White House releases new coronavirus precautions for residence staff amid President Trump’s diagnosis

The White House on Tuesday released updated safety precautions for staff at the executive residence after President Trump’s announcement last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary grades the president's recovery on 'Bill Hemmer Reports'


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Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary grades the president’s recovery on ‘Bill Hemmer Reports’

In a press release, the White House said it has hired independent health consultants who are available to check on staff and their families, while “facilitating ancillary testing as needed.”

The White House also said it has hired a “well-being” consultant for staff members to speak to regarding mental health concerns.”

“The health and safety of the residence staff is of the utmost importance to the First Family,” the White House said.

Staff are wearing personal protective equipment, and are taking all necessary precautions, including updated procedures to protect against cross-contamination.

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President Trump announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump were in quarantine at the White House after each tested positive for the coronavirus. The couple had undergone testing after learning that senior White House adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus. Hicks had recently accompanied the president on several trips, including Cleveland for the first debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

After being treated for three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, President Trump returned to the White House Monday night. He tweeted Tuesday morning that he is planning to attend next week’s debate with Biden in Miami.

The president’s diagnosis has fueled speculation over the White House’s policy with keeping its staff safe during the pandemic.

The White House maintains that since March, it has adopted hospital-grade disinfection policies, had medical teams lead coronavirus workshops, significantly reduced staff, and encourage maximum teleworking.

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In March, the White House provided sanitization and filtration systems to every employee for use in their homes to protect them and their family members. And since April, all staff members have been required to wear masks at all times, the White House said.

White House releases new coronavirus precautions for residence staff amid President Trump’s diagnosis

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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White House releases new photo of Trump from Walter Reed

The White House on Sunday released a new photograph of President Trump working out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., while undergoing treatment for COVID-19.

The photo was taken after the president fielded calls from Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. The caption said Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, was also in the room at the time.

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Trump has been trying to project an image of strength during his brief stay at the hospital but has faced a few health scares in recent days, including two instances where his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly.  Trump was given a dose of the steroid dexamethasone in response.

Meadows told Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” Saturday night that the president was experiencing symptoms that had his staff “real concerned” on Friday, including fever and low blood oxygen level. But he appears to be recovering.

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

Oct. 4: President Donald J. Trump participates in a phone call with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

Oct. 4: President Donald J. Trump participates in a phone call with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
(WHITE HOUSE)

His medical team said they’ve been encouraged by the president’s energy and test results and said he might be able to be discharged from the hospital on Monday.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1312864232711520257

The president took a brief trip outside the hospital to greet supporters who’ve gathered outside. The president was criticized by many on social media that he jeopardized members of the Secret Service for a photo-op.

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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. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

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House GOP China task force releases recommendations

The House GOP’s China task force unveiled its full report laying out hundreds of recommendations and legislative suggestions to combat threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday. 

The report includes more than 400 policy recommendations to address issues ranging from national security concerns, human rights violations, problems with the supply chain, Beijing’s missteps in its handling of the pandemic and China’s overall expanding influence on the world stage.

The task force — which is made up of 15 GOP lawmakers who sit on 11 different committees — was initially slated to be bipartisan before Democrats ultimately opted out before its launch in May.

Republicans insisted the report is not politically motivated, even as President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE has sought at every turn to tie Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE to China. The report is being released less than five weeks before Election Day.

“It’s not a Republican or Democrat report, it’s not a political exercise, it’s policy. And we hope it will be a blueprint for future Congresses,” Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) told The Hill in an interview. McCaul is the the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the task force. 

“In fact, two-thirds of the legislative recommendations we make are bipartisan recommendations, some of which have already been passed in either House or Senate, and it deals with everything Chinese Communist Party related.” 

The report comes amid one of the lowest points in relations between the U.S. and China, with the two side clashing over trade, intellectual property protections, cyber security, human rights, Hong Kong’s freedom and Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. 

Recommendations included in the report include a push for a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, for the U.S. to provide a safe haven for Hong Kong refugees and calls on the administration to look into whether human rights violations in China against Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups rise to the level of genocide. 

The group also calls for the implementation of a foreign investment blacklist for countries that require heightened scrutiny, increased transparency in companies’ financial disclosures that do business in the Xinjiang region in addition to substantial military investments and investments into technology to remain competitive. 

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House GOP China task force releases report on combating Chinese Communist Party: ‘The U.S. must act decisively’

House Republicans Wednesday will release the results of their monthslong probe into the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and how the U.S. can turnaround a “failed” engagement strategy that has put Americans’ safety and prosperity at risk.

The China Task Force report, to be released in full later Wednesday, makes 83 key findings and 430 policy recommendations on how the U.S. can better combat the threat of the CCP, whose malign activities have gone unchecked for too long, the GOP leaders say.

“This report is the blueprint for bipartisan actions Congress and the Administration can take now to address the greatest national and economic security challenge of this generation,” the task force report says.

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The recommendations include securing the medical supply chain by boosting U.S. production, allowing the Department of Defense to fund experimentation of emerging technologies to modernize the U.S. military faster and to require the Treasury Department to sanction China.

The report also calls for the U.S. to secure a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, to require heightened scrutiny of Chinese investment in U.S. companies, and to cut off material support for CCP military-industrial base companies.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., along with House Republicans, conduct an event on the House steps of the Capitol to announce the Commitment to America, agenda on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. The plan outlines ways to restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy in history, and renew the American dream. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 15: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., along with House Republicans, conduct an event on the House steps of the Capitol to announce the Commitment to America, agenda on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. The plan outlines ways to restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy in history, and renew the American dream. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The China Task Force, comprised of 15 GOP members, was formed in May to assess the threat of the Chinese Community Party and come up with legislative solutions on how to combat the risks. The work has taken on greater importance during the coronavirus pandemic that originated in China before killing more than 1 million people worldwide.

In the aftermath of shortages of personal protective equipment in the United States, the task force has honed in on securing the medical and national security supply chains through targeted tax incentives to speed up production of critical goods. The GOP representatives also call for providing a safe harbor for Hong Kong refugees and to determine whether the crimes against the Uyghurs, a persecuted ethnic minority in China, amount to genocide.

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The China task force was initially set to be bipartisan, but Democrats bailed on the effort, the Washington Post first reported. Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., however, plowed forward with the GOP effort anyway and named House Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Leader Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman.

Since May, the task force has met with 125 people, including policy experts, business leaders and bipartisan current and former administration officials.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairs the China Task Force

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairs the China Task Force

The U.S. established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China more than 40 years ago.

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GOP women’s group releases latest round of House endorsements

Winning for Women Action Fund, a super PAC devoted to electing GOP women to office, released its latest round of House endorsements on Tuesday in a list obtained exclusively by The Hill. 

The endorsed challengers include Victoria Spartz in Indiana’s fifth district, Yvette Herrell in New Mexico’s second district, Stephanie Bice in Oklahoma’s fifth, and Nancy Mace in South Carolina’s first. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates all of the races “toss-ups.” 

The group also formally threw its support behind Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s third district, which Cook rates as “lean Republican.” Kat Cammack in Florida’s third congressional district and Lisa McClain in Michigan’s tenth district also received endorsements from Winning for Women. 

Winning for Women also announced its support for a number of GOP House candidates it labeled as “Women on the Rise.” The list includes Anna Paulina Luna in Florida’s thirteenth district, Kim Klacik in Maryland’s seventh district, Lynne Blankenbeker in New Hampshire’s second district, and Esther Joy King in Illinois’s seventeenth district. 

Additionally, the group endorsed Republican incumbents America Samoa Del. Amata Coleman Radewagen and Puerto Rico Del. Jenniffer González Colón. 

“These women represent the best of the best. From veterans to nurses to small business owners, each of these candidates is uniquely qualified to serve her district in Congress,” the group’s political director Micah Yousefi said in a statement to The Hill. 

Not only will Winning For Women’s PAC provide critical hard-dollar support to their campaigns, but it will also activate on their behalf a grassroots army of more than 800,000 members nationwide. It’s been a historic year for conservative women, and W4W is proud to continue supporting those exceptional candidates who will go to Washington to fight back against an extreme, liberal agenda.”

The endorsements come as a record number of Republican women run for office in the 2020 election cycle. Data released in May by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University shows an overall uptick in women seeking seats in the House this year, with 490 filing to run so far.

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Bipartisan House group releases $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan

The 50-member, bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus on Tuesday released a $1.5 trillion COVID-19 aid package that they hope will help push congressional leaders and the White House toward a similar compromise.

The measure also gives the caucus members, many of whom are considered vulnerable for reelection this cycle, an opportunity to tell voters they offered a compromise and deflect blame for potential inaction on a new aid bill before the elections.

In arriving at $1.5 trillion, the Problem Solvers plan is almost exactly halfway between the $3.4 trillion bill the House passed in May and a $300 billion proposal Senate Republicans offered on the floor last week. Their proposal, however, includes automatic triggers based on hospitalization rates and progress towards vaccine development that could increase the cost by as much as $400 billion or reduce it by up to $200 billion.

The caucus officially endorsed the proposal, which requires support from at least 75 percent of its members, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. Problem Solvers co-chairmen Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Tom Reed, R-N.Y., kept party leaders apprised of the group’s work, but top Democrats at least have already made their displeasure known.

An unusual joint statement from several House Democratic committee leaders Tuesday afternoon said the bipartisan plan “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”

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