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Trump's doctor walks back '72 hours' Covid diagnosis timeline

Here are the latest updates on President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.

President Donald Trump's physicians provided more confusion than clarity during a press conference Saturday morning after the president was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday night.

The doctors offered different timelines on when Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 and when he began treatment. They also painted an optimistic picture of the president's health, which was almost immediately contradicted by a White House source who described the president's vitals over the past 24 hours as "very concerning."

Trump's coronavirus diagnosis has thrown his campaign into confusion with four weeks before the Nov. 3 election. A number of people connected to Trump or White House events have also tested positive for the coronavirus. Among them were former aide Kellyanne Conway, three Republican senators, and campaign manager Bill Stepien.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news from Sunday on the president's condition.

Ivanka Trump tweets photo of her dad at Walter Reed

675d ago / 3:41 AM UTC

'We were real concerned,' says White House chief of staff of Trump's condition on Friday

675d ago / 3:10 AM UTC

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said in an interview with Fox News that President Donald Trump's condition took a turn for the worse Friday when his blood oxygen level suddenly dropped.

In the interview Saturday, Meadows described a more alarming situation than was previously disclosed by Trump or his team, which has attempted to downplay the president's battle with the coronavirus. 

“Yesterday we were real concerned," Meadows said. "He had a fever and his blood oxygen level dropped rapidly."

Trump's condition has improved since he was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday, and doctors were cautiously optimistic that this health would continue to improve.

"He's a fighter, as we all know," Meadows said. "He's not out of the woods. The next 48 hours or so, with the history of this virus, we know can be tough. But he made unbelievable improvements from yesterday morning when I know a number of us ... were very concerned."

Frustration mounts over contact tracing at New Jersey fundraiser

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675d ago / 2:52 AM UTC

New Jersey state health officials are frustrated in their attempts to contract trace everyone who attended a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at his Bedminster golf club Thursday night before he tested positive for Covid-19.

The White House and Republican National Committee handed over names and emails of the more than 200 attendees, what event they attended inside, whether it was a smaller roundtable or the larger fundraiser and whether they reported being within six feet of Trump at any time. 

According to a person who has knowledge of the effort, the state of New Jersey told the White House Medical Unit that information wasn’t enough. It asked for the phone numbers and addresses as is standard for effective contact tracing. The source also says it asked for the same information for the staff at the event. The state had received neither by Saturday evening. 

There is growing frustration and anger at the state level, according to the source. The information was first requested early Friday morning and was not delivered until 2:30 p.m. The source says New Jersey has had a robust contact-tracing apparatus in place for months. There is also concern that some employees could be from low- to middle-income communities that are harder hit by the coronavirus and harder to contact trace. 

Both the RNC and the White House said none of the staff came within six feet of the president for more than 15 minutes, and per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no need to contact trace. 

Pompeo shortens upcoming Asia trip after Trump falls ill

675d ago / 1:58 AM UTC

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will depart for Japan on Sunday but will not go to Mongolia and South Korea as originally planned after President Donald Trump was diagnosed and hospitalized with Covid-19, the State Department said Saturday.

"Secretary Pompeo expects to be traveling to Asia again in October and will work to reschedule visits on that trip, that is now just a few weeks off," the department said in a statement.

Initially, Pompeo planned to visit all three countries next week.

675d ago / 1:38 AM UTC

Trump fever-free but 'not out of the woods yet,' doctor says

675d ago / 1:31 AM UTC

President Donald Trump remained fever-free and off supplemental oxygen, his doctor said Saturday night, but warned that the president is "not out of the woods yet."

"The team remains cautiously optimistic," White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement.

Trump completed his second dose of remdesivir Saturday evening, Conley said, and "continues to do well."

"He spent most of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty," Conley added.

Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley test negative for Covid-19

675d ago / 1:05 AM UTC

Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of  Missouri tested negative Saturday for Covid-19.

Hawley attended the White House Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett and didn’t wear a mask for much of it. He was sitting near Sen. Mike Lee of Utah who tested positive. Seven others who attended last weekend's ceremony have since tested positive, including President Donald Trump and the first lady.

Cruz will stay home until Barrett's confirmation hearings on Oct. 12, according to his spokesman.

“After interacting with Sen. Lee, in consultation with the attending physician, Sen. Cruz is remaining at home out of an abundance of caution," the spokesman said in a statement. "He feels healthy, hasn’t exhibited any Covid-19 symptoms and has tested negative."

In a tweet, Hawley said he is "Praying for the President, the First  Lady and every American who is battling this virus."

675d ago / 12:49 AM UTC

Biden campaign will disclose all Covid-19 test results

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675d ago / 12:10 AM UTC

The Biden campaign switched course Saturday and announced that it would release the results of each Covid-19 test he takes moving forward — a reversal from a previous decision to only release results if the Democratic presidential nominee tests positive for the coronavirus.

“We have adhered to strict and extensive safety practices recommended by public health experts and doctors in all of our campaigning, including social distancing, mask-wearing, and additional safeguards, Biden spokesman Andrew Bates told NBC in a statement. "Vice President Biden is being tested regularly, and we will be releasing the results of each test."

On Friday, Biden tested negative twice for Covid-19, his campaign said. He did not take a test Saturday but intends to take one Sunday morning.

“Biden will continue to lead by example as we work together to overcome this pandemic,” Bates said. 

The former vice president started taking Covid-19 tests regularly in August after deciding to spend more time on the campaign trail. 

Trump in first video from hospital: 'I feel much better now'

675d ago / 11:07 PM UTC

"I came here, wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back," Trump said in a four-minute video posted to his Twitter account Saturday evening. 

"I’ll be back, I think I’ll be back soon. And I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started."

Trump said that first lady Melania Trump was "handling it very nicely." 

Although Trump and his allies have projected an image of a president largely unaffected by the coronavirus, at times contradicting what White House officials have said about Trump's health, the president did acknowledge in his video that the next few days of the virus would be critical. 

"You don't know over the next period of a few days, I guess that's the real test. So we'll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.

Sen. Tillis has 'mild symptoms'

675d ago / 10:44 PM UTC

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis — who attended the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination announcement at the White House last week — has 'mild symptoms' after confirming on Friday he tested positive for Covid-19. 

“Senator Tillis continues to self-isolate at home in North Carolina and has mild symptoms, no fever, and he is in great spirits. Thom and his wife Susan are grateful for the prayers and well wishes they've received from North Carolinians,” a spokesperson said.

Biden has not been tested today

675d ago / 10:38 PM UTC

Joe Biden said that he had not been tested for the coronavirus Saturday, but that he will receive one Sunday morning. The last time he was tested was Friday when he received two negative confirmations.

Photos: Trump supporters and protesters gather outside of Walter Reed

675d ago / 10:18 PM UTC
Image: Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Oct. 3, 2020.
Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Saturday.Alex Edelman / Getty Images
Image: Lewis Bracy holds protest signs while standing near supporters of President Donald Trump near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 3, 2020.
Lewis Bracy holds protest signs while standing near supporters of President Donald Trump near Walter Reed on Saturday.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

Christie hospitalized after testing positive for Covid

675d ago / 10:07 PM UTC

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized Saturday after testing positive for the coronavirus. 

"In consultation with my doctors, I checked myself into Morristown Medical Center this afternoon. While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure," Christie said in a statement. 

Christie, a close ally of President Trump, was part of debate prep ahead of the first presidential debate last week. Christie was at the White House last Saturday for the event announcing Trump's Supreme Court nominee and he was also at the White House on Sunday for a press conference. 

 

White House official says Trump tested positive after N.J. fundraiser

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675d ago / 8:59 PM UTC

A White House official said Saturday afternoon that President Trump first tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday after returning to Washington from a fundraiser at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

Reporters were given conflicting information on Trump's diagnosis and treatment timeline, forcing the White House to spend much of  Saturday working to clarify. The tick-tock of Trump's diagnosis, which is still unclear, is particularly important because he held campaign events on Wednesday and Thursday where he interacted with people in-person.

Trump campaign vows it will stay in full-motion with key players

675d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

The president's re-election campaign announced "Operation MAGA," on Saturday, an effort to continue campaigning while the candidate is hospitalized.

The campaign will host virtual events until Wednesday's vice presidential debate, after which Vice President Mike Pence, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Lara Trump will begin campaigning on the ground in "key states."

“Operation MAGA will fire up the entire MAGA universe to keep President Trump’s campaign at full speed until our commander-in-chief returns to the campaign trail,” said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager, who has also been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

McConnell says he had another call with Trump

675d ago / 8:31 PM UTC

'Nightmare scenario': Trump campaign confronts daunting task of making up ground

675d ago / 7:38 PM UTC

President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis has been an earthquake for his campaign, leaving some Republicans to worry that the election is slipping away.

The president's wishful assertions that the virus would disappear have been shattered. If it wasn't clear enough, it is now: The election will be about the coronavirus.

Trump's iconic campaign rallies are canceled, depriving him of one of his best chances to recruit new supporters and excite his old ones, while placing a brighter spotlight on his history of rarely wearing a mask and downplaying the severity of the virus.

Although he has an advantage with voters over Joe Biden on who would best handle the economy, surveys show the country trusts the former vice president by wide margins on managing the coronavirus and the health care system. The president's infection adds new scrutiny to his management of the virus, which has been his political Achilles' heel.

Click here for the full story.

Dems say moving forward with Barrett's confirmation 'threatens the health and safety' of members

675d ago / 7:24 PM UTC

All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling on the panel's Republican chairman, Lindsey Graham, to hold off on the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

"To proceed at this juncture with a hearing to consider Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court threatens the health and safety of all those who are called upon to do the work of this body,” the senators wrote in a letter to Graham that was spearheaded by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

They also wrote that holding a remote hearing for a Supreme Court nomination is "not an adequate substitute." Conducting the hearings virtually "ignores the gravity of our constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on lifetime appointments, particularly those to the nation’s highest court."

On Saturday, Senate Republicans signaled that they would move forward with the hearings the week of Oct. 12 despite three GOP senators, including two who are members of the committee, testing positive for Covid-19.

Tensions building outside Walter Reed

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675d ago / 7:02 PM UTC

A tense, circus-like situation has developed outside the entrance to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center between President Donald Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters.

At one point, NBC News witnessed a minor physical altercation between an anti-Trump protester and a maskless Trump supporter carrying a Trump sign. It was unclear who started it, but they took a few swings at each other and screamed before police eventually showed up. It did not appear that anyone was injured. We have not seen any arrests.

“We can’t hear you, you might want to take your mask off, come on,” one Trump supporter is shouting through a megaphone.

Both local police and military police are now on hand.

In addition to shouting at each other, both the pro-Trump people and the anti-Trump people have been driving back and forth along Rockville Pike, where the media is set up on the sidewalk, honking their horns and occasionally screaming at reporters.

There are about 50 or so people gathered currently, mostly Trump supporters, some with signs wishing the president a speedy recovery. A few have signs saying coronavirus is a hoax.

The anti-Trump protesters have signs with profane references to Trump.

Drugmaker says White House doctor described Trump treatment inaccurately

675d ago / 7:00 PM UTC

Trump physician Dr. Sean Conley's statement today — and yesterday — described one of the president's coronavirus treatments as a polyclonal antibody cocktail, but the makers of the drug therapy told NBC News in an email that's the wrong term for the treatment.

"It is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies — meaning each was produced by making identical copies, or clones, of an antibody gene in a single B cell. Polyclonal antibody cocktails refer to antibodies made by mixtures of B cells," Regeneron spokesman Alexandra Bowie said.

Conley also misspelled the drug in a memo detailing the president's treatment; it is Regeneron, not Regeron.

Tracking Covid-19 infections among President Donald Trump's contacts

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675d ago / 6:58 PM UTC

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the latest person who has recently interacted with President Donald Trump to announce a positive test result.

What we know: Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19 after White House aide Hope Hicks was diagnosed. Theirs are the latest high-profile cases among members of the White House, Congress and Trump campaign and follow a handful of other heads of state who have tested positive.

What we don’t know: how far among Trump’s contacts and confidants the disease spread before and after the president became infected.

NBC News is tracking the declared infection status of those who came into contact with Trump in the last few days. Note that a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean a person is off the hook for Covid-19. The table will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

Click here for the most up-to-date account. 

George Conway says if not for reporter, he might still be treating wife for a cold

675d ago / 6:56 PM UTC

George Conway, the husband of former Trump White House aide Kellyanne Conway, tweeted Saturday that if it were not for the Bloomberg News reporter who first reported on the Covid-19 outbreak in the White House, he may not know his wife contracted the disease.

Kellyanne Conway announced she had tested positive on Friday, becoming one of a handful of Republicans to be diagnosed with the virus after attending a White House event on Saturday in honor of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. 

George Conway has been one of the loudest Trump critics, and the president has often shot back at him on Twitter.

675d ago / 6:31 PM UTC

 

Trump's physician walks back earlier statements, tries to clear up diagnosis timeline

675d ago / 6:06 PM UTC

Dr. Sean Conley, President Donald Trump's physician, clarified comments from earlier Saturday when doctors stated that the president was "72 hours" into his diagnosis and had begun treatment "48 hours ago."

"This morning while summarizing the President’s health, I incorrectly use the term 'seventy two hours' instead of 'day three' and 'forty eight hours' instead of 'day two' with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy," Conley wrote in a statement.

While Conley did say during the press conference that Trump was "72 hours" into his diagnosis, he did not make the comment about starting treatment "48 hours ago." Dr. Brian Garibaldi, another physician at the news conference, made those remarks.

"The President was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st and had received Regeron’s antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd," Conley added.

Conley's statements earlier in the day created a cloud of confusion, raising questions as to whether the president had withheld his diagnosis from the public for more than 24 hours and whether he had continued to hold campaign events knowing he was ill.

Trump calls for another stimulus package as he's being treated for Covid-19

675d ago / 5:56 PM UTC

President Donald Trump called for a coronavirus relief package Saturday as he was being treated for Covid-19 himself. 

"OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!" Trump tweeted. 

Congressional negotiators have been deadlocked with the Trump administration for months over another relief package or stimulus. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin recently restarted their talks this week, but they are still hashing out their differences. 

Source: Trump's health contradicts doctors' optimism

675d ago / 5:35 PM UTC

A source familiar with President Donald Trump's health contradicted the optimistic outlook that the president's physicians offered Saturday morning.

"The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery," the source said in a statement provided to the White House press pool.

The pool is a small group of reporters who travel with the president on behalf of all the news outlets who cover the White House. The source's comments were not provided to NBC News directly.

Schumer: Senate GOP decision to move forward with Barrett's confirmation is 'dangerous'

675d ago / 5:30 PM UTC

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Senate Republicans on Saturday for moving forward with the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. 

Schumer's statement came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that the Senate would recess until Oct. 19 but still move forward with Barrett's confirmation hearings.

"The decision to recess the Senate for two weeks after at least three Republican Senators have tested positive for COVID-19 makes clear that the Senate cannot proceed with business as usual as the virus continues to run rampant," Schumer said. 

"If It’s too dangerous to have the Senate in session it is also too dangerous for committee hearings to continue," he said. "Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham’s monomaniacal drive to confirm Judge Barrett at all costs needlessly threatens the health and safety of Senators, staff, and all those who work in the Capitol complex."

'I am feeling well!': Trump gives update on Twitter

675d ago / 5:24 PM UTC

White House official says Conley misrepresented timeline of Trump's diagnosis

675d ago / 5:22 PM UTC

After Dr. Sean Conley created significant confusion on the timeline of President Donald Trump's diagnosis, telling reporters Trump was "72 hours into the diagnosis now," a White House official said Conley meant that Trump was on Day 3 of the illness.

The official said the diagnosis was made Thursday night, making Saturday the third day into his diagnosis.

The White House official also said Conley misspoke when he said Trump had been administered a Covid-19 treatment from Regeneron 48 hours ago. It was given to Trump later Thursday night, according to the official.

The timeline of Trump's diagnosis is important.

Trump notified the public that he had tested positive just before 1 a.m. Eastern on Friday. He held campaign events on Wednesday and Thursday.

675d ago / 4:44 PM UTC

 

The questions Trump's doctor evaded at the Walter Reed briefing

675d ago / 4:40 PM UTC

Dr. Sean Conley, President Donald Trump's White House physician, dodged several key questions Saturday as he briefed a small group of reporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the president is being treated.

  • Has he been on any supplemental oxygen? Conley was pressed several times to answer this question. He repeatedly said Trump was not receiving oxygen Saturday morning and eventually said, "Thursday, no oxygen, none at this moment, and yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen." Conley, however, would not say whether Trump previously received oxygen at the White House.
  • When was the president's last negative test? Conley said he's "not going to get into testing going back."
  • Has the president had any lung damage? "We're following all of that. We do daily ultrasounds. We do daily lab work. The team is tracking all of that," said Conley, who, when pressed again to answer the question, said he wouldn't get into their findings.
  • How was the president infected and when did it happen? Conley declined to answer these questions.
  • What was Trump's fever when he had it? Conley said the president has been fever-free over the last 24 hours. He said Trump had a fever Thursday into Friday but he would "rather not give any specific numbers" when asked for Trump's actual temperature when he had the fever.

McConnell announces the Senate will not return until Oct. 19, Barrett confirmation hearings to go on as planned

675d ago / 4:28 PM UTC

After news that three GOP senators tested positive for Covid-19, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a statement Saturday that the Senate will not come back into session until Oct. 19. 

"On Monday, I intend to obtain a consent agreement for the Senate to meet in pro forma sessions for the next two weeks. Previously-scheduled floor activity will be rescheduled until after October 19th," McConnell said. 

The Senate had originally been scheduled to return to Washington next week.

The confirmation hearing process for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett will go on as planned, however, with the Senate Judiciary Committee convening on Oct. 12, McConnell said. 

"The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham," he said.

McConnell, R-Ky., also said that "all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings," which can be done virtually. 

Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, two members of the panel, announced Friday that they tested positive for the coronavirus. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who does not sit on the committee, announced Saturday that he, too, has tested positive for the disease.

Trump's physician raises questions over diagnosis timeline

675d ago / 4:21 PM UTC

Dr. Sean Conley raised some significant questions as to when President Donald Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

"He's 72 hours into his diagnosis now," Conley said Saturday morning.

However, it has only been 36 hours since Trump notified the public that he had tested positive. According to Conley's timeline, Trump would have been diagnosed sometime Wednesday.

If Conley's timeline holds, it would mean Trump withheld his diagnosis from the public for more than 24 hours and that he attended a private fundraiser at his New Jersey resort Thursday afternoon and a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday knowing he was ill.

Doctors say no estimated date for when Trump can leave hospital

675d ago / 4:05 PM UTC

"I don't want to put a hard date on that," President Donald Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said Saturday morning when asked by reporters when the president could be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Conley emphasized that Trump was doing "well" but, given the course of the illness, it was too soon to say if the president was out of the woods.

Attorney General William Barr tests negative this morning

675d ago / 4:04 PM UTC

Attorney General William Barr was tested for coronavirus again Saturday morning and, according to a Justice Department spokesperson, tested negative.

Chris Christie, who helped Trump prep for debate, tests positive for coronavirus

675d ago / 4:02 PM UTC

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tested positive for the coronavirus, he confirmed on Twitter on Saturday, after having spent days helping President Donald Trump prepare for Tuesday's debate. 

Christie is the latest in a series of current and former officials who were near Trump in the past week to test positive for the disease. He told ABC News on Friday that during debate preparation with Trump, no one wore masks, including himself and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has said he tested negative on Friday.

Christie, who is overweight, was hospitalized in 2011 after having a severe asthma attack.

 

Trump has been 'fever-free' for over 24 hours, hasn't need supplemental oxygen at hospital

675d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

President Donald Trump has been fever-free for over 24 hours and has not needed supplemental oxygen since being hospitalized, his doctors told reporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

"It's important to note the president has been fever-free for over 24 hours. We remain cautiously optimistic. But he's doing great," said Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician for the president. 

Conley said his medical team is "extremely happy with the progress the president has made."

"Thursday, he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving," he said.

Dr. Sean Dooley told reporters, "We have monitored his cardiac function, his kidney function is, his liver function, all of those are normal. And the president this morning is not on oxygen, not having difficulty breathing or walking around the White House medical unit upstairs."

Asked if the president has needed oxygen, Conley said, "He's not on oxygen right now. That's right." 

Pressed again to answer the question, Conley only said, "He's not needed any this morning at all. That's right."

Conley did not say whether the president previously needed supplemental oxygen or if he had any lung damage.

Pence still planning to travel to Utah for vice presidential debate

675d ago / 3:09 PM UTC

Mike Pence is still planning to travel to Salt Lake City on Monday ahead of the vice presidential debate against Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday, two White House officials tell NBC News.

Pence is then set to hold a campaign event in Peoria, Arizona, on Thursday, the day after the debate.

President Donald Trump was originally scheduled to campaign in Arizona on Monday and Tuesday, before canceling due to his positive Covid-19 diagnosis.

Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence both test negative this morning

675d ago / 2:32 PM UTC

Both Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, have been tested again this morning for the coronavirus and received negative test results, a White House official told NBC News.

McConnell refuses to say if he's been tested recently

675d ago / 2:18 PM UTC

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to say Friday whether he’s recently been tested for the coronavirus, despite a growing number of positive tests in the White House and among Republicans.

"Have I ever been tested? Yes," McConnell told reporters who asked repeatedly. "I'm not gonna answer questions about when. We are following the guidelines that we were given by the CDC."

McConnell spoke at the Georgetown Community Hospital in Georgetown, Kentucky, touring the facility he’d helped secure federal funding for through the CARES Act.

The Republican leader also said he had not met recently with the president, first lady or other people who have recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

How three GOP senators recovering from the coronavirus could potentially delay Barrett's confirmation

675d ago / 2:11 PM UTC

With three Republican senators testing positive for Covid-19, the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett could be delayed this month.

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee tasked with considering the nomination, announced Friday that they tested positive for the disease. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who is not a member of that panel, has also tested positive, his spokesman said Saturday morning. 

None of the senators have indicated the severity of their cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals isolate for at least 10 days after testing positive.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., plans to hold hearings for Barrett’s confirmation during the week of Oct.12.

Graham tweeted Friday night, “Any Senator who wants to participate virtually will be allowed to do so.” He added that he had spoken to Lee by phone and said, “He's in good spirits and on the mend.”

Graham has also said he aims to hold the committee’s vote to advance Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate on Oct. 22. If both Lee and Tillis were unable to be present for the vote, either Republicans could postpone the vote or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could automatically advance the nomination to the floor.

In the full Senate, however, if Lee, Tillis and Johnson are unable to be present in Washington for the final confirmation vote, which requires a 51-vote majority, it could further delay the process.

The GOP has 53-47 majority in the Senate, so McConnell can only lose three votes. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have already said they oppose voting before Election Day. If two of the three sick senators were unable to vote, it could delay confirmation until after the Nov. 3 election.

Melania Trump's 'symptoms have not worsened'

675d ago / 2:04 PM UTC

From the first lady’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham: 

“Mrs. Trump is doing well. Her symptoms have not worsened and she continues to rest. She remains in touch with her husband. She is thinking of all who are ill and wishes them a speedy recovery.”

President's doctor to provide update from hospital

675d ago / 1:58 PM UTC

Another GOP senator, Ron Johnson, tests positive for the coronavirus

675d ago / 1:15 PM UTC

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has tested positive for Covid-19, according to his communications director, Ben Voelkel.

In a statement, Voelkel said Johnson was exposed to someone who tested positive for the disease on Sept. 14 and the senator stayed in quarantine for two weeks "without developing symptoms and tested negative twice during that time."

"He returned to Washington on Sept. 29 and shortly after was exposed to an individual who has since tested positive. After learning of this exposure, the senator was tested yesterday afternoon. This test came back positive. Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms. He will remain isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor," the statement said.

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., have also tested positive for Covid-19.

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675d ago / 12:45 PM UTC

See the full list of Covid-19 test results disclosed by members of President Donald Trump's inner circle.

A negative test result does not necessarily mean that person is coronavirus-free, as the virus may take several days to show up on a test.

China's Xi Jinping wishes Trump a speedy recovery

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675d ago / 12:30 PM UTC

China's leader, Xi Jinping, wished President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump a speedy recovery in a message Saturday.

Xi said after learning Trump and Melania had tested positive for Covid-19, he and his wife, Peng Liyuan, extended sympathy to them and wished them a speedy recovery, according to state-owned Xinhua News Agency. 

The two leaders have had a turbulent relationship. Trump previously called Xi a "friend" but has since clashed with China on issues of trade, the coronavirus, Hong Kong's autonomy and human rights abuses toward its Uighur Muslim minority.

Xi's message strikes a more diplomatic tone than state-owned Chinese media, which had a whiff of schadenfreude Friday as it accused Trump of paying a personal price for playing down the pandemic.

World leaders including North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Russia's Vladimir Putin also extended their well wishes to Trump.

Image: China's President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
China's President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.Fred Dufour / AFP via Getty Images file

 

Trump diagnosis is a reminder about Covid-19's 'ongoing threat,' former CDC head says

675d ago / 12:21 PM UTC

President Donald Trump's diagnosis "is a reminder that COVID-19 is an ongoing threat to our country and can happen to anyone," a former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. 

"This event demonstrates that we need a comprehensive approach to COVID-19," Dr. Tom Frieden, now the president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, said in a statement. "Testing does not replace safety measures including consistent mask use, physical distancing, and hand washing."

He added that "learning more about when President Donald Trump and others with whom he had contact last tested negative and first tested positive will help understand this outbreak and limit the risk of further spread."

Eric Trump, Lara Trump both test negative for the coronavirus

675d ago / 11:34 AM UTC

Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump, have both tested negative for Covid-19, according to a spokesperson for the couple.

"Eric and Lara are praying for their father and father-in-law, respectively. At this time, they both have negative COVID tests and will be taking all necessary precautions, under the advisement of medical professionals," the spokesperson said in a statement posted to Lara Trump's Twitter account.

Lara Trump works for the president's re-election campaign.

The couple were among members of the president's family who attended the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and removed their masks.

Experimental drug given to Trump 'very promising,' professor involved in U.K. trials says

675d ago / 10:55 AM UTC

The experimental coronavirus drug being given to President Donald Trump is "very promising" and "very potent," an Oxford University professor involved in British trials of the treatment said Saturday.

Professor Peter Horby said patients in the U.K. began receiving REGN-COV2, made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, last weekend as part of Oxford University's national Recovery trial.

"The class of drugs, these artificial antibodies, have been around for quite a while now, and they've been extensively used in inflammatory conditions and cancers, and they're pretty safe and well understood, and so the technology is something that I think we have confidence in,” he told the BBC.

"This particular drug has probably been given to, I would think now, four or five hundred patients, mild or severe patients in different trials, and so far there's been no worrying safety signals."

Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis provides a wake-up call

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675d ago / 10:03 AM UTC

For many Americans, the coronavirus pandemic started on the night of March 11.

News of a trio of events spread quickly across the United States: The actors Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced they had caught the virus, President Donald Trump addressed the nation and announced a ban on foreign nationals entering the U.S. from many European countries and the NBA indefinitely suspended its season.

Coronavirus concerns had penetrated the national consciousness before then, but the succession of events became a turning point in how the nation regarded the virus.

Almost seven months later, the news that Trump and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the virus has created a similar turning point at a time when coronavirus fatigue had caused concern among experts that the U.S. was no longer taking the pandemic seriously as a continuing health crisis.

It comes, however, in an environment in which the pandemic has been heavily politicized for months, leaving no guarantee that the president's situation will resonate as that night in March did.

Click here to read the full story. 

North Korea's Kim Jong Un offers 'sympathy' to Trump, state media reports

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675d ago / 8:46 AM UTC

North Korea's secretive leader Kim Jong Un offered his "sympathy" to President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, after learning they had tested positive for Covid-19, state media reported late Friday.

"He hoped they will surely overcome it, he sent warm greetings to them," the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

The two men made history as Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a leader of North Korea in June 2018 and later took an unprecedented step onto North Korean soil in 2019. But their relationship has cooled somewhat since then.

Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent well wishes to President Trump on Saturday, after Trump contracted the coronavirus. KCNA / AFP - Getty Images

Number of Covid cases grows among people at White House ceremony

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676d ago / 4:30 AM UTC

The number of people from President Donald Trump's inner circle who have tested positive for the coronavirus is growing, with at least seven confirmed cases tied to an event in the Rose Garden last weekend.

On Saturday, Trump officially announced Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the next U.S. Supreme Court justice at an outdoor ceremony attended by more than 150 people, many who did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

In addition to the president and first lady, at least five others who were at the ceremony have been confirmed to have Covid-19: former top Trump aide Kellyanne ConwayRepublican Sens. Thom Tillis from North Carolina and Mike Lee from Utah, Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins and a White House journalist.

Click here for the full story.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien tests positive

676d ago / 4:22 AM UTC

President Donald Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the latest in a spate of close contacts who have contracted Covid-19

In an email to his staff obtained by NBC News, Stepien announced his diagnosis and said he feels "fine" and plans to return to the office as soon as possible. 

"Just as he always has, President Trump trusts that we will work as hard as we can to share his record of success to the American people," Stepien wrote in the email. "I will still be doing that, and I know you will too during the homestretch."

He signed off on the email with, "31 days to victory."

Trump said to be 'doing very well,' started remdesivir therapy

676d ago / 4:11 AM UTC

President Donald Trump, who has Covid-19 and was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday, is "doing very well" and does not require any supplemental oxygen, his physician said Friday night.

"This evening I am happy to report that the President is doing very well," White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement. "He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy."

Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral therapy. Trump has completed his first dose and was resting comfortably, Conley said in the statement, which was tweeted by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Trump also tweeted Friday night: "Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!"

Earlier Friday, the White House said Trump received an experimental drug, "a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail," and that the president "completed the infusion without incident."

 

Trump tweets from hospital

676d ago / 3:42 AM UTC