Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care. President Trump is returning to in-person events, the stimulus talks are maybe sort-of alive again, and the CDC warns about the spread of the virus among young people. But we’ll start with Dr. Fauci weighing in on the White House.
A stark assessment from Dr. Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’
Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday that there was a “superspreader event” at the White House, amid an outbreak of cases among the president and staff.
“Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci told CBS News Radio.
His remarks came in response to a question about the lack of mask-wearing at the White House, and whether testing alone could stop the virus from spreading.
At least 34 White House staffers and contacts have been infected, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News.
Many of the individuals who have tested positive attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House where Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The event featured a crowd of people sitting close together in the White House Rose Garden, with many not wearing masks, as well as indoor activities.
Read more here.
And now, Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday:
President Trump plans to hold an in-person event at the White House on Saturday, an official confirmed to The Hill, his first public engagement since being diagnosed with the coronavirus last week.
ABC News, which first reported the plans, said that Trump would speak to an audience on the South Lawn from the balcony of the White House at an event being billed to invitees as “remarks to peaceful protesters for law and order.”
It is not clear how many individuals will attend the outdoor event. The setup suggests that Trump will not be close to any of his guests.
More on that here.
Even though the White House has repeatedly refused to disclose when Trump’s last negative test was, his doctor said he should be able to make a “safe return” to public events by Saturday. Read more on that here.
The latest in a dizzying series of turns on the stimulus talks: Trump proposes a $1.8T coronavirus relief package
Inching closer to Democrats’ demands, President Trump and his aides on Friday offered Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package, sources said, as the president urged the negotiators to “go big.”
The new figure was a jump from the White House’s $1.6 trillion offer last week, but there was no indication that Pelosi would come down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.
“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump tweeted on Friday morning, a striking reversal from his position on Tuesday when he said he would walk away from negotiations with Democrats on a comprehensive relief bill to assist businesses and American workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
And in a sign of how much the president has oscillated on the issue, Trump told conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh in an interview later Friday afternoon that he wanted a larger package that either Democrats or Republicans have offered, representing a break with what his own White House is now offering Capitol Hill.
Read more here.
CDC study: ‘Urgent need’ to slow spread of coronavirus among young adults
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released Friday warned that there is an “urgent need” to address the spread of the coronavirus among young adults.
The study found that increases among transmission in younger people are often a precursor to transmission among older, higher-risk people.
The findings “provide evidence that among young adults, those aged 18-24 years demonstrate the earliest increases in percent positivity; and underscore the importance of reducing transmission from younger populations to those at highest risk for severe illness or death,” the study said.
“Addressing transmission among young adults is an urgent public health priority,” it added.
The CDC study’s emphasis on slowing the spread of the virus among young people stands in contrast to the strategy often articulated by President Trump to “protect the vulnerable” while allowing younger, lower-risk people to go on with their lives.
Read more here.
US sees highest number of new coronavirus cases since August
The United States on Thursday reported more than 56,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, making it the country’s highest daily increase since mid-August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The increase brings the total number of U.S. cases to more than 7.6 million, with nearly 213,000 deaths.
According to the data, Wisconsin also reached a record with more than 3,000 coronavirus cases confirmed on Thursday. The state’s department of health reported a seven-day average of 2,381 new cases.
In a tweet Thursday evening following reports of the record increase, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) called on residents to “get back to the basics in fighting this virus,” urging everyone to “please stay home, limit gatherings and travel, and wear a mask whenever you go out so we can flatten the curve and get back on track.”
Read more here.
What we’re reading
Hope Hicks returned to the White House to pull Trump across the finish line. Then coronavirus hit. (Washington Post)
Chris Christie still battles coronavirus as other senior Republicans try to carry on (CNN)
A New Study Confirms Remdesivir’s Effectiveness as a Coronavirus Treatment (Time)
State by state
Governor says surge in Ohio’s coronavirus cases isn’t coming from bars and restaurants (Fox 8)
Minnesota loosens bar rules put in place for the coronavirus (Associated Press)
Wisconsin shatters previous daily coronavirus records, reporting more than 3,000 new cases, more than 900 hospitalized (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)