TRUMP ACOLYTE MARK MEADOWS DIAGNOSED WITH COVID 19: President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with the coronavirus as the nation sets daily records for confirmed cases for the pandemic. Two senior administration officials confirmed Friday that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far this year. They offered no details on when the chief of staff came down with the virus or his current condition. His diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg News. One administration official said several other staffers had tested positive as well. Meadows traveled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count.
NC GOP LEADERS ARE HARASSING BOARD OF ELECTION ABOUT VOTE COUNTS: House Speaker Tim Moore instructed the leaders of legislative elections oversight panels to use "all available tools," including subpoenas, to get information from the state board. "It’s not whether I or other legislators have confidence, it's whether the voters of this state have confidence in the outcome of this election," said Moore, R-Cleveland. On Thursday, Whatley demanded a fast vote count across the state, but he walked it back a bit on Friday, saying he recognizes that county elections officials are complying with state law regarding their canvass meetings to certify election results. He said officials have no evidence of any fraud, but they are ready to challenge election results in court if needed. "At this point in time, we have seen nothing that leads us to believe that we’re going to be filing a lawsuit," he said. "However, we do have lawyers and observers that have deployed in every one of our 100 counties."
NC DOT IS REMOVING JEFFERSON DAVIS HIGHWAY MARKERS THE UDC WAS NEVER AUTHORIZED TO INSTALL: This week, the board’s road naming committee, which Fox leads, signed off on NCDOT’s plans to remove several Jefferson Davis Highway signs in Granville County. Kevin Lacy, the department’s traffic engineer, said the signs are official highway signs, but it’s not clear how they got there. “There’s no reason for those to be there,” Lacy told the committee. Lacy said he will also write a letter to the state division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy asking it to work with local communities to remove several stone markers along the highway. In the late 1920s, the Daughters of the Confederacy placed stone highway markers about every 10 miles, which means there would have been 16 to 18 markers in North Carolina, including one at each state line, Lacy wrote in an email Thursday. NCDOT was able to locate 10 markers, including two, in Aberdeen and Chapel Hill, that have already been removed, Lacy said. Some states, such as Virginia, officially adopted the name. But NCDOT officials say despite requests from the Daughters of the Confederacy in the 1920s and again in the late 1950s, North Carolina never did.
YOU CAN THANK STACEY ABRAMS FOR FLIPPING GEORGIA TO BIDEN: Abrams, 46, who was the first Black woman to win a major-party gubernatorial nomination, was roundly applauded by Democratic political leaders and activists on social media and elsewhere Friday after Biden overtook Trump in ballots counted in Georgia. The state is continuing to tally overseas, provisional and military ballots and plans to conduct a recount. Friday morning, Abrams posted a tweet thanking organizations and activists who also have worked to increase the numbers and participation of liberal voters. Dozens responded with praise for Abrams, including Hillary Clinton, actress Viola Davis and basketball star LeBron James. Since 2018, Abrams said, 800,000 new voters have been added to Georgia’s voting rolls, 49 percent of whom are younger than 30 and 45 percent of whom are people of color, both groups more likely to vote Democratic. On Friday, Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff held a rally where he praised Abrams for leading efforts to register and turn out voters — without whom Ossoff would not be headed to a runoff against Republican Sen. David Perdue. Georgia’s other Republican senator, Kelly Loeffler, in a separate runoff will face Democrat Raphael Warnock, who was the top vote-getter in a special election also held Tuesday. Abrams has said she will work to elect both Democrats. “We are now seeing that change has come to Georgia, and Georgia is part of the change that’s coming to America,” Ossoff said. Abrams and her fellow organizers capitalized on the state’s changing demographics, he said, and transformed Georgia into one of the most competitive battleground states in the country.
BIDEN IS HEADING TOWARDS A 306-232 LANDSLIDE VICTORY OVER ONE-TERM TRUMP: Joe Biden pulled ahead of President Trump by more than 28,000 votes in Pennsylvania, where a victory would give Mr. Biden the electoral votes he needs to win the presidency. Mr. Biden already has a nearly two-point lead over Mr. Trump in Nevada, and the outstanding vote — most of it in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas — appears likely to break toward Mr. Biden. In Arizona, Mr. Biden leads by roughly 29,860 votes, with about 140,000 votes to count. But it is tight: Mr. Trump will need to win what’s left by approximately 20 percent to overtake Mr. Biden, and he has led by nearly as much in the late count. Georgia’s secretary of state said Friday that the presidential race there was so close that a recount was inevitable. By early Saturday morning, Mr. Biden led Mr. Trump in Georgia by about more than 7,000 votes. “With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said Friday morning at the state Capitol. As the presidential race inches agonizingly toward a conclusion, it might be easy to miss the fact that the results are not actually very close. With many ballots still outstanding in heavily Democratic cities, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., with more than 74 million votes, was leading President Trump by 4.1 million votes nationwide on Friday afternoon. His lead is expected to expand, perhaps substantially, as officials finish counting.