Strawberry fest’s haunted house to be scary but safe, official says

Like most things in 2020, the Pasadena Strawberry Festival’s haunted house this year will feature some changes.

“It’s going to be a little different from last year because of COVID,” Murline Staley, the Strawberry Festival’s executive director, said of the fest’s third annual spookfest, A Berry Haunted House, which will be at the festival’s central building, 7902 W. Fairmont Parkway.

“We’re definitely taking a COVID action plan and being safe,” she said. “We’re guaranteed to scare the bejeevers out of you, but we’re also going to have fun. We’re going to have the same square footage, but instead of 13 rooms, this year, we’re going to open it up to seven rooms.”


That’s not counting the entrance area where creatures with eight legs could be greeting you. The spooks at A Berry Haunted House haven’t paid their insect extermination bill in recent months; so be forewarned — arachnids will likely be bountiful.

The event will change in one other way. Last year, the event ran Oct. 25-31. This year, the event will be only on Fridays and Saturdays starting Oct. 16 and ending Halloween.

“Tickets for the haunted house, which will be from 7-11 p.m each night it is scheduled, will be offered for sale by calling the festival at 281-991-9500 or by dropping by the festival offices on Fairmont Parkway once the event opens.

Admission is $5.

“We encourage people to call ahead, therefore the tickets will be ready for them and there won’t be long lines,” Staley said.

One thing visitors won’t have to be scared about is the amount of COVID-related safety measures, she said.

The haunted house will be sanitized each night before opening, hand-sanitizing stations will be located throughout the building and all the curtains that usually separate the scenes will be peeled back to prevent unnecessary touching.

“We’re going to have less actors so each room will have two to three actors. Our volunteers will go through a temperature check and our guests will go through a temperature check,” Staley said.

As for the customers who are ready to brave the spirits, they will be asked to enter only with those in their party and if they prefer, they can be texted while waiting in the car for their turn in line. Face masks and social distancing will be required.

But this is one location where no one should mind wearing a face covering. After all, who wants to be seen screaming in terror when Pennywise the clown shows up at some unexpected moment?

“We’re not going to bunch you up with people they don’t know,” Staley said. “Last year, we had groups of six to eight come through the house. We’re not going to do that now. We’re going to keep it going and flowing.”

All proceeds will go to scholarships for graduating seniors at local high schools.

“Last year, we hit $20,000. I would love to see us duplicate that,” Staley said. “ But we don’t know what to expect because of

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Top White House security official Crede Bailey hospitalized with COVID-19

WASHINGTON – The head of the White House security office is gravely ill with COVID-19 and has been hospitalized since September, a White House official has confirmed.

Pres. Trump says catching COVID-19 ‘a blessing from God,’ touting experimental drugs

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Crede Bailey leads the office in charge of credentialing people for access to the White House and works closely with the Secret Service, according to Bloomberg, which was the first to report his illness Wednesday.

According to Bloomberg, Bailey got sick before the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event, where Trump announced his pick of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Several people who attended that event, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Trump returned to the White House Monday after spending three days in the hospital to receive treatments for COVID-19.



a man wearing a suit and tie: How President Trump's COVID-19 treatment compares to what an average Americans can receive


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How President Trump’s COVID-19 treatment compares to what an average Americans can receive

Shortly after Trump was released from the hospital, he released a video message touting the care he received and downplaying the severity of the virus.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it,” Trump said in a video posted to his Twitter account Monday night, echoing a message he embraced earlier in the day that drew fire from critics who noted presidents receive the best care possible.

A growing list of White House officials have also tested positive for the virus, including senior White House aide Stephen Miller and Hope Hicks and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

White House coronavirus outbreak: Thousands may have been exposed from Atlanta to Minnesota

In addition, most of the nation’s top military leaders have been quarantining after coming in contact with a senior officer with COVID-19, according to the Pentagon.

The military’s top two officers, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. John Hyten, along with service chiefs from the Army, Navy and Air Force, are in quarantine after meeting last week with the officer, Adm. Charles Ray, the No. 2 officer at the Coast Guard.

A second officer, Marine Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, has also tested positive. Thomas is experiencing mild symptoms, but otherwise is feeling well, according to a statement Wednesday from the Marine Corps.

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Top White House security official Crede Bailey hospitalized with COVID-19

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White House Security Official Contracted Covid-19 in September

(Bloomberg) — A top White House security official, Crede Bailey, is gravely ill with Covid-19 and has been hospitalized since September, according to four people familiar with his condition.



The White House stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump stunned campaign advisers and allies in Congress by single-handedly torpedoing any chance of a fresh coronavirus stimulus, saddling himself with the blame for any more layoffs and market losses in the final weeks before the election.


© Bloomberg
The White House stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump stunned campaign advisers and allies in Congress by single-handedly torpedoing any chance of a fresh coronavirus stimulus, saddling himself with the blame for any more layoffs and market losses in the final weeks before the election.

The White House has not publicly disclosed Bailey’s illness. He became sick before the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event President Donald Trump held to announce his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that has been connected to more than a dozen cases of the disease.

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A White House spokesman declined to comment on Bailey. He is in charge of the White House security office, which handles credentialing for access to the White House and works closely with the U.S. Secret Service on security measures throughout the compound.

A career federal employee who has seldom appeared in the news, Bailey was swept up in a controversy last year over security clearances granted to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Bailey privately testified to the House Oversight Committee that he didn’t face pressure from others at the White House to grant clearances, according to a report by The Hill.

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White House security official reported to be gravely ill with COVID-19

A White House security official is reportedly “gravely ill” after contracting COVID-19 in September, Bloomberg reports.

The publication identified the official as Crede Bailey, who heads the White House’s security office. He has reportedly been receiving hospital care since September.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

According to Bloomberg, which cited four sources familiar with official’s condition, Bailey grew sick before the Rose Garden event held on Sept. 26, in which President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Since that event, more than 10 attendees — including the president, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpDemocratic Rep. Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19 Biden: ‘We shouldn’t have’ second debate if Trump still has COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash MORE and adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayOvernight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash CDC director says it’s safe for Pence to take part in debate Fourth White House press aide tests positive for COVID-19 MORE — have tested positive for the disease. However, the White House is not contact tracing attendees of the event, according to a report from The New York Times, which cited an unnamed White House official for its coverage earlier this week.

The Trump administration has been coming under increased scrutiny in recent days for its protocols to counter the spread of the coronavirus as the number cases of White House staff contracting the illness continue to climb.

White House senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerStephen Miller tests positive for COVID-19 Pence ordered the closure of US borders against CDC’s wishes: report Trump aide Hope Hicks tests positive for COVID-19 MORE became one of the president’s latest aides to test positive for COVID-19 this week. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has also contracted the illness, in addition to several others in the White House press department. 

White House adviser Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksOvernight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash Stephen Miller tests positive for COVID-19 Military officers quarantined as top Coast Guard official tests positive for COVID-19 MORE was also confirmed to have positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, shortly before it was discovered the president and the first lady had also been diagnosed with the disease.

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Melania Trump has no plans to leave White House while sick, official says, contrasting with the President

First lady Melania Trump has no plans to leave the White House while she convalesces at the Executive Residence after contracting Covid-19, an official confirmed to CNN on Monday.



Melania Trump, Donald Trump are posing for a picture


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The decision marks a stark contrast with her husband, President Donald Trump, who also tested positive for coronavirus. On Sunday, the President left Walter Reed Medical Center for a motorcade drive-by past a few dozen supporters outside the hospital, potentially risking exposure to his Secret Service agents.

“Melania is aware of the dangers of Covid-19,” the official told CNN. “Potentially exposing others is not a risk she would take.”

NBC News first reported the first lady’s decision not to leave the White House.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the first lady tweeted she and the President had tested positive for coronavirus, adding she had mild symptoms.

On Monday, she tweeted she is “feeling good & will continue to rest at home.” She also thanked medical staff and caretakers, and said she was praying for those affected by Covid-19.

“My family is grateful for all of the prayers & support! I am feeling good & will continue to rest at home. Thank you to medical staff & caretakers everywhere, & my continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus.”

The first lady made the decision to cut back on travel and public events six months ago because she was aware of the extensive apparatus of people involved in her movement, and did not wish to chance their health, nor her own, the White House official told CNN. Last month, the first lady traveled to New Hampshire to visit a hospital program focused on treating babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

It was her first official solo trip since the pandemic began. In recent weeks, however, the first lady had begun to increase her profile.

During July visits to a Washington, DC, fire station to thank first responders and to a women’s shelter, she wore a mask and stayed socially distant. During September events at the White House, including the announcement of Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Trump did not wear a face mask.

At the first presidential debate, the first lady was the only member of the Trump family to keep her face covering on for the duration of the debate, removing it, however, at the end of the program to go onstage and join her husband. She also did not wear a mask at a White House ceremony for Gold Star families on September 25, according to pictures she posted on her social media accounts, which show the first lady and the President with guests in the East Room and posing with them for photos.

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Trump feels very well, will remain hospitalized: White House official

FILE PHOTO: National Security adviser Robert O’Brien speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, September 4, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump feels very well and wants to get back to work at the White House but will remain hospitalized, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Sunday.

“I spoke with the Chief of Staff (Mark Meadows) this morning and the good news is the president feels very well and he actually wants to get back home to the White House and get back to work, but I think he’s going to stay at Walter Reed for at least another period of time,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

O’Brien, who himself had coronavirus over the summer, said the seventh and eighth days “are the critical days so I think the doctors want to make sure that they’re there for the president.”

O’Brien said Trump will receive a national security briefing remotely later on Sunday from himself, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley.

Asked if there had been discussions on transfer of power should Trump become incapacitated, O’Brien said, “No, that’s not something that’s on the table at this point.” He said he would not address hypotheticals but, “We have plans for everything.”

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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White House official says Conley misrepresented timeline of Trump’s diagnosis

After Dr. Sean Conley created significant confusion on the timeline of President Donald Trump’s diagnosis, telling reporters Trump was “72 hours into the diagnosis now,” a White House official said Conley meant that Trump was on Day 3 of the illness.

The official said the diagnosis was made Thursday night, making Saturday the third day into his diagnosis.

The White House official also said Conley misspoke when he said Trump had been administered a Covid-19 treatment from Regeneron 48 hours ago. It was given to Trump later Thursday night, according to the official.

The timeline of Trump’s diagnosis is important.

Trump notified the public that he had tested positive just before 1 a.m. Eastern on Friday. He held campaign events on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

The questions Trump’s doctor evaded at the Walter Reed briefing

Dr. Sean Conley, President Donald Trump’s White House physician, dodged several key questions Saturday as he briefed a small group of reporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the president is being treated.

  • Has he been on any supplemental oxygen? Conley was pressed several times to answer this question. He repeatedly said Trump was not receiving oxygen Saturday morning and eventually said, “Thursday, no oxygen, none at this moment, and yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen.” Conley, however, would not say whether Trump previously received oxygen at the White House.
  • When was the president’s last negative test? Conley said he’s “not going to get into testing going back.”
  • Has the president had any lung damage? “We’re following all of that. We do daily ultrasounds. We do daily lab work. The team is tracking all of that,” said Conley, who, when pressed again to answer the question, said he wouldn’t get into their findings.
  • How was the president infected and when did it happen? Conley declined to answer these questions.
  • What was Trump’s fever when he had it? Conley said the president has been fever-free over the last 24 hours. He said Trump had a fever Thursday into Friday but he would “rather not give any specific numbers” when asked for Trump’s actual temperature when he had the fever.

McConnell announces the Senate will not return until Oct. 19, Barrett confirmation hearings to go on as planned

After news that three GOP senators tested positive for Covid-19, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a statement Saturday that the Senate will not come back into session until Oct. 19. 

“On Monday, I intend to obtain a consent agreement for the Senate to meet in pro forma sessions for the next two weeks. Previously-scheduled floor activity will be rescheduled until after October 19th,” McConnell said. 

The Senate had originally been scheduled to return to Washington next week.

The confirmation hearing process for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett will go on as planned,

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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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Masks not required in White House, even after Trump COVID-19 diagnosis: official

  • A senior official told the Associated Press that the White House will not require face masks, even after President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • The official said that wearing a mask or face-covering is a “personal choice.”
  • Top public health experts have repeatedly urged Americans to wear masks, touting them as the most powerful tool against the virus. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A senior Trump administration official on Friday said masks will not be required in the White House, even after President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, the Associated Press reported.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told AP that face coverings are “a personal choice.”

The White House did not offer a comment when contacted by Insider. 

There’s a wide body of evidence that masks play a crucial role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and top public health experts have been urging Americans to wear them for months. 

“We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told senators in mid-September. “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine.” 

“Anybody who has been listening to me over the last several months knows that a conversation does not go by where I do not strongly recommend that people wear masks,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious disease, said in a recent interview on ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast.

On top of repeatedly downplaying the threat of COVID-19, which has killed over 207,000 Americans, Trump has repeatedly flouted recommendations to wear a mask or face-covering. “I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask, everything disappears,” Trump said in a July interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

During the first presidential debate on Tuesday, the president mocked former Vice President Joe Biden over his mask-wearing habits. 

 

 “When needed, I wear masks. I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said of the former vice president. “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.”

Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, as the news of Trump’s diagnosis rattled global markets and added a new level of chaos to an already tumultuous election cycle.

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U.S. Targets Only One Percent of Chinese Students Over Security: White House Official | World News

By David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is targeting only about one percent of the 400,000 Chinese students in the United States over China’s bid to gather U.S. technology and other information, a top White House said official said on Wednesday.

Matt Pottinger, the deputy White House national security adviser who has been a leading figure in the development of President Donald Trump’s China policy, said the vast majority of Chinese students were welcome.

“It’s a surgical approach,” Pottinger said in a online event hosted by the Ronald Reagan Institute, referring to the administration’s policy of denying student visas to Chinese nationals it considers a security risk.

“President Trump has taken action to target roughly one percent of that massive number, to target military-affiliated Chinese researchers who are in some cases here under false pretenses or even false identities,” he said.

Other cases involve individuals who have come to the United States to gain access to “technologies that would be useful to Chinese military advancement or to the repression of their own people,” he added.

Pottinger said the overwhelming majority of Chinese students were “people that we’re glad to have here, and many will stay here and start great businesses.”

The U.S. action against Chinese students has come at a time when China-U.S. relations have sunk to the lowest point in decades in the run-up to Trump’s Nov. 3 re-election bid. The world’s two biggest economies have clashed over issues ranging from trade and human rights to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.

The U.S. State Department said this month the United States had revoked visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers deemed security risks. China called this a violation of human rights.

Washington said the action followed a May 29 proclamation by Trump in response to China’s curbs on democracy in Hong Kong.

The large number of Chinese students studying in the United States bring significant revenue to U.S. universities, although the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted returns to campus this fall.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Michael Perry)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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