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Joe Biden cancels campaign rallies due to coronavirus pandemic

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Joe Biden

US Democrat Joe Biden said Tuesday he will not hold presidential campaign rallies during the coronavirus pandemic, an extraordinary declaration that stands in stark contrast with Donald Trump who has already held large campaign gatherings.

This is the most unusual campaign I think in modern history,” the former vice president said during a question-and-answer session with reporters in Delaware to discuss the pandemic and ways to mitigate its spread.

“I’m going to follow the doc’s orders — not just for me but for the country – and that means that I am not going to be holding rallies,” said Biden, adding he has not yet been tested for COVID-19.

It was not clear if Biden, 77, was referring to a personal physician who has recommended he stay off the trail out of health concerns for him and attendees, or the US government guidelines that urge Americans to not participate in events where large crowds gather.

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And he did not say whether his decision could change pending an improvement in mitigation efforts in the coming months.

Biden’s announcement comes amid growing alarm about America’s failure to contain a crisis which has already killed more than 126,000 people nationwide, with top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warning Congress that daily infections could more than double to 100,000 without a sufficiently robust response.

Biden did say he would miss the personal connections that he makes out on the trail — something for which the veteran Democrat is well known.

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In the few trips he has made, such as to Texas or Pennsylvania, the events have been small, and participants were masked and adhering to social distancing recommendations.

During such trips;

I get in, make my case, take questions and leave,” Biden said. “But you know me: I’d much rather be out there with people because that’s where I get the greatest feel.”

Instead, the vast majority of Biden’s campaign since March has been virtual, as he undergoes the challenging task of seeking to project engagement through remote interviews, online gatherings and fundraisers, and television appearances from a studio in his Delaware home.

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But he suggested that unconventional as it has been, such a process has helped him connect with voters in an unprecedented way.

“They tell me 200 million people have watched what I have done from home and the half a dozen things we’ve gone out and done,” Biden said.

“And so the irony is I think we’re probably communicating directly, in detail, with more people than we would have otherwise. But I’d much rather be doing it in-person.”

Biden is currently leading in national polling, as well as in surveys conducted in several swing states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, battlegrounds that were critical to Trump’s victory in 2016.

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ONDO: Deputy Governor gives Akeredolu 21 days to hand over

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Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has said that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has 21 days to hand over power to him or the constitution would be invoked.

Governor Akeredolu, who is currently receiving treatment for COVID-19, had on Friday vowed that he would not hand over to his Deputy in acting capacity.

Speaking through his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, Akeredolu said his Deputy was the greatest threat to his administration and has since left the ruling All Progressives Congress.

But the Deputy Governor said it was ignorance to proclaim that Governor Akeredolu would not hand over running of government to him because of political differences.

He stated that the venoms and vituperations from Ojogo in the desire and to desecrate his constitutionally established showed the excruciating pains and whammies his exit has caused the ruling party.

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The Deputy Governor who spoke through his Media Adviser, Comrade Allen Sowore, said Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) was apposite in this circumstances even as he continues to pray for Akeredolu’s quickest recovery.

He said the Governor was at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.

According to him:

“Refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy while in self isolation and temporarily incapacitated underscore his absolute disregard for the rule of law; a spite on the people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

“Not only that, his deliberate obstacles to ensure that government continues to run while he’s in self isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for the COVID-19 puts lips service to his hypocratic war against the ravaging pandemic.

“Our candid advice is that the energy decipates to pull down the office and person of the deputy governor should be channelled towards resolving the lingering crisis in the health sector particularly, the current strike embarked on by medical practitioners in the state, in the middle of this pandemic. Nobody will take us seriously when doctors are on strike and yet we pretend to be fighting a pandemic. It will only indicates that we’re taking the health of the people for granted.

“The Deputy Governor has a track record of performance in the various offices he has held – first as supervisory Councillor, LG Chairman, Member of the National Assembly – where he served as the chairman of the House Committee on NDDC and even now as the Deputy Governor.

“Nothing serves as threat to good governance than the current nepotism and lackadaisical attitude towards the prioritisation of people’s welfare.

“It’s imperative to inform the general public that, Mr Governor and members of his kitchen cabinet have deliberately barred the Deputy Governor from all government activities as all the daily itinerary and work schedules released from Chief Of Protocols, have not allocated any function or duty to the person or office of the Deputy Governor in recent time.

“The Deputy Governor empathises with the good people of Ondo State, at this critical period of our statehood that Mr Governor has decided to personalise administration and governance of our dear state.”

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Akeredolu appoints new health commissioner

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Following the death of Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Wahab Adegbenro, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has appointed his Special Adviser on Health, Jibayo Adeyeye, as the state’s Acting Health Commissioner.

The governor also appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Adesegun Fatusi, as the new chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee Against COVID-19.

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Both positions were occupied by the late Adegbenro.

The governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Ojo Oyewamide, made this known in a statement on Saturday.

The late Adegbenro died on Thursday of coronavirus complications and was buried on Friday according to Islamic rites.

The statement read in part, “Following the unfortunate demise of the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has appointed Professor Adesegun Fatusi new Chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee Against COVID-19.

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Nigeria Update

Dave Umahi, aides test positive for COVID-19

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Governor Dave Uamahi of Ebonyi State has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. The Governor confirmed this in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday, July 4.

According to the governor, he and some of his aides had the test carried out on them and the result came back positive. He said presently they are not showing any symptoms but have since gone into isolation in line with protocols laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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He has asked the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, to take over the frontline coordination of the state’s fight against the pandemic to protect Ebonyi people.

He appealed to residents of the state to take the NCDC protocols more seriously while stating that he’s working from home and will conduct all meetings virtually.

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Ebonyi state currently has 438 confirmed cases of the viral disease. 357 persons have been successfully treated while three have died.

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