White House official says Trump received first rapid test on Thursday night
A White House official told CBS News that Mr. Trump received a rapid test Thursday night after he returned from an event at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The White House learned of Trump adviser Hope Hicks’s positive test on Thursday, “minutes” before the president was supposed to leave for New Jersey. Several staff members were then pulled from the trip at that time.
The official told CBS News that Mr. Trump took the rapid test when he returned to Washington because of Hicks’ diagnosis. The rapid coronavirus test came back positive, which prompted the PCR test to confirm. When Mr. Trump called into “Hannity” on Thursday evening, he had already received the positive rapid test and was awaiting the PCR results. The results came late Thursday evening, and he tweeted them shortly after, the official said.
The official said the president had not exhibited symptoms in New Jersey. The official noted he seemed “a little tired,” though the official chalked that up to the late returns to the White House the previous two nights.
Asked repeatedly why the president had not taken a test prior to his departure to New Jersey upon the White House learning of Hope’s positive result, the official said they assumed the president had received a negative test earlier in the day, but was unable to confirm whether that was the case. The official noted the president has said in the past both that he is tested “regularly” and “daily.”
McConnell says Trump “sounds well” after phone call
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he had spoken to Mr. Trump by phone, and that the president “sounds well.”
“Just had another great call with @POTUS. He sounds well and says he’s feeling good. We talked about the people’s business — fighting the pandemic, confirming Judge Barrett, and strengthening the economy for American families. Let’s keep our President & First Lady in our prayers,” McConnell said.
McConnell announced earlier on Saturday that he would seek to obtain a consent agreement for the Senate to meet in pro forma sessions until October 19. However, he said that the Judiciary Committee would continue with confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett as planned.
Trump campaign launches “Operation MAGA” for surrogates to take to the trail
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who has tested positive for COVID-19, said in a statement that the campaign would launch “Operation MAGA” for surrogates to take to the campaign trail while the president is recuperating.
“Operation MAGA will fire up the entire MAGA universe to keep President Trump’s campaign at full speed until our Commander-in-Chief returns to the campaign trail,” Stepien said. “Vice President Mike Pence, the First Family, our coalitions, and our grassroots supporters will be out in full force to show the real enthusiasm behind the President’s re-election and to show we’re working as hard as he always does.”
Vice President Mike Pence and members of Mr. Trump’s family will make appearances in key swing states in the coming days, the statement said.
Trump received oxygen at the White House Friday
Two sources say President Trump received oxygen at the White House Friday before heading to Walter Reed, CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid reports.
It is unclear, however, if he needed the oxygen. Reid reports she was told this is default for patients in this situation and it is unclear whether he had trouble breathing and actually needed it. This may be standard medical protocol and not an indication that Mr. Trump was suffering shortness of breath.
The president’s physician on Saturday declined to say whether the president had received oxygen treatment previously, simply telling reporters that he was not on oxygen Thursday, at Walter Reed on Friday, or on Saturday.
“No oxygen, none at this moment, and yesterday with the team when we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” Dr. Sean Conley said, referring to Mr. Trump’s arrival at the hospital.
Mike Pence: “Keep those prayers coming America!”
Vice President Mike Pence said in a tweet Saturday: “Keep those prayers coming America!”
“President @realDonaldTrump ‘doing very well’ at @WRBethesda and @FLOTUS ‘doing great’ convalescing at home,” he tweeted. “Grateful to God and the incredible medical team caring for our friends. Keep those prayers coming America!”
Physician walks back comments about when Trump was diagnosed
The president’s physician said in a memorandum Saturday that he misspoke when he said earlier that the president was “72 hours into the diagnosis” and that Mr. Trump received antibody treatment 48 hours ago.
“This morning while summarizing the president’s health, I incorrectly used the term ‘seventy two hours’ instead of ‘day three’ and ‘forty eight hours’ instead of ‘day two’ with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy. The president was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday, October 1st and received Regeron’s antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd,” Dr. Sean Conley said, misspelling Regeneron.
Conley’s comments to the press earlier on Saturday led to confusion about when the president knew he had COVID-19. Mr. Trump announced in a tweet very early Friday morning that he had tested positive for the virus.
Trump thanks staff at Walter Reed and says he is “feeling well”
In his first tweet of the day, President Trump thanked the staff of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he spent the night.
“Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!! Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Although the president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters that the president was in “good spirits” on Saturday, a source familiar with the president’s health later said the president’s “vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care.”
McConnell confirms Senate Judiciary Committee will still meet for confirmation hearings
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate will meet in pro forma sessions for the next two weeks and resume in-person business on October 19, after three Republican senators tested positive for COVID-19 in two days. The Senate was initially scheduled to meet next week, but McConnell said “previously-scheduled floor activity will be rescheduled until after October 19.”
However, McConnell said the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue with confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett beginning on October 12 as planned.
“The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham,” McConnell said.
Two members of the committee, Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, have tested positive for the virus.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed McConnell’s announcement in a statement.
“If it’s too dangerous to have the Senate in session it is also too dangerous for committee hearings to continue. Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham’s monomaniacal drive to confirm Judge Barrett at all costs needlessly threatens the health and safety of Senators, staff, and all those who work in the Capitol complex,” Schumer said.
Trump’s vitals over past 24 hours were “very concerning,” source says
A source familiar with the president’s health said Saturday that his “vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care.”
“We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” the source said.
The comment was made as President Trump’s physician on Saturday said the president is doing “very well” as he is treated for COVID-19 at Walter Reed. Dr. Sean Conley had said Mr. Trump’s symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, “are now resolving and improving.”
“He’s in exceptionally good spirits,” said Sean Dooley, another doctor.
Trump’s physician says president is fever-free and not on oxygen
Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, told reporters Saturday that the president was, but sidestepped several questions about whether Mr. Trump had received oxygen treatment.
“This morning, the president is doing very well,” Conley told reporters, saying the president was “just 72 hours into the diagnosis now,” and the first week of the illness is the most critical.
“At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” Conley continued. He added that “the president has been fever-free for over 24 hours.”
Conley said he did not want to put a “hard date” for when Mr. Trump would be discharged. Conley repeatedly avoided questions about whether the president was treated with supplemental oxygen prior to Saturday, before finally saying that he was not on oxygen on Thursday and had not been treated with oxygen when the president was at Walter Reed on Friday.
He declined to disclose the president’s temperature when he had a fever, but said that the president had been feverish from Thursday into Friday. Conley also avoided answering questions about when the president had been infected.
Chris Christie tests positive for COVID-19
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who participated in debate prep with President Trump, announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19,” he said. “I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two. I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition.”
Trump’s physician gives update on his condition
on the president’s condition Saturday. Dr. Sean Conley is giving the update at Walter Reed medical center, where Mr. Trump spent the night.
Watch it live in the video player below or at the top of this page:
Pence to campaign in Arizona next week
The Trump campaign announced Saturday that Vice President Mike Pence will host a campaign event in Arizona on October 8, the day after he is scheduled to debate Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris. Pence will host the “Make America Great Again!” event in Peoria.
Pence tested negative for coronavirus on Friday and Saturday, after President Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning.
The Trump campaign has frequently held events with limited social distancing and without mask mandates.
First lady is “doing well,” spokesperson says
Stephanie Grisham, the spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump, told CBS News in a statement that the first lady is “doing well” after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Her symptoms have not worsened and she continues to rest,” Grisham said. “She remains in touch with her husband. She is thinking of all who are ill and wishes them a speedy recovery.”
The first lady did not travel to Walter Reed with her husband on Friday.
Pence and second lady test negative for coronavirus
A spokesperson confirmed that Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence were tested Saturday morning for COVID-19 and received negative results. The two also tested negative on Friday.
The official told CBS News that Pence will host a White House Coronavirus Task Force call at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
Jason Miller, involved in Trump’s debate prep, tests negative
Senior Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller, who was involved in the president’s debate prep, confirmed to CBS News that he has tested negative for COVID-19. He had traveled to and from the debate on Air Force One on Tuesday.
Hope Hicks and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who were also on the plane, have since tested positive for the coronavirus.
Senator Ron Johnson becomes third GOP senator to test positive
Senator Ron Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, his spokesperson announced on Saturday. Johnson is the third Republican senator to test positive for the virus in two days.
Johnson’s spokesperson said he was exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus on September 14, and then stayed in quarantine for 14 days and tested negative twice.
“He returned to Washington on Sept. 29 and shortly after was exposed to an individual who has since tested positive. After learning of this exposure, the senator was tested yesterday afternoon. This test came back positive,” the spokesperson said.
“Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms. He will remain isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor.”
Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis have also tested positive for the virus.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien tests positive for COVID-19
Bill Stepien, President Trump’s campaign manager, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a senior campaign official. Stepien, 42, plans to quarantine until he recovers.
Stepien was diagnosed Friday and had experienced “mild flu-like symptoms,” the senior campaign official said.
Deputy campaign manager Justin Clark is expected to oversee the Trump team’s headquarters while Stepien works from home, though campaign officials indicate he will still lead the campaign operation.
In the coming days, the campaign plans to launch surrogates for in-person events, including Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s sons Don Jr. and Eric and the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.
White House physician says Trump is doing “very well”
President Trump’s physician said Friday night that the president has started remdesivir therapy and is doing “very well,” according to a statement tweeted by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“This evening I am happy to report that the President is doing very well,” he wrote. “He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy. He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably.”
Trump tweets update from the hospital
President Trump tweeted an update from the hospital late Friday night. “Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!” the president wrote.
This is the first time the president has tweeted since he was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus. Hours earlier, he tweeted a video of himself in the White House in which he said “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.”
Kellyanne Conway tests positive for COVID-19
Kellyanne Conway, former senior adviser to President Trump, tweeted late Friday that she tested positive for COVID-19.
“My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” she said.
She is the latest member of the Trump orbit to test positive, after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive on Thursday.