USA TODAY’S coverage of the 2020 election continues this week after Joe Biden won a bitterly fought presidential election and states work to finish counting their remaining ballots.
Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on how things are going.
USA TODAY will have live election information from across the country.
Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy self-isolate after CT governor’s aide positive for COVID
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s two U.S. senators were self-isolating Saturday after a member of Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy each tweeted Saturday that they had not had close contact with the staffer but were taking the step out of an abundance of caution.
Lamont’s chief spokesperson, Max Reiss, identified himself as the senior staff member who had tested positive in a release posted to Twitter on Friday. Reiss wrote he wasn’t sure how or where he had contracted the virus.
Murphy tweeted Saturday that he had “attended an event yesterday with the Governor but was not in close contact with the staff member who tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution, though, I am isolating until I get tested and consult with the Office of Attending Physician Monday morning.”
Blumenthal tweeted Saturday afternoon that he had “just returned from being tested myself and am currently self-isolating.”
– The Associated Press
GOP lawmakers reject elector plot
Republican leaders in Michigan and three other critical states won by President-elect Joe Biden say they won’t participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state’s electors to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively shut down a half-baked plot some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House.
State GOP lawmakers in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate’s victory. Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, several noted.
“I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud — which I haven’t heard of anything — I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,” said Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s Republican House speaker.
Bowers said he’s been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene. “They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people,” he said.
The idea loosely involves GOP-controlled legislatures dismissing Biden’s popular vote wins in their states and opting to select Trump electors. While the endgame was unclear, it appeared to hinge on the expectation that a conservative-leaning Supreme Court would settle any dispute over the move.
Still, it has been promoted by Trump allies, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and is an example of misleading information and false claims fueling skepticism among Trump supporters about the integrity of the vote.
– Bob Christie and Nicholas Riccardi, The Associated Press
Ex-GOP Sen. Jeff Flake tweets reality, says ‘the president lost’
Former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump including during his time in the Senate, tweeted Friday that the GOP has a bright future in Arizona, if they accept the election results and that move forward for the sake of the country.
“The Republican Party can have a bright future in Arizona if we accept that the election was not ‘stolen.’ The President lost,” Flake tweeted. “If we move beyond conspiracy theories and debate issues again, the country will benefit — and so will our party.”
Arizona elected Democrat Mark Kelly to the U.S. Senate over Republican incumbent Martha McSally. The historically red state also turned blue for the presidency, voting for President-elect Joe Biden.
Flake told Fox News on Saturday that “all indications are” Trump is “going to ride this out” when asked if he thinks the president will concede the election. The former senator said is more concerned about the future of the Republican Party than Trump.
“I think the rest of us need to realize that this, this now say more about us and how we handle it than it does about the president,” Flake told host Neil Cavuto.
Flake announced his support for Biden in a video on Twitter in August.
– Sarah Elbeshbishi
MAGA goes to Washington
WASHINGTON — Thousands of people clad in red, white and blue were gathering at a rally in support of outgoing President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, to support the president and to echo his baseless claims of “voter fraud” in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump has refused to concede and falsely claims the election was stolen from him.
The rallies – advertised by several names including Million MAGA March, Stop the Steal and March for Trump – were planned to protest purported “voter fraud,” to “show support for our President” and “demand a free and fair election.”
Trump, who hinted Friday on Twitter that he might stop by, rolled through the crowd in the presidential motorcade down Pennsylvania Avenue when he left the White House for a round of golf. His supporters cheered, waved and whistled, chanting “USA! USA!”, “We want Trump! We want Trump!” and “Four more years! Four more years!”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany misrepresented the crowd size by several factors of 10 in a tweet falsely claiming the thousands who gathered to support Trump numbered more than a million. Trump also exaggerated the crowd size on Twitter, but he put the number in the “hundreds of thousands.”
– Christal Hayes N’dea Yancey-Bragg and Grace Hauck
Sen. Rick Scott quarantines despite testing negative for COVID-19
Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida is current quarantining after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 Friday.
“After arriving in Florida last night, I came into contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID,” Scott tweeted.
Although Scott tested negative for the virus Saturday and has no symptoms, he also said in his tweet that “out of an abundance of caution, I will be immediately quarantining.”
Scott was returning from Georgia, after attending a campaign event for two of his Republican colleagues: Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Both face runoff elections for both Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats.
The event was held inside a restaurant, where “hundreds of supporters” gathered to hear Scott speak, according to the Georgia Recorder.
This isn’t the first COVID scare for the Florida Senator. He was tested after Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C. – both of whom he sits on a committee with – tested positive after the White House Rose Garden ceremony to announce the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
– Sarah Elbeshbishi
COVID-19 cases surged in Pennsylvania after Trump visits, Biden celebrations
As Pennsylvania grapples with a record number of positive COVID-19 cases, concerns are mounting that some of the infections could be blamed on the 2020 presidential election.
President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies attracted tens of thousands of supporters in the waning days of his re-election bid in Pennsylvania.
President-elect Joe Biden’s supporters poured into the streets in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other cities in Pennsylvania and across the country on Saturday to celebrate the Democratic challenger’s win.
But those mass gatherings exceeded state limits and public health recommendations.
— Candy Woodall, USA TODAY Network Pennsylvania Capitol Bureau
Lou Dobbs says GOP should refuse to accept election results
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump who has parrotted the president’s baseless claims the election was “fraudulent,” demanded Friday night that Republicans refuse to accept the results.
During his interview with Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Dobbs called the election an attempt by “radical” Democrats to “take over the country and deny this president what is rightfully his: a second term.”
A fiery Dobbs asked Nunes what the Republican Party is doing to defend the president from what he called the “culmination of a four-year effort to overthrow his presidency, to block his candidacy.”
“What’d I like to know is: What in the hell is the Republican Party doing?” Dobbs demanded. “Why not just say, ‘We’re not going to accept the results of this election? It’s outrageous.'”
Dobbs said Republican officials did not appear to be doing enough to somehow prevent states being called for President-elect Joe Biden.
“What is the Party doing to make certain it isn’t called? I see so little animation in the Republican Party on this. It’s as if it’s just another day at the store,” Dobbs said, “In fact, I believe the fate of the Republic hangs in the balance here.”
– Sarah Elbeshbishi
Nevada Gov. Sisolak tests positive for COVID-19
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Friday he has tested positive for COVID-19, saying he has no symptoms and will begin a 10-day quarantine at his home in Carson City.
“Today as part of my regular COVID testing, I underwent a rapid test and returned a positive result,” Sisolak told reporters during a call Friday afternoon. “I am not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and I have returned to my residence to begin the quarantine process.”
Nevada first lady Kathy Sisolak tested negative on Friday.
To confirm the diagnosis, Sisolak, 66, also took a PCR test, which detects the virus’s genetic material.
Sisolak undergoes weekly coronavirus testing. His last negative test was Nov. 6. He also tested negative on Nov. 2.
“It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint where I contracted the virus,” Sisolak said.
His positive test comes as Nevada is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. The state marked a new daily record for new cases on Friday, reporting 1,857 infections.
Sisolak said he is cooperating with disease investigators from the Carson City Health and Human Services Department, who have recommended he remain isolated for 10 days.
– Anjeanette Damon, Reno Gazette Journal
House Dems change new-member dinner to grab-and-go after criticism
An indoor dinner at the Capitol hosted by House Democrats for new members was changed to grab-and-go after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced criticism Friday that the event was unsafe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A picture from NBC Congressional Correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell of the original set-up in Statutory Hall in the Capitol building started gathering attention on Twitter. Pelosi, D-Calif., told her it is safe and “very spaced.”
After some of the criticism to the indoor event, Drew Hammill, Deputy Chief of Staff for Pelosi, said, “To be a further model for the nation, this event has been modified to allow Members-elect to pick up their meals to go in a socially-distanced manner.”
“Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner,” he said.
Hammill told USA TODAY the dinner will only be “Grab and go” and clarified no one will now be eating in the space.
– Savannah Behrmann
Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville botches history facts
Incoming Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R- Ala., botched several basic historical facts during a recent interview — such as misidentifying the three branches of government.
Tuberville, the former Auburn football coach who won his Senate race on Nov. 3 by defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, did an interview on Thursday with The Alabama Daily News after he attended orientation in D.C. for new senators.
He was asked whether he thought the GOP could utilize their potential majority in the Senate to pass legislation as Democrats will control the House of Representatives and the White House. This prompted Tuberville to answer he doesn’t care “if you’re a Republican or Democrat” and that he’s been given a mandate to help people.
“Our government wasn’t set up for one group to have all three branches of government — wasn’t set up that way,” Tuberville continued, saying incorrectly: “You know, the House, the Senate, and the executive.”
Those are not the three branches of government. As laid out in the Constitution, the three branches of the federal government are: the legislative, which includes both the Senate and House; the executive, which includes the presidency, and the judicial, which includes the Supreme Court.
That wasn’t the only historical flub in the interview.
Tuberville also misidentified what America fought against in World War II. When asked about the biggest takeaways from the election, Tuberville stated he was concerned that President-elect Joe Biden had promoted a vision that Tuberville claimed “leads more to a socialist type of government.”
– Savannah Behrmann