- Expert: president put Secret Service ‘at grave risk’ with drive-by greeting
- Trump says ‘I think I’ll be back soon’ in four-minute video
- Panic and confusion permeate White House
- Can Johnson and Bolsonaro offer lessons for Trump?
- Amy Coney Barrett: confirmation under threat as senators infected
- Coronavirus – latest live news
We’ll be closing this blog shortly but will continue to have live updates over on our global coronavirus live blog here.
Here’s a quick summary of everything that has happened in US politics today:
Officials in New Jersey are racing to contact trace 206 guests who attended Donald Trump’s rally at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
After the president announced he tested positive for Covid-19 in the late night after the event, officials have been trying to inform everyone in attendance of their possible exposure to the virus. One obstacle health officials are facing is that the campaign only gave them the email addresses of attendees, which is less likely to get a response compared to addresses and telephone numbers, according to a report from Politico.
DOH has reached out to these individuals to make them aware of possible exposure and recommend that they self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the President and his staff.
Judd Deere, deputy press secretary, just told a White House pool reporter that Donald Trump’s appearance in front of Walter Reed Hospital was “cleared by the medical team as safe to do” and said that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE”.
Concerns over the appearance and whether Trump put the other people that were in the car with him, who are likely Secret Service personnel, at risk of contracting the virus have been raised on Twitter. The White House has since emphasized that the ride was short and impromptu.
Sean Conley, White House physician, reportedly told co-workers in the spring, before the president contracted Covid-19, that he was feeling intense personal stress in his current job, according to a new report from the Washington Post.
Conley, a 40-year-old Navy commander, joined the White House medical staff in December 2016 after serving as a Navy emergency physician and serving in a trauma unit in Afghanistan. He was tapped as White House physician in 2018.
Joe Biden’s campaign just announced the former vice president tested negative for Covid-19 today.
Joe Biden tested negative for Covid today, his campaign says. “Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected.”
The Washington Post just published a report on the band of supporters that have gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where the president is staying as he continues his treatment for Covid-19.
Dan Zak, a reporter for the Post, describes a scene where Trump’s supporters are yelling to passing cars in bullhorns calling for “eight more years” and waving huge Trump 2020 flags.
The White House Correspondents Association released a statement condemning the White House for not informing the press pool that Donald Trump would be making an appearance outside of Walter Reed Hospital this afternoon. The White House told reporters that there would be no more events after 3 pm today.
“It is outrageous for the president to have left the hospital – even briefly – amid a health crisis without a protective pool present to ensure that the American people know where their president is and how he is doing,” said the association’s president Zeke Miller in a statement.
Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, took two questions from reporters moments ago and refused to commit releasing to the public how many White House officials have tested positive for Covid-19.
It also appears the White House is trying to deny a Wall Street Journal report from this afternoon that Donald Trump carried on business-as-usual even after he had a positive rapid Covid-19 test on Thursday. The press secretary did not answer questions about tests the president took before the White House announced Trump has Covid-19. McEnany said that the president first tested positive after he held a rally at hid golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
In those two answers, McEnany — a taxpayer funded official — would not commit to releasing how many White House officials have tested positive and would not answer @colvinj’s question about whether Trump was tested Tuesday before the debate.
McEnany for first time says the president tested positive for first time upon return from Bedminster. Would not answer questions about his previous tests.
An MSNBC reporter is saying that attorney general William Barr is self-quarantining at home, though Barr has taken four negative tests since Friday morning.
According to a DOJ spokesperson, Attorney General William Barr took another test today which was negative.
He has taken 4 tests since Friday morning, all negative.
The Attorney General is now self quarantining at home and will not be in the office tomorrow.
Commenting on Donald Trump’s appearance outside of Walter Reed Hospital, where he waved to supporters from inside an SUV, the White House released a statement that said the president “took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed.”
Explanation from the White House: “President Trump took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed.” (@realDonaldTrump has COVID-19.)
Closer look at man in passenger seat with Trump shows medical gown, respirator mask and eye/face shield pic.twitter.com/kPvrEZ75Tr
The White House called a lid a few hours ago.
That was obviously a lie and it raises the question of whether it was an intentional lie to help @realDonaldTrump avoid questions from the press pool who is supposed to be there to witness him entering/exiting the building/vehicle. https://t.co/Ex8XxZaBMA
Reaction to Donald Trump making a surprise, very brief appearance outside of Walter Reed Hospital just moments ago, when he waved to supporters while in an SUV, is starting to appear on Twitter.
While Trump said that contracting the virus has allowed him to understand the virus, he chose to get into a car with other people even though he is contagious, something that multiple health experts have pointed out puts others at risk.
That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.
It’s been a rather bizarre 15 minutes: Donald Trump tweeted a video moments ago that said he was “about to make a little surprise visit” to supporters who have gathered outside of Walter Reed Hospital, where the president has been under medical care since Friday.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH
The White House did not disclose that Donald Trump received a positive test result from a Covid-19 rapid test on Thursday, opting to carry on business-as-usual until the more thorough Covid-19 screening confirmed the president has Covid-19.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this afternoon from anonymous sources familiar with the matter that the president attempted to keep the positive test result from the rapid test mum, saying on Fox News Thursday night that he was awaiting test results when the president already knew about his positive rapid test result. Trump tweeted at 1 am that morning that he tested positive for Covid-19.
Donald Trump just tweeted his appreciation to “all the fans and supporters outside the hospital”.
“The fact is, they really love our Country and are seeing how we are MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!” the president wrote on Twitter.
I really appreciate all of the fans and supporters outside of the hospital. The fact is, they really love our Country and are seeing how we are MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!
More supporters of President Trump are arriving, gathering outside the hospital where Trump is being treated for COVID-19.
This will be his second night here at Walter Reed. pic.twitter.com/Fe2IWBIfKH
HAPPENING NOW: A group of Trump supporters are rallying outside of Walter Reed hospital. Many appear to not be wearing masks and practicing social distancing. This comes after the President was diagnosed with #coronavirus Thursday night. pic.twitter.com/ZiRsLBL5o6
Last night, demonstrators outside of Walter Reed, where President Donald Trump is being treated for Covid-19, started chanting “Save the Children!” Today, they’ve got Q signs. https://t.co/U9ZmTzLCLV
GOP senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania announced his retirement today, setting the stage for what will be a contentious fight for his open Senate seat in 2022.
Toomey’s reelection in 2016 was settled after what turned out to be the most expensive Senate race in history after groups from outside the state funnelled money into Toomey’s campaign and that of his Democratic candidate, Katie McGinty. The race saw $113 million and showed just how valuable a single seat in the Senate can be for either party. Toomey won by getting just over 1% more votes than McGinty.
In my convos with PA Republicans today, among the many many names in the mix for the open Senate seat: @DonaldJTrumpJr. He’s played a deep role in Trump campaign in PA, has installed many allies in county and state party positions.
Though Joe Biden’s campaign promised last night to release the results of every Covid test the former vice president takes, his campaign has yet to release a test result since Friday, when Biden tested negative.
The campaign has gone ahead and released Biden’s schedule for tomorrow, which includes two in-person events.
Lara Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, and a handful of faith leaders close to the White House will be holding a “call to prayer” for the president and the first lady at 5pm tonight.
The faith leaders will include Paula White-Cain, Trump’s evangelical spiritual advisor who also runs a megachurch in Florida. The prayer will be held virtually.
Donald Trump’s campaign is holding a call to prayer for the president and First Lady this evening, hosted by Lara Trump. pic.twitter.com/QIY7W6N9NE
This is Lauren Aratani taking over for Amanda Holpuch. White House director of strategic communication Alyssa Farah implied that Sean Conley, the White House doctor who is overseeing Donald Trump, was trying to “project confidence” when saying yesterday that “the president is doing very well” despite contradictory reports that came out moments later.
Farah, speaking to reporters, said that Conley was giving “a snapshot in time” and that, on Saturday, Donald Trump was doing “extremely well”.
This from WH communications director Alyssa Farah feels important. The briefings have not just been about Trump wanting Dr. Conley to paint rosy picture – it is about reassuring the president himself.
A panicked patient, one who is possibly quite sick, could impact treatment pic.twitter.com/lA2ARYWaZg
PBS Newshour White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, reports that Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, have tested negative for coronavirus today.
CONFIRMED: Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence tested negative for COVID-19 today again, a White House official tells me.
So for three days in row, both have been negative for COVID.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has just announced his intentions to reverse the reopening of nine neighborhoods after they had a Covid-19 testing positivity rate above 3% for the past seven days.
The mayor said he wants to close nonessential business and schools in the South Brooklyn and Central Queens neighborhoods. The state government must approve such a move and de Blasio said city officials would meet with the officials in the hopes of having the closures begin on Wednesday.
Experts react to latest briefing by Trump’s doctors
Dr Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician at the Medical University of South Carolina, is among those with questions following the latest briefing of the president’s doctors.
Just as a recap, #Trump has received the following (AFAIK)
This does not sound like a person who was admitted to #WalterReedMedicalCenter as a “precaution”. These are heavy duty medications being given to a person who is likely pretty sick.
One thing for everyone to remember, steroids suppress the ability for the body to mount a febrile response. So now that @realDonaldTrump is on Decadron saying that “he didn’t have a fever” really tells us nothing.
We need to understand how he is doing clinically
An odd quote from Sean Conley during his update on Donald Trump’s health. “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” Conley said when explaining his reluctance to say Trump had been on oxygen earlier this week. I assume Conley means coverage of Trump’s illness, rather than the illness itself.
Dr Brian Garibaldi’s statement that Trump may be OK to return home to the White House may come back to haunt the administration. If Trump isn’t released tomorrow, it will appear his condition has worsened. There is speculation it is Trump himself who is pushing for an early release.
In fact, Conley made the 7-10 days point himself. Trump is said by sources to be bored in the hospital and eager to get out. https://t.co/VwC7Y0Cutg
Some of the things the medical team didn’t say are interesting, particularly because Donald Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, admitted that he was not completely forthcoming yesterday on the use of oxygen to treat the president. And then admitted that he and the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave conflicting messages on the president’s health. It doesn’t give the public much faith that we can take everything the president’s medical staff says as a gold standard on Trump’s health.
Qs that Dr. Conley needs to answer & hasn’t: Is there any damage or irregularity to President Trump’s lungs? What do the president’s lungs scans show? What could have caused the the president’s oxygen levels to drop twice? When was the president’s last negative COVID test?
Perhaps significantly, Conley does not answer questions about results of lung scans on the president or whether he has had pneumonia.
CNN’s medical expert, Dr Sanjay Gupta, says some of the steroids given to the president are used to treat lung conditions. Of course, doctors may just be throwing everything they can at Trump because he is the president but questions are being raised on Twitter by people with more medical knowledge than myself.
So Trump is now also receiving dexamethasone. @WHO guidelines very clear that it is to be used only “in patients with severe and critical #COVID19”. Guidelines incl. “conditional recommendation not to use corticosteroid therapy in patients with non-severe #COVID19”. pic.twitter.com/BuAl5sUdyQ
Conley is asked by reporters about the contrasting reports of Trump’s health yesterday. Conley had been upbeat about the president’s health, while White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said there was a high-level of concern. Conley says Meadows’s remarks were “misconstrued” and the chief of staff was referring to Trump’s report before he was admitted to hospital.
Another doctor, Sean Dooley, gives further details. He says the president “remains without fever since Friday morning” and is “not complaining of shortness of breath”. Dooley says the president is “walking around” and his “cardiac, liver and pulmonary condition” is not a cause for concern.
Another member of the team, Dr Brian Garabaldi, says the president may be released tomorrow.
Donald Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, says the president has “continued to improve” since the last medical update on Saturday.
Conley then addresses the fact that he would not be drawn yesterday on whether the president had needed oxygen. He says on Friday morning, the president experienced a drop in oxygen levels and needed to be given supplemental oxygen at the White House for about an hour.
As we wait for an update from Donald Trump’s medical team on his health, the White House national security adviser said the president will stay in hospital for now.
“I spoke with the chief of staff this morning, and the good news is that the president feels very well and he actually wants to get back home to the White House and get back to work, but I think he’s going to stay at Walter Reed [hospital[ for at least another period of time,” Robert O’Brien told CBS’s Face the Nation.
On Thursday afternoon Donald Trump held a roundtable of 19 top Republican donors at Bedminster, his 36-hole golf course in New Jersey, where he vented his frustrations about how his push for a rapid vaccine against Covid-19 was being undermined by the deep state.
According to a description of the meeting recorded on video by one of the donors present, “the president said that the approval for vaccines has been slowed down for political reasons by people who wanted to hurt him”.
Donald Trump’s medical team, headed by his doctor Sean Conley, are expected to give a briefing on the president’s health in the next hour.
Joe Biden adviser Symone Sanders appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and said she was not concerned the former vice-president had been exposed to Covid-19 during last week’s presidential debate.
Sanders said that Biden had been at least six feet away from Trump, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, at all times.
One man was not surprised by revelations that Donald Trump does not deserve his reputation as a preternaturally successful businessman and deal maker. The man who helped create the illusion.
Tony Schwartz spent hundreds of hours with Trump to ghostwrite his bestselling 1987 book The Art of the Deal, effectively creating the origin story of the brash property tycoon. It was Schwartz who coined the phrase “truthful hyperbole”, which neatly foreshadowed Trump and his supporters’ attempts to rationalize many of his false and misleading claims.
Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar believes hearings into the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court should be postponed.
Three Republican senators – Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Thom Tillis – have said they have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days.
Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Jason Miller, has appeared on ABC’s This Week and disagreed with the 72% of Americans in a recent poll who said Donald Trump did not take Covid-19 seriously enough before contracting the virus.
“I think there’s a really important point here is President Trump had to take this head-on,” he said, pointing to the travel bans on China and Europe early in the pandemic. “He had to get out there as the leader not just of the country but of the free world and take this head on.”
NEW: Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller defends the president’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic after ABC News/Ipsos poll shows nearly 3 out of every 4 Americans doubt that Trump took the threat that COVID-19 posed to his well-being seriously. https://t.co/BHOgshyGxN pic.twitter.com/pE0fG7TCbM
The White House pool reporters are being driven to Walter Reed Medical Center, where Donald Trump is being treated for Covid-19, so we may have an update on the president’s condition. Although, given the chaos and contradictions of yesterday’s update, we may not.
The WH press pool of reporters and photographers is being driven to Walter Reed hospital. No details yet on what events, if any, are expected.
Ohio governor Mike DeWine also told CNN’s State of the Union that he would have preferred Donald Trump to have worn a mask at all times during the presidential debate last week.
Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, has called Donald Trump’s positive test for Covid-19 “a cautionary tale”.
“This should be kind of an alert to everybody, that anybody can get the virus – even the president of the United States,” DeWine said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Fox News’s Chris Wallace was criticized by those who thought he lost control of last week’s presidential debate, where he acted as moderator.
The subject came up again on Sunday when Wallace interviewed Steve Cortes, an adviser to the Trump campaign.
Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Jason Miller, has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to discuss the president’s condition following his positive test for Covid-19.
Host Chuck Todd asked Miller if he had spoken to the president since his diagnosis.
More news from the polls. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday and taken after last week’s presidential debate but before Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis shows Joe Biden widening his lead over the president. According to the poll, 53% of registered voters preferred Biden compared to 39% for Trump. Biden’s lead of 14 percentage points is up from the eight percentage points the last time the poll was taken, which was before the presidential debate.
Trump was criticised in many quarters for his belligerence during last week’s debate, although many felt neither candidate came out of the episode well. Forty-nine percent of respondents to the poll said Biden had performed better in the debate, compared to 24% for Trump. Of those surveyed, 73% said the debate would play no role in how they intend to vote in November’s election.
More findings from the Reuters/Ipsos poll mentioned below. The poll was taken after Donald Trump’s positive test for Covid-19, and it found most of those surveyed said the president should take some blame for his diagnosis.
Sixty-five percent of those polled agreed with the statement: “if President Trump had taken coronavirus more seriously, he probably would not have been infected.” Predictably, 90% of Democrats agreed with the statement, but so did 50% of Republicans.
While much of the world’s attention is on Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, it’s worth remembering the virus still has a grip on large parts of America away from Washington DC.
Twenty-one states reported a rise in cases this week compared to last week. They include states such as New York and New Jersey that were hit hard in the early stages of the pandemic and have appeared to get the virus under control. Only three states – Texas, Missouri and South Carolina – reported a fall in cases. The states to report a rise are: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The US is now waking up. And with that, I will hand you over to my colleague, Tom Lutz.
Have a good weekend. Thanks for following.
Among Trump’s dizzyingly-long list of contractions is how a self-described germaphobe with an obsession with personal hygiene has become a global symbol for dismissing the genuine dangers of a highly-infectious disease during a pandemic.
Trump entered the 2020 pandemic already practising many of the measures that epidemiologists have been calling for – avoiding ill people, frequent handwashing and use of alcohol gels, and eschewing handshakes.
Pres. Trump says he “might” turn over his “financial statement” to Congress.
Trump is back to his tweeting self following relative quiet during the past few days. He has been retweeting this morning, including a post from “Black Voices for Trump” and, oddly, a tweet posted more than a year ago by mega supporters and video bloggers, Diamond and Silk.
.@realDonaldTrump, we want to say Thank you for being the best President ever. Thank you for being our voice and Thank you for paving the way for all Americans to have an opportunity at obtaining the American Dream. We Love you so much more. God Bless You. pic.twitter.com/fdSJIX7tc3
Here is a list of some people around Trump who have tested positive:
The US president is awake and has thanked supporters who gathered outside the hospital on Saturday night.
Thank you so much! https://t.co/UL6P5lRjZI
A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Democratic candidate Joe Biden has opened his widest lead in a month in the US presidential race after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
The national opinion survey, taken over 2-3 October, shows “little indication of an outpouring of support for the president beyond Trump’s core group of followers,” Reuters said.
Saturday Night Live has chosen to sketch the Trump-Biden debate, rather than the president’s infection. Maybe they were unsure how to strike the right comedic tone:
When assessing Trump’s health state it’s critical to remember coronavirus is not the type of disease where you necessarily get hit hard and fast and then slowly recover. It can be more insidious than that.
Take a look at the course of the disease with Trump’s ally, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He sent out similarly upbeat messages saying he was experiencing mild symptoms, and just like Trump, he continued to work through it.
Former US President Barack Obama has commented on Trump’s infection:
Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery.
Good morning (if you’re in Washington DC) and hello to the rest of the world.
Oliver Holmes here, booting up our US Politics live blog for what will certainly not be a lazy Sunday. Donald Trump remains hospitalised with Covid-19, with doctors administering drugs that are still in trials. The US election is just a month away.
Donald Trump | The Guardian
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)