Trump Coronavirus Update: The Latest On The President’s Health And The GOP COVID-19 Outbreak
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 210,000 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 7.46 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.)
Trump’s Doctor Says President Reported ‘No Symptoms,’ But Offers Few Details — 10/6/20, 1:30 p.m. ET
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
Pence ‘Encouraged To Go About His Normal Activities,’ Doctor Says — 10/6/20, 1:20 p.m. ET
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
Gen. Mark Milley, Members Of Joint Chiefs Of Staff Quarantining — 10/6/20, 1:10 p.m.
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
Facebook Removes Trump Post For Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation — 10/6/20, 11:25 a.m. ET
Facebook on Tuesday removed one of President Donald Trump’s posts because it violated the site’s rules against spreading COVID-19 information, CNN reported.
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 Says He Is ‘Looking Forward’ To Next Debate — 10/6/20, 11:04 a.m. ET
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
Military Staffer Assigned To Trump Tests Positive — 10/6/20, 10:40 a.m. ET
A military staffer directly assigned to support President Donald Trump in the White House tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, CNN and The New York Times reported.
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
Trump Goes On Twitter Tear First Morning Back At White House — 10/6/20, 8:50 a.m. ET
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
13 Restaurant Workers In Quarantine After Catering Trump Fundraiser — 10/6/20, 5:30 a.m. ET
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
Trump Downplays COVID-19 In New Video: “Don’t Be Afraid Of It” ― 10/5/2020, 8:20 p.m. ET
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
Trump, Who Has Coronavirus, Removes Mask Upon Arriving At White House — 10/5/20, 7:45 p.m. ET
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
Trump Leaves Walter Reed Medical Center After 3-Day Hospital Stay — 10/5/2020, 6:30 p.m. ET
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
White House Isn’t Contact Tracing Its COVID-19 Outbreak: Report ― 10/5/2020, 6:20 p.m. ET
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
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