October 6 Trump Covid-19 news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 1:59 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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10:57 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

13 restaurant employees in quarantine after catering Trump party

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Thirteen employees at Murray’s restaurant in Minneapolis are in quarantine after they catered a party attended by President Trump on Sept. 30.

According to Chuck Sanger, who represents Murray’s, “at no point did any staff come in close proximity to the President.”

Each staff member will be tested for Covid-19 and will be in quarantine for two weeks, Sanger said in a statement.

11:06 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Democrats accuse Trump team of "deliberately" withholding information about White House coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Ted Barrett and Manu Raju

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Democratic leaders charged Tuesday that the White House has been “opaque and secretive” in providing information about the coronavirus outbreak that sickened President Trump and several other people at the White House, demanding details about the timeline and contending that details are being “deliberately withheld in order to minimize public scrutiny.”

In a letter sent Tuesday to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Democratic leaders add their voice to the growing chorus of calls for details that could shed light on whether scores of people who have been on White House grounds — US Secret Service, White House and congressional officials, journalists and others — have taken the necessary precautions in case they were exposed to the virus.

The letter, provided to CNN, notes that Trump's team has not divulged when they first learned of the outbreak at the White House, suggesting that the failure to release the information is an intentional attempt to avoid public criticism, given that Trump carried on with a number of public activities last week — including a campaign rally in Minnesota, a fundraiser in New Jersey and a debate with former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The opaque and secretive handling of information related to these events constitutes an obvious threat to public health and is unacceptable in a free nation whose elected leaders must be transparent with and accountable to the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“It is critical that the public and those who may have been exposed have access to accurate and transparent information,” the Democrats said in the letter.

The letter came on the same day it was reported that the White House had turned down offers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help investigate the outbreak at the complex and to begin contact tracing of those who attended events with the President, like the crowded Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett last Saturday. 

“The White House has plans and procedures in place that incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure and has established a robust contact tracing program led by the White House Medical Unit with CDC integration,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

11:31 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Facebook removes Trump post falsely saying flu is more lethal than Covid-19

From CNN’s Donie O'Sullivan

Facebook on Tuesday removed a post from President Trump in which he falsely claimed that Covid-19 is less deadly than the seasonal flu.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed the company removed the post for breaking its rules on Covid-19 misinformation.

The President also posted the same message on Twitter. That post is still live. Twitter declined to comment.

Remember: More people in the United States have died from coronavirus this year than from influenza during the past five flu seasons combined.

Watch:

10:51 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Trump tweets: "FEELING GREAT!" and "looking forward to the debate"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Trump tweeted that he is “FEELING GREAT!” on Tuesday morning. He also said he’s “looking forward to the debate” in Miami, adding, “It will be great!”

The campaign had previously said that Trump was still planning on participating, despite his coronavirus diagnosis. Trump's second presidential debate with Joe Biden is set for Oct. 15.

10:49 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

GOP Senator Ron Johnson tweets health update: "clear lungs and blood tests normal"

From CNN's Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Clare Foran

Senator Ron Johnson's office released an update on his health on Tuesday, saying he is feeling fine and that his doctor's appointment yesterday showed "clear lungs and blood tests normal."

Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who recently tested positive for Covid-19, said on Monday that he will do everything he can to vote for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, even if he has to wear a "moon suit" to do it.

Two other Republican senators in addition to Johnson tested positive for coronavirus in recent days.

See Johnson's tweet:

11:09 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Trump address to the nation being seriously considered, senior campaign official says 

From CNN's Jim Acosta, Kevin Liptak and Maeve Reston

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

An address from President Trump to the nation is under serious consideration, a senior campaign official tells CNN. It's unclear when he would do it. 

There are lingering health concerns given his apparent trouble breathing last night, the official and a separate source close to the White House said.

Trump departed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, telling his followers the virus that dangerously deprived him of oxygen and hospitalized him for 72 hours was nothing to fear before posing for a mask-less photo-op on the White House balcony.

10:29 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Campaign official: If it were up to Trump, "I don't know that he would have ever gotten off the trail"

The Trump campaign’s national press secretary Hogan Gidley told FOX News Tuesday morning that if it were up the President, he would already be back on the campaign trail.  

“We are looking forward to him getting back on the trail when the doctors say it’s physically feasible for him to do so but he’s ready now, and if he had his druthers, ah, I don’t know that he would have ever gotten off the trail,” Gidley said. 

Gidley lauded the President for his transparency during his battle with Covid-19. 

“The President himself in the videos he released being very transparent, letting the American people into his hospital room in essence, even talked about the fact he has learned so much about this virus having now gone through it,” Gidley said. “He literally stared down coronavirus, it looks like he’s on the back end of it.” 

When asked about Trump’s mask-less appearance on the White House balcony Monday night and what message that sends to the American people, Gidley said the President was alone on the balcony and then pointed out that former vice president Joe Biden was also mask-free Monday night during his town hall event. 

Remember: Biden does not have an active case of Covid-19. 

“Joe Biden is sitting there without a mask next to Lester Holt without a mask,” Gidley said. 

When asked about CNN’s most recent poll, showing Biden with a massive lead over Trump, Gidley questioned CNN’s credibility and then said the Trump has “great numbers via our internal polls, enough to win and retain the White House.”  

Gidley also addressed Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien’s positive diagnoses by saying while he wouldn’t get into specifics about him, they have spoken by phone and he “seems really good” and is “full steam ahead.” 

 

10:58 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Pompeo says he spoke to Trump for 90 minutes on Monday: "He seemed to be doing great"

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images
Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Japanese broadcaster NHK Tuesday that he had spoken to President Trump the day before and “he seemed to be doing great.”

“I spoke to the President yesterday for about an hour and a half,” Pompeo said.

Asked why he needed to go forward with his trip to Tokyo despite the Trump’s health concerns, Pompeo said he wanted to congratulate the new prime minister and also needed to attend a meeting of the Quad – the US, Japan, Australia and India – to discuss Chinese threats to the region.

 “I’ve had this scheduled for a long time,” he said. “And it was important that we all get together and it was very kind of Japan to host us.”

“I am confident that we will come out of here with important practical outcomes from this gathering of these four countries that will lead to a more prosperous world and a more prosperous region as well. Yes, it’s urgent; time is of the essence. The world sat on the threat from China for an awfully long time, and it is time that we get after this in a serious way,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo returns to the United States on Tuesday. He was originally slated to travel to South Korea and Mongolia on this trip but curtailed it after the President’s hospitalization.

10:14 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020

How Trump's return and Covid-19 diagnosis has impacted the White House

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Jeff Zeleny, 

President Trump may be eagerly seeking a return to normal after three nights in the hospital. But the White House he arrived home to Monday with dramatic and reckless flourish has changed drastically since he was airlifted off the South Lawn at the end of last week.

Instead of a bustling hive of pre-election activity, the West Wing has become a breeding ground for viral contagion. At least 11 of the President's aides or allies have either contracted the virus or — in the case of his daughter Ivanka — are working from home. Entire suites of offices sit vacant as Trump's aides work to isolate him in the residence and out of the West Wing.

A new aura of mistrust was settling in as several aides raised questions about whether they had been recklessly put in harm's way over the past week. Accusations of mismanagement — directed mainly at White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — have flown amid one of the gravest presidential crises in a generation. An absence of robust contact tracing efforts caused ripples of concern as testing and mask-wearing norms were being second-guessed.

None of that anxiety was allayed when Trump arrived back to the White House Monday. His first act after striding up the South Portico steps was to rip off his mask and stuff it into his pocket — even though he remains infected with coronavirus and could potentially infect those nearby. He was then seen going back out onto the balcony and re-entering so a camera crew could shoot his entrance.

"We're going back. We're going back to work. We're gonna be out front," Trump said in a video-taped upon his return. "As your leader I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it, but I had to do it."

Though four hours earlier his doctors conceded he was not yet "out of the woods" in his fight against Covid-19, Trump framed the disease as in the past: "Now I'm better and maybe I'm immune? I don't know. But don't let it dominate your lives."

In the White House residence where he was speaking without a mask, an already slimmed-down staff has been reduced even further after the President and first lady both came down with coronavirus. At least one staffer — who is military personnel directly assigned to support the President in the Oval and residence -- tested positive over the weekend, according to a person familiar with the matter.

As Trump returned home, a supply of medical gowns, goggles and respirator masks had been secured for use by his health and security teams — and potentially residence staffers — should they need to come into close proximity to the President.

In the hours after he arrived, a White House employee was seen sanitizing the press briefing room wearing a full white suit with a hood, gloves and protective eyewear.

Read the full story here.