Coronavirus relief measures about to expire, Trump defends handling of crisis and a federal judge's son shot and killed

Trump defended his erroneous prediction that COVID-19 was going to "disappear" in a Fox News interview. "I will eventually be right," he said.
Image: U.S. Senate hearing on plan to research, manufacture and distribute coronavirus vaccine, on Capitol Hill in Washington
“It is bizarre that we have turned mask-wearing into something political,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on "Meet the Press" Sunday. Graeme Jennings / Pool via Reuters

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Federally-funded coronavirus life lines are set to run out soon — even though the crisis is far from over. The son of a federal judge was shot and killed in New Jersey. And why are elephants dropping dead in Botswana?

Here's what we're watching this Monday morning.


'We can't afford to wait': Many coronavirus relief measures are set to expire soon. But the crisis is still raging.

Even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge across the country, a series of key relief measures are set to expire soon.

Perhaps most crucial are the expanded unemployment benefits, which are expected to terminate at the end of the month.

Democrats have one proposal and Republicans promise another, but with no sign of negotiations, chances are slim that Congress will pass a bill before the added $600-a-week unemployment payments expire.

Also on the chopping block are a patchwork of eviction moratoriums across the country, suspension of some federal student loan payments and several other measures meant to alleviate some of the economic pain caused by the ongoing pandemic.

Many of these measures were put in place earlier this year in the CARES Act with the idea that the U.S. would emerge from the worst of the health crisis within a couple of months. But with much of the U.S. experiencing a worsening of the pandemic in recent weeks, experts say the need for help has not yet passed.

Two former chairs of the Federal Reserve urged lawmakers to renew the emergency benefits.

"It would be a catastrophe not to extend unemployment insurance," Janet Yellen told members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis during a remote hearing on Friday.


'I will be right eventually': Trump defends erroneous coronavirus predictions in wide-ranging interview

President Donald Trump defended his past misstatements about the coronavirus Sunday,saying he "will be right eventually"in a contentious and freewheeling interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Coronavirus cases have spiked throughout the country in recent weeks,presenting record numbersof new cases as well as jumps in hospitalizations. Trump downplayed the increases as "embers," although he acknowledged that Florida has become "more flame-like" and that there has been "somewhat of a surge in certain areas."

Trump's exchanges with Wallace on the coronavirus were only the tip of the iceberg in the lengthy interview. They also had heated discussion about the Confederate flag, the renaming of military bases named for Confederate leaders, whether or not the president would accept the election results and his own mental acuity.

We apologize, this video has expired.

Husband and son of a federal judge shot at home in New Jersey

The son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas was killed Sunday and her husband was in critical condition after they were shot at their home in New Jersey, senior law enforcement officials told NBC New York.

The judge was home at the time of the shooting at her home in North Brunswick Township early Sunday evening and was not injured, according to the Associated Press.

The FBI office in Newark said it was searching for "one suspect" in connection to the shooting.


It's not poachers killing elephants in Botswana. That has conservationists worried.

Botswana's elephants are dropping dead.

Hundreds of elephant carcasses have been found scattered across a remote, narrow region of the north — and poaching is not to blame.

The mystery surrounding the cause has dragged on for months, and experts say the slow response to the deaths has shed light on deeper issues in the country’s relationship with the prized creatures.

"It's worrying," said Keith Lindsay, a conservation biologist based in Oxford, England, who specializes in elephants. "If it is a disease, then it could be catastrophic."

The carcass of one of the many elephants which have died mysteriously in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.National Park Rescue / AFP - Getty Images

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THINK about it

Trump turned my hometown of Portland, Oregon, into a war zone to distract from his failures, Sen. Ron Wyden writes in an opinion piece.


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Quote of the day

"'Wake up America! Wake up!' For we cannot stop, and we will not and cannot be patient."

— Rep. John Lewis at the 1963 March on Washington. The sharecroppers' son who became a giant of the civil rights movement and served as a U.S. Congressman for over 30 years, died Friday. He was 80.


One fun thing

Tired of lockdown?

Barbados wants to tempt you to live and work remotely from one of its beautiful beaches.

The Caribbean island is planning to introduce a 12-month visa that would allow remote workers to swap cramped city apartments for the island’s white sandy beaches, blue sea and year-round sunshine.

The initiative is intended to give a much-needed boost to the island’s tourist-dependent economy, while capitalizing on the shift in work patterns driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

"There's nothing like waking up and seeing the sunshine," Barbados prime minister said to NBC News.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra