White House says ‘not optimistic’ about COVID-19 aid, talks with Congress are off

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday said he was not optimistic that a comprehensive deal could be reached on further COVID-19 financial aid and that the Trump administration backed a more piecemeal approach, even as he said negotiations with Congress were over.



a man wearing a suit and tie: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters about President Trump's health after he was tested positive for COVID19


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White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters about President Trump’s health after he was tested positive for COVID19

“We’re still willing to be engaged, but I’m not optimistic for a comprehensive deal. I am optimistic that there’s about 10 things that we can do on a piecemeal basis,” Meadows told Fox News in an interview.

Meadows did not say what 10 items the administration wanted to tackle, but reiterated President Donald Trump’s position tweeted late Tuesday night that he would back separate legislation addressing airlines, small businesses and stimulus checks for individuals.

Trump called off talks with lawmakers on pandemic aid in a tweet on Tuesday, rattling Wall Street as U.S. stocks sank. He later pulled back saying he would support a few stand-alone bills.

U.S. stock indexes appeared set to open higher on Wednesday, and airline stocks were also higher.

“The stimulus negotiations are off,” Meadows later told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. “Obviously we’re looking at the potential for stand-alone bills. There’s abut 10 things that we agree on and if the Speaker is willing to look at it on a piece-by-piece basis then we’re willing to look at it,” he said referring to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Democratic-led House has already passed full legislation seeking a wide range of aid as the novel coronavirus continues to spread, infecting an estimated 7.5 million Americans and killing more than 210,600 — the highest in the world.

Pelosi on Tuesday said lawmakers would pass more aid, despite Trump’s refusal to negotiate.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Susan Heavey; Editing by Alex Richardson and Chizu Nomiyama)

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Meadows ‘optimistic’ Trump will leave Walter Reed, return to White House Monday after coronavirus treatment

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the administration is “optimistic” President Trump will be able to return to the White House on Monday after spending several days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center being treated for coronavirus, saying Trump’s health improved overnight and the president is ready to get back “to a normal working schedule.”



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“Spoke to the president this morning,” Meadows said in a statement to Fox News. “He continued to improve overnight and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule.” He added that the president “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.”



a man sitting at a table: Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier shares insight on the latest treatment being provided to the president to fight COVID-19, including dexamethasone.


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Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier shares insight on the latest treatment being provided to the president to fight COVID-19, including dexamethasone.

PRESIDENT TRUMP RELEASES UPDATE, SAYS HE’S FEELING ‘MUCH BETTER’ AFTER HOSPITALIZATION

Meadows concluded, “We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today, with his medical professionals making that determination later today.”

His comments came as the president has been trying to project an image of strength during his stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while fighting COVID-19. The president, over the course of the last several days, has faced health scares amid his battle with the novel coronavirus, including two instances in which his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly. Doctors treated the president with a dose of the steroid dexamethasone in response.

Trump administration ‘optimistic’ president could leave Walter Reed, return to WH later Monday, Meadows says

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A normal blood oxygen reading is between 95 and 100. Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician who has served as the president’s personal physician, said Trump had a “high fever” and a blood oxygen level below 94% on Friday and during “another episode” on Saturday.

Nevertheless, members of the president’s medical team said they have been encouraged by his energy and test results, and have signaled that he may be ready to be discharged from Walter Reed on Monday.

The president, on Sunday, took a brief trip outside the hospital to greet supporters who had gathered outside, but was criticized for the brief motorcade visit, with some saying he jeopardized the health of members of the U.S. Secret Service for a brief photo-op.

In response, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE.”

He added, “The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

The president has received doses of Remdesivir so far, an anti-viral drug that has been approved by the FDA to help treat the coronavirus.

“If you look at the therapeutics which I’m taking right now some of them and others that are coming out soon that are looking like, frankly they’re miracles,” Trump said in

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White House Coronavirus Task Force Optimistic About CT

CONNECTICUT — Connecticut’s latest White House Coronavirus Task Force state report was optimistic about Connecticut’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but recommended the state keep a close eye on infections connected to colleges and universities. The report was obtained by The Center for Public Integrity.

“Overall control of the epidemic remains good; Connecticut has seen a decrease in cases last week after 2 weeks of upticks,” the task force report authors wrote.

The state’s positive test rate was 1.6 percent last week, which was a 0.3 percent change drop from the previous week. The U.S. overall has a positive test rate of 4.3 percent.

The reported, dated Sept. 27 came before Connecticut’s Tuesday report which saw an increase in the number of people hospitalized. Gov. Ned Lamont said he believes Tuesday’s coronavirus metrics were a short-term issue.

The task force noted that there are outbreaks reported at colleges, including the University of Connecticut and Sacred Heart University.

“While the numbers of cases are modest, transmission is continuing. Sacred Heart reported 87 cases in the past 7 days, almost 9% of the state total,” the report authors wrote.

The task force was complimentary of Connecticut’s rules and guidelines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“Connecticut has done well with controlling spread in large part due to a well thought-out, gradated set of social distancing measures for communities based on transmission indicators. The careful, gradual relaxation in restrictions conditional on case stability is commended as is the continued restrictions on bars.”

Connecticut is scheduled to have its third reopening phase on Oct. 8. It’ll bring 75 percent capacity for indoor restaurants and greater capacity for commercial indoor and outdoor events for events like weddings.

The task force recommended that Connecticut use its share of the Abbott Labs rapid coronavirus test for congregate settings and to monitor the spread of the virus in K-12 schools. Lamont announced Tuesday that the state plans to do just that.

Read The Center for Public Integrity’s full state report repository here.

See also: Adam Sandler Visits Connecticut Eatery

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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Rockets ‘not optimistic’ NBA will have ruling on Danuel House probe before Game 4

The Rockets were “not optimistic” Thursday that the NBA would reach a final decision on its probe into whether forward Danuel House Jr. violated the health and safety protocols on the league’s Florida campus in time for Game 4, but House has continued to insist he did not break the rules being investigated, a person with knowledge of the situation said.



LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


© Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


The league has information that one of its contracted COVID-19 testing employees entered the Rockets’ Grand Floridian Hotel late night on Monday and has based its investigation of House on “door data” which showed House’s hotel room door opened sometime in those hours.

The woman, however, implicated Rockets center Tyson Chandler and another player and not House, the individual said. Chandler was cleared by the NBA investigation on Wednesday. The information on the other player was deemed not credible.

House has been “adamant” throughout the process that he was not involved in the violation, the person with information about the investigation said. There was no immediate indication beyond the “door data” that implicated House.

House and Chandler missed Game 3 of the Rockets’ series against the Lakers for what the Rockets, under the league’s direction, termed “personal matters.” House is listed as out for Game 4.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the ongoing investigation could jeopardize House’s potential return to the Western Conference semifinals. Yahoo Sports reported that the investigation centers on allowing a female testing official into his hotel room.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, when asked on Wednesday if House could be available on Thursday, said, “We haven’t heard, yet.”

House, who has been the Rockets’ first substitute off the bench since Russell Westbrook returned from his injury in Game 5 of the first round series against the Thunder, had scored 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting in Game 2 and has averaged 11.4 points in the playoffs this season, making 43.5 percent of his shots.

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