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Donald J. Trump Has Failed In His Response To Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Page 2
By Caroline Linton

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that he is prepared to bring legal action against the Trump administration over its proposed COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, saying it could result in unequal distribution to lower income and Black and Brown communities. "We will fight to make sure every life is protected equally because enough people have died and enough injustice has been done during COVID," Cuomo said. "It stops now and it stops with this vaccine." President Trump said Friday that the federal government is developing a plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to all Americans as soon as April. But he singled out New York — and Cuomo in particular — for calling for an independent panel to review any vaccine before it is distributed in the state.

"As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exceptions of places like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say, and I don't think it's good politically, I think it's very bad from a health point, but he wants to take his time on the vaccine, he doesn't trust where the vaccine's coming from," Mr. Trump said Friday. "We won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say that." Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James shot back on Friday, with James issuing a statement saying "this is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics." more...

He said delays could hurt the nation’s response to the pandemic.

"Of course it would be better" if public health officials could begin working with Joe Biden's transition team right now, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday. President Donald Trump's administration has been stonewalling the transfer of power since Biden's victory, with its General Services Administration — responsible for coordinating presidential transitions according to the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 — declining to recognize Biden as president-elect and thus blocking him from contacting agencies and accessing resources within the federal government. Trump, who has yet to concede the election, continues to maintain that it was "rigged."

Democrats and health experts have raised concerns the delay could cripple the U.S.' response to the Covid-19 pandemic, delaying the roll-out of a vaccine and preventing the transition from deploying public health officials, accessing non-public data and otherwise initiating its takeover of the effort. "I've been through multiple transitions now, having served six presidents for 36 years," Fauci told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union. "It's very clear that that transition process that we go through ... is really important in a smooth handing-over of the information."

"it's almost like passing a baton in a race," he went on. "You don't want to stop and then give it to somebody. You want to just essentially keep going — and that is what transition is, so it certainly would make things [go] more smoothly if we could do that." Asked if it would better for public health if his team were able to work with Biden's transition team right now, Fauci replied: "That is obvious. Of course it would be better if we could start working with them." more...

Ashley Terrell, TheGrio

The school received complaints and requests from fellow parents. According to CNN, after three years, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner removed their three children from a Washington D.C. private school due to the school administrator’s concerns regarding the couple’s disregard for COVID-19 precautions. The school has not been named out of safety and privacy concerns, but according to a source, both Trump and Kushner “repeatedly violated a number of the guidelines” that were outlined in the school’s parent handbook.

Earlier this month, at least five people including President Donald Trump’s chief of staff and campaign aide tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reported. An unnamed parent pointed to the visibility of the couple’s behavior and the reports of positive COVID-19 cases among the Trump administration at the White House. “There was no secret about their behaviors, because everyone could see them,” the parent said. CNN reports that a source said the school received complaints and requests for changed behavior such as wearing face masks, social distancing, and self-quarantining if exposed to someone with the virus. more...

By Celine Castronuovo

Chelsea Clinton on Friday said President Trump was to blame for more than 130 Secret Service officers reportedly quarantining or isolating because they had tested positive for COVID-19 or had come in contact with someone who had. “Shame on you, ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ and your family,” the daughter of former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter. “You put those sworn to protect you at risk with your reckless, dangerous choices,” she continued. “Hope every Secret Service agent and their family members receive the same care you did if they get sick from #covid19.” more...

Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Noah Higgins-Dunn

President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. government would not deliver a coronavirus vaccine to New York if and when one is available. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “will have to let us know when he’s ready for it because otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden.

“He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,” Trump added. “These are coming from the greatest companies anywhere in the world, greatest labs in the world, but he doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so and that pains me to say that.”

On MSNBC shortly after Trump’s comments, Cuomo said, “None of what [Trump] said is true. Surprise, surprise.” “I have been an outspoke opponent to many of Trump’s policies over the last four years,” he said, adding that Trump lost in New York in the presidential election by “huge margin” and state prosecutors are also investigating the president for tax fraud.

“So, he has issues with New York and he likes to point to New York,” Cuomo said. “But this is his issue. It’s his credibility issue. It’s the fear that he politicized the health process of this nation, which is a well-founded fear.” Shortly after Trump’s comments, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement threatening to sue Trump if a vaccine was not sent to the state once available. “This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics,” James said. more...

Kevin Breuninger, Dan Mangan

Corey Lewandowski, a top Trump campaign advisor who has helped lead efforts to undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Lewandowski, 47, confirmed in a text to CNBC on Thursday that he tested positive for Covid-19 a day earlier. Asked if he was experiencing symptoms of the virus, Lewandowski told CNBC: “I feel great.”

The New York Times first reported Lewandowski’s diagnosis. Lewandowski was recently in Philadelphia, where the Trump campaign is mounting legal challenges to election officials’ vote-counting procedures. He was reportedly also present at a news conference in the city on Saturday at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, alongside President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) Following weeks of rapid climbs in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations, more state leaders have begun asking residents to stay at home in hopes of helping curb an already rampant spread of the virus. The announcements also come as Texas became the first US state to surpass a million cases. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is asking people to commit to a voluntary plan he calls "Stay at Home 2.0" in the next two weeks in efforts to push a "significant reversal of the current trends" in the state.

"We have to go back to the basics," the governor said, encouraging businesses to return to telecommuting as much as possible and asking residents to avoid hosting groups of people over for dinners, parties and other gatherings. Wisconsin's governor announced Tuesday he's signed a new order advising people to "stay home to save lives." "It's not safe to go out, it's not safe to have others over," he said. "Please, cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers, and playdates at your home. And if a friend or family member invites you over, offer to hang out virtually instead." more...

By Jennifer Jacobs and Justin Sink of Bloomberg News

At least three more people in President Donald Trump’s orbit — including White House political director Brian Jack — have tested positive for coronavirus, widening the latest outbreak to ravage the West Wing.

Jack, who attended Trump’s election night event in the East Room of the White House, and one of his aides both tested positive for the virus, according to two sources familiar with the diagnosis who requested anonymity to discuss private medical information. So too did political adviser Healy Baumgardner, a Trump ally who attended the White House election night party as a guest of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The newest cases follow the infections of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Trump campaign adviser David Bossie. The White House declined to comment, and a spokesman for Giuliani did not immediately return a request for comment. The New York Times was first to report Jack’s positive test. more...

Housing secretary Ben Carson and chief of staff Mark Meadows, who both attended event, have tested positive for virus
Guardian staff and agencies

It was supposed to be a scene of celebration. Instead, the Trump campaign’s election night watch party held in the White House East Room – with few masks and no social distancing – is being eyed as a potential coronavirus super-spreading event and yet another symbol of Donald Trump’s cavalier attitude toward a virus that is infecting more than 100,000 Americans a day.

Ben Carson, the secretary for housing and urban development, is the latest attendee to test positive, a department spokesman confirmed. The event has been under scrutiny since another attendee, the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, contracted the virus, which has now killed more than 237,000 people in the US alone.

Carson’s deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker, said the secretary “is in good spirits” and “feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery”. The latest White House cluster comes just a month after Trump’s own diagnosis and hospitalization, and two weeks after several aides to the vice-president, Mike Pence, including his chief of staff, tested positive for the virus. And it is not the first potential super-spreader event to take place at the White House – a crowded Rose Garden ceremony, at which Trump announced the supreme court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, also came under scrutiny in October after at least seven attendees tested positive. more...

By Holly Yan and Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) In less than 10 months, the US went from one known coronavirus infection to 10 million. That bleak milestone was reached Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And the most recent 1 million infections happened faster than any previous million, in just 10 days.

The virus is now spreading exponentially in all regions of the country. As of Monday, 43 states reported at least 10% more new Covid-19 cases compared to last week, according to Johns Hopkins. And the rate of new infections is far outpacing the rate of testing. The average daily number of new cases soared 34% over the past week, but testing has only increased 7.41% over the past week, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

"We absolutely need more testing. Cases are rising faster than testing rates are rising," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. And with every surge in new infections comes new hospitalizations and deaths. More than 237,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins. But amid the horrific trends, there's some good news on the vaccine front. more...

Dan Mangan

David Bossie, who just days ago was tapped to handle President Donald Trump’s effort to challenge the results of the presidential election, has tested positive for the coronavirus, NBC News reported Monday. As a result, Bossie is no longer part of the decision-making process of that challenge effort, a source told NBC News.

Bossie’s diagnosis came to light hours after news broke that Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was positive with Covid-19, and days after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was revealed to be positive with the virus. Two sources who spoke to NBC News said Bossie tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. One source said, “Because he can’t be at the campaign headquarters and he can’t be in the Oval Office [due to his diagnosis] Dave’s no longer a part of the decision-making process.” more...

By Jeremy Diamond and Betsy Klein, CNN

(CNN) Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for coronavirus Monday morning, his deputy chief of staff Coalter Baker confirmed to CNN. "Secretary Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery," Baker said in a statement.

An aide added that Carson, 69, tested positive Monday morning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after experiencing symptoms. He is no longer at the hospital. Carson's chief of staff Andrew Hughes disclosed the secretary's positive diagnosis in an all-staff letter, writing: "He is resting at his house and is already beginning to feel better."

Hughes also said staff would be notified if they'd been in contact with Carson and that "all precautions are being taken.
Carson attended the election night party where White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and nearly every other attendee was not wearing a mask. Meadows and four others in Trump's orbit subsequently tested positive last week. more...

CLAIM: The U.S. has “a better handle on [COVID-19] than Europe”; “the disease is less deadly here than it is in most of Europe, based on case fatality data”

VERDICT: Misleading

Cherry-picking: Instead of reporting data from the entire time period of the pandemic, the article only uses statistics from September and October 2020, when cases in Europe began to spike, to claim that the U.S. has outdone Europe in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Inaccurate: More people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. than any other country in the world. When data is normalized to account for differences in population size across countries, the number of deaths in the U.S. remains higher than that of Europe. The claim that COVID-19 is less deadly in the U.S. than in Europe is false. more...

CBS New York

CBS News has confirmed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for the coronavirus. video...

Analysis by Maeve Reston, CNN

(CNN) As President Donald Trump fights his way through the final days of the presidential campaign denying the pandemic -- by lashing out at doctors, disputing science and slashing the press for highlighting rising coronavirus case counts -- the long-running rift between the White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci burst into the open Saturday night. For months as Trump undercut his own medical experts, sidelined scientists and refused to take basic steps to control the virus while mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask, the nation's top infectious disease specialist held his tongue and took the President's attacks in stride as he continued to plead with the American people to socially distance and wear masks.

But Fauci's restraint appeared to have evaporated in a Washington Post interview published Saturday night, in which he called out the White House for allowing its strategy for fighting the virus to be shaped in part by a neuroradiologist with no training in the field of infectious disease -- who granted an interview to a Kremlin-controlled propaganda network the same day Fauci's remarks were released. The nation's top infectious disease expert also told the Post he appreciated chief of staff Mark Meadows' honesty when he admitted to CNN's Jake Tapper during a recent interview that the administration has given up controlling the spread of the virus. At a time when Trump is downplaying the rising cases in the vast majority of states, dangerously holding huge rallies with few masks and no social distancing, and lodging the false and outlandish claim that doctors are exaggerating the number of Covid-19 deaths for profit, Fauci told the Post that the nation is "in for a whole lot of hurt." more...

Martin Pengelly in New York

The US is “in for a whole lot of hurt” under the coronavirus pandemic, senior public health expert Anthony Fauci said, predicting a winter of 100,000 or more cases a day and a rising death toll. “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt,” Fauci told the Washington Post in a hard-hitting interview published on Saturday night, three days out from election day, immediately angering the Trump White House. “It’s not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”

More than 9.1m cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the US and more than 230,000 people have died. Daily case counts vary but agree that on Friday the US set a world record for cases in a single day, at between 99,000 and 100,000. On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported more than 81,000 new cases. There were 862 deaths, down from more than 1,000 the day before. Donald Trump, recently recovered from the virus himself, continues to campaign for re-election, staging rallies at which Covid mitigation strategies such as mask-wearing and social distancing are not observed and regularly claiming the US is “rounding the corner”. On Friday he made the baseless claim that doctors were rewarded financially if people died of Covid. more...

By Jordan Williams

A new study from Stanford University found that 18 of President Trump’s campaign rallies have led to over 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and likely led to over 700 deaths. Researchers examined rallies held between June 20 and Sept. 22, 2020, only three of which were held indoors. The researchers then compared spread of the virus in the counties that held the rallies to counties that were on similar case trajectories before the rallies occurred.

The authors concluded that the rallies increased subsequent cases of COVID-19 by over 250 infections per 100,000 residents. They found that the events led to over 30,000 new cases in the country and likely resulted in over 700 deaths, but recognized that the deaths were “not necessarily among attendees.”

“Our analysis strongly supports the warnings and recommendations of public health officials concerning the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large group gatherings, particularly when the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing is low,” the authors wrote in the paper. “The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death. The study was published to preprint platform SSRN on Friday. more...

The working paper, released late Friday, examined the impact of 18 rallies held between June 20 and Sept. 30.

President Donald Trump's campaign rallies between June and September may have caused some 30,000 coronavirus infections and more than 700 deaths, according to a new study by Stanford University economists. The working paper, released late Friday, examined the impact of 18 rallies held between June 20 and Sept. 30 by comparing spread of the virus after each event to parts of the country that didn't host rallies. The findings illustrate the risks of not heeding public health warnings to wear masks and avoid large gatherings to mitigate the risks of Covid-19, the authors — including B. Douglas Bernheim, the chair of Stanford's economics department — wrote.

“The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death,” they wrote. Fifteen of the 18 events studied were held outdoors. Trump has drawn criticism for continuing to hold events with large, tightly packed crowds in states that are experiencing outbreaks. Many in attendance, including Trump, have not worn masks. Joe Biden's campaign seized on the findings Saturday as evidence Trump hasn't taken the ooronavirus pandemic seriously. "He's even costing hundreds of lives and sparking thousands of cases with super spreader rallies that only serve his own ego,” Biden spokesperson Andrew Gates said. Former President Barack Obama also cited the study on Saturday during an appearance with Biden in Michigan. more...

By Morgan Gstalter

The American Medical Association (AMA) on Friday issued a scathing statement condemning President Trump’s claim that doctors are purposefully inflating coronavirus case numbers, calling the suggestion “malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided.” Trump, while speaking at a rally in Waterford Township, Mich., on Friday, argued without evidence that doctors are improperly counting coronavirus deaths for monetary gain.

"Our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. You know that, right? I mean our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say 'I'm sorry but everybody dies of COVID,'" he said. Trump argued that other countries put less of an emphasis on COVID-19 as a cause of death compared to the U.S., adding, "with us, when in doubt, 'choose COVID.' It's true." more...

By Jacey Fortin

At a rally in Michigan on Friday, President Trump repeated an extraordinary and unfounded claim that American doctors were profiteering from coronavirus deaths. “You know our doctors get more money if somebody dies from Covid,” Mr. Trump said, adding that in Germany and other countries, deaths are characterized differently if there appear to be multiple causes. “With us, when in doubt, choose Covid,” he said.

Medical professionals and organizations quickly decried those comments and lauded the work of nurses, doctors and other health care workers, many of whom have risked their lives and worried about the health of their families as they cared for people who were infected with the coronavirus. “The suggestion that doctors — in the midst of a public health crisis — are overcounting Covid-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous and completely misguided charge,” said Susan R. Bailey, the president of the American Medical Association, in a statement on Friday. more...

By Jason Hoffman, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump on Friday baselessly claimed that doctors are inflating the coronavirus death count for monetary gain while cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge across the country. "Our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid. You know that, right? I mean our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say 'I'm sorry but everybody dies of Covid,' " Trump said, without citing any evidence, at a rally in Waterford Township, Michigan.

There is no evidence for the President's claim and the statement represents a stunning attack on medical workers as the country faces its worst public health emergency in more than 100 years. As of Friday evening, more than 90,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19, a new daily high, and at least 929 deaths have been reported, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University. Two states, South Dakota and Wyoming, reported their highest daily death tolls on Thursday.

Medical experts have long predicted that the fall and winter would bring spikes in coronavirus cases as temperatures dropped across the country and people began spending more time indoors, where the virus can more easily spread. The country is now experiencing that spike -- the five days with the most reported Covid-19 cases have all come in the last week. more...

By Bill McCarthy

The U.S. reported roughly 1,000 new coronavirus deaths on Oct. 29, the day that Donald Trump falsely claimed the number of deaths was down to “almost nothing.” Trump cited an Instagram post based on provisional death counts from the CDC. The CDC says such data is “incomplete” and “will likely not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period, especially for the more recent time periods.” The U.S. has reported over 229,000 coronavirus deaths to date, the most in the world. The CDC continues to find “excess deaths” above what would normally be expected. more...

Savannah Behrmann USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump teased Fox News host Laura Ingraham for wearing a mask as she attended his campaign rally in Michigan on Friday. “I do believe Laura Ingraham is here someplace,” the president said, scanning the crowd. “Where is Laura? Where is she?” He continued, “I can’t recognize you. Is that a mask? No way, are you wearing a mask? I’ve never seen her in a mask. Look at you. Laura, she’s being very politically correct. Whoa!” The Center for Disease Control and top health officials advise wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially in situations where social distancing is difficult — like one of the president's rallies. A recent USA TODAY analysis shows that COVID-19 cases grew at a faster rate after at least five of Trump's rallies since mid-August. more...

By Naomi Thomas and Lauren Mascarenhas, CNN

(CNN) During the coronavirus pandemic so far, there were 20% more deaths than would normally be expected from March 1 through August 1 in the United States -- with Covid-19 officially accounting for about two-thirds of them, according to new research published Monday in the medical journal JAMA. "Although total US death counts are remarkably consistent from year to year, US deaths increased by 20% during March-July 2020," according to the research, authored by Dr. Steven Woolf and colleagues at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and the Yale School of Public Health. "Covid-19 was a documented cause of only 67% of these excess deaths," the researchers wrote. The researchers analyzed death data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau. Overall, there were 1,336,561 deaths in the United States between March 1 and August 1, 2020, the study found -- marking a 20% increase compared with what would normally be expected. more...

By Maggie Fox, CNN

(CNN) Three Democratic US senators have asked the US Health and Human Services Secretary and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director to explain what they're doing to investigate a "highly alarming" excess of deaths in the United States, above and beyond the more than 200,000 fatalities directly attributed to Covid-19. "Newly released CDC data reveal that 'an estimated 299,028 excess deaths occurred from late January through October 3, 2020, with 198,081 (66%) excess deaths attributed to Covid-19.' These are highly alarming data, revealing that, in addition to the horrific toll known from Covid-19 in the United States, over 100,000 more fatalities may have been directly or indirectly associated with the pandemic," Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Tina Smith wrote.

"This new accounting of excess fatalities is particularly disturbing because it comes as President Trump continues to downplay the toll of the pandemic with a series of blustering falsehoods about the about the disease "affect[ing] virtually nobody" as he attempts to distract the nation from his failed response to the pandemic." Some of the gaps can be explained by weaknesses in data collection, they wrote in the letter, addressed to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. But they also point to gaps in care. more...

Will Feuer

Donald Trump Jr. downplayed the coronavirus outbreak Thursday night, saying that the number of new Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is “almost nothing,” even as about 800 people in the country continue to die from the disease everyday. The U.S. reported 971 new Covid-19 deaths on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past seven days, more than 800 people have died from the disease, on average, every day, up 14% compared with two weeks ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data.

That’s a much lower number of daily deaths than the country saw in the spring, when the U.S. reported more than 2,600 deaths in a single day. While daily new deaths have remained relatively flat in recent weeks, the number is trending upward. Average daily new deaths in the U.S. have not fallen consistently below 700 per day since July, Hopkins data shows.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its forecast of Covid-19 deaths earlier this week. It now projects “an uncertain trend in new COVID-19 deaths reported over the next four weeks and predicts that 3,900 to 10,000 new deaths will likely be reported during the week ending November 21, 2020.” “The reality is this: If you look, I put it up on my Instagram a couple days ago, because I went through the CDC data, because I kept hearing about new infections,” Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, said on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show.

“But I was like, ‘Well, why aren’t they talking about deaths?’ Oh, oh, because the number is almost nothing,” he said. “Because we’ve gotten control of this and we understand how it works. They have the therapeutics to be able to deal with this.” Scientists and doctors have made a number of clinical advances that have cut the likelihood of someone diagnosed with Covid-19 will die. The antiviral drug remdesivir from Gilead has been found to cut the time of hospitalization for severely sick Covid-19 patients and the steroid dexamethasone has been shown to reduce the risk of death. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

The United States reported a record 88,521 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as the pandemic seeps into every area of the country and scientists warn of exponential growth ahead of the holidays. “We’re starting to find ourselves on a steep slope of the epidemic curve, so I think you’re going to see cases accelerate,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. The positivity rate, or the percentage of total tests that are positive, is greater than 10% in roughly 15 states, a sign that “there’s more infection out there that we’re not turning over,” he said.

Gottlieb predicted that the U.S. could hit 100,000 new cases Friday or Saturday. The U.S. is continuing its upward climb on what’s now the pandemic’s third peak, with cases growing by 5% or more in 45 states as of Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the last week, the U.S. reported an average of roughly 76,590 new cases every day, the highest seven-day average recorded yet and up more than 25% compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins data. more...

By Nadia Kounang

(CNN) A CNN investigation of 17 Trump campaign rallies finds that 14 of the host counties -- 82% of them -- had an increased rate of new Covid-19 cases one month after the rally. The 17 rallies occurred between August 17 and September 26. CNN evaluated the rate of new daily cases per 100,000 residents at four weeks before the rally, on the rally date, and four weeks after the rally at the county level and at the state level.

Of the 14 host counties that had increased infection rates, eight of the counties had declining rates of infection in the month before the rally. The other six counties already had increasing rates of infection in that preceding month. CNN's analysis also found that in 10 counties, the new rates of infection were growing faster than the overall rate for the state.

Some of the rallies that were surveyed included the Trump campaign's September 12 rally in Minden, Nevada. In the month before the rally, cases had begun to fall. But four weeks after the event, the rate of new cases in the county skyrocketed by 225%, outpacing the 74% increase the rest of the state experienced in the same time period. CNN also looked at the September 18 rally in Bemidji, Minnesota and found that while rates of infection had already been increasing in the month prior to the rally, the rate of infection in the county one month later had jumped by more than 385% and was greater than the state's rate of infection. more...

The Lead

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a closer look at a rise in coronavirus cases linked to counties that hosted President Donald Trump's rallies.  video...

By Reed Richardson

The spread of coronavirus grew by an additional 1,500 cases across the Midwest in the weeks after President Donald Trump’s — mostly maskless and non-socially distanced — campaign rallies. That’s according to an analysis from USA Today, which tracked Covid outbreaks at nearly three dozen of the president’s rallies since mid-August. It found that, in five counties, cases in the two weeks following a rally grew at a rate noticeably faster than the average rise in the two weeks before. In the remainder of examples, cases did not grow appreciably faster than before Trump’s campaign event. more...

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) The US is adding an average of more than 74,000 new Covid-19 cases to the national total every day -- a record high in a pandemic that experts say is likely to worsen. The seven-day average is part of a fall surge that has brought the national case count to more than 8.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Four of the five highest number of cases in a single day were recorded in the last seven days, with the top two reported on Friday and Saturday. And 41 states are reporting at least 10% more cases compared to the week before.

When it comes to the climbing metric, the US is "not in a good place," director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a virtual Q&A on Wednesday. Health experts have pushed measures against the virus to bring the baseline of infections down before colder months drove them back up. But rising records of cases and hospitalizations are making up "a bad recipe for a tough time ahead," Fauci said. In the Midwest, residents are being impacted by the rising cases with spiking rates of hospitalizations.

Indiana and Wisconsin reported their peak levels of coronavirus hospitalizations. And Kansas saw the most ICU hospitalizations of the virus in one day, the same day the state surpassed 1,000 deaths since the pandemic began. "Each one of these Kansans was someone's child, parent, or grandparent," Gov. Laura Kelly said in a release. "They were part of a community." On Wednesday, 13 states reported more hospitalization records, according to the Covid Tracking Project. more...

By John Avlon, Michael Warren and Brandon Miller, CNN

Washington (CNN) Shortly after joining the White House as President Donald Trump's pandemic adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas launched a quiet effort that seemed counterintuitive to some of his colleagues -- encouraging officials to limit Covid-19 testing mainly to people experiencing symptoms.
Atlas, a neuroradiologist, not an infectious disease expert, strongly supported a decision in August to revise federal guidelines to de-emphasize the need to test people without symptoms, according to two sources familiar with the process. He shared his view with state officials, including Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and several others in Florida, according to transcripts of public events and accounts from private meetings in that state.

During a joint tour on August 31, Atlas and DeSantis urged public health officials in several Florida cities to focus less on universal testing and more on opening the economy and schools. In private and public meetings, according to transcripts and personal accounts, the two spoke in favor of testing people for Covid-19 primarily if they're experiencing symptoms, a controversial view among epidemiologists.  "The purpose of testing is to stop people from dying," Atlas said during one stop, captured on video. "When you start introducing closure of schools because people have positive, asymptomatic tests, that's sort of not the purpose of testing."  "I think, Dr. Atlas, we're in agreement on focusing strategies in school on people who are symptomatic," DeSantis said in another joint news conference that day.  more...

Scott Atlas, the president’s most favored adviser, says it’s not true. But others working on the pandemic say it’s merely a game of semantics. The policy is increasingly clear.
Erin Banco

Despite publicly downplaying it, President Donald Trump and his team of White House advisers have embraced the controversial belief that herd immunity will help control the COVID-19 outbreak, according to three senior health officials working with the White House coronavirus task force. More worrisome for those officials: they have begun taking steps to turn the concept into policy.

Officials say that White House adviser Scott Atlas first started pushing herd immunity this past summer despite significant pushback from scientists, doctors and infectious disease experts that the concept was dangerous and would result in far more Americans getting sick and dying. Since then, various White House advisers have tried to play down the idea that the administration has implemented a strategy for COVID-19 based on herd immunity, which holds that if enough people contract a disease and become immune from it, then future spread among the broader population will be reduced.

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, told reporters in September that "herd immunity has never been a strategy" fostered by the Trump administration. And in a statement to The Daily Beast, Atlas insisted that it wasn’t a pursuit. “As we have specifically stated many times on the record and in print, we emphatically deny that the White House, the President, the Administration, or anyone advising the President has pursued or advocated for any strategy of achieving herd immunity by letting the coronavirus infection spread through the community,” the statement read. “That has never been advised to the President nor has it ever been part of any policy of the President.” more...

Andrew Solender Forbes Staff

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner boasted to Washington Post columnist Bob Woodward in April that President Trump had taken the country “back from the doctors” according to audio obtained by CNN, underscoring the White House’s adversarial relationship with the scientific community in combatting the virus.

“Trump is now back in charge, not the doctors” Kushner told Woodward, boasting that the president was “getting the country back from the doctors,” citing White House coronavirus guidelines Trump had announced the day earlier. In the audio, dated April 18 – when the coronavirus outbreak was still going strong and much of the country was under stay-at-home orders – Kushner claimed the U.S. had passed the “panic phase” and “pain phase.”

“I do believe last night symbolized the beginning of the comeback phase,” said Kushner, who at the time was running his own “shadow” coronavirus task force, adding that while there would be pain “for a while,” the administration had now “put out rules to get back to work.” The statements reflect Trump’s own interviews with Woodward, in which he said he “played down” the severity of the virus – which he had previously revealed to be quite deadly – in order to avoid “panic.” more...

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the US is "not going to control" the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge across the country and nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus. "We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," Meadows told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." Pressed by Tapper on why the US isn't going to get the pandemic under control, Meadows said: "Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu." He added that the Trump administration is "making efforts to contain it."

"What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this," Meadows said. The comments from President Donald Trump's chief of staff come as coronavirus cases surge across the US, with the country having reported its second-highest day of new cases on Saturday. The administration is also facing a potential second outbreak in the White House, with at least five people in Vice President Mike Pence's inner circle having tested positive in recent days, according to a source familiar with the situation. But as concerns grow that more people in Pence's orbit could test positive in the coming days, the vice president, who tested negative on Sunday, does not currently plan to self-quarantine and will continue campaigning as the election nears. more...

By Kaitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond, Jim Acosta, Daniella Diaz and Betsy Klein, CNN

(CNN) At least five people in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, including chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, a source familiar with the situation told CNN. There are concerns that more people within Pence's inner circle will test positive in the coming days, the source said. "They're scared," the source said of staffers in the vice president's office.

Pence's office announced Saturday evening that Short had been diagnosed with Covid-19. Sources told CNN that Obst, who is a senior political adviser to Pence but is not a government employee, and at least three staffers in Pence's office have also tested positive for the virus. Despite the slew of coronavirus cases around him, Pence -- who is the head of the White House's coronavirus task force -- is not quarantining, as per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Instead, he plans to continue traveling and campaigning in the final stretch to Election Day. more...


As of October 23, the case recovery rate in the US was at 39.88% and the global case recovery rate was at 67.97%, based on the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine COVID-19 dashboard

At a glance:
Claim: 99% of people recover from COVID-19.
Rating: FALSE
The facts: As of October 23, the case recovery rate in the US was at 39.88%, while the global case recovery rate was at 67.97%, based on the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine COVID-19 dashboard. Why we fact-checked this: US President Donald Trump made this claim during the presidential debate on October 23.

Complete details:
US President Donald Trump claimed that 99% of people recover from COVID-19. He made this claim during the final presidential debate on Friday, October 23, Manila time. On the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump said, "99.9 [percent] of young people recover. 99% of people recover. We have to recover, we can't close up our nation."

The claim that 99% of people recover from COVID-19 is false. The definition of "recovered" COVID-19 cases vary per state. These may include those discharged from hospitals, released from isolation, or those not identified as fatalities after a number of days post-disease onset. Separate from this, states also record hospitalized individuals. more...

By Maggie Fox, CNN

(CNN) The Trump Administration's faltering response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to anywhere between 130,000 and 210,000 deaths that could have been prevented, according to a report released Thursday by a team of disaster preparedness experts. Insufficient testing, a lack of national mask mandates or guidance, a delayed overall response and outright mocking of basic public health practices by the administration has put the United States at the top of the global coronavirus death toll, the report from Columbia University Earth Institute's National Center for Disaster Preparedness finds.

"We estimate that at least 130,000 deaths and perhaps as many as 210,000 could have been avoided with earlier policy interventions and more robust federal coordination and leadership," the report reads. "Even with the dramatic recent appearance of new COVID-19 waves globally, the abject failures of U.S. government policies and crisis messaging persist, U.S. fatalities have remained disproportionately high throughout the pandemic when compared to even other high-mortality countries," it adds.

"The inability of the U.S. to mitigate the pandemic is especially stark when contrasted with the response of high income nations, such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada, as well as low- and middle-income countries as varied as Thailand, Pakistan, Honduras, and Malaysia. All of these nations have had greater success in protecting their populations from the impact of the coronavirus." According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has tallied more than 8.3 million coronavirus cases and more than 222,000 deaths.

"The data establishes that a significant number of lives could have been saved if the Trump administration acted on the advice from the scientific and public health community," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia. "As the country faces a second wave of this virus, we need to hold leadership accountable. The magnitude of loss, caused by a disorganized response, will have devastating and long-lasting consequences for millions of American families." more...

Dan Mangan

President Donald Trump on Monday said the government’s top pandemic fighter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is a “disaster” — and possibly an “idiot” — as he claimed that Americans are “tired of” Covid-19, even as the number of coronavirus cases continued spiking in much of the United States. “People are tired of Covid,” Trump said in a call with the staff of his reelection campaign against former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee.

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong,” Trump said on the call. Trump also claimed that “every time [Fauci] goes on television there’s always a bomb,” an apparent reference to Fauci’s media appearances, which included him telling CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night that he was “absolutely not” surprised that Trump himself caught the coronavirus.

But Trump also offered an explanation for why he has not fired Fauci as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, despite his unhappiness with him. “There’s a bigger bomb if you fire him,” Trump said. “This guy’s a disaster.” The president at another point called Fauci a “nice” man, but in a backhanded way. “He’s been here for 500 years,” Trump said of Fauci, who is 79 years old. more...

Inyoung Choi

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker criticized President Donald Trump's "allies" in the state for encouraging people to disobey the rules in place in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with CNN's "State of The Union," on Sunday Pritzker said coronavirus cases for Illinois is going in the "wrong direction," referring to the recent surge in new cases. On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health recorded 4,015 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day increase case total for the state.

"That's because people are not following the mitigations, because the modeling is so bad at the leadership level, the federal level," Pritzker told CNN's Jake Tapper. "We are trying to get the word out, we are trying to continue to convince people to do the right thing but it's the president's allies in our state, all across the state, who are simply saying to people 'don't pay any attention to the mitigations,' 'don't follow the rules.'" Pritzker said Trump is "modeling bad behavior," sending a misleading message to supporters that "well the president doesn't wear a mask, we don't need to wear a mask, it's not that dangerous."

These are the White House officials, lawmakers, and others who have recently had the coronavirus.
By Benjamin Rosenberg, Tim Ryan Williams, and Sean Collins Updated Oct 15, 2020, 10:16am EDT

More than 20 people in and around the White House have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks — including President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son, Barron Trump. The president announced on October 2 that he and Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, joining several other high-ranking US government officials who have contracted SARS-CoV-2. Trump was given an experimental antibody treatment and oxygen at the White House, before being moved to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for three days.

Melania Trump recuperated at home. Barron Trump, his mother announced on October 14, tested positive after his parents; the first lady said he was asymptomatic and has since tested negative. Some prominent officials in the Trump administration have recently tested positive as well, including presidential adviser Stephen Miller, as well as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and at least four members of her staff. McEnany — like others in the White House cluster — failed to immediately quarantine after Trump’s diagnosis, and she appeared in front of reporters without a mask in the following days.

While the administration has refused to conduct contact tracing, many Covid-19 cases in the cluster are believed to have originated around the time of a White House event — which took place indoors and outdoors — on September 26 honoring the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the federal coronavirus task force has called the gathering a “superspreader event,” criticizing it for being a “situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.” more...

By Kelsey Piper Oct 9, 2020, 12:30pm EDT

Since news broke that President Donald Trump, several of his staffers, and three Republican senators have tested positive for the coronavirus, people have been poring over pictures and video of Trump at various events, marveling at the lack of precautions. But which Trump moment was the worst offender for coronavirus exposure? The massive Rose Garden ceremony announcing his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court? The debate at the Cleveland Clinic where his family members and aides refused to abide by mask-wearing guidelines? The limo ride outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to wave at his supporters outside the hospital?

There’s an app for that. The website microcovid.org has a free tool that estimates the Covid-19 risk of different situations accounting for a range of factors. A San Francisco team, with input from doctors and researchers, has incorporated epidemiological studies on transmission risks from dozens of papers into the tool. The site attempts to provide a simple way to understand how the different risk factors for Covid-19 interact. For each situation, you enter risk factors: How many people are nearby? How close are they? For how long? Are people wearing masks? From there, the website quantifies risk using a metric called “microCOVID.” Borrowed from the term “micromort,” coined by Stanford engineer Ronald Howard for discussing mortality risk, a microcovid is a one-in-a-million chance of getting the virus. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

The United States reported more than 69,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest daily count the nation has reported since late July. The U.S. has now reported more than 8 million Covid-19 cases and at least 218,600 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The surge in coronavirus cases comes as infectious disease experts warn the U.S. could face a “substantial third wave” of infections that will be further complicated this winter by the spread of seasonal influenza, which causes many similar symptoms to that of the coronavirus.

As colder temperatures arrive in the Northern Hemisphere, more people will spend time indoors and likely fail to follow public health guidance, which creates a greater risk for the cornoavirus’ spread compared with outdoor activities, Dr. William Schaffner, an epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University, said. The U.S. is averaging roughly 55,000 new coronavirus cases every day, based on a weekly average to smooth out the reporting, a more than 16% increase compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. New cases were growing by 5% or more in 38 states as the number of infections in the Midwest continues to surge. more...

By Mark Jurkowitz and Amy Mitchell

Attitudes about the coronavirus outbreak differ widely by party in the United States. But among Republicans, opinions also differ considerably by source of news, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who rely most on President Donald Trump and his coronavirus task force for news about COVID-19 – one of 10 news sources the Center asked about – stand out in several ways in their attitudes about the outbreak. For example, 89% of Republicans in this group say the U.S. has controlled the outbreak as much as it could have, compared with 59% of Republicans who don’t rely most on Trump and the task force.

Republicans who turn to Trump for coronavirus news are also more likely than other Republicans to say the pandemic has been overblown, that Trump is getting the facts about the outbreak right and that public health organizations are not getting the facts right, according to the survey, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 7 as part of the Center’s American News Pathways project. The poll was fielded before Trump tested positive for the virus and was hospitalized. more...

“I think we should be even more affirmative about it,” the former New Jersey governor said.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, newly recovered from the coronavirus, urged President Donald Trump on Friday to encourage the wearing of face masks among Americans. In his first TV interview since contracting Covid-19 earlier this month, Christie — a close ally of the White House who served as the president’s debate coach last month — said it was not enough for Trump to merely express approval of masks, as he did at a town hall event the previous evening.

“You know, I heard the president say last night that he has no problem with masks. I think we should be even more affirmative about it. That’s why I put out the statement I did,” Christie told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Christie, who announced that he had tested positive on Oct. 3, is one of roughly three dozen people who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus in relation to a White House outbreak that emerged in late September and early October.

Christie attended a Rose Garden ceremony on Sept. 26 for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that was accompanied by indoor receptions and has since been described as a “superspreader event” by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. The former governor was seen hugging guests without a mask at that event, and he has said that he did not wear a mask during Trump’s several preparation sessions for the first presidential debate on Sept. 29. more...

"As a former public official, I believe we have not treated Americans as adults, who understand truth, sacrifice and responsibility," Christie said in a statement.
By Dareh Gregorian

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday urged Americans to wear masks to fight the coronavirus, which put him in intensive care for seven days, and warned that the virus is "something to take very seriously." Christie was one of a number of people with ties to the White House who tested positive for the coronavirus at around the same time as President Donald Trump. "I believed that when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that and I and many others underwent every day. I was wrong. I was wrong to not wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the President and the rest of the team," Christie said in a statement.

The government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, last week called the Rose Garden event, where few attendees wore masks, a "super-spreader event." Christie, a longtime Trump ally, said he has recovered from his illness, and he thanked his doctors and "the manufacturers of Remdesivir and the Eli Lilly monoclonal anti-body cocktail for giving me access to their extraordinary treatments." "I am confident that all of those factors contributed to my good health today," he said. Christie also appeared to distance himself from Trump, who said he felt better than he had felt in decades after he was treated with a different antibody cocktail for the virus. more...

By Justine Coleman

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that he “was wrong” not to wear a face mask at the White House after testing positive for COVID-19 and spending a week in the hospital. Christie told The New York Times that he thought he was in a “safe zone” when he attended the Sept. 26 event where President Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Days later on Oct. 1, President Trump announced he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19.

The former governor announced his positive test on Oct. 3 and checked into the hospital after his doctor recommended he do so due to his asthma and weight. He spent days in the intensive care unit of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. Christie said in his interview that people should take the coronavirus seriously by wearing masks and social distancing but said there should be a balance between shutting things down and reopening without necessary precautions.

The White House is looking into Barrett’s nomination event, which Anthony Fauci called a "superspreader event," as the cause of the spread of COVID-19 to more than a dozen people, according to the Times. more...

The Australian mogul is disgusted by Trump’s handling of COVID-19, remarking that the president is his own worst enemy and telling associates “people are ready for Sleepy Joe.”
Lachlan Cartwright

President Trump’s influential supporter Rupert Murdoch is telling close associates he believes Joe Biden will win the election in a landslide. The Australian-born billionaire is disgusted by Trump’s handling of COVID-19, remarking that the president is his own worst enemy, that he is not listening to advice about how best to handle the pandemic, and that he’s creating a never-ending crisis for his administration, according to three people who have spoken with Murdoch.

In response to an email inquiry for this report asking him if he believes Biden will win in a landslide and his thoughts on Trump’s handling of coronavirus, Murdoch responded, “No comment except I’ve never called Trump an idiot,” referring to a 2018 report that the media mogul called the president a “fucking idiot” following a chat about immigration.

While Murdoch believes the outcome of the election is a fait accompli, his New York tabloid has been doing everything in its power to help Trump’s re-election chances, publishing a screaming page 1 story on Wednesday under the headline, “Biden Secret E-Mails.” The supposed “smoking gun” emails purported to show that Hunter Biden had introduced his father to a Ukrainian businessman when he was vice president, though the Post relied on unverified documents given to them by Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. (Biden’s team denies that such a meeting took place.) more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's refusal to tell America the truth about the pandemic in a bid to save his political skin, on display at a potential super-spreader rally in Iowa on Wednesday night, is fostering a vacuum in national leadership and crucial public health mobilization as a winter of sickness and death looms. Trump is touting his own recovery from Covid-19 with a cocktail of expensive experimental therapies available to almost no one else in the world as proof there is nothing to fear from a disease that has killed more than 216,000 Americans.

The President, 19 days before the election, is trying to pull the wool over voters' eyes by arguing the pandemic is almost over, in the hope they won't hold him to account for his poor management of the crisis. On Wednesday, he used his own rebound -- and the symptom-free experience of his son Barron, who also tested positive -- to yet again downplay the virus. "Open your states!" Trump said at a rally at which Air Force One formed a backdrop. "The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself," he said, and again wildly claimed that his own strength meant he probably didn't need the cutting-edge therapies he was given in the hospital at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "Maybe I would have been perfect anyway," Trump said. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

Letting the coronavirus rip through the U.S. population unchecked to infect as many people as possible to achieve so-called “herd immunity” would cause a lot of unnecessary deaths and the idea is “nonsense” and “dangerous,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said Thursday.

“I’ll tell you exactly how I feel about that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said when asked about whether herd immunity is a viable strategy for the U.S. to adopt. “If you let infections rip as it were and say, ‘Let everybody get infected that’s going to be able to get infected and then we’ll have herd immunity.’ Quite frankly that is nonsense, and anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you that that is nonsense and very dangerous,” Fauci told Yahoo! News.

Herd immunity happens when enough of the population is immune to a disease, making it unlikely to spread and protecting the rest of the community, the Mayo Clinic says. It can be achieved through natural infection — when enough people are exposed to the disease and develop antibodies against it — and through vaccinations. Most scientists think 60% to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated or have natural antibodies to achieve herd immunity, global health experts say. However, the nation’s top health experts have said a majority of Americans remain susceptible to a coronavirus infection. more...

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) A vaccine is still the best way to bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, health experts say, adding that pursuing herd immunity would be dangerous. The idea of letting the virus run unchecked through communities "misses the basic point that we're all connected," former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Thomas Frieden told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Frieden was responding to recent efforts to promote herd immunity as an answer to Covid-19. The idea is being pushed by those eager to stop the economic damage the pandemic has caused.

The virus has infected more than 7.9 million people and killed 216,872, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. A vaccine could be available to some groups by the end of the year. But some politicians hoping to reverse the economic havoc from the pandemic have embraced the idea of letting the virus spread until enough people have been infected and developed immunity that there is no where for it to spread next. White House senior administration officials, in a call with reporters Monday, discussed a controversial declaration written by scientists that advocates for such an approach. more...

By Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com

Senior White House figures privately briefed powerful financiers about their concerns over the looming coronavirus pandemic, while continuing to insist in public that there was little to worry about, it has been reported. The behind-the-scenes briefings gave traders immensely valuable insight into the impending catastrophe. 'Short everything,' was the reaction of one investor, using the Wall Street term for betting on the idea that the stock prices of companies would soon fall. The New York Times obtained a memo written by William Callanan, a hedge fund veteran and member of the board of the Hoover Institution. Callanan summarized a series of private sessions the Hoover Institution held in February with senior members of the president's economic team. His memo, the New York Times said, was circulated among the financial elite. In one session at the White House on February 24, for Hoover Institute board members, Tomas J. Philipson, a senior economic adviser to the president, told the group he could not yet estimate the effects of the virus on the American economy. more...

“Eric Trump talks about his dad the way little children talk about their dads,” the “Daily Show” host joked.
Matt Wilstein

Donald Trump may be feuding with Dr. Anthony Fauci. But at least, as Trevor Noah put it Tuesday night, the president did get “a very real endorsement from another top scientist” this week. The Daily Show host was referring to Eric Trump, who appeared on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday and boasted about the “vaccine” that supposedly saved his father’s life.

“It goes to speak how good some of these vaccines that are being created are and what my father’s done on the vaccine front no one could have done,” the president’s deeply confused son told host Jonathan Karl. “My father literally started day one creating this vaccine, he worked to push this vaccine and now my father just took it and you see how well he got over it.”

“Eric Trump talks about his dad the way little children talk about their dads,” Noah said, imitated him by saying, “My dad invented the corona vaccine. And then he took the corona vaccine. And now he’s the strongest-est person in the world.” But more than that, the host said that “clearly Eric doesn’t understand how vaccines even work,” explaining that “they are the prevention, not the treatment.”  more...

Review by Brian Lowry, CNN

(CNN) "Totally Under Control" is, in some ways, a greatest-hits collection of Trump administration failures and missteps pertaining to Covid-19, but with an extraordinarily timely kicker in the president's own diagnosis. Director Alex Gibney and his collaborators also earn degree-of-difficulty points for having assembled this documentary during the pandemic, designing a remotely operated "Covid-cam" to safely record interviews. Those interviews tap into a sobering array of voices weighing in on how political considerations lead to an ineffective response, juxtaposing the US with South Korea. Those weighing in include Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), who recently resigned from his job at the National Institute of Health and tears up discussing the challenges speaking the truth to those currently in power.

A separate thread comes from Max Kennedy Jr., a former volunteer for the White House Covid-19 Supply-Chain task force, who turned whistleblower after working under Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Kennedy (the grandson of Robert Kennedy) thought he'd just be assisting seasoned pros and was stunned to discover that he and other 20-somethings were being asked to play key roles in tracking down medical supplies. Gibney and fellow directors Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan essentially condense 10 months of news into two hours, with Gibney (who also narrated) noting that Dr. Deborah Birx was chosen for her high-profile role by a White House "interested in packaging science to serve partisan goals." more...

Totally Under Control recounts the early days of the pandemic in the US, revealing in clinical detail a disastrous federal response to a preventable crisis
Adrian Horton

In May, as their city began to emerge from the paralyzing grip of coronavirus that killed over 33,000 residents, New York City-based film-makers Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger started retracing still-raw recent history on film. They tracked whistleblowers, and noted comparisons between the disastrous sprawl of coronavirus in the US and South Korea, which received their first positive coronavirus diagnoses on the same day: 20 January. Meetings were held by Zoom, interviews by remote camera draped by a shower curtain – a large, amorphous ghost, compliant with quickly adopted social distancing guidelines.

The resulting film, Totally Under Control, is a clinical, point-by-point recounting of America’s preventable slide into the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a damning list of mistakes, foreseeable crises and political squabbling splayed across a coherent timeline intended to be released just ahead of the election, “so that people could render a judgment about how the federal response had been”, Gibney told the Guardian.

The two-hour film focuses primarily on the early days of the pandemic: the missed opportunities from January through April which led to America’s spiraling coronavirus present, an unending “first wave”. Though there’s plenty of sense still to be made from the pandemic summer – the surge of cases in the US sun belt and, more recently, an outbreak within the White House (a title card reveals the film wrapped just one day before Trump announced his positive diagnosis via 1am tweet) – the film-makers generally stuck to their mandate of early-stage diagnostics: forensic re-evaluation of January, February and March, “because that’s when all the death, all the economic destruction could’ve been prevented”, said Gibney. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Donald Trump on Monday launched a three-week quest to save his presidency, behaving as though the pandemic that has killed 215,000 Americans was already a memory in front of a packed-in crowd -- even amid chilling new warnings about the resurgent virus. In his first rally since his own bout with Covid-19, Trump painted a deeply dishonest picture of the nation's battle with the disease, mocked former Vice President Joe Biden over social distancing and vowed victory on November 3 as he began a frantic push to Election Day, marked by multiple rallies a day that could act as superspreader events.

"I feel so powerful, I'll walk into that audience. I'll walk in there, I'll kiss everyone in that audience," Trump said in Sanford, Florida, showing his illness did not teach him to respect his own government's pandemic guidelines. "I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and the -- everybody. I'll just give everybody a big, fat kiss." The President's return to the campaign trail coincided with rising alarm among Republicans about Trump's sliding poll numbers and after CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently warned Democrats are "on fire." Biden on Monday seized on the start of confirmation hearings from Trump's Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett to warn that the GOP was ramming through the nomination in a last ditch bid to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

At his Florida rally, Trump fed off the large crowd's energy during his hour-long performance and ran through his demagogic list of favored political attacks, from law and order to his false claims of voting irregularities. He took the stage hours after the White House physician said he posted negative Covid-19 tests in consecutive days. more...

Hunter Walker White House Correspondent,Yahoo News

President Trump in his return to the campaign trail in Florida on Monday evening boasted he has recovered from COVID-19 and is impervious to the disease that has killed more than 210,000 Americans. The president, who tested positive on Oct. 1, also indicated he is unconcerned about being contagious and told the audience gathered at Orlando Sanford International Airport that he would be happy to engage in some close contact.

“One thing with me, the nice part, I went through it, now they say I’m immune. … I feel so powerful,” Trump said. “I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women, and the — everybody. I’ll just give you a big fat kiss.” Trump spoke for about an hour. While his remarks were short by the standards of his past rallies, which are often about 80 minutes long, it was far longer than any of the brief videos he released while recovering from the virus or his first live speech, which took place at the White House on Saturday and lasted less than 2 minutes. more...

*** Trump does not care for American lives if he did he would not continue to put American lives at risk. ***

President addresses mostly maskless crowd in key swing state of Florida: ‘I feel so powerful’
Maanvi Singh

Keen to appear lively and well after his recent hospitalization for Covid-19, Donald Trump held his first rally since being diagnosed, addressing a packed, largely maskless crowd in Florida – a state he desperately needs to win. “I feel so powerful,” he boasted to his cheering supporters, 11 days after announcing his infection. “I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women – everybody,” he added, his voice still a bit hoarse.

With just weeks to go before election day, and early voting under way, Trump has been eager to return to a full schedule of in-person rallies as he scrambles to hold on to supporters. Polls have his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, ahead by an average of 10.4 points as of Friday. Trump is also losing support from seniors, who are the most vulnerable in a pandemic that has already killed more than 214,000 Americans.

In a frenetic push to solidify support, Trump and his campaign have sought to downplay the threat of coronavirus. The president’s own demonstrations of reckless, maskless bravado appear to be key to that strategy, as Trump characterizes his opponent as frail and confined to his basement. more...

*** Trump does not care for American lives if he did he would not continue to put American lives at risk. ***


Supporters of US President Donald Trump gathered in Sanford, Florida, on October 12 for the president’s first campaign-trail rally since he announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Trump decided to go ahead with his in-person appearance at the event despite receiving a positive test only 10 days prior, reports said. The president was seen entering Air Force One without a mask on Monday. more...

Robert Reich: Trump's Last Stand is in the Middle of Fifth Avenue | Opinion
Robert Reich

"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," Trump boasted in 2016. Trump's 5th Avenue principle is being severely tested. Some 40% of voters have stuck by him even though more than 214,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, one of the world's highest death rates -- due in part to Trump initially downplaying its dangers, then refusing responsibility for it, promoting quack remedies for it, muzzling government experts on it, pushing states to reopen despite it, and discouraging people from wearing masks.

They've stuck by him even after he turned the White House into a hotspot for the virus, even after he caught it himself, and even after asserting just days ago that it's less lethal than the flu. A recent nonpartisan study concluded that Trump's blatant disinformation has been the largest driver of COVID misinformation in the world. They've stuck by him even as more than 11 million Americans have lost their jobs, 40 million risk eviction from their homes, 14 million have lost health insurance, and almost one out of five Americans with kids at home cannot afford to adequately feed their children.

They've stuck by him even though more Americans have sought unemployment benefits this year than voted for him in 2016, even after Trump cut off talks on economic relief, even as he's pushing the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, causing 20 million more to lose health insurance. Trump is in effect standing in the middle of 5th Avenue; if not personally killing Americans, then letting them die in numbers that dwarf any other mass-casualty event in the nation's postwar history, from 9/11 back to Korea and Vietnam. Yet here we are, just a few weeks before the election, and his supporters haven't budged. The latest polls show him with 40% to 43% of voters, while Joe Biden has a bare majority. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump takes his Covid denial tour back to the campaign trail Monday as the tense final stretch of an election now three weeks away gets a fresh jolt with Senate hearings on his Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett. Trump, who announced Sunday, without providing evidence, that he has tested "totally negative" after his bout with the virus, plans to hold his first rally since his diagnosis was publicly disclosed, in Florida, in what risks turning into yet another super spreader event.

"I'm immune. So, the President is in very good shape to fight the battles," Trump said on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures," in comments that misrepresented his own capacity to spread the virus if he is exposed to it again. A tweet along the same lines earned a warning from Twitter that the President was spreading misleading information about the virus. The President's proclamations about his own health followed another opaque memo from his physician, who cleared Trump to end isolation but who hasn't taken reporters' questions in a week.

Trump's Monday rally and subsequent events this week in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina will underscore both his increasing concern about his own prospects, as time to rescue his presidency runs out, and how his own infection with Covid-19 has done nothing to convince him to adopt a more responsible attitude toward the pandemic. more...

Don’t let him answer another call.
Conor Friedersdorf

A memorable campaign ad from 2008 urged voters to ask themselves which candidate would perform better in an unexpected emergency: “It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing ... Your vote will decide who answers that call.” Franklin D. Roosevelt answered Pearl Harbor. John F. Kennedy answered the deployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba. How would this year’s candidates respond when confronted with an emergency?

Joe Biden has never held the top job, so voters can only speculate. But a pandemic began on Donald Trump’s watch, so no speculation is needed. Trump showed us how he did perform in a crisis: He failed. Trump is obviously not responsible for all of the COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. But the U.S. has fared much worse than the median developed country. And among wealthy nations, its per capita deaths rank in the top five. Trump can’t avoid blame for America’s subpar performance, because voters can identify specific actions he took that contributed to the country’s failures. Especially damning is that Trump couldn’t even protect himself from the disease. more...

“Do I think it’s safe to have this rally? No I don’t,” one business owner told The Daily Beast.
Hunter Woodall

If it was up to Patrick Austin, President Donald Trump would hold off from heading to Sanford, Florida, on Monday for his first major campaign rally since being hospitalized with COVID-19. But the local city commissioner had no illusions that not much could be done to stop the president once he’s made a decision like this, for what the president bragged on Twitter would be “a very BIG RALLY!” “He has the right to do it,” Austin said early Sunday afternoon. “I just don’t think it’s the right time.”

When Trump speaks at Orlando Sanford International Airport Monday night, it will be one week since he left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after announcing in the early hours of Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Rallies in Pennsylvania and Iowa later this week will follow the Florida trip. Late Saturday, the White House released a carefully worded letter from the president’s physician saying the president “is no longer considered a transmission risk to others.” But the letter did not specifically say the president had tested negative for COVID-19.

While Austin said he didn’t think the event was “a huge health scare for our community” when it comes to the crowd, citing a mask order in place in the county, he wasn’t without concerns about the timing of Trump’s appearance. In a text message Sunday morning, he said, “I’m still skeptical and wish he’d be more conservative. A few extra days just to be safe would be nice, no matter any tests or press releases.” more...

The president curtailed use of fetal tissue in federally funded medical research, but the moral objection apparently vanishes when it’s Trump who’s in need.
By Mary Papenfuss

The COVID-19 treatment President Donald Trump has referred to as a miracle was developed using cells derived from an aborted fetus — a process he has severely curtailed in government-funded medical research to woo the evangelical vote. Trump last week referred to new COVID-19 treatments, including those he had received, as “miracles coming down from God.” Among the treatments Trump received was Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ experimental cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, which is not yet approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In a video Wednesday, Trump called the Regeneron treatment “the key” to his bounce back from a COVID-19 infection. He called it “like unbelievable.”

“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught [COVID-19]. I think it was a blessing in disguise,” Trump said in the video. “I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said, ‘Let me take it’ … and it was incredible the way it worked.” Yet the development of the drug is directly at odds with Trump’s stance against using fetal tissue cells in medical research. That stance has been a key to his support from the evangelical community, which opposes abortion.

A second antiviral drug Trump was given, Remdesivir, was also developed using cells originally derived from the tissue of an aborted fetus. In addition, three coronavirus vaccines under development are also using cell lines developed from fetal tissue in research, according to The New York Times. All have received federal funding. The Regeneron treatment’s efficacy was tested in a lab using HEK 293T cells. That cell line was originally derived from the kidney tissue of a fetus aborted in the Netherlands in the 1970s, according to the company. more...

“The virus was a hoax here until Trump got it,” one resident said.
Francisco Alvarado, Kelly Weill

MIAMI—Fresh off a vice presidential debate where he sported a reddish, sickly-looking eye, Vice President Mike Pence appears to be charging ahead with a plan to visit America’s largest retirement community in the critical swing state of Florida. But with the White House battling a spiraling COVID-19 outbreak, not everyone in the traditionally Trumpy stronghold of The Villages will be happy to see him. On Saturday, Pence is slated to stop by the 55-and-older community in Sumter County as part of a campaign bus tour through the Sunshine State. The VP would arrive in The Villages as President Donald Trump’s support with senior citizens has shown signs of a drop-off in recent months—and with the president dealing with his own case of the novel coronavirus.

Unlike Trump, who is already making noise about returning to the campaign trail, Pence has not announced a positive test result for COVID-19. But the vice president’s proximity to the growing number of White House staffers who have contracted the virus after a now notorious Rose Garden event has some Villagers—and infectious disease experts—running scared. “The virus was a hoax here until Trump got it,” Chris Stanley, president of The Villages Democratic Club, said of the MAGA crowd’s attitude. “The other night they did a prayer vigil and for the first time, they posted in a big font, ‘You must wear a mask.’ I looked on the webcam and didn’t see many wearing masks, but they now seem to be accepting this is not a Democrat hoax at all.” more...


CNN's Brianna Keilar shares a clip from MSNBC in which White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern, when asked six times, won't reveal the last time President Donald Trump tested negative for Covid-19. Dr. Chris Pernell, who lost her father to coronavirus, reacts. Source: CNN. video...

The president was also cagey about whether he's been tested for the coronavirus since being diagnosed, saying he plans on being tested Friday.

Justin Baragona

During a Thursday night interview in which he repeatedly stopped to cough and catch his breath, President Donald Trump wouldn’t reveal whether he’s been tested since he was diagnosed with the coronavirus but did say he hopes to hold a campaign rally in Florida this Saturday night. Prior to Trump’s call with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the president’s doctor—who admitted he lied to the public about Trump’s health after he was hospitalized with COVID-19—cleared Trump to return to public events this coming weekend.

“Overall he’s responded extremely well to treatment, without evidence on examination of adverse therapeutic effects,” Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a letter Thursday evening. “Saturday will be Day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagements at that time.”

After asking how the president and the first lady were feeling, Hannity brought up Conley’s letter, wondering aloud whether Trump has received a test yet to see if he’s COVID-free. “Yeah, I just saw the doctors today,” the president said. “They think I’m in great shape.” “Did you test negative?” Hannity, a close confidant and adviser to the president, replied. Instead of answering the Fox host’s question, the president brought up the experimental antibody treatment from biotech firm Regeneron that he received during his hospital stay, saying “it’s phenomenal” and “absolutely incredible.” The president then talked about holding public rallies as soon as this weekend. more...

Quil Lawrence

A growing list of attendees to a reception last month for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have tested positive for coronavirus. But the next day, the annual Gold Star Mother's Day event was held indoors at the White House, and official photos from the reception show very few people wearing masks. Gold Star Mother's Day has been around since the 1930s, but was highlighted recently by Presidents Obama and Trump with White House receptions. Despite this year's event landing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the White House decided not to cancel it. President Trump says when he met these family members and heard their stories, he couldn't bear to keep them at arms-length.

"They come within an inch of my face sometimes, they want to hug me, and they want to kiss me. And they do. And, frankly, I'm not telling them to back up. I'm not doing it. But I did say it's like, it's obviously dangerous, it's a dangerous thing I guess if you go by the COVID thing," Trump told Fox Business on Thursday. Days after the event, the president and first lady tested positive. Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Charles Ray was also at the Gold Star reception. Later he too had a positive test. Now, more than a week later, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in quarantine. One more of them is known to have tested positive, Assistant Marine Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas.

About 20 Gold star families were in attendance from all over the country. They were given rapid COVID tests before entering the event, but there is some controversy around the accuracy of those tests. The White House later clarified that the president wasn't blaming anyone present for him getting the virus. He has been at many events, talking to many people, according to spokeswoman Alyssa Farah who said there is no evidence that anyone became sick from that event. more...

By Daniel Villarreal

The Lincoln Project, a political action committee of Republicans who oppose Republican President Donald Trump, has released a one-minute political ad accusing Trump of downplaying the lethality of the COVID-19 pandemic while he "gasps for air, fresh from the hospital" where he was treated for the illness. With the sound of a respirator in the background, the ad says, "Trump said COVID-19 affects almost nobody, but then his wife got it, his press secretary got it, his debate team got it, his White House staff got it. Trump turned the White House into a hot zone." "Now Trump is still trying to convince us that the greatest public health threat in over a century isn't a big deal while he gasps for air, fresh from the hospital," the ad continues. more...

By Betsy Klein, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump appeared to place blame on Gold Star families for infecting him with Covid-19, Thursday, going a step further than previous comments speculating where he contracted the virus. The White House held an event honoring Gold Star families indoors, in the East Room, with no social distancing and few masks on the evening of Sunday, September 27. That gathering came one day after a Supreme Court event in the Rose Garden, where multiple attendees have subsequently tested positive. And it came after months of blatant disregard for basic public health guidance inside the White House, ultimately putting West Wing and residence staff and the President himself in direct risk of catching the virus.

"I got a lot of things doing. And again, when I want to say hello to Gold Star families, what I -- I'm not going to be in a basement saying, 'Hey I can't see you as you traveled in from California and all the different places.' It's OK," Trump said Thursday morning during a call-in interview on Fox Business. "And I think at some point I would -- it's a very -- look, it's a tiny, tiny it's like a tiny little microscopic piece of dust. It gets into nose your mouth or your eye, frankly, or something else or you touch something. So, I understand, and then you get better," he added. The comments go further than Trump's previous suggestion during an interview with Fox News after senior adviser Hope Hicks' diagnosis that Hicks contracted the virus from a member of the military or law enforcement. more...

David Knowles Editor ,Yahoo News

President Trump released a new video from the White House on Wednesday in which he said that his contraction of COVID-19 was a “blessing from God,” and he credited an experimental antibody treatment for his apparent recovery from the disease that has so far killed more then 211,000 Americans. “I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it,” Trump said in a video filmed just outside the Oval Office on Wednesday, according to his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, even though the president stated that he had returned form the hospital “a day ago” rather than on Monday night.

Trump claimed credit for engineering his own cure by requesting the antibody therapy, which is still in trials and unavailable except on a very limited basis. “This was a blessing in disguise. I caught it. I heard about this drug. I said, ‘Let me take it.’ It was my suggestion. I said, ‘Let me take it,’ and it was incredible the way it worked, incredible.” While hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump began a course of an experimental antibody cocktail manufactured by Regeneron last Saturday. The president had been admitted to the hospital after experiencing multiple drops in his blood oxygen level on Friday, the day after he said he first tested positive for COVID-19. Not approved by the FDA for use for COVID-19 patients, the drug costs over $100,000 per year for patients who take it to fight cancer and blood disorders. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday, breaking isolation after his hospitalization for coronavirus and as an ongoing outbreak rips through his staff. The White House said he was being briefed on a looming hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and stimulus talks, though Trump himself scrapped talks on additional aid a day earlier. Unsatisfied with the temporary office space erected for him in the White House residence, where he was isolating after returning from three days in the hospital, Trump had been itching to return to the Oval Office since Tuesday but aides convinced him to stay put.

Few seemed to believe, however, that Trump would last much longer isolating in his private quarters.  In a new memo released midday Wednesday, Trump's doctor relayed the President saying "I feel great!" and reported he had been symptom-free for 24 hours. But the memo declined again to provide critical information such as when Trump last tested negative, what his lung scans show and whether he is still on the steroid dexamethasone or any other medications that could be masking his symptoms. Trump's "schedule right now is fluid, we're looking at his prognosis," chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters earlier at the White House. "If he decides to go to the Oval, we've got safety protocols there."

Indeed, preparations had been made for Trump's eventual return to the Oval Office, including positioning a so-called "isolation cart" stocked with yellow medical gowns, respirator masks and plastic goggles required for visitors just outside the office doors near where Trump's assistants sit. When he did return, Trump avoided other areas of the Wing Wing, entering the Oval Office directly from outside. Meadows and social media adviser Dan Scavino joined him there dressed in the protective gear. It wasn't clear who else he might have encountered along the way. more...

By Carl Campanile and David Meyer

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie remained hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday for the fourth straight day. The one-time presidential candidate has been at Morristown Medical Center since Saturday afternoon. Insiders told The Post that Christie is holding up, and has been taking phone calls. “He’s in good spirits and getting good care,” said a source familiar with his condition.

Christie, 58, has asthma, a respiratory condition that makes him more vulnerable to coronavirus complications, and is playing it safe, the source said. “The governor is doing fine. He’s just being cautious,” another insider said. “He’s been talking and texting with people all day. It’s Chris Christie!” The two-term former governor told the Star-Ledger on Monday he had received well wishes from Jordanian King Abdullah II. more...

Elena Moore, NPR

President Trump and close to a dozen key members of his circle, including senior White House and campaign staff and Republican senators, have announced positive coronavirus test results in the days before and after Trump tested positive. These announcements came after a busy two weeks for Trump, who took part in the first presidential debate Sept. 29 and officially introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on the prior weekend. The president also held multiple events in states around the country, including New Jersey, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Many of those who tested positive were present with Trump at these events over the past two weeks. White House aide Hope Hicks was the first senior official to announce her positive test results in this latest wave, with news of her diagnosis breaking Thursday evening. Hours later, Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump had had tested positive as well. more...

On Tuesday, Stephen Miller became the latest to confirm he has Covid-19 and will quarantine
Oliver Milman in New York

Covid-19 has created a dramatic situation in the Trump administration best summed up as “all the president’s men and women”. At least 27 people across Donald Trump’s White House, election campaign and military leaders have now tested positive for coronavirus. On Tuesday, Stephen Miller, the controversial policy adviser to the US president, became the latest to confirm that he has Covid-19 and will enter quarantine. Miller has become the latest in a lengthy list of people connected to the White House to contract the virus in recent days.

This group is headed by Trump himself, who left the Walter Reed hospital on Monday after receiving state-of-the-art medical treatment for the virus. Trump, who has routinely downplayed the virus and disparaged the wearing of masks, posed for cameras without a mask after returning to the White House and tweeted: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” Public health experts have criticized Trump’s comments, noting that people with the virus can still spread it to others for around 10 days after becoming infected. More than 210,000 people in the US have died from the coronavirus pandemic, by far the worst death toll in the world. more...

Adam Payne

White House staff are "fearful" for their lives after President Trump left hospital despite still having the coronavirus, according to former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye. Growing numbers of White House staff and advisers to the president have already tested positive for the virus in the past week. However, Troye, an ex-member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force told Times radio in the UK on Tuesday that other White House staff she had spoken to were increasingly "scared" that they would catch the virus after Trump returned to White House not wearing a mask despite still having the illness.

Troye told Times Radio: "You know, for my White House colleagues, I know they're scared. "I've had conversations with some people that are still there. Their bodies may react differently to COVID. "COVID is a very unpredictable virus and people, you know, react to it in a very different way. I know that they're fearful and they're scared. And they've got to be, to a certain extent, embarrassed at what they're watching, because this is the President and the administration that they're currently supporting and working in."

Troye told host John Pienaar that some White House staff privately agreed with her strong, public criticism of how Trump has handled the pandemic, and that staff working for the president have told her it's "impossible to keep the President on message." more...

"It is not correct to say it's the same as flu," the government's top infectious disease expert told NBC News' Kate Snow.
By Corky Siemaszko

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious diseases expert, emphasized the dangers of Covid-19 on Tuesday, contradicting President Donald Trump's false claim that the coronavirus was only as deadly as the flu. People infected with Covid-19 do display "flu-like" symptoms, Fauci said Tuesday in an interview with NBC News' Kate Snow. But the damage the coronavirus can do "is very much different from influenza."

"You don't get a pandemic that kills a million people and it isn't even over yet within influenza," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "So it is not correct to say it's the same as flu. It has some overlapping symptomatology early on. But flu doesn't do the things to you that Covid-19 can."

Trump, still infected, was released Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after three days of treatment. He returned to the White House, where he resumed downplaying the dangers of the virus, which has already killed more than 210,000 people in the United States, according to the latest NBC News figures. more...

The president spent his time in Walter Reed quizzing advisers about how his disease was “playing” in the press. He was also scheming.
Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Stein, Lachlan Markay

Having left Walter Reed hospital after a three-day stint recovering from the coronavirus, President Donald Trump began, what aides and confidants say is, a new phase of the presidential campaign: an effort to turn his illness into an electoral asset. The president’s stint in the Military Medical Center may have raised serious questions about his political future and his physical status, with doctors giving him a trio of therapeutics and his physician acknowledging that he is not yet out of the woods. But during his time away from the White House, Trump spent his weekend frantically working the phones, compulsively watching TV, and flagrantly disregarding the advice of his own public health officials.

“How is it playing?” the president quizzed several advisers and senior aides since Friday, polling them on their thoughts on how his diagnosis was being covered in the press. He also was scheming. And at the top of his mind, according to three people with knowledge of his private comments, was how to reverse the damage that his campaign may be enduring by him being off the trail. Trump assured confidants that he would be back soon, though he wasn’t sure if he could commit to doing so in the coming week. And he previewed what is set to become the latest of many 2020 messaging reboots in the past few months. The president repeatedly claimed that once he recovers from the coronavirus—for which first lady Melania Trump, his campaign manager, debate sparing partner, press secretary, and other aides also tested positive—he’ll be able to present himself as a conqueror of it, both personally and politically. more...

The president left Walter Reed hospital on Monday evening, hours after he urged Americans not to fear the virus that has killed over 200,000 in the U.S.
Sam Stein Politics Editor, Scott Bixby National Reporter

Three days after a high fever and oxygen crisis put him in the hospital, coronavirus-infected Donald Trump returned to the White House and pulled off his mask for a photo-opportunity that was immediately turned into a video meant to show he had beaten COVID-19. But even Trump’s own doctor concedes that he “may not entirely be out of the woods yet,” and the president appeared to be winded after climbing the steps to the White House to pose between two American flags. Several staffers stood nearby as he tucked his mask into his suit pocket and saluted Marine One, which had landed on the lawn minutes earlier. At one point, he walked into the building—still not wearing a mask—and then returned to the balcony for a re-shoot.

The display of optics over safety came hours after Trump—who has been given two experimental treatments and a heavy-duty steroid—tweeted a message that struck many as callous considering that almost 210,000 Americans have been killed by the virus. “Feeling really good!” Trump tweeted on Monday afternoon. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” It also followed another public exercise in evasion and obfuscation by Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, who refused to answer questions about the president’s lung health, citing patient privacy laws even as he released other medical data that presented a rosier picture. “Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, his team and I agree that all our evaluations—and most importantly his clinical status—support the president’s safe return home,” said Conley, telling reporters that the president would be “surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7.” more...

*** Trump and Republicans need to stop lying to the American people and stop claiming the virus is like the flu. The flu kills up to 70,000 in a bad year; the virus has killed 210,000, three times as many people as a bad year of the flu in six months. No matter how Trump and Republicans spin it the virus is not like the flu. ***

Nearly seven months after his misguided "think about that!" tweet, comparing COVID-19 to the flu, the Republican has apparently come full circle.
By Steve Benen

The first sign of trouble came on Feb. 26, when much of the United States saw the coronavirus as a crisis affecting other countries, not ours. Donald Trump told reporters that the responsible thing to do would be to treat COVID-19 "like a flu." The president went on to say that there are other "certain steps" a country could take, but "that won't even be necessary." He added, "This is a flu. This is like a flu.... It's a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner."

About a week later, as the threat to Americans grew, Trump published one of the most unfortunate tweets of his term: "So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!" In the months that followed, those 546 confirmed cases turned into 7 million, and the 22-person death toll climbed to 210,000. The president not only dropped the "common flu" talking point -- which he privately suggested to Bob Woodward he did not believe -- Trump also began denying ever having said what we all saw and heard him say. Nearly seven months after his misguided "think about that!" tweet, the Republican has apparently come full circle. more...

"The notion of just learning to live with it is not an acceptable policy or strategy, in my opinion," one expert told NBC News.
By Erika Edwards

Physicians responded with alarm to President Donald Trump's assertion on Twitter that Covid-19 is similar to the flu and that the United States is learning to live with it. The social media site later flagged the tweet with a warning. "Comparing flu to Covid-19 is not only poor optics," Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, said. "It's just morally reprehensible."

Tuesday morning, Trump — who remains under a doctor's care for Covid-19 — tweeted: "Flu season is coming up! 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!!!"

Within hours, Twitter flagged the tweet with a warning, saying it "violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19." Facebook removed a similar post from the president. The tweet appears to suggest the flu is deadlier than the coronavirus. The numbers clearly show the opposite: Last flu season, there were an estimated 38 million cases of the flu, including 400,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far this year for Covid-19, there have been 7.5 million cases and 211,000 deaths. more...

By Siobhán O'Grady

In President Trump’s personal orbit, the coronavirus case count continues to creep upward. More than a dozen White House officials have recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including some who are among the at least nine guests and two journalists who tested positive after they attended Amy Coney Barrett’s Sept. 26 Supreme Court nomination event in the Rose Garden. Trump announced his positive test early Friday, and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later that day. He returned Monday to the White House, where he removed his mask, despite doctors saying he was still contagious.

Meanwhile, Taiwan — the self-ruled island home to 23 million people — reported just eight new cases in the past week. More than a dozen countries have reported fewer than 10 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days, including several that have not reported any cases at all. Not all such case numbers are reliable. Some countries are facing serious testing shortages. Others stand accused of avoiding public disclosure of their case numbers. But Taiwan has been widely praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. more...

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