Trump Holds Florida Rally After White House Physician Reports Negative COVID-19 Tests

On Monday, White House physician Sean Conley said that President Trump had registered consecutive days in which he’s tested negative for COVID-19. The news came on the same date that Trump headed to a packed campaign rally in Sanford, Florida. 

“In response to your inquiry regarding the President’s most recent COVID-19 tests, I can share with you that he has tested NEGATIVE, on consecutive days, using the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card,” said Conley. He added that those tests occurred “in context with additional clinical and laboratory data.”

Speaking of this data, Conley wrote that it was made up of “viral load, subgenomic RNA and PCR cycle threshold measurements, as well as ongoing assessment of viral culture data.”

The letter concluded that the president is “not infectious to others,” which echoes a similar message that Conley issued on Saturday. He also stated, on Saturday, that the president is cleared for an “active schedule.” 

CNN adds that it’s not clear what consecutive days Trump tested positive, while also noting that the Abbott BinaxNOW test he reportedly took may lack precision, as it’s only proven accurate in people being tested within the first week of their symptoms starting to show. The FDA has also said they’re not certain of how accurate Abbott BinaxNOW results are. 

Trump’s positive test was first announced on Thursday, October 1. The White House has not said when the president last tested negative prior to that announcement. 

As for that aforementioned rally, a large crowd gathered for the event. The campaign was issuing temperature checks and distributed masks/hand sanitizer, but social distancing remained absent. 

Trump also claimed to be “immune” and offered to kiss anyone in the crowd daring enough to chance it:

On a related note, this all comes on the same day that Dr. Anthony Fauci said that holding large rallies “was asking for trouble” due to the virus’s surge in several states. 

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Fauci said of Trump’s decision to re-up a full campaign rallying schedule, according to The New York Times. “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are

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D.C. reports increased demand for coronavirus tests amid White House outbreak

A testing site outside the White House on Friday urged anyone who had worked or visited to get tested. That site conducted only 80 tests, far below the hundreds processed at other locations, said Susana Castillo, a Bowser spokeswoman.

The city will not operate a testing site near the White House this week.

The increase in testing demand comes as D.C. is seeing a rise in infections this month. The city was reporting a rolling seven-day average of 5.3 cases per 100,000 residents on Oct. 1 — a number that had risen to 9.5 as of Saturday.

City officials offered no explanation for the increasing caseload, and it’s unclear whether the rise is connected to the White House outbreak. Only D.C. residents appear in the city’s count, and many federal officials declare residency elsewhere.

The rise in testing might also be catching more coronavirus cases. The rate of people testing positive has ticked up from 1.6 percent on Sept. 28 to 1.9 percent as of Thursday.

The greater Washington region reported 1,396 additional coronavirus cases and seven new deaths Monday. Virginia added 854 cases and three deaths, Maryland added 504 cases and four deaths, and D.C. added 38 cases and no deaths.

While the number of fatalities reported Monday was well below the region’s seven-day average of 19 deaths, it lifted the total number of deaths in D.C., Maryland and Virginia since the start of the pandemic to more than 8,000.

The rolling seven-day average of new daily infections across the region Monday stood at 1,651 cases — the highest since Sept. 18.

While caseloads have ticked upward, D.C. on Tuesday will begin to reopen a slate of gyms and indoor swimming pools at city-owned recreation centers. Residents must book 45-minute appointments up to seven days in advance to ensure social distancing.

Pools are available for reservation at six locations and fitness centers at 13 locations.

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People in the GOP, White House, and Trump’s campaign increasingly think they will lose the White House, and maybe the Senate too, reports say



graphical user interface, application: President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room of the White House on Octover 10, 2020. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room of the White House on Octover 10, 2020. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

  • Republicans and White House officials fear that President Donald Trump is headed for defeat, according to a series of recent reports.
  • Some fear the GOP could lose control of the Senate in a “blue wave” of Democratic votes on November 3.
  • The gloom from Republicans seems supported by polling data, which paints an increasingly negative picture for Trump.
  • Trump’s much criticised performance in his debate with Joe Biden and, his behavior when diagnosed with COVID-19, are among factors said to be alienating voters. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fears are growing in the Republican Party and White House that Democratic nominee Joe Biden may be on course for a landslide presidential election victory, according to multiple reports. 

The weekend brought further gloomy polling data for the Trump campaign, with an ABC/Washington Post poll released Sunday showing that Biden has support of 53% of likely voters to Trump’s 41%.

The result matched trends in a series of other recent polls showing the president trailing Biden on average by 10 points or more. 

Swing state polls brought more bad news  — with Biden continuing to hold a lead in states that flipped to the Republicans in 2016: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

Though the races in these states are tighter, Biden’s lead has been consistent. It led to a rash of bad headlines prompted by worried insiders:

  • Citing dozens of White House and Trump campaign officials, the Associated Press reported on Monday the fear that Trump’s widely criticised first debate performance with Biden and erratic response after being diagnosed with COVID-19 could see them lose not just the White House but also the Senate. 
  • NBC News on Friday reported that Republican donors and operatives worry a “blue wave” is coming. They are said to favor shifting resources from the presidential race — seen by some as a lost cause — to protecting vulnerable Congress seats. 
  • Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz on Saturday warned that the GOP faced “a bloodbath of Watergate proportions” and could lose control of the Senate and White House if conditions are wrong come polling day.
  • Reuters also last week reported that the GOP was increasingly anxious that the Democrats are poised to seize control of the Senate. Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis was “the nail in the coffin; it’s all over” for the party’s hopes of defending its majority, a senior Senate Republican aide told the outlet. 

Though Trump’s prospects of victory may appear to be fading, some campaign officials believe the president will able to claw back ground this week, reported AP.

The Senate confirmation hearings of judge Amy Coney Barrett, which begin on Monday, are expected to take focus away from the pandemic and fire up conservatives.

Other officials hope that, as in 2016, pollsters are undercounting

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White House doctor says Trump “reports no symptoms” of COVID-19

Washington — One day after leaving Walter Reed Medical Center to return to the White House, President Trump continued to downplay the risks of the coronavirus, while his doctor said the president is reporting “no symptoms” of COVID-19. Stephen Miller, a top aide to the president, announced Tuesday evening that he also has tested positive for the virus and was under quarantine.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the White House released a memo from Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, saying the president is doing “extremely well” and experiencing “no symptoms.”

The president is being treated with dexamethasone, a powerful steroid recommended for use in severe cases of COVID-19. The drug can carry serious psychological side effects, but Conley said Monday that the president hasn’t exhibited any of them. Conley repeatedly declined to provide specifics about the president’s lung condition or the last time Mr. Trump tested negative for the virus, citing federal privacy laws.

In a post shared on social media Tuesday morning, the president once again compared COVID-19 to the flu, which is much less lethal and contagious than the coronavirus. Overstating the yearly death toll from the flu, Mr. Trump said Americans “have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid.” More than 210,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Twitter flagged the tweet, saying it violated the platform’s rules about “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” Facebook removed it entirely.

The president’s attitude alarmed many infectious disease experts, who said he should have stressed precautions Americans should take to try to avoid getting the coronavirus.

President Trump Recuperates Amid Questions About His Health And Campaign
President Trump holds his protective mask on the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, October 5, 2020.

Ken Cedeno/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Interior Health reports 8 new cases of COVID-19

A larger-than-normal number of new COVID-19 cases was reported by Interior Health today.

The health authority announced eight new cases of the virus, which is just the fourth time since July 24 that eight or more new cases have been reported in a single day.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia

It brings the total number of cases in the BC Interior to 556 since the start of the pandemic.

Currently, 25 cases are active and two of them are in hospital.

There are now seven cases linked to the outbreak at Calvary Chapel Kelowna, which was declared on Sept. 25.

The Teck Coal Mines outbreak, which was declared all the way back on Aug. 27, is still active, but there hasn’t been a single IH resident associated with it.

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Trump’s doctor claims the president ‘reports no symptoms’ of COVID-19

  • White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said that President Donald Trump reported “no symptoms” of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
  • The statement comes less than 24 hours after Trump returned to the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for three days.
  • Conley has been criticized for providing misleading information about Trump’s health since the president tested positive early Friday. 
  • Trump has resumed downplaying the coronavirus, claiming that he could be “immune” and urging Americans to not let the pandemic “dominate” their lives. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump claims to have “no symptoms” of coronavirus, less than a day after the president was released from a three-day stay at the hospital.

“This morning the President’s team of physicians met with him in the Residence,” Conley wrote in a brief memo. “He had a restful first night at home, and today he reports no symptoms.”

“Overall he continues to do extremely well, I will provide updates as we know more,” he added.

Trump spent the weekend and most of Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon his return to the White House Monday evening, the president ascended a flight of stairs to a balcony, where he took off his mask as news cameras captured footage of him appearing to have difficulty breathing.

Trump wrote on Twitter early Friday moring that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive. He then underwent a series of treatments to combat the infection, including at least two doses of supplemental oxygen and dexamethasone, a corticosteroid typically reserved for severe coronavirus cases. 

During the course of his illness, Trump’s doctors and White House officials have offered conflicting accounts about his condition, treatment, and diagnosis timeline, while trying to strike a positive tone. In a press briefing on Monday, Conley said Trump is “not entirely out of the woods yet,” but wouldn’t provide information on imaging of the president’s lungs or comment on when he tested negative last.

Health experts have noted that recovery time for the coronavirus can average around two to three weeks and Tuesday’s update leaves many questions unanswered about Trump’s health.

Trump himself has been trying to navigate attention away from his illness, claiming that he could be “immune” and telling Americans to not “be afraid” of the virus, which has now killed over 210,000 Americans. 

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White House is not contact tracing Rose Garden event and rejected CDC offer to track down those exposed to Trump: Reports

As President Trump battles COVID-19, some said the White House is not doing enough to trace those who might have come in contact with him or been otherwise exposed to the virus at the White House.



Donald Trump in a suit standing in front of a building


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At least eight people might have been infected at a Sept. 26 Rose Garden event to celebrate the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Despite this, the president’s team decided not to trace the contacts of the staff members and guests who attended the event, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing the account of a senior White House official.

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Instead, reports indicated the White House has chosen only to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which specify that contact tracing efforts should be pursued for those who had “close contact” to someone with COVID-19 within two days of their diagnosis. The president announced his diagnosis early on Friday morning.

When the Washington Examiner specifically asked the White House if it was pursuing contact tracing efforts for those who attended the Rose Garden event, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said it was following CDC guidelines.

The White House Medical Unit rebuffed an offer from the CDC to assist in tracing the contacts of those who might have been exposed, according to multiple officials within the agency, USA Today reported Monday.

“You cannot argue against the fact that five or six people who attended that event all got infected, unless you argue that that was all random chance,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an epidemiologist and contact tracing expert, told the New York Times. “There were a lot of people working at that event, and so they need to be contact tracing that whole event.”

The White House has sent out emails notifying people who attended Trump’s New Jersey fundraiser on Thursday before his positive test result came back that they might have been exposed to the virus. Some have said that’s not enough.

“I guess an email is notification of exposure,” Erin Sanders, a nurse practitioner and certified contact tracer, told the New York Times. “But that is not contact tracing.”

Deere said in a statement to the Washington Examiner on Monday evening: “The White House has plans and procedures in place that incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure and has established a robust contact tracing program led by the White House Medical Unit with CDC integration. Contact tracing has been conducted by the White House Medical Unit consistent with CDC guidelines and appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made.”

“The White House is following CDC guidelines and has a full-time detailed CDC epidemiologist on staff who has been here since March,” Deere said in a statement to USA Today.

The White House would not name this scientist when the New York Times asked about it.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told CBS’s Face the Nation

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High drug prices driven by profits, House committee reports find

Enormous drug company profits are the primary driver of soaring prescription drug prices in America, according to a damning investigation that Democrats on the House Oversight Committee began releasing Wednesday.

The first two reports in the investigation focus on Celgene and Bristol Myers Squibb’s Revlimid cancer treatment, the price of which has been raised 23 times since 2005, and Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which has risen in price 27 times since 2007.

The costs have little to do with research and development or industry efforts to help people afford medication, as drug companies often claim, according to the inquiry.

“It’s true many of these pharmaceutical industries have come up with lifesaving and pain-relieving medications, but they’re killing us with the prices they charge,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said as the hearings began Wednesday. He added, “Uninhibited pricing power has transformed America’s pain into pharma’s profit.”

The top Republican on the committee, James Comer of Kentucky, called the investigation a partisan attack. “These hearings seem designed simply to vilify and publicly shame pharmaceutical company executives,” Comer said.

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Much of the drug industry’s profits come at the expense of taxpayers and the Medicare program, say the reports, which say that they are used to pay generous executive bonuses and that they are guarded by aggressive lobbying and efforts to block competition, regulation or systemic change in the United States while the rest of the world pays less.

“The drug companies are bringing in tens of billions of dollars in revenues, making astronomical profits, and rewarding their executives with lavish compensation packages — all without any apparent limit on what they can charge,” committee chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wrote in a letter attached to the first two staff reports.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., a former chair of the committee who died last October, launched the investigation more than a year ago. It has produced more than a million documents. CEOs of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Celgene and Bristol Myers Squibb were testifying Wednesday.

Officials of Amgen, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Novartis were scheduled to appear Thursday.

Celgene CEO Mark Alles verified the accuracy of the documents obtained by the committee but stuck with the standard explanation that the company’s pricing is entirely aboveboard and merited.

“The pricing decisions for our medicines were guided by a set of long-held principles that reflected our commitment to patient access, the value of a medicine to patients in the health care system, the continuous efforts to discover new medicines and new uses for existing medicines and the need for financial flexibility,” Alles said. He said that in 2018, Celgene “committed to full pricing transparency by limiting price increases to no more than once per year,” pegged to national health expenditures projected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Teva CEO Kåre Schultz declined to address specific questions about much of the report, saying he took over only in 2017, in part to repair a company suffering after

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House Reports Push for More Focus on China by Intelligence Agencies

WASHINGTON — The United States could fall behind in its global competition with China without additional resources to develop better intelligence on the Chinese government, and spy agencies must focus more on the challenge of pandemics and trade, according to a report by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released Wednesday.

The warnings in the report, the result of a classified two-year study of American intelligence agencies’ work, were similar to the conclusions of a Republican study on China also released Wednesday. While that report, by a task force of House Republican lawmakers, has a wider focus, it too called for a more aggressive stance toward China and better defenses against Chinese theft of intellectual property and efforts to influence American politics.

While there is a bipartisan consensus on China, the failure of Democrats and Republicans in the House to work together on the issue was another sign of the partisan dysfunction that has gripped Washington and that could be a hurdle to revising American policy on China despite the agreement.

The House Intelligence Committee report, primarily the work of the panel’s Democratic majority, calls for a “significant realignment of resources” to help the United States compete with China. The report calls for a broader look at national security threats, including climate change and pandemics, while trying to collect intelligence on China.

“Absent a significant and immediate reprioritization and realignment of resources, we will be ill prepared to compete with China — diplomatically, economically and militarily — on the global stage for decades to come,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the committee. “The good news is that we still have time to adapt.”

China has been a growing challenge for the United States. President Trump has said without evidence that the coronavirus pandemic originated at a Chinese laboratory, a conclusion the intelligence community has not backed up. China has also been accused by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of stepping up its efforts to interfere in the November election.

The House report recommends a broader approach for the role of intelligence in the United States government, saying agencies’ insights need to be accessible to agencies outside the traditional confines of the national security establishment, like the Commerce Department and public health agencies.

The report also highlights the challenges laid bare by the pandemic and discusses tensions between Beijing and local government that hampered China’s initial understanding of it. The report says the emergence of the pandemic highlights the “continued potential for devastating and destabilizing global events originating in China.”

“The stakes are high. If the I.C. does not accurately characterize and contextualize Beijing’s intent, America’s leaders will fail to understand the factors that motivate Chinese decision-making,” the report said, using an abbreviation for the intelligence community.

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Mnuchin reports movement on COVID-19 relief; House delays vote

By David Lawder and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made progress on COVID-19 relief legislation, and the House of Representatives postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus plan to allow more time for a bipartisan deal to come together.

Less than five weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional elections, Mnuchin and Pelosi both said negotiations would continue toward a bipartisan agreement to deliver aid to millions of Americans and businesses reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has infected more than 7.2 million people and killed over 206,000 in the United States.

“We made a lot of progress over the last few days. We still don’t have an agreement, but we have more work to do. And we’re going to see where we end up,” Mnuchin told reporters after meeting with Pelosi for about 90 minutes in the U.S. Capitol.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of areas,” he said.

For her part, Pelosi avoided use of the term “progress.”

“Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification. Our conversation will continue,” the top Democrat in Congress said in a statement.

She said the House would vote late on Wednesday on a $2.2 trillion updated Heroes Act “to formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country.”

But later Wednesday that vote was postponed until Thursday. Lawmakers are “giving one more day for a deal to come together,” a Democratic aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Before the meeting in Pelosi’s office broke up, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, told reporters that Republicans and Democrats were still “very, very far apart” on how much to spend and called Pelosi’s $2.2 trillion bill “outlandish.”

House Democratic Conference Chairman Hakeem Jeffries told reporters that a vote on the legislation would show the Democratic caucus’ “vision on what’s right legislatively at this moment.”

Formal talks between Pelosi, Mnuchin, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows broke down on Aug. 7. Pelosi has since taken the lead for Democrats.

Before talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin resumed, the White House had said Trump could agree to a $1.3 trillion bill.

(Reporting by David Lawder, David Morgan, Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

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