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Coronavirus USA: news updates for Friday 2 October

FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to the Marine One helicopter to depart for travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Ba

Covid-19 US updates: 2 October 2020

Trump latest

Trump has been confirmed to be suffering from mild symptoms. He in in quarantine at the White House. 

Trump's positive test follows news that Hope Hicks, a top adviser and trusted aide, had tested positive for the coronavirus.

US coronavirus latest: 14:00 PT / 17:00 ET on 2 October (23:00 CEST)

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.


Cases:  34,448,691
Deaths: 1,025,315
Recoveries: 23.914,378


Cases: 7,318,110
Deaths: 208,485
Recoveries: 2,860,650

Coronavirus articles

Related articles that may be of interest:


Trump to move to military medical facility for next few days as precaution

U.S. President Donald Trump is moving into a special suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for the next few days as a precautionary measure following his positive test for Covid-19, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Friday.

"President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," McEnany said in a statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady," she said.

Doctors urged the moveso Trump could get immediate care if needed, a White House official said. A source familiar with the situation said Trump has a mild fever


Trump treated with experimental antibody cocktail for Covid-19

Donald Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a statement on Friday that the president received an intravenous dose of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's dual antibody and was also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin.

Regeneron's drug, REGN-COV2, is part of a class of experimental Covid-19 drugs known as monoclonal antibodies: manufactured copies of human antibodies to the virus that are being studied for use in patients with early illness. The technique is already in wide use for treating a range of illnesses.

Data so far is limited for Covid-19 antibodies, but U.S. infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci is among those saying it has promise. Regeneron this week reported trial results showing that its antibody drug improved symptoms in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients, with no serious side effects, and said it planned to talk with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about an emergency use authorization.


U.S. Covid-19 survivors to honor dead with online rally

Coronavirus survivors will gather online on Sunday to honor the more than 207,000 U.S. lives lost in the pandemic and call for a national strategy to halt its relentless march. The National Covid-19 Remembrance event is organized by Covid Survivors for Change and endorsed by more than a dozen groups, including many that support Americans reeling from the swift and lonely deaths of loved ones or battling lingering health issues from their infections.

Billed as the first national memorial service, it will be livestreamed from Washington, DC just days after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they are among the more than 7 million reported cases in the United States.

The U.S. has suffered more confirmed Covid-19 deaths than any other nation. "I don't want our loved ones to be relegated to statistics," said Sabila Khan, whose father died alone in a New Jersey hospital in April. "The idea that I couldn't show up for him is the one thing that is going to haunt me forever," said Khan, who started a Covid-19 bereavement group on Facebook and now is mobilizing other survivors so "our loved ones didn't die in vain."

The challenge for organizers is to connect with viewers without making them feel helpless or overwhelmed by the scale of the pandemic, which is killing more than 5,000 Americans each week. "We're not built, as humans, to understand what it means to have (that many) people die every single day - but what we can understand is one story," said Chris Kocher, who drew on his experience as director of the survivor network at Everytown for Gun Safety.



Trump "fatigued but in good spirits" says doctor

President Donald Trump "remains fatigued but in good spirits" and is receiving treatment for the new coronavirus, the president's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a statement on Friday. Conley said the president was being treated with Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail as well as zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin.

Ilhan Omar issues statement on Trump testing positive for Covid-19

Democrat Ilhan Omar took to social media to publish a tweet expressing her feelings on the news that president Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid-19. She accused the Trump Administration of "actively spreading a deadly virus" among members of her constituency Minnesota, where Trump held a rally earlier this week. "Republican members of our Congressional delegation travelled with him on Air Force One and have not quarantined," she added.

Coronavirus relief talks between Pelosi, Mnuchin to continue, says aide

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for 65 minutes on Friday, her spokesman wrote in a post on Twitter, continuing their talks over a possible fresh coronavirus aid package. They discussed areas of disagreement, and negotiations will continue, spokesman Drew Hammill posted on Twitter.

Pelosi, a Democrat, and Mnuchin have talked every day this week and met in person on Wednesday in an effort to negotiate a new bipartisan aid package to respond to the economic fallout from a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work. Congress and the White House approved more than $3 trillion worth of coronavirus relief measures earlier this year, but Mnuchin, as well as members of Congress from both parties, have argued more stimulus is needed.

In a letter to her fellow Democrats on Friday, Pelosi outlined the areas where she and Mnuchin still have differences. "Our negotiations with the administration continue, and I am hopeful that we can reach agreement," she said. "However, we sill have significant disagreement in key areas."

These areas included aid to state and local governments, unemployment insurance, provisions on testing and tracing, and Democratic demands for a child tax credit, she said. Pelosi said the White House was also seeking to reduce a section of the bill that appropriates money for many priorities to $100 billion, from $144 billion. She gave no details but said: "We await the changes they are suggesting."

Democrats have proposed spending $2.2 trillion on coronavirus relief. Their plan was approved by the Democratic-majority House of Representatives on Thursday night, but it has no future in the Republican-run Senate. Republican President Donald Trump's negotiating team has suggested a $1.6 trillion response, and dismissed Democrats' $2.2 trillion plan as not serious.

Canada easing border curbs to allow more family reunifications

Canada will ease some border restrictions next Thursday to allow for more family reunifications, and plans to allow some new international students to attend learning institutions, Ottawa said on Friday.

Canada and the United States have banned non-essential travel across their shared frontier in a bid to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The measures prompted protests from those separated from family members.

"We recognize that travel restrictions should not keep loved ones apart. In these challenging times, we know those challenges are best met with the strength and support of those we love by our side," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters. As of 8 October, Canada will allow the entry of certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, including those in an exclusive dating relationship of at least one year. Foreign nationals can enter for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, critical injury or death.

Starting on 20 October, entry will be allowed for international students accepted to Canadian universities with Covid-19 readiness measures in place. Previously, only international students who had valid study permits approved before 18 March and who were traveling directly from the United States were allowed to cross the border.

Trump Covid-19 infection is very "conveniently-timed"

Some commentators have noted that Trump's Covid-19 infection will dominate the headlines for the next two weeks, stealing Joe Biden's thunder. Is it spin? Or just conveniently-timed?


'Anyone can get it,' Trump supporters shocked at diagnosis, unwavering in

As Americans digested the news on Friday that President Donald Trump had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, some of his backers expressed surprise that he hadn't been safe from infection and said their support for him was not diminished.

"It was shocking," said Maranda Joseph, 43, of Warren, Ohio, who has 12 Trump flags in her front yard festooned with skeletons and other Halloween decorations. "To see he has it wakes you up a bit. Anyone can get it, even the president."

The Republican has played down the risks of the virus and Covid-19 disease that has killed more than 207,000 Americans, drawing criticism for his erratic messaging and recent resumption of campaign rallies where his supporters often are crowded together and don't wear masks.

Officials in Minnesota and New Jersey - two of Trump's stops this week - urged anyone who had attended his events to be tested.

Second stimulus bill has passed: what happens now?


Second stimulus bill has passed: what happens now?

Stimulus bill passes the House

But don't get your hopes up you'll be getting another $1,200 any time soon...

World Health Organisation briefing 

Follow the latest from the WHO

UK PM sends best wishes to Trump

Johnson of course fell ill with the virus back in April. He ended up on oxygen and spent three nights in intensive care. Similar to Trump, doctors warned that Johnson was at higher risk of complications from the disease due to being overweight. Some commentators have suggested that he may still be suffering some side-effects of the disease. 'Long Covid', where patients continue to experience health issues weeks or months after being infected is now widely recognised. 


Azar says he tested negative for coronavirus

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar turned to Twitter to say he’s tested negative for Covid-19. "Out of an abundance of caution I was tested for Covid-19 this morning and the result was negative. I will be testifying before Congress as scheduled.”

Biden tests negative for Covid-19

The Democratic presidential candidate posted on his Twitter account confirming that he and wife Jill both posted negative tests following the news that president Donald Trump and his wife tested positive. 


Schumer calls for Senate testing program after Trump Covid-19

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called for the Senate to adopt a coronavirus testing and contact tracing program for lawmakers and others at the U.S. Capitol, after President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

"The Senate needs a testing and contact tracing program for senators, staff, and all who work in the Capitol complex," Schumer said in a statement.

"It is imperative that all results be made public in order to contain a possible outbreak and so we can determine the need for senators and staff to quarantine or self-isolate," he said.

Senator Mike Lee says he tested positive for Covid-19

Republican U.S. Senator Mike Lee on Friday said he had tested positive for Covid-19 and would remain isolated for 10 days, but said he would be back to work in time to consider the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

"Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday's test came back positive," Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Twitter.


RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tests positive for Covid-19

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has tested positive for Covid-19 and will remain at her home in Michigan to self-quarantine.

“After a member of her family tested positive for coronavirus, the Chairwoman was tested for the virus. On Wednesday afternoon, she got confirmation she tested positive,” a spokesperson for the RNC told The Hill on Friday.

She has been at her home in Michigan since last Saturday.”

President Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ of Covid-19

Washington (AP)  - President Donald Trump is experiencing “mild symptoms” of Covid-19 after revealing on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump, who has spent much of the year downplaying the threat of the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans, said he and Mrs. Trump were quarantining. The White House physician said the president is expected to continue carrying out his duties “without disruption” while recovering. A White House official said on Friday morning that the president was experiencing mild symptoms but was working from the White House residence.

Hours before Trump announced he had contracted the virus, the White House said top aide Hope Hicks who had traveled with him during the week had tested positive.

Biden wishes Donald and Melana Trump "swift recovery"

Donald Trump's opponent in the upcoming US election, Joe Biden, has posted a message on social media wishing the president and his wife, Melania, a "swift recovery" after testing positive for Covid-19. "We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family," Biden added.

Joe Biden to get tested for Covid-19 after Trump positive

CNN - Joe Biden is expected to get tested for coronavirus this morning after news of Trump's positive test just days after they shared a debate stage. 

Earlier this week, President Trump and Biden shared the debate stage during the first presidential debate. The candidates did not shake hands with each other and did not shake hands with the moderator. Biden nor Trump wore masks on stage during the debate which lasted for an hour.

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, everyone attending the debate at Case Western Reserve University, would undergo testing for Covid-19 and follow other health safety protocols. 


Key risk factors for Trump are age and weight

Donald Trump has several factors placing him at risk of complications from Covid-19, including his age and being overweight, as doctors have continuously warned.

A study published in March in medical journal, The Lancet, found that while the overall death rate for people with Covid-19 was 1.4%, this rose to 8.6% for people in their 70s. The study was based on data from China. Dr Barry Dixon, an intensive care physician in Melbourne, said Trump’s risk would increase if he developed pneumonia, which is associated with a high Covid-19 mortality rate, especially in patients over 65. 

"The key risk factors for Trump that we know about are his age and the fact he’s overweight, and they’d be high-risk factors.”

Pence tests negative

The US vice-president, Mike Pence, has today tested negative for Covid-19, spokesman Devin O'Malley has confirmed.

As this article explains, Pence will have to take over from Donald Trump if the president becomes too ill to carry out his duties.

"The most serious known health threat to a sitting American president in decades"

Who could replace Trump if he's too sick with Covid-19?

US Election 2020

Who could replace Trump if he's too sick with Covid-19?

Who could replace Trump if he's too sick with Covid-19?

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have coronavirus. Who will take charge if the president gets really ill and is unable to do the job?


Hicks “teeming with virus” when she traveled with Trump

CNN’s medical analyst Dr Jonathan Reiner has told the media outlet that Hope Hicks would have been highly infectious and “teeming with virus” when she traveled with President Trump on Wednesday, the day she began feeling unwell.

We think that you're probably most contagious the day you develop symptoms,” Dr Reiner said, adding: “Yesterday [Wednesday] is when Ms Hicks apparently developed symptoms. 

She would be teeming with virus and that's not the time to be on a small helicopter or in a small conference room on Air Force One with a bunch of people.” 


Trump Covid-19 positive: who is Hope Hicks, the aide thought to have infected the president?


Trump Covid-19 positive: who is Hope Hicks, the aide thought to have infected the president?

Who is Hope Hicks, the aide thought to have given Trump Covid-19?

US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, have tested positive for the coronavirus, a day after it was revealed top aide Hope Hicks had contracted Covid-19.

Could Trump have infected presidential rival Biden?

UK PM Johnson wishes president and first lady a "speedy recovery"

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent a period in intensive care earlier this year after himself contracting Covid-19, has tweeted his best wishes to Donald and Melania Trump. "Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus," Johnson wrote.

Pompeo reconsidering trip to Asia

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday he was reconsidering his upcoming trip to Asia as a precaution after President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, tested positive to coronavirus.

No decision has been taken yet, Pompeo told journalists on the flight from Rome to Dubrovnik in Croatia.

He told reporters he has made no other changes that would reflect fact that he is fourth in line to succeed the president, if necessary.

Pompeo said that both he and his wife tested negative on the plane 20 minutes prior to lending in Dubrovnik. He said he had last seen Trump on 15 September.


Coronavirus: Donald and Melania Trump test positive


Coronavirus: Donald and Melania Trump test positive

Donald and Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19: full story

Here's the full report on the news that President Trump and his wife, Melania, have tested positive for the coronavirus:

Pence attended White House briefing on Monday

It is not known whether Mike Pence, Trump's vice-president, is also infected. The Guardian notes that Pence attended a coronavirus White House task force briefing on Monday, but did not travel to Tuesday's presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. 

If Trump becomes incapacitated, Pence will have to take over from the president. If Pence also becomes ill, the next in the line of succession is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Speaking to CNN on Thursday, the media outlet's medical analyst Dr Jonathan Reiner said Pelosi should be moved into isolation in case of such an eventuality: 

Who else did Hope Hicks travel with?

Before confirming that he and Melania had tested positive for Covid-19, President Trump said that he and the first lady had gone into quarantine after top adviser Hope Hicks returned a positive test for the coronavirus on Thursday.

According to Bloomberg, Hicks traveled with the president on Air Force One to Tuesday’s first presidential debate and on Wednesday to a campaign rally in Minnesota. She felt unwell in Minnesota and quarantined on the plane back to Washington.

Bloomberg also reported that a maskless Hicks was seen on Tuesday in a White House staff van with people including White House advisers Stephen Miller and campaign adviser Jason Miller.

MSNBC has published this list of people that Hicks is thought to have traveled with. They include Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, sons Eric and Donald Jr, daughter Tiffany, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany:

Trump campaign appearance in Florida canceled

The White House has cleared Donald Trump’s schedule for Friday, when the president was due to appear at a campaign event in Florida. He is now only due to host “a phone call on Covid-19 support to vulnerable seniors”.

White House physician's official notification of Trumps' positive test

Melania Trump: “We are feeling good”

The first lady, Melania Trump, has tweeted to say that she and President Donald Trump “are feeling good” after testing positive for the coronavirus. “We will all get through this together,” she said.

VP Pence reacts to Trumps’ positive test

Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s vice-president, has tweeted that he and his wife, Karen, are sending their “love and prayers” to the president and the first lady. “We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery,” he added.

Donald and Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19

US President Donald Trump has announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately," he tweeted on Friday morning.

The news comes after it emerged on Thursday that Hope Hicks, one of President Trump's chief advisers, has contracted Covid-19.

Amazon discloses virus count: 19,000 or 1.44%, of US frontline workforce

Amazon.com Inc on Thursday said more than 19,000 of its US frontline workers contracted the coronavirus this year, or 1.44% of the total, a disclosure sought by labor advocates who have criticized the Covid-19 response by the world's largest online retailer. Some staff, elected officials and unions in recent months have said that Amazon put employees' health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic.

Amazon said its rate of infection was 42% lower than expected when considering the virus' spread in the general population. Amazon in a blog post encouraged other businesses to report comparable figures. It said it will expand virus testing to 50,000 US employees per day by November through internally-built capacity. The disclosure by Amazon offers a rare look at the disease's impact on a big US employer. Amazon has kept facilities open to meet a surge in demand from shoppers stuck at home, adding temperature checks, social distancing software and other safety procedures for its workers.

Out of 1,372,000 frontline employees at Amazon and the company's Whole Foods Market subsidiary, 19,816 tested positive for the virus or were presumed to have Covid-19 between 1 March and 18 Sept, the company said.

Check out the situation where you live

NPR provide an interactive state-by-state analysis of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Trump live

No doubt the subject of the coronavirus will be brought up in the president's latest TV interview. He'll be on with his friends at Fox in a few hours...

White House highlights provisions

The US government has tweeted out a reminder of the equipment that has been provided to New Jersey.

Stop politicizing the vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sent a memo to employees Thursday criticizing this week’s US presidential debate as “disappointing,” saying the political rhetoric surrounding the outbreak and vaccine development is “undercutting public confidence.”

“Once more, I was disappointed that the prevention for a deadly disease was discussed in political terms rather than scientific facts,” he wrote. About a third of Americans have already said that they won’t get a vaccine for Covid-19, once one is approved. 

'WNBA stronger after successful quarantined season'

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is emerging stronger than before from its quarantined season, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said on Thursday, as the league completes a truncated schedule away from its loyal fans.

The Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm face off in the WNBA Finals starting on Friday, in a best-of-five championship series inside the league's Bradenton, Florida, campus where players gathered in July to live and compete in a quarantined setting due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were no Covid-19 positives among players and team staff, Engelbert told reporters on Thursday, as the league built on the momentum it set in motion in January, with the ratification of a landmark collective bargaining agreement to dramatically increase player pay.

Engelbert told reporters regular season average viewership was up 68% this year. 'It was not easy, and there’s no doubt in my mind, and hopefully the players’ minds, that it was 100 percent worth it,' said Engelbert, who applauded players for their leadership in advocating racial justice in the United States.

Pelosi signals no coronavirus deal likely with White House

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke by phone for about 50 minutes Thursday afternoon, where they discussed "further clarifications on amounts and language," according to a Pelosi aide. They plan to speak again Thursday night.

Lawmakers and aides had hoped that conversation would determine the fate of a bipartisan package. Instead, Pelosi and Mnuchin said they would continue talking despite the "distance on key areas," according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill — further dragging out the talks.

Remdesivir US distribution by maker Gilead Sciences

The US government is relinquishing control over supplies of remdesivir, the Covid-19 drug made by Gilead Sciences Inc. that had been in shortage since it was authorized for emergency use in May.

Starting Thursday, Gilead will sell the drug directly to hospitals in the same way it does other medicines based on market demand, the Department of Health and Human Services and the company said.

Full story below:

Message from the WHO

"While the world has invested heavily in preparing for terrorist attacks, relatively little is spent preparing for the attack of a virus – which, as the pandemic has proven, can be far more deadly, disruptive and costly"

US coronavirus latest news 

Welcome to our daily-refreshed, US-focused coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Worldwide there have now been over 34.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with over one million deaths. 

In the US, there have been over 7.2 million cases and more than 207,000 deaths.