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Trump touts COVID-19 recovery as Philadelphians struggle to get treated | Morning Newsletter

And mass ballot request rejection confuses voters

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

President Donald Trump took a dismissive tone toward the dangers of COVID-19 after receiving a raft of coronavirus treatments available to few but him. “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he told Americans. But the battles waged by Philadelphia’s physicians and patients tell a different story.

And it’s election crunch time. All eyes are on what analysts are calling the “tipping point state” of Pennsylvania, which could decide it all. And a mass rejection of mail-in ballots after many voters applied more than once is only adding to the confusion.

OK, let’s get into it.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

Trump’s unprecedented course of treatment for coronavirus included an experimental regimen that is out of reach for most Americans. And doctors and patients in the region believe that his recovery story speaks to how unequal America’s health-care system is.

They talked to us about increasing medical costs, uninsured patients, and the medical attention gap.

“Normal people do not get a helicopter to the hospital; normal people do not have 20 doctors for one patient,” said Anne Sutherland, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Rutgers University Hospital.

That’s 372,000 rejected requests, to be exact. And 90% of them were denied as duplicates, likely because applicants didn’t remember checking a box during the primaries. It turns out that this is a common oversight. We identified hundreds of voters who submitted three or more duplicate requests. The key thing to note is that all of them can still vote. But the mass rejection only adds to the confusion for voters already on edge.

Our Michael Klein can walk you through the city’s official guidelines for winterizing restaurants ahead of the cold-ish season. And when it comes to weather, it’s looking as if we’re in for another walk on the mild side, according to early calls among the major forecasting services.

What you need to know today

  1. Trump and Biden held dueling town hall meetings on different networks at the same time last night. Pennsylvania voters questioned Biden at the National Constitution Center in Philly while Trump held his town hall meeting at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. At the town halls, Biden blasted Trump’s response to the coronavirus, while Trump said he encourages people to wear face masks but then cast doubt on their effectiveness. They will debate next week.

  2. And one woman wasn’t there to chuck Joe her question because she’s living behind church walls in sanctuary to avoid deportation to Mexico. So she held a town hall meeting of her own to ask whether he’ll commit to freeing families living in sanctuary.

  3. Jeff Van Drew has been collecting election wins in South Jersey for decades. We look at the Democratic Party bolter’s chances to pull it off as a Republican.

  4. And here’s our guide unpacking everything Pennsylvania poll watchers can — and can’t — do on Election Day under state law in Pennsylvania.

  5. If you’re considering voting in person during a pandemic, read our tips to do it safely and speed up the process first.

  6. Camden, Allentown, and Reading have been identified as cities where vulnerability to COVID-19 and poor mental health overlap, according to a new report.

  7. As Philadelphia City Council reconsiders changes to the 10-year tax abatement and a 1% tax on construction, the economic situation sets the table for an entirely different battle this time around.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We love this brightly colored mural brightening our feeds. Thanks for capturing @aimeebsiegel!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

  1. 💦 Trump’s style has spun heads across party lines since he took office. Psychologists discuss the mental-health toll four more years could take.

  2. 🦅 This is the story of Travis Fulgham’s wild and globe-swallowing journey to the Eagles.

  3. 🚪 One of Philly’s last bargain hunting investors who conserved fortunes for the city’s heirs is throwing in the towel.

  4. 🎻 The Philadelphia Orchestra’s streaming concert is a “model of musical honesty,” David Patrick Stearns writes.


President Trump may be a lot of things, but he is no dummy when it comes to knowing who hates him. In Pennsylvania, he is staring at the Mother-Of-All-Rejections-By-Women, who are poised to jilt him at the electoral altar that decides who wins the White House. writes Maria Panaritis about the rocket fuel of fury that could launch the GOP out of power.

  1. The Inquirer Editorial Board — which operates separately from our newsroom — has published its 2020 election endorsement guide for Pennsylvania. The board issued endorsements for four races and four ballot questions.

  2. Nancy Nguyen, a Philly leader advocating for Southeast Asian families, writes that her protest-related arrest will only further her movement.

What we’re reading

  1. Eater Philadelphia asks owners of once-vibrant bars how they’re staring down an uncertain future by doing such things as bringing back a drag show or selling baked mac-and-cheese.

  2. The Pocono Record crunched some numbers on the question of whether Trump delivered on his steel and coal campaign promises for Pennsylvania in 2016.

  3. From Aladdin’s magic carpet to a box of wine, Buzzfeed gathered 43 unexpected DIY Halloween costume ideas.

Your Daily Dose of | Flower Flashing

You may have stumbled upon ballot drop boxes bursting with flowers throughout the city. Besides delighting passersby with their arrival, the bountiful floral displays flowing near mailboxes are there for a reason. Florists have teamed up for the nonpartisan floral installation event with United by Blooms to bring more cheer to a less-than-rosy picture of voting right now. You can check them out through today.