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  • Donald Trump posted a video message on Saturday evening saying that he is “doing well”, his wife Melania is “doing very well” and the next few days will be the “real test” after he was taken to hospital with Covid-19.
  • His medical team says: “while not out of the woods yet, the team remains cautiously optimistic”.
  • Top Trump aide Nick Luna has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Joe Biden’s campaign is committing to releasing the results of all future Covid tests the candidate takes.
  • US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will depart for Japan on Sunday but will not go to Mongolia and South Korea as originally planned, after Trump’s diagnosis.
  • Germany has reported 2,279 new cases, bringing the total number to 299,237. Two people were reported to have died, bringing the death toll to 9,529.
  • Victoria, the state of Australia most affected, recorded just 12 new cases and one life lost in the past 24 hours. That’s the equal lowest death toll for almost a month.
  • Mexico’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 757,953 on Saturday, according to the health ministry, with a total reported death toll of 78,880
  • France reported 16,972 new confirmed cases over the past 24 hours on Saturday, a new daily record, as well as 49 new deaths.
  • Italy on Saturday reported 2,844 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily tally since April, when the country was still in lockdown.
  • The UK reported 12,872 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to Saturday, nearly double the number reported a day earlier, which was blamed on reporting delays from previous weeks, as it came to light that the government does not currently know Saturday’s actual number of new infections.
  • Brazil on Saturday registered 599 new coronavirus deaths and 26,310 new confirmed cases.
  • Tunisian authorities will ban all gatherings and reduce working hours for employees in the public sector in order to stop the rapid spread of the coronavirus
  • Ireland is seeing a “significant escalation” in coronavirus infections, after reporting the highest daily death toll since May and the third-highest number of daily cases recorded to date.
  • Thousands of Israelis protested again across the country on Saturday, flouting a new law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during a new national coronavirus lockdown


Boris Johnson’s reputation among Conservative members has plunged to a record low, it has emerged, as the party enters its annual conference facing accusations of a “chumocracy” at the top of government.

With Tory MPs restless over the government’s performance, which has seen it lose a huge poll lead over Labour since the start of the pandemic, the prime minister has recorded his first ever negative satisfaction rating among a survey of Tory members on the ConservativeHome website. He recorded the second-lowest score of any cabinet member, with only education secretary Gavin Williamson performing worse.

The prime minister will attempt to use the virtual party conference this week to try to relaunch his premiership by looking to the programme he wants to pursue beyond the Covid crisis, which has dominated his time in Downing Street.

Read more here:

Hong Kong health authorities are reportedly about to announce five new recorded cases - making it two weeks since the city reported figures above 20. The South China Morning Post also reported one of the five cases is a 22-year-old student at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education Lee Wai Lee campus in Tseung Kwan O, where more than 2,000 other students and staff were being now tested.

On Saturday the overall number of local cases stood at 5,108, with 105 related deaths.

AAP: West Australian authorities have confirmed a crew member from a cargo ship docked at Fremantle Port has been tested for Covid-19.

The crew member aboard the Kota Legit vessel was tested after it emerged they had been unwell while the ship was at sea, WA Health said in a statement on Sunday.

The result of the test is not yet known.

“The crew member is currently well but as a precautionary measure that crew member was tested for Covid-19 yesterday,” WA Health said.

“The result of that of test will be available soon.

“The rest of the crew remain well. Any necessary changes to the further management of the ship will be made once that test result is known. In the meantime, the ship will remain at Fremantle Port with all crew remaining onboard.”

The ship arrived in Fremantle after a seven-day voyage from Port Klang in Malaysia. It’s believed to have been in China and Singapore prior to that.

It comes as authorities continue to deal with an outbreak of 17 cases on the Patricia Oldendorff bulk carrier off Port Hedland.

The vessel, carrying 20 Filipino nationals and the captain, arrived from Manila on September 16 and is anchored eight nautical miles off WA’s northwest coast.

Nine people remain on the ship as essential crew, seven of whom have tested positive.

There are also a dozen crew members in quarantine at the fenced-off Hedland Hotel and 10 of them have tested positive.

None are seriously unwell.

Authorities are confident the ship will set sail in the next week. WA recorded no new cases on Sunday and has 17 active cases.

A couple of follow ups to those White House photos of Trump Signing Things.

The photos released by the WH tonight of the president working at Walter Reed were taken 10 minutes apart at 5:25:59 pm and 5:35:40 pm ET Saturday, according to the EXIF data embedded in both @AP wire postings that were shared by the White House this evening.

— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) October 4, 2020

ZOOM: @realDonaldTrump appears to be signing his name to a blank sheet of paper in this photo.

— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) October 4, 2020

In the UK, millions of employees preparing to work from home this winter will face a collective hike of almost £2bn on their energy bills, and tougher working conditions, with only a “pittance” in compensation from their employers.

Half the UK’s workforce is likely to work primarily from home over the coming months as they help to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and may see their winter energy bills rise by a fifth as radiators and boilers are kept running through the day.

The average household energy bill could climb by £107 this winter for those working from home five days a week, according to a study by Energy Helpline, which would mean a £1.9bn hike for the energy bills of working households between October and March.

Read more:

Reuters: So far, markets have been comparatively sanguine in response to Trump’s diagnosis: hopes of a breakthrough in talks among US lawmakers on another stimulus package took the edge off a stock market selloff on Friday, with the S&P 500 losing less than 1% and so-called safe-haven assets seeing limited demand. News of Trump’s hospitalisation at a military medical center outside Washington, where he remained on Saturday, came after trading ended on Friday.

Many investors are concerned, however, that a serious decline in Trump’s health less than a month before Americans go to the polls could roil a US stock market that recently notched its worst monthly performance since its selloff in March while causing turbulence in other assets.

If the president’s health is in jeopardy, there’s “too much uncertainty in the situation for the markets just to shrug it off,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.

stock exchange
If the president’s health is in jeopardy, there’s “too much uncertainty in the situation for the markets just to shrug it off,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The various outcomes investors currently envision run the gamut from a quick recovery that bolsters Trump’s image as a fighter to a drawn-out illness or death stoking uncertainty and drying up risk appetite across markets.

Should uncertainty persist, technology and momentum stocks that have led this year’s rally may be particularly vulnerable to a selloff, some investors said. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell more than 2% on Friday, double the S&P 500’s decline.

“If people ... get nervous right now, probably it manifests itself in crowded trades like tech and mega-cap being unwound a bit,” Delwiche said.

A record 80% of fund managers surveyed last month by BofA Global Research said that buying technology stocks was the market’s “most crowded” trade.

The concentration of investors in big tech stocks has also raised concerns over their outsized sway on moves in the broader market.

The largest five U.S. companies - Google parent Alphabet , Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft - now account for almost 25% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization, according to research firm Oxford Economics.

Bloomberg News is reporting - and the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman says she has separately confirmed - that top Trump aide Nick Luna has tested positive for Covid-19.

Luna serves as Trump’s “body man”, a personal attendant to the president, and was diagnosed a little over 24 hours after Trump’s admission to Walter Reed hospital, the report says. Haberman reports Luna is married to Cassidy Dumbauld, a senior advisor of Jared Kushner, husband of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

With news that the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo is scaling back a planned visit to Asia this week given the drama associated with Donald Trump’s Covid diagnosis, I’ve made a couple of quick calls to work out if Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne is still bound for Tokyo for the “quad” discussion. As far as Australia is concerned the Toyko conversation is all on track. Pompeo will be there, and so will Payne. The “quad” is a gathering between Australia, the US, Japan and India. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is the coronavirus, the impact of the pandemic on supply chains, and how to counter state sponsored disinformation.

A reminder for Australian readers who want to stay up-to-date with US election news: sign-up to our daily email briefing.

The US election briefing for Australia is an Australian take on the news, delivered every weekday at 5pm to keep you up to date with the extraordinary electoral contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The email gives you the top US election headlines and most important developments, as well as links to our full range of election coverage, all explained and presented from an Australian viewpoint.

It’s written by my Guardian colleague, columnist and former US reporter Josephine Tovey, who spent three years reporting in New York and covered the 2016 presidential election for Fairfax Media.

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Trump’s illness is dominating the front pages of the Sunday papers in Britain and the US. Below is a selection.

Tomorrow’s front page

— The Observer (@ObserverUK) October 3, 2020

The front page of The Sunday Telegraph:

'Trump 'given oxygen' as vital signs 'concerning''#TomorrowsPapersToday

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) October 3, 2020

Tomorrow's front page - Trump: Will I Die? #TomorrowsPapersToday

— Sunday Mirror (@TheSundayMirror) October 3, 2020

sunday’s @nytimes front page has one more banner headline: confusion and concern as president ails

— Josh Crutchmer (@jcrutchmer) October 4, 2020

Front page @washingtonpost during much confusion around @realDonaldTrump & his #covid19 diagnosis (when, how, where?) Question is “muddles”? Intentional? Reflexive @WhiteHouse #propaganda on the run midst panicking? Or what? Certainly highly ambiguous chronologies? #2020election

— Peter Clarke (@MediaActive) October 4, 2020

Here’s our wrap on the latest from Australia, and in particular the state of Victoria which has been under a long hard lockdown for months, but is now seeing vastly improved numbers.

Singapore is expected to move into “phase three” of its reopening plan, but recent rule changes have people wondering if they haven’t unofficially done it already.

“Instead, we are calling the big overall phases as one, two and three, like signposts that we have reached major staging points in our journey,” says Associate Prof Alex Cook, vice dean of research at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Saw Swee Hock school of public health in the Straits Times.

“Careful relaxation is necessary as countries that have rushed into reopening are entering second waves, and either starting localised lockdowns, in the case of Spain and Britain, or full national lockdowns, like Israel,” he said.

A man stands in the al fresco dining area of his restaurant situated in the Kampong Glam cultural district of Singapore.
A man stands in the al fresco dining area of his restaurant situated in the Kampong Glam cultural district of Singapore. Photograph: Wallace Woon/EPA

Restrictions have been eased over recent weeks, including doubling the number of people allowed at weddings, and allowing tourists from more countries including Australia (but not the state of Victoria), and Vietnam, and resuming live music at worship services.

Here, the Straits Times charts the plethora of changes to restrictions since the pandemic began.


The White House has released some photographs from inside Trump’s suite where he’s evidently up and about and looking at things, signing things.

Just released by the @WhiteHouse: Two official Joyce Boghosian photos showing #coronavirus patient @POTUS working inside his @WRBethesda hospital site.

— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 4, 2020

Australia is heading into summer, and for much of the country’s coastal population this usually means long days at the beach.

While the country has relatively very few cases of Covid, there are still social distancing measures in place – the only big waves we want to see are in the ocean, thanks very much.

So what does this mean for beachgoers and for the lifesavers who occasionally have to rescue them? Well, to start, there will be more crowd control, no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and swimmers should watch out for others coughing up mucus in the water (ew).

Elias Visontay takes a look:

The coronavirus will mean some big changes at the beach during Australia’s approaching summer.
The coronavirus will mean some big changes at the beach during Australia’s approaching summer. Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA


Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has reported a further 2,279 cases in the country, bringing the total number to 299,237. Two people were reported to have died, bringing Germany’s death toll to 9,529.

Donald Trump’s campaign said on Saturday it is launching an initiative called “Operation MAGA” to maintain momentum with the US president hospitalized and November’s general election just over a month away.

The operation entails “a full marshalling of top-level surrogates, campaign coalitions and Trump supporters” to carry the campaign until Trump can return to the trail, according to a campaign statement.

Vice president Mike Pence outlined the effort in an all-staff conference call Saturday afternoon with campaign manager Bill Stepien, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.

“I want to encourage you to stay in the fight,” Pence told the staff.

Boaters show their support for US president Donald Trump during a parade down the Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Boaters show their support for US president Donald Trump during a parade down the Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images


A woman who attended a Minnesota fundraiser with Donald Trump on Wednesday said it was “very safely done” with all guests tested beforehand and adherent of social distancing measures.

Helene Houle, who paid $100,000 to attend the event at a private residence in suburban Minneapolis on Lake Minnetonka, said guests were told to arrive early and were tested in their cars.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has more:

“They gave us the test in our cars, and it took about 20 minutes and they came back and told us if we were OK or not. And everyone was,” she said. The fundraiser was in a dining room with about 40 guests in all, she said. Trump spoke and took questions but did not get too close to any guests, she said.

Houle said she and other guests posed for photos with Trump but that they all stood at least 6 feet from him.

“The president was very welcoming, very personable. It was quite emotional for me, actually, to be in the same room with him,” Houle said. She said it was by far the largest political donation she’s ever made but that “if it helps him get reelected, it’s worth it.”

I think all we can really take from this is that Trump is not on supplemental oxygen right now.

Q: "Has [Trump] ever been on supplemental oxygen?"

Dr. Sean Conley: "Right now he is not on oxygen"

Q: "You keep saying right now -- but should we read into the fact that he had been previously?"

Dr. Conley: "Yesterday and today he was not on oxygen."

— The Hill (@thehill) October 4, 2020

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will depart for Japan on Sunday but will not go to Mongolia and South Korea as originally planned, the state department said on Saturday.

Reuters: Pompeo had planned to visit all three countries between 4 and 8 October. He is still set to leave for Tokyo on Sunday but will be returning to Washington on 6 October after consultations with his Japanese counterparts and attending a wider meeting with foreign affairs ministers of India and Australia.

In a speech delivered virtually earlier to the Florida Family Policy Council, Pompeo said he was in good health but that he cancelled his in-person appearance at the event “out of an abundance of caution”. He still planned to go to Asia.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Photograph: Ricardo Rojas/Reuters

“You should know that I’m feeling fine, I’m doing great. I’ve been tested twice in two days. I’m as healthy as I’ve been, and I still have a trip that I’m planning to take to Asia tomorrow,” he said.

The state department said Pompeo was expecting to travel to Asia again in October and would work to reschedule the visits in his original itinerary.

Pompeo’s visit to east Asia, his first to the region in over a year, comes at a time when US ties with Beijing are at their worst in decades. Apart from Trump, the coronavirus infected his wife, Melania, and several Republican senators, as well as millions of other Americans.


Solomon Islands records first virus case

AFP: The Solomon Islands has announced its first case of Covid-19, leaving just nine small, remote territories that have not reported a single case.

Only Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are believed to be still free of the virus.

In a television address the prime minister of the Pacific island nation, Manasseh Sogavare, said that a student who recently arrived from the Philippines on a repatriation flight carrying 96 passengers had returned a positive test.

“It pains me to say that we have lost our Covid-19-free status despite our collective effort to prevent the pandemic from entering our country,” Sogavare said.

He urged the population of 600,000 in the archipelago to remain calm and said contact tracing and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus had been activated and there was no need for a lockdown.

The student, who tested negative three times in the Philippines before boarding the flight, was found positive in a routine test on return to the capital Honiara and is now in isolation.

Manasseh Sogavare, the prime minister of the Solomon Islands.
Manasseh Sogavare, the prime minister of the Solomon Islands. Photograph: AP

Eighteen other students who tested positive remain in quarantine in Manila.

Since the Solomons borders were closed in March, more than 400 students have been stuck in the Philippines, which has been hard hit by the virus.

Under pressure from parents, Solomons officials arranged three repatriation flights with the first arriving last Tuesday.

Despite confirming its first case Sogavare said the government would continue working to bring the remaining students home.


Trump medical team ‘cautiously optimistic’

White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has just sent out a new update on Trump, from his doctor Sean Conley.

Conley says Trump has made “substantial progress since his diagnosis” and has just taken his second dose of Remdesivir “without complication”.

He remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96% and 98% all day. He spent most of the day conducting business and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty. While not out of the woods yet, the team remains cautiously optimistic. The plan for tomorrow is to continue observation in between doses of Remdesivir, closely monitoring his clinical status while fully supporting his conduct of presidential duties.”

Another nightly update from President @realDonaldTrump’s physician:

— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) October 4, 2020

Hello, this is Helen Davidson in Sydney, taking over from my US colleagues. There’s a lot of news around today, so we are consolidating our live blogs. This is where you want to be for news on the global pandemic, and on Donald Trump.

First, a quick global rundown on the latest coronavirus developments:


Eric Trump, the younger of Donald Trump’s adult sons, told Fox News pundit Jeanine Pirro that his father “sounded incredible” and was “full of energy” when they spoke on the phone on Saturday.

“Obviously Covid is very, very serious,” Eric Trump said on Saturday night in a phone interview on Justice with Judge Jeanine. “Obviously it’s something that’s affected a lot of people. And obviously it’s something that hit him very hard in the opening days. But I probably spent 20, 25 minutes on the phone with him today and he sounded incredible, honestly. He sounded clear, he sounded great.

“The man just never takes his foot off the gas. He just never, ever lets up. He might be in Walter Reed but I can assure you he was running a thousand miles a minute.”

Jeanine Pirro.
Jeanine Pirro. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

He believed his father will “hold China accountable” for the pandemic.

“This is a deadly virus; it’s something that you have to take incredibly seriously,” he said. “He was the first person to shut down travel to China – by the way, I think my father is going to hold China accountable because they need to be held fully accountable.”

Pirro, whose weekend program attracts impressive prime-time ratings by packaging the host’s acerbic hot takes with Verhoevian flair, opened Saturday’s show by saying she spoke to the president by phone “earlier this evening” and will share what he said before the end of the night.


Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin senator who has tested positive for Covid-19, has come under fire after it was revealed he attended an Oktoberfest fundraising dinner on Friday evening while awaiting the test results.

Republican senator Ron Johnson.
Republican senator Ron Johnson. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

The Daily Beast reports:

The Wisconsin Republican chose to attend the bash even though he knew that President Trump and many of his inner circle had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Johnson, who didn’t reveal his diagnosis until Saturday, justified his behavior in comments to the Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times by saying he only took his mask off when it was time to address the crowd. He also insisted that he was ‘at least 12 feet from anybody’ during his speech at the event, which was sponsored by the Ozaukee County Republican party. It was held at the River Club of Mequon, a self-described ‘casually elegant private club committed to personal service’.

‘I feel fine, I feel completely normal,’ he said in a conference call with reporters, adding that he didn’t ‘stick around’ to mingle at the dinner.

Attendees paid from $40 for a single ticket to $500 for gold host status, which included two meal tickets, priority seating, and ‘special host recognition’. Former Wisconsin attorney general Brad Schimel was the evening’s featured guest, according to an invitation on the Ozaukee County Republican party’s Facebook page.

Johnson, who heads the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee, is one of three Republican senators to test positive over the last day along with Utah’s Mike Lee and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis.


Biden says he plans to get tested again on Sunday

Joe Biden told reporters he was not screened for the coronavirus on Saturday, but plans on getting tested again on Sunday.

The Democratic presidential candidate spoke briefly with reporters outside St Joseph Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he attended mass on Saturday night, saying he underwent two tests on Friday and both came back negative.

The former vice-president’s health has been in the spotlight in the days since Trump was hospitalized with the virus. Biden was potentially exposed when he faced off with Trump in Tuesday night’s presidential debate.

Biden hasn’t commented on the possibility of going into quarantine but said Saturday he was praying for Trump’s “quick and full recovery.”

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attended mass on Saturday at St Joseph Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters


Trump to America: 'I think I'll be back soon'

Donald Trump said he believes “he’ll be back soon” in a video shared to Twitter on Saturday night.

The US president said he “wasn’t feeling so well” when he was admitted to Walter Reed medical center on Friday after testing positive for Covid-19, but said he’s “starting to feel good” and “we’re working hard to get me all the way back.”

Trump spoke with a very faint rasp and appeared slightly paler than usual while delivering the four-minute message, but was in good spirits as he expressed gratitude to the hospital staff and the well wishes he’s received from world leaders and the American people.

He emphasized that he “was given the alternative” of remaining in the White House, but chose to be admitted to the Maryland facility on his own volition, but it would have been a choice unbefitting of a great leader.

“I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say: ‘Hey, whatever happens happens,’” he said. “I can’t do that. We have to confront problems. As a leader you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that.”

This is the full transcript of the president’s remarks:

I want to begin by thanking all of the incredible medical professionals, the doctors, the nurses, everybody, at Walter Reed medical center – I think it’s the finest in the world – for the incredible job they’ve been doing. I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back, because we still have to make America great again. We’ve done an awfully good job of that, but we still have steps to go and we have to finish that job. And I’ll be back, I think I’ll be back soon, and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started and the way we’ve been doing and the kind of numbers that we’ve been doing. We’ve been so proud of it. But this was something that happened, and it’s happened to millions of people all over the world, and I’m fighting for them. Not just in the US, I’m fighting for them all over the world. We’re going to beat this coronavirus, or whatever you want to call it, and we’re going to beat it soundly.

So many things have happened. If you look at the therapeutics, which I’m taking right now, some of them, and others are coming out soon that are looking like – frankly, they’re miracles if you want to know the truth. They’re miracles. People criticize me when I say that, but we have things happening that look like they’re miracles coming down from God.

So I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good. You don’t know over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test, so we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days. I just want to be so thankful for all of the support I’ve seen, whether it’s on television or reading about it. I most of all appreciate what’s been said by the American people, by almost a bipartisan consensus of the American people. It’s a beautiful thing to see and I very much appreciate it and I won’t forget it. I promise you that.

I also want to thank the leaders of the world for their condolences and their – they know what we’re going through. They know what, as your leader, what I have to go through.

But I had no choice because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don’t ever leave, don’t even go to the Oval Office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it, don’t see people, don’t talk to people and just be done with it and I can’t do that. I had to be out front and – this is America, this is the United States, this is the greatest country in the world, this is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say: ‘Hey, whatever happens happens.’ I can’t do that. We have to confront problems. As a leader you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that.

So that’s where it is. I’m doing well. I want to thank everybody. Our first lady is doing very well. And Melania asked me to say something as to the respect that she has for our country, the love that she has for our country. And we’re both doing well. Melania is really handling it very nicely. As you’ve probably read, she’s slightly younger than me – just a little tiny bit – and therefore, just, we know the disease, we know the situation with age versus younger people. And Melania is handling it statistically like it’s supposed to be handled. And that makes me very happy, and it makes the country very happy. But I’m also doing well and I think we’re going to have a very good result. Again, over the next few days we’re going to probably know for sure. So I just want to thank everybody out there, everybody, all over the world, specifically the United States. The outpouring of love has been incredible. I will never forget. Thank you very much.


Donald Trump supporters have stood by outside Walter Reed medical center since the US president was admitted on Friday. It appears Gavin McInnes, founder of the neo-fascist group the Proud Boys, is among them.

CNN’s DJ Judd shared a photo on Saturday that appears to show McInnes, the Canadian-British far-right activist and Vice magazine co-founder who created the Proud Boys in September 2016.

It appears that Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, is here at Walter Reed Medical Center— supporters on site starting chanting “Gavin! Gavin!” as he arrived. Trump’s shoutout to the group during the debate bolstered the Proud Boys:

— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) October 3, 2020

The self-described “western chauvinist” men’s club, which has been categorized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration by the Anti-Defamation League, has been thrust into the global spotlight since Tuesday’s presidential debate, when Trump refused to condemn its associations with white supremacist ideology.

Trump was asked repeatedly by the moderator, Chris Wallace, to condemn violence by white supremacists and rightwing groups, such as armed militias, as well as criticizing leftwing protesters.

Instead, Trump addressed the Proud Boys, whose members have been sentenced to prison for attacking leftwing protesters in political street fights, and said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”

Trump supporters
Supporters of Donald Trump rally outside Walter Reed medical center on Saturday. Photograph: Alex Edelman/Getty Images
Trump supporters
Supporters of Donald Trump rally outside Walter Reed medical center on Saturday. Photograph: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

The former New Jersey governor Chris Christie has checked himself into the hospital Saturday afternoon as a precautionary measure after announcing earlier in the day that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Christie, who has asthma, said he decided it was best to be monitored at Morristown medical center after consulting with his doctors.

In consultation with my doctors, I checked myself into Morristown Medical Center this afternoon. While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 3, 2020

He reported having a slight fever and aches but said he felt well enough to drive himself to the hospital.

Though he said his breathing is fine, Christie told CNN he had started a course of the Covid-19 treatment remdesivir after being admitted.


Vanity Fair special correspondent Gabriel Sherman, the Roger Ailes biographer whose 2014 book The Loudest Voice in the Room led to a series of scoops that rocked Fox News to its foundation, reports that Donald Trump’s decision to voluntarily admit himself to Walter Reed medical center on Friday stemmed from his concern over optics in the event his condition deteriorated.

“Per source, Trump was told on Friday he could go to Walter Reed voluntarily, but he would be taken no matter what when his condition worsened,” Sherman tweeted on Saturday. “Doctors told Trump if he waited he could lose ability to walk to Marine One (optics of a wheelchair or stretcher obvs would be terrible).”

Per source, Trump was told on Friday he could go to Walter Reed voluntarily, but he would be taken no matter what when his condition worsened. Doctors told Trump if he waited he could lose ability to walk to Marine One (optics of a wheelchair or stretcher obvs would be terrible)

— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) October 3, 2020

Sherman went on to cite Republicans close to the White House who have said the president’s situation has been “far more dire” than indicated and that Trump repeatedly asked aides if he was going to die before he was transported to Bethesda facility.

“Am I going out like Stan Chera? Am I?” Trump is alleged to have said, a reference to the president’s friend and longtime supporter who died from coronavirus in April.

Trump mentioned Chera, but did not identify him, when he spoke about the effects of Covid-19 at one of his first daily coronavirus briefings back in March. “I had a friend who went to a hospital the other day. He’s a little older, and he’s heavy, but he’s [a] tough person,” Trump said. “And he went to the hospital, and a day later, he’s in a coma ... he’s not doing well ... The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, it’s horrible. It’s really horrible.”

The president also mentioned Chera at a 2019 rally when he described him as “one of the biggest builders and real estate people in the world”. The president added: “He’s a great guy, and he’s been with me from the beginning.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he urged some governors who wanted to endorse his campaign to refrain from doing so because the Trump administration might retaliate by withholding medical supplies critical to Covid-19 relief.

“I probably shouldn’t say this: I told some governors, don’t endorse me who wanted to endorse me,” Biden said Saturday at the Amalgamated Transit Union town hall in Wilmington, Delaware. “Don’t endorse me because you’ll pay a penalty. You won’t get what you need from the federal government in terms of Covid prep.”

He added: “Not a joke, my word.”

Asked what he would do differently in handling the coronavirus pandemic if he were in the White House, Biden said: “I don’t want to be attacking the president and the first lady now because they now have contracted the coronavirus. Jill and I pray for their quick and full recovery.”

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden arrives on Saturday afternoon at the Amalgamated Transit Union town hall in Wilmington, Delaware. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The NFL has postponed Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs after “positive Covid-19 tests on both teams”, the latest blow in what’s been the most turbulent week to date for America’s most popular sports league as it tries to play on through the pandemic.

Earlier Saturday, it was revealed Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, one of the NFL’s biggest stars, tested positive for coronavirus and would not play in the blockbuster showdown between the last two Super Bowl champions. The 31-year-old former Most Valuable Player signed with New England in the offseason after the departure of Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The NFL said on Saturday that the game, originally scheduled for 4:25pm ET on Sunday, would be played on Monday or Tuesday after the Chiefs expressed concern over the risk of New England traveling by plane to Kansas City so soon after Newton’s positive test. That was before Chiefs reserve quarterback Jordan Ta’amu was also revealed to have tested positive.

The news comes days after the league was forced to postpone Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Titans after 16 Tennessee players and staff members tested positive.

Cam Newton
New England quarterback Cam Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, has become the NFL’s biggest start to test positive for Covid-19. Photograph: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty said the NFL might have grown overconfident after making it through training camps and the first two weeks of the season without a major outbreak.

“But at the end of the day, we are in a pandemic,” McCourty said. “So what happened in Tennessee, although it kind of shocks us, it’s not really surprising. I think we all knew at some point we might get some positive tests.

“So it’s like, ‘We got this.’ I think this is just a little shocker, but it’s also a wakeup call, like, ‘Hey, the virus is still here and it will affect any and everybody. It doesn’t care that we’re trying to play football.”’


ABC News said all of its staffers who were in direct contact with Chris Christie will quarantine for 14 days, opening the network to further criticism over its decision to employ the former New Jersey governor as a paid analyst for Tuesday’s presidential debate after he aided Trump in preparing for it.

“[Christie] was last in our TV3 studio on Tuesday, and he won’t appear in our studio again until he’s cleared by a doctor, following guidance from the CDC and local health officials,” an ABC spokesperson told CNN Business. “Anyone on our staff in direct contact with the Governor as defined by the CDC will self-isolate for 14 days. We wish the Governor a speedy recovery.”

Christie confirmed on Saturday he was diagnosed with Covid-19, exactly one week after he attended the crowded Rose Garden ceremony where Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his supreme court nominee. Speculation is growing that the function, which took place on 25 September, could have been the source of Trump’s infection and possibly a super-spreader event, with at least seven figures in attendance having since tested positive.

“The decision for ABC News to include a Trump advisor as a paid analyst on air for the same debate for which he prepped the president was questionable,” an unnamed high-profile ABC News on-air personality told CNN Business. “Now that same advisor’s reckless behavior is risking the lives of ABC News employees. What was management thinking?”

Among the more unnerving details amid today’s confusion over the state of Donald Trump’s health was the US president’s radio silence on his preferred medium since Friday night. Would a known Twitter addict cooped up in a hospital room really go an entire day without tweeting if he were healthy?

But not long after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows contradicted the rosy outlook put forth by the president’s doctors, Trump resurfaced with a post saying he was “feeling well”.

A half hour later, he urged Congress to find middle ground on a stimulus bill.


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020


The crowded Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday at which Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his supreme court nominee has come under scrutiny amid the rising total of figures in attendance who have since tested positive for coronavirus, including Donald Trump himself.

On Friday, Kellyanne Conway, the president’s former counsellor who was seated in the second row, announced she had tested positive and had “mild” symptoms. Two Republican senators who were seated in the same row across the aisle, Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, announced they have also tested positive.

John Jenkins, the University of Notre Dame president seated behind Conway, was also later diagnosed with the disease.

Rose Garden

The White House Correspondents’ Association said that an unnamed journalist who attended the event also tested positive, according to ABC News.


Multiple sources have confirmed Donald Trump was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was transported to Walter Reed medical center, the latest in a series of conflicting reports that have raised doubts over transparency from the White House and concerns over the true state of the US president’s health.

Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, was evasive under questioning as to whether Trump had ever received oxygen in the aftermath of his coronavirus diagnosis. But the Associated Press, the New York Times and CNN confirmed Trump was given supplemental oxygen while still at the White House, citing an unnamed source who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The confusion began earlier Saturday when an unnamed source told the White House press pool that Trump went through a very concerning period Friday and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care ... only moments before Trump’s doctors painted a far rosier picture in their on-camera briefing.

Several of the organizations who reported the information were on camera when they were asked to go off the record by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, fueling speculation that he was the source of the information.

UPDATE: Immediately after the press conference ended and before the anonymous statement was sent out, Mark Meadows briefed reporters without cameras—but he was caught on a feed asking to be off the record.

— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) October 3, 2020

Here’s yet another media outlet saying Donald Trump was given supplemental oxygen following his diagnosis with coronavirus.

The White House is not exactly winning the public (or media) trust, here.

This is Eli Stokols from the Los Angeles Times, citing an unnamed source.

Trump did in fact receive supplemental oxygen Friday morning after laboring to breathe, which raised the level of alarm among WH officials.

Confirming ⁦@maggieNYT⁩ ⁦@JonLemire⁩ ⁦@KFaulders⁩ reporting >>

— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) October 3, 2020

And here’s the New York Times’s well-connected White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, on Trump’s physician Sean Conley and his abysmal performance at an official medical briefing about the president this morning.

For his entire life, the president has been phobic about illness and extremely wary of hospitals, according to people who know him personally or have worked with him. He would not have gone to a hospital if he was feeling relatively fine. 2/

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 3, 2020


The microbial path of the coronavirus through the US political realm has upended the election campaign. What happens to the main events coming up in the next month?

October 7: Vice presidential debate

As it stands, the lone debate scheduled between Republican vice president Mike Pence and Democratic challenger and California Senator, Kamala Harris, will take place this Wednesday at the University Of Utah in Salt Lake City, after both politicians tested negative for coronavirus on Friday.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has agreed to seat Harris and Pence 12 feet apart, instead of what had been expected to be seven feet, after Joe Biden’s campaign raised health and safety objections.

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris campaigning in Las Vegas earlier this week.
Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris campaigning in Las Vegas earlier this week. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

October 12: Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the US Senate

According to the Republicans’ goal of replacing supreme court justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month, with arch conservative Amy Coney Barrett before the election, the confirmation hearings in the US Senate are scheduled to begin on October 12.

But two Republican senators on the judiciary committee have already been diagnosed with Covid-19 since Trump’s diagnosis.

“Democrats have already started arguing that the process should be delayed or postponed. It’s not a matter of constitutional law, and many congressional hearings in recent months have been done remotely, so it’s up to Republicans in the Senate who control the process,” Richard Pildes, an expert on elections and US government at New York University School of Law, said.

However, when it comes to voting on Barrett: “There have been debates around remote voting and whether there’s a constitutional problem. The senate has been resistant to going that route, but they could probably do it if they chose to. But if a senator needs to be there in person, they could probably arrange it so that the chamber is cleared except for a few officials we need to be there.”

The late supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The late supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images

October 15 and October 22: Second and final presidential debates scheduled between Trump and Biden

The two remaining presidential debates are open to question. The next is scheduled for October 15 – a “town hall-style” meeting in Miami, Florida, with questions from the public – and a final debate on the October 22, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Even if Trump’s case of Covid-19 remains mild, he will still have to isolate for two weeks. That would mean he can’t set foot out of quarantine until mid to late October—putting not only the October 15 debate out of the question but throwing the October 22 debate into question

November 3: Election Day

In these final weeks of the election campaign, Trump has now swapped a busy schedule of rallies and in-person fundraisers for hospital. Biden, meanwhile, is forging ahead with his campaign schedule, as long as he and his wife Jill continue testing negative for Covid-19, as they did on Friday.

Biden had taken a low-key approach to in-person campaigning, but as he began rolling out more in-person canvassing on Thursday, he suddenly looks very present compared with the confined president. He took a seven-stop train tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania last week. When or whether Trump will be back on the campaign trail in person before November 3 is anyone’s guess.

Just wear a mask. Joe Biden arriving in Delaware yesterday.
Just wear a mask. Joe Biden arriving in Delaware yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

About 100 donors to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign paid up to $250,000 to have a buffet lunch with him at his private golf club in New Jersey on Thursday afternoon, only hours before he disclosed he tested positive for Covid-19. ABC News spoke with a number of supporters who attended the function at Trump National and came away with differing accounts of how much effort the US president made to keep six feet from his guests.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “socially distanced, it was an outdoor event and it was deemed safe by a White House operations for him to attend that event”, but campaign officials would not confirm that social distancing was maintained among the several dozen supporters who paid an extra $50,000 to meet the president inside the clubhouse for a photo.

Local health officials reached out to the Trump campaign on Friday to seek the names of those who attended “to determine the potential risk of exposure to attendees and staff at the facility to Covid-19”, according to a Somerset county spokesperson.

The campaign contacted guests Friday to alert them that the president had contracted the virus, ABC reported.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we want to call this to your attention,” the notice said. “Please contact your medical provider if you or any of your loved ones is ill or develops a fever, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms.”

“The Trump campaign, RNC, and Trump Victory are committed to doing all we can to protect the health, safety, and security of the President’s great supporters and all Americans,” it said.


Donald Trump’s doctor, Dr Sean Conley, has confirmed in a memo shared with the White House press pool that he “incorrectly used the term ‘seventy two hours’ instead of day three’ and ‘forty eight hours’ instead of ‘day two’” when briefing the press on the president’s condition outside Walter Reed medical center earlier today.

Memorandum from President @realDonaldTrump’s physician

— Judd Deere (@JuddPDeere45) October 3, 2020

CNN reports that US attorney general William Barr will not quarantine despite coming into close contact with members of Donald Trump’s circle who have since tested positive for Covid-19.

The Justice Department said Barr will not quarantine as he has tested negative for the virus.

Scientists still lack conclusive proof that the two anti-Covid drugs given to Donald Trump are clinically effective.

UK researchers point out that both medicines – remdesivir and REGN-COV2 – have still to complete the large-scale, randomised trials needed to demonstrate fully their ability to counter Covid-19 in patients. And many have criticised US authorities for their failures to carry out such trials. This has undermined efforts to find effective medicines to treat people affected by the disease.

“If President Trump gets better, we will still not know if those drugs played a role in his recovery or not. They may have been critically important or played no part at all,” said Professor Martin Landray of Oxford University. “That means when we come to treat the next patient hospitalised with Covid, we will still be none the wiser about the usefulness of those drugs.”

By contrast, Britain has adopted a policy of running blind, randomised trials to test drug efficacy through the Recovery testing programme – founded by Landray and Peter Horby, also of Oxford University. It compares responses of patients who get a treatment with those who are given a placebo. In this way, British scientists pinpointed the effectiveness of dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, in treating Covid while they demonstrated the uselessness of the much-touted drug hydroxychloroquine.

You can read the full report below:

Donald Trump: 'I am feeling well'

Many people are looking at Dr Sean Conley’s role in today’s confusion. While he is Trump’s doctor, and his loyalties lie with the president, the American public are also entitled to be given information on the health of their commander-in-chief, particularly this close to the election. Conley was evasive during the briefing – and while answering questions afterwards – and contradictory reports later on Trump’s condition means we are still not sure of the president’s status.

a campaign-style evasion from the person Americans are supposed to trust as an apolitical authority on the president's health

— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) October 3, 2020

Having said that, the president is clearly well enough to tweet.

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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020

“Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!,” he wrote in the last 30 minutes. “Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!”


Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin senator who has tested positive for Covid-19, says he is showing no symptoms.

“I never developed any symptoms; I still have never developed any symptoms. I feel fine, I feel completely normal,” the Republican senator said on Saturday. He said he was still determined to attend the vote on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the supreme court.

Johnson says he believes he may have caught the virus from his chief of staff. He added he believes Barrett’s nomination will go ahead as planned. “I think we’re catching this early enough,” he said. Although, given today’s events, it’s tough to take Republicans on their word about Covid-19.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell plans to cancel votes for next two weeks. Three Republican senators - Mike Lee, Thom Tillis and Ron Johnson – have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last few days. Democrats can still object to the move.

However, McConnell still plans to hold hearings for the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court starting on 12 October.

“The important work of the Senate’s committees can and will continue as each committee sees fit. The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene on 12 October as Chairman Graham has scheduled to begin confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by [judiciary panel chairman Lindsey] Graham,” he said.

“Since May, the Judiciary Committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some Senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually. The Committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings.”


More reports that contradict Dr Sean Conley’s earlier rosy statement on the president’s health. Conley, the president’s doctor, said Trump had not been on oxygen while he was with his team, although he would not say that the president had never been on oxygen since being diagnosed. Now the Associated Press reports that the president was on oxygen while still at the White House, and before being admitted to hospital on Friday.

AP source: President Trump was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before going to hospital.

— The Associated Press (@AP) October 3, 2020

Two people close to the White House said in separate interviews that the president had trouble breathing on Friday and that his oxygen level dropped, prompting his doctors to give him supplemental oxygen while at the White House. @maggieNYT

— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) October 3, 2020


Contradictory reports on Donald Trump's health

Just to clarify the two contradictory reports on Donald Trump’s health.

His doctor, Sean Conley, stood outside Walter Reed hospital earlier today and said the following:

At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. Thursday, he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving.

A source close to the president, believed to be White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, also briefed reporters on Saturday morning and said something quite different:

The President’s vitals over last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.

So Donald Trump may be fine or he may be very ill, depending on who you believe is correct. But what is not in doubt is that the administration of the most powerful country in the world is unable to give a clear message about the health of its president.


More than 1,500 alumni from supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s undergraduate alma mater, Rhodes College, have signed a letter of concern. The letter highlights concerns the signees have about her attitudes towards abortion, LGBTQ rights and healthcare.

“We are likewise firmly and passionately opposed to Rhodes administrators’ attempts to embrace Amy Coney Barrett as an alumna of our beloved alma mater,” the letter said. “We oppose this embrace because we believe both her record and the process that has produced her nomination are diametrically opposed to the values of truth, loyalty, and service that we learned at Rhodes.”


Clarity on the timeline of Trump’s diagnosis. Apparently, Donald Trump’s doctor, Dr Sean Conley, meant it was day three of the president’s diagnosis (that was confirmed on Thursday night) rather than it was 72 hours since he proved to be positive for Covid-19.

A White House official clarifies Dr. Conley’s timeline. He says Conley meant to say it’s Day 3, not 72 hours in—the diagnosis was made Thursday night—and that Garibaldi meant to say it’s been two days, not 48 hours, since the Regeneron was administered on Thursday night.

— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) October 3, 2020

There are reports that the source who said Trump is “still not a clear path to a full recovery” was White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. So a pretty reliable source then, if true. It also completely contradicts Trump’s personal doctor, Sean Conley, who said the president is doing “very well”. Whatever the truth, the White House appears unable to handle a simple briefing on the president’s health. And that’s before we get to the muddied timeline of when Trump was diagnosed.

The WH offcial who immediately contradicted the WH doctor after the briefing, prompting that jarring @AP alert:

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who himself was offering a rosy portrait yesterday.

When he knew he was on camera

— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 3, 2020

In non-politics news, one of the NFL’s biggest stars, Cam Newton, has tested positive for Covid-19. Newton is the quarterback for the New England Patriots and was the league’s MVP (most valuable player) in the 2015 season, when he led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Denver Broncos.


A statement has been provided to pool reporters that contradicts Dr Sean Conley’s upbeat update on Trump’s health. It says the “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. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

BREAKING: “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. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

--A source familiar with the President's health, to pool reporters

— Sara Cook (@saraecook) October 3, 2020

The statement should be treated with caution as it is only attributed to “a source familiar with the president’s health” but it just adds to the confusion surrounding how ill Donald Trump is.


Chris Christie confirms he has Covid-19

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie says he has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Christie briefed Trump before Tuesday’s presidential debate.

I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19. 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.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 3, 2020

“I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19,” wrote Christie on Twitter. “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.”

If Dr Sean Conley was indeed correct when he said Trump had been diagnosed with Covid-19 sometime on Wednesday, the president (or people around him) knew he had the virus when:

  • He flew to Minnesota and attended an event in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening.
  • He flew back to Washington DC that night with staff on Air Force One
  • He left the White House at 1.15pm on Thursday to go to his golf club where he addressed donors outdoors, and met with other donors at an indoor roundtable. The father of one of those donors died of Covid-19 in spring.


Doctor's briefing raises questions about Trump's Covid-19 timeline

Trump’s doctors said it had been 72 hours since Trump’s diagnosis (so sometime on Wednesday), which does not fit in with what we know - or were told. We were told of Trump’s illness late on Thursday/early Friday Washington DC time. That means Trump apparently went to a fundraiser in New Jersey knowing he had Covid-19. Indeed, on Thursday Trump did not give any indication he had been diagnosed in a television appearance. So either Dr Sean Conley is wrong about the diagnosis, Trump was not told he had Covid-19 or he was not telling the truth.

However, Conley also appeared to say Trump was tested on Thursday rather than Wednesday. “Thursday afternoon, following the news of close contact is when we repeated testing and given kind of clinical indications had a little bit more concern and that’s when late that night we got the pcr confirmation that he was,” said Conley. Perhaps Conley meant he was tested on Wednesday and then tested again on Thursday. But, with so much with this administration, the message is unclear and chaotic.


Sean N Dooley, a pulmonologist also spoke during the briefing. “We are monitoring [Trump] very closely for any evidence of complications from either the coronavirus illness or the therapies that we are prescribing to make him better,” Dooley said. “He is in exceptionally good spirits.”

Conley will not be drawn on when or how Trump was infected. Conley says Trump is “male and slightly overweight” but other than that, he does not have any significant risk factors for Covid-19. He says Trump’s heart rate and blood pressure are within normal range. As to why the president was taken to hospital if he isn’t severely ill, Conley said it’s because Trump is “the president of United States”.

He clarifies an earlier statement and says Trump was not on oxygen on Thursday or Friday either. Odd given that Conley would not say earlier if Trump had never been on oxygen.


Trump has received antibody therapy and is on a five-day treatment of remdesivir.

Conley says the president has been “fever free” for 24 hours and is in “good spirits”. He says Trump is not on oxygen and has not needed any today. Conley will not put a date on releasing the president as it’s “hard to tell” this early. Conley says he is hopeful the president will not need to go on oxygen in the future.

He is repeatedly asked if the president has ever been on oxygen since his diagnosis. Conley says he is not on oxygen now.

“The first week of Covid and in particular the days seven to 10 are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the President has made,” Conley said. “Thursday he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion, fatigue, all of which are resolving and improving.”


Trump doctor says president is 'very well'

Dr Sean Conley has started his briefing on Donald Trump’s health. He starts with the president’s thanks for the messages of support from around the world. He is “extremely grateful for support and prayers”

Conley says Trump is “very well”. He says he is “extremely happy” with the president’s condition and his symptoms are “improving”.

“This morning the president is doing very well,” Conley said. “As reported yesterday, consultation with this group, I recommended we bring the President up to Walter Reed as a precautionary measure to provide state-of-the-art monitoring and any care that he may need.”


Chuck Grassley, the 87-year-old Republican senator from Iowa who is third in line to take over from Donald Trump if the president is unable to perform his duties (Vice-President Mike Pence and House speaker Nancy Pelosi are the first two), has not been tested for Covid-19 as his doctors say he has not been in close contact with anyone with the virus.

Except he was in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for 90 minutes on Thursday morning with Mike Lee, who tested positive.

— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) October 3, 2020

It’s an interesting tactic given Grassley’s age and importance, particularly as he met with Mike Lee, who has Covid-19, for 90 minutes earlier in the week. But the GOP’s policy on the virus has been rocky at best in recent weeks.

We’re still waiting for Dr Sean Conley to give an update on Donald Trump’s health, by the way.

While we wait for an update on the president’s health, two Republican senators have tested negative for Covid-19. Three others - Mike Lee, Thom Tillis and Ron Johnson – have tested positive in the last 24 hours.

Oklahoma senator James Lankford and Florida senator Rick Scott both said they had tested negative on Saturday. Scott initially told Fox News he was positive but later said he had misspoke.

Oklahoma GOP Senator James Lankford who tested negative for COVID-19 will still quarantine until October 12th after meeting several times this past week with Utah GOP Senator Mike Lee who tested positive for the coronavirus.

— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) October 3, 2020

I misspoke this morning in my @FoxNews interview. I was tested yesterday for COVID and tested NEGATIVE.

— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) October 3, 2020

Sean Conley is an osteopath, so not a specialist on viruses but he will no doubt be fully briefed by the medical staff at Walter Reed. Conley is also a navy officer and has served in the US and Afghanistan. We’re still waiting for him to appear to brief us on Donald Trump’s health. He was due to appear around 15 minutes ago, at 11am Washington DC time.


We are told that Dr Sean Conley will be out in a few more minutes to update us on the president’s health.


A microphone has been set up on the steps of Walter Reed hospital as we wait for an update from Donald Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, on the president’s health. No sign of Conley as yet. He was due to speak a few minutes ago...

As we wait for an update from Donald Trump’s doctor on the president’s health, Republican senator Marco Rubio has demanded more transparency from the White House.

A significant increase in conspiracy theories & outrageous claims since the President’s diagnosis

Lies spread much faster than fact checking

This is why we need frequent,detailed & transparent updates from @WhiteHouse

And why we should all be skeptical of outlandish rumors

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 3, 2020

“A significant increase in conspiracy theories & outrageous claims since the President’s diagnosis. Lies spread much faster than fact checking. This is why we need frequent, detailed & transparent updates from @WhiteHouse. And why we should all be skeptical of outlandish rumors,” he tweeted on Saturday morning.

There have been a number of conspiracy theories around the president’s health following his Covid-19 diagnosis, both from supporters and opponents. Some have speculated (without basis) the diagnosis is a ploy to win Trump support before the election, while others (again, without basis) claim that China has helped infect the president.

Arwa Mahdawi has more on the conspiracy theories around Trump’s illness:


Mike Pence tests negative for Covid-19 again

Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, have tested negative for Covid-19, a White House official told CNN on Saturday morning. The Vice-President is tested every day for coronavirus and his result also came back negative yesterday. The last time Pence and Donald Trump came into close contact is believed to have been on Tuesday at the White House.

Pence is due to take part in Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate with Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City.

Pence would take over from Trump if the president is unable to continue his duties.


On Friday morning, ex-White House doctor Ronny Jackson confidently told Fox News that Donald Trump was not exhibiting any symptoms from coronavirus.

Shortly after, a White House official came forward to confirm that Trump was, actually, experiencing symptoms – albeit minor ones – and reports said Trump had appeared tired on Wednesday and “seemed lethargic” on Thursday. On Friday afternoon he was taken to Walter Reed military hospital.

The flip-flop after Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for coronavirus fit a long-running pattern of misdirection by Trump and his aides over the president’s health – making it difficult to trust any official statements even at a time of intense crisis.

The litany of incidents is long. Eyebrows were raised over Trump’s supposed robustness during his first presidential campaign, after his then doctor released a hyperbolic letter about his health.

“If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Harold Bornstein wrote in December 2015.

The letter gushed that Trump’s “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary”, and his bloodwork was “astonishingly excellent”.

Nearly three years later Bornstein confessed that Trump had dictated the note himself, but the skulduggery over Trump’s wellbeing did not end there.

Read the full article below:

Donald Trump Jr says he has tested negative for Covid-19 but will stay clear of duties for another few days out of an “abundance of caution”. Trump Jr was at Tuesday’s presidential debate with the rest of his family, during which they sat unmasked in the audience.

Thanks to all those who so lovingly have reached out about @realDonaldTrump and the rest of the family. It truly means a lot to us.

I tested negative so I’ll give it a few more days out of and abundance of caution and test again and if I’m clear I’ll be back to work asap.

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 3, 2020

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s opponent in November’s presidential election, Joe Biden, has tweeted that wearing a mask is the mark of “a patriot”.

Be a patriot. Do your part.

Wearing a mask will protect you. But it will also protect those around you — your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker.

Don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for the people you love.

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 3, 2020

“Be a patriot. Do your part,” wrote Biden on Saturday morning. “Wearing a mask will protect you. But it will also protect those around you — your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker. Don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for the people you love.”

Trump mocked Biden over his keenness to use a mask during the presidential debate.


Donald Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, will give an update on the president’s condition at 11am ET.

President @realDonaldTrump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, will be giving an update from Walter Reed at 11 am ET.

— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) October 3, 2020

In Conley’s last update, he said the president was doing well with congestion, a low-grade fever and fatigue.

After a summer of protests against social injustice and racism in the United States, a majority of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump’s handling of race.

According to a poll by the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project, 56% of Americans are unhappy of the president’s handling of the subject. The figure was 50% when the survey was last taken, in February.

The figures were split across race. Among whites, 48% disapproved of his handling of race while 72% of black respondents disapproved. Among Latinos and Asian respondents the figure was 68% for both groups.

The survey was conducted before last week’s presidential debate, during which Trump refused to condemn white supremacy.

Sean Patterson is not worried that Donald Trump has been hospitalized with coronavirus because he believes what the president tells him.

“It’s a hoax. There’s no pandemic. As Trump said, how many millions die of flu?” said the 56-year-old truck driver outside the early voting station in St Joseph, Missouri – a stronghold for the president.

But then Patterson pauses and contemplates the possibility that Trump really does have Covid-19.

“If he’s sick, then they planted it when they tested him. It’s what they did to me when I went to hospital for my heart beating too fast. Two weeks later I got a cold,” he said. “It’s political. I don’t trust the US government at all. Who are they to mandate personal safety? I listen to Trump.”

At the end of a tumultuous week even by the standards of one of the most turbulent presidencies of modern times, the disturbing if not entirely unpredictable news that the president has contracted coronavirus prompted alarm, confusion and schadenfreude in the heart of Trumpland.

St Joseph, a former frontier city where the outlaw Jesse James met his bloody end, voted overwhelmingly for the president four years ago. The polls say Missouri will go his way again next month. But with Trump struggling in key swing states, the news he has fallen sick to Covid-19 jolted an election already battered days earlier by the most undignified presidential election debate in history.

Read the rest of the article below:

There is plenty of baseless and unsourced rumour around Donald Trump’s condition – it’s not hard to find on Twitter – which has been encouraged to a certain extent by the lack of information from the White House. While it’s still relatively early on Saturday morning, the White House has yet to schedule an official briefing on the president’s condition.

Third Republican senator tests positive for Covid-19

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has become the third Republican senator to test positive for coronavirus in recent days.

Unlike the other two GOP senators to have tested positive for Covid-19 – Mike Lee and Thom Tillis – Johnson was not at the White House last week for the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the supreme court.

“This test came back positive. Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms. He will remain isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor,” spokesperson Ben Voelkel said in a statement.

If Johnson, Tillis and Lee are unable to vote for Barrett’s confirmation to the supreme court it could lead to the vote happening after the election, a scenario the Republicans are keen to avoid.

Two other Republican senators – Rand Paul and Bill Cassidy – tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this year and have since recovered.

What happens if Trump is incapacitated?

Under the 25th amendment to the US constitution the president himself – or the vice-president with the agreement of eight cabinet officers, supported by Congress – can ask the vice-president, in this instance Republican Mike Pence, to take over as acting president.

Adopted by the US Congress in 1967 after John F Kennedy’s assassination, the 25th cleared up a vagueness in the constitution over succession in event of resignation, death or conviction in impeachment.

The least tricky part of the amendment is section 4, which stipulates what would happen should Donald Trump be indisputably physically debilitated either from an injury or ailment, so much so that he couldn’t communicate but remained alive.

Then the vice-president is in charge unless and until the president recovers.

If Pence is also unable to assume control, then under the constitution powers are delegated to the speaker of the House of Representatives, in this case, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic California congresswoman. In the US Congress, the Democrats currently control the House, while the Republicans are in a majority in the Senate.

World leaders have wished Donald Trump well following his hospitalisation for Covid-19.

China’s president said he hoped his US counterpart would recover quickly. “Xi said that learning President Trump and Melania have tested positive for Covid-19, he and his wife, Peng Liyuan, extend sympathy to them and wish them a speedy recovery,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, who was also hospitalised due to Covid-19 earlier this year, shared similar sentiments. “I think obviously everybody’s wishing him and Melania the very best and hoping that they recover speedily and I’ve no doubt that he will, he’ll make a very strong recovery,” said Johnson on Saturday.

Asked for any advice he could give to Trump, Johnson said: “I think that he will be doing exactly what the doctors tell him to do and I’m sure he will be having the best care he can possibly get. I’m sure he’ll come through it very well.”

Good morning and welcome to our US politics live blog for Saturday, which will concentrate mainly on the latest news following Donald Trump’s hospitalisation following his positive test for Covid-19.

Here’s a summary of what we know so far:


Helen Davidson now, Bryan Armen Graham and Tom Lutz (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

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