Here are things you need to know for Friday, Oct. 2:
1. President Trump and first lady test positive for COVID-19
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, the president tweeted early Friday.
Trump’s positive test comes just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks came down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week. Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 200,000 people nationwide.
2. House Democrats pass partisan COVID bill; relief talks drag
Democrats controlling the House narrowly passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Thursday night, a move that came as top-level talks on a smaller, potentially bipartisan measure dragged on toward an uncertain finish. An air of pessimism has largely taken over the Capitol.
The Democratic bill passed after a partisan debate by a 214-207 vote without any Republicans in support. The move puts lawmakers no closer to actually delivering aid such as more generous weekly unemployment payments, extended help for small businesses and especially troubled economic sectors such as restaurants and airlines, and another round of $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.
3. Abbott issues order limiting number of places mail-in ballots can be dropped off to 1 per county
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order Thursday that limits the number of places voters can drop-off their mail-in ballots to one per county.
Abbott said mail ballots can be dropped off in-person at only one place that is designated by each county’s early-voting clerk.
The order also requires clerks to allow poll watchers to observe activity conducted at the drop-off location related to the delivery of marked mail ballots.
4. Houston home builder skips big step, leaves smart homes dumb
Buying a new home is a big moment. Moving in is exciting; but several new homeowners in one Houston community say their brand new homes are missing a crucial utility, especially during the pandemic. They have no internet service.
You know the feeling when you’re trying to get some work done online and you lose your internet connection for a few minutes? Now, imagine that you lose it for six months. It’s what happened to nine homeowners in north Houston who just moved into a brand new smart home community.
5. Carnival Cruise Line cancels all cruises set to sail out of Galveston for 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns
If you were looking to catch a Carnival cruise out of Galveston soon, you’ll have to wait.
On Thursday, Carnival Cruise Line stated that some of its cruises from all U.S. homeports, except Miami and Port Canaveral, are canceled for November and December due to COVID-19 concerns. The cancellation applies to all cruises that were planned to sail out of the Port of Galveston.