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Sen. Mike Lee tests positive for COVID-19

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Friday morning, following the midnight news that President Donald Trump, the First Lady, and others have contracted the novel Coronavirus, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tweeted that he, too, has tested positive.

“Yesterday morning, I was experiencing symptoms consistent with longtime allergies,” the senior senator for Utah tweeted. “Out of an abundance of caution, I sought medical advice and was tested for Covid-19. Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday’s test came back positive. On advice of the Senate attending physician, I will remain isolated for the next 10 days.”

With the presidential election 32 days away, and the pressure on Senate Republicans to appoint President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett before the election, Lee says he hopes to return to the Senate Judiciary Committee as soon as possible.

“Like so many other Utahns, I will now spend part of 2020 working from home,” he writes. “I have spoken with Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham, and assured them I will be back to work in time to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Committee and then to the full Senate.”

Following the news late on Thursday that Hope Hicks, a member of Trump’s team, had tested positive for the Coronavirus, the President and his wife Melania began to quarantine in the White House. A few hours later, both tested positive for the virus, sending the White House.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1311892190680014849

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger for the presidency, and his wife Dr. Jill Biden have tested negative for the virus after being in close proximity on the debate stage Tuesday night. They have sent their thoughts to Mr. and Mrs. Trump, wishing them a “swift recovery.”

The full scope of who in Washington, DC has contracted the virus will likely not be known for a few days as the officials await their test results.

This is a developing story.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Five returned rental cars used by Biden’s Secret Service burst into flames

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Screen Shot 2022 12 04 at 1.59.43 PM

A bizarre situation involving rental cars used during one of President Joe Biden’s trips has social media and conspiracy theorists busy with speculation.

The day after President Joe Biden left Nantucket for his Thanksgiving holiday, five Hertz rental cars hired by his Secret Service detail burst into flames in the airport parking lot.

The Nantucket Current tweeted out photos and wrote, “The cars were owned by Hertz, and had just been returned by members of the Secret Service who had been using them during President Biden’s visit, sources said.”

A fire “involving multiple rental vehicles recently used by Secret Service agents erupted early Monday morning at Nantucket Memorial Airport,” reported the Current.

According to a statement from Nantucket Memorial Airport, at 5:22 a.m. on Monday, airport staff observed an active fire through the closed circuit TV system in the rental car overflow area. Local fire and police departments responded and contained the fire.

“Something very fishy going on,” one YouTube user commented on the Nantucket Current’s video. “No freakin’ way was this a coincidence. Absolutely no way,” wrote another.

An investigation is underway. The working theory is that the fire started in a Ford Expedition, which was under a safety recall since May due to a faulty battery junction box that has been known to cause underhood fires. The recall affects 66,000 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators manufactured between December 2020 and April 2021.

“We believe these vehicle fires can be traced to a circuit board supplier that changed manufacturing locations during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to Ford’s website. “The printed circuit boards produced there are sometimes susceptible to a high-current short.”

“Of the eight fire allegations, six occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, and two occurred while driving,” says the initial March 2022 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the part of the Department of Transportation that investigates car safety issues. Interestingly, the eight vehicles were owned by multiple rental car companies at various locations.

By mid-May, the government had 16 reports of underhood fires in 2021 Expedition and Navigator vehicles. Of those, 14 were rental vehicles and 12 of the fires had occurred while the vehicle was parked with the engine off. Consequently, Ford has advised owners that these vehicles should be parked outdoors and away from buildings.

In an email to Forbes, Hertz confirmed that it was working with the local authorities on their investigation but did not confirm that the Explorer in question had been scheduled for service under the recall.

 

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