Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
The United States confirmed 44,713 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday per the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, with 5.4 percent of the 835,868 tests reported coming back positive. An additional 883 deaths were attributed to the virus on Thursday, bringing the pandemic’s American death toll to 197,615.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe partially reversed course on his August decision to brief Congress on election security matters in writing only, saying Wednesday that members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees will continue receiving in-person briefings.
FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress of “very active efforts” by Russian operatives to undermine the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden through social media, online journals, and state media. “The intelligence community consensus is that Russia continues to try to influence our elections,” Wray said. He also noted that “racially motivated violent extremism” is the largest “bucket” of domestic terrorism in the FBI’s eyes, with white supremacist violence being the most prevalent.