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Trump briefly leaves hospital to drive by supporters

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

President Donald Trump's medical team said Sunday that he was placed on a steroid therapy typically used with more severe Covid-19 cases and his condition was improving after multiple "episodes" over the weekend.

The doctors also said Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as soon as Monday if he continues to improve.

Trump had said he was beginning to feel better and hoped to "be back soon" in a video message from the hospital on Saturday. The message came after his physicians provided more confusion than clarity during a press conference, offering different timelines on when Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 and when he began treatment.

Trump's diagnosis has thrust his campaign into uncertainty with weeks to go 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 Mondayon the president's condition.

Biden says he'll still debate Trump next week 'if scientists say it's safe'

Joe Biden said Monday that he remained committed to debating President Trump in their scheduled face-off next week as long as scientists approve.

“If the scientists say that it’s safe, the distances are safe, then I think that’s fine," Biden told reporters before boarding a plane to Florida for a campaign event. 

"I'll do whatever the experts say is the appropriate thing to do," he added. 

The next presidential debate between Biden and Trump is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, Fla., and is slated to have a town hall format. As of Monday morning, Trump remained hospitalized for Covid-19.

Two White House residence employees tested positive three weeks ago


Geoff Bennett

Kelly O'Donnell

Peter Alexander, Geoff Bennett, Kelly O'Donnell and Tim Stelloh

Two members of the White House residence staff tested positive for the coronavirus roughly three weeks ago, a White House official confirmed to NBC News Sunday.

The official said the employees do not have regular contact with President Donald Trump, who along with the first lady, several aides and other Republican officials have tested positive for the virus. Additional information about the employees, whose positive tests were first reported by the New York Times, was not immediately available.

White House spokesman Judd Deere declined to comment on the staff members but said the White House "does take any positive case seriously and has extensive plans and procedures in place to prevent further spread."

Asked how residence staff are being protected while first lady Melania Trump convalesces there, her chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said that "every precaution is being taken" to ensure their safety. 

Trump criticized by medical experts after leaving hospital to drive past supporters

Trump briefly left his hospital room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to drive past a group of supporters, a move that medical experts and Democrats swiftly criticized as "insanity."

The president posted a video to his Twitter account around 5:15 p.m. announcing that he would "pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street." A few minutes later, the presidential motorcade slowly drove by the perimeter of the hospital, where a crowd had been gathering since Friday night. Trump was seen through the window of an SUV waving and wearing what appeared to be a cloth mask, as opposed to a more protective N95 mask.

The president does not travel anywhere without Secret Service protection, and Sunday's drive was no exception. At least two other people could be seen in the car with Trump.

The unannounced trip sparked backlash from several prominent Democratic lawmakers and some doctors not involved in his care, who accused Trump of unnecessarily putting Secret Service agents at risk.

Read more here.

Biden tests negative for Covid-19

Marianna Sotomayor

Biden's campaign announced Sunday evening that the coronavirus test he took Sunday had come back negative.

"Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected," the campaign said in a statement distributed through the print pool, the small group of reporters traveling with the Democratic nominee.

It was the third negative test for Biden, who was tested twice Friday before he flew to Michigan to deliver remarks about what he called the patriotic duty of Americans to follow safety rules and prevent exposure after Trump's positive diagnosis. Biden told reporters he did not undergo a test Saturday, according to The Washington Post.

The campaign did not say whether Biden had more than one test Sunday.

Trump briefly leaves hospital to drive past supporters

Freddie Tunnard

Trump drove by a crowd of journalists and supporters standing outside Walter Reed around 5:30 pm ET on Sunday.

It's unclear who was driving and what, if any, precautions were taken to prevent further spread of the virus.

He returned to his hospital room soon after, the White House said.

Trump thanks supporters outside hospital and suggests he may go greet them

N.J. health officials say they're contacting fundraiser attendees, club staff

The New Jersey Health Department provided more information Sunday about its contact-tracing efforts surrounding Trump's fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club Thursday. 

In a series of tweets, the department said that it has reached out to those who attended the fundraiser and that state officials were also interviewing the golf club's staff members to assess their level of exposure to the president and his aides, as well as to provide public health recommendations. The majority of the club's staff members live in Somerset County, the department said.

There has been growing frustration and anger at the state level because of how the White House responded to state officials' request for information about attendees and club staff, NBC News has reported

Trump tweets his appreciation of supporters outside hospital

White House will be 'as transparent as we can,' aide says

Jacob Gardenswartz

The White House's director of strategic communications, Alyssa Farah, said the White House is striving to be "as transparent as we can" about Trump's condition and would be "very quick to clean up" any information if needed.

Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, acknowledged having left out important information in Saturday's briefing to convey an "upbeat" picture.

Farah told Fox News, "It's a very common medical practice that you want to convey confidence and you want to raise the spirits of the person you're treating."

Asked whether the president was upset with his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, for describing a more alarming scene than was previously disclosed by Trump or his team Saturday, Farah said, "Absolutely not." She added, "If anything, I think the chief of staff's comments reflect how close their relationship is, that he's so close to this individual when he sees him not feeling well, not his tough, strong self that we all know, that he wanted to make sure to convey that to the public."

'A bit of a red flag': Trump receives steroid treatment for Covid-19

Lauren Dunn

The steroid Trump is taking, dexamethasone, has shown to be beneficial in those with severe Covid-19 because it can stop the immune system from going into overdrive.

When this happens, the immune system can do more harm than good, attacking the body in what’s called a cytokine storm.

However, the drug is not recommended for more mild cases of the disease.

Read more about the treatment.

Mark Meadows reacts as White House doctor gives briefing

Image: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows rubs his head as U.S. Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley speaks about U.S. President Donald Trump's health, in Bethesda
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows rubs his head as U.S. Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, speaks to the media about President Donald Trump's health at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Oct. 4, 2020.Erin Scott / Reuters

Pences again test negative

Amanda Golden

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence were tested for Covid-19 on Sunday and again received negative test results, a White House official told NBC News.

This is the third day since the president’s diagnosis that Pence and his wife have tested negative.


Doctors say Trump on steroid therapy, health improving after brief 'episodes'

President Donald Trump's medical team said Sunday in a press conference that Trump's conditions were improving after multiple "episodes" over the weekend and after he was placed on a steroid therapy typically used with more severe Covid-19 cases.

"Since we spoke last, the president has continued to improve. As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course particularly when a patient is so closely watched," said Dr. Sean Conley, a White House physician.

Dr. Sean Dooley said Trump has remained without a fever since Friday morning and his vital signs are stable. Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as soon as Monday, the doctors said.

Trump's doctors said the president was on dexamethasone, the steroid used for the sickest Covid-19 patients. The medical team said the president took his first dose of the drug Saturday and would remain on it for the "time being."

Read more here.

Poll: Nearly 3 in 4 think Trump didn't take risk of catching Covid-19 seriously enough

An online ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday showed that 72 percent of Americans felt President Donald Trump did not take the risk of catching Covid-19 seriously enough or take the appropriate precautions for his own health.

That included 43 percent of Republicans and roughly 95 percent of Democrats.

The survey of 506 adults was conducted between Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 and has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

O'Brien: Trump transferring power is 'not something on the table at this point'

National security adviser Robert O'Brien told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that a transfer of power from President Donald Trump to Vice President Mike Pence is "not something on the table at this point."

But he added, "We're prepared."

"We have a great vice president," O'Brien said. "We have a government that is steady, and steady as a pillar, and we'll be briefing the president this afternoon, Secretary [Mike] Pompeo and myself will be briefing him. We'll do it by secure video conference or secure phone. The government is doing well. The president is doing [well], and I'm not going to address hypotheticals. But we do have plans for everything."

Here are the latest Covid-19 infections among Trump's contacts


Carol E. LeeCarol E. Lee is the Washington managing editor.

President Donald Trump's personal aide Nick Luna has tested positive for Covid-19, while senior policy adviser Stephen Miller tested negative.

NBC News is tracking the declared infection status of those who came into contact with Trump in the last few days. See the full list here. 

Pelosi says she hasn't been briefed on Trump's condition

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line for the presidency, said she has not been briefed on President Donald Trump's condition since he has tested positive for Covid-19 and been hospitalized.

"We're getting our information the way everyone else is — in the media," Pelosi, D-Calif., told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Walter Reed Medical Center: Inside the storied hospital where Trump is being treated

The medical center where President Donald Trump is being treated for the Covid-19 is a world-class facility that's been specifically tailored to tend to the commander in chief.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is a sprawling 243-acre complex about 9 miles from the White House that includes a presidential suite, a first lady's suite and a self-contained area where the president and a small group, including the White House physician, can live and work.

The area, which unlike the rest of the facility is controlled by the White House, has its own intensive care unit, kitchen, dining room and several sitting rooms, including at least one secure room that can be used as a conference room or office. 

Read more about the medical center.

Top Trump campaign official ridicules Biden's mask-wearing

A top adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign on Sunday ridiculed 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's mask-wearing even as Trump remains hospitalized with Covid-19.

Speaking with ABC's "This Week," Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller was asked about Trump's comments on masks at Tuesday's debate. Trump ridiculed Biden for frequently wearing a mask in public and defended having large rallies with many maskless attendees.

Miller claimed the campaign "hasn't been cavalier at all" about the virus, pointing to temperature checks and mask giveaways, but he criticized Biden for his frequent mask-wearing.

"Too often he has used it as a prop," he said. "Mask is very important but even if — he could be 20, 30 feet away from the nearest person and he could still have the mask on. That's not gonna change anything that's out there."

"We can't all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives," Miller said, mentioning what's been a Republican point of mockery of Biden for holding virtual events during the pandemic. "We have to get out there and live our lives and take this on. ... You can't just stay hidden in your basement the entire time."

Read more here.

Trump's personal aide tests positive for virus

Geoff Bennett

Geoff Bennett and Monica Alba

Nick Luna, President Trump's personal aide or “body man,” has tested positive for Covid-19, two people familiar with the diagnosis told NBC News.

Luna is the latest member of Trump's inner-circle to contract the virus. The aide, who serves as director of Oval Office operations, travels frequently with the president and is almost always in proximity to him.

This past week, Luna accompanied Trump to Cleveland, Ohio, for the first presidential debate and to Minnesota for his rally on Wednesday.


Trump's approval rating is down

Carrie Dann

Nigel Chiwaya and Carrie Dann

Trump has a median approval rating of 44 percent. At a similar point in their tenure, Obama, Bush, and Clinton had respective median ratings of 48 percent, 58 percent, and 49 percent.

Read the article about the poll.

DeWine says White House has not reached out over post-debate contact tracing

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Sunday that the White House has not reached out to him about contact tracing following Trump's appearance in Cleveland for the first presidential debate just days before announcing he had tested positive for Covid-19.

"Well, they have not reached out to me," DeWine, a Republican, told CNN's "State of the Union." "Now, I know that I talked to the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic the other day, who gave me an update, gave me a report. So, I don't know whether they have reached out to the Cleveland Clinic or not. They have not talked to me about it, no."

On Tuesday, the president's family refused to wear masks inside the debate hall, declining face coverings offered by Cleveland Clinic staff despite rules mandating mask-wearing. Cleveland officials have traced 11 positive coronavirus tests to the debate as of Friday. Trump and first lady Melania Trump have become stricken with the virus while Biden has so far tested negative.

DeWine said the president's infection "should be kind of an alert to everybody that anybody can get the virus."

"Even the president of the United States can get the virus," he said. "And so we ought to use this, and simply just learn from it. And so people who, maybe who have not worn masks in the past, I'm hoping that they will look at this and say, look, the president can get it, I can get it, it can happen to anybody."

"Look, do I wish the president had worn a mask all the time? Of course. You know, of course," DeWine said.

Trump campaign aide defends decision to attend N.J. fundraiser

A top aide to President Trump defended the president’s decision to travel to a campaign fundraiser last week after learning that another top aide had tested positive for Covid-19 — a trip that came hours before Trump learned that he had contracted the virus

Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s senior adviser, told “Meet the Press” that Trump still traveled to the fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club because he and those around him are regularly tested for coronavirus, and at that point, the president hadn't tested positive.

But by the time Trump attended the fundraiser, one close aide had tested positive for Covid-19 — Hope Hicks, who traveled with the president on Air Force One Wednesday evening. It was during that trip that Hicks quarantined herself on the plane after feeling unwell.

Read more on Miller's interview.

Chuck Todd: 'White House would not provide a doctor or a senior' official to discuss Trump

NBC News

Biden's national lead over Trump jumps to 14 points after debate in NBC News/WSJ poll

Mark Murray

Joe Biden’s national lead over President Donald Trump nearly doubled after Tuesday’s presidential debate, with voters saying by a 2-to-1 margin that Biden has the better temperament to be president, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll was conducted in the two days after the unruly and insult-filled Sept. 29 debate, but before Trump tested positive for Covid-19 and was hospitalized Friday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Read more about the results of the poll.

Biden criticizes Trump's handling of coronavirus

Marianna Sotomayor

Image: Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden leaves the Queen Theater after a virtual town hall in Wilmington, Del. on Saturday.Andrew Harnik / AP

Democratic nominee Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic at a virtual town hall on Saturday. 

Speaking to members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Biden questioned the president's tactics when asked about why the Department of Transportation had not provided enough protective equipment to transit workers.

“If that's not the president's responsibility, what the hell--what the heck is his responsibility?" Biden said.

"‘Not my fault. I have no responsibility,’” Biden added, mocking Trump.

He also called it “unconscionable” that transit workers still have not received adequate personal protection equipment.

His comments came after his campaign official confirmed to NBC News that the campaign is pulling all of its negative advertising from their rotation of paid media given the president's diagnosis. 

Billboard offering support put up in Israel

The Associated Press

Oded Balilty / AP

A large billboard offering support to President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump has been put up in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. 

"God bless you, Donald & Melania" the sign which features images of the presidential couple reads.

It was erected after the news Trump and wife had both tested positive for the coronavirus.

President Trump 'is going to be fine,' U.K.'s Johnson says

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who survived a serious bout of Covid-19 earlier this year, said he was optimistic about President Donald Trump's recovery.  

“I’m sure that President Trump is going to be fine, he has got the best possible care,” Johnson told the BBC, adding that “the most important thing to do is follow his doctors’ advice." 

White House shares photos of Trump at Walter Reed

NBC News

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump works in the Presidential Suite while receiving treatment after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland

The White House has released several photos of President Donald Trump in the presidential suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated, on Saturday. 

Jill Biden says she is praying for President, First Lady

Rebecca Hankins

Image: Jill Biden Campaigns In Minneapolis/St Paul For Joe Biden
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden, speaks during a campaign event at Utepils Brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday.Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Jill Biden, the wife of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, said she and her husband were praying for President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to make a quick and full recovery from Covid-19, at a campaign event in Minneapolis on Saturday. 

Biden said it was not "a matter of politics,” but about health and respect.

'Saturday Night Live' tackles Trump's condition and coronavirus woes

"Saturday Night Live" kicked off its 46th season by facing leadership turmoil set off when President Donald Trump announced that he has COVID-19.

"President Trump's in the hospital from Covid, and I just want to say my heart goes out to Covid," said comedian Chris Rock, who hosted the show that was produced with social distancing and mask-wearing behind the scenes

The show opened with Tuesday's contentious and chaotic debate between Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, and election challenger Joe Biden, played by Jim Carrey.

"I’d like to begin with a list of complaints. People are mean to me," Baldwin's Trump said. He then says the coronavirus is a "hoax."

"That statement is something that will probably come back to haunt me this week," he added. 

Read more here

Ivanka Trump tweets photo of her dad at Walter Reed

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

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

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


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.