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Trump back on the trail, Barrett to face Senators' grilling, and a Nobel wake-up call

"I'm not going to walk away from this outbreak no matter who's the president," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday about staying in his role after the election.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump held his first in-person rally since his coronavirus diagnosis at Orlando Sanford International Airport in Sanford, Fla, on Monday. Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

With exactly three weeks to go until Election Day, President Donald Trump is hitting the campaign trail while his Supreme Court nominee is expected to face tough questions during Day 2 of her Senate confirmation hearings today. And check out the crazy way one Nobel Prize winner found out he'd won.

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

Trump returns to the campaign trail saying he feels 'powerful' and wants to 'kiss' everyone after Covid-19 battle

President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail for a rally in Florida on Monday, his first outing since he was hospitalized for Covid-19, taking familiar hits at his Democratic rival Joe Biden and urging his supporters in the crucial battleground state to vote.

"They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful," Trump told the packed crowd in Sanford, Fla. "I’ll walk into that audience, I’ll walk in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women."

Trump's physician released a memo Monday saying the president had recently tested negative on consecutive days and was no longer contagious. The memo did not state that Trump has immunity.

Monday's rally in the all-important battleground state kicked off an aggressive week for Trump with four straight days of rallies — raising questions about the health of the candidate and his campaign, writes NBC News' White House reporter Shannon Pettypiece.

Trump is fighting to gain ground not only in areas his campaign always believed would be tight until the end, such as Florida and Pennsylvania, but also in areas where aides and advisers had expected him to be in stronger positions at this point, including Ohio and Iowa — where recent polls show him in a virtual tie.

Meantime, Biden slammed Trump on Monday for having "let down" American workers and unions while speaking to a group of autoworkers in Toledo, Ohio.

"He’s let you down. I will stand up to China’s trade abuses. I will invest in you," Biden said during a drive-in campaign rally outside a United Auto Workers union hall.

Early voting begins in Georgia with long lines, high turnout

Early voting kicked off in Georgia on Monday with hourslong waits at some polling locations amid what election officials said was a record high turnout.

Voters in Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, all counties with large nonwhite populations, reported long lines.

One Cobb County voter, Everlean Rutherford, tweeted throughout her wait, finally casting her vote after 9 hours on line.

Another voter, Grammy Award-winning songwriter Johnta Austin, tweeted that he waited nearly 11 hours to cast his ballot.

Georgia officials chalked up the long waits to voter "excitement and enthusiasm."

The high turnout was likely helped by Monday's Columbus Day holiday. However, similarly long waits had marred the state's primary in June.

Richard L. Barron, director of the Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration, said he was hopeful the surge in early voting would help alleviate the crush of voters on Nov. 3.

"What we are trying to do is drive 80 percent of the voters to vote before Election Day" with "some combination of early voting and absentee by mail," Barron said.

Meantime, in Texas on Monday a U.S. federal appeals court upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to shut down dozens of mail ballot drop-off sites weeks before November’s election.

The ruling comes after a federal judge on Friday halted the order, which allowed for only one absentee ballot drop off location for every county, regardless of its size.

Democrats and voting rights groups said that Abbott's Oct. 1 order amounted to voter suppression. Abbott has said he issued it to ensure the security of the ballots.

Amy Coney Barrett to face questions on Day 2 of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing

Judge Amy Coney Barrett will face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, the second day of her confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday Barrett delivered her opening statement to the 22-member committee, explaining her judicial philosophy and paying tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom she would replace if confirmed.

The senators also read their opening statements, previewing the key points that each side is likely to put forward during their questioning.

A Senate Democratic aide familiar with the party's strategy said the Democrats will focus their questions heavily on the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is set to take up a pivotal case on Obamacare, which Barrett has criticized in the past, in early November.

Watch the hearings on NBC News and MSNBC and follow our live blog throughout the day for the latest updates and analysis.

Johnson & Johnson pauses clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine over participant's illness

Johnson & Johnson has paused its clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate after a participant fell ill, just weeks after it announced that trials were in their final stage.

A pause is not entirely unexpected in vaccine trials. When another vaccine trial was temporarily stopped last month, experts hailed the move as an example of the scientific rigor that is being maintained despite the understandably intense public interest in a Covid-19 vaccine.

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  • "Senator, you’ve been there for 36 years. How’s it looking, Kentucky?": Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath sparred over coronavirus and Supreme Court in intense debate.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday he plans to stay in his post during the next president's term — no matter who the president is.
  • Roberta Wright McCain, the feisty mother of the late Sen. John McCain, has died. She was 108.

THINK about it

The GOP loves moms — as long as they look and act like Amy Coney Barrett, Danielle Campoamor writes in an opinion piece.


Want to train like an Olympian? Try this routine.


Amazon Prime Day starts today. Here's what to know about the big online retail event.

Quote of the day

"I held her with my own hands, dug her grave and buried her the way she asked me to."

Jihad Al Suwaiti, a devoted Palestinian son said explaining why he and his siblings stole their mother's body from a West Bank hospital after staff said they couldn't release it to the family because she died of Covid-19.

One fun thing

"Paul?...You’ve won the Nobel Prize!"

A doorbell camera captured the moment when one Stanford University professor woke up his colleague in the middle of the night to tell him they had both won the Nobel Prize for Economics.

The Nobel Committee apparently had some trouble contacting Paul Milgrom, 72, to let him know the winning news. So, his neighbor and fellow winner, Robert Wilson, 83, took matters into his own hands.

Wilson and his wife marched over to Milgrom's house at about 2:15 a.m. and repeatedly rang the doorbell, knocked on the door and even tried to turn the doorknob in an attempt to rouse the man.

"Wow," Milgrom finally replied.

The whole exchange was caught on Milgrom's Nest doorbell camera. Check out the fun video, which Stanford posted it to its Twitter account, below.

The pair were awarded the prestigious prize for their work on how auctions function, a field that affects everything from high-end art prices to consumers' electricity bills.

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Thanks, Petra