White House prepares for Trump to return to Oval Office after coronavirus diagnosis

Washington — In the wake of President Trump’s discharge from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center early this week, the White House is making preparations for the president to return to work in the Oval Office as early as Wednesday, just days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Wednesday that Mr. Trump had wanted to be in the Oval Office on Tuesday, and safety preparations are underway in the event he moves from the residence to the West Wing.

“He continues to work,” Meadows said. “We’ve got a number of safety protocols with full PPE, masks, goggles and the like for any direct interaction with the president in those areas.”

Meadow added that ventilation is also being addressed for when the president returns to the West Wing. The president is expected to return to the Oval Office as soon as Wednesday, senior administration officials said, and so-called “isolation carts” with personal protective equipment are being set up with gowns, masks, and goggles. Staff are expected to wear them if they are going to come within six feet of the president.

Officials also said the president recorded a video inside the White House on Tuesday that has yet to be released, but could come out later in the day.

The White House had been exploring the use of the Diplomatic Reception Room and Map Room for Mr. Trump to work and make television appearances, a senior administration official told CBS News on Tuesday. Both rooms are on the ground floor of the residence and close to the White House Medical Unit.

Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 late Thursday after one of the president’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, contracted the virus last week. Since then, more than a dozen people close to the president, including a number of White House aides and three GOP senators, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Among those who have been diagnosed COVID-19 and were in close contact with Mr. Trump are press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, senior adviser Stephen Miller, personal aide Nick Luna and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.

The president was admitted to Walter Reed in Maryland on Friday after he experienced a high fever and a drop in his oxygen saturation level. He received supplemental oxygen for roughly an hour before being transferred to Walter Reed, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said Saturday. 

In the course of his treatment, Mr. Trump was given a dose of dexamethasone, a steroid, and received remdesivir, the fifth and final dose of which he received Tuesday. The president was discharged from Walter Reed on Monday evening.

“The president continues to work, he’s in very good health,” Meadows said. “We’re pleased with his progress.”

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states a person with mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms may be infectious for up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms. A small fraction of patients with severe

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Stocks jump as Trump prepares to return to White House

Stock markets on Monday closed up, adding to earlier gains after President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE announced that he would be discharged from Walter Reed hospital later in the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 466 points, or 1.7 percent, and the S&P 500 increased 60 points, or 1.8 percent. The tech-heavy NASDAQ performed even better, with a 257-point increase, or 2.3 percent.

Trump, who announced Friday that he has COVID-19, said he’d return to the White House, where he will continue to receive medical attention from a full team of medical professionals.

Trump’s apparent eagerness to downplay the severity of the virus raised questions as to what led to the decision. His tweet announcing his discharge urged people not to be “afraid” of the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans, and comes a day after he drew criticism for taking a drive to wave to supporters outside the hospital instead of staying isolated.

White House physician Sean Conley told reporters that Trump may still not be “out of the woods,” and refused to confirm whether the president had pneumonia as a result of the infection.

At the same time, hopes increased for the chances of agreement on another round of COVID-19 economic relief, though Republicans and Democrats remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart in negotiations.

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Pelosi prepares in case House must decide presidential race

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking extraordinary steps to prepare for the 2020 election, seeking to increase Democrats’ hold on state congressional delegations in the highly unusual scenario that the House is called on to resolve a disputed presidential contest.

“We cannot leave anything to chance,” Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues, emphasizing the importance of winning House seats for Democrats — not just to expand their majority but to prepare for the possibility that the House must settle the presidential race.

She said she made the planning public after President Donald Trump claimed recently that, if the election ends up in Congress, he has the advantage over Democrat Joe Biden, because Republicans control a few more delegations in the House.

“It’s sad we have to have to plan this way, but it’s what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen,” Pelosi said Sunday in the letter.


She said Trump has shown he “will do whatever it takes to remain in power.”

The strategy being put in place by Pelosi is one of several scenarios envisioned ahead of the election as Trump and Biden face off this week in the first presidential debate. Early voting is already underway in several states.

Tensions are high and rather than seeking calm, the president is sowing doubt about the nation’s ability to conduct a legitimate election, even though there is scant evidence of voter fraud. Trump tweeted fresh claims Monday of problems with ballots, but with no actual examples. “Many things are already going very wrong,” he said.

Meanwhile, states are bracing for a surge of mail-in ballots as voters avoid polling places due to potential health risks of gathering in crowds during the coronavirus pandemic. Tabulating the results could drag on for days, leaving the country exposed to foreign interference or other campaigns trying to influence the outcome.

Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, has said Americans need to treat Election Day as “halftime” while awaiting the full results.

Normally, Americans cast their ballots for president and states certify the results through the Electoral College, which is made up of electors from the states. A joint session of Congress convenes Jan. 6 to tally the Electoral College votes and announce the winner. Typically, the decision has been resolved well in advance, usually on election night.

But if the Electoral College is deadlocked or unable to reach a majority outcome, the question goes to the House as a “contingent election.”

Each state’s congressional delegation, consisting of the newly elected House lawmakers, casts one vote to determine the presidential outcome, according to the House history website. The new president is to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Democrats are not in serious danger of losing their majority in the House. But as of now, Pelosi explained, Republicans have a “razor thin” margin — 26 of the state delegations, compared with 22 for Democrats. Two states are essentially tied.

“We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans

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Pelosi Prepares in Case House Must Decide Presidential Race | Political News

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking extraordinary steps to prepare for the 2020 election, seeking to increase Democrats’ hold on state congressional delegations in the highly unusual scenario that the House is called on to resolve a disputed presidential contest.

“We cannot leave anything to chance,” Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues, emphasizing the importance of winning House seats for Democrats — not just to expand their majority but to prepare for the possibility that the House must settle the presidential race.

She said she made the planning public after President Donald Trump claimed recently that, if the election ends up in Congress, he has the advantage over Democrat Joe Biden, because Republicans control a few more delegations in the House.

“It’s sad we have to have to plan this way, but it’s what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen,” Pelosi said Sunday in the letter.

She said Trump has shown he “will do whatever it takes to remain in power.”

The strategy being put in place by Pelosi is one of several scenarios envisioned ahead of the election as Trump and Biden face off this week in the first presidential debate. Early voting is already underway in several states.

Tensions are high and rather than seeking calm, the president is sowing doubt about the nation’s ability to conduct a legitimate election, even though there is scant evidence of voter fraud. Trump tweeted fresh claims Monday of problems with ballots, but with no actual examples. “Many things are already going very wrong,” he said.

Meanwhile, states are bracing for a surge of mail-in ballots as voters avoid polling places due to potential health risks of gathering in crowds during the coronavirus pandemic. Tabulating the results could drag on for days, leaving the country exposed to foreign interference or other campaigns trying to influence the outcome.

Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, has said Americans need to treat Election Day as “halftime” while awaiting the full results.

Normally, Americans cast their ballots for president and states certify the results through the Electoral College, which is made up of electors from the states. A joint session of Congress convenes Jan. 6 to tally the Electoral College votes and announce the winner. Typically, the decision has been resolved well in advance, usually on election night.

But if the Electoral College is deadlocked or unable to reach a majority outcome, the question goes to the House as a “contingent election.”

Each state’s congressional delegation, consisting of the newly elected House lawmakers, casts one vote to determine the presidential outcome, according to the House history website. The new president is to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Democrats are not in serious danger of losing their majority in the House. But as of now, Pelosi explained, Republicans have a “razor thin” margin — 26 of the state delegations, compared with 22 for Democrats. Two states are essentially tied.

“We must achieve that majority

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Pelosi Prepares For Rare Chance House Could Decide Election : NPR

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning Democrats of an exceedingly rare scenario where the House may need to decide the presidential election in January.

Jose Luis Magana/AP


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Jose Luis Magana/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning Democrats of an exceedingly rare scenario where the House may need to decide the presidential election in January.

Jose Luis Magana/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is warning Democrats that they must win the majority, not just of the House of Representatives but a majority of each state delegation, in case the House is called upon to decide the election in January.

If the outcome of the election is not clear by Jan. 6, the decision goes to the House. But the vote is not as straightforward as Democrats having the majority of seats overall. Each state would get a single vote, which would be determined by the party that has the majority of members from that state.

Pelosi outlined the once far-fetched scenario in a letter to Democrats over the weekend. She called on her members to shift money to House Democrats’ fundraising arm, House Majority PAC, to help shore up campaign funds in battleground districts.

“We cannot leave anything to chance. House Majority PAC is doing everything it can to win more delegations for Democrats,” Pelosi said in the letter, sent from her campaign email. “It’s sad we have to have to plan this way, but it’s what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen.”

Pelosi said the letter is a response to comments President Trump made at a weekend rally in Pennsylvania where he discussed the possibility of Congress deciding the election.

“I’ve been working on this for a while, I’ve been working on almost every scheme he might have to steal the election,” Pelosi said Monday on MSNBC. “Anything we do to increase our numbers in the House, whether it’s state delegations or members of Congress wherever they are, will help us hold the House and enlarge our size, win the Senate and elect Joe Biden president of the United States on Election Day — or the few days that it takes to count thereafter.”

Trump told his supporters that he wants to avoid the election being decided by the Supreme Court or Congress.

“I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress,” Trump said. “It’s counted one vote per state. So we actually have an advantage.”

Trump was referencing the current balance of state representation in the House. Republicans represent the majority of House members from 26 states; Democrats have the majority in 22 states. Another two, Michigan and Pennsylvania, are tied.

Congress hasn’t been called on to intervene in a presidential election at any time in modern history and only twice since the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804. The most recent congressional vote to decide the presidency was in 1877.

Pelosi called on Democrats to prepare for

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After canceling two events, Old Prairie Town prepares for its new Garden Glow event – Entertainment – The Topeka Capital-Journal

For the past several months, Ward-Meade Garden at Old Prairie Town has been quiet as guests have meandered through the garden, taking in the green foliage and blooming flowers.

But what has been missing are the twinkling lights and large luminaries that many associate with Tulips at Twilight and the Tulip Festival — two annual events that were canceled this year because of COVID-19.

Park officials also canceled the annual Apple Festival, which draws a large crowd of people each year eager to watch demonstrations and eat apples.

“Apple Festival is the biggest event that we have here, and we see on a good year between 6,000 and 8,000 visitors throughout the park at that time,” Old Prairie Town recreation program supervisor John Bell said. “We hated to cancel the 41st annual Apple Festival. It is a fall tradition in many people’s schedules and it’s something that they come out here year after year with their friends and family.”

As a way to make up for those losses, Ward-Meade officials have created a new event that will allow for guests to once again experience an illuminating garden with less interaction and more social distancing in mind.

Garden Glow, which takes place from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 2-11, will feature luminaries, lighted displays and seasonal plants.

Admission is $5, and guests are strongly encouraged to abide by Shawnee County’s face mask requirement.

Because of restrictions on mass gatherings, Ward-Meade has limited the number of people allowed inside at any given time to 400, Bell said.

“We will have volunteers at the gate counting, and then once we get to that 400 number, it will be a one in, one out restriction,” Bell said. “In the garden area, the paths are a little smaller and things can get congested, so we are going to have a directional path flow so that everybody will hopefully enter one path and exit another path.”

Garden Glow will feature several large displays similar to what visitors see during Tulips at Twilight.

“This year we had new displays we were unable to put out because of COVID, so nobody has seen a lot of those,” Bell said. “So this will be an opportunity to not only see some of the past favorites but we have some new displays as well.”

Some of the new displays will include butterflies, ladybugs and frogs.

Those visiting during Garden Glow will also be able to see the hundreds of annuals and trees in bloom.

“It’s different in fall because everything is blooming,” Bell said. “In April, it’s pretty much just the tulips.”

Given COVID-19 restrictions, Garden Glow will be the only large event that Old Prairie Town hosts this year, Bell said.

“The community has seen so many big events get canceled due to COVID,” Bell said. “We wanted to give the community something because at this point, I think the citizens need something to see and experience. We’ve had so many subtractions regarding activities and events. We wanted to give them

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Shepherds braces for second wave, prepares to reopen indoor soup kitchen



a man sitting on a wooden bench: Shepherds of Good Hope exterior dining room.


© Provided by Ottawa Citizen
Shepherds of Good Hope exterior dining room.

The Shepherds of Good Hope will reopen its indoor soup kitchen early in October after six months of serving meals outside.

The move is one of several that the city’s largest homeless shelter is making in preparation for the return of cold weather – and the second wave of COVID-19.

“We’re preparing to bring people back inside, and we’re looking at how we do that safely,” said Deirdre Freiheit, president and chief executive officer of the Shepherds of Good Hope.



a person standing on a sidewalk:  Deirdre Freiheit, the CEO of Shepherd of Good Hope in Ottawa


© Jean Levac
Deirdre Freiheit, the CEO of Shepherd of Good Hope in Ottawa

In March, as COVID-19 spread rapidly in Ottawa, the Shepherds closed its soup kitchen because physical distancing was next to impossible. The Murray Street facility feeds as many as 700 people a day.

A staff parking lot was quickly converted into an open-air soup kitchen with tents and picnic tables. Lines were painted on the ground to direct traffic and keep people two metres apart.

All of the Shepherds other services were similarly remodelled to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The strategy proved successful. Six Shepherds clients contracted COVID-19 in May and June, but they were quickly isolated and the spread was contained without any fatalities.

The new challenge for the shelter is to bring clients back inside this fall without triggering a major outbreak.

Reopening the soup kitchen does not mean going back to the pre-COVID model, Freiheit said. Only 30 people will be allowed into the soup kitchen at any given time so that they can physically distance. Plexiglass barriers have been added to the serving area and to tables, and clients will be asked to wear masks.

The new limit on guests means that meals will take much longer to serve – and will require more volunteers.

“We’re going to be serving meals 12 hours a day and doing the cleaning in between,” said Freiheit.

Extra cleaning staff has been hired to work in the evenings and overnight. The cleaning staff has essentially been doubled, she said, since the advent of COVID-19.

The Shepherds used to ask clients to leave the shelter in the daytime to make it easier to clean. But during COVID-19, with libraries, malls and drop-in centres often closed, the Shepherds has allowed clients to remain in the shelter for all but one hour a day. In that hour, the dorm rooms are scoured.

“Cleaning is one of the big things we’ve been able to do to mitigate the risks of COVID since the homeless can’t physically distance like you and me,” Freiheit said.

Clients are provided with masks and hand sanitizer, while staff members wear full personal protective equipment.

During the summer months, many homeless people camped outside rather than risk staying in a shelter. Freiheit expects that will change as the calendar moves into October and November, which will increase pressure on all the downtown shelters.

“We just can’t have the shelters become full again.

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THE MUSIC MAN Prepares for Broadway’s Return at the Winter Garden Theater

Preview performances of The Music Man are set to begin on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, with opening night scheduled for Thursday, May 20.

Broadway just got a little bit brighter! The marquee for The Music Man is now up at the Winter Garden Theatre. Starring two-time Tony Award®, Grammy Award®, and Emmy Award®-winning star Hugh Jackman as Professor Harold Hill, and also starring two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo, preview performances of The Music Man are set to begin on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, with Opening Night scheduled for Thursday, May 20. Rehearsals are set to commence on Monday, February 8.

Check out photos below!

The production, directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, will also star Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell as Mrs. Shinn, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays as Mayor Shinn, Tony Award winner Marie Mullen as Mrs. Paroo, and Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley as Marcellus Washburn.

One of the most universally cherished treasures of the American musical theater, The Music Man was an instant smash hit when it premiered on Broadway on December 19, 1957. It went on to win five Tony Awards, including the prize for Best Musical, and ran for 1,375 performances. The original cast album held the number one position on the Billboard charts and stayed on the album charts for 245 weeks. The recording won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. The Smithsonian Institution ranks The Music Man as one of the “great glories of American popular culture.”

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Photos: Magic Kingdom Prepares for Fall with Decor, Merchandise, Food and Beverage Offerings

The spooky season may have been interrupted this year, but Walt Disney World is still getting into the fall spirit with some special festive decor down Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom and a variety of special merchandise and food and beverage offerings.

  • The familiar Mickey pumpkins and fall wreaths can be found all down Main Street U.S.A. and around the hub in front of Cinderella Castle.

  • A special character cavalcade can also be enjoyed by guests, featuring Pooh and friends in their special Halloween costumes.

  • Magic Kingdom will also offer a wide variety of festive fall treats, including:
    • Mickey Cinnamon Roll (Available at Main Street Bakery) – Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll drizzled with orange and white icing
    • Cinnamon Donuts (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) – Served in a Hitchhiking Ghost Novelty container
    • Hades Nachos (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) – Black bean nacho chips with “fiery” buffalo chicken, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, and jalapeño
    • Constance’s For Better or For Worse Wedding Cake (Available at Liberty Square Market) – Citrus cake with raspberry Bavarian cream, whipped cream flowers, and a chocolate axe.
    • Pumpkin Spiced Waffle Sundae (Available at Sleepy Hollow) –Pumpkin spice-flavored waffled topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and sprinkles
    • Poor Unfortunate Souls Float (Available at Storybook Treats) – Cream cheese soft-serve, black raspberry syrup, and Coke
    • Pumpkin Spice Milkshake (Available at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, sprinkles, and a Mickey-shaped marshmallow straw
    • Pumpkin Spice Soft-Serve Sundae (Available at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Served as a sundae topped with whipped cream, caramel, and sprinkles raspberry Bavarian cream, whipped cream flowers, and a chocolate axe
    • Mickey Monster Mash Burger (Available at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café) – Burger with Muenster cheese, potato barrels, bacon, and sriracha aïoli
    • Headless Horseman Rides Again (Available at Sunshine Tree Terrace) – Strawberry DOLE® Whip with Fanta Strawberry and a Headless Horseman Novelty Straw
    • Not So Poison Apple Cupcake (Available at Pinocchio Village House) – A spiced apple cupcake with pecan crunch buttercream themed after a poison apple
    • Orange and Black Sugar Churros (Available at Various Churro Carts and Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café)

  • Guests can also pick up a variety of souvenir items around the park, including:
    • Oogie Boogie Dice Novelty Glow Cubes (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants)
    • Jack Skellington Sipper (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants and Outdoor Vending Locations)
    • Oogie Boogie Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)
    • Mickey Pumpkin Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)
    • Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)
    • Hitchhiking Ghost Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Liberty Square Popcorn Cart)
    • Hitchhiking Ghost Sipper (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants)
    • Madame Leota Sipper (Available at Sleepy Hollow)

  • All of these fall offerings are available now at Walt Disney World’s Magic
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