- US President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will compete for TV audiences in duelling town halls tonight instead of meeting face-to-face for their second debate as originally planned. Today is the fourth day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Amy Coney Barrett’s US Supreme Court confirmation vote has been set for October 22.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the United States elections. This is Jihan Abdalla.
Thursday, October 15: 09:55 ET – Harris pauses in-person campaigning after staffer diagnosed with COVID-19
US Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will cancel her travel plans through Sunday after one of her staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the campaign said in a statement.
The campaign said that Harris was last tested on Wednesday and was negative.
Her communications director, Liz Allen, had tested positive along with a non-staff flight crew member associated with the campaign.
Kamala Harris faces reporters in a hangar after she and Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, US [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters] 09:40 ET – Vote for contentious Supreme Court nominee set for October 22
The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee has set a vote on confirmation of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett for October 22 at 1pm.
Barrett’s hearings turned contentious as Democrats contend Barrett has not been candid in her responses to questions, withheld information about speeches she has given in the past, and failed to affirm basic elements of law and public discourse that would put her at odds with Trump.
“I thought she was incredibly forthcoming,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the committee. Democrats disagreed.
“We’ve reached the point now where gifted, experienced jurists, legal scholars take that seat behind the table and then deny everything, refuse to answer anything,” said Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat.
US Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifying on the third day of her US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US [Jonathan Ernst/Pool via Reuters] 09:30 ET – Duelling town halls
Trump and Biden will compete for TV audiences in duelling town halls instead of meeting face-to-face for their second debate as originally planned.
The two will take questions in different cities on different networks: Trump on NBC from Miami, Florida and Biden on ABC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – both US battleground states.
Trump backed out of plans for the presidential face-off originally scheduled for October 15 after debate organisers shifted the format to a virtual event following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.
09:00 ET – Mail reversal
The US Postal Service is resuming full operations after changes that slowed mail service nationwide.
The Postal Service agreed to reverse all changes, which included reduced retail hours, removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines, closure or consolidation of mail processing facilities, restriction of late or extra trips for timely mail delivery, and banning or restricting overtime.
The agreement also requires the service to prioritise election mail.
Read yesterday’s updates here.