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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8:12 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Here's the latest on Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

As at least three additional staffers were revealed to have tested positive on Tuesday — including senior adviser Stephen Miller — President Trump remained in denial about the health and economic fallout.

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.

What we know:

  • More than a dozen members of Trump's circle have tested positive in recent days, including his wife, senior adviser, press secretary, campaign manager, former counselor, personal assistant, four press aides, three Republican senators and, over the weekend, a military aide with direct access to the President.
  • Miller, Trump's immigration adviser and speechwriter, said he tested positive Tuesday and was entering isolation. He is one of several people who had helped Trump prepare for last week's presidential debate who have now tested positive, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
  • The top US general, Gen. Mark Milley, and several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were also quarantining after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for coronavirus, several US defense officials told CNN.

With the West Wing largely vacant because staffers keep testing positive, Trump was isolating in the White House residence, where temporary office facilities have been stood up adjacent to the building's basement medical suite.

Keep reading.

7:44 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Pence press secretary removed from debate trip

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Jim Acosta and Sarah Westwood 

In light of the news of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s positive Covid-19 test, his wife Katie Miller, who serves as Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, has left the trip to Salt Lake City ahead of Wednesday's debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

Katie Miller, who contracted Covid 19 in May, was seen traveling with Pence and his staff during the trip out West, which began Monday. There is no indication at this point that she has become reinfected.

Here's what current US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say on possible reinfection:

"Data to date show that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.There are no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within 3 months of initial infection. However, additional research is ongoing. Therefore, if a person who has recovered from COVID-19 has new symptoms of COVID-19, the person may need an evaluation for reinfection, especially if the person has had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. The person should isolate and contact a healthcare provider to be evaluated for other causes of their symptoms, and possibly retested."

9:47 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Olympic runner whose grandfather died from Covid-19 says she felt "disrespected" by Trump's tweet

Olympic runner Kara Goucher, whose grandfather died from Covid-19, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday she felt "disrespected" by a tweet from President Trump telling people not to be afraid of coronavirus.

Goucher spoke with Cooper on "Full Circle" before her grandfather passed Tuesday.

"Fight on Papa. Tonight surround by my sister, mother, myself, and with my other sister on the phone, my grandfather passed away in peace. He would be overwhelmed with the support he has received from you all. Thank you," she said in a tweet.

Goucher's grandfather was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Sept. 24 and in the past few days had taken a turn for the worse. She told Cooper her grandfather was "losing his battle with coronavirus" and was "suffering greatly."

In a tweet Monday, Goucher responded to Trump's message, "As my grandfather lies in a bed struggling to take his last breaths due to Covid, I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything more offensive or tone deaf in my life."

Goucher told Cooper she "just felt really disrespected" by Trump's tweet.

"I felt like my grandfather was disrespected, I felt like all of the people who have been suffering from this were disrespected and ... it just felt so tone deaf," she said.

She went on to say that she feels that people have lost "compassion a little bit."

"His life has value and he's contributing to my life and so many other lives and you know, I am happy for the people who have beat coronavirus. I think that's wonderful, but we need to stop making this political. This needs to be about compassion and about caring for your fellow citizens and doing what's right to protect other people because this is loss that shouldn't be happening," Goucher said.

Watch:

8:15 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

White House adviser Stephen Miller tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

White House senio­r advis­er Steph­en Mille­r looks on as President Donald Trump addresses reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on July 15 in Washington.
White House senio­r advis­er Steph­en Mille­r looks on as President Donald Trump addresses reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on July 15 in Washington. Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

Senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a source close to him. 

“Over the last 5 days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday. Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine," Miller said in a statement.

Miller is the latest official caught up in an outbreak at the White House that has seen at least 10 others test positive.

His wife, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary Katie Miller, tested positive for coronavirus in May.

Watch:

6:28 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

New voting rights petition filed at Supreme Court challenging vote-by-mail in Montana

From CNN's Ariane De Vogue

Republican voters are asking the Supreme Court to step in and block a directive issued by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock last month that allows counties to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters.

The suit is brought by Joe Lamm of the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee as well as several voters.

“While Covid is a national tragedy, it posed no emergency,” lawyer James Bopp wrote in court papers. Bopp noted that the Montana legislature already allowed any qualified voter to obtain a no-excuse absentee ballot by merely applying. 

Lower courts have upheld Montana’s directive. Bopp asked for emergency relief by Thursday.

Just last night the Supreme Court signaled in a case out of South Carolina that federal courts should avoid changing state and local rules too close to the election.

Earlier this year, in the Montana primary, all of its counties opted to send mail-in ballots. Bullock, a Democrat, will appear on the ballots as a candidate for Senate.

6:23 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020

Debate commission will allow Pence not to be surrounded by plexiglass

From CNN's Dan Merica

The Commission on Presidential Debates will allow Vice President Mike Pence to not have plexiglass barriers around him at Wednesday’s debate, a member of the debate commission tells CNN, but both Sen. Kamala Harris and the debate moderator will be allowed to erect transparent barriers between them and the vice president.

The commission and both campaigns have been meeting all day to hammer out last minute details of the debate, the commission member said, and will meet again later this evening, where the commission expects to resolve any outstanding issues.

“She is the one who wanted plexiglass, so if she has plexiglass surrounding her so she is cut off from everyone else, that is fine,” the commission member said. “If he doesn’t want plexiglass, that is up to him.”

The commission member added that it is not a requirement that plexiglass surround Pence to have the debate.

This comes after the commission announced that plexiglass would be used as a barrier to separate the candidates on Monday, leading the Pence team to push back again the proposed changes to account for the coronavirus. 

The idea of Harris standing for the debate “went out the window weeks ago” after that Harris team proposed it to the commission. The commission responded by noting that it was a seated debate and the only way they could change it is if the Pence team agreed.

As for the idea of holding the forthcoming presidential debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump outdoors due to the coronavirus, the commission member says that is not true and that they “don’t know where that report came from.”

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

Source:
Source:

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."