Trump hospitalized while walking avoids damaging images, official tells NYT

A masked President Donald Trump walked across the White House lawn, gave a thumbs up to onlookers, and boarded a helicopter for Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday evening.

Earlier that day, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had announced they tested positive for the coronavirus.

The president had also developed a fever, cough, congestion, and fatigue by the time he was admitted to the hospital, aides told The New York Times.

Trump will be staying at Walter Reed for “the next few days,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the decision came “out of an abundance of caution.”

But one unnamed administration official told the Times that it was better for Trump to leave while he could still walk to avoid the president being publicly assisted out of the White House if his condition turns severe.

If Trump gets better, the hospital stay will have ultimately been “inconsequential politically,” the Times’ Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman wrote.

Trump Walter Reed.JPG

President Donald Trump disembarks from the Marine One helicopter as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Friday, October 2, 2020.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

“I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” Trump said in a brief video message shared Friday before he was hospitalized.

Hospitalization could point to worsening symptoms

Trump is a 74-yeas-old obese male — all factors that substantially increase his likelihood of severe illness and death from the coronavirus. The early hospitalization could be a sign that his condition has already begun to deteriorate, experts said.

“It might mean he’s now sleepy or confused… or, more likely, short of breath, cough and/or low oxygen level, indicating lung involvement,” Bob Watcher, Chair of the Department of Medicine at University of California San Francisco, tweeted on Friday. “Yes, the threshold to hospitalize the president is probably lower than for average person, but still – it’s not good.”

At this point, Watcher estimated the president’s risk of death to be greater than 10%.

Trump, Dr. Fauci, Birx briefing masks mask

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, left, and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, both wearing face masks listen as President Donald J. Trump participates in a vaccine development event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jabin Botsford/Getty Images

At Walter Reed, Trump has received his first dose of the anti-viral drug remdesivir, White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo Friday night.

Remdesivir, developed by biotechnology giant Gilead Sciences, is given as a five-day or 10-day infusion. Studies have shown that it can help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 recover faster than they do with a placebo.

Before leaving for the hospital, Trump also received an injection of Regeneron’s experimental antibody drug, according to Conley.

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Insects damaging pineapple sage plant leaves

Becky Wern
 |  For the Times-Union

Q: I found the new leaves on my pineapple sage all twisted and discolored. What would do that?

 A: A number of insects with piercing, sucking mouthpieces could do that. In this case it was whiteflies. They are pretty insidious because they reproduce very rapidly, going from egg to adult within a month. Some are so small screens do not keep them out. Their small size makes it unlikely the gardener will ever see them unless they are in large numbers and fly off in a cloud of white when he or she approaches. On the plant, you need a good hand lens to see them. Most are 1.6 mm in size and fairly translucent.

The damage to your plant will be visible. While the insect is on the underside of the leaf, they will be sucking out sap, and leaving the leaves twisted, with pale spots, silvery white chlorotic spots from the insect removing the chlorophyll from the plant. They are actually after the sweet sap, but the chlorophyll comes along with it, robbing the plant of the ability to make food for itself.

As a homeowner, you want to know how to get rid of the whitefly and it is one of the more difficult cases. It rapidly develops a resistance to insecticides, so if we can avoid using them, we are much better off.

For one thing you would have to buy several kinds of broad spectrum pesticides and rotate them. That’s going to be expensive. And it’s going to kill your natural predators. So, let’s try to get rid of them a more practical way.

There are many natural enemies out there attacking them, so that’s helpful. Parasitic wasps will kill them, ladybugs (aka ladybirds) will gobble them up.

If you have kept a healthy ecosystem in your yard, you have plenty of predators in your yard looking for a meal of these troublemakers.

If not, it’s not too late to start. Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides in your yard. Make your yard welcoming for birds and pollinators. Provide cover for birds and flowers for pollinators. Provide host plants for butterflies. Enrich your soil with compost so that you have the micro-organisms that feed your plants and produce more nutritious sap and nectar.

You can spray a plant under attack with a blast of the hose. That will dislodge insects and damage those with soft bodies, often leading to death.

It’s been too hot for soaps or oils. They would just burn your leaves.

Q: I have a plant with a blue flower that is spreading. The flower has three blue petals and I’d even think it was pretty if it wasn’t spreading so fast.

A: Good instinct. This plant is a demon with the innocent name of Spreading Dayflower. It will cover lawns or flower beds and is resistant to some weed killers, notably glyphosate, sold as Roundup. Weeds that spring back from nonspecific weed killers are

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