impact"

Presidents’ press conferences have a “disturbing impact”


He’d led allied armies to victory over Nazi Germany, only to find himself a decade later, a little nervous in front of the cameras in an echoey space of the Old Executive Office Building, ready to make history once more.

President Dwight Eisenhower told the press corps, “Well, I see we’re trying a new experiment this morning.” “I’m hoping it doesn’t turn out to be a negative influence.” It was the first presidential press conference to be recorded for television transmission. Americans saw those signature Ike grins and heard him complain about being asked a “loaded question” in the scratchy black and white of 1955 TV sets.

With that, an enlightening, controversial, and often showboating tradition entered the modern era, one that President Joe Biden would continue with his first White House press conference on Thursday. Keep an eye out for any negative influences.

In what historian Martha Joynt Kumar refers to as the “high-risk, high-reward” enterprise of presidential news conferences, Biden is a little or a lot behind his recent predecessors in opening himself up to questions.

Back to Bill Clinton, each of the last four presidents held one solo White House press conference in their first 60 days, before picking up the pace to varying degrees later.

Counting joint, frequently very brief news conferences with visiting foreign leaders, Donald Trump had held at least five, Hillary Clinton at least four, and Barack Obama at least two by that time. This year, the pandemic has driven international leaders away from the White House.

The Biden White House runs a tight ship, and Biden, a self-described “gaffe machine,” is well aware of his history of gaffes.

He gave few press conferences during the 2020 campaign and was frequently hunkered down in the pandemic. Despite this, he debated fellow Democrats a dozen times and Trump three times with no obvious negative impact on his or the country’s prospects.

Americans gained insight into the president’s thinking about Russian President Vladimir Putin — Biden called him a killer who “will pay a price” for U.S. election meddling — as well as the surge of young migrants at the border, a possibly delayed troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and more in one of the president’s last extended and open-ended sessions with the media before Thursday, an interview with ABC News.

Eisenhower’s press conference on Jan. 19, 1955, was one of many in the history of presidential press conferences tracked by Kumar, a White House expert.

Until his presidency, presidents held off-the-record press conferences, at which they informed the media about the country’s affairs and the workings of government without revealing their names.

In 1913, Woodrow Wilson held the first presidential press conference. “The people should have a reasonably clear report on what the president is trying to do,” said Calvin Coolidge, who kept nearly 73 per year on average.

Franklin Roosevelt, a radio pioneer who perfected communications on all fronts and came close to matching Coolidge’s unrivaled rate of news conferences, called his favorite reporters to his office on a daily basis, relegating the ones he didn’t like to his “dunce club.”

Off the record meant allowing the president to rephrase his comments, which is unheard of today. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the audacious canceler of communists real and imagined in US government and culture, was the Kremlin’s “best asset,” Harry Truman announced at a March 1950 news conference.

“When one of the reporters said the president’s remark would ‘hit page one tomorrow,’ Truman realized he needed to soften his stance,” Kumar writes. “He ‘worked’ with reporters, allowing the following direct quote: ‘The biggest weapon that the Kremlin has is the partisan effort in the Senate to undermine the United States’ bipartisan foreign policy.’

When Eisenhower placed the news conferences on tape and allowed broadcasters to monitor them, such exploitation became untenable. Despite this, segments were not broadcast until later.

While Eisenhower wanted to take advantage of the nascent medium of television, he only did so in part. Live telecasts will not be permitted, according to press secretary James C. Hagerty.

John F. Kennedy was the one who ushered in the era of live, televised press conferences, and he excelled at it.

Kennedy held news conferences about twice a month, and he was smooth-talking, authoritative, and humorous.

Kumar claims that despite JFK’s charms and intelligence, he was met with a more hostile White House press corps. Part of this was due to the previous administration’s deception, which included initially informing Americans that the Soviets had shot down a U.S. weather plane when it was actually a spy plane. Despite this, open secrets about Kennedy’s behavior with women and his health issues were not discussed.

The adversarial relationship between the press and power grew stronger as a result of the Vietnam and Watergate debacles. The exercise’s performative nature, with the cameras watching, added to the effect.

Richard Nixon, like Trump before him, referred to the media as a “enemy.” Nixon, on the other hand, was the first president to hold White House press conferences during prime time. (In 1973, Nixon’s famous remark, “I’m not a crook,” was delivered at a question-and-answer session with newspaper editors at an Associated Press meeting in Florida, not at a White House press conference.)

Ronald Reagan, like Nixon, preferred prime time for its large audiences and prestige. He used the opulent East Room as a backdrop.

During this time, press conferences were as much, if not more, about watching a president think on his feet as they did about the policy substance.

Consider Trump: there’s been a lot of preening. Consider the harrowing, hour-long or longer theatrical, stream-of-consciousness monologues in which the president openly sought out friendly questions, mocked difficult ones, and peddled ideas based on what he saw on television.

There has been squirming, such as when Gerald Ford was asked if his pardon of Nixon could be interpreted as an admission of guilt by the disgraced president. “Uh, I think the acceptance of a pardon can be construed by many, if not all, as an admission of guilt,” Ford said slowly.

There have been several outbursts of frustration.

In 2015, when asked why he was “content” to tout the newly achieved nuclear agreement with Iran while that country was still keeping four Americans on false grounds, Obama was irritated. He had a grin on his face that wasn’t a smile.

“The idea that I’m happy when celebrating with American citizens imprisoned in Iranian jails is nonsense, and you should know better,” he said.

By today’s standards, the long-ago issue that Eisenhower discovered “loaded” in the Indian Treaty Room of the vast executive office building that bears his name was harmless. He was clearly asked to focus on his first two years in office and “tell us all about your expectations for the next two or even six.”

Compare that to a Clinton news conference on Feb. 6, 1998, a month after he lied in a televised speech that “I did not have sexual relations with that lady, Miss Lewinsky,” as evidence for his impeachment grew that fall.

In that news conference, he was asked when he would conclude that the crisis was too much to bear for his family and resign.

He said, stone-faced, “Never.”

Clinton was flanked by Tony Blair, the British prime minister, who grinned as if he wanted to be somewhere — somewhere — else at the time.


Wisconsin attorney general calls for election probe to end



Wisconsin attorney general calls for election probe to end


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general who represents the state elections commission on Monday called for a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 presidential election to be shut down, saying it is a partisan political effort that lacks credibility, wastes taxpayer money and is not serious.

“This investigation suffers from glaring flaws that destroy any credibility its results could have had,” Attorney General Josh Kaul said at a news conference. “Shut this fake investigation down.”

Kaul’s comments came after the Republican leader of the Assembly election committee, said she’s been kept out of the loop and doesn’t agree with moves being made by the leader of the probe.

The latest twists comes after Michael Gableman, the retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice leading the investigation, issued a video over the weekend taking aim at Gov. Tony Evers. Evers, a Democrat, told local election officials they should be “lawyered up” and called the taxpayer-funded investigation a $700,000 boondoggle.”

Gableman called that “an incomplete and misguided view” of the probe.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos ordered the investigation under pressure from Donald Trump, who has claimed without evidence that he won Wisconsin last year. President Joe Biden won the state by just under 21,000 votes, an outcome that has withstood recounts and a variety of court rulings.

Vos and Gableman did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Gableman’s investigation has been criticized by Evers and other Democrats as a sham, by moderate Republicans who say it undermines faith in elections that have been proven to be fair, and by conservatives who say he’s not being aggressive enough in pursuing a review like the widely discredited audit recently completed in Arizona.

That was the complaint raised Monday by Republican Rep. Janel Brandtjen, chair of the Assembly elections committee, who said anything short of a recount of all ballots that looks at voting machines would not restore faith in Wisconsin’s election.

Brandtjen disapproved of Gableman saying mayors in Wisconsin’s five largest cities who cooperate with his investigation would be granted immunity. As special counsel, Gableman has no power to prosecute.

Brandtjen said she has only learned of Gableman’s actions, including issuing subpoenas to election officials and the mayors of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Racine and Kenosha, from media reports and the two videos Gableman has posted. She said Gableman does not speak for her or the committee.

The past week has been eventful for the investigation. After Gableman issued the subpoenas, someone working with him told the mayors they could submit more limited information and avoid in-person interviews later this month. But Gableman on Friday said the interviews must happen if the officials don’t cooperate.

Gableman also subpoenaed the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission. Kaul said the subpoena as issued is overly broad and any testimony delivered by the elections commission administrator Meagan Wolfe should be in public before the Assembly elections committee, not behind closed doors as Gableman proposed.

On Saturday, Gableman shifted his criticism to Evers and comments he made nearly two weeks ago when he called the probe a “boondoggle.”

“I would like to ask Tony Evers how is it a boondoggle for the people of Wisconsin to find out if their elections were run fairly?” Gableman asked in the video. “What’s the alternative? The alternative is looking the other way.”

Evers’ spokeswoman Britt Cudaback compared the investigation to a circus and said Gableman was a ringleader who doesn’t understand the elections process and “has predetermined the results of this sham review.”

The probe initially focused on grants that the heavily Democratic cities of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine received from the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life to help run the election.

The grants were funded by donations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. They angered some Republicans because $6.3 million went to the five Democratic cities that ultimately voted for Biden. That was part of $10 million in grants that went to more than 200 communities across Wisconsin.

Gableman suggested in the video that the grants were illegal, even though courts have ruled they were not.

Gableman also said he had “compelling evidence that Wisconsin’s elections laws were not properly followed by election officials at both the state and local levels.” He said violations of law, or protocol, or both may have occurred and that ballot security measures might have been undermined.

He did not describe that evidence.

Gableman in November told a rally of Trump supporters, without evidence, that the election was stolen. In an interview with the Journal Sentinel last week, Gableman said he didn’t understand how elections work.

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Raiders reeling after 2nd straight double-digit loss



Raiders reeling after 2nd straight double-digit loss

The glow from the 3-0 start for the Las Vegas Raiders has been extinguished in rapid fashion following a rough seven-day stretch.

Back-to-back double-digit losses surrounding the release of an email with racist comments from coach Jon Gruden have turned a promising season into a troubling one after the Raiders lost 20-9 on Sunday to the Chicago Bears.

“Right now we’re finding our identity and we haven’t found it yet” Gruden said Monday.

The Raiders appeared headed in the right direction after opening the season with wins over Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Miami with two coming in overtime after they overcame 14-point deficits.

But the problems they could overcome in those games proved to be too much to deal with the past two weeks as they lost 28-14 to the Chargers and then again to the Bears.

The 23 points the past two weeks are the second fewest and the Raiders rank last in the NFL with 4.07 yards per play in those two games as quarterback Derek Carr has struggled and the running game has been almost non-existent behind a porous offensive line.

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Southwest cancels hundreds more flights, denies sickout



Southwest cancels hundreds more flights, denies sickout

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines canceled several hundred more flights Monday following a weekend of major disruptions that it blamed on bad weather and air traffic control issues. The company and the pilots union said the cancellations were not in response to the airline’s decision to mandate vaccinations.

Southwest canceled more than 360 flights — 10% of its schedule for the day — on Monday, and more than 1,000 others were delayed, according to the FlightAware tracking service.

At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), a spokesman said in an email early Monday afternoon that “Our flight display board (doesn’t) show any issues for Southwest at MSP today.”

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. briefly fell more than 4% before a partial recovery; they were down 3% by afternoon.

The third straight day of large-scale cancellations left thousands of passengers stranded and upset.

“My concern is we had no explanation really that was, I feel, very legitimate or believable,” said Brian Gesch of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, who was traveling through Reagan Washington National Airport with his wife. He doubted that weather and air traffic controllers were the real issue. “So we are frustrated and missing a day of work.”

Some were less concerned about the cause than just getting home.

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” said Sean Merrell of Frisco, Texas, “but as long as I can get back to Dallas, it’s all that matters to me.”

The widespread disruptions began shortly after the union for Southwest’s 9,000 pilots asked a federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. The union said it doesn’t oppose vaccination, but it argued in its filing that Southwest must negotiate before taking such a step.

Pilots are not conducting a sickout or slowdown to protest the vaccine mandate, according to the union, which said it “has not authorized, and will not condone, any job action.”

The pilots association offered another explanation: It said Southwest’s operation “has become brittle and subject to massive failures under the slightest pressure” because of a lack of support from the company. The union complained about the “already strained relationship” between it and the company.

Airlines persuaded thousands of workers to take leaves of absence during the pandemic. Unions at Southwest and American have argued that management was too slow to bring pilots back, leaving them short-handed.

Alan Kasher, Southwest’s executive vice president of daily operations, said the airline was staffed for the weekend but got tripped up by air-traffic control issues and bad weather in Florida and couldn’t recover quickly. Because of cutbacks during the pandemic, he noted the airline has fewer flights to accommodate stranded passengers.

“The weekend challenges were not a result of Southwest employee demonstrations,” said airline spokesman Chris Mainz.

The White House has pushed airlines to adopt vaccine mandates because they are federal contractors — they get paid by the Defense Department to operate flights, including those that carried Afghanistan refugees to the U.S. this summer.

United Airlines was the first major U.S. carrier to announce a vaccination requirement. Southwest had remained silent even after President Joe Biden announced his order for federal contractors and large employers. Finally last week, Southwest told employees they must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 to keep their jobs. Workers can ask to skip the shots for medical or religious reasons.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged delays in part of Florida on Friday but pushed back against Southwest’s air-traffic control explanation. The FAA said Sunday that “some airlines” were experiencing problems because of planes and crews being out of position. Southwest was the only airline to report such a large percentage of canceled and delayed flights over the weekend.

Savanthi Syth, an airlines analyst for Raymond James, said the weekend problems will increase Southwest’ costs and worsen the company’s strained relations with unions.

Southwest has struggled all summer with high numbers of delayed and canceled flights. In August, it announced it was trimming its September schedule by 27 flights a day, or less than 1%, and 162 flights a day, or 4.5% of the schedule, from early October through Nov. 5.


The Pioneer Press and Associated Press reporter Tracy Brown in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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Avalanche finalizes opening-night roster, just $1.38 million under $81.5 million salary cap



Avalanche signs defeseman Jack Johnson off professional tryout contract

Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson shared an endearing story Monday when the Avalanche finalized its opening-night roster by reassigning forward Mikhail Maltsev and defenseman Justin Barron to the AHL’s Colorado Eagles.

Johnson, who had been with the Avs in training camp and preseason on a professional tryout contract, signed a one-year deal worth $750,000 on Sunday.

His oldest daughter, Jacklyn, 5, was probably relieved. She was previously worried about the family’s finances.

“My wife was out with my oldest daughter. Her purse was hanging in the car and (Jacklyn) looked in and saw three dollar bills in the purse. So she said, ‘Dad, I really hope you make the team because mom only has three dollars left,’” Johnson said.

Johnson’s family will remain living in Columbus, where he played from 2012 to 2018, but his wife, Kelly, and Jacklyn are scheduled to visit Denver this weekend. After the Avs’ practice Monday, Jack had a long to-do list.

“Got the keys yesterday,” he said of his new residence. “Now I’m trying to get the furniture, my car, and some more clothes and piece together my life real quick.”

Johnson partnered with another new defenseman, Ryan Murray, on Monday. They know each other well, having been teammates in Columbus with the Blue Jackets.

Colorado will begin the season with seven defensemen, 12 forwards, and two goalies on the active roster. At 21 players, two less than the maximum, the Avs have just $1.38 million in cap space, according to @PuckPedia. They will have to get creative when defenseman Devon Toews ($4.1 million cap hit) and goalie Pavel Francouz ($2 million) come off injured reserve.

Toews (offseason shoulder surgery) continues to practice in a red non-contact jersey and appears close to being cleared. Francouz suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 5 and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

Johnson, 34, was limited to just 13 games with the New York Rangers last season after undergoing core muscle repair surgery. He said he might have retired if the Avs didn’t offer him the contract, but he would have been fine with that.

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News prep football rankings, Week 8: There’s a new No. 1 in Class 8-man


on prep football rankings, Week 8: There’s a new No. 1 in Class 8-man

Move over, Mancos. There’s a new No. 1 atop Colorado’s Class 8-man football rankings.

Haxtun (7-0) took the top spot in the prep football rankings after defeating last week’s No. 3-ranked Sedgwick County, 36-12, on Friday. The Fightin’ Bulldogs garnered 12 of the 14 first-place votes to leap over Mancos (4-0).

The top spot in the other classes remained the same with Valor Christian (5A), Montrose (4A), Roosevelt (3A), Eaton (2A), Limon (1A) and Cheyenne Wells (6-man) remaining at the No. 1 positions.

Here’s this week’s rankings:

Class 5A

Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Valor Christian (11) 7-0 146 1 W
2. Cherry Creek (4) 6-1 139 2 W
3. Legend 6-1 112 6 W
4. Columbine 5-2 76 7 W
5. Grandview 5-2 71 4 L
6. Arvada West 6-1 70 8 W
7. Ralston Valley 6-1 62 3 L
8. Arapahoe 6-1 51 9 W
9. Regis Jesuit 4-3 46 5 L
10. ThunderRidge 6-1 24 W

Dropped out: Douglas County (10).

Others receiving votes: Pomona 20, Castle View 3, Douglas County 3, Cherokee Trail 1, Smoky Hill 1.

Class 4A

Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Montrose (10) 7-0 193 1 W
2. Dakota Ridge (6) 7-0 164 2 W
3. Pine Creek (3) 6-1 157 3 W
4. Erie (1) 7-0 146 4 W
5. Palmer Ridge 6-1 130 5 W
6. Loveland (1) 6-1 118 6 W
7. Golden 7-0 66 9 W
8. Ponderosa 5-2 52 8 L
9. Fountain-Fort Carson 6-1 39 10 W
10. Vista Ridge 5-1 29 W

Dropped out: Chatfield (7).

Others receiving votes: Chatfield 20, Pueblo West 11, Denver South 9, Aurora Central 6, Bear Creek 5, Cheyenne Mountain 3, Longmont 3, Skyline 2, Fruita Monument 1, Vista PEAK 1.

Class 3A

Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Roosevelt (14) 6-0 158 1 W
2. Lutheran (2) 6-0 138 3 W
3. Fort Morgan 5-0 118 4 W
4. Mead 4-1 106 2 L
5. Frederick 5-0 97 5 W
6. Durango 4-2 86 6 W
7. Holy Family 4-2 44 8 W
8. Palisade 4-2 35 9 W
9. Pueblo South 4-2 34 10 W
10. Evergreen 5-1 33 7 L

Dropped out: None.

Others receiving votes: Northridge 8, Discovery Canyon 7, Pueblo East 6, Green Mountain 2, Pueblo Central 2, Pueblo County 2, Summit 2, Glenwood Springs 1, Thomas Jefferson 1.

Class 2A

Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Eaton (17) 6-0 187 1 W
2. The Classical Academy (2) 5-0 162 3 W
3. Resurrection Christian 4-1 133 2 L
4. Moffat County 6-0 131 4 W
5. Severance 6-0 128 5 W
6. Delta 5-1 91 6 W
7. Basalt 5-1 67 7 W
8. Brush 4-2 41 9 W
9. Elizabeth 5-2 33 10 W
10. Bayfield 4-1 30 W

Dropped out: The Academy (8).

Others receiving votes: University 15, Platte Valley 9, Alamosa 5, Woodland Park 5, Northfield 3, Kent Denver 2, La Junta 2, Weld Central 1.

Class 1A

Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Limon (13) 6-0 189 1 W
2. Centauri (7) 5-0 185 2 W
3. Florence 7-0 154 3 W
4. Buena Vista 7-0 141 4 W
5. Wray 5-1 114 5 W
6. Wiggins 5-1 83 8 W
7. Strasburg 4-3 52 9 W
8. Holyoke 4-2 49 6 L
9. North Fork 4-2 38 7 L
10. Meeker 4-2 36 W

Dropped out: Yuma (10).

Others receiving votes: Gunnison 27, Yuma 11, Monte Vista 9, Bennett 5, Highland 5, Manual 1, Peyton 1.


Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Haxtun (12) 7-0 138 2 W
2. Mancos (2) 4-0 123 1 W
3. Vail Christian 6-0 82 6 W
4T. Sanford 4-1 76 5 L
4T. Sedgwick County 3-2 76 3 L
6. Dayspring Christian Academy 5-2 62 4 W
7. Akron 4-2 61 7 W
8. Dove Creek 4-2 43 8 W
9. Holly 5-1 34 10 W
10. Pikes Peak Christian 3-1 21 W

Dropped out: Merino (9).

Others receiving votes: Simla 15, Fowler 12, Calhan 11, Merino 7, Crowley County 6, Front Range Christian 2, Byers 1.


Team Record Points Pvs LW

1. Cheyenne Wells (15) 7-0 150 1 W
2. Stratton 5-1 120 2 W
3. Fleming 6-1 117 3 W
4. Granada 5-1 112 4 W
5. Idalia 4-2 77 7 W
6. Branson/Kim 6-0 66 6 W
7. Sierra Grande 5-0 56 8 W
8. Prairie 5-2 53 5 L
9. Genoa-Hugo 5-0 39 9 W
10. Cheraw 4-3 20 10 L

Dropped out: None.

Others receiving votes: Arickaree/Woodlin 7, Briggsdale 6, Hanover 2.
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Coronavirus Monday update: 25 more Minnesota deaths and 3,223 new infections



Coronavirus Monday update: 25 more Minnesota deaths and 3,223 new infections

Minnesota recorded 25 more COVID-19 fatalities Monday and another 3,223 more coronavirus infections were reported by the state Department of Health.

The latest deaths ranged in age from their late 30s to their late 90s with 18 having resided in private homes and seven in long-term care. Four of the deaths occurred in September and 21 in October.

The death toll is 8,320 with 4,678 fatalities in long-term care. Another 113 fatalities are suspected to have been caused by the virus.

Deaths are not reported in a uniform way, but the rate of fatalities reported in the state is on the rise with more than a dozen being reported a day, up from about seven a day a month ago.

Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid severe infections with more than 98 percent of the 3.2 million Minnesotans not reporting a breakthrough infections.

However, breakthrough cases have been on the rise with 38,808 infections reported, or about 1.2 percent, of fully vaccinated Minnesotans. Of those who reported breakthrough infections, 1,934 have been hospitalized and 234 have died — both a fraction of a percentage point of the fully vaccinated.

The 3,223 new infections reported Monday were the result of about 46,000 tests for a positivity rate of about 7 percent. The seven-day rolling average for test positivity is about 7.2 percent, well above the 5 percent caution threshold used to determine if the pandemic is under control.

School-age children remain the group with the most new infections, but the rate of new cases is now again on the rise in middle-age Minnesotans.

There are now 915 patients hospitalized including 241 in critical condition. That’s the most patients needing care for COVID-19 this year and hospital beds remain in short supply across much of the state with just 43 intensive care beds open statewide.

There have been 738,843 coronavirus infections diagnosed since the pandemic began or about 13 percent of the state’s 5.8 million residents. Of those 705,936, or 96 percent, have recovered enough they no longer need to be isolated.

Minnesota has administered more than 6.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine and 3.4 million people have gotten at least one dose. About 73 percent of those who are eligible, aged 12 and older, have gotten at least one shot.

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Most Missouri vaccine lottery entrants were immunized before program started



Most Missouri vaccine lottery entrants were immunized before program started

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The 7-day COVID case average, considered a good way of tracking the rise and fall in cases has dropped nearly 40% from this time last month. The Missouri average sits at 959; yesterday, it was 964. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 1,594. 

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 687,685 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 644 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 11,694 total deaths as of Monday, Oct. 11, no increase over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.70%.

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Broncos Fifth Quarter: Missed opportunities from inside Steelers’ 10-yard line on final drive



Broncos Up-Down Drill: Highs and lows for Denver against the Steelers

Upon Further Review

1. Final sequence. The Broncos reached the Steelers’ 9-yard line with 56 seconds remaining. First down — QB Teddy Bridgewater had TE Noah Fant at the 3 if he wanted to fire a fastball, but he slid right and his throw (3.83 seconds post-snap) to WR Tim Patrick in the back right corner of the end zone didn’t have enough air and was broken up by CB Joe Haden. Second down — Bridgewater checked down to RB Melvin Gordon for six yards. Third down — Bridgewater overthrew WR Diontae Spencer in the end zone. Fourth down — Bridgewater threw in 2.97 seconds, but could have drifted left to buy more time. His throw was behind WR Courtland Sutton and intercepted by CB James Pierre. “We just didn’t make the plays,” coach Vic Fangio said. “Give (Pittsburgh) credit for getting us stopped down there.”

2. No pass rush. Pittsburgh entered the game with 10 sacks allowed in four games and QB Ben Roethlisberger rarely ventured out of the pocket. But the Broncos couldn’t generate a consistent pass rush. They had one sack (OLB Malik Reed in 3.89 seconds that forced a turnover), but only one other knockdown (DE Dre’Mont Jones) and three pressures (OLB Von Miller and ILBs Alexander Johnson/Justin Strnad).

3. Poor tackling. In their first four games, the Broncos missed 11 tackles (2.8 per game), but thanks in part to Steelers RB Najee Harris, the defense had a season-high eight missed tackles. CBs Kyle Fuller and Pat Surtain II had two apiece and missing one tackle apiece were Jones, Strnad, NT Mike Purcell and S Kareem Jackson. Jackson’s missed tackle came when he took a bad angle on WR Chase Claypool’s 59-yard catch and run.

4. Costly sack. RB Javonte Williams’ season-best 49-yard run, followed by his delay of game penalty, gave the Broncos a first down at the Steelers’ 9. After a two-yard run by Williams, Bridgewater was sacked in 3.00 seconds by unblocked LB Devin Bush (miscommunication by Williams and RT Bobby Massie) for a 12-yard loss. Afterward, Bridgewater admitted he should have tried to flip a pass to FB/TE Andrew Beck in the right flat. It may have been a touchdown.

5. Success downfield. Only four of Bridgewater’s 38 pass attempts traveled at least 16 “air” yards and he completed three of them for 87 yards — 25 to Sutton, 39 (touchdown) to Sutton and 23 to WR Kendall Hinton. On downfield shots this year, Bridgewater is 12-of-28 passing for 343 yards. That accounts for 29.1% of his yards for the season.

6. Protecting Teddy. Pittsburgh rushed at least five players on 14 of Bridgewater’s 42 drop-backs (33.3%). He was 9 of 12 for 100 yards (one TD, one sack) against extra rushers. The sacks were booked to RG Graham Glasgow (2.39 seconds) and Williams/Massie. The Steelers had two other knockdowns and six pressures.

Four Key Numbers


Average yards to go on third down for the Broncos’ offense this year (second-highest in NFL).


On a third-and-13 play, the Broncos’ defense played a seven-defensive back package (CB Nate Hairston and S P.J. Locke were on the field).


Rushing yards by the Steelers, their highest total since 159 at Cincinnati in November 2019.

20 of 20

Point-after attempts (nine) and field goals (11) for K Brandon McManus without a miss this year.

Talking Points

Playing time breakdown. The shortage of available players at tight end and receiver meant heavy playing time for TE Noah Fant (58 of 60 snaps) and WRs Tim Patrick (57) and Courtland Sutton (54). RB Melvin Gordon had more snaps than RB Javonte Williams (36-25) for the fourth time this year. On defense, S Kareem Jackson missed 10 snaps while being evaluated for a concussion. OLBs Malik Reed (61 of 65) and Von Miller (58) again barely left the field. S Caleb Sterns played a season-high 19 snaps as the sixth defensive back and also filling in for Jackson.

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Missouri hunting guide accused of defrauding investors



Missouri hunting guide accused of defrauding investors

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– A Southwest Missouri hunting guide is accused of allegedly defrauding investors. The Missouri Secretary of State’s office issued a cease and desist order against Theodore Jay Eddings of Republic.

The Secretary of State’s office says Eddings raised at least $50,000 for two entities he claimed to own and operate but only one was actually a registered business.

Officials say between April 2017 and October 2018 Eddings raised the funds by selling investments in the form of investment contracts and promissory notes to eight individuals in five states. One investor was from Missouri.

Eddings allegedly used Facebook to promote the entities as deer and turkey hunt providers. Officials say when someone would contact Eddings for services, he would solicit investments into the business. Once the funds were received, the Secretary of State’s office says he would misappropriate the funds for his own personal benefit.

He is also accused of making material misstatements and omissions in connection with the sale of the securities.

The Secretary of State’s securities division is seeking an order stopping Eddings from further violations of the Missouri Securities Act. They are also asking for $53,5000 in restitution.

Eddings is charged with Criminal Securities Fraud or violation and stealing. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Greene County on Nov. 30.

If you think you’ve been a victim of this or another scam, investors are urged to call the toll-free investor protection hotline at 800-721-7996 or go online to for more information or to file a complaint.

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7-day COVID case average drops nearly 40% in Missouri



Additional Missouri counties surpass 40% full vaccination against COVID-19

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The 7-day COVID case average, considered a good way of tracking the rise and fall in cases has dropped nearly 40% from this time last month. The Missouri average sits at 959; yesterday, it was 964. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 1,594. 

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 687,685 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 644 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 11,694 total deaths as of Monday, Oct. 11, no increase over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.70%.

Please keep in mind that not all cases and deaths recorded occurred in the last 24 hours.

State health officials report 54.3% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 65.8% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.

The state has administered 90,555 doses—including booster shots—of the vaccine in the last 7 days (this metric is subject to a delay, meaning the last three days are not factored in). The highest vaccination rates are among people over 65.

The city of Joplin, St. Louis, St. Charles, and Boone counties are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its population fully vaccinated. Twenty-two other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: Atchison, Cole, Jackson, Franklin, Greene, Cape Girardeau, Jefferson, Nodaway, Cass, Ste. Genevieve, Carroll, Andrew, Callaway, Gasconade, Christian, Benton, Clinton, Livingston, and Dade counties, as well as St. Louis City, Kansas City, and Independence.

Vaccination is the safest way to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity for COVID-19 requires 80% to 90% of the population to have immunity, either by vaccination or recovery from the virus.

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(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

The Bureau of Vital Records at DHSS performs a weekly linkage between deaths to the state and death certificates to improve quality and ensure all decedents that died of COVID-19 are reflected in the systems. As a result, the state’s death toll will see a sharp increase from time to time. Again, that does not mean a large number of deaths happened in one day; instead, it is a single-day reported increase.

At the state level, DHSS is not tracking probable or pending COVID deaths. Those numbers are not added to the state’s death count until confirmed in the disease surveillance system either by the county or through analysis of death certificates.

The 10 days with the most reported cases occurred between Oct. 10, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021.

Approximately 49.6% of all reported cases are for individuals 39 years of age and younger. The state has further broken down the age groups into smaller units. The 18 to 24 age group has 84,545 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 58,617 cases.

People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 43% of all recorded deaths in the state.

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Month / Year Missouri COVID cases*
(reported that month)
March 2020 1,327
April 2020 6,235
May 2020 5,585
June 2020 8,404
July 2020 28,772
August 2020 34,374
September 2020 41,416
October 2020 57,073
November 2020 116,576
December 2020 92,808
January 2021 66,249
February 2021 19,405
March 2021 11,150
April 2021 12,165
May 2021 9,913
June 2021 12,680
July 2021 42,780
August 2021 60,275
September 2021 45,707
October 2021 10,951
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Missouri has administered 7,219,859 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Oct. 10, 16.9% of those tests have come back positive. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.

According to the state health department’s COVID-19 Dashboard, “A PCR test looks for the viral RNA in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract to determine if there is an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A positive PCR test means that the person has an active COVID-19 infection.”

The Missouri COVID Dashboard no longer includes the deduplicated method of testing when compiling the 7-day moving average of positive tests. The state is now only using the non-deduplicated method, which is the CDC’s preferred method. That number is calculated using the number of tests taken over the period since many people take multiple tests. Under this way of tabulating things, Missouri has a 7.8% positivity rate as of Oct. 8. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

The 7-day positivity rate was 4.5% on June 1, 10.2% on July 1, and 15.0% on Aug. 1.

As of Oct. 8, Missouri is reporting 1,233 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 1,362. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 18% statewide. The state’s public health care metrics lag behind by three days due to reporting delays, especially on weekends. Keep in mind that the state counts all beds available and not just beds that are staffed by medical personnel.

On July 6, the 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations eclipsed the 1,000-person milestone for the first time in four months, with 1,013 patients. The 7-day average for hospitalizations had previously been over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021.

On Aug. 5, the average eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time in more than seven months. It was previously over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.

The 2021 low point on the hospitalization average in Missouri was 655 on May 29.

Across the state, 339 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 20%.

If you have additional questions about the coronavirus, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is available at 877-435-8411.

As of Oct. 9, the CDC identified 44,217,318 cases of COVID-19 and 711,020 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.61%.

How do COVID deaths compare to other illnesses, like the flu or even the H1N1 pandemics of 1918 and 2009? It’s a common question.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preliminary data on the 2018-2019 influenza season in the United States shows an estimated 35,520,883 cases and 34,157 deaths; that would mean a case-fatality rate of 0.09 percent. Case-fatality rates on previous seasons are as follows: 0.136 percent (2017-2018), 0.131 percent (2016-2017), 0.096 percent (2015-2016), and 0.17 percent (2014-2015).

The 1918 H1N1 epidemic, commonly referred to as the “Spanish Flu,” is estimated to have infected 29.4 million Americans and claimed 675,000 lives as a result; a case-fatality rate of 2.3 percent. The Spanish Flu claimed greater numbers of young people than typically expected from other influenzas.

Beginning in January 2009, another H1N1 virus—known as the “swine flu”—spread around the globe and was first detected in the US in April of that year. The CDC identified an estimated 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths; a 0.021 percent case-fatality rate.

For more information and updates regarding COVID mandates, data, and the vaccine, click here.

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