The Morning Dispatch: Trump Doubles Down on Conspiracy Theory

Happy Wednesday! If you had the 2016 University of Cincinnati football team’s record playing a role in Republicans’ efforts to win back a Senate seat in Alabama four years later, collect your winnings.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • As of Tuesday night, 1,680,913 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States (an increase of 18,145 from yesterday) and 98,916 deaths have been attributed to the virus (an increase of 693 from yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 5.9 percent (the true mortality rate is likely much lower but it’s impossible to determine precisely due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 14,907,041 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States (302,099 conducted since yesterday), 11.3 percent have come back positive.

  • The Maryland biotech company Novavax announced the beginning of human clinical trials for its coronavirus vaccine. The company will enroll 130 healthy individuals in the study.

  • The Justice Department announced Tuesday it was closing its investigations into three U.S. senators for potential violations of insider trading laws, but continuing to pursue a related investigation into North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr. The investigation was opened in response to concerns about a number of senators selling off stocks after being privy to confidential briefings at the outset of the pandemic, which presented a potential violation of the 2012 Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.

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