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Donald Trump’s physician said the president is “doing very well” and his condition is improving while being treated at a U.S. military hospital near Washington for Covid-19.
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien tested positive, as did former White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway. Three Republican senators have tested positive in the past day, and another has decided to quarantine despite testing negative. Vice President Mike Pence is said to have tested negative on Saturday morning.
The president said early Friday that he had tested positive along with his wife and one of his closest aides, throwing his campaign into deeper disarray just one month before the election.
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Trump Doing ‘Very Well’ Under Medical Care, Physician Says (11:42 a.m. NY)
President Donald Trump is “doing very well” on Saturday morning at the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington and is improving , his physician Sean Conley told reporters.
“At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” he said.
Other members of Trump’s medical team, speaking at the same briefing outside the hospital, said the president wasn’t having difficulty breathing or walking, was in good spirits and has been fever-free for more than 24 hours.
More Trump Advisers, Aides Test Negative (11:22 a.m NY)
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trump campaign aide Jason Miller are said to have tested negative, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested negative again this morning, ABC reported.
First Lady’s Symptoms Have Not Worsened (10:47 a.m. NY)
First Lady Melania Trump is “doing well” and her symptoms have not worsened, her office said in a statement. She continues to rest and remains in touch with her husband.
Pence Is Said to Test Negative Again, Plans Event (10:42 a.m. NY)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for Covid-19 again on Saturday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter. He will host a campaign event in Peoria, Arizona next Thursday, according to the Trump Campaign.
Trump’s Son Says He Tested Negative (9:51 a.m. NY)
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest child, said Saturday he tested negative for the virus and would get tested again after a few days as a precaution.
Nebraska’s Sasse on Senate Judiciary Committee to Quarantine (9:03 a.m. NY)
Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Saturday that although he has tested negative for Covid-19, he will quarantine in his home state due to his “close interaction” with other senators who have tested positive, ABC News reported.
Sasse is the third member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to quarantine. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, two other members of the panel, said they have tested positive Friday. Democrats have called for suspension of Supreme Court nomination hearings until safety is assured.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Tests Positive for Covid (8:59 a.m. NY)
Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 and will remain isolated, the third Republican Senator to test positive in the past day, following Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah.
Johnson “feels healthy” and is not experiencing symptoms, according to a statement from his office. He returned to Washington on Tuesday, and “shortly after” was exposed to an individual who has since tested positive.
Trump’s Symptoms Worsened Before Hospital Trip: NYT
The president had Covid-19 symptoms that worsened throughout the day before he went to Walter Reed hospital, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified aides. He was coughing and had congestion and fever, according to the report.
Biden Calls Trump’s Diagnosis A ‘Bracing Reminder’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called Trump’s diagnosis of Covid-19 a “bracing reminder” that Americans need to take the virus seriously, using the news to strengthen his calls for protective measures like masks and social distancing.
“We need to take the science of fighting this disease seriously if we’re going to save lives and above all the news is a reminder that we, as a nation, need to do better in dealing with this pandemic,” Biden said.
Pence, Harris Will Be 12 Feet Apart at Their Debate
Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris will be placed farther apart at their debate next week, according to people familiar with the development.
The Commission on Presidential Debates plans to seat Pence and Harris 12 feet (3.7 meters) apart, rather than 7 feet, as initially planned, according to people familiar with the procedure, who asked not to be named discussing information not yet public.
Obama Sends Well-Wishes to Trump
Former President Barack Obama wished a speedy recovery to Trump while headlining a fund-raiser to defeat him on Nov. 3.
“Let me start, by the way, by just stating that although were in the midst of a big political fight and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the president of the United States and the first lady,” Obama said during a joint fundraiser with Kamala Harris.
Harris also wished Trump well.
Trump Campaign Manager Stepien Tests Positive
Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. Stepien was promoted to run the struggling campaign this summer to help revive Trump’s re-election bid.
Trump Being Treated With Antiviral Drug, Doctor Says
The president’s physician, Sean Conley, said late Friday night that Trump was being treated with the antiviral drug Remdesivir and did not require oxygen.
“This evening, I am happy to report that the president is doing very well,” Conley said in a White House statement. “He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy. He completed his first dose and is resting comfortably.”
Remdesivir has been authorized to fight the virus in a number of countries. It was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration May 1 for emergency use after research showed that the medicine, made by Gilead Sciences Inc., helped hospitalized patients recover from Covid-19 more quickly than standard care alone.
Former Top Trump Aide Conway Tests Positive for Virus
Kellyanne Conway, a former top aide to Trump, said late Friday night that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” Conway, who left the White House in August, said on Twitter.
She did not say how she might have contracted the virus. She attended the ceremony at the White House last Saturday for Trump’s announcement that he would nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Two Republican senators, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, also attended the event.
Conway, the first woman to manage a winning presidential campaign with Trump’s victory in 2016, said that she was leaving the administration to focus on her family. At the same time, her husband, George Conway, said on Twitter that he was departing the Lincoln Project, a group committed to defeating Trump in November.
“We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids,” Kellyanne Conway said in August.
North Carolina’s Tillis Says He Has Tested Positive
Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Friday he had tested positive for Covid-19. Another member of the panel, Mike Lee of Utah, announced he was positive earlier Friday.
Both were among the Republican senators who attended the Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday in which Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The senators sat a row behind senior White House staff and Vice President Mike Pence.
Tillis, unlike Lee and most other attendees, was pictured wearing a mask. On Thursday, he went to the Senate floor to cast a vote.
“Thankfully, I have no symptoms and I feel well,” Tillis, 60, said in a statement. Tillis took part Thursday night in a debate with his Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham., who has been leading in polls and in fundraising in the pivotal battleground state.
The Tillis campaign said it was suspending all in-person events and staffers who were exposed to the senator would quarantine and receive tests. Cunningham said he would take a test as well.
North Korea’s Dictator Joins in Get-Well Wishes
Trump received get-well wishes from world leaders all day on Friday, including one from the Kim Jong Un, the autocratic leader of North Korea.
Kim, who has met with Trump three times, “offered his sympathy to the president and first lady,” the state-run Korean Central News Service reported. “He hoped they would soon overcome it.”
Kim’s own health, one of North Korea’s most closely guarded secrets, has been a subject of international speculation for much of this year and he has spent long periods out of the public eye.
Trump Tweets for First Time Since Announcing Covid-19 Diagnosis
The president tweeted, with a recorded video message, for the first time since he announced his coronavirus infection.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital, I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well, so thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it, thank you.”
President Heads to Walter Reed Hospital
Trump will be taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday for a few days on doctor recommendations, the White House said.
Trump will work from offices at Walter Reed, and remains in good spirits with mild symptoms, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. Trump has been treated with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drugs, the White House physician said earlier.
“As a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail,” the physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement released by the White House.
Pelosi Tests Negative for Virus Friday
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined her fellow stimulus negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in testing negative for the coronavirus on Friday.
The speaker said earlier that she had “great sadness” on hearing of Trump’s infection and was hopeful for “a saner approach” toward addressing the health crisis. Pelosi also said on MSNBC that the president’s illness might change the tenor of the stimulus talks by emphasizing the seriousness of the pandemic.
Trump Donor Blasts ‘Reckless’ Attendance at Fundraiser
A prominent financial backer of the president said his decision to attend a New Jersey fundraiser after he knew that one of his top aides tested positive for Covid-19 was “reckless” and imperils other events in the election’s stretch run.
Dan Eberhart, chief executive officer of Canary Drilling Services LLC, said in a telephone interview that Trump’s campaign should have sent a surrogate once the president was aware that his aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Read more: Trump Donor Says President Was ‘Reckless’ to Attend Fundraiser
— With assistance by John Harney, Joanna Ossinger, Rosalind Mathieson, Stuart Biggs, Anthony Halpin, Laura Litvan, Kathleen Hunter, and Steven T. Dennis
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