Democrats Zero In on President’s Fitness for Office as Election Looms

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi, amplifying questions about President Trump’s fitness for office less than a month before the election, introduced legislation on Friday that would create a standing bipartisan group of outside experts tasked with evaluating the president’s mental and physical health and advising Congress on whether the commander in chief’s powers should be forcibly removed under the 25th Amendment.

The measure is certain to die at the end of the year, given that it would need a presidential signature to be enacted. But Democrats’ decision to promote it now — after the president’s coronavirus diagnosis and as Ms. Pelosi has suggested that his treatment might be affecting his judgment — was an unmistakable dig at the sitting president’s capacity to govern, just weeks before voters go to the polls.

“A president’s fitness for office must be determined by science and facts,” Ms. Pelosi said at a news conference

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Trump’s health looms over fate of second presidential debate

a man standing in a room: Trump's health looms over fate of second presidential debate

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Trump’s health looms over fate of second presidential debate

President Trump’s bout with COVID-19 is casting uncertainty over the second presidential debate, even as both campaigns signal a willingness to participate in next week’s event.


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The president intends to participate in person at the debate in Miami, his campaign said Tuesday. Democratic nominee Joe Biden told reporters a day earlier that he would defer to medical experts on whether it would be safe to hold the event but appeared willing to take part if they signed off.

As the debate commission mulls how to move forward given all the unknowns, health experts suggested it’s not worth the risk for the two candidates, both in their 70s, to debate in person when there are alternatives available.

“With technology the way it is right now, why bother? You don’t actually need to do a debate with two

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Coronavirus looms over Trump’s first day back at work

The eerie situation is just the latest reminder of the difficulty Trump has faced every time he tries to shift attention away from the coronavirus. Over the summer, he reduced discussion of the disease after the initial flood of cases receded, only to be forced to address a renewed surge of infections as states relaxed lockdown measures. And just weeks ago, his team was hoping its push to confirm a Supreme Court justice would dominate the final weeks of the presidential race. Yet days later, the administration was contending with a viral spread that has ensnared senior leaders at the White House, Trump campaign and the Pentagon.

Now, back at the White House, the president and aides are working inside ground zero of the outbreak. And the focus is back on the administration’s repeated decision to hold numerous events that flouted crowd size restrictions, mask wearing and social distancing guidelines.

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As a helium shortage looms, “vacuum balloons” could save physics, medicine, and birthday parties

Helium balloons are a quintessential party favor, a fixture of any birthday, wedding or anniversary party. But few consumers seem to know that helium is a limited resource — and one which physics experiments and medical imaging tools rely on to work. Worse, once a helium balloon pops, that gas is lost forever — it floats upwards and escapes into space, never to be seen on Earth again. 

Now, with the specter of a recent helium shortage still looming, consumers are being asked to ration their helium in order to save science and medicine. The idea that party supply companies and consumers can’t give up helium balloons in order to save these more worthy enterprises might seem a tad selfish; but this is how the market thinks. Yet a few inventors around the country have a brilliant compromise: what if we could make a “balloon” that needed no helium gas

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