CORONAVIRUS

Trump Coronavirus Update: White House Says Trump Is Negative For COVID-19

HuffPost reporters are tracking Trump’s health progress and the outbreaks among Republican politicians.

For President Donald Trump and other high-level Republicans who have tested positive for COVID-19, it’s back to business as usual.

Trump has resumed holding crowded events less than two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus. His doctor claimed Trump is “no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” but did not explicitly say Trump has tested negative for the virus.

He issued a statement Monday saying that “the president is not infectious to others.”

Trump is one of many top-level Republicans who have tested positive for the coronavirus and failed to follow the recommended guidelines for quarantine.

More than 7.85 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus since Chinese officials implemented the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in Januaryaccording to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 215,900 Americans have died.

Read the latest updates below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the White House outbreak, go here.)

Labor Secretary’s Wife Tests Positive For COVID-19 — 10/14/2020, 8:50 a.m. ET

Trish Scalia, the wife of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the U.S. Labor Department announced Tuesday night.

Doctors confirmed her positive result on Tuesday afternoon, the agency said in a statement, adding that she was “experiencing mild symptoms but doing well.“
The labor secretary had tested negative and was experiencing no symptoms.

In late September, Eugene and Trish Scalia attended the Rose Garden ceremony that appears to be the source of a COVID-19 outbreak among more than 30 White House insiders. Photos from the event show the labor secretary seated in the second row near Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who tested positive as well.

Other photos show the labor secretary, who is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, mingling inside the White House without a face mask. His mother, Maureen, was also in attendance.

— Dave Jamieson

White House Says Trump Is Negative For COVID-19 ― 10/12/2020, 5:53 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 on consecutive days, his physician said Monday.

The news comes more than a week after the president revealed he was ill with the coronavirus and was hospitalized for three nights.

His results were determined by the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card, a type of rapid test, his doctor said. His medical team is now confident that “the president is not infectious to others.” 

― Lydia O’Connor

W.H. Chief Of Staff Refuses To Wear Mask While Addressing Reporters ― 10/12/20, 2 p.m. ET

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday refused to keep his mask on to address reporters, despite a recent coronavirus outbreak that infected at least 10 people in the White House, including President Donald Trump.

In a video the incident, Meadows can be seen stopping to talk to members of the press as he walks down a hallway in the U.S. Capitol.

“I tell ya what. Let me do this. Let me pull this away,” Meadows, donning a black mask, tells the reporters while grabbing a microphone stand and walking backward for a few feet.

“And then, that way, I can take this off to talk,” he says as he removes his mask, prompting at least one reporter to let out a groan.

Following the negative reaction from reporters, Meadows says, “Well, I’m more than 10 feet away.”

He then puts his mask on, says he’s not going to speak while wearing it, and walks away.

Several people close to Trump, including first lady Melania Trump, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and senior aides Stephen Miller and Hope Hicks, have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks. McEnany had spoken to reporters without wearing mask at least twice in the days leading up to her diagnosis. At least three White House reporters announced they tested positive for the virus around the same time.

― Hayley Miller

GOP Senator Diagnosed With COVID-19 10 Days Ago Attends Barrett Hearing Without A Mask ― 10/12/20, 11:15 a.m. ET

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) attended and spoke at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday without a mask, despite having been diagnosed with COVID-19 10 days ago.

The senator confirmed he’d tested positive for the virus on Oct. 2 and claimed he isolated himself for 10 days. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance says anyone who has been diagnosed with the virus should isolate for 10 days and be fever-free (without medication) before they leave isolation.

Lee told talk show host Hugh Hewitt on Monday morning that he’s “feeling great” and had gotten “the sign-off from the office of the attending physician.” He later shared part of the letter he received Monday from Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the United States Congress:

“Based upon current CDC guidelines, you have met criteria to end COVID-19 isolation for those with mild to moderate disease. Specifically, it has been greater than 10 days since symptom onset, you have had no fever in absence of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours, and your other symptoms have improved. The CDC does not recommend repeat SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing if these criteria are met.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attended the hearing remotely after having come into contact with Lee. Cruz recently tested negative for the virus, but confirmed he would not attend the hearing in person “out of an abundance of caution.”

CORRECTION: This entry previously cited CDC guidance on quarantine; Lee was isolating, for which the CDC has separate recommendations.

— Jenna Amatulli 

Trump Claims He Tested Negative For COVID-19 Despite His Doctors Staying Quiet  — 10/11/20, 8 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that he has tested negative for COVID-19, despite the White House refusing to say whether that is actually the case.

In an interview with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Trump said he no longer has the deadly disease and suggested he is now immune to the virus. He also said he feels great and that he is not taking any medications for the disease.

Later on Sunday, Trump told supporters on a campaign “Call to Prayer” that he has tested negative for COVID-19. Asked if the president tested negative for the virus as he claimed, the White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost and declined to comment to CNN.

“I’ve been tested, totally negative, I’m going to be out in Florida working very hard, because this is an election we have to win,” he said on the phone call, according to CNN.

On Saturday night, Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician in charge of the president’s care, issued a memo saying Trump now meets “CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation” and “is no longer considered a transmission risk to others.” He also said Trump has been “fever free for well over 24 hours,” raising questions of whether he had a fever one day earlier.

The doctor did not say explicitly that Trump tested negative for the virus, nor did it say whether he is still on medication — making Trump’s comments on Sunday completely baseless. The president’s medical team has been opaque about his health throughout his presidency, but especially so after he announced his COVID-19 infection.

 Sanjana Karanth

Kamala Harris To Participate In Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing Remotely — 10/11/20, 3:20 p.m. ET

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) plans to participate in this week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings remotely from her office due to the lack of safety precautions in place.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its confirmation process on Monday for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom President Donald Trump nominated last month to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Chris Harris, a spokesperson for the Democratic vice presidential nominee, tweeted on Sunday that Kamala Harris will participate in the hearings remotely due to committee Republicans’ “refusal to take commonsense steps to protect members, aides, Capitol complex workers, and members of the media.”

Most Democrats are expected to attend in person, though each senator is allowed to make their own call. The decision could change how the confirmation process looks, as Harris is famously known for her prosecutorial-style questioning during such hearings.

In addition to Trump, a large group of Republicans ― including some on the committee ― have tested positive for COVID-19. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) decided the Senate will stand in recess until Oct. 19 following news of the outbreak, but vowed there would be no schedule change for Barrett’s confirmation just weeks before Election Day.

Democrats have called to delay the hearings and to establish a robust testing regimen for members of Congress and staffers, arguing that Supreme Court confirmation hearings should take place in person instead of virtually and that such a process can only take place with safety protocols in place. But the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), dismissed the demands as an attempt to thwart Barrett’s nomination rather than legitimate concerns about the health of senators and staff.

“By moving forward with Supreme Court confirmation hearings tomorrow ― less than 2 weeks after members tested positive ― Chairman Graham and Senate Republicans are endangering the lives of not just members and our staff, but the hardworking people who keep the Senate complex running,” Harris tweeted earlier on Sunday. 

 Sanjana Karanth 

Twitter Says Trump Tweet Claiming Immunity From Virus Violates COVID-19 Misinformation Rules — 10/11/20, 2:10 p.m. ET

Twitter on Sunday said Trump’s tweet that claimed he’s now “immune” from the coronavirus violates the site’s rules against spreading COVID-19 misinformation.

“We placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy by making misleading health claims about COVID-19,” a Twitter spokesperson told HuffPost. “As is standard with this public interest notice, engagements with the Tweet will be significantly limited.”

 

The notice states that Trump’s tweet violated Twitter rules, but will remain accessible on the site in the interest of the public.

Trump told Fox News on Sunday that he’s “immune” to the coronavirus, about a week after he left Walter Reed medical center where he was being treated for COVID-19. Scientists believe a recovered COVID-19 patient has some immunity, but it remains unclear how much and for how long.

Twitter also added a public interest notice to one of Trump’s tweets on Tuesday for violating its policy against spreading COVID-19 misinformation. In his tweet, Trump downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and said Americans have “learned to live with it” just like the flu.

Trump’s claim about being “immune” was also posted to his official Facebook page, where it remains accessible without a label from the site.

― Hayley Miller

Trump declared himself “immune” from the coronavirus, nearly one week after leaving Walter Reed medical center, where he was being treated for COVID-19.

“It seems like I’m immune,” Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time or maybe a short time. It could be a lifetime. Nobody really knows. But I’m immune. So the president is in very good shape.”

Though scientists believe patients who recover from COVID-19 have some immunity, how much and for how long has not yet been determined. Recorded reinfections have been rare so far, but very few diseases leave people completely immune for life, reported The Associated Press.

White House physician Sean Conley released a brief statement late Saturday declaring Trump no longer poses a risk of transmitting the coronavirus to others. Conley, however, did not state in his memo whether Trump has tested negative for the virus. Still, Trump claimed Sunday that Conley’s statement suggested he no longer has COVID-19.

― Hayley Miller

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