Coronavirus USA summary: Trump, cases, deaths - 5 Oct

US coronavirus latest news: live - 5 October 2020

Trump latest: headlines

- President tweets that he is leaving Walter Reed Medical Center and Dr Conley then holds Q&A with press.

- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany becomes the latest person within Trump's inner circle to test postive for coronavirus. 

- First Lady Melania Trump has given an update on her situation, tweeting that she is "feeling good & will continue to rest at home".

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden says he will participate in next week's debate with Trump if health experts deem it safe to do so.

US coronavirus latest: 13:00 PT / 16:00 ET on Monday 5 October (22:00 CEST)

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide

Cases: 35,330,119
Deaths: 1,038,958
Recoveries: 24,564,100

US

Cases: 7,445,897
Deaths: 210,013
Recoveries: 2,911,734

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Biden campaigns in crucial Florida

As President Donald Trump announced he would leave a military hospital on Monday after three days of Covid-19 treatment, challenger Joe Biden attacked the president for downplaying the seriousness of the disease even after contracting it.

'Now that he's busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: listen to the scientists,' Biden said during a campaign speech in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. 'Support masks.' Biden, the Democratic former vice president, also spoke in the city's Little Haiti neighborhood and planned to appear at a NBC News town hall in the evening from Miami. Florida is seen as a must-win for Trump's re-election campaign, which has almost no path to victory if he fails to collect the state's crucial 29 Electoral College votes.

'Folks, if we win Florida, you've won,' Biden told a group of Haitian Americans. 'You've flat won.'

Covid-19 cases surge in Midwest and Northeast

After crushing their Covid-19 outbreaks in the spring and keeping them in check all summer, states in the US Northeast are now seeing infections accelerate, with New York reporting nearly 10,000 new cases last week, Lisa Shumaker reports for Reuters.

Compared with the previous seven days, new cases in New York rose 102% in the week ended 4 October, while new cases in Connecticut rose 61% to 1,710 and new cases in New Jersey rose 23% to 4,650, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

Still, the percentage of tests in the Northeast that were coming back positive for the novel coronavirus remains very low, mostly in the 1%-2% range. The Midwest continues to deal with the highest number of new cases per capita, with North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin reporting the largest number of new cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeksHealth officials have long said they were worried that colder weather -- which is now hitting the Midwest and Northeast -- would increase outbreaks as more activities move indoors. Nationally, more than 300,000 Americans tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week, down 4% from the prior week, as total cases in the country approach 7.5 million.

Some of the national decrease was due to Texas, which two weeks ago reported thousands of backlogged cases. New cases have risen for at least two weeks in a row in 21 states, though deaths from Covid-19 have generally declined for the past seven weeks. Still, more than 5,000 lives were lost last week, and deaths are a lagging indicator that generally rises weeks after a surge in cases.

For a second week in a row, testing set a record high, with on average 935,000 tests conducted each day last week, according to data from The Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak. For the first time since mid-June, the percentage of tests that came back positive for the virus was under the 5% threshold that the World Health Organization has said is concerning. Four states had positive rates over 20%: Idaho, Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Conley

"I don't want to go backwards"

This is one phrase in particular from Dr Sean Conley that is causing numerous commentators some concern.

It was his response to the question over when Trump's last negative Covid-19 test was, an important one to confirm the timeline of infection etc.

Why didn't he give a date? Did he not know? Or did he not want to say?

"Dexamethasone use clearly puts Trump as now a SERIOUS"

Epidemiologist and Health Economist, Eric Feigl-Ding, is one of many struggling to understand the limited communications coming out of the Trump environment.

So he's digging into the treatment...

The missing information stokes the flames of doubt

As we said earlier, a variety of questions asked by journalists were plainly not answered. For some, privacy reasons could be pointed to, but for most this was not an excuse.

By continued avoidance, all that the White House is doing is leaving a vacuum to be filled by others. It's not a good look, and definitely suggests there is something to hide. If not, the answers were simple.

Dr Conley dodges numerous questions but says Trump "is back"

The president may have got his tweet out first, but his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, came out to questions, many of which he chose not to 'get into'.

Conley spoke very positively about Donald Trump saying that he met or exceeded all standard hospital criteria to be discharged, and while he is not yet out of the woods, he is able to go home,

'Over the past 24 hours ... he's met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria,' Conley told a news conference, saying it had been more than 72 hours since Trump's last fever and that his oxygen levels were normal.

'Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status, support the president's safe return home, where he will be surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7.'

Trump tweets his hospital discharge

The president has tweeted that he will be leaving Walter Reed later today.

As well as this he told Americans not to be afraid of the virus that has so far killed over 200,000 of his compatriots. He also said that the drugs and knowledge available to Trump at one of the world's top medical centres appears to have rejuvenated him by two decades.

We're checking if that treatment is ready for every other American that contracts Covid-19 so that they don't need to let it dominate their lives. We may be a while...

31 cases from White House events

Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, attended the Prayer March on the Mall and Supreme Court nomination event on the same day.

As Eric goes on to say in the thread, 'they are all testing positive now because the typical incubation time range of ~2-14 days is hitting right smack in the middle of that range from that previous weekend of SCOTUS nomination event.'

Covid vs Trump: who comes off worse?

Congressman Matt Gaetz had his own version of Trump-eting on social media today.

Looking at the replies, however, many of those who read it may have taken his intended meaning the wrong way...

Presidential health secrecy

Wilson, FDR, JFK and Reagan. Just some of the US presidents looked at by Ron Elving for NPR as doubts continue over the veracity of Trump's medical reports.

"None of opaqueness should come as surprise, though. Few occasions of historical importance have been so shrouded in secrecy — and even outright deception — as the health emergencies of world leaders. The U.S. may have been more transparent about these events than most countries, but, even here, the truth has only come to light over time.

'This is one precedent this president is following,' says Barbara Perry, director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center."

Read all about them in 'Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis Recalls History Of Secrecy On Presidential Health'

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke by phone on coronavirus aid

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone for about an hour on Monday about coronavirus relief, Pelosi's spokesman Drew Hammill wrote on Twitter.

'The two discussed the justifications for various numbers and plan to exchange paper today in preparation for another phone call tomorrow,' Hammill wrote.

Trump's first-hand Covid-19 experience and advantage

The quote below caught our attention as, at first, it appeared as though Erin was saying that Donald Trump will be better placed to manage and coordinate the US' pandemic strategy better than Joe Biden because he's become one of the millions to get infected.

We decided this couldn't be what she actually meant, so listened again. It was.

She tweeted out later, however, to try and clear up the mess.

“He [Trump] has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual... Joe Biden doesn’t have that.”

Erin Perrine, Trump campaign spokesperson

Mayor Bowser's pandemic spending questioned

The Post has a look into D.C. Mayor Bowser's decision not to spend the constituent service funds during this pandemic. "I really can't, no," was her initial response.

A while later she added: "We are dealing with those emergency responses through our regular budgeting process."

Throwing everything at Trump's health

Bloomberg consider the experimental set of drugs that's been given to the president, and how this approach may or may not be the right one.

White House spread effect becoming clearer

After confirming the report from ABC News that Chad Gilmartin, a member of the White House press shop, had tested positive (test returned over the weekend), Jacobs added the news that Karoline Leavitt, another aide was also confirmed to have coronavirus.

She went on to say that other mid-level staffers had tested positive in recent days.

Biden says he is willing to debate Trump if experts say it is safe

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said on Monday he is willing to participate in next week's scheduled debate with President Donald Trump if health experts say it would be safe. Trump's medical team is weighing whether the president can leave the hospital later on Monday after being admitted last week for COVID-19.

UK to follow clinical advice in deploying Covid-19 vaccine, health minister says

Britain will roll out Covid-19 vaccinations when they are ready based on clinical advice about who should be prioritised, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday, after a report that half the population could miss out on the jabs.

Asked about comments by the chair of the government's vaccine taskforce to the Financial Times that vaccines would probably only be available to less than half the UK population, Hancock said the taskforce had done good work in procuring vaccines but that deployment was his department's responsibility.

"We will take the advice on the deployment of the vaccine, based on clinical advice from the Joint Committee on vaccinations and immunizations," Hancock told parliament. (Reuters)

Dr. Fauci says Trump's doctor is "very qualified"

Leading infectious disease expert and former head advisor of the White House coronavirus taskforce, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has called Donald Trump's doctor,  Dr. Sean P. Conley, "very qualified", adding that he is confident that the President is in good hands. 

“Personally, I have not been involved in the direct care of the president,” Dr. Fauci said Monday on CNN.

“But I might comment that my colleagues that I know, including Sean Conley, are very good physicians and they’re very qualified, so I am really confident that the president of the United States is getting the optimal care that you can get with the team over at Walter Reed.”

First Lady Melania Trump says she's "feeling good"

First Lady Melania Trump, who was confirmed as coronavirus positive on Friday along with her husband President Donald Trump, has taken to Twitter to say she is "feeling good", while expressing her gratitude for the support and prayers her family have received over the past few days. 

"My family is grateful for all of the prayers & support! I am feeling good & will continue to rest at home. Thank you to medical staff & caretakers everywhere, & my continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus," she tweeted.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany positive for Covid-19

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany becomes the latest person within Trump's inner circle to test postive for coronavirus. 

At least three Republican senators have tested positive for Covid-19 and others are in quarantine following president Donald Trump’s diagnosis and hospitalisation. Here's who's tested positive from Trump's inner circle..

Supporters urge Trump to take hydroxychloroquine

White House Chief of Staff sees potential for coronavirus aid deal -Fox News interview

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Monday there is still potential to reach agreement with US lawmakers on more economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic, and that President Donald Trump is committed to getting the deal done.

Trump has been receiving treatment for Covid-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington since last Friday, and Meadows has been working with him at the hospital.

Meadows told Fox News he has been in constant contact with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin regarding negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "to try to make sure that we can try to find a way to move forward."

"I do think that there is the potential for a deal as long as politics do not get in the way again," Meadows said. (Reuters)

	U.S. President Donald Trump wears a protective face mask in a motorcade outside Walter Reed Medical Center during his treatment of COVID-19 in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. Photo by Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS.COM *

Trump's photo-op severely criticized

Donald Trump and his medical team have been harshly criticized after the president was driven past supporters outside Walter Reed hospital for a political photo-op. 

"Amazingly irresponsible," said George Washington University professor of medicine Dr. Johnathan Reiner told CNN. "His physician should have said 'no'."

"That should never have happened," one current Secret Service agent who works on the presidential and first family detail, also told CNN.

 

One in 10 may have caught Covid, as world heads into 'difficult period' - WHO

Roughly 1 in 10 people may have been infected with the novel coronavirus, leaving the vast majority of the world's population vulnerable to the related Covid-19 disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergency expert, told the agency's Executive Board that outbreaks were surging in parts of southeast Asia and that cases and deaths were on the rise in parts of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region.

"Our current best estimates tell us about 10% of the global population may have been infected by this virus. It varies depending on country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies depending on groups. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk," Ryan said. "We are now heading into a difficult period. The disease continues to spread."

The WHO has submitted a list of experts to take part in an international mission to China to investigate the origin of coronavirus, for consideration by Chinese authorities, he said.

Regeneron CEO speaks to CNBC

Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer tells CNBC how his company's new antibody drug aims to help with the coronavirus...

Malaysia PM in quarantine after contact with Covid-19 positive minister

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Monday he will self quarantine for 14 days after being in contact with a minister who has tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement, Muhyiddin said all his recent tests for Covid-19 were negative. Muhyiddin said he was at a Saturday meeting with the religious affairs minister, Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri, who on Monday confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Cardiologists concerned about Covid-19 after-effects

British health and science reporter Dr David Cox has warned of some of the long-term damage Covid-19 can do to the human body long after patients have recovered from the virus. In an article for The Guardian, Dr, Cox revealed that coronavirus "can leave patients with lasting heart damage long after the initial symptoms had 'dissipated'".

At the start of the pandemic, medical officials in China and Italy first noticed that some patients in intensive care wards were suffering myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle.

Doctors concerned about large-scale Covid-19 vaccine programme in China

Beijing is set to expand its Covid-19 vaccination programme even though the vaccines which are currently available in China are still at an experimental stage and were in use before going to stage 3 trial. Doctors have warned about the risks of large-scale vaccination with drugs that have not been thoroughly trialled and tested.

China National Biotec Group (Sinopharm) revealed that thousands of Chinese had already taken their two leading experimental Covid-19 vaccines. Most of those who have received the vaccine have been frontline workers or those who might have greater exposure to the virus. 

Chinese health officials have defended their decision to distribute the vaccine, saying the move was sanctioned by the World Health Organization.

Trump's personal assistant tests positive for coronavirus

Nick Luna, one of President Trump’s personal assistants, is the latest White house aide to test positive for coronavirus, Bloomberg reports. Several members of the president's inner circle, or those who have been in close contact with him during the past week have since returned positive tests for the virus. Republican senators Mike LeeThom Tillis and Ron Johnson are self-isolating after positive diagnoses as is White House adviser Hope Hicks.

Trump views illness as a sign of weakness, says niece

Mary Trump, Donald Trump's estranged niece has claimed that the president sees illness as “a display of unforgivable weakness”. Mary Trump told NPR's Michel Martin, "That's why [the United States] is in the horrible place we're in, because he cannot admit to the weakness of being ill or of other people being ill".

 

EU's von der Leyen self-isolating after contact with Covid-19 case

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday she would self-isolate until Tuesday after attending a meeting with someone who tested positive. "I've been informed that I participated in a meeting last Tuesday attended by a person who yesterday tested positive for Covid-19," von der Leyen said on Twitter. "In accordance with regulations in force, I'm therefore self-isolating until tomorrow morning. I've tested negative on Thursday and am tested again today."

Covid-19 affects all of the body's organs, not just the lungs

Covid-19 can cause long-term damage to organs in the human body including the liver, kidneys and heart, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. "What we are discovering is that this is not just a disease of the lungs. This virus affects the brain, it affects the kidneys, the heart. If you have any underlying conditions, particularly patients with hypertension, with heart disease, patients who might have lung disease are at high risk of having a severe course. We still don't know a lot about this disease, about who gets a severe course and who doesn't. I've seen patients who are young who come in and within 48 hours are critically ill and pass away in some cases. It's not just lungs that need to be monitored, it's a multi-system disease".

Melania Trump won't visit president in hospital

First Lady Melania Trump won't be paying President Donald Trump a visit at Walter Reed medical center because she doesn't want to potentially infect anyone else with Covid-19,  MSNBC reports. Donald and Melania Trump both tested positive for the virus on Friday with the president requiring special medical attention. Trump could be discharged today but if doctors decide to keep him in Melania won't be visiting, because "She doesn't want to put those Secret Service agents and driver in harms' way and expose them to Covid" NBC News' Deepa Shivaram told MSNBC's The Week with Joshua Johnson programme. 

Members of Trump's inner circle have also tested positive for Covid-19

At least three Republican senators have tested positive for Covid-19 and others are in quarantine following president Donald Trump’s diagnosis and hospitalisation.

Read more:

Trump

Trump's medical status unclear as doctors say he could be discharged today

U.S. President Donald Trump could be discharged from the hospital where he is being treated for Covid-19 later today, according to his doctors, although his condition remains unclear and outside experts warn that his case could be severe.

Sequestered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington since Friday, Trump has released a series of videos in an effort to reassure the public that he is recovering from a pandemic that has infected over 7.4 million Americans and killed more than 209,000. "It's a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID," he said in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday.

About 65% of Americans said Trump would not have been infected had he taken the virus more seriously. Trump's doctors have said his health is improving and he could be sent back to the White House as soon as Monday. Yet they are treating Trump, 74, with a steroid, dexmethasone, that is normally used only in the most severe cases. He is also just two days into a five-day course of an intravenous antiviral drug, remdesivir.

Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said on Sunday that Trump's condition had been worse than he had previously admitted. Conley said Trump had run a high fever on Friday morning and he had been given supplemental oxygen after his blood oxygen levels had dropped.

Doctors not involved in Trump's treatment said they suspected his condition might be worse than Conley let on. As an overweight, elderly man, Trump is in a category that is more likely to develop severe complications or die from the disease.

Trump has consistently downplayed the risks of the pandemic since it first emerged this year, and he has repeatedly flouted social-distancing guidelines meant to curb its spread. 

Why was Trump given dexamethasone?

Trump's doctors have confirmed he was given dexamethasone, a steroid that the UK Recovery trial has shown to be beneficial for pretty sick Covid-19 patients. Generally, the steroid is only given to patients who have been ill for at least a week and who have low levels of blood oxygen, effectively going into respiratory failure.

Doctors have said that the announcement that Trump was given the steroid leads to one of two conclusions: “Either he is sicker than they have let on and clearly warrants dexamethasone, or he’s not so sick, and therefore putting him on dexamethasone is irresponsible," according to Nicholas Christakis, a physician and sociologist at Yale University, as reported in the Guardian. 

 

Trump announcing he's about to go for a drive, while likely highly infectious

The framing of this from the President - "I'm about to make a little surprise visit" - is very odd. It doesn't really fit well with more than 200,000 people in the country having died and many more badly affected by the disease.

He also says he "learnt a lot about covid by really going to school" and that he "gets it", after having been infected with it. The problem is that as leader of the country he didn't need to have the disease to "get it" - he had experts telling him this was going to kill many thousands of Americans, but decided to downplay the risks and cast scorn on measures such as mask wearing that would protect citizens, all for political ends. 

Designer Kenzo Takada dies of Covid-19 aged 81

The first designer from Japan to really make a mark in Paris. He travelled there in the mid-60s, planning just to visit, but ended up spending the rest of his life there.

“When I left Japan in 1964, I thought my stay in France would be for six months. I am happy that this stay is still not finished, 50 years on,” he told FranceInfo in 2016.

UK goes past 500,000 cases

Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the UK has now passed 500,000 cases of coronavirus, with 22,961 cases in the last 24 hours. The major spike in cases is due to a technical problem that meant a significant number of positive tests had not been counted previously and have now been put through the system. Recent daily counts had been between six and seven thousand. 

Stock futures up as Trump outlook improves

US stock futures were up as markets hoped Trump could be out of hospital far sooner than expected - thus easing worries over political turmoil. 

"Equities and other risk-on traders should be well supported by easing concerns about Trump's health," Junichi Ishikawa, senior currency strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.

"For the dollar, the impact is not quite as clear cut. It should fall against most currencies due to an increase in risk appetite, but the yen is also weak, and that's the one currency the dollar can rise against."

Mexico cases jump 

Looking south of the border, Mexico's confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 761,665 on Sunday with a total reported death toll of 79,088, according to the health ministry.

There were 3,712 new cases and 208 new deaths reported, but the true figures in Mexico are likely far higher due to limited testing.

Trump

Trump goes for irresponsible drive-by

The President was feeling well enough to head out of the military hospital where he is being treated for Covid-19, and decided to head out in a motorcade to wave to supporters gathered outside, in what was an irresponsible, reckless political stunt, putting at risk the lives of the security detail involved and presumably many of the people involved in getting him out and about. 

"Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days," said James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed hospital, who is also an assistant professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University's medical school said. "They might get sick. They may die. For political theater," he added.

The White House Correspondents Association issued a statement saying it was "outrageous" that Trump left the hospital without a press pool present. "The American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health."

Biden tests negative again

The former VP has said he'll be making all his test results public.

US coronavirus latest news 

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

Worldwide there have now been over 35 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with over one million deaths. 

In the US, there have been over 7.4 million cases and more than 209,800 deaths. 

Trump: "I have learned a lot about Covid"

"It's been a very interesting journey. I have learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. It's a very interesting thing and I'm going to be letting you know about it."

.