13-year-old boy becomes Missouri’s youngest Covid death

A 13-year-old boy from Missouri died over the weekend from coronavirus complications, one of the youngest in the US.

According to local news station KMOV, officials from Franklin County’s Washington Middle School said eighth-grader Peyton Baumgarth passed away from complications of the virus less than two weeks after he last attended class. His last day of school was on 22 October, and he reportedly started quarantining on 26 October.

Within a few days, his symptoms had worsened, and he was hospitalised prior to his death on 31 October, according to the school district. It is not clear if the boy suffered from any pre-existing conditions.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family,” school officials said in an email sent to parents and staff, according to KMOV. “The family also asks that we all remember to wear masks, wash hands frequently and follow guidelines. Covid-19 is real and they want to remind students and parents to take these precautions in and outside of school.”

The school also said it would provide counsellors for students when they return to in-person classes on Wednesday.

Peyton’s family confirmed the death on a GoFundMe page set up to collect money for medical and funeral costs. A note on the page reads, “Peyton was a wonderful young man who always had a smile to share with you. … This is a devastating loss that leaves a tremendous hole in the heart of every person that knew Peyton.”

Missouri’s coronavirus case count has recently risen, with 15,000 confirmed positive cases and 78 new deaths reported in the past week. To date, the state has tallied more than 194,000 cases of Covid-19, according to The New York Times.

Russia’s Election Panel Criticizes ‘Alarming’ U.S. Mail-in Vote

Large-scale mail-in voting and late results in the 2020 U.S. presidential election could raise concerns over the transparency and legitimacy of the voting process, a senior Russian election official has said.

Nearly 100 million Americans have already voted early, both in person and by mail, as the coronavirus pandemic has upended the traditional approach to Election Day. President Donald Trump and his supporters have repeatedly railed against mail-in voting, highlighting that U.S. intelligence agencies have linked the practice to Russia’s efforts to undermine trust in the electoral process.

NIkolai Bulayev, the deputy chief of Russia’s Central Election Commission, called the U.S. election “alarming,” “dangerous” and “opaque” in comments on state television.

“Voting by mail at that volume cannot but be alarming because it’s so opaque,” Bulayev told the Rossia 24 broadcaster, claiming that some states are raising doubts even further by allegedly banning election monitors.

Bulayev cited media reports to bolster his arguments, claiming that “people who are long dead are casting ballots and that mailboxes are being broken into.”

Commenting on the likelihood that election results may not be announced on Tuesday night in case of a tight race, Bulayev said “counting votes for nine days is a dangerous procedure.”

“The results of such a vote with such large-scale use of mail-in voting cannot but cause concern about the legitimacy of this process,” he said, as quoted by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

“I think that both candidates will file lawsuits. These claims will look quite reasonable on the surface, because such a vote of course is amusing,” Bulayev said.

The Kremlin has said that Russia would work with either Trump or Biden, who is heavily favored to win this Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin has recently praised and criticized both men.

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