Georgia House candidates clash over health care, COVID-19

ATLANTA (AP) — Candidates in two closely contested suburban Atlanta U.S. House districts continued to clash Tuesday over their views on health care, the pandemic response and the size of government.

Those disagreements were aired in two debates sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club. One was between 6th Congressional District incumbent Lucy McBath, a Democrat, and Republican Karen Handel, the woman McBath unseated in a narrow 2018 victory. Slightly less sharp was a debate between candidates in the neighboring 7th District, where Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux is trying to claim an open seat after falling just short of beating Republican incumbent Rob Woodall in 2018. With Woodall stepping down, Republican Rich McCormick is trying to hold the seat for his party.

Both races are among the most competitive in the nation, with Democrats gaining ground in what was once reliably Republican turf. The 6th District, Georgia’s most affluent, stretches across parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. The rapidly diversifying 7th District includes parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.


McBath labeled Handel as a threat to health care access, saying it’s not a “privilege” but a “right as an American.”

“Your record on health care is absolutely dismal,” McBath told Handel. “You have supported bills that would drive up the cost of health care for people that have pre-existing conditions, not only their treatment, their care and prescription drugs.”

Handel said that portrayal was unfair, and said McBath herself could have done more in Congress to protect people from suffering insurance consequences because of earlier disease or infirmity.

Handel attacked McBath, saying it was the Democrats’ fault that Congress hadn’t been able to approve a new bill for COVID-19 relief

“There is nothing preventing Democrats like you and Speaker Pelosi from getting to the table on that COVID relief package. You don’t want to pass it because you want to pack it full of controversial proposals,” Handel said. “You could get it done if you had the will.”

McBath, though, said she was “proud that the House is still trying to work with the Senate” on additional spending.

McBath sidestepped a question from Handel asking whether McBath would favor adding more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. She instead criticized Republicans for pushing through the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

″I’m very concerned about Judge Barrett’s policy agenda, wanting to possibly dismantle the Affordable Care Act that millions of Americans are dependent on, and also her stance on choice,” McBath said, saying she wanted to protect abortion rights.

For her part, Handel said “it’s no secret I’m pro life” and backed Barrett’s confirmation. “A president is elected for four years, not three-and-a-half years or three years and nine months,” Handel said.

The attacks were somewhat less sharp in the 7th District debate, where Bourdeaux continued to argue for expanded health care and blamed Republicans for mismanaging the COVID-19 outbreak, while McCormick again argued that the district needs a low-tax, low-regulation approach.

“Politicians and regulations are not the solution to the

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Overnight Health Care: Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’ | Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday

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 man wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Fauci: 'We had a superspreader event in the White House' | Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday | Trump proposes a $1.8T relief package


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Overnight Health Care: Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’ | Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday | Trump proposes a $1.8T relief package

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

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The White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to withhold critical information about Trump’s health, even after he contracted a deadly virus



a close up of a person: Getty


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  • The White House has consistently lacked transparency when it comes to President Donald Trump’s health, especially since he contracted COVID-19.
  • Multiple officials have refused to say when the last time Trump tested negative for the virus was, raising questions as to what they could be hiding.
  • The White House has also been opaque about a mysterious trip Trump took to Walter Reed last November.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

There has been an extreme lack of transparency from the White House when it comes to President Donald Trump’s health, even after he contracted COVID-19. 

The Trump administration has consistently dodged questions on when Trump’s last negative COVID-19 test was, which is vital information in terms of who the president may have exposed and precisely when he was infected. The White House has said Trump was diagnosed on October 1, but the administration’s refusal to say when the president’s last test was has raised suspicions about what they could be hiding.

“I don’t want to go backwards,” White House physician Sean Conley said on Monday when asked about Trump’s last negative test. Conley was the target of media criticism last weekend after he initially avoided other questions on Trump’s health, including whether the president had received supplemental oxygen. 

Prior to Trump’s diagnosis, the White House routinely announced when the president tested negative for the virus, but now it’s treating the matter as if it’s top secret. White House strategic communications director Alyssa Farah on Thursday said the information was Trump’s “private medical history.”

“The doctors would like to keep it private since it’s his private medical history,” Farah said.

On Thursday night, Trump was asked by Fox News’ Sean Hannity if he’s tested negative for COVID-19 in the time since he was diagnosed. The president did not answer the question, making it unclear whether he’s still COVID-19 positive as he pushes to get back on the campaign trail and hold rallies. 

In an MSNBC interview on Friday, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern would not answer when pressed on when Trump’s last negative test was and contended the information is not valuable to the public.

“The president doesn’t check all of his HIPAA rights at the door just when he becomes president,” Morgenstern said. “The doctors obviously share fulsome information with the president. The president shares a great deal of information with the American public.”

“There is a reason to share certain information. It is to prevent further transmission of the virus, it’s public health purposes, and that’s what we’re doing,” Morgenstern added. 

As Insider previously reported, the last time Trump said he tested negative for COVID-19 was in May.

Insider’s Jake Lahut and Oma Seddiq asked the White House repeatedly on Thursday how often the president is tested, when his last test was, and if it had disclosed any tests taken since May 21.

“The president is tested regularly,” a White House

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2020 Election Live Updates: Despite Concerns of Health Experts, Trump Plans Rallies at White House and in Florida

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

President Trump is planning to host hundreds of people on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the plans said on Friday, and his campaign announced that he would hold a rally in Florida on Monday.

The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd, which was expected to include people attending an event elsewhere in Washington staged by a Trump supporter, Candace Owens, one of the people familiar with the plans said. The event, which was first reported by ABC News, continues Mr. Trump’s pattern of using the White House for political events, as he did with his speech to the Republican National Convention.

Some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern about what the president might say in his remarks at the Saturday event, and feared the entire event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier about a virus that has killed over 210,000 Americans.

The event will come just two weeks after a Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that White House officials are looking at as the possible source of an outbreak of the coronavirus that has infected Mr. Trump, the first lady and at least two dozen other people.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, told CBS News Radio Friday that there had been “a superspreader event in the White House,” noting that people had crowded together there without wearing masks.

One person familiar with the planning for the White House event said that all attendees would be required to bring and wear a mask, and that they would have to submit to a temperature check and a fill out a questionnaire.

And Mr. Trump is planning to hit the campaign trail again, even as outside medical experts caution that doing so could pose risks to himself and others: The campaign announced that he would deliver remarks at a “Make America Great Again” event at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Attendees at the Florida event will be asked to sign a disclaimer stating that “you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.”

In a meeting after the Republican National Convention, where the president staged his acceptance speech on the South Lawn in front of supporters — many of whom had not been tested — the president joked about the agitation he had caused among his critics about how he may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job,

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White House to host ‘Fall Garden Tours’ this year, despite issues with health and safety

The White House is set to host “Fall Garden Tours” for lawmakers and the public this season to show off the newly renovated Rose Garden. 

The tours will be hosted Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, even after more than 20 staffers, journalists, allies of the administration and GOP lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus following contact with the White House. 

The tours are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Visitors will be able to tour the South Lawn, First Ladies Garden, White House Kitchen Garden and Rose Garden.

Guest capacity is limited, and visitors are required to wear a face mask. Tickets will be offered to all congressional offices. 

President Trump and first lady Melania tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but White House physician Dr. Sean Conley announced the president will be able to return to public engagements this weekend. 

MCCONNELL HASN’T BEEN TO WHITE HOUSE SINCE EARLY AUGUST BECAUSE OF LAX COVID RULES 

“Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time,” he said. 

Other White House staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 at this point include senior adviser Hope Hicks and director of Oval Office operations Nick Luna. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien also tested positive.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced they tested positive this week, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped Trump prep for the presidential debate, remains hospitalized from the virus. 

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Trump itching to get back to campaign trail, but he and White House evasive on health questions

Trump said he would be tested Friday.

During a friendly Thursday night interview with a political ally, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, Trump ignored questions about whether he had been tested recently or had tested negative for COVID-19.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump gestures on the South Portico after returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington.

President Donald Trump gestures on the South Portico after returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington.

President Donald Trump gestures on the South Portico after returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington.

“Well, what we’re doing is, probably the test will be tomorrow, the actual test, because there’s no reason to test all the time,” Trump said, referring to Friday. “But they found very little infection or virus, if any. I don’t know if they found any, I didn’t go into it greatly with the doctors.”

The president said during the same interview that he hoped to get back out on the campaign trail as soon as Saturday and Sunday — he floated Florida and Pennsylvania as possibly locales for rallies.

But on Friday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany indicated that Trump might not actually travel as soon as Saturday.

“Logistically whether tomorrow is possible, it would be tough, it would be a decision for the campaign,” she said during an interview with Fox News.

The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memorandum released by the White House late Thursday that he anticipated Trump could make a “safe return to public engagements” as soon as Saturday, which he said would mark “day 10” since Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

He did not say how the White House would determine the president was no longer contagious, and when McEnany was asked, she deferred to Trump’s doctors.

On Thursday night, Trump paused his interview with Hannity twice to clear his throat, apparently coughing, a potential symptom of the coronavirus.

On Friday afternoon, he dismissed any concerns. “There’s always that lingering thing for a couple of days,” Trump told another ally, Rush Limbaugh, during a radio interview billed as a “radio rally.” “It’s called the lingering thing.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township, Penn., Sept. 22, 2020.

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township,

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‘Soil Your Undies’: Keepers of Mono Pollinator Garden bury underwear to learn more about soil health

Volunteers at Mono’s pollinator garden gave new meaning to the term “soiling your undies” this year.

Of course, they didn’t do so in the traditional sense.

Earlier this year, the volunteers at Mono Pollinator Garden decided to celebrate the opening of their gardening season with a “Soil Your Undies” test that has become quite popular in North America.

“It was kind of funny, but it was also educational,” said Jutta Holdenreid, head of the garden maintenance group. “We had done it in the past and just wanted to repeat it.”

The test, with its tongue-in-cheek name, is built on sound biological and scientific principles and involves “planting” cotton underwear in various parts of the garden. The biological breakdown caused by microbes in the soil is expected to cause some degeneration to the cotton fabric.

Those soil microbe levels determine how much the underwear would break down and disappear, which helps to demonstrate soil health.

“We wanted to learn a bit more about how we could enrich the soil that’s there,” said Trish Keachie, a volunteer member of the maintenance group.

“This was an experiment that could give us a clearer idea of where we needed to put more effort into providing nutrients for the soil.”

When the planting and maintenance season began, the underwear were planted in four different areas of the garden in order to gauge different levels of organic material and fertility.

In mid-July, volunteers dug up the undies and evaluated their appearance.

“The (tests) showed the condition of the soil in different areas, and whether it was good soil or bad soil,” said Holdenreid. “We now know where things need to be improved.”

Microbe activity was recorded in three of the test areas, with only one area failing the test.

This means that there is a very low level of organic material and poor soil health. The volunteers noted that there was a correlation between the low test score and poor plant growth in that area.

“In that area, we’ll compost more heavily and then try this test again in another year or so to see whether it’s made any difference,” said Keachie.

The garden is already planted, but this knowledge will help the team to be able to know why certain areas aren’t thriving and how to improve growth.

Although volunteers don’t think this experiment will alter mainstream agricultural soil testing, they found it was a fun way to evaluate their own soil.

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“In part, we’re just trying to draw attention to the garden by doing something fun and interesting that might let people know the garden is here and cause them to come and take a look,” said Keachie.

Mono Pollinator Garden is located on Hockley Road, one kilometre east of Highway 10, and is open to visitors.

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D.C.-area health departments fault contact-tracing efforts amid White House coronavirus outbreak

ASSOCIATED PRESS



a group of people in a park: President Donald Trump, center, stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as they arrive for a Sept. 26 ceremony to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington.


© Associated Press
President Donald Trump, center, stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as they arrive for a Sept. 26 ceremony to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary step, the Washington, D.C., Department of Health has released an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended a Sept. 26 event in the Rose Garden to seek medical advice and take a COVID-19 test.

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The letter indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact-tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected President Donald Trump, multiple senior staff members and two U.S. senators, among others.

News Pulse: White House is not tracing contacts of guests and staff at Rose Garden event 10 days ago: New York Times

Coronavirus update: Expert calls for ‘radical transparency’ on Trump’s coronavirus treatment and progress as more in president’s circle test positive

Co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a belief that contact tracing on the outbreak has been insufficient.

It says the public appeal is based on, “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals.”

It asks all White House employees, anyone who attended the Sept. 26 event and anyone who may have been in contact with those people to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”

The letter represents a rising level of concern and a clear shift in strategy by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which had previously remained publicly hands-off and said it trusted the White House’s robust medical operation to handle its own contact tracing and follow-up.

Bowser said earlier this week that repeated attempts to contact the White House over the outbreak had received a “very cursory” response but that she believed the necessary steps were being taken.

“There are established public health protocols at the White House that are federal in nature,” Bowser said on Monday. “We assume that those protocols have been engaged.”

A Health Department spokeswoman did not respond to questions on whether the letter had been directly sent to any White House employees or people who attended the Sept. 26 event, or if the D.C. government had been provided with a list of attendees.

The move highlights the public health dilemma faced by Bowser’s government regarding the current outbreak. The Trump White House has operated for months in open violation of several D.C. virus regulations, hosting multiple gatherings that exceeded the local 50-person limit and in which many participants didn’t wear masks.

It shines a further spotlight on the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony to introduce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Multiple attendees, including Trump and University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins,

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Trump said no COVID-19 negative test, continues to obfuscate on health

  • President Donald Trump on Thursday dodged questions from Fox News about whether he has yet tested negative for COVID-19.
  • The obfuscation came despite Trump claiming he is now recovered from the illness, after testing positive last week.
  • He said he would “probably” be tested on Friday arguing that “there’s no reason to test all the time.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump implied that he has yet to test negative for COVID-19 since his diagnosis, despite boasting that he has recovered.

Speaking with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity on Thursday night, Trump dodged questions over whether he had been tested since he announced his positive test the week before, leading to a three-night stay in the hospital.

Hannity asked if Trump had tested positive since last week. Trump responded that he would likely be tested on Friday, and claimed that there’s no reason to be regularly tested.

He said “Well what we’re doing is probably the test will be tomorrow. The actual test, because there’s no reason to test all the time.”

trump walter reed

A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.


ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images



He also avoided earlier questions on testing from Hannity:

When Hannity asked if he had been tested recently, Trump responded: “Yeah, I just saw the doctors today. They got me in great shape. I’m in great shape”

And when Hannity asked if he had tested negative, Trump did not answer and instead pointed to an experimental cocktail of antibodies he had been given. “I’ll tell you I took this Regeneron and it’s phenomenal,” he said.

White House Physician Sean Conley said in a memo on Thursday that he thinks Saturday is when Trump can make a “safe return to public engagements.”

Trump told Hannity that he hopes to do a rally in Florida on Saturday night, and one in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Saturday will be 10 days after Trump was first diagnosed.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that COVID-19 patients wait 10 days after their symptoms first appear before being around others (as long as they have not had a fever in the preceding 24 hours.)

The White House has not disclosed details about Trump’s symptoms or when any first emerged.

Officials have instead obfuscated details of the president’s health.

The White House won’t say when Trump last tested negative before his positive diagnosis.

That means it is unclear who is at risk among the people that Trump saw in the busy week before he tested positive, or when Trump is likely to stop being infectious.

Donald Trump coronavirus

Trump on his way to Walter Reed Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19 on October 2, 2020.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images


As Business Insider’s Jake Lahut and Oma Seddiq reported, the last time Trump or anyone at the White House said on the record that the president tested negative

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Coronavirus live news: record global case rise; Washington health officials ask Rose Garden guests to get tested | World news













Trump doctor says he anticipates president’s ‘return to public engagements’ on Saturday

Updated





Washington warns those at White House super-spreader event

In an extraordinary step, the Washington, DC, Department of Health has released an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended a September 26 event in the Rose Garden and inside the building to mark the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court to seek medical advice and take a Covid-19 test.

The letter indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected Donald Trump, multiple senior staff members and two US senators, among others, The Associated Press writes.

Co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a belief that contact tracing on the outbreak has been insufficient.

It says the public appeal is based on, “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to Covid positive individuals.”

It asks all White House employees, anyone who attended the Sept. 26 event and anyone who may have been in contact with those people to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”

The letter represents a rising level of concern and a clear shift in strategy by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which had previously remained publicly hands-off and said it trusted the White House’s robust medical operation to handle its own contact tracing and follow-up.





Summary

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