Video: Mark Meadows tells reporters he won’t ‘talk through a mask’

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday declined to wear a mask when addressing reporters on Capitol Hill. 
  • Walking away without answering any questions, he said, “I’m not going to talk through a mask.”
  • Journalists who cover Capitol Hill lawmakers are calling on congressional leaders to improve access to coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and to wear masks when talking to members of the media.
  • But Meadows, like President Donald Trump and others who work in the White House, continue to flout public health guidelines amid the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows refused to wear his mask on Monday while addressing reporters on Capitol Hill and walked off without taking any questions. 

During the encounter, a CNN congressional reporter, Kristin Wilson, asked Meadows to keep his face covered while speaking, according to Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim. But Meadows pulled a microphone-outfitted podium closer to himself and took off his mask, to the concern of journalists. 

“Well, I’m more than 10 feet away,” he said.

Seconds later, Meadows put his mask back on and stalked away from the group.

“I’m not going to talk through a mask,” he said.

This incident occurred on the first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Health experts have noted that the coronavirus is known to travel several feet in the air, especially indoors, and that mask-wearing is one of the effective ways to prevent transmission. Already, the United States has reported more than 7.7 million cases and 214,000-plus deaths, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Meadows’ refusal comes as representatives for journalists covering Capitol Hill lawmakers are urging congressional leaders to provide more access to testing and contact tracing, and to follow public health guidelines, including wearing masks, when interacting with members of the media.

This request came in reponse to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the White House, with several cases linked to Barrett’s nomination ceremony in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26. In the days that followed, the president, first lady, a handful of senators, and several White House aides tested positive for the disease.

Since then, several lawmakers have worn face coverings while talking to reporters on Capitol Hill, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was begun to wear one during her weekly press conferences. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also signaled last week that he hasn’t been to the White House in two months and suggested that the Trump administration’s coronavirus prevention measures are lax.

“My impression was their approach to how to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky. 

But Meadows’ actions on Monday are in keeping with the White House’s pattern of neglect when it

Read more

Hours after Trump’s dark and divisive White House speech, his doctor still won’t say if he’s tested negative

Seven hours after a defiant President Donald Trump resumed public events Saturday with a divisive speech from a White House balcony in front of hundreds of guests, his doctor released a memo clearing him to return to an active schedule.



President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump’s Saturday event, which featured little social distancing, came just two weeks after a large White House gathering that has since been called “a superpreader event” and potentially put lives at risk once again, just nine days after the President revealed his own Covid-19 diagnosis.

The latest memo from Trump’s physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, said that the President has met US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for “the safe discontinuation of isolation.” But it does not say Trump has received a negative coronavirus test since first testing positive for the virus, although that is not a criteria for clearing isolation, according to the CDC.



a group of people that are standing in the grass: Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“This evening I am happy to report that in addition to the President meeting CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation, this morning’s COVID PCR sample demonstrates, by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” the memo from Conley reads in part.

That’s welcome news for Trump, who’s been itching to return to the campaign trail and has already planned three rallies for next week.

But the memo’s opacity, the inability for reporters to question the doctor and the fact that the White House still will not say when Trump last tested negative before his positive diagnosis only adds to the confusion over his case, which Trump has been eager to distract from.

After being sidelined from the campaign trail for more than a week, Trump leaned into his law-and-order message in a speech threaded with falsehoods on Saturday that was clearly a campaign rally disguised as a White House event.

Trump claimed that if the left gains power, they’ll launch a crusade against law enforcement. Echoing his highly inaccurate campaign ads that suggest that Democratic nominee Joe Biden would defund 911 operations and have a “therapist” answer calls about crime, Trump falsely claimed that the left is focused on taking away firearms, funds and authority from police.

With just three weeks to go until an election in which he’s trailing badly in the polls, and millions of voters already voting, Trump is deploying familiar scare tactics.

Biden has not made any proposals that would affect the ability to answer 911 calls. As CNN’s Facts First has noted many times, Biden has repeatedly and explicitly opposed the idea of “defunding the police,”

Read more

Why won’t White House say when Trump last tested negative?

WASHINGTON (AP) — It is a basic, crucial question and one the White House refuses to answer: When was President Donald Trump’s last negative test for the coronavirus before he tested positive last week?



White House director of communications Alyssa Farah waves after speaking with reporters at the White House, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Provided by Associated Press
White House director of communications Alyssa Farah waves after speaking with reporters at the White House, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last weekend.

“I can’t reveal that at this time,” echoed Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications. “Doctors would like to keep it private.”

“I don’t want to go backwards,” said Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician.

The answer could help fill in vital details about the course of the president’s illness as well as when he may have been contagious and whom else he may have exposed. And the White House refusal to answer makes it hard not to wonder what they’re hiding, given other details they’ve shared.

“At this point it’s just so strange that they’re unwilling to give us the information,” said Michael Joseph Mina, a physician and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health. “It makes people start thinking things like, ‘Was the president the super-spreader?’… If there was no nefarious activity going on, then they should have no problem answering this question.”



Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, talks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


© Provided by Associated Press
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, talks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The information is also key to tracking who else may have been exposed to the virus so their contacts can be traced to prevent new clusters of infection.

“Then you can get an idea, potentially, of when he was infected, how long his incubation period was, and also then evaluate who may have been exposed to him over that time frame,” said Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of the clinical virology laboratory at Stanford Health Care. While there is considerable variability between cases, he said, Trump was most likely infectious several days before he tested positive — a period during which he traveled and had close contact with dozens of people.

Senior White House staff and those who are in direct contact with the president are tested for the virus daily. The White House originally gave the impression that Trump, too, was tested every day, with McEnany claiming in July that Trump was “the most tested man in America” and tested “multiple times a day.” But Trump contradicted her, saying, “I do probably on average a test every two days, three days.”



White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, walks up to be interviewed by Fox News, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


© Provided by Associated Press
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, walks up to be interviewed by Fox News, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The current White House line is that Trump is tested “regularly.”

Video: White

Read more

Why Won’t White House Say When Trump Last Tested Negative? | Political News

By JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It is a basic, crucial question and one the White House refuses to answer: When was President Donald Trump’s last negative test for the coronavirus before he tested positive last week?

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last weekend.

“I can’t reveal that at this time,” echoed Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications. “Doctors would like to keep it private.”

“I don’t want to go backwards,” said Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician.

The answer could help fill in vital details about the course of the president’s illness as well as when he may have been contagious and whom else he may have exposed. And the White House refusal to answer makes it hard not to wonder what they’re hiding, given other details they’ve shared.

“At this point it’s just so strange that they’re unwilling to give us the information,” said Michael Joseph Mina, a physician and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health. “It makes people start thinking things like, ‘Was the president the super-spreader?’… If there was no nefarious activity going on, then they should have no problem answering this question.”

The information is also key to tracking who else may have been exposed to the virus so their contacts can be traced to prevent new clusters of infection.

“Then you can get an idea, potentially, of when he was infected, how long his incubation period was, and also then evaluate who may have been exposed to him over that time frame,” said Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of the clinical virology laboratory at Stanford Health Care. While there is considerable variability between cases, he said, Trump was most likely infectious several days before he tested positive — a period during which he traveled and had close contact with dozens of people.

Senior White House staff and those who are in direct contact with the president are tested for the virus daily. The White House originally gave the impression that Trump, too, was tested every day, with McEnany claiming in July that Trump was “the most tested man in America” and tested “multiple times a day.” But Trump contradicted her, saying, “I do probably on average a test every two days, three days.”

The current White House line is that Trump is tested “regularly.”

Here’s what is known: On Wednesday, Sept. 30, during a trip to Minnesota for a fundraiser and rally, one of the president’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, began feeling ill. She isolated herself aboard Air Force Once during the trip home, but the White House appears to have taken no further action.

The next morning, Hicks was again tested for the virus. This time, the results came back positive, just as the president was about to leave for a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. A frantic effort was made to

Read more

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville won’t seek re-election for top GOP spot

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville announced Friday that he won’t seek to retain his House leadership post, months after news reports that he would be challenged for the seat and likely lose it.

“There’s been a lot of folks that have been, quite frankly, spending all their time trying to run against me instead of … helping Republicans win elections,” Neville said.

The Castle Rock Republican said he plans to instead focus on getting reelected to serve his district for the next two years. He also plans to complete the last year of his executive MBA at the University of Denver.

The divide has grown between supporters of Neville, who holds far-right views and associates with groups like the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, and Republicans who say the party needs to make changes to get elected in an increasingly blue state.

Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, had previously announced he would seek the minority leader’s spot, with backing from many in the Republican caucus.

Neville said he came to the decision a week ago and decided to announce it before the election in hopes that it will help Republicans focus on flipping Democratic seats. The House leadership vote takes place after the election.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Source Article

Read more

The White House won’t say when Trump has tested negative since May

  • The White House has repeatedly refused to disclose when President Donald Trump last tested negative for COVID-19.
  • The last time Trump or anyone at the White House said the president tested negative on the record was on May 21.
  • It’s unclear how frequently Trump has been tested since, and he has repeatedly violated coronavirus restrictions by holding public events with large crowds.
  • When asked when Trump was last tested and if the White House could specify any results between May 21 and Trump’s positive one on Oct. 2, a White House spokesman said only that “the president is tested regularly.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Despite the seismic implications of the president of the United States contracting a deadly and highly infectious disease with no cure, the White House is still providing very little basic information about Donald Trump’s coronavirus status.

Aside from his positive test announcement last Friday — which led to him being hospitalized with COVID-19 for three nights — the last time Trump was on the record about taking a test was back in May, when he said, “I tested positively toward negative.”

Between Trump’s “positively toward negative” disclosure on May 21 and the tweet confirming he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2, the White House would not point Insider toward any specific instances when Trump even took a test.

At one point back in July, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed Trump was tested “multiple times a day” before he contradicted her later in the day and said he couldn’t recall taking more than one in 24 hours.

McEnany, along with other White House officials such as spokeswoman Alyssa Farah, have declined to specify when Trump takes coronavirus tests or the last time he tested negative.

“I can’t reveal that at this time. Doctors would like to keep it private,” Farah said on Thursday.

The president attended 113 public events between his last known negative test and the night before he disclosed he had COVID-19, according to a database of his travel and events calendar from Factba.se, a site with a variety of Trump-related databases.

Insider asked the White House repeatedly on Thursday how often the president is tested, when his last test was, and if they have disclosed any tests taken since May 21.

“The president is tested regularly,” a White House spokesman said in an email.

When asked how frequently “regularly” means, they did not respond.

Lots of events, few precautions from Trump

Other than the rare occasion when he wears a mask in public, like when he did so for the first time in July, the president has mostly flaunted basic public health precautions. He’s also rarely enforced social-distancing rules and mask-wearing at his rallies and other public events.

Trump’s events have varied in size and density, but there have been a few noteworthy examples that posed more risk than others:

 

LoadingSomething is loading.

Source Article

Read more

White House won’t say when President Trump last tested negative for COVID-19

The White House has also declined to confirm when and how Trump was tested before last Tuesday’s presidential debate with Joe Biden, even though both campaigns certified to debate organizers that the candidates and everyone who traveled with them to Cleveland tested negative within 72 hours of the debate.

“I don’t want to go backwards,” Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s White House physician, said Monday when asked about the president’s last negative test results — one of at least seven times White House officials declined to answer the question since Friday.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump tosses a cap to supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2020.

President Donald Trump tosses a cap to supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2020.

President Donald Trump tosses a cap to supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2020.

The White House, which has made contradictory statements about when and how often Trump is tested, said the president first tested positive Thursday evening, and first discussed symptoms with his doctor at that time. Studies have shown that coronavirus patients are infectious up to two days before the onset of symptoms.

“People ought to have the right to know whether or not they should be quarantining themselves, if they’re at risk,” Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, told ABC News. “Potentially the president and his team have put others in harm’s way.”

While it’s not clear when Trump was infected with the virus, the White House’s silence raises questions about its compliance with debate rules, the frequency of Trump’s tests, and whether the president or his aides had concerns about him having the virus before he tested positive — as he kept up his busy schedule of campaign events.

It has also added scrutiny to the safety precautions in place for the upcoming matchup with Biden, after Trump’s campaign said he intends to debate Biden in person next week in Florida.

“I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate,” the former vice president told reporters Tuesday.

White House, debate organizers required negative tests for candidates, campaign teams

Debate organizers required the Biden and Trump campaigns’ medical teams to test the candidates and their traveling parties within 72 hours of last Tuesday’s debate, and “certify” to the Cleveland Clinic that each person traveling tested negative within that window.

“Each campaign complied with this requirement,” the clinic, which partnered with the Commission on Presidential Debates to stage the debate, said in a statement.

Specifically, each campaign provided a list of names and the results of their test, clinic spokesperson Angie Kiska told ABC News.

“That’s what was provided to our medical staff, and to

Read more

White House won’t say when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19

The White House has repeatedly refused to disclose when President Donald Trump last tested negative for COVID-19 before he announced his infection — information that could help determine who he exposed to the virus and the severity of his illness.



President Donald Trump boards Marine One at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after receiving treatment for coronavirus in Bethesda, Md.


© Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump boards Marine One at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after receiving treatment for coronavirus in Bethesda, Md.

The White House has also declined to confirm when and how Trump was tested before last Tuesday’s presidential debate with Joe Biden, even though both campaigns certified to debate organizers that the candidates and everyone who traveled with them to Cleveland tested negative within 72 hours of the debate.

“I don’t want to go backwards,” Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s White House physician, said Monday when asked about the president’s last negative test results — one of at least seven times White House officials declined to answer the question since Friday.



a man in a suit standing in front of a crowd: President Donald Trump tosses a cap to supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2020.


© Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images, FILE
President Donald Trump tosses a cap to supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2020.

The White House, which has made contradictory statements about when and how often Trump is tested, said the president first tested positive Thursday evening, and first discussed symptoms with his doctor at that time. Studies have shown that coronavirus patients are infectious up to two days before the onset of symptoms.

“People ought to have the right to know whether or not they should be quarantining themselves, if they’re at risk,” Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, told ABC News. “Potentially the president and his team have put others in harm’s way.”

MORE: Timeline of Trump’s reported COVID diagnosis and treatment

While it’s not clear when Trump was infected with the virus, the White House’s silence raises questions about its compliance with debate rules, the frequency of Trump’s tests, and whether the president or his aides had concerns about him having the virus before he tested positive — as he kept up his busy schedule of campaign events.

It has also added scrutiny to the safety precautions in place for the upcoming matchup with Biden, after Trump’s campaign said he intends to debate Biden in person next week in Florida.

“I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate,” the former vice president told reporters Tuesday.

White House, debate organizers required negative tests for candidates, campaign teams

Debate organizers required the Biden and Trump campaigns’ medical teams to test the candidates and their traveling parties within 72 hours of last Tuesday’s debate, and “certify” to the Cleveland Clinic that each person traveling tested negative within that window.

“Each campaign complied with this requirement,” the clinic, which partnered with the Commission on Presidential Debates to stage the debate, said in a statement.

Specifically, each campaign provided a list of names and the results of their test, clinic spokesperson

Read more

8-year-old hit by stray bullet in Garden Valley: ‘He won’t be the same’

The young victim was airlifted to Boise for treatment, but is now recovering at home.

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho — A boy is recovering after being shot by a stray bullet in Boise County Friday night.

According to the Boise County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting happened at 11 p.m. Friday at a home in Garden Valley. The bullet struck the 8-year-old in the hand and neck, the sheriff said.

The injured child, LJ, was airlifted to a hospital in Boise for treatment, and later released to recover at home. The boy’s wound is not believed to be life-threatening.

“He won’t be the same, but he’s doing alright right now,”  Jason Petrick, LJ’s father said. “His mother told me the other day that right now he’s scared of getting shot again and that really hurts.”

Deputies investigated the shooting with help from Idaho State Police, and ultimately charged 41-year-old Brandon L. Nelson with injuring another by careless handling and discharge of firearms. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to six months in jail.

Nelson is the neighbor of LJ’s father. Petrick told KTVB, he would like to see a more reasonable charge for Nelson and that he be held responsible.

“If you’re drunk and driving a car, no matter what the circumstances are, if you kill someone you’re going to prison for a long time, if you’re drunk and playing with a gun you’ve taken pretty much the same responsibility, you’ve taken your life and other people’s life into your hands,” Petrick said.

KTVB reached out to Boise County Sheriff’s to find out if Nelson was under the influence when this happened. In a statement, the Sheriff said, “we are not releasing anymore information pending the outcome of the investigation.” 

Further charges are being reviewed in the case, and the investigation is ongoing. 


Source Article

Read more

Why Won’t the White House Let the CDC Contact Trace Its Rose Garden Event?

But Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court.

—Edgar Allen Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”

It is now more than a week since the White House hosted a Rose Garden ceremony to announce and celebrate the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. More than a dozen people who attended have tested positive for Covid since then, including the president of the United States, his campaign manager Bill Stepien, and his press secretary Kayleigh McEnamy, making this a possible “superspreader event.”

The Centers for Disease Control, standing by to send in a contact tracing team, has been rebuffed. In any other administration, we would call that very odd. In this administration, we call it unsurprising. Dr. Sean Conley said that contact tracing is underway internally, but multiple news sources have tried and failed to find anyone present at the event who was interrogated, and Conley’s reputation for truthfulness has taken a few hits this past weekend. CNN reports that it interviewed “more than half a dozen people who came into contact with Trump over the past week” yet “uncovered little more than a few phone calls and emails to potentially infected people encouraging them to get tested.”

Probably the White House is conducting something that it considers to be contact tracing. But whatever it’s doing clearly doesn’t come close to meeting the CDC’s guidelines, which is why it wants to keep the CDC out.

Why can’t real contact tracing take place? Because that would require various parties, starting with the president, to speak truthfully about when they learned they’d been exposed to someone with Covid; when they got tested; what type of test they received; and what precautions they took not to infect other people. All of which might furnish an uncomfortably precise answer to Howard Baker’s favorite Watergate question, “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

Perhaps other top officials in the White House could be counted on to speak truthfully if the president agreed to be truthful. But Donald Trump has never needed much encouragement to lie even about trivial matters. And this particular matter isn’t trivial. In this instance, the likeliest explanation for White House evasions on this matter is that Trump learned he’d been exposed to Covid much sooner than we’ve been told, and that he should have quarantined himself for most of last week.

Trump is already coming under heavy criticism for making various public appearances—a rally in Duluth, a fundraiser in Bedminster, N.J.—after he he knew Hope Hicks had Covid, or at least after he knew she was showing symptoms. We learned of Hicks’s infection not because the White House revealed it, but because a Bloomberg reporter found out about it. A public statement on Saturday about Trump having had Covid for 72 hours had to be walked

Read more