October 6 Trump Covid-19 news

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

Updated 9:47 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020
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5:26 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Fourth press aide in the West Wing tests positive

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

A fourth press aide has tested positive for coronavirus. That means four press aides plus White House press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany are now positive. 

As of this evening a total of 10 people inside the White House, including the President and first lady, have tested positive, according to CNN's count. 

5:00 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Biden: "It's a virus. It's not a political weapon"

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Source: Pool
Source: Pool

Joe Biden was critical of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying in his speech in Gettysburg that "we can do so much better." 

"Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it's a scientific recommendation. Social distancing isn't a political statement, it's a scientific recommendation," he said. 

"We can be so much better. We can be better starting today," Biden said. "We can have a national strategy that puts politics aside and saves lives. We can have a national strategy that makes it possible for schools and businesses to open safely. ... This pandemic is not a red state or blue state issue."

"It's a virus. It's not a political weapon," Biden said.

Watch the moment:

4:48 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Biden seeks to "revive the spirit of bipartisanship" in Gettysburg speech

From CNN's Eric Bradner


Joe Biden warned of the "cost of division" Tuesday in a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, saying that the divides the United States now faces are "neither good nor normal." 

In a speech that recalled Abraham Lincoln's famous address there, Biden said that "the country is in a dangerous place. Our trust in each other is ebbing. Hope seems elusive."

"We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country; the spirit of being able to work with one another," he said. 

"Too many Americans seek not to overcome our division, but to deepen them," Biden said. "We must seek not to build walls, but bridges. We must seek not to have our fists clinched but our arms open. We have to seek not to tear each other apart. We have to seek to come together."

Reciting the opening words of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Biden said, "He taught us this: A house divided could not stand. That is a great and timeless truth. Today, once again, we're at a house divided. But that, my friends, can no longer be. We are facing too many crises, we have too much work to do, we have too bright a future to have it shipwrecked on the shores of anger and hate and division."

4:41 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Pence's team objects to plexiglass being installed at debate

From CNN's Jim Acosta 

Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short said the team is objecting to plexiglass being installed for both Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris at their upcoming debate Wednesday. 

Short said Pence officials don't have a problem if Harris would like a plexiglass shield to protect her from the virus at the debate. But the Pence team believes it's not necessary for the vice president to have plexiglass as well.

"We have yet to hear medical evidence what the plexiglass is for," Short said.

Short noted the candidates will be spaced 12 feet apart and that Pence has consistently tested negative for coronavirus. 


4:18 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Biden tested negative for Covid-19 today, per pool

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden boards his campaign plane at Wilmington Airport on October 6, in New Castle, Delaware.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden boards his campaign plane at Wilmington Airport on October 6, in New Castle, Delaware. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has tested negative for Covid-19, according to pool.

“Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected," the Biden campaign said.

Biden is set to speak soon from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

4:07 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have all tested negative as of today

From CNN's Barbara Starr

So far, all the Joint Chiefs of Staff have tested negative as of today and none currently have symptoms, according to a US defense official. 

They are continuing to work remotely and it will be a day-to-day decision when they come back into the building.

CNN reported earlier today that the top US general, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, and several members of the Pentagon's senior leadership are quarantining after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for coronavirus, several US defense officials told CNN.

The Pentagon is "conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission," after vice commandant of the US Coast Guard, Adm. Charles Ray, tested positive on Monday, according to Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs.

3:50 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Trump poised to record video message today, officials say

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Trump is poised to record a video message this afternoon from his new working quarters of the White House – likely the Diplomatic Room – but has no plans to deliver a live address, two officials familiar with the plan say.

The President’s schedule called for him to do this in the next hour – with a potential release by the evening news – but the timing was still to be determined, one official said.

And it was being determined on the logistics of recording this message, which would be done by White House staff.

The atmosphere inside the White House was described by one official as “chaotic,” largely because many people were working remotely and the President was calling the shots.

3:22 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

House Democrats are stunned that Trump just tweeted stimulus negotiations are over

From CNN's Lauren Fox

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference on Thursday, October 1. 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference on Thursday, October 1.  Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Several sources that CNN has been texting with in the last several minutes about the caucus call, are stunned that President Trump tweeted that negotiations on the stimulus are over.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the tweet minutes ago on the call, saying “this is who they are,” according to one source. 

While negotiations were always a long shot, it’s not considered politically advantageous to announce you are walking away from negotiations.

One member just said of Trump’s tweet “incredible,” and another one who saw the tweet and just responded “wow.”


3:20 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

First lady's office sends news release on safety precautions in White House executive residence

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

The first lady's office has responded to claims that White House residence staff are increasingly concerned about their safety following both the President and Melania Trump being infected by the coronavirus.

The news release claims that since March, "the Residence has adopted hospital-grade disinfection policies," and adds that "with the recent positive results of the President and First Lady, staff wear full PPE and continue to take all necessary precautions, which include updated procedures to protect against cross contamination."