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Donald J. Trump Has Failed In His Response To Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Page 3
*** 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. ***
By Donie O'Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) Facebook on Tuesday removed a post from President Trump in which he falsely claimed that Covid-19 is less deadly than the seasonal flu. Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed the company removed the post for breaking its rules on Covid-19 misinformation. President Trump has, by his own admission, played down the threat of Covid-19. Now, while battling his own bout of the disease, he has continued to dishonestly downplay the severity of the virus. His post on Tuesday falsely equated Covid-19 to the seasonal flu. The President also posted the same message on Twitter. That post is still live, but Twitter has appended a message to the Tweet stating it violated the company's rule on spreading misleading information related to Covid-19.

In August, Facebook and Twitter removed a post by Trump for containing false claims about Covid-19. The post contained a video of President during a Fox News interview in which he falsely claimed that children are "almost immune" to the virus. Tuesday afternoon, Trump tweeted, "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!" He said no more than that, leaving precisely what he was referring to out of the tweet, but it was likely a response to the actions taken by Facebook and Twitter. Section 230 is shorthand for the part of US law that gives tech companies immunity for almost all of their decisions regarding content moderation. 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. ***

The most deaths to have resulted from a U.S. flu season over the past decade is estimated to be roughly 61,000.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to downplay the coronavirus and suggested the United States should learn to live with the pandemic, posting to Twitter hours after returning to the White House from being hospitalized with Covid-19. In his morning tweet, the president likened the highly contagious disease to the seasonal flu, reprising a misleading comparison he repeatedly invoked in the early stages of the U.S. outbreak. “Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu,” Trump wrote.

“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!!!” In fact, the most deaths to have resulted from a flu season in the U.S. over the past decade is estimated to be roughly 61,000 in 2017-2018, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — well below the president’s claim of 100,000 or more. more...

Tom Porter

Footage of President Donald Trump returning to the White House on Monday after a three-day hospitalization with COVID-19 appeared to show him having difficulty breathing. Trump on Monday evening left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center despite being still infected with the coronavirus. Arriving at the White House in front of news cameras he climbed a set of stairs, removed his mask on the balcony, saluted the departing helicopter, and stepped into the building.

The sequence appeared designed to show that Trump has recovered and is back in business after the diagnosis that left him hospitalized for three days. But some medical experts pointed out that Trump appears far from well, commenting on his apparent struggle to breathe. Dr Ilan Schwartz, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, Canada, and expert in lung diseases, said Trump's breathing appeared abnormal. more...

By Jonathan Chait

In his theatrical Monday display of flouting his doctors’ advice and returning to the White House, President Trump’s triumphal videotaped message contained a line that deserves more attention than it received: “The vaccines are coming momentarily.” Trump has spent weeks hinting that he would like a vaccine to be announced before the election, and also that he distrusts his scientific advisers. Now his administration has overruled the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed vaccine guidelines, according to a report from the New York Times. It is abundantly clear Trump’s political team is overruling its scientists in order to rush through the approval of a vaccine before the election.

A month ago, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed Moncef Slaoui promised in an op-ed that the FDA’s non-political scientists would control the vaccine’s approval. “The strategy we devised for OWS will allow us to accomplish this goal while following all the same procedures for safety and efficacy, applied by the same apolitical FDA experts, that Americans expect with all vaccines,” they wrote. In September, a senior official told the Washington Post, “The White House plan would stress to the public that a vaccine went through the ‘traditional FDA rigor,’ as well as seek validation from throughout the scientific community, in medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and from medical professionals with large media platforms, such as CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.” more...


President Trump returned to the White House following his hospitalization due to coronavirus and removed his mask despite still being contagious. #CNN #News video.

By Kashmira Gander

President Donald Trump has been prescribed dexamethasone for COVID-19, a steroid that has a range of potential side effects including mental problems such as aggression, agitation, and anxiety. At a press conference on Sunday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump is being treated for COVID-19, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president was prescribed dexamethasone after the president's blood oxygen levels dropped twice. Dexamethasone is a steroid that suppresses the immune system to prevent the release of substances that can trigger inflammation. The drug was found to benefit critically ill patients in trials in the U.K., raising questions about the severity of the president's condition.

The cheap, common medicine is used to treat inflammatory conditions including ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and breathing disorders. Some of the more common side effects can affect a patient's mental state, such as aggression, agitation, anxiety, irritability, depression, changes to mood, and nervousness. Trouble thinking, speaking or walking can also occur. Other common side effects include blurred vision, producing less urine, dizziness, an irregular heartbeat or pulse, headaches, and noisy breathing. Patients may also experience numbness or tingling in the limbs, swollen fingers, hands, feet or lower legs, pounding in the ears, difficulty breathing at rest, and weight gain. more...

Some of the more common side effects can affect a patient's mental state, such as aggression, agitation, anxiety, irritability, depression, changes to mood, and nervousness. Trouble thinking, speaking or walking can also occur. Other common side effects include blurred vision, producing less urine, dizziness, an irregular heartbeat or pulse, headaches, and noisy breathing. Patients may also experience numbness or tingling in the limbs, swollen fingers, hands, feet or lower legs, pounding in the ears, difficulty breathing at rest, and weight gain. There are a range of less common side effects, too, like stomach cramps, back ache, and bloody or tarry stools. Dexamethasone has also been linked to rare reports of grandiose delusions, psychosis, delirium, and hallucinations. more...

By Brooke Seipel

The White House is not contact tracing guests and staff who attended a Rose Garden event for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, despite many viewing it as a possible spreader of the coronavirus, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The celebration, which took place 10 days ago, is viewed by some as the potential epicenter or "superspreader" of the White House's coronavirus outbreak because it has been followed by at least 11 attendees testing positive for COVID-19, including President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, adviser Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, at least three Republican senators and other White House staff. An unnamed White House official told the Times on Monday that officials were not contact tracing those connected to the event.

Contact tracing includes public health workers trying to stop COVID-19 transmission by reaching out to people who have tested positive for the disease and asking them to both self-isolate and provide a list of people they had contact with 48 hours before becoming sick, who will, in turn, also get a call. In this way, health officials are able to stop the potential spread of the virus before it can be passed on to someone else. more...

Earlier Monday, Trump told supporters, "Don't be afraid of Covid," the virus that has killed more than 211,000 people in the U.S.
By Allan Smith and Dareh Gregorian

President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening after being treated for Covid-19 for three days at Walter Reed Medical Center— and immediately took off his mask to pose for pictures. The highly choreographed moment on the Truman Balcony came hours after Trump suggested online that the disease is not that serious a threat.

Trump walked out of the hospital's main entrance shortly after 6:30 p.m. in a mask and a suit and tie and pumped his fist for the cameras before being driven to Marine One for the short trip back to the White House. He declined to answer questions from reporters.

At the White House, he went up the exterior stairs and posed in front of an array of flags on the balcony, where he immediately took off his mask. Trump kept the mask off even as he was greeted by mask-wearing White House staffers. He appeared to be shooting some sort of video. Health experts say coronavirus patients should wear masks to avoid infecting others, and the president is still believed to be contagious. more...

By Kate Whannel BBC News

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have a lot in common - distinctive hairstyles, larger-than-life personalities and a habit of creating controversy. And now they share the unwanted experience of being leaders taken to hospital with coronavirus. The US president is currently being treated for the disease, six months after UK Prime Minister Mr Johnson fell victim to the same virus. But how do their experiences compare - and what, if anything, can the US learn from the UK's experience?

On 27 March, the UK Prime Minister announced he had tested positive for Covid. It was not hugely unexpected given the virus had ripped its way through the top levels of UK government - infecting ministers and senior advisers. In a Twitter video Mr Johnson said he had experienced "mild symptoms" but insisted he was - "thanks to the wizardry of modern technology" - still leading the government's response despite self-isolating. One week later he announced that a persistent temperature meant he would have to continue self-isolating. more...

NBC News

Watch live coverage as President Donald Trump is expected to be released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after receiving treatment for Covid-19. Get all the latest updates on Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis from our liveblog: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/dona... more...

Adrianna Rodriguez USA TODAY

Epidemiologists continue to scrutinize a White House event after more than a dozen people, including President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, announced they tested positive for COVID-19. Several of them attended a ceremony held outside in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 where Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, in front of more than 180 people.

The suspected "superspreader" event highlights the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing, even when outside. But some health officials, including leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, say they don’t always wear a mask outside. So, when is it appropriate to take it off? more...

Trump Demanded to Leave Hospital Sunday Because He’s Scared He Looks Weak, Says Report
Jamie Ross

By all accounts, President Donald Trump is having an absolutely miserable time in the hospital. According to one report from CNN, Trump demanded to return to the White House on Sunday, with unnamed sources telling the network that the president is worried that the sight of him being hospitalized “makes him look weak” in front of the nation just weeks out from Election Day. more...

*** Biden was smart enough not to catch it by wearing a mask and social distancing. Trump and his people caught the virus because they were too dumb to wear masks and practice social distancing. We prefer the people that are smart enough to wear masks and practice social distancing, not the people too dumb to wear masks and practice social distancing in the middle of a pandemic. ***

By Katherine Fung

Erin Perrine, director of press communications for the Trump campaign, said Democratic nominee Joe Biden doesn't have "those firsthand experiences" fighting COVID-19 that President Donald Trump has. In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Perrine said that Trump "has experience as Commander-in-Chief. He has experience as a businessman. He has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn't have those."

"Those firsthand experiences are what are going to get President Trump four more years," she added. Trump tested positive for the virus Thursday and was hospitalized Friday at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he remained as of Monday afternoon. A senior adviser to the campaign also echoed Perrine's comments that the president's personal encounter with coronavirus will make him better equipped than Biden to handle the nation's response to the outbreak. "He is going to be able to relate to those individuals who have been inflicted by coronavirus, who's lost a family member to coronavirus," Mercedes Schlapp told Fox News on Monday. more...

Dan Mangan, Christina Wilkie

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies have tested positive for the coronavirus as President Donald Trump remains hospitalized with the virus. McEnany and her two deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, are among at least 18 people people in the White House, or connected to Trump’s reelection campaign or to recent White House events, who have tested positive for Covid-19 since late last week.

“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,”  McEnany said on Twitter. “No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit.” It was not clear when Gilmartin, who is principal assistant press secretary, and Leavitt, who is assistant press secretary, tested positives for Covid-19. Their diagnoses, which were confirmed by NBC News with two sources familiar with their situation, were made public only after McEnany disclosed her diagnois on Twitter. more...

Poll: Many Americans blame virus crisis on US government

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans blame the U.S. government instead of foreign nations for the coronavirus crisis in the United States, a rebuke to the Trump administration’s contention that China or other countries are most at fault, a new poll shows.

The poll by The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was conducted before President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus Friday and was hospitalized. Trump has downplayed the severity and impact of the pandemic in recent months.

Although many see plenty of blame to go around and there’s a wide bipartisan divide over who is responsible, 56% of Americans say the U.S. government has substantial responsibility for the situation. That compares with 47% who place that much blame on the governments of other countries and only 39% who say the same about the World Health Organization. more...

Christo Aivalis

Donald Trump didn’t disclose a positive result from a rapid test for Covid-19 on Thursday while awaiting the findings from a more thorough coronavirus screening, according to people familiar with the matter. As the virus spread among the people closest to him, Mr. Trump also asked one adviser not to disclose results of their own positive test. “Don’t tell anyone,” Mr. Trump said, according to a person familiar with the conversation. video...

Nesrine Malik - the guardian

The president will not show humility, or respect for the 200,000 US dead. But the fatigue on his face is a testament to his limits. If the past few days in US politics were a dramatisation, one would think the plot was too unbelievable. A cast of characters meets to dishonour the last wish of a supreme court judge not to nominate her successor until after the presidential election. Mere days after her passing, they gather in the White House Rose Garden. They chat intimately, leaning into each other’s space to whisper. Others embrace and kiss in fond greeting. It all had the feel not of a political event but a ceremony of pure triumphalism.

Members of Donald Trump’s inner circle glided through the party to honour his supreme court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, with the ease and good cheer of a clique free of the restraints of public accountability or moral qualms. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was dead. They were going to force through their nominee. And the pandemic that ravaged the country beyond the pleasant vibes of the Rose Garden was not their concern.

But the plot had a twist. Since that day, President Trump and at least seven others at the event have tested positive for coronavirus. Trump and one other, Chris Christie, are in hospital. Other White House staff close to Donald Trump continue to report positive tests. The pandemic, for so long minimised and trivialised by Trump, had finally reached the most powerful man in the world.

We are not accustomed to Trump receiving any censure for his actions. His presidency so far has been a study in indifference – on the part of the Republican party and his wider supporters across the nation – towards any of his actions, no matter how immoral, dishonest, incompetent or even illegal. But there was something almost biblical about the hubris of that Rose Garden event – the pharaoh who believed he was a god flaunted his impunity, and was punished by pestilence. more...

CBS News

White House doctors say the president had a high fever on Friday and his oxygen levels dropped twice during his treatment for COVID-19. CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook joins CBSN's Lana Zak with the latest. more...

The president left Walter Reed’s presidential suite in a motorcade to wave to supporters, potentially exposing several Secret Service agents to the coronavirus.
Patricia Kelly Yeo

After teasing a “little surprise visit” via video on Twitter, President Trump left the hospital on Sunday afternoon to wave to supporters from the back seat of an SUV. “It’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID,” Trump, who is still suffering from the coronavirus, said in the video. “I learned it by really going to school, this is the real school, this isn’t the ‘let’s read the book’ school, and I get it, and I understand it,” he added.

Then, contradicting his own words and the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the president left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s presidential suite to wave to supporters from a car—a decision that forced at least two Secret Service agents to don personal protective equipment as they shared the same air and enclosed space of the vehicle.

The CDC website explicitly states that if a person is sick with COVID-19, they should stay at home except to get medical care. The CDC’s language is more forceful in its guidelines for health-care workers. “In general, transport and movement of a patient with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection outside of their room should be limited to medically essential purposes,” its FAQ page reads. more...

Jerry Adler Senior Editor,Yahoo News

In an optimistic briefing on President Trump’s condition Sunday morning, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley admitted to reporters he had tried to conceal the fact that the president had received oxygen at the White House on Friday. Conley, joined by other members of the president’s medical team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, said Trump was continuing to improve and could be discharged back to the White House as early as Monday. But he disclosed that dexamethasone had been added to the president’s drug regimen, suggesting continuing concerns about an inflammatory response to the coronavirus that could damage the lungs or other organs.

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that is used to prevent or treat the “cytokine storm” of immune response that causes some of the worst complications of COVID-19, particularly in older patients. Trump is also continuing to receive remdesivir, an antiviral that combats coronavirus infection. Another doctor on the team, Sean Dooley, told reporters that Trump “has remained without fever since Friday morning. His vital signs are stable, he remains on room air, he’s ambulating himself, walking around the White House medical unit [at Walter Reed] without limitation or disability.” “I want to reiterate how pleased we are with the President’s recovery,” Conley added. more...

By Gina Kolata and Apoorva Mandavilli The New York Times |

President Donald Trump will stay at Walter Reed military hospital for an indefinite number of days, his doctor said on Saturday, undergoing a five-day antiviral drug regimen for COVID-19 that indicated his condition might be more serious than had been publicly disclosed. On Thursday, he received another therapy that is still in early phases of testing. At a news conference on Saturday outside the medical center, Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, painted a rosy picture of the president’s condition, saying he was doing well, fever-free and not in need of supplemental oxygen.

But immediately afterward, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, contradicted that assessment and said Trump’s vital signs in the last 48 hours “were very concerning” and that the next two days would be critical. Medical experts who have been following the sketchy, conflicting details released by the White House and Walter Reed about the president’s condition were divided about the experimental treatments Trump, 74, has already received. more...


BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days, but he “has continued to improve” since then, the White House physician said Sunday, adding a new layer of confusion to the president’s fight with COVID-19 even while suggesting he could be discharged from the hospital as early as Monday.

Trump’s doctors, speaking on the steps of the military hospital where he was being treated for a third consecutive day, again refused to answer key questions about his condition, including the timing of the president’s second dip in oxygen, which they neglected to mention in multiple statements the day before, or whether lung scans showed any damage.

Pressed about the conflicting information he and the White House released the previous day, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley acknowledged that he had tried to present a rosy description of of the president’s condition. “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team, that the president, that his course of illness has had. Didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” Conley said. “And in doing so, came off like we’re trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true. The fact of the matter is that he’s doing really well.” more...

Kayleigh McEnany and Jared Kushner were stopped from attending, sources say.
By Olivia Rubin, Matthew Mosk, Katherine Faulders and Miles Cohen

Several supporters of President Donald Trump who just days before had been toasting him at a fundraiser at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club said they are now quarantining themselves and going for coronavirus tests. About 100 guests attended the event with some donating $50,000 to snap photos with the president on Thursday and roughly 20 sat with him at an hour-long roundtable discussion. Several said the president's diagnosis and hospitalization have been both bewildering and frightening. Four people at the club that day told ABC News they are quarantining or getting tests.

"I stayed 6 feet away from the president at all times as well, but out of an abundance of caution have quarantined myself until I can be tested," said Daniel Hux, who attended the fundraiser, said in a statement to ABC News. Campaign officials and a number of those who attended continue to maintain that Trump kept a safe buffer between himself and the guests, who spent as much as $250,000 to attend the exclusive fundraiser with the president. Several of those interviewed by ABC News said they never saw anyone within 6 feet of the president -- even those who waited on line to enter the Bedminster club house to pose for photos with him. more...

By Reuters Staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows revealed that President Donald Trump’s condition on Friday was far worse than officials had made public, saying doctors recommended the president go to the hospital after seeing he had a fever and his blood oxygen level dropped rapidly. Meadows made the comments in an interview with Fox News broadcast Saturday night that capped two days of conflicting and opaque assessments of the 74-year-old president’s health.

“I can tell you this the biggest thing we see is with no fever now, and with him doing really well with his oxygen saturation levels,” Meadows told Fox host Jeanine Pirro. “Yesterday morning we were really concerned by that. He had a fever, and his oxygen level had dropped rapidly. Yet in typical style, this president was up and walking around.” more...

The city's announcement came shortly after the Cleveland Clinic said there was a "low risk of exposure to" debate attendees.
By David K. Li

At least 11 positive coronavirus tests can be traced to members of the media or organizers of this week's presidential debate in Cleveland, city and clinic officials said Friday. The city's announcement came after President Donald Trump, who debated Democratic rival Joe Biden on Tuesday in Cleveland, revealed he and his wife have both tested positive for Covid-19 and are in isolation. Trump was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.

"The City of Cleveland is aware of positive cases of Covid-19 following the Sept. 29 presidential debate," according to a City Hall statement. "We advise anyone who has come in contact with someone who has tested positive to selfquarantine. If anyone who was in attendance has concerns or is symptomatic, they should contact their healthcare provider." more...

Kristen Welker and Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC News

The number of people from President Donald Trump's orbit who have tested positive for the coronavirus is growing, with at least seven confirmed cases tied to an event in the Rose Garden last weekend. On Sept. 26, Trump officially announced federal appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the next Supreme Court justice at an outdoor ceremony attended by more than 150 people, many of whom did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

In addition to the president and the first lady, at least five other people who were at the ceremony have been confirmed to have Covid-19: former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins and a White House journalist.

Conway is the latest to confirm that she was infected. "Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19," she said in a statement Friday night. "My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I'm feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians. As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic." more...

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Fernando Alfonso III, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

A source close to the White House said President Trump has received supplemental oxygen since his illness began. Trump “definitely has had oxygen,” the source said. The source said it was Friday when that happened. more...

By Eric Bradner and Ryan Nobles, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's campaign has been thrown into chaos, adjusting its tactics, messaging and work environment following Trump and a number of top aides and political allies' positive tests for coronavirus. Trump is in the hospital. His campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and the Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, contracted the virus. All of the campaign's planned rallies and fundraisers featuring the President and his family are on hold. And Trump's ability to debate Democratic rival Joe Biden again is uncertain.

Trailing Biden with one month left in the 2020 race, Trump is now stuck in a position he's spent months trying to avoid: Faced with an election that is all about the coronavirus pandemic, with no way to change the topic. With ballots already available in 35 states and voting beginning in the swing states of Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio within the next week, millions of votes could be cast with Trump sick with a virus he has downplayed for months. The next time Trump and Biden are scheduled to meet in person for a debate is October 15, for a town hall-style event in Miami. But it's unclear now whether Trump will be physically able to participate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates is already preparing to make a change that is effectively a rebuke of Trump, whose guests declined a Cleveland Clinic doctor's request that they wear masks at the first debate on Tuesday. A source familiar with the matter said the commission will announce that everyone in the debate halls, except the candidates and moderator, must remained masked until conclusion -- and those not wearing masks will be escorted out. more...

By Bobby Olivier | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A new timeline presented by Donald Trump’s physician set off confusion about whether the president knew he had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his New Jersey fundraiser Thursday afternoon — though at least one administration official has countered that the doctor had misspoken. During a press conference Saturday morning, Sean Conley — one of the doctors treating Trump at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — said the president was “just 72 hours into the diagnosis now,” noting the first week of the virus is most critical, as reported by CBS News.

But it was less than 48 hours ago that Trump flew to an airport in Morristown and then boarded a helicopter bound for the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, where he addressed and met with several hundred donors, according to attendees who spoke to NJ Advance Media on Friday. Trump announced early Friday morning that he and First Lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for the illness but did not share when he himself had learned the diagnosis. Journalists quickly took note of the discrepancies and the questions raised by them. more...

By David A. Fahrenthold, Josh Dawsey, Carol D. Leonnig and David Nakamura

President Trump contracted the novel coronavirus after months in which he and people around him — his aides, his children, even his golf-club members — avoided taking basic steps to prevent the virus’s spread, like wearing masks and avoiding large indoor crowds. Mask-wearing had become rare among Trump’s staff and the Secret Service agents and military service crew aboard Air Force One — even after national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien tested positive in July.

On the campaign trail, Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric have spoken to packed audiences in indoor venues. And the Trump campaign violated state regulations limiting the size of gatherings in Nevada, earning a public rebuke from the governor after the president addressed thousands at an indoor event there last month. They all took their cues from Trump himself, who has rarely worn masks, sometimes mocked those who did and disputed the advice from his own government’s experts. more...

By Derek Hawkins, Colby Itkowitz and Seung Min Kim

At a Saturday morning press conference, President Trump’s medical team suggested that the President knew he tested positive for coronavirus earlier than has been previously reported. Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, said that we’re “72 hours into the diagnosis,” meaning the President could have test positive as early as Wednesday.

At a press conference, Trump’s medical team at Walter Reed said the president is fever-free and that they are “extremely happy” with the progress the president has made. But the team refused to answer key questions about when the president was first diagnosed, first symptomatic and whether he had received supplemental oxygen.

Adding to the confusion, a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the president’s health, said after the briefing that the doctor misspoke about the timing of the president’s diagnosis and treatment. The White House has not commented on the record about the doctor’s remarks and whether they contradict the timeline previously communicated to the public by Trump and the White House. more...

CNBC.com staff

In a dramatic turn of events, President Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus, developed mild symptoms and was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center out of an abundance of caution. Trump appears to be doing well, but people in his orbit continue to test positive, including Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House advisor Kellyanne Conway.

Even as the government reels from the spreading virus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin still have not been able to reach a deal on a new stimulus package to support the nation’s flagging economic recovery from the pandemic.

Senate will not return in full until after Oct. 19, but Amy Coney Barrett hearings will continue
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will not return in full until after Oct. 19 due to concerns over the coronavirus, but the Judiciary Committee’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett will begin as scheduled on Oct. 12.

Questions arise over when Trump received diagnosis
Saturday’s briefing from White House physician Dr. Sean Conley has raised questions about when it was known that the president was sick. Conley told reporters on Saturday that a treatment was given to the president 48 hours ago, which would’ve been on Thursday before President Donald Trump’s positive diagnosis was announced. more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped President Donald Trump prepare for the first presidential debate earlier this week, has tested positive for Covid-19, he announced on Twitter Saturday. "I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19," Christie wrote. "I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two. I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition."

Christie was among a group of senior Trump campaign staffers who were tested Friday following news of the President's positive diagnosis. Trump early Friday morning announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19, days after holding a Supreme Court nomination ceremony last Saturday for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and attending his first presidential debate against former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday. more...

By Maeve Reston, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump is "doing very well" and has been "fever-free" for 24 hours, according to the President's physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, who gave an update on the President's Covid-19 condition the morning after he was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Sources told CNN previously the President was running a low fever. His admission to the hospital early Friday evening, less than 24 hours after news broke of his Covid-19 diagnosis, plunged the country into a deepening crisis as the circle of current and former aides to the President testing positive rapidly widened.

By early Saturday, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and the President's campaign manager Bill Stepien had both tested positive, which followed the positive diagnoses of two US senators who had attended Trump's Supreme Court nomination announcement last weekend, and Trump senior adviser Hope Hicks on Thursday. A third Republican US senator, who did not attend the nomination event, announced a positive diagnosis later Saturday morning. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had helped the President with debate preparations, also announced he had tested positive on Saturday.

It was a remarkably fast escalation of the virus' threat -- which the President has long downplayed -- from an infection that caused him mild symptoms, to a fever to then being airlifted to the hospital, all while spreading quickly throughout the government and his campaign. Shortly before midnight, the President's physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley finally gave an update on the President's condition, saying in a memo that the President is "doing very well" and has not required any supplemental oxygen, but that doctors have initiated the antiviral drug remdesivir, which has been shown to shorten recovery time for some coronavirus patients. more...

When you don't take precautions, you have a higher chance of becoming a vector or creating a superspreader event without even knowing it
By Dr. Rob Davidson, emergency room physician

The Covid-19 pandemic has now sickened its most famous doubter, President Donald Trump. Together with first lady Melania Trump and a presidential adviser, Hope Hicks, who is often by their side, the tally of 7.3 million people in the United States infected with Covid-19 went up by three. On Friday, the president was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a precautionary measure, according to the White House. His condition is still considered "mild," according to White House officials. Like many people, I sincerely hope the president and his family get well and don't contribute to the steadily rising death toll of over 209,000 Americans.

Yet as an emergency physician of over 20 years, I have concerns that extend far beyond that — to a wide range of far-reaching public health ramifications that this positive diagnosis will have. Stated simply, when you don't take precautions, you have a higher chance of becoming a vector or creating a superspreader event without even knowing it. These interactions ripple out, with communities that institutionally don't follow strict precautionary measures likely to be at more risk. And the president of the United States may very well have been in the middle of just such an event. The truth is, this development must be a wake-up call to the nation. more...

by Allison Mechanic

PORTLAND, Ore - President Trump is in the very beginning of his fight against the coronavirus, but there is no time to waste. "He’s in a race with his immune system racing against the virus. If the virus wins you can have dire consequences," said Dr. Leonard Schleife, C.E.O. of Regeneron, a biotech company that has developed a drug given to the President less than 24-hours after he and the First Lady tested positive.

Regeneron is still in large-scale clinical trials. It only began testing on people in June. According to Dr. Schleife, the results have been good. According to CNN, the first 275 non-hospitalized patients in a late-stage trial showed that the treatment was safe and seemed to reduce viral levels and improve symptoms in patients with Covid-19. more...

By Manu Raju and Lauren Fox, CNN

(CNN) Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has tested positive for coronavirus after being exposed to someone with the virus earlier this week, according to his spokesman, making him the third GOP senator to test positive in 24 hours and threatening the quick confirmation prospects of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who sit on the Judiciary Committee, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday -- just days after attending a White House event where President Donald Trump nominated Barrett. Multiple attendees of that event, including Trump, have tested positive in the week since the ceremony, which featured many people not wearing masks and not observing social distancing protocols.

Johnson did not attend the Barrett nomination ceremony — where several people appeared to have been exposed to the virus — because he was quarantining from a prior exposure, during which he twice tested negative for the virus, according to the spokesman. Unlike Democratic senators, Senate Republicans meet three times a week for lunch. And while they sit in a large room, they remove their masks to eat and to speak. Johnson, Lee and Tillis all attended Senate GOP lunches this week. If the three senators remain out this month, it would effectively prevent Barrett from being confirmed to the Supreme Court until they return, which could be after Election Day during a lame-duck session. A lame-duck confirmation is a situation that GOP leaders are eager to avoid in case they lose control of the chamber next month.

Indeed, Republicans are worried about getting enough votes to confirm a nominee in a lame-duck session after the election if they lose their majority -- and the White House -- and Democrats prepare to take power in January. The fear is that one or two GOP senators may break ranks after seeing the election results and citing the will of the voters. more...

By Pete Muntean, CNN

(CNN) The positive coronavirus test for a high-profile Air Force One passenger raises the possibility that has concerned aviation experts for months: that the virus can easily spread inside a confined aircraft cabin. Experts fear the infection potentially puts at risk hundreds of people who travel on, operate and maintain "the flying White House" -- threatening not only a highly recognizable icon of America, but also the smooth operation of a key national security tool used to evacuate the president in a crisis.

Administration officials said Friday that presidential senior adviser Hope Hicks was showing coronavirus symptoms while she flew on the world's most famous jet earlier this week, raising the concern her infection could be linked to the infections of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
Experts have cautioned that during the pandemic, the unique air flow dynamics in the confined cabin of a jetliner -- even one as large as the Boeing 747-200, known in the military as a VC-25 -- could put unmasked passengers at a risk of catching the deadly virus. more...

The late-night host weighed in on the president’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis on Friday night.
Marlow Stern

On Friday night, Jimmy Kimmel was one of the few late-night hosts on to address the total chaos that’s transpired in the last 24 hours—wherein the president, the first lady, several of their advisers, a number of Republican senators, a trio of White House journalists, and Kellyanne Conway all came down with COVID-19. President Trump is currently at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center under observation, where he’ll be hospitalized for the next several days.

“Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any 2020ier…” offered Kimmel at the top of his show, adding, “He’s high-risk because of his age and his weight. Fortunately, he does have Obamacare, so he’s covered with those pre-existing conditions.” The comic then explained how Trump, who has consistently downplayed the severity of the coronavirus—even though it has killed over 210,000 Americans and counting—has mocked Joe Biden incessantly for wearing “a large mask” and maintaining proper social distancing.

“You can’t look past the fact that over and over again, Trump has made fun of Joe Biden for wearing a mask,” argued Kimmel. After airing a montage of Trump belittling Biden over wearing a mask and keeping his distance from folks in the middle of a global pandemic, the host mock-chuckled. more...

Bill Stepien's diagnosis is the latest blow to a reeling reelection effort. He plans to maintain control of the campaign while in quarantine.

Donald Trump’s campaign manager has tested positive for Covid-19, dealing another blow to his reelection effort on a day that saw the president and the head of the Republican National Committee report contracting the disease as well. Bill Stepien received his diagnosis Friday evening and was experiencing what one senior campaign official described as “mild flu-like symptoms.” People familiar with the situation said the 42-year-old Stepien plans to quarantine until he recovers. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump is being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for Covid-19 and has begun receiving an anti-viral drug, his doctor announced Friday night. In a memo shared by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, White House physician Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley wrote Trump is doing "very well." "This evening I'm happy to report that the President is doing very well. He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy," Conley wrote, referring to a drug that has been shown to shorten coronavirus patients' hospital stays. "He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably."

The news comes after a chaotic day marked by Trump's announcement early Friday morning that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19, followed by the sudden news Friday afternoon that he was being taken to Walter Reed at Conley's recommendation. Emerging from the White House residence at 6:16 p.m. ET for his first public appearance since announcing 16 hours earlier he had tested positive for coronavirus, Trump walked under his own power to his waiting helicopter and displayed no major outward signs of illness. Wearing a navy blue suit, a blue silk necktie and a dark face mask, Trump waved to the media and gave a thumbs up, but did not stop to talk. Chief of staff Mark Meadows, also wearing a mask, followed him aboard. more...

By Dan Berman, Jim Acosta, Kristen Holmes and Caroline Kelly, CNN

(CNN) Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Friday night that she has tested positive for coronavirus, the latest major political figure to say they have Covid-19 after attending a Rose Garden event last Saturday where President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court pick. "Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I'm feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians," Conway tweeted. "As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic."

Conway is now the sixth person who attended the event last week, where masks and social distancing were rare, known to have subsequently tested positive. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, top Trump aide Hope Hicks, Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and University of Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins are all confirmed to be positive for Covid-19. Many of the guests for Trump's announcement that he was nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett arrived at the event with masks on, but as the Rose Garden event got underway, masks were virtually nonexistent. more...

Many guests were seen mingling in close proximity without masks.
By Allie Yang

Less than a week ago, several top White House officials mingled with guests in the Rose Garden as President Donald Trump officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Many of those guests were seen not wearing masks, fist bumping and greeting one another in close proximity, and their seats didn't appear to be 6 feet apart. On Thursday night, Hope Hicks, one of Trump's closest advisers, tested positive for coronavirus, then the president and first lady Melania Trump also tested positive. The president and his wife were present at the event, but Hicks was not. On Friday, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, also at the Rose Garden, announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing "symptoms consistent with longtime allergies." more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump will be taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and remain there for several days, according to the White House. In a statement, the White House said Trump "remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day." "Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days," the White House said. "President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady."

Trump has had a fever since Friday morning, a person familiar with the matter said, though the fever remains consistent with the White House's description of "mild symptoms." Earlier in the afternoon, Trump's physician wrote in a memo he "remains fatigued but in good spirits." "He's being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we'll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps," Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley wrote. more...

Kevin Breuninger

The White House said Friday that President Donald Trump is “fatigued but in good spirits” and shared information about his treatment following his coronavirus diagnosis. Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memo shared by White House officials that the president “as a precautionary measure” has “received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail.” “He completed the infusion without incident,” Conley wrote.

Shortly after the memo was released, the White House said President Donald Trump was being taken to Walter Reed Medical Center “out of an abundance of caution.” Regeneron’s experimental drug cocktail has yet to be approved for wider use. Results shared by the pharma giant just this week showed that some non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients who took the two-antibody treatment saw reduced viral levels and improved symptoms. Regeneron confirmed in a statement to CNBC that it provided the dose to the president in response to a “compassionate use” request from Trump’s doctors. That term refers to a way patients can access experimental drugs outside of clinical trials. more...

David Jackson, Michael Collins - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump traveled to New Jersey for campaign events on Thursday apparently knowing that aide Hope Hicks was sick and had tested positive for COVID-19. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said officials learned of Hicks’ positive test as Marine One was taking off for the trip to Bedminster, New Jersey, where Trump had scheduled a fundraiser and a roundtable discussion with supporters at his golf resort.

Meadows would not provide other details, telling reporters, “I’m not going to get into the tick-tock.” He did say contract tracing already had begun and that some staff members who had been in close contact with Hicks were pulled from the New Jersey trip. The White House announced early Friday that Trump and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning development that came just hours after Trump confirmed that Hicks had tested for the virus. more...

“So we’ve been interfering and interfering, but all of that was for naught?”
Julia Davis

The shocking announcement that the President of the United States Donald J. Trump has contracted the coronavirus was promptly followed by well-wishes from the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday sent President Trump a telegram, wishing a speedy recovery to the U.S. president and the first lady. According to a Kremlin readout of the telegram, Putin wrote: “I am sure that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus.”

Overshadowed by the news of Trump’s positive test for COVID-19 was the fact that U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien met with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva. According to Russian state media outlet Vesti, O’Brien allegedly went along with Putin’s much-ridiculed proposal that the United States and Russia enter into a pact of mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. If such an agreement was in fact entertained, Moscow will undoubtedly interpret it to encompass Russia’s relations with its neighboring countries, including but not limited to the post-Soviet space, as well as the potential relief from the U.S. sanctions for Russia’s election interference, and the Kremlin being allowed to escape any consequences for the attempted poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Meanwhile, with respect to Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, initial  reactions in the Russian state media encompassed a full spectrum of  emotions—ranging from sympathy to schadenfreude. Discussing Trump’s  COVID-19 diagnosis, Evgeny Popov, the host of Russian state media news  talk show 60 Minutes, said: “Our candidate got sick.” His co-host Olga Skabeeva reminded  the viewers that Trump is in a high-risk group, due to being elderly  and overweight. Referring to former Vice President Joe Biden, Popov  added: “The other one may get sick too.” more...

By Jessica Schneider, Kristen Holmes and Jim Acosta, CNN

Washington (CNN) Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the President's nominee for the US Supreme Court, was diagnosed with coronavirus late this summer but has recovered, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Barrett, and her husband, Jesse, were diagnosed. Jesse Barrett was asymptomatic but Barrett felt "a little under the weather but recovered," one of the sources said.

After the news early Friday that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump contracted coronavirus, Barrett tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokesman Judd Deere. Barrett, who is tested daily, was last with the President on Saturday when Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden he would be nominating her to the Supreme Court, Deere said. All week, Barrett has been meeting in-person with multiple US senators on Capitol Hill. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who serves on the Judiciary committee, announced Friday he tested positive for Covid-19, just days after meeting in-person with Barrett on Tuesday. more...

I wish the Trumps a speedy recovery. No decent person should wish for anything else. But that doesn’t excuse his personal irresponsibility.
Matt Lewis

The news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump contracted COVID-19 serves as a reminder: This is why having an irresponsible man-child as president is a bad thing, irrespective of everything else. It’s not that the president tested positive; that could be any president. But just two-and-a-half days ago, at the presidential debate, this president, who went months without ever wearing a mask, said he wears them only “when I think I need it.” He then mocked Joe Biden, saying, “Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen.”

We now know it’s at least possible that Trump (although they kept a safe distance and did not shake hands) could potentially have infected his opponent. Who knows how many other people he came in close contact with before discovering he was infected. What about Amy Coney Barrett, who was with Trump on Saturday? The senators who then met with Barrett? more...

By Matthew Impelli

A staff member to former President Barack Obama deleted a tweet on Friday, suggesting that she hopes President Donald Trump dies after he announced that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Zara Rahim, who worked in the Office of Digital Strategy for Obama, as well as serving as the national spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, deleted her tweet shortly after being published, but it was seen by a number of people across social media, who shared screenshots of it. "It's been against my moral identity to tweet this for the past four years, but, I hope he dies," Rahim wrote in the since-deleted tweet.more...

By Alex Rogers, CNN

(CNN) Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, announced Friday he tested positive for Covid-19, just days after meeting in person with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday. Lee, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Friday that he took the test Thursday, and would "remain isolated" for 10 days. He said he has "assured" Senate Republican leaders that he will "be back to work" to join the Judiciary panel to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. more...

At 74, the US president is in higher-risk age group where 20 per cent of cases require hospitalisation

The announcement that Donald Trump has tested positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus has rocked the US barely a month out from the presidential election. Much will now depend on how his condition evolves. A striking feature of Covid-19 has been its unpredictability. Infection can cause symptoms ranging from the pneumonia that characterised the disease when it emerged in China, to problems with the heart and circulation, or the brain and nervous system.
In other cases, people infected with the virus — including those in their seventies such as Mr Trump — can recover without suffering any symptoms, or nothing worse than a temporary loss of smell and taste. Mr Trump is 74. On average, someone in their mid-seventies who tests positive for coronavirus has about a 20 per cent chance of requiring hospitalisation and a 5 per cent chance of dying from Covid-19 in countries with good medical systems. Other factors, including weight and general health, can also affect the course of the virus. more...

Bart Jansen USA TODAY

Former Vice President Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus, according to his personal doctor, as the Democratic nominee sought to continue campaigning during the month before the Nov. 3 election. Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the primary care physician, said Biden and his wife Jill were each tested and "COVID-19 was not detected." "Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern," Biden said in a tweet. "I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands."

The Democratic nominee's announcement comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive. Trump and Biden were in the same room for nearly two hours Tuesday for the first presidential debate. Trump is quarantining with mild symptoms in the residence portion of the White House. Mark Meadows, the president's chief of staff, said Friday that he was in good spirits. Bill Stepien, Trump's campaign manager, said previously announced campaign events are being postponed or changed to virtual events. Trump was scheduled to travel Saturday to Wisconsin for events in Janesville and Green Bay. more...

A president who once seemed impervious to October surprises is suddenly confronting one big enough to alter the election outcome.

Donald Trump had done everything possible to shift the focus of the presidential campaign away from his handling of the coronavirus. His own infection now ensures that he can’t – pulling Trump off the road 32 days before the election, throwing debates into question and fixing the public attention’s more squarely than ever on a pandemic dragging down his prospects for a second term. A president who once seemed impervious to October surprises is suddenly confronting one big enough to alter the outcome of the election.

“The campaign as we knew it is over,” said Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist in Washington. “This is the worst nightmare for the Trump campaign.” Practically speaking, Trump’s announcement early Friday that he tested positive for the coronavirus will immediately remove him from in-person campaigning, though for how long is unclear. Sean Conley, Trump's physician, said in a memo that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, “plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” and the White House removed a planned campaign rally on Friday night in Florida from Trump’s daily schedule. more...

President Trump's campaign schedule has ensured that the top tier of the Republican Party either has or has been exposed to COVID-19.
Sam Brodey

The web of those exposed by President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis reads like a who’s who of his peripatetic campaign: his campaign manager, the chair of the Republican National Committee, the leader of the House GOP’s campaign arm, and several high-profile members of Congress. Now, those officials—not to mention countless supporters of the president—have either contracted COVID-19 or are at high risk for it after a week in which an infected Trump has criss-crossed the country. It also means a wide swath of the GOP’s formal campaign apparatus could be sidelined a month before a pivotal election in which the party is losing ground in its efforts to hold onto the White House, keep the Senate, and recapture the House.

Last Friday, the president had a packed day on the campaign trail, with events in Miami, Atlanta, and Virginia, with a stop in between at his hotel in Washington for a “roundtable with supporters.” Somewhere along the way, Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, was with Trump. It was reported on Friday morning that she had contracted the coronavirus. An RNC spokesperson said that McDaniel had tested for COVID-19 after a member of her family had contracted the virus, and said she’d been at home in Michigan since Saturday.

Over the weekend, Trump traveled to Pennsylvania for a rally, and held a White House event with many notable GOP officials to honor Judge Amy Coney Barrett, his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was in attendance; video taken of the event by a CNN reporter shows him hugging and greeting other attendees without wearing a mask. He announced Friday that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Then, on Tuesday, much of the Trump campaign team, along with a top ally, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), traveled on Air Force One to Cleveland, where they shared a debate hall with Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and his staff, supporters, and family. more...

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

London (CNN) US President Donald Trump is not the only leader on the world stage to have contracted coronavirus. His positive test, announced in the early hours of Friday, puts him in the company of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Of those, Johnson fell the most gravely ill after he tested positive for the virus at the end of March. He spent a week in hospital, with three nights in intensive care and, on being discharged admitted "things could have gone either way" for him. Even after leaving the hospital, he had to spend time recuperating at his official country residence, Chequers.

Johnson's illness, at the height of Britain's first wave of infections, complicated the government's response, not least because the virus spread through the government's ranks in Westminster. Trump and his wife Melania, who has also tested positive for the virus, may be asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, as was the case with Britain's health minister Matt Hancock. At 74 years old and overweight, Trump -- who has spent months playing down the severity of the pandemic as US deaths have surpassed 207,000 -- falls into the highest risk category for serious complications from the disease. But the first lady, age 50, is likely to be at a lower risk of serious illness. more...

By The Times Editorial Board

Americans awaken this morning to the grave news that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the dreadful coronavirus that has killed more than 207,000 people in the U.S. and brought the U.S. economy to its knees. The news came the way that so much of the news from the White House does: in a tweet early Friday from the president himself. Trump wrote that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus (he noticeably did not call it the “China virus”) and declared: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

No matter how you feel about Trump’s performance as president — and we feel pretty strongly that it has been a disaster — this is another crisis for a nation reeling from a year that almost seems apocalyptic: Trump’s impeachment, COVID-19, a popular outcry over racial injustice, the deaths of John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, catastrophic wildfires. And now this: A reckless president whose irresponsibility has endangered not only himself and his family but the stability of the country by throwing the executive branch into chaos. Another crisis, this one fully of Trump’s own making. The president may not be showing COVID-19 symptoms yet. His physician later said Trump was feeling well and would continue his presidential duties. But the fact is that Trump is at particular risk of severe illness and death by virtue of his age: He is 74, and also obese. We hope he doesn’t find out how much worse COVID-19 is than flu, but it’s a real possibility for which we must be prepared. more...

The president has been cavalier throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a month before the election, this changes everything
David Smith in Washington

It is likely to go down as the biggest “October surprise” in the history of US presidential elections. Yet anyone who was paying attention could have seen it coming. Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus after claiming “it will disappear”, telling the journalist Bob Woodward he was downplaying it deliberately, failing to develop a national testing strategy, refusing to wear a face mask for months, floating the idea of injecting patients with bleach, insisting to one of his many crowded campaign rallies that “it affects virtually nobody” and, at Tuesday’s debate, mocking his rival Joe Biden: “He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

It suggested a sense of invincibility even as more than 200,000 Americans died. But now the chickens have come home to roost, just as they did for the similarly cavalier British prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro. Covid-19, described as the “invisible enemy” by Trump, has penetrated the Oval Office. Thirty-two days before an election often described as the most important in living memory, this changes everything. Trump has been doing what he loves most, holding campaign rallies, on a hectic schedule in recent weeks, trying to recreate the perceived magic of 2016. Any more rallies, or flights on Air Force One for that matter, are now unthinkable under quarantine. If Trump loses the election, perhaps he will never hold a rally again. A huge question mark also lingers over the second presidential debate scheduled for 15 October. Perhaps Trump, if he is well enough, could take part virtually. Perhaps, after what happened on Tuesday, no debate would be a mercy for everyone. more...

John Fritze USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning development that came hours after he confirmed one of his longest-serving aides with whom he had recently traveled also received a positive test result. The revelation had implications for the president's health, the administration's response to the pandemic and also the Nov. 3 election, during which Trump has leaned on states to reopen and has claimed that the nation is "turning the corner" on the virus.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19," Trump tweeted early Friday morning. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" Former White House doctor Ronny Jackson told Fox News early Friday morning that Trump was asymptomatic and predicted the president would "weather this storm."  "I will bet you that he does not develop symptoms, that he moves on and this does not become a big deal," Jackson said.

The president has often claimed the U.S. has the pandemic "under control," but his own positive test result – assuming it is accurate – is certain to raise questions about the reopening of schools and businesses when the virus could not be contained within the White House, arguably the most secure facility in the world.  more...

Hicks traveled with the president to and from Tuesday's first debate.
By John Santucci and Katherine Faulders

Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump's closest advisers, has tested positive for the coronavirus, ABC News has confirmed. Hicks, who serves as counselor to the president and is among a tight group of advisers to the president, tested positive this week after traveling with the president on Tuesday to and from the first presidential debate on Air Force One. The president tweeted late Thursday he would go into quarantine, though it's unclear how that will affect his upcoming schedule. The White House declined to comment late Thursday.

"The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results," he wrote. "In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!" Hicks was also on Marine One, the president's helicopter, when it left the White House to fly to Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday. She was seen walking to the helicopter with fellow top presidential advisers, such as Stephen Miller, Dan Scavino and Jared Kushner. None of them were wearing masks.

"The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously," White House spokesperson Judd Deere told ABC News Thursday night. "White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling." Sources told ABC News that Hicks is experiencing symptoms and that she tested positive on Wednesday. more...

Trump's lies, failures and denials during a public health crisis meet the legal standard for second-degree murder

Two hundred and six thousand, six hundred and sixty-five people. That's 206,665 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents. As of this writing, that is the number of American lives lost in six months as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (The number will be larger by the time you read this.) A pandemic first described by the current United States president as a "Democrat hoax" and "like a flu" has now claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans — unnecessarily. We now know, thanks to the extensive interviews of Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, that Donald Trump knew of the danger and lethality of COVID-19 as early as February of this year. Time and time again, the president has publicly downplayed the scope and severity of this pandemic, while acknowledging the harsh reality in private.

Scores of mental health professionals have described President Trump as "unfit for office" in large part because of his personality pathology that plays out in his presidential decision-making and behavior. As seen this week with the New York Times exposé on the president's taxes, Trump repeatedly acts as if he is above the law. But his cruelty has been front and center in several contexts, ranging from separating children at the border and putting them in cages to the daily deaths of Americans to the coronavirus. The mounting deaths due to COVID-19 are the scariest example of this president's core sadism. What was initially attributed to Trump's incompetence, inexperience, lack of intellectual curiosity and overall ignorance and naiveté can now be more clearly identified as something far more sinister: mass murder. more...

Study is first comprehensive examination of Covid misinformation in traditional and online media
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Noah Weiland

Of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods seeding the internet on the coronavirus, one common thread stands out: Donald Trump. That is the conclusion of researchers at Cornell University who analysed 38 million articles about the pandemic in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Mr Trump made up nearly 38 per cent of the overall “misinformation conversation”, making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic” — falsehoods involving the pandemic.

The study, to be released Thursday, is the first comprehensive examination of coronavirus misinformation in traditional and online media. “The biggest surprise was that the president of the United States was the single largest driver of misinformation around Covid,” said Sarah Evanega, the director of the Cornell Alliance for Science and the study’s lead author. “That’s concerning in that there are real-world dire health implications.”

The study identified 11 topics of misinformation, including various conspiracy theories, like one that emerged in January suggesting the pandemic was manufactured by Democrats to coincide with Mr Trump’s impeachment trial, and another that purported to trace the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, to people who ate bat soup. But by far the most prevalent topic of misinformation topic was “miracle cures”, including Mr Trump’s promotion of anti-malarial drugs and disinfectants as potential treatments for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That accounted for more misinformation than the other 10 topics combined, the researchers reported. more...

Bill Chappell

President Trump has consistently told Americans "the complete opposite" of what his health experts have been telling him in private meetings about COVID-19, according to Olivia Troye, who until recently worked on the the White House coronavirus task force. "They brief him. They tell him the facts. They're telling him the truth. They're telling him things that need to be done," Troye said in an interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro. "And it is a very frustrating environment to work in, when you know that the message that is going to be relayed is counter to what you just told him."

Troye, who worked for Vice President Mike Pence for two years as a special adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism issues, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention often faced two challenges: coping with a massive coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., and navigating political interference as the agency sought to protect the American people. CDC Director Robert Redfield has faced "very challenging dynamics" from the White House, Troye said, "at times when you're changing the wording and guidances to fit a narrative, to play down the severity of the virus or cases." more...

Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - A malaria drug taken by U.S. President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19 did not show any benefit versus placebo in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday. The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus. Trump began backing hydroxychloroquine early in the pandemic and told reporters in May he started taking the drug after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Studies have found the drug to offer little benefit as a treatment.

In the study of 125 participants, four who had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for eight weeks contracted COVID-19, and four on placebo tested positive for the virus. All eight were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, according to the results published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. The research shows that routine use of the drug cannot be recommended among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said.

The study authors said it was possible that a trial conducted in a community with higher prevalence of the disease could allow detection of a greater benefit from the drug. In the latest trial, which was terminated before it could reach its enrollment target of 200 participants, mild side effects such as diarrhea were more common in participants taking the malaria drug compared to placebo. More...

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

As America's Covid-19 death toll passes another grim milestone the devastating consequences of President Trump's disregard for human life are still becoming clear, as they did this week when the CDC mysteriously removed guidance from their website indicating that the Coronavirus may transmit through aerosol droplets. #Colbert #CDC #Monologue. Video...

By Reid Wilson

The Trump administration’s bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent efforts to meddle with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are taking a substantial toll on the nation’s foremost public health institution.

In interviews with half a dozen current and former CDC officials, they described a workforce that has seen its expertise questioned, its findings overturned for political purposes and its effectiveness in combating the pandemic undermined by partisan actors in Washington.

“I have never seen morale this low. It’s just, people are beaten down. People are beaten down partially by a public who not only distrusts us but who actually think we want to infringe on their civil liberties,” said one current CDC employee. “The other factor is the active undermining by senior members of our own administration.” More...

*** Bullshit: Trump said they would be doing a good job if they keep the number of deaths below 60,000, now that 200,000 have died he is claiming they did a good job. Bullshit he did not do a good job more than 150,000 American died because of Trump failures to act and Trump is putting more lives at risk daily. ***

Adrianna Rodriguez USA TODAY

The USA reached yet another dark milestone Tuesday: 200,000 coronavirus deaths. As states grapple with opening restaurants, small businesses and schools, cases are peaking in Montana, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Social distancing fatigue and contention over mask wearing threaten to compound COVID-19 cases and deaths as the year goes on.

In March, President Donald Trump said keeping the death toll at 100,000 to 200,000 people would indicate that his administration had “done a very good job.” As the number continued to climb, Trump sought to reshape the significance of the death tally. “If we didn’t do our job, it would be three and a half, two and a half, maybe 3 million people,” Trump said Friday, leaning on extreme projections of what could have happened if nothing were done to fight the pandemic. “We have done a phenomenal job with respect to COVID-19.”

COVID-19 deaths outpaced projections made as recently as May, when experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predicted about 180,000 deaths by October. That model predicts 378,000 deaths by January. The USA reached 100,000 cases in May. More...

*** How many America died and how more will die because of Trump’s interference with the CDC. ***

By Jamie Gumbrecht, Jen Christensen, Elizabeth Cohen and Naomi Thomas, USA TODAY

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday abruptly reverted to its previous guidance about how coronavirus is transmitted, removing language about airborne transmission it had posted just days earlier. A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted," Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman, said in a response emailed to CNN.

The guidance pertained to the way the novel coronavirus is spread. While it's known it can spread through droplets among people standing less than 6 feet apart, research has continued to explore how the virus suspends in aerosolized particles in the air and transmitted to people more than 6 feet away. The CDC transmission guidance acknowledging airborne transmission had been quietly posted on Friday, according to the agency's website. CNN was first to report the change on Sunday. The CDC responded to CNN just before noon on Monday to say it was reverting to the previous guidance. More...

Erin Burnett Out Front

White House coronavirus task force adviser Dr. Scott Atlas defends President Donald Trump's decision on wearing masks during his political rallies. Source: CNN. Video...

Olivia Troye attacks Trump and says he called his own supporters ‘disgusting people’ he no longer had to shake hands with
Martin Pengelly in New York, Mario Koran in Mosinee, Wisconsin and Tom McCarthy

The coronavirus pandemic moved to the centre of the US election again on Friday, as a former senior official on the White House taskforce turned on Donald Trump. Trump was alleged by Olivia Troye, a former Mike Pence adviser, to have called his own supporters “disgusting people” with whom he no longer had to shake hands thanks to the pandemic. Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Joe Biden told voters late on Thursday that they should “listen to the scientists, not to the president” when it comes to hopes for a vaccine.

The death toll from Covid-19 in the US is approaching 200,000. The election is on 3 November, less than 50 days away. Trailing Biden in national and most swing state polls and in polls regarding who the public trusts to handle the pandemic, Trump has claimed a vaccine will be available “within weeks”. That stance contradicts statements from senior health advisers, who the president in turn has publicly doubted. More...

Jemima McEvoy Forbes Staff

Gov. Steve Sisolak, D-Nev., on Wednesday wrote a scathing letter to the White House, criticizing President Trump’s “contradictory and dismissive behavior” in hosting two campaign rallies in the state this weekend which packed together thousands of attendees with little-to-no social distancing measures in clear violation of state and federal directives. “I am respectfully requesting some clarity and explanation from the [White House’s Coronavirus] Task Force for myself and the millions of Nevadans I represent,” wrote the Democratic governor in a letter addressed to Vice President Mike Pence.

Both rallies—one outside at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, the other inside at Xtreme Manufacturing in Henderson—closely packed together thousands of the president’s supporters, the majority of whom were not wearing masks, and directly violated state and federal guidance. Sisolak has limited in-person gatherings both indoors and outdoors to 50 people since May, a recommendation based on the White House’s guidelines for reopening. “You can imagine my confusion and utter disbelief over the contradictory and dismissive behavior demonstrated by the president this past weekend when he held two mass gathering events ... in direct violation of our state’s emergency directives,” said Sisolak in the Wednesday letter. Sisolak also criticized Trump before the event for “taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger.” More...

Nearly 10,000 pages of emails, memos and other private documents offer new details about the agency’s struggles and the pro-Trump figures to whom it turned for advice
By Tony Romm, Jacob Bogage and Lena H. Sun

It would be months before Louis DeJoy took the reins of the nation’s mail system, and the U.S. Postal Service already was mired in crisis. Mail carriers were revolting, fearful they had few protections against the newly emerging coronavirus. The Trump administration was bearing down on its finances, sending USPS officials scrambling over what they saw as a potential illegal takeover of agency operations. And then there was a looming standoff with Amazon, which privately signaled it could take some of its lucrative delivery business elsewhere.

The tensions surfaced at an April 9 meeting, when Amazon executives “stated their concerns” about the Postal Service’s economic plight amid the pandemic and questioned its “viability to them as a continued shipping partner,” according to a once-secret memo circulated within the agency, which described the situation as an “inflection point.” (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) More...

Michael Collins. David Jackson - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention misspoke when he testified that a coronavirus vaccine might not be widely available until next year and that face masks are a more effective way of fighting the disease. “I believe he was confused,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Dr. Robert Redfield told a Senate panel on Wednesday that a limited supply of coronavirus vaccine may be available between November and December, but that it was unlikely to be available to the general public until the summer or fall of next year. His remarks contradicted Trump, who has said a vaccine could be available by the end of the year, perhaps by the Nov. 3 election. Redfield also testified that wearing a face mask might offer more protection against the spread of coronavirus than a vaccine. More...

Kevin Breuninger

President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday that a White House staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. But the unnamed person who contracted the disease did not “affect” the large, in-person gathering with a number of world leaders that took place on the White House south lawn a day earlier, Trump’s spokeswoman assured. Questions had arisen earlier in the day about another Covid-19 infection at the White House, when a journalist there reported hearing about “a couple of positives today.”

At a briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to comment on whether any staff members had tested positive, saying, “I don’t share people’s personal medical information.” But Trump, speaking at a news conference in the White House briefing room Tuesday evening, was more willing to discuss what he had been told. “I heard about it this morning at a very small level,” Trump began. But moments later, he said, “Last night I heard about it for the first time, and it’s a small number of cases.” He then asked McEnany, who was sitting next to the podium, what she could share. More...

By Rebecca Klar

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said on Sunday that he would have responded differently to the coronavirus outbreak if President Trump had not downplayed its threat earlier this year.  Garcetti said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he would have taken action earlier, and saved lives in the process, if Trump had publicly shared what he said privately to journalist Bob Woodward.

“We were the first city to close things down, the first city to offer widespread testing. But we had to go it alone. And we heard that consistently. That's up to the states. That's up to the local governments,” Garcetti said. Garcetti said Trump’s decision to downplay the threat at the same time he was describing the coronavirus as "deadly" to Woodward and the delayed local action cost thousands of lives in his city and possibly 100,000 across the nation.  

“I had firefighters providing tests to people, volunteers who would give their time because we had no leadership at the national level,” Garcetti said. “If we had known and had leadership that ... actually allowed us to do the work and provided us the resources to do so, we would have taken action much earlier, and thousands of lives in my city and, obviously, maybe tens of thousands if not 100,000 lives in America could have been saved.” Trump acknowledged last week that he may have downplayed the threat of the coronavirus to the public. Asked after the Woodward recordings were released if he misled the public or downplayed the coronavirus, Trump told reporters, “If you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so.”  More...

The governor, a Democrat, said the president appears to have "forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic."
NBC News
By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak slammed President Donald Trump on Sunday night for violating state rules by holding a 2020 campaign rally indoors with thousands of people. In a lengthy thread on Twitter, the Democratic governor said that Trump "is knowingly packing thousands into an indoor venue to hold a political rally" and has "forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic." "This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves," Sisolak said. "It's also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we've made and could potentially set us back."

"As usual, he doesn't believe the rules apply to him," Sisolak said of Trump, and accused the president of "reckless and selfish actions." Trump held his first indoor rally in months in Henderson, Nevada, on Sunday night. Aides said that every attendee would have their temperature checked before entering and would be provided with a mask that they were encouraged to wear. They also had access to hand sanitizer. However, like the president's recent rallies, most supporters were not wearing face coverings. More...

By Boris Sanchez, CNN

Minden, Nevada (CNN)Attendees at a Nevada campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Saturday appeared to not be social distancing, and few people have been seen wearing face masks as they wait to go through security ahead of the event. The rally-goers have been waiting in line for several hours to get inside the Minden, Nevada, airport rally site. The rally itself will be held on the tarmac of the general aviation field. Trump supporter Maria Ainsclugh said she is excited to join a sizable crowd to hear the President speak. She said she feels safe and rejects the idea of wearing masks because she doesn't believe the pandemic is as serious as health experts say.

"I see people wearing masks on the street, avoiding getting close to other people -- it's sad. We have to be out and interacting, that's how we become immune. We need to develop immunity," Ainsclugh said. Asked if she was concerned about catching the virus, she said no. "It's been eight months -- I think I'm immune. And if I get it, I go to the hospital a few days. It's not that bad," Ainsclugh said. The campaign earlier offered vague explanations as to how it will adhere to Covid-19 mitigation protocols in Nevada for the rallies the President plans to hold this weekend.

Trump's recent campaign events have violated state mandates put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump's rally in North Carolina on Tuesday violated Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's mandate that outdoor gatherings be limited to 50 people. The President and most of his gathered supporters also did not wear masks, despite a statewide mask mandate in North Carolina. And at rally in Michigan earlier this week, attendees were not wearing face masks, one of the few proven ways to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. More...

Charles Davis and Sarah Al-Arshani

Trump administration officials have sought to water down reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Politico reported Friday night, with one political appointee accusing career scientists of trying to undermine the president's campaign to reopen schools. "CDC to me appears to be writing hit pieces on the administration," Dr. Paul Alexander, a scientific advisor to agency spokesperson Michael Caputo, wrote in an Aug. 8 email to CDC Director Robert Redfield. Alexander, who was appointed this spring by Caputo, a former Trump campaign official, accused scientists of seeking to "hurt the president," according to the email obtained by Politico.

Caputo and his communications staff have worked to delay CDC reports that contradict President Donald Trump's rhetoric. One publication was held back for about a month, according to Politico, for recommending against the use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug touted by the White House as a potential cure for COVID-19. The reports, written by career scientists, are known as the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, and according to Politico, are used to "inform doctors, researchers, and the general public about how Covid-19 is spreading and who is at risk." Jennifer Kates, of the Kaiser Family Foundation's global health work, who has relied on past reports, told Political they are "the go-to place for the public health community to get information that's scientifically vetted." More...

*** Trump's push to send kids to school puts us all at risk. ***
Will Feuer

Twelve kids who likely caught Covid-19 at three child care centers in Utah went on to spread the virus elsewhere and infected some parents and siblings, according to a new study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors of the study note that research had previously shown that kids 10 years and older could spread the virus in schools. The new study is evidence that even younger kids, including an 8-month-old baby, can still spread the virus, despite not getting severely sick from Covid-19, the researchers said.

The study looked at outbreaks that occurred in three child care centers in Salt Lake City, between April and July. Using contact tracing data collected at the time of the outbreaks, the researchers used the data to “retrospectively construct transmission chains” to determine precisely how the virus spread. A total of 83 kids attended the three child care centers included in the study, the researchers said. Among the three outbreaks, the researchers said 12 kids were infected with Covid-19 at the child care centers, though three of them never developed symptoms and nine developed just mild symptoms. The study says those 12 kids came into contact with 46 people not associated with the child care facilities and appear to have infected 12, or more than a quarter, of them. Those infected by the kids include six mothers, one of whom was hospitalized, three siblings and three others, the study says.

“Transmission was observed from two of three children with confirmed, asymptomatic COVID-19,” the researchers wrote, providing more evidence that those who do not have Covid-19 symptoms can still spread the virus. “COVID-19 is less severe in children than it is in adults, but children can still play a role in transmission.” More...

"The president's lies are undeniable and inexcusable,” said Urquiza, who delivered a blistering rebuke of Trump's handling of the pandemic at the DNC.
By Adam Edelman and Marianna Sotomayor

The woman who publicly recounted how her father died of COVID-19 because he trusted President Donald Trump doubled down on her criticism Thursday following the revelation that the president told journalist Bob Woodward he intentionally played down the pandemic even though he knew it was “deadly.” Kristin Urquiza, who blamed Trump during an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention last month for the death of her father from COVID-19 and blasted his overall handling of the pandemic, tore into the president anew Thursday during a phone call with reporters organized by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

“That betrayal of my father and our country is even more clear now. The president's lies are undeniable and inexcusable,” Urquiza said on the call. “If Donald Trump had told the American people in public what he had told Bob Woodward in private, thousands of lives could have been spared, including my dad,” she said. “The sad thing is that it didn't have to be this way. These deaths were needless and preventable.” More than 192,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, and there have been nearly 6.4 million confirmed infections.

Urquiza's comments come one day after news emerged that Trump had acknowledged the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic in a February interview with Woodward and acknowledged downplaying the threat in an interview a month later. “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic," Trump said in a March 19 call with Woodward, according to an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Post's website. The newspaper obtained a copy of the book, "Rage," which is scheduled to be released next week.

In the same interview, Trump acknowledged that the disease was more deadly than he previously thought. "Now it's turning out it's not just old people, Bob. But just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It's not just old, older," Trump said, according to an audio clip, and then added, "young people, too, plenty of young people." Biden and other top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., slammed Trump over his comments, with the Democratic presidential nominee calling it “a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.” More...


President Donald Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and "more deadly than even your strenuous flus," and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage." #CNN #News Video...

By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

President Trump’s head popped up during his top-secret intelligence briefing in the Oval Office on Jan. 28 when the discussion turned to the coronavirus outbreak in China. “This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien told Trump, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. “This is going to be the roughest thing you face.” Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, agreed. He told the president that after reaching contacts in China, it was evident that the world faced a health emergency on par with the flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Ten days later, Trump called Woodward and revealed that he thought the situation was far more dire than what he had been saying publicly. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis. At that time, Trump was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than a seasonal flu, predicting it would soon disappear and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control. It would be several weeks before he would publicly acknowledge that the virus was no ordinary flu and that it could be transmitted through the air. Trump admitted to Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. More...

Washington Post

Over the first three months of the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump regularly downplayed the coronavirus threat with a mix of misleading and false statements. Read more: https://wapo.st/32fQy33. Video

By Jamie Gangel, Jeremy Herb and Elizabeth Stuart, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and "more deadly than even your strenuous flus," and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage." "This is deadly stuff," Trump told Woodward on February 7. In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. "Pretty amazing," Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times "more deadly" than the flu. Trump's admissions are in stark contrast to his frequent public comments at the time insisting that the virus was "going to disappear" and "all work out fine."

The book, using Trump's own words, depicts a President who has betrayed the public trust and the most fundamental responsibilities of his office. In "Rage," Trump says the job of a president is "to keep our country safe." But in early February, Trump told Woodward he knew how deadly the virus was, and in March, admitted he kept that knowledge hidden from the public. "I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward on March 19, even as he had declared a national emergency over the virus days earlier. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic." If instead of playing down what he knew, Trump had acted decisively in early February with a strict shutdown and a consistent message to wear masks, social distance and wash hands, experts believe that thousands of American lives could have been saved. *** Trump does not give a shit about Americans he only cares about winning the election and will put more lives at risk to do so. *** more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump makes his third visit to North Carolina in as many weeks on Tuesday as he pushes a new end-in-sight message on coronavirus. Whether the situation on the ground there helps him is an open question; the state still has a mask requirement in place, and many businesses -- including bars and movie theaters -- remain closed.

Even the Republican chairman of the local county commission says Trump himself should wear a mask during his event, a virtually unimaginable prospect for a President who has been mocking his rival for wearing one and who demanded reporters remove their face coverings when asking him questions on Monday. "The President of the United States sets the example for everybody else. You can hear it: if the President of the United States says I don't have to wear it, I'm not going to wear it. And I can guarantee you that will be done," said David Plyler, the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. More...

An unfinished compendium of Trump’s overwhelming dishonesty during a national emergency
Christian Paz

President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied about the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s preparation for this once-in-a-generation crisis. Here, a collection of the biggest lies he’s told as the nation endures a public-health and economic calamity. This post will be updated as needed.

When: Friday, February 7, and Wednesday, February 19
The claim: The coronavirus would weaken “when we get into April, in the warmer weather—that has a very negative effect on that, and that type of a virus.”
The truth: It’s too early to tell if the virus’s spread will be dampened by warmer conditions. Respiratory viruses can be seasonal, but the World Health Organization says that the new coronavirus “can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.”

When: Thursday, February 27
The claim: The outbreak would be temporary: “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.”
The truth: Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned days later that he was concerned that “as the next week or two or three go by, we’re going to see a lot more community-related cases.”

When: Multiple times
The claim: If the economic shutdown continues, deaths by suicide “definitely would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about” for COVID-19 deaths.
The truth: The White House now estimates that anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19. Other estimates have placed the number at 1.1 million to 1.2 million. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. But the number of people who died by suicide in 2017, for example, was roughly 47,000, nowhere near the COVID-19 estimates. Estimates of the mental-health toll of the Great Recession are mixed. A 2014 study tied more than 10,000 suicides in Europe and North America to the financial crisis. But a larger analysis in 2017 found that while the rate of suicide was increasing in the United States, the increase could not be directly tied to the recession and was attributable to broader socioeconomic conditions predating the downturn. more...

The roots of the nation’s current inability to control the pandemic can be traced to mid-April, when the White House embraced overly rosy projections to proclaim victory and move on.
By Michael D. Shear, Noah Weiland, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger

WASHINGTON — Each morning at 8 as the coronavirus crisis was raging in April, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, convened a small group of aides to steer the administration through what had become a public health, economic and political disaster. Seated around Mr. Meadows’s conference table and on a couch in his office down the hall from the Oval Office, they saw their immediate role as practical problem solvers. Produce more ventilators. Find more personal protective equipment. Provide more testing.

But their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They referred to this as “state authority handoff,” and it was at the heart of what would become at once a catastrophic policy blunder and an attempt to escape blame for a crisis that had engulfed the country — perhaps one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in generations. Over a critical period beginning in mid-April, President Trump and his team convinced themselves that the outbreak was fading, that they had given state governments all the resources they needed to contain its remaining “embers” and that it was time to ease up on the lockdown.

The White House pivot amounts to a tacit admission that the administration’s months-long containment effort has failed.

Just eight weeks from election day, the White House has stopped trying to contain the coronavirus — shifting instead to shielding the nation’s most vulnerable groups and restoring a sense of normalcy. The change is part of a concerted effort by the White House to increase public approval of President Donald Trump’s pandemic response — and bolster his reelection chances — by sharply reducing Covid-19 case counts and the number of deaths and hospitalizations attributed to virus, according to five people familiar with the strategy.

“It has to do with the president wanting to shift the attention away from testing,” said a Republican close to the administration who has advised elements of the response. “The challenge is that they didn’t want to find more cases. They didn’t want the numbers to keep going up.” The White House pivot amounts to a tacit admission that the administration’s months-long containment effort has failed. While countries like South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand have fought to keep their number of infections near zero, the U.S. is still recording more than 40,000 new cases per day. More than 6 million Americans have gotten sick with Covid-19 and more than 185,000 have died.

Publicly, top administration officials argue that the move away from widespread testing and tracing of the virus to focus on the elderly — including nursing home residents — and students heading back to school will ensure that tests reach the people who need them most. That is a crucial consideration as flu season approaches, raising the risk that the country could find itself battling two serious respiratory outbreaks at once. But Trump has frequently argued that the push for widespread testing has inflated the size of the U.S. outbreak — a notion firmly rejected by public health experts, who blame the Trump administration’s lack of a coherent strategy to fight the virus.

The president’s newest medical adviser, Scott Atlas, has amplified Trump’s argument in recent weeks as well. Atlas, a neuroradiologist who lacks a background in public health or infectious disease, has dismissed the need for broad testing in favor of a narrow focus on screening older Americans. more...

Just as Thailand reached 100 days without a new local case, it found one. The New York Times surveyed more than 1,500 colleges and found that over two-thirds had reported at least one case.
New York Times

President Trump’s vaccine chief sees a ‘very, very low chance’ of a vaccine by Election Day. Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser for the White House vaccine program, said on Thursday that it was “extremely unlikely but not impossible” that a vaccine could be available by the end of October. In an interview with National Public Radio, Dr. Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser of the Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine and treatment initiative, called Operation Warp Speed, explained that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to states to prepare for a vaccine as early as late October — a notification Dr. Slaoui said he had learned of through the news media — was “the right thing to do” in case a vaccine was ready by that time. “It would be irresponsible not to be ready if that was the case,” he said.

By Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

Washington (CNN) Facing a persistent polling deficit and a struggling economy, President Donald Trump has cranked up pressure on administration health officials to expedite work both on a coronavirus vaccine and on treatments that might signal to voters there is an end in sight to the life-altering pandemic that has imperiled his reelection prospects. In both his public remarks and through private prodding, Trump has pushed for more good news on the pandemic and has insisted that even developments considered minor by health experts be expanded into major announcements for which he can claim credit. And he's looking to the Food and Drug Administration for the biggest one. Facing one of the most critical moments in its tenure since it was founded over a hundred years ago, officials inside the FDA say the tension is palpable.

A number of sources familiar with the internal workings told CNN the responsibility feels immense and the environment is akin to that of a pressure cooker. In the last week alone, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn was forced to apologize for an overhyped plasma announcement, subsequently removed a newly installed communications aide and found himself on the receiving end of criticism from the West Wing. That's a distant cry from earlier this year, when Hahn -- the man Trump is now pressuring for a solution to the crisis -- wasn't initially included on his coronavirus task force. When Vice President Mike Pence added a second round of officials to the group, Hahn's name still wasn't listed. It wasn't until five weeks after the group was formed that Hahn was named a formal task force member.  Yet if Hahn was once relegated to the periphery, six months later he finds himself squarely at the center of what officials and experts see as a full-on press to deliver a silver bullet that can end the crisis -- and rescue the President's reelection bid. *** Trump is willing to put America lives at risk to win reelection. What kind of person would be willing kill fellow Americans to win an election. ***

CBS This Morning

The CDC sent a letter to governors urging them to be prepared for coronavirus vaccine distribution by November 1. Experts are concerned the approval will be driven by political considerations ahead of the presidential election. Mark Strassmann reports. *** Trump is willing to put American lives at risk before a vaccine is fully tested. ***

Speeding the process could save lives, but some say it might also make it easier for the White House to push regulators to clear an unproven vaccine before Election Day
By Laurie McGinley and Carolyn Y. Johnson

A fierce debate has erupted over whether the Food and Drug Administration should use its emergency authority to clear a coronavirus vaccine before it is formally approved — a move opponents warn could pose safety dangers and inflame anti-vaccination sentiment but others say could save thousands of lives by speeding protection from the virus.

With concerns growing about the politicization of the FDA amid a botched White House rollout of the agency’s emergency authorization of convalescent plasma and sharply criticized comments by FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, some scientists and bioethicists are demanding the agency forgo use of its emergency authority for a vaccine. They worry its very flexibility, which gives FDA officials broad latitude, could make it easier for the White House to pressure the agency into clearing an unproven vaccine before Election Day, Nov. 3.

Trump’s repeated promise to deliver a safe and effective vaccine this year, “or maybe even sooner,” has become central to his reelection campaign and has sparked concerns in the scientific community in particular that the White House could pressure regulators to cut corners.

More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX.

The administration of United States President Donald Trump has said it will not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, because it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization (WHO). The decision to go it alone, first reported by The Washington Post, follows the White House's decision in early July to pull the US out of the WHO. Trump claims the WHO is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China.

Some nations have worked directly to secure vaccine supplies, but others are pooling efforts to ensure success against a disease that has no geographical boundaries. More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX. That cooperative effort, linked with the WHO, would allow nations to take advantage of a portfolio of potential vaccines to ensure their citizens are quickly covered by whichever ones are deemed effective. The WHO says even governments making deals with individual vaccine makers would benefit from joining COVAX because it would provide backup vaccines in case the ones being made through bilateral deals with manufacturers are not successful.

Morgan McFall-Johnsen

The White House may be considering a controversial and deadly path through the coronavirus pandemic: herd immunity before a vaccine is ready. The Washington Post reported on Monday that Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who joined the Trump administration as a top pandemic adviser earlier this month, has urged the president to adopt Sweden's laissez-faire approach. Herd immunity is the point a population reaches when enough people become immune to a virus to stop it from continuing to spread.

The most obvious path to that threshold is through mass vaccination. But five officials recently told the Post that Atlas, who is a healthcare policy fellow at Stanford University's conservative Hoover Institution, encouraged Trump to pursue herd immunity before a shot becomes available, as Sweden has. That would happen by reopening businesses and allowing the virus to spread among the young and healthy, while keeping elderly or vulnerable people at home.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released eight weeks of previously confidential reports obtained from the White House coronavirus task force.

Senior Trump administration officials in June privately warned seven states about dangerous coronavirus outbreaks that put them in the highest risk "red zone" while publicly dismissing concerns about a second wave of Covid-19, according to White House documents House Democrats released on Monday. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released eight weeks of previously confidential reports obtained from the White House coronavirus task force that Democrats said showed the administration acting over the summer to willfully cover up public health risks for political gain.

“Rather than being straight with the American people and creating a national plan to fix the problem, the president and his enablers kept these alarming reports private,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the subcommittee’s chair, said in a statement. “As a result of the president’s failures, more than 58,000 additional Americans have died since the Task Force first started issuing private warnings, and many of the Task Force’s recommendations still have not been implemented.”

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

(CNN) After months of effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, herd immunity has emerged as a controversial topic. White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Scott Atlas responded to a report on Monday that claimed he is a proponent of a "herd immunity" strategy to combat Covid-19. "I've never advocated that strategy," Atlas said at a press conference in Florida. Such an approach -- similar to what was pursued in Sweden -- would mean that many people nationwide would have to get sick with the coronavirus in order to build up a natural immunity across communities. As the virus spreads and sickens people, many could die in the process.

Atlas explicitly denied that he is pushing a herd immunity strategy, but an administration official told CNN all of the policies Atlas has pushed for are in the vein of a herd immunity strategy. Atlas has rejected the need for widespread community testing, arguing that the administration should focus almost exclusively on protecting and testing elderly populations while pushing for the rest of the economy to return to normal, this official said. "Everything he says and does points toward herd immunity," the senior administration official said.

Tom Sykes

One of Donald Trump’s top new medical advisers is urging the White House to embrace a “herd immunity” strategy to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Herd-immunity strategies entail allowing disease to spread through much of the population, thereby building natural immunity to the deadly, highly contagious virus. Basing its reporting on “five people familiar with the discussions,” The Washington Post says the Trump White House has already begun to implement some policies along these lines. The approach’s chief proponent is Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no background in infectious diseases or epidemiology from Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution. Atlas has advocated that the United States adopt the Swedish model, which relies on lifting restrictions so that healthy people can build up immunity to the disease rather than limiting social and business interactions to prevent the virus from spreading. Sweden has had among the highest infection and death rates in the world, leading many to denounce its policies as reckless; others have argued that despite a high initial surge of mortality, annual excess deaths may end the year broadly on par with trends for the country.

Will Feuer, Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the state won’t follow new federal guidance on coronavirus testing and urged others to do the same after CDC quietly revised its recommendations to downplay the importance of testing people without symptoms for Covid-19. “Shame on the people at the CDC,” Cuomo said, calling the change “indefensible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s previously recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even if they did not have symptoms. The previous guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a reason why people without symptoms who were exposed to the virus should be “quickly identified and tested.” Numerous studies have shown that people who don’t have symptoms can still carry and spread the virus — even a few days before symptoms appear or if they never develop symptoms.

The new guidance, published Monday, says people without symptoms who were in close contact with an infected person for at least 15 minutes “do not necessarily need a test.” The guidance still recommends testing for vulnerable people if they’ve come within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed infection for at least 15 minutes.

“We’re not going to follow the CDC guidance. I consider it political propaganda. I would caution private companies against following the CDC guidance. I think it is wholly indefensible on its face. I think it is inherently self-contradictory. It is the exact opposite of what the CDC has been saying,” Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters. “So either the CDC is schizophrenic or they are admitting error in their first position or this is just political dictations.”

While the therapy is considered safe, plasma has not yet been proven effective against the coronavirus.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn issued a mea culpa late Monday, conceding that he had overstated the benefits of convalescent plasma as a treatment of coronavirus at a news conference last weekend with President Donald Trump. Hahn had been the subject of intense criticism following his appearance Sunday alongside the president. “I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified,” the commissioner said in a string of tweets. “What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction.” While the therapy is considered safe, plasma has not yet been proven effective against the coronavirus.

But in announcing the Food and Drug Administration's granting of an emergency use authorization for the treatment on Sunday, the White House billed the decision as a “historic announcement.” The authorization was based on anecdotal data from a 70,000-person program run by the Mayo Clinic. Hahn defended the use of that data to issue the emergency use authorization, arguing that FDA scientists made the decision to approve emergency use of the treatment “a few weeks ago” and that while questions may remain about its efficacy, “the safety profile is well defined.”

Many experts — including a scientist who worked on the Mayo Clinic study — were bewildered about where a key statistic came from.
By Katie Thomas and Sheri Fink

At a news conference on Sunday announcing the emergency approval of blood plasma for hospitalized Covid-19 patients, President Trump and two of his top health officials cited the same statistic: that the treatment had reduced deaths by 35 percent. Mr. Trump called it a “tremendous” number. His health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, a former pharmaceutical executive, said, “I don’t want you to gloss over this number.” And Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said 35 out of 100 Covid-19 patients “would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.”

But scientists were taken aback by the way the administration framed this data, which appeared to have been calculated based on a small subgroup of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in a Mayo Clinic study: those who were under 80 years old, not on ventilators and received plasma known to contain high levels of virus-fighting antibodies within three days of diagnosis. What’s more, many experts — including a scientist who worked on the Mayo Clinic study — were bewildered about where the statistic came from. The number was not mentioned in the official authorization letter issued by the agency, nor was it in a 17-page memo written by F.D.A. scientists. It was not in an analysis conducted by the Mayo Clinic that has been frequently cited by the administration.

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday warned against the notion of early emergency use authorization for a potential coronavirus vaccine, explaining that such a step could damage efforts to develop other vaccines. His comments come as White House officials have raised the possibility of an early emergency authorization before late-stage trials are finished, two sources have told CNN. Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services, has denied that there was any effort to fast-track vaccine development for political purposes. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, told Reuters that "the one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an EUA before you have a signal of efficacy."

"One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial," he said. Several vaccines are being tested in the US and companies are working to ramp up production while testing is going on, so that if a vaccine is proved safe and effective it could be distributed immediately. President Donald Trump has promised that a vaccine would be available by the end of the year, though vaccinologists told CNN that timeline is unrealistic. And though Trump has commented that a vaccine could be ready "a lot sooner" than the end of the year, a senior administration official close to the coronavirus task force said the timeline for a vaccine remains the same and a vaccine is still expected late this year or early next year.

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