President Donald Trump is doing damage control from the White House after a short hospital stay to help treat COVID-19.
Trump, who is still infected, spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, during which he experienced at least two drops in oxygen and a fever. At one point, he left the hospital for a drive-by photo-op with supporters. He made a show of exiting the hospital and returning to the White House, where he immediately removed his mask, exposing anyone in his immediate vicinity, including at least one photographer and several aides.
Trump and his allies have tried to frame his coronavirus diagnosis as a battle that he’s winning.
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it,” he said of a disease that’s killed more than 214,000 Americans under his watch.
The coronavirus continues to rage through President Donald Trump’s inner circle and high-level Republican politics. He and first lady Melania Trump announced their results last week after appearing at a slew of events, including a presidential debate, a fundraiser at his Bedminster resort and a White House Rose Garden ceremony to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Trump is one of the more than 7.76 million Americans who have contracted the coronavirus since Chinese officials implemented the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in January, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
HuffPost reporters are tracking Trump’s progress and the outbreaks stemming from events at which he appeared in the last week.
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.)
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. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that anyone who have been diagnosed with the virus should quarantine for 14 days to ensure that they do not spread it.
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.”
— Jenna Amatulli
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
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 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
In public, Trump has boasted of his strength and ability to overcome the coronavirus, downplaying it even in the face of more than 210,000 American fatalities. But last Saturday, the president privately worried about his illness at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, New York magazine reported.
“I could be one of the diers,” he said over the phone, twice, according to an unnamed source cited in the report. The unusual word stuck in the mind of the person on the other end.
Convincing Trump to go to the hospital reportedly required the efforts of several top White House staffers, who argued that it wasn’t personal but rather that the office of the presidency was simply too important and affected too many people for Trump to leave anything up to chance regarding his illness. Especially considering that the coronavirus can be unpredictable.
The New York magazine report offered evidence that, at least in private, Trump understood the scary course the virus could take.
“This thing could go either way. It’s tricky. They told me it’s tricky,” he reportedly said. “You can tell it can go either way.”
But since checking himself out of Walter Reed on Monday, Trump has offered mixed messaging on his health. He has conceded that his symptoms were worrisome but has also portrayed his illness as a “blessing” and said it probably “would have gone away by itself” without any drugs.— Sara Boboltz
Chris Christie, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, was released from the Morristown Medical Center Saturday morning as he recovers from the coronavirus, he said in a tweet. Christie had checked himself into the facility one week ago as a precautionary measure due to his history of asthma.
Christie was one of several people who helped the president prepare for his first debate against Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The debate prep group reportedly worked for prolonged periods of time in enclosed spaces without masks. Of all the Republicans in Trump’s orbit who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past two weeks, Christie’s case appeared to be the most severe.
— Sara Boboltz
The Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the presidential debate scheduled for next Thursday after President Donald Trump refused to participate in a virtual event.
Friday’s decision comes a week after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, which he appears to still be battling.
After the president’s campaign said it wasn’t on board with shifting to a virtual format, Joe Biden’s camp said it would not agree to new dates on the calendar, noting how close Election Day is. Both candidates have now scheduled other events for next Thursday, which left the commission no choice but to cancel the debate.
“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22,” the group said on Friday.
― Lydia O’Connor
Trump will deliver remarks to a large crowd assembled on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday, according to multiple reports. His appearance from a White House balcony will come around one week after he was airlifted to Walter Reed medical center for coronavirus symptoms that included a high fever and trouble breathing. His campaign also announced an in-person rally Monday evening at an airport in Sanford, Florida, as the time left until Election Day dwindles.
The president’s insistence on returning to the White House this past Monday — after only three days in the hospital — sparked concern over his potential to spread the coronavirus widely. Both of his upcoming events will be held outdoors; however, the president’s Supreme Court nomination event late last month was also held outside and nonetheless became a super spreader event, likely due to many attendees’ failure to wear masks. It is not clear whether masks will now be required or encouraged at either of the upcoming events.
— Sara Boboltz
One teacher and two high school students tested positive for COVID-19 at Trinity School, which some of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s children attend, reported The New York Times.
Barrett’s nomination event at the White House Rose Garden less than two weeks ago has come under scrutiny after multiple guests — including President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and two Republican senators — later tested positive for coronavirus. There have since been over two dozen cases of COVID-19 connected to the White House.
Washington, D.C., officials urged Rose Garden event attendees and anyone in contact with them to contact their health departments, showing little confidence in the White House and CDC’s belated efforts with contact tracing.
— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife reportedly tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday.
The results come a day after Pence canceled his plans to vote in-person in Indiana, raising questions about the vice president’s health.
President Donald Trump’s coronavirus status, meanwhile, remains unclear. He dodged questions about whether he had recently been tested during a Fox News interview Thursday night, only saying he’d seen his doctor and that he would likely be tested Friday.
― Lydia O’Connor
Trump plans to give his first on-camera interview since contracting COVID-19, speaking with Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday night, the network said.
While still recovering from the virus, Trump has been all over the right-wing airwaves. On Thursday, he gave two telephone interviews while sounding hoarse and coughing: one with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo and another with Fox News host Sean Hannity. On Friday, he is also planning a “virtual rally” on conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s show.
Despite still recovering from the virus and still potentially being contagious, Trump has insisted on resuming large, in-person rallies, potentially as soon as Saturday.
— Marina Fang
After saying Thursday morning that President Donald Trump would not participate in next week’s debate — which the debate commission had changed to a virtual format — Trump’s campaign then said late Thursday that the debate should be held in-person, per multiple reports.
However, the chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates said it wouldn’t change the second debate from virtual back to in-person, The Associated Press reported.
Trump tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday and was hospitalized for three days. Over two dozen people connected to the White House have also tested positive in recent days. It is not clear when the president will no longer be contagious.
Organizers had changed the planned debate in Miami to a virtual format “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.” Midday Thursday, after Trump pulled out of the virtual debate, Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign said he’d hold a town hall event that day in its stead.
— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
With nearly three dozen confirmed COVID-19 cases in the White House in the past week, President Donald Trump’s administration is now working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to control the virus’ spread.
CDC spokesperson Jason McDonald confirmed the news with The Washington Post on Thursday. Another unnamed CDC official told the Post that the agency’s officials had reached out to the White House last week to help but that the offer was rebuffed.
The Trump administration has come under fire for not quickly working to stop the spread of the disease and for failing to reach out to all people who came into contact with those now known to be sick. Many of those infected were at a large event that Trump, who is among the confirmed cases, hosted in the Rose Garden.
— Lydia O’Connor
President Donald Trump should be able to safely hold public events by Saturday, 10 days since his first positive test for COVID-19, White House physician Sean Conley said Thursday.
“Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness,” Conley wrote in a health update for the president. “Overall he’s responded extremely well to treatment, without evidence on examination of adverse therapeutic effects.”
Conley did not say if Trump had returned a negative coronavirus test. “I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time,” the doctor wrote.
In an extraordinary step, the Washington, D.C., Department of Health has released an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended the Sept. 26 event in the Rose Garden to seek medical advice and take a COVID-19 test.
The letter indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected the president, multiple senior staff members and two U.S. senators, among others.
Co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a belief that contact tracing of the outbreak has been insufficient.
It says the public appeal is based on “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals.”
Read more from The Associated Press here.
— Hayley Miller
In a video addressed to senior citizens on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he is working to secure the release of experimental drugs that he was given during his hospitalization for COVID-19, saying “I want you to get the same care that I got.”
“I took this medicine and it was incredible. It was incredible. I could have walked out the following day. Sooner. It was incredible the impact it had,” Trump said in the video, going so far as to call the drugs he was given “a cure” ― even though there is no cure for the coronavirus.
The president did not specify the drugs he was given in the video, but he has previously said that he was given an antibody cocktail by drugmaker Regeneron. The New York-based biotechnology company, which received $450 million in government funding to develop COVID-19 treatments, said Wednesday that it has applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its experimental monoclonal antibody therapy. If approved, Regeneron said it would provide doses to Americans at no cost.
“It’s totally safe, but it’s powerful against this disease,” Trump said in the video.
— Nina Golgowski
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Thursday that she’s planning to discuss the option of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
The Democratic leader spoke at a press conference focused on the stalled negotiations in Congress over the passing of another stimulus package to provide economic relief to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
“When we hear people saying, ‘I’m young and I’m a perfect specimen’ instead of addressing the facts that 50,000 people were infected yesterday, nearly 1,000 people died. What are we talking about here?” Pelosi said. “Tomorrow, by the way, come here tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.”
Pelosi was alluding to Trump’s interview Thursday morning with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, in which the COVID-19 patient claimed he’s “not contagious at all” because he is a “perfect physical specimen” and “extremely young.”
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution outlines how the vice president would replace the sitting president if the latter dies, becomes sick or is deemed incapable of fulfilling the duties of the office. The removal process requires the vice president and a majority of cabinet officials (or members of another group chosen by Congress) to declare that the president is unable to do his job.
CNN’s Manu Raju asked Pelosi to clarify if she is saying that Congress should invoke the 25th Amendment, to which the speaker repeated that she will wait to speak about it on Friday. Pelosi told Bloomberg TV later on Thursday that Trump is in an “altered state right now,” likely referring to the drug cocktail that the president is taking as part of his COVID-19 treatment.
The president has been irresponsible about taking safety precautions, especially since testing positive last week for COVID-19. Trump returned to the White House while still infected, and has since been having erratic Twitter tantrums.
— Sanjana Karanth
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he plans to take questions from voters after President Donald Trump backed out from participating in a planned presidential debate that would have been held virtually because of the president’s coronavirus diagnosis.
“Joe Biden was prepared to accept the [Commission on Presidential Debates’] proposal for a virtual Town Hall, but the President has refused, as Donald Trump clearly does not want to face questions from the voters about his failures on COVID and the economy,” Biden’s team said in a statement. “As a result, Joe Biden will find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15th, as he has done on several occasions in recent weeks.”
“Given the President’s refusal to participate on October 15th, we hope the Debate Commission will move the Biden-Trump Town Hall to October 22nd, so that the President is not able to evade accountability,” the statement continued. “The voters should have a chance to ask questions of both candidates, directly. Every Presidential candidate since 1992 has participated in such an event, and it would be a shame if Donald Trump was the first to refuse.”
Trump said Thursday morning that he wouldn’t participate in a virtual debate.
“I am not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump said on Fox Business. “I am not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.”
— Sebastian Murdock
President Donald Trump falsely stated that “you don’t really need drugs” to recover from COVID-19, after several days of taking a variety of drugs to help him recover from COVID-19.
“I will tell you right now: I walked in, I didn’t feel great,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday, referring to being admitted to Walter Reed medical center last week. “I think I would have done it fine without drugs. You don’t really need drugs. ... So they gave me a steroid, which is a very easy thing to take.”
Trump has actually been administered several drugs over the course of his illness, including the steroid dexamethasone, antiviral drug remdesivir, and a single infusion of an experimental coronavirus treatment developed by the biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. (Regeneron’s CEO is a member of Trump’s golf club in Westchester, New York, and his company received $450 million in government funding in July to quickly develop COVID-19 treatments.)
Trump and his allies have been using the president’s battle with the coronavirus to suggest he’s tougher and stronger than the average person. Hours before being discharged from Walter Reed on Sunday, Trump tweeted that Americans shouldn’t fear the virus.
“Don’t be afraid of Covid,” wrote Trump, who received special VIP care and had access to costly, experimental drugs that most Americans do not. “Don’t let it dominate your life.”
More than 211,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.
― Hayley Miller
President Donald Trump on Thursday again credited an experimental coronavirus drug for his improved health over the last several days. His boasting came one day after the drugmaker Regeneron requested an emergency use authorization for its product.
“It made me better, I will tell you right now,” Trump said in a phone interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.
Trump was hospitalized for three days after testing positive for the virus late last week. He said Thursday that he has finished all of his prescribed medications, which included a steroid, and already feels good enough to attend public events.
“I think I’m better to a point where I’d love to do a rally tonight. I wanted to do one last night,” he said. “I feel perfect. There’s nothing wrong.”
Though much remains to be known about the coronavirus, most patients are believed to no longer be contagious after 10 days of not showing symptoms. Trump has been symptom-free since at least Tuesday, according to a letter his doctor released Wednesday.
Trump’s endorsement for the drug came as Regeneron announced that it has requested an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its product, REGN-COV2, which is meant to boost the body’s response to COVID-19.
If approved, the drug would become more widely available to COVID-19 patients.
― Nina Golgowski
Vice President Mike Pence tried to defend his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more people in America than anywhere else in the world, in a debate Wednesday night with Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
Pence said that the administration acted effectively in restricting travel from China early on, repeating a talking point that President Donald Trump often uses. He tried to change the subject as Harris brought up that 210,000 people were dead and the administration has responded in a slow, dismissive way.
— Liza Hearon
President Donald Trump called it a “blessing” that he contracted the coronavirus that has killed more than 211,000 Americans this year.
“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it,” he said in a video message outside the White House on Wednesday.
Trump tested positive for the virus last Thursday and spent three days hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before returning to the White House on Monday.
The president also said that he was feeling “great — I feel, like, perfect” and touted his recovery: “For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good, a short 24 hours later, I was feeling great.”
Trump, of course, received top-notch medical care for free, including experimental treatments — something out of reach for most Americans. The U.S. leads the world with over 7.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 211,000 dead so far.
Read more here.
― Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
Christie is one of at least five people who helped prepare President Donald Trump for last week’s presidential debate and have now tested positive for the virus, including former White House aide Kellyanne Conway and Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller. Christie told ABC News last week that no one wore face masks during the prep sessions.
Christie, who has asthma, may be especially vulnerable to COVID-19. On Saturday, he checked himself into Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, where he remains in “good spirits,” according to WNYC reporter Matt Katz.
— Hayley Miller
Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) said he has tested positive for the coronavirus after experiencing symptoms, he wrote in a statement on social media Tuesday evening.
He said Monday he had tested negative after being exposed to an individual who had tested positive, but after his symptoms started he tested again and it came back positive. He has been quarantining in Washington since his exposure.
“I hope this serves as a reminder of how easily this virus can spread. I followed every precaution, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand-washing and unfortunately was still exposed. It is incumbent on every single one of us to take careful precautions in order to protect the health and safety of those around us,” he wrote.
While Carbajal didn’t name the individual in his statement, his spokeswoman told News Channel 3-12 that the person was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who tested positive for COVID-19 last week along with two other Republican senators.
More than a dozen House members have contracted the virus in recent months.
— Liza Hearon
Months after neglecting public health recommendations, the White House is reportedly strengthening its coronavirus precautions as of Tuesday so that staff are somewhat kept safe while interacting with an infected President Donald Trump, who is not following those same precautions.
An internal White House memo obtained by The Washington Post urged staffers to “limit all foot traffic on the first floor of the West Wing as well as in the Residence” and says that “staff should only go to the Oval Office or the second floor Residence when they are requested and expected.”
Staff members who do visit those areas, where Trump lives and holds meetings, are reportedly required to don personal protective equipment provided in an “Isolation Cart” that includes a yellow gown, surgical mask, protective eyewear and gloves.
Staff are reportedly trying to implement safety measures without upsetting their infected boss, who continues to undermine virus precautions and ignore basic safety protocols.
― Sanjana Karanth
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Tuesday that the Oct. 15 debate scheduled with President Donald Trump should not take place if the president still has coronavirus at that time.
“If he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate,” Biden told reporters in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday he is “looking forward” to it despite his diagnosis.
― Mollie Reilly
Top White House adviser Stephen Miller has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Over the last 5 days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday. Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine,” Miller said in a statement.
Miller attended debate preparations with President Donald Trump last week, during which attendees did not wear masks. Several attendees, including the president and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have since tested positive for the virus.
— Mollie Reilly
Vice President Mike Pence’s team does not want a plexiglass barrier on his side of the stage to prevent the spread of coronavirus at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, CNN reported. Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris plans to have a plexiglass barrier on her side, between herself and Pence. But the vice president’s team reportedly doesn’t think it is “necessary” to have on on his side, too.
More than a dozen people surrounding Trump, including the president himself, the first lady and at least three Republican senators, have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days. Pence so far has tested negative.
— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
White House physician Sean Conley gave an update Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s health, saying that he’s doing “extremely well,” but giving almost no details about his COVID-19 infection.
In a letter, Conley said that Trump reported no symptoms to the team of physicians who met with him at the White House. However, what is contained in the letter is the medical information that Trump allowed him to make public, Conley said.
“Vital signs and physical exam remain stable, with an ambulatory oxygen saturation level of 95-97%,” Conley wrote. “Overall he continues to do extremely well, I will provide updates as we know more.”
Conley has refused to be fully transparent to the press and the public about the president’s health since he tested positive for the virus on Thursday. The doctor acknowledged that he tried to paint a rosy image of Trump’s condition in his first briefing of the weekend “and in doing so, came off like we’re trying to hide something.”
On Saturday, Conley refused to directly say whether the president was given any oxygen — only to admit the next day that he had ordered oxygen for Trump on Friday morning. On Sunday, the doctor said Trump was doing well enough to send him back to the White House from Walter Reed Military Medical Center, while simultaneously announcing the president’s blood oxygen levels twice dropped below 95% and that he was given a steroid only recommended for the very sick.
Conley’s letter on Tuesday did not say whether Trump has received his scheduled fifth and final dose of remdesivir, an antiviral drug authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The medical team has also still not said when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19.
— Sanjana Karanth
Vice President Mike Pence “has remained healthy” and is “encouraged to go about his normal activities,” according to a note from White House physician Jesse Schonau released Tuesday afternoon. Pence does not need to quarantine, the doctor said. He undergoes rapid antigen tests daily and “intermittent” PCR tests for the virus, which have “all resulted as negative,” the memo said.
The vice president is not considered a “close contact” of the president or senior members of the administration, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Trump, meanwhile, has continued to recuperate in his White House residence following his coronavirus diagnosis.
— Sara Boboltz
The most senior U.S. military officer, Gen. Mark Milley, and several other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are reportedly quarantining on Tuesday after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for the coronavirus.
Though Milley has so far tested negative, he and other defense officials are taking precautionary measures after the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Charles Ray, tested positive on Monday. The Coast Guard said Ray is quarantining at home and officials have begun the contact tracing process.
Meanwhile, Trump returned to the White House on Monday, still infected with the virus. Immediately after stepping off Marine One, Trump stood on the White House balcony and removed his mask for a photo op.
— Sebastian Murdock
The post, shared on Trump’s Facebook account earlier Tuesday, downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and compared it to the flu. He said many people die from the flu every year and that Americans have “learned to live with it.”
“Just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” the president wrote on Facebook.
As of Tuesday, there have been at least 210,000 coronavirus-linked deaths in the United States. About 22,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu during the 2019-20 flu season. The U.S. has recorded more coronavirus cases ― more than 7.4 million ― than any country in the world.
Trump also shared the same coronavirus misinformation in a tweet Tuesday. Following Facebook’s removal of Trump’s post, Twitter added a label to the president’s tweet stating that it violated the site’s rules on “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
“However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” Twitter’s label stated.
― Hayley Miller
Trump asserted that he plans to be ready for his second debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden — originally scheduled for next week — despite still recovering from the coronavirus.
“I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!” he tweeted.
“FEELING GREAT!” he said in another tweet.
Future presidential debates were thrown into limbo with Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, which he revealed in the early hours of Friday morning. While the timeline of his illness is not entirely clear, the president’s doctor, Sean Conley, said in a press conference on Saturday that the seven-to-10-day mark is most important to watch. That mark appears to line up with the next scheduled debate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those who have tested positive for COVID-19 can be around others 10 days after symptoms first appeared as long as they have also gone at least 24 hours without a fever and seen improvement in other symptoms they have experienced.
Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening from Walter Reed, where he was flown for treatment after developing a high fever.
— Sara Boboltz
The aide, who has not been publicly identified, is the latest addition to the growing list of White House personnel and members of Trump’s inner circle who have contracted the virus. Others include first lady Melania Trump, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and at least three Republican senators.
Trump was released from Walter Reed medical center on Monday after a three-day stay to treat his coronavirus infection. His doctors warned Trump is “not out of the woods” yet, even though he claims to be feeling very well.
— Hayley Miller
President Trump on Tuesday relaunched what appeared to be his normal Twitter routine during his first morning back at the White House following his three-day hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
In a series of tweets, Trump falsely accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of being in favor of abortion “right up until the time of birth and beyond” and praised Americans for having “learned to live” with the flu and the coronavirus, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States.
“Flu season is coming up!” he tweeted. “Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”
Medical experts have warned that this year’s flu season, coupled with potential surges of coronavirus cases, could overwhelm the nation’s health care system. Roughly 22,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu during the 2019-2020 flu season.
Getting a flu shot — especially this year — is “really important,” one doctor told WVNS-TV last month. “The flu vaccine will help to decrease the severity of the illness if you still get the flu but it will actually also help to decrease the burden on our health care system that is already being stressed.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu shot by the end of October.
— Hayley Miller
Thirteen restaurant staffers are in quarantine after catering a fundraising dinner for President Donald Trump at a private home in Minnesota, the restaurant said.
The staffers for Murray’s Restaurant, a steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis, worked at the fundraiser Wednesday at the Lake Minnetonka home of Marty Davis, CEO of quartz countertop manufacturer Cambria.
“Our staff was there to work the party only and at no point did any staff come in close proximity to the president,” the restaurant said in a statement. The restaurant said staffers will be given a COVID-19 test.
About 40 guests paid $200,000 a couple to meet the president and hear him speak. One guest said they had to stay in their cars and await the results of a coronavirus test before entering the home for the event.
— Liza Hearon
Shortly after he arrived back at the White House on Monday evening, President Donald Trump released a video downplaying COVID-19 and defending his actions leading up to his infection.
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it,” he said of a disease that’s killed more than 209,000 Americans under his watch.
He repeated the sentiment several times. “Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen,” he said as he made a push for the economy to reopen, despite the advice of public health officials.
“Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did,” he said, referring to himself going “back to work.”
The coronavirus outbreak at the White House is believed to be linked to a celebratory event Trump hosted at the Rose Garden on Sept. 26.
“I know there’s a risk. There’s a danger, but that’s OK,” he said. “And now I’m better, and maybe I’m immune, I don’t know.
― Lydia O’Connor
President Donald Trump left Walter Reed hospital late Monday and returned to the White House, where he was filmed promptly removing his mask.
The president has coronavirus and is likely contagious. His mask removal flouts his own administration’s guidelines on preventing the spread of the coronavirus and puts anyone in his vicinity, including White House staffers, at risk.
More than a dozen people in Trump’s circle have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, including two White House residence housekeepers. (The workers reportedly did not come in direct contact with Trump or the rest of the first family.)
— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
President Donald Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, three days after he said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The president left the hospital wearing a mask and walked to a waiting vehicle without taking questions from the press. He gave a thumbs up before heading to Marine One to go home to the White House.
Questions remain about the president’s health despite his stay in the hospital. White House physician Sean Conley said he is doing well, but “he may not entirely be out of the woods yet.”
— Nick Visser
The White House won’t do any contact tracing related to a COVID-19 outbreak believed to be linked to a large event in the Rose Garden 10 days ago, a person familiar with the matter told The New York Times.
According to the Monday report, the White House is doing little to investigate the scope and source of a coronavirus outbreak affecting President Donald Trump and several members of his staff. The likely source of this new cluster of cases, experts say, is an event Trump held in the Rose Garden to celebrate his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So far, the source told the Times, the White House has gotten in touch only with people who came in close contact with Trump in the two days leading up to his Thursday evening diagnosis. The source also said that Trump’s administration has pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of the contact tracing process.
― Lydia O’Connor
- Get the latest coronavirus updates here.
- What will life be like once a coronavirus vaccine arrives?
- Everything you need to know about face masks right now.
- What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19?
- Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year?
- Constantly arguing with your partner about coronavirus risks? You are not alone.
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