October 5 Trump Covid-19 news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Steve George, Nick Thompson, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020
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1:10 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Two of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's staffers test positive

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kate Bennett

Chad Gilmartin, principal assistant White House press secretary, listens during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 22.
Chad Gilmartin, principal assistant White House press secretary, listens during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 22. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Two of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, have also tested positive for coronavirus, two sources tell CNN.

Leavitt tested positive a few days ago and Gilmartin did within the last 24 hours, though the exact timing is unclear. 

Earlier today, McEnany confirmed that she had tested positive for Covid-19.

She said she is experiencing no symptoms and had no knowledge of Hope Hicks' testing positive before her briefing last Thursday. Hicks is one of President Trump's top aides.

McEnany said she will begin to quarantine.

8:46 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

These people in Trump's circle tested negative last week, but haven't said if they've been tested again

At least 10 people in President Trump's family, the US government and circle of advisers and recent contacts have recently tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, at least 23 people from Trump's inner circle have tested negative for Covid-19, but several of them have not stated if they have received additional tests over the weekend, and what the results are.

As of 12:40 p.m. ET, here is a running list of people who said they tested negative for coronavirus last week but have not said if they have been tested again over the weekend:

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: Tested negative for the coronavirus Friday morning, according to his spokesperson Monica Crowley. He will continue to be tested daily. 
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: He told the press pool traveling with him in Dubrovnik that he and his wife tested negative for coronavirus on Friday morning.
  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper Secretary Esper tested negative for the virus earlier last week during his travels and was tested again Friday.
  • Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross: Tested negative for the virus Friday morning, according to the Department of Commerce.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar: He told reporters Friday morning he was tested "out of an abundance of caution" and said on Twitter Friday that he tested negative.
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson: Tested negative Thursday for the virus while he was traveling with Vice President Mike Pence, Carson's Chief of Staff Andrew Hughes told CNN.  
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie: Tested negative on Wednesday, according to VA spokesperson James Hutton.  
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley: Tested negative for the virus Friday, according to Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
  • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf: DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary Chase Jennings said Friday that Wolf "has tested negative three times in the past seven days for COVID-19."
  • CDC Director Robert Redfield: His most-recent Covid-19 test was Tuesday, Sept. 29th, and the result was negative, according to a statement from a CDC spokesperson.
  • Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett: Tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere. 
  • White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow: Is tested every day, and tested negative Friday morning, he told Fox Business News.  
  • Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani: He reiterated to CNN Saturday that he tested negative for Covid-19 on Friday and that he is experiencing no symptoms.
  • Eric and Lara Trump: Trump's son and his wife both tested negative for coronavirus Friday, according to a statement from their spokesperson posted by Lara on her Twitter and Instagram accounts. 
  • Barron Trump: The 14-year-old son of Trump tested negative for coronavirus, according to Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff, on Friday.

Some background: The cluster of cases among top Republican officials probably began at Trump's Rose Garden event announcing the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a senior administration official said on Saturday.

Both indoors and out, participants were observed without masks and not practicing recommended social distancing measures.

12:39 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner tested negative this morning, spokesperson says

From CNN's Kate Bennett

Special adviser to the president Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump arrive to the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House on September 15 in Washington, DC.
Special adviser to the president Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump arrive to the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House on September 15 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were tested for coronavirus this morning and both were negative, White House spokesperson Carolina Hurley tells CNN.

12:38 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

State Department cable to embassies points to well wishes for Trump and ignores fact that he is at Walter Reed

From CNN's Kylie Atwood

President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 2 on Marine One helicopter after he tested positive for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 2 on Marine One helicopter after he tested positive for COVID-19. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

CNN obtained a cable sent by the State Department public affairs office on Saturday to embassies around the world providing guidance about what America’s diplomats abroad could say about President Trump being diagnosed with Covid-19, but it gave no guidance about the health status of the President who was at Walter Reed medical center by the time the cable was sent. 

The guidance makes it clear that America’s diplomats are not expected to discuss the specifics about Trump’s health status or the fact that he had been brought to the hospital on Friday night, after receiving additional oxygen after his oxygen levels had rapidly dropped.

The State Department points to one specific quote from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Oct. 2, before Trump was taken to Walter Reed, saying the situation is being taken “very seriously.”

The cable also highlights tweets from Pompeo and the State Department spokesperson, both of which were sent out on Friday morning, and offered prayers to Trump and the first lady but nothing about his medical status. 

“May you both have a quick recovery. Our nation is standing strong with you,” Pompeo said in his tweets.

Many diplomats were only forwarded the guidance from their bosses who received it on Monday when they got to work, a State Department official who received it told CNN.  

A State Department official told CNN that as of Sunday afternoon, diplomatic posts had not received guidance on how to talk about Trump’s condition. The cable sent Saturday does not give details on Trump's health.

“If you followed what happened over the weekend, there was inaccurate information coming out from the administration anyway, so it is better we didn’t share that with our allies,” said a second State Department official who received the guidance.

 

12:22 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

White House Correspondents' Association says no new media members tested positive for Covid-19 today

From CNN's Brian Stelter

The White House Correspondents' Association said in a statement on Monday that there are no new known positive tests among members of the media who cover the White House. However, “we know some are awaiting test results.”

Three members of the media tested positive last Friday. 

This comes after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she tested positive for the virus and is starting the quarantine process today.

The statement also wishes Kayleigh McEnany a swift recovery. 

Read the full statement:

“We wish Kayleigh, the president and everyone else struggling with the virus a swift recovery. As of this moment we are not aware of additional cases among White House journalists, though we know some are awaiting test results. We strongly encourage our members to continue following CDC guidance on mask-wearing and distancing — especially when at the White House — and urge journalists to seek testing if they were potentially exposed.”
12:49 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Biden says he'll debate Trump "if the scientists say it's safe"

From CNN's Sarah Mucha 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Delaware, on October 5.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Delaware, on October 5. Andrew Harnik/AP

Boarding his flight to Florida Monday, Joe Biden briefly stopped to speak with the traveling press. Asked to comment on the President leaving Walter Reed Sunday to wave at supporters from inside a car, Biden said he is "reluctant to comment" on anything relating to the President's health and that he would leave that to his doctors.

Asked if he would debate the President if he were healthy by the next scheduled debate on Oct. 15, Biden replied, "If the doctors — listen to the science. If the scientists say that it’s safe and the distance are safe, then that’s fine. I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate to do."

He added that he is "looking forward" to the town hall style debate. 

"I’m not an expert on that but I think we should be very cautious as I’ve thought all along, and I’m going to continue listening to the scientists," he said. "But I’m looking forward to have an opportunity to do a town hall meeting if that occurs.”

Arlette Saenz reports:

12:02 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Trump is "ready to get back to work," Lindsey Graham says after a phone call with the President

From CNN's Ali Main

Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks during an oversight hearing to examine the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation in Washington, DC, on September 30.
Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks during an oversight hearing to examine the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation in Washington, DC, on September 30. Ken Cedeno/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham tweeted Monday morning that he had just spoken with President Trump, who he said "sounds terrific– very engaged and ready to get back to work!"

Graham said the President is "very excited" about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's impending Supreme Court confirmation process, as well as "focused on a good deal to help stimulate the economy."

This comes as Graham continues to press forward with Barrett's confirmation ahead of Election Day, despite two Republican members of his committee testing positive for the coronavirus in the past week.

On a new stimulus bill, although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin remain engaged in negotiations over a new stimulus package, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Fox Monday, "there are still some major differences" between the sides.

President Trump has been pushing for a deal via Twitter as he remains hospitalized for the virus.

See Graham's tweet:

12:45 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

White House press secretary tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks to the media on October 4 outside the White House in Washington, DC.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks to the media on October 4 outside the White House in Washington, DC. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted today that she tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday morning.

She says she is experiencing no symptoms and had no knowledge of Hope Hicks' testing positive before her briefing last Thursday. 

She said in a statement posted on her Twitter account that she will begin to quarantine.

McEnany is at least the 11th person close to President Trump to have recently tested positive for the virus. 

Read her tweet:

11:02 a.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Pence tests negative again and is still scheduled to head to Salt Lake City

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at an event hosted by The Family Leader Foundation on October 1 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at an event hosted by The Family Leader Foundation on October 1 in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence again tested negative for Covid-19 Monday morning, an administration official tells CNN.

Vice President Mike Pence is still scheduled to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah today, according to daily guidance released by his office moments ago.

Pence is set to debate Sen. Kamala Harris in the vice presidential debate in that city Wednesday.