Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have surpassed 200,000. Republicans appear to have the backup they need for a SCOTUS vote. And ladies, we're going to the moon. 🚀
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200,000 coronavirus deaths in the US
It's been less than eight months since health officials announced what was thought to be the first confirmed coronavirus fatality in the U.S. Today, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus quietly surpassed 200,000, and experts predict the death toll could almost double by year's end. Fatigue for social distancing and the push to get back into offices and schools could fuel new cases – and deaths – in the coming weeks and months. Experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predict 378,321 deaths by January. But the nation marches on:
- The race to a vaccine: The horseshoe crab's fluorescent blue blood is its best line of defense against toxins. That power may have a vital role in the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
- Thinking of traveling? Our travel writer David Oliver checked in at a few hotels to see what it's really like to stay at a hotel during COVID-19. Hint: Not everyone wears a mask.
- COVID-19 survivors may need to get screened for heart damage: While COVID-19 is known as a respiratory infection, there's emerging evidence linking it to heart damage, too.
Will RBG's seat on the Supreme Court be filled before Election Day?
Republicans likely have enough support for a vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — possibly before the election. In a crucial development in the battle to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sen. Mitt Romney announced Tuesday that he would support moving forward on a vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee to fill her seat. Republican leaders have not presented a timeline for holding a vote, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued there is plenty of time to consider a nominee before the Nov. 3 election. Waiting until after the election could be dicey for Republicans, and early polling suggests a majority of voters think Trump should not be able to fill the Supreme Court vacancy if he loses the election. Democrats say there’s not much they can do to delay the vote.
What everyone’s talking about
- BRB moving to New Mexico: Is your city on of the healthiest communities in the United States? Mine sure isn't (*checks air quality*).
- You can finally pre-order the new Xbox Series X — but they will sell out fast.
- Louisville police have declared a "state of emergency" and restricted downtown access ahead of an announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.
- Tesla's hyped up "Battery Day" is here: Here's everything we know so far.
- Trick-or-treat: We're in for a special Halloween "blue moon" this year.
Get in loser, we’re going to the moon
NASA has released a $28 billion plan to land the first woman (hell yeah) and the next man (still exciting) on the moon in 2024. The mission, part of NASA's Artemis plan, would mark the first time humans would land on the lunar surface since 1972. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said astronauts are returning to the moon "for scientific discovery, economic benefits and inspiration for a new generation of explorers." What’s next? Maybe even Mars. “As we build up a sustainable presence, we’re also building momentum toward those first human steps on the Red Planet,” Bridenstine said.
Tropical Depression Beta swamps Texas
Although weakening to a tropical depression, torrential rain and flooding from Beta continued to swamp portions of Texas on Tuesday. Already, over a foot of rain had fallen in some areas around Houston, leaving roadways flooded and motorists stranded. By midmorning Tuesday, the center of Beta was 15 miles east-northeast of Victoria, Texas. Forecasters say Beta will gradually pick up forward speed across the southern U.S. this week, but not before unleashing more flooding rainfall in the Houston area and triggering pockets of flooding from eastern Texas and Louisiana to Georgia in the coming days.
- A Florida island has turned into multiple islands after Hurricane Sally.
- A firefighter killed in the California blaze sparked at a gender reveal party as been identified as Charles Morton.
- Life after coronavirus: Futurists think 2025 will bring fewer airlines, full sports stadiums and lots of air purifiers.
- Bed Bath & Beyond coupons: What shoppers need to know about the 20% discount amid a new round of store closings.
- Uzo Aduba, Sterling K. Brown and other famous faces are coming together to re-create an episode of "Friends" with an all-Black cast.
- Up to 70% of KN95 masks imported from China don't meet filtration standards, a new study says.
Cities are under siege by protesters, two-thirds of Americans say
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say cities are under siege by protesters and counterprotesters, a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll found, as protests against systemic racism continue across the U.S. and Americans reckon with racial injustice and inequality. The 64% majority who say cities are under siege shows stark partisan divisions: Significantly more Republicans than Democrats say protesters are overwhelming towns, 83% to 48%, respectively. The poll comes as law and order becomes a major theme in the 2020 presidential race.
A break from the news
- 🏚 Working from home? Turn your shed into a home office.
- 🍷 Costco is bringing back its wine Advent calendar.
- ✨ "Almost Famous" 20th anniversary: Where are Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit now?
- 🍿 How to watch the Emmy-winning shows: "Schitt’s Creek," "Succession," and more.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19 cases, Supreme Court, Trump, moon, Beta, RBG: Tuesday's news