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Joe Biden says Trump lies will continue after Hunter Biden articles

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U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at United Association (UA) Plumbers Local 27 in Erie, PA, October 10, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden warned campaign donors on Thursday that President Donald Trump is “going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at me” during the 19 days remaining before Election Day.

Biden told attendees that he expects additional “lies and distortion” to be directed at him by the Trump campaign.

Biden spoke a day after The New York Post ran a series of articles claiming that he had met with a Ukrainian energy executive at the behest of his son Hunter Biden who was a board member of the executive’s company, Burisma. The supposed meeting came months before then-Vice President Biden pressured Ukraine government officials to fire a prosecutor who purportedly was investigating the company.

The claim that the prosecutor was conducting such a probe at the time has been debunked.

Biden did not mention The Post’s report, but did refer to “misinformation” about him at Thursday’s event.

“I know these are anxious times,” Biden told the fundraising attendees.

“I appreciate everything you’re doing for the campaign,” he said. “We have 19 days left, and you know, he’s going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at me.”

But, he added, “I think you’ve put me in a position to be able to respond in real time in a way that we can compete.”

Biden and a leading Democratic fundraising site have significantly outraised a Republican site in the recently finished financial quarter, yet another sign of trouble for Trump, who is badly trailing Biden in national polls.

Biden has denied speaking with his son about Hunter’s work for Burisma, and the Biden campaign said there is no such record of a meeting.

A copy of the computer hard drive supposedly owned by Hunter Biden that is the basis for The Post’s report was given to the newspaper by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, said in a statement Thursday, “We have no idea where this came from, and certainly cannot credit anything that Rudy Giuliani provided to the NY Post, but what I do know for certain is that this purported meeting never happened.”

Biden’s presidential campaign on Wednesday said that multiple investigations, including probes by two Republican-led Senate committees, have found that Biden “carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing.”

“The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story,” he added. “They certainly never raised that Rudy Giuliani — whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported — claimed to have such materials,” said Andrew Bates, a Biden spokesman.

But the Republican incumbent Trump and his allies since Wednesday have repeatedly highlighted The Post’s stories, and blasted the social media giants Facebook and Twitter for taking steps that limited the spread of the articles’ contents on their platforms.

Biden announced Wednesday that his campaign brought in $383 million in donations during September, a bit more than his campaign’s record-breaking haul in August. Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said that the campaign had more than $400 million on hand entering October.

ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising website, on Thursday revealed that it processed $1.5 billion in donations made from July through September.

ActBlue’s tally was more than double the more than $620 million in donations during the same time period processed by WinRed, the Republican fundraising site.

Trump’s campaign has not revealed fundraising numbers for September.


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Restaurants see new Covid restrictions as U.S. cases hit record high

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Restaurants are facing a new wave of restrictions, posing yet another obstacle in their attempts to stay afloat and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

New daily Covid-19 cases in the United States hit a record high of 88,521 on Thursday, according CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

“We’re starting to find ourselves on a steep slope of the epidemic curve, so I think you’re going to see cases accelerate,” former Food and Drug Adminstration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There’s about 15 states where the positivity rate’s above 10%, the reproduction number is greater than one in all 50 states right now.”

The positivity rate shows the percentage of tests for the coronavirus that come back positive, while the reproduction number is a way of gauging Covid-19’s ability to spread. Both of these numbers suggest a rapid increase ahead.

The surge in cases has led some areas of the country to reimpose tighter restrictions on dining. Indoor dining is once again banned at Chicago restaurants, starting Friday. In Denver, restaurant capacity has been slashed from 50% to 25% and last call for alcoholic drinks is now 10 p.m.

In Europe, which is facing a second wave of infections, country-wide dining mandates are happening once again. France is re-entering lockdown, which includes temporarily shuttering businesses considered nonessential, like bars and restaurants. Germany’s eateries and bars will shut for one month, starting Nov. 2, in a partial lockdown.

While the pandemic has stretched on, restaurants and their out-of-work employees have been left waiting for another stimulus package from the federal government. Loans given to eateries through the Paycheck Protection Program have since run out, and September’s unemployment rate of 7.9% means many consumers don’t have the cash to spare on dining out.

Chain restaurants are bouncing back more quickly than independent establishments, but the uncertainty around the surge of Covid-10 cases makes forecasting their recovery even more difficult.

Starbucks, for example, said Thursday that 63% of its U.S. cafes have limited seating. The coffee chain expects to return to same-store sales growth by the end of its fiscal second quarter in March, but that forecast assumes that cafe seating and operating hours will near full capacity by that time.

Some full-service restaurant companies, like Texas Roadhouse and Darden Restaurants, have tied their sales recovery directly to loosened dining restrictions.

And cold weather means that many restaurants that have relied on patio dining will take a hit. A Bank of America survey of 1,000 consumers found that 60° Fahrenheit is the cut-off temperature for most diners. Cheesecake Factory‘s reliance of outdoor dining led the bank to downgrade its stock in August.

Taking the new restrictions in stride will be easier for fast-food chains, whose reputation for convenience and low prices helped the sector rebound faster than the broader industry. Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, for example, saw 30 million more customers order their food via drive-thru lanes during the third quarter compared with the same time a year ago.

“We know it’s a fluid environment, and that as we’re seeing in Europe, it’s just not an environment where we can predict and guide for 2021,” Yum CEO David Gibbs told analysts on Thursday. “We do have confidence in our team based on how they recovered so far, and that whatever thrown our way, we’ll be able to pivot to it.”

And for the rare restaurant that has thrived during the pandemic, new restrictions don’t pose a threat. Wingstop has seen its sales surge during the pandemic, despite its dining rooms remaining closed for more than seven months. The chicken wing chain is instead relying on its tech investments and popularity with customers ordering food delivery.

“Highlighting the strength of our business model, we’ve experienced positive results throughout the pandemic, with Q3 2020 same-store sales growth totaling 25.4%,” spokesperson Megan Sprague said in a statement to CNBC.


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McRib returns to McDonald’s nationwide for the first time since 2012

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McDonald’s McRib

Source: McDonald’s

Starting Dec. 2, McDonald’s McRib is returning to menus nationwide for the first time since 2012.

The limited-time pork sandwich is brought back every year but is notoriously hard to find. McDonald’s even released its own McRib locator app to help customers locate restaurants that sold it.

The fast-food giant brought the McRib to 10,000 of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants last year in its biggest rollout since 2012. The item has been appearing on McDonald’s menus in the U.S. since 1982, helping the chain attract customers to its restaurants during the holiday season.

The nationwide launch this year comes as McDonald’s U.S. sales are rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in October, the chain said same-store sales in its home market rose nearly 5% in its latest quarter. The popularity of the McRib could fuel even higher sales growth, although a resurgence of Covid-19 cases could hinder McDonald’s recovery.

Shares of McDonald’s, which has a market value of $162 billion, have risen 6% so far this year. The stock was down nearly 2% late-morning Friday amid a broader market sell-off.


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Dr. Scott Gottlieb says do not throw away months of Covid sacrifice

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