UK at critical COVID-19 moment as trend goes in wrong direction

The UK has reported around 395,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Sept. 21. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 September 2020

UK at critical COVID-19 moment as trend goes in wrong direction

  • “We’re certainly at a very critical moment this morning,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pondering additional COVID-19 restrictions as Britain is at a critical moment in the novel coronavirus outbreak with the trend going in the wrong direction.
“We’re certainly at a very critical moment this morning,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky. “It is clear that we are just a few weeks behind what we’re seeing elsewhere in Europe.”
“It is very important that we do everything we can to sort of bear down on this,” Shapps said. “We’ll hear from others including the prime minister on the proposed next steps.”


LIVE: Mute buttons and masks - final US Presidential Debate

Updated 2 min 30 sec ago

LIVE: Mute buttons and masks - final US Presidential Debate

  • The mute button is among a handful of changes implemented by the nonpartisan debate commission to help ensure a better sense of safety and order

NASHVILLE: While millions of people will be watching on television, only around 200 will be allowed inside the massive college arena in Nashville where President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, meet Thursday night for the final presidential debate of the 2020 election.

One of them will control a mute button.

A representative of the Commission on Presidential Debates — not the moderator — will ensure each candidate has two full minutes uninterrupted to deliver opening answers on six major topics, according to debate commission chair Frank Fahrenkopf. A member of each of the the Trump and Biden campaigns is expected to monitor the person who controls the mute button backstage, Fahrenkopf said, noting that the button would not be used beyond the first four minutes of each topic.

The mute button is among a handful of changes implemented by the nonpartisan debate commission to help ensure a better sense of safety and order following the raucous opening debate 23 days ago.

Follow the debate live below (All times GMT)

01:25 - National security comes up next, and Russian and Iranian interference in the election campaign. Should be interesting...

01:10 - Our first topic, as expected, is how both men would beat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Trump uses his two minutes to claim a vaccine is “ready” and “going to be announced within weeks.” Trump's summation, after saying he got over the virus, is: "We're turning the corner, it's going away"

Biden cites the growing death toll in the US, and claims that any leader who lets more than 220,000 people die does not deserve to be president of the United States. “This is the same fellow who told you it was going to end by Easter... he has no clear plan.”

TOP QUOTE: “No, it’s not a guarantee, but I think it will be by the end of the year... I think my timeline is going to be more accurate.” Trump's claims on the readiness of COVID-19 vaccine.

01:05 - Both men are on the stage, we're ready to go...

00:55 - Our moderator for tonight is Kristen Welker of NBC News, a woman who Trump has criticized in the build-up to this debate, calling her “a very biased person.”

00:45 - So with all the changes made to the protocols for this debate, here's hoping we have a slightly more civilized affair from the first debate between Trump and Biden earlier this month...

Biden is in the building, and he had a one-word message to his supporters. His running mate Kamala Harris will be his biggest supporter tonight too, by the looks of things.