Trump in hospital; campaign chief positive for COVID-19 – Live

Donald Trump is undergoing remdesevir treatment at the Walter Reed military hospital.

White House doctor Sean P Conley says that Trump is doing very well, does not need supplemental oxygen [Reuters]
  • US President Donald Trump was moved to the Walter Reed medical centre, a military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, for treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • The White House doctor said the president was “fatigued, but in good spirits”. He is being treated with remdesevir as well as the experimental drug cocktail, Regeneron’s REGN-COV2.
  • In a tweet after being hospitalised, Trump said he thought he was doing well.
  • Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis has raised questions about the potential effects on next month’s presidential election as he has been forced to withdraw at least temporarily from the campaign.

Here are the latest updates:

October 3, Saturday

15:14 GMT – Donald Trump Jr. gets negative COVID-19 test

US President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, said Saturday that he tested negative for COVID-19.

“I tested negative so I’ll give it a few more days out of an abundance of caution and test again and if I’m clear I’ll be back to work asap,” he wrote on Twitter.

He also thanked everyone who has sent well-wishes to his father and their family.

15:10 GMT – Third Republican senator tests positive for COVID-19

On Saturday, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.

“Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing any symptoms,” a statement from his office said on Saturday.

He is the third Republican senator to test positive for the disease, after Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, also Republicans, said Friday that they had received positive diagnoses.

12:30 GMT – China’s Xi wishes Trump speedy recovery: state media

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to Donald Trump and his wife Melania on Saturday, wishing them a speedy recovery from the coronavirus, Chinese state television reported.

Trump sparred with Beijing in the past about its handling of the virus, heightening tensions between the two countries.

11:45 GMT – UK PM Johnson says ‘resilient’ Trump will make strong recovery

British Prime Minster Boris Johnson said he has no doubt Donald Trump will make a very strong recovery from COVID-19, calling him a very “resilient character”.

Johnson, who himself was hospitalised with the coronavirus in April, was speaking to reporters before a call about Brexit with the European Union.

“I’ve no doubt that he will, he’ll make a very strong recovery,” said Johnson. “He’s a naturally obviously very resilient character and I’m sure he’ll come through it very well.”

UK Brexit
Boris Johnson says Donald Trump is a very ‘resilient character’ [AFP]


11:00 GMT – Five things you need to know about Trump’s COVID-19 infection

US President Donald Trump’s diagnosis as COVID-19 positive adds extraordinary drama to an already fast-moving and tumultuous US election campaign.

Here are the five facts about the infection of the US president.

10:00 GMT -Biden: It is not about being tough guy

Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, pulled advertisements attacking Trump off the air but otherwise continued his campaign, travelling to Michigan after testing negative for the virus.

At a union hall in Grand Rapids, Biden said he was praying for his rival’s recovery. However, he also implicitly criticised Trump, who has mocked Biden for routinely wearing a mask and has held huge campaign rallies with little social distancing.

“Be patriotic,” Biden said. “It’s not about being a tough guy. It’s about doing your part.”

09:00 GMT – The long history of hiding US presidential illnesses

The US president catches a deadly virus amid a worldwide pandemic and Americans are left in the dark regarding many of the details.

That may sound like a possible scenario involving Donald Trump and his COVID-19 diagnosis but, in reality, it was President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 who kept his bout with the “Spanish flu” under wraps.

Read more on the long history of hiding US presidential illnesses here.

Wilson AP photo
Wilson hid his  flu in April 1919 while he was in France for the Paris Peace Conference [AP]

07:30 GMT – Timeline: President Trump’s comments on the coronavirus

President Donald Trump has sought to minimise the risks of the coronavirus since it first emerged and has contradicted US public health experts as he pushed to reopen the US economy.

On the campaign trail, Trump has mocked his Democratic rival Joe Biden for excessive caution and warned voters Biden would seek to shut down the US economy to control the virus.

Read his comments on the virus here.

06:15 GMT – Trump ‘has mild fever’

Donald Trump has a mild fever, a source familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency, regarding the US president’s current condition.

White House doctor Sean P Conley had said earlier that Trump was doing very well, did not need supplemental oxygen, and had received a first dose of remdesivir, an intravenous antiviral drug that has been shown to shorten hospital stays.

04:37 GMT – Trump’s campaign manager tests positive

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh has confirmed the news, which was first reported by Politico magazine.

Politico said Stepien received his diagnosis on Friday and is experiencing “mild flu-like symptoms”.

Stepien, who joined Trump at Tuesday’s first presidential debate, plans to quarantine until he recovers.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien stands alongside US President Donald Trump as he speaks with reporters on board Air Force One as he flies from Manchester, New Hampshire to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on August 28, 2020 [Saul Loeb/ AFP]

Hello, this is Umut Uras in Doha taking over from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.

04:05 GMT – Trump receives remdesivir dose

Trump is being treated with remdesivir and is “resting comfortably” after being admitted to hospital following his coronavirus diagnosis, according to his doctor.

“This evening I am happy to report that the president is doing very well,” Sean P Conley said in a statement released by the White House.

“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.”

03: 44 GMT – Trump tweets: “Going well, I think!”

After being hospitalised with COVID-19, Trump tweeted that he thought he was doing well.

“Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!” he said.

02:35 GMT – Kellyanne Conway tests positive for COVID-19

Kellyanne Conway, a former counsellor to Trump, said she had 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,” Conway tweeted.

01:47 GMT – Republican Senator Thom Tillis tests positive

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said he has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking a rapid antigen test.

He said he has no symptoms but will be isolating.

Tillis, who is up for re-election in November, is the latest person to be diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending the Supreme Court nomination ceremony in the White House Rose Garden for Amy Coney Barrett. Tillis was wearing a mask at the ceremony.

01:34 GMT – Trump’s transfer to Walter Reed ‘major’ development, says analyst

Peter Mathews, a professor of Political Science at Cypress College in California, said the president’s move to Walter Reed was significant, adding that it is important to know what plans are in place for any transfer of power.

“The fact that he’s been transferred to Walter Reed is a major development. He could have been quarantined in the White House and waited it out there. It could be they are being very cautious as he’s the president, but still, you have to take these things seriously and look at what is being put in place by this administration to make sure there’s a smooth transition,” Mathews told Al Jazeera.

“There’s two ways to go and there’s a precedent when President Ronald Reagan had to go in for surgery, he signed a letter saying he’s turning over power to Vice President George H W Bush for eight hours and then he would resume after that. And it worked out pretty smoothly. That’s one way, with the president voluntarily signs a statement.

“Another way is when the president is incapacitated, and it seems very clear that he is, the vice president has to lead and call the cabinet has to vote by majority vote to proceed to transfer of power to the vice president. When that happens, the president can challenge it if he’s available to do that, then it goes to Congress where it is voted by a two-thirds majority in each house to transfer the power over. So there’s a couple of options here and it all depends on how President Trump comes through right now as far as his physical health goes.”

President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday, October 2, 2020 [Jacquelyn Martin/ AP]

00:53 GMT – How serious are Trump’s risk factors?

Esther Choo, an emergency physician and professor at Oregon Health and Science University, told Al Jazeera that Trump has a number of risk factors for severe COVID-19.

“He falls into several categories of people who tend to experience more severe symptoms of COVID-19 and to need hospitalisation, his age, his obesity, the fact he’s male – there seems to be a male predominance in severe disease and hospitalisation and ICU care and fatalities.”

And referring to Trump’s doctor revealing that the president has high calcium in his coronary arteries, Choo said: “He has some coronary heart disease. So he has more than one risk factor, but that’s across the population and how that plays out in an individual person, we never know.

“He also has some positive things – he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t drink alcohol and also importantly, he’s extremely wealthy and privileged.”

00:22 GMT -N Korea’s Kim wishes Trump recovery from coronavirus

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a message of sympathy to Trump and his wife Melania, wishing they would recover from the COVID-19 illness, state media reported.

“He sincerely hoped that they would recover as soon as possible. He hoped they will surely overcome it,” the Korean Central News Agency reported. “He sent warm greetings to them.”

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of Donald Trump announcing his COVID-19 diagnosis. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

For all the key developments from yesterday, October 2, go here

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies