October 2: Trump's Covid diagnosis

By Veronica Rocha, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 12:44 a.m. ET, October 3, 2020
78 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:48 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Two more Covid-19 cases reported at the White House, according to memo

From CNN’s Brian Stelter

An internal memo from the White House Correspondents Association board to reporters says there are "two additional cases of COVID-19 at the White House."

The memo, obtained by CNN's Brian Stelter, says members of the media are being notified "so that you can make informed judgements."

A journalist who was tested "as part of today's in-house pool" received a preliminary positive result. And a White House staffer who sits in the "lower press" area of the West Wing received a confirmed positive result on Friday morning.  

"All other journalists tested today tested negative," according to the memo.

The correspondents association board said "we can't stress enough the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing and common sense, especially on the White House complex." 

"Additionally," the board said, "we are again asking journalists who are not in the pool and do not have an enclosed workspace to refrain from working out of the White House at this time."

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the correspondents association has taken a more proactive position than the Trump administration and has encouraged journalists to take common sense precautions while covering the administration.

WATCH:

1:19 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Fauci postpones scheduled coronavirus event

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, testifies on Capitol Hill, on September 23, in Washington.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, testifies on Capitol Hill, on September 23, in Washington. Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, postponed a scheduled coronavirus webcast Friday after President Trump tested positive for Covid-19. 

Fauci had been scheduled to take part in a Survivor Corps webinar with Diana Berrent, who founded the Covid-19 advocacy group, at 2 p.m. ET on Friday.  

Survivor Corps is a “grassroots community” of Covid-19 survivors who educate and support each other “while advocating for convalescent plasma donation and engagement in scientific trials and medical studies to help stem the tide of the pandemic and assist in the national recovery,” the group’s website says. 

Survivor Corps tells CNN they will announce a new date for the event soon.

1:13 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Pence says Trump is "well at this time"

From CNN’s Betsy Klein

Vice President Mike Pence led a call on protecting America’s seniors on Friday afternoon after President Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

Trump had been set to dial into the call, according to guidance released after his diagnosis that eliminated all of his other public events. Pence did not provide an explanation for Trump’s absence on the call beyond the initial diagnosis, but said Trump was “well.”

“I know many of you were expecting to hear from President Trump today, but as I'm sure you are all aware, President Trump and the first lady tested positives for Covid-19 yesterday and as the White House physician confirmed last night, pleased to report President Trump and the First Lady are both well at this time. They will remain at the White House while they convalesce,” Pence said, according to audio of the call obtained by CNN. 

He continued, “But the President asked me to take this call today with Secretary Alex Azar and other team members of our teams, first and foremost, to say thank you."

Pence was speaking to state and local officials, as well as nursing home and assisted living officials, health administrators, and senior advocate organization members. 

The White House has not responded to multiple requests for comment from CNN on why the President did not dial in.

1:09 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

WHO sends "prayers" to Trumps, but won’t comment on diagnosis

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents amid the Covid-19 outbreak on July 3, in Geneva.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents amid the Covid-19 outbreak on July 3, in Geneva. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday said his prayers are with the President and first lady following their Covid-19 diagnosis.

“Overnight, we heard that the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump, tested positive for Covid-19. I want to start today by wishing them both a full and swift recovery. Our prayers are with them,” Tedros said during a media briefing. 

Later in the briefing, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said, "We don't generally comment on the behavior of any specific individual, and we don't know of risk management measures were in place around any given individual – especially someone as prominent as a president."

"Each and every individual, and each and every citizen, should be guided by the national guidance in their country," Ryan said.

Washing hands, staying a safe distance from each other, avoiding crowded spaces, wearing a mask – these are "the best way to protect society," he said.

"We will not comment on the specific risk management measures or behavior of a specific individual. We are a community. We need to get through this together. This is not the time to turn on each other," he added.

1:05 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Negative Covid-19 tests for Pence and Trump family members aren't "get out of jail free cards," expert says

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Vice President Mike Pence, as well as various Trump family members – including Trump’s son Barron and daughter Ivanka – may have just tested negative for coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean they are in the clear, one pathologist said Friday.

Dr. Alan Wells, medical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Clinical Labs, points out the rapid tests used to make quick daily diagnoses do not catch all cases, and any test performed too early will give a false negative.

People cannot test negative the day after an exposure and skip quarantine, Wells said in a statement sent to CNN.

"Testing isn’t a get out of jail free card," he said.

12:46 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Kamala Harris tests negative for Covid-19 again this morning

From CNN’s Jasmine Wright and MJ Lee

Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris surprises guests at Trophy Brewing on September 28 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris surprises guests at Trophy Brewing on September 28 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff both tested negative for Covid-19 this morning, according to an aide.

They will continue on their planned travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Greensboro, North Carolina, respectively. 

Harris had tested negative yesterday as part of the campaign's routine testing.

12:33 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Trump not participating in midday call about coronavirus support for seniors, source says

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez, Kevin Liptak, and Kaitlan Collins 

President Trump is not participating in the midday call about coronavirus support for seniors that was listed on his public schedule.

Instead, Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the call, saying Trump asked him to lead it, according to a state official.

Pence did not provide a reason beyond saying that Trump and the first lady tested positive. From there, he jumped into remarks.

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. 

12:26 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus, according to Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the Bidens’ primary care physician.

“Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected. I am reporting this out in my capacity as both Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden’s primary care physician.”

In a tweet, Biden also confirmed that his wife Jill tested negative for coronavirus.

Biden shared the debate stage with President Trump on Tuesday.

12:22 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

It's afternoon on the East Coast. Here's what you need to know.

President Trump and Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19. They both have mild symptoms and are quarantining.

If you're just tuning in, here's what we know so far:

Trump's condition

  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump was on the phone this morning and sounds "good."
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed the President has mild symptoms but said he is in "good spirits" and is "very energetic."
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed these comments, saying he "talked business" with the President on the phone.

White House and campaign business is continuing

  • Some campaign events may be canceled but offices are still open, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in an email.
  • Several White House officials who have been in close contact with the President in recent days are working from home and contact tracing is underway.
  • President Trump is expected to be on a governors call today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The call is supposed to be about Covid-19.

When the White House knew about positive tests

  • People knew about Hope Hick's positive diagnosis before Marine One took off for New Jersey on Thursday afternoon for a fundraiser, according to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Some people were pulled off the trip, but Trump continued to travel anyway, Meadows said.

Other key figures

  • Joe Biden has received his coronavirus test, and they are waiting on the results to determine whether or not he will still travel to Michigan today as planned. Sen. Kamala Harris tested negative yesterday.
  • President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere. 
  • Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, is getting tested for Covid-19 today and is currently in quarantine at home in New York.

Reaction

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN she hopes that this will be a “lesson learned” by the rest of the country “that you have to wear your mask.”