‘Don’t let it dominate you’ Trump says: US Election news

President Trump stages return to White House after COVID-19 bout, Biden says US is in a ‘national emergency’

President Donald Trump gives thumbs from the White House balcony upon returning from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center [Alex Brandon/AP Photo]
President Donald Trump gives thumbs from the White House balcony upon returning from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center [Alex Brandon/AP Photo]
  • Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday, as he continued to downplay the threat of the coronavirus.
  • White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Joe Biden campaigned in Florida, a state key to a Trump victory.
  • Early voting began in California, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Nebraska.
  • After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court began its 2020-2021 term with 29 days until the election on November 3.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US elections. This is William Roberts and Joseph Stepansky.

Monday, October 5:

21:00 ET – Joe Biden says US is in a national emergency, should implement mask, testing policies for COVID19

“We are under attack, 200 thousand plus have died, 50 thousand a day are getting the virus, a thousand a day – or thereabouts – are dying,” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in a televised town hall event on NBC.

“This is a national emergency and so the president should take responsibility and the federal government has an obligation to lay out basic guidelines and the science matters,” Biden said.

Biden said he would work with governors and local authorities to mandate  national mask and social distance guidelines and would move to provide rapid COVID-19 testing for all Americans, “so people can in fact be in a position where they can reopen their businesses”.

“We know how to open schools safely” by providing federal funding for ventilation, masks, social distancing and testing, Biden said. “It costs money to deal with all these things and we should in fact be using the money passed by the Congress.”

US Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden says the US is in a ‘national emergency’ as COVID-19 continues to kill more than 200,000 Americans. Biden appeared in an NBC News town hall event while campaigning for president in Miami, Florida, on October 5, 2020. [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

20:30 ET – ‘Don’t let it dominate you,” Trump says at White House after returning from Walter Reed Medical Center

President Trump appeared mask-less and defiant in a video released on Twitter shortly after he returned to the White House from Walter Reed National Medical Center.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump said.

“We’re going back, we’re going back to work. We’re going to be out front. … Don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful.”

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House after returning from the Walter Reed National Medical Center for COVID-19 treatment in a video posted on Trump’s Twitter account [@realDonaldTrump/Handout via Reuters]

19:45 ET – White House will not do contact tracing of guests at Amy Coney Barrett’s Rose Garden announcement

The White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Rose Garden celebration of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, the New York Times reported.

More than 200 people packed into the White House event 10 days ago, attended by at least eight people including President Trump who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The White House will not do contact tracing for more than 200 guests who attended Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nominations ceremony [Alex Brandon/ AP Photo]

19:30 ET – US Senate will begin virtual hearings on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett next week

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin a virtual hearing on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett next week.

The hearing will be conducted with participation of senators via video connection, despite complaints from Democrats seeking to delay the proceedings, Republicans said.

Two Republican members of the committee – Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – have tested positive for the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Public health guidelines require them to quarantine for at least 10 days.


18:56 ET – President Trump arrives back at White House

President Donald Trump arrived back at the White House after a short helicopter ride on Marine One from Walter Reed National Medical Center.

Trump walked up the steps of the South Portico, took off his medical mask, gave two thumbs up to media looking on, and saluted Marine One as it departed before he entered the residence.

Marine One departs with President Donald Trump as he leaves Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was being treated for COVID-19 to return to the White House, [Leah Millis/Reuters]

18:38 ET – President Trump departs Walter Reed hospital

President Donald Trump walked out of the doors of Walter Reed National Medical Center, got into a motorcade vehicle for the short drive to his helicopter Marine One.

“Thank you,” Trump said to the media without stopping to take questions.

US President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he departs Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a fourth day of treatment for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to return to the White House [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

18:00 ET – President Trump is poised to leave hospital for White House

President Donald Trump is prepared to leave Walter Reed hospital and return to the White House within the hour.

Trump is expected to depart the military hospital at 6:30 pm ET through the main entryway where media cameras have been set up for media briefings by his doctors. He will walk to his Marine One helicopter for the ten-minute ride back to the White House, according to a White House update.

17:45 ET – Democratic Senate candidate in NC caught in ‘sexting’ scandal

Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for US Senate in North Carolina has been caught in a ‘sexting’ scandal, according to reports.

Cunningham on Friday acknowledged sending texts of a sexual nature to a woman who is not his wife after a report in a right-leaning investigative news outlet.

The married father of two has been leading in polls against his Republican opponent, incumbent Senator Thom Tillis. He has apologized and said he will remain in the race.

Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, left, and US Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican, engaged in a  televised debate on October 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Control of the Senate could hinge on the outcome of their contest [Gerry Broome, Pool via AP Photo]

17:30 ET – Group of women-led political groups plan $10 mn ad buy for Kamala Harris

A group of women-led political groups is planning to run $10 mn in digital ads to support Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris in advance of her debate with Vice President Mike Pence.

The online ads will showcase Harris’ record on health care and criminal justice reform, according to a CBS News report. One ad will feature former President Barack Obama who says Harris is “more than prepared for the job” and is “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers”.

The ads are backed by political action committees Pacronym, Black PAC, and Emily’s List Women Vote! and will run on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pandora, Roku and other digital platforms, CBS said.

17:00 ET –  Two-thirds of US citizens say Trump acted irresponsibly: Poll

Two-thirds of US citizens say Trump handled the risk of coronavirus infection to others around him irresponsibly, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

Meanwhile, 69 percent of Americans said they trusted little of what they heard from the White House about the President’s health. Only 12 percent they trusted almost all of it.

Additionally, 63 percent of those polled said they don’t expect Trump’s infection to change anything about the way that he handles the pandemic.

16:30 ET – Biden visits Miami’s Little Haiti

Biden, during a visit to Miami’s Little Haiti, vowed to keep Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in place,

The status allowed Haitians who arrived in the US up to a year after the 2010 earthquake to stay in the US on a temporary basis. The status had been extended every year until 2017, when the Trump administration sought to end it.

A California judge issued an injunction against ending the programme, but an appeals court lifted that injunction in September.

Jill Biden moves her husband, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, back from members of the media as he speaks outside his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Delaware [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

15:45 ET – Trump doctor again refuses to say when Trump last tested negative for coronavirus

Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, on Monday again declined to say when the last time Trump tested negative for the coronavirus.

The timeline of when Trump last tested negative could shed light on who he may have been exposed to when he was possibly infected.

The president has been criticised for going to Bedminster, New Jersey for a fundraiser after aide Hope Hicks, who he had been in close contact with, tested positive.

15:30 ET – Trump doctor says treatments given to Trump ‘uncharted territory’

Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, told reporters that the medical team was in “uncharted territory” in terms of the therapies given to the president at this stage of infection.

“We’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course,” Conley said, when asked about the timeline for Trump to be considered no longer in danger.

“So we’re looking to this weekend. If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving. Better yet, Then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief,” he said.

15:15 ET – Trump doctor says president’s condition supports ‘safe return home’

Trump’s medical team has said that he has met the standards for discharge to the White House and “support the President’s safe return home, where he’ll be surrounded by World Class medical care”.

Dr Sean Conley added that Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet”.

Read more here.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows holds the door for Dr Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, and other doctors, as they walk out the door to talk with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center [Evan Vucci/The Associated Press]

14:45 ET – Trump tweets he’s returning to White House

Trump has tweeted that he is returning to the White House from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for the coronavirus.

The president said he will be leaving at 6:30 PM ET and is “feeling really good!”

He added “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life”.

14:30 ET – Trump defends decision to take car ride

Trump has defended a car ride he took Sunday to greet supporters who gathered outside of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated.

The ride had been criticised, notably by a doctor at the hospital, for putting Secret Service and other personnel at risk of infection.

“It is reported that the media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respects to the president,” Trump tweeted.

“If I didn’t do it, media would say RUDE,” he added.

14:00 ET – Doctor to give update on Trump

White House physician Sean Conley will provide an update Monday at 3:00 ET on Donald Trump’s health condition, three days after the president was hospitalised with COVID-19.

The 74-year-old has been receiving treatment since Friday at Walter Reed military hospital just outside Washington, where doctors have been weighing whether to allow him to return to the White House.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows said earlier that a decision on a possible discharge was expected later on Monday

13:30 ET – Analysis: The Trump presidency is now the coronavirus presidency

For better or for worse, and despite US President Donald Trump’s efforts, coronavirus and Trump are forever entwined: It has defined his presidency and may likely decide his political fate.

Trump has struggled to rewrite the script of the 2020 campaign to shift it from being a referendum on his presidency and his handling of the pandemic and instead on defining Joe Biden as a “disaster” for the country.

Now, four weeks from election day, Trump finds himself fighting COVID-19, quarantined and unable to keep up his efforts to shift the narrative.

In reality, the narrative is now set: The Trump presidency is the coronavirus presidency. Read more here.

President Donald Trump gives thumbs up as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday after he tested positive for coronavirus [File: Alex Brandon/the Associated Press]

13:00 ET – Melania Trump tweets ‘I am feeling good’

First Lady Melania Trump tweeted on Monday that she is “feeling good and will continue to rest at home”.

Upon announcing Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, the White House also said that Melania had contracted the virus. Officials said she had mild symptoms.

“My continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus,” she wrote.

12:30 ET – More White House staffers test positive

US media has reported that Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, both staffers in the White House press office, has tested positive for coronavirus.

ABC News reported that Gilmartin had tested positive, while Bloomberg News reported that Leavitt had tested positive. A reporter for Bloomberg also tweeted that additional mid-level staffers in the White House had tested positive.

12:00 ET – Biden says he is willing to debate Trump if experts say it is safe

Biden has said he is willing to participate in next week’s scheduled debate with Trump if health experts say it would be safe.

Trump’s medical team is weighing whether the president can leave the hospital later on Monday after being admitted last week for COVID-19.

Trump tested positive days after the first presidential debate, raising concerns Biden, who most recently tested negative on Sunday, may have been exposed.

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in the first presidential debate on September 29 [Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press]

11:30 ET – White House press secretary tests positive

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said she has tested positive for COVID-19, days after Trump was diagnosed.

McEnany spoke briefly with reporters Sunday evening, but says that no members of the White House press corps spent enough time around her to be considered close contacts.

She says that she is beginning the quarantine process and “will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely”.

McEnany joins a growing number of people in Trump’s orbit to test positive for the coronavirus, including his campaign manager and several Republican Senators.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said she has tested positive for coronavirus[File: Carlos Barria/Reuters]

10:45 ET – Supreme Court begins 2020-2021 term

The US Supreme Court returned to work on Monday for the first time since liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, opening its new term as Senate Republicans pursued quick confirmation of Trump’s conservative nominee to replace her.

With eight justices rather than the usual nine, the court was hearing arguments in two cases on Monday, starting a term due to run through next June that includes several major cases including one that will decide the fate of the Obamacare healthcare law. Its last term ended in July.

At least at the outset of the term, the cases are being argued as they were at the end of the last term by teleconference because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Before the first argument began, Chief Justice John Roberts paid tribute to Ginsburg, calling her a “dear friend and treasured colleague” and sent “our condolences to her children, extended family and countless admirers.” Roberts said that a memorial service will at some point be held in the courtroom.

10:00 ET – Chief of staff: Trump ‘optimistic’ he will be released Monday

Mark Meadows, United States President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, told the Fox News channel on Monday that Trump was “optimistic” he could be released from the hospital on Monday.

“This is an important day as the president continues to improve and is ready to get back to a normal work schedule,” Meadows told Fox News on Monday morning.

He said determining whether Trump would leave the hospital will not happen until later in the day after the president is evaluated by his medical team.

The still-infectious president surprised supporters who had gathered outside the hospital on Sunday, driving by in a black SUV with the windows rolled up.

The trip was criticised by medical experts for potentially putting Secret Service agents and other personnel at risk.

A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed medical centre in Bethesda, Maryland on Sunday [Alex Edelman/AFP]

09:30 ET – Biden heads to Florida

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will campaign on Monday in Florida, a state that is considered key to any path to victory for Trump.

Biden has received a boost from former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has reportedly pumped $100 million to help Biden in the state. Nevertheless, polls have indicated a softening of support from Latino voters.

Biden will campaign in Miami and Boca Raton in a state considered the presidential election’s true bellwether.

Read more here about the largest battleground state in the US.

Florida is the largest battleground state in Florida [File: Julio Cortez/The Associated Press]

09:00 ET – Trump awake and tweeting in all caps

Trump was busy on Twitter early Monday, showing more activity on his favourite social media site than in previous days after he announced he had contracted the coronavirus.

Details on Trump’s health status remain murky, with contradictory messages coming from his doctors and the White House on Saturday.

On Sunday, it was revealed that Trump had been given oxygen at least once, on Friday, when his blood-oxygen levels dipped. He was then given dexamethasone on Saturday after a second dip.

The use of the steroid has led outside medical experts to suggest that Trump’s condition may be more serious than is being revealed, despite the president’s doctors saying on Sunday that he could be released as early as Monday.


Read all the updates from Sunday, (October 4) here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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