President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had been receiving treatment for Covid-19 since Friday.
White House physician Sean Conley said in a briefing with reporters after Trump tweeted that he was leaving the hospital that the president had "met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria" and could be released for continued treatment at the White House.
Trump made his way from Marine One, that had carried him from Walter Reed, up to a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House and removed his mask before posing for photos.
On Sunday, Trump briefly left the hospital to wave to supporters from a motorcade, a move medical experts and Democrats swiftly criticized as "insanity." The president does not travel anywhere without Secret Service protection, and this outing was no exception. At least two other people were seen in the car with Trump.
Earlier, Trump's medical team said that he had been placed on a steroid therapy typically used in more severe Covid-19 cases and that his condition was improving after multiple "episodes" over the weekend.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news from Tuesday on the president's condition.
Trump removes mask as he poses for photos at White House
Trump returns to White House after leaving hospital, sheds mask for photo opportunity
Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening after being treated for Covid-19 for three days at Walter Reed Medical Center— and immediately took off his mask to pose for pictures.
The highly choreographed moment on the Truman Balcony came hours after Trump suggested online that the disease is not that serious a threat.
Trump walked out of the hospital's main entrance shortly after 6:30 p.m. in a mask and a suit and tie and pumped his fist for the cameras before being driven to Marine One for the short trip back to the White House. He declined to answer questions from reporters.
Trump removes mask after returning to White House from Walter ReedOct. 5, 202003:22
At the White House, he went up the exterior stairs and posed in front of an array of flags on the balcony, where he immediately took off his mask. Trump kept the mask off even as he was greeted by mask-wearing White House staffers. He appeared to be shooting some sort of video.
Health experts say coronavirus patients should wear masks to avoid infecting others, and the president is still believed to be contagious.
A buoyant Trump returns to a deflated White House
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attempted to claim victory over the coronavirus Monday as he returned to a White House increasingly hollowed out by the disease, as infections among staffers continued to spread and confusion reigned.
Upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had been treated for Covid-19 since Friday, Trump took off his mask before posing for a photo op as Marine One took off.
Back inside the West Wing, the mood was less triumphant. “Folks are dropping like flies over here,” a White House official said. “S--- is very crazy.”
Trump tweets that stock market gains are 'Great News for America' — but millions are still out of work
President Donald Trump continues to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, tweeting on Monday afternoon, "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life." But economists continue to underscore that the course of the virus will dictate the course of the economy — and that the U.S. is still very far from being back to business as usual.
“STOCK MARKET UP BIG, 466 Points! 28,149. Great News for America. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” Trump tweeted later on Monday as he prepared to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
But under the Trump administration’s push to reopen the economy while dismissing the use of masks and social distancing to stem coronavirus infections, the economy has largely faltered.
The unemployment rate hovers at just under 8 percent. The country’s gross domestic product, or the economy’s total output of goods and services, fell by an annualized rate of 31 percent in the three-month period ending in June. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are on the rise in nearly two dozen states, threatening another period of slow economic growth.
Trump leaves hospital after three days of treatment
Trump on Monday left Walter Reed Medical Center, where he had been treated for Covid-19 since Friday, hours after suggesting online that the disease is not that serious a threat.
Trump walked out of the hospital's main entrance in mask and a suit and tie and pumped his fist for the cameras before being driven to Marine One for the short trip back to the White House. He declined to answer questions from reporters.
When was the president's last negative test result?
Four days into Trump's positive coronavirus diagnosis, neither the White House nor his doctors will disclose when he last tested negative for the disease. Asked repeatedly during media availabilities, no one has been able to provide that detail, a key part of the timeline, definitively.
Questions continue to mount about how often Trump was actually tested in the weeks leading to his contracting Covid-19. Over the summer, the president conceded that he was being evaluated only every few days.
"I do probably, on average, a test every two days, three days, and I don't know of any time I've taken two in one day, but I could see that happening," Trump told reporters at a briefing in July.
A negative coronavirus test result was required to enter the debate hall on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic last week, but the host left it to the Trump and Biden campaigns to comply.
The clinic required each campaign to "certify" that their medical teams had conducted the tests and that they were negative in a certain time frame. It said in a statement that "each campaign complied with this requirement."
But when asked for specifics about when the president got his last negative test, communications director Tim Murtaugh said: "You would have to ask the White House this."
White House officials have, for days, offered varying explanations for why this information is being withheld. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Sunday that she would not provide a "detailed readout with timestamps of every time" Trump has been tested, offering only that "he's tested regularly." And when pressed by reporters Monday, Dr. Sean Conley said "I don't want to go backwards" before dodging the question again by simply saying, "Everyone wants that."
NBC News has sought clarity times since Friday morning and has yet to receive an explanation.
Pence spokesperson mocks Harris for requesting plexiglass partitions
The Biden campaign responded Monday after Vice President Mike Pence's team mocked Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., for requesting a plexiglass barrier at their vice presidential debate.
"If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it," Katie Miller, Pence's spokeswoman, said Monday.
Ron Klain, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, tweeted Monday that the "head of the WH Task Force on COVID should be busy getting plexiglass into countless workplaces and shops to keep workers and shoppers safe -- not belittling its use."
Sources close to the debates said the Harris campaign requested the use of plexiglass after Trump tested positive for Covid-19 last week. The Commission on Presidential Debates began negotiations with both campaigns. In addition, both candidates will be spaced 7 to 13 feet apart on stage.
Miller tested positive for the coronavirus in May.
ANALYSIS: Trump's leaving the hospital. GOP candidates are still stuck in a box.
President Donald Trump's personal battle with coronavirus has made it much harder for his Republican allies in tough House and Senate races to play down the public health risk of the pandemic.
Trump proclaimed Monday that getting coronavirus improved his health.
"Don’t be afraid of Covid," he tweeted as he announced he would be leaving the hospital. "Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
But for 210,000 dead Americans, most of the millions who have lost their businesses or jobs because of coronavirus, and many parents trying to keep their kids wired into distance learning, the disease has been the dominant force in their lives.
And a Trump tweet is not going to change widespread awareness of the fact that the most heavily protected person in America not only contracted the disease, but had to be hospitalized and supplied with both drugs and supplemental oxygen to treat it.
Biden slams Trump pandemic response decision as 'wrong' and 'not very rational'
Biden urges Trump to 'listen to the scientists' and 'support masks'Oct. 5, 202002:25
Joe Biden on Monday slammed President Donald Trump, who was set to be discharged from the hospital later in the day as he continues to battle Covid-19, over his administration's pandemic response, calling some of his administration's recent decisions "wrong" and "not very rational."
The comments suggest that the political cease-fire attempted by Biden — whose campaign suspended negative ads against Trump on Friday — had come to an end.
Biden, speaking in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, in the battleground state of Florida, offered his prayers for Trump and first lady Melania Trump before taking aim at the president.
"Now that he's busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: Listen to the scientists," Biden said. He urged Trump to "support a mask mandate nationwide" and to "require masks in federal buildings," adding, "We know it saves lives."
And he ripped Trump over the Transportation Department's decision Friday — the same day Trump was taken to the hospital — to reject calls to issue a mandate requiring all passengers on agency-overseen transportation to wear masks.
"I believe that was wrong and not very rational," Biden said. He said more than 100,000 people in the U.S. had been diagnosed with Covid-19 since Trump entered the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.
Pelosi again tests negative, aide says
Wall Street hits session highs on news Trump will leave Walter Reed
Wall Street surged Monday afternoon to hit session highs after President Donald Trump said he will be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 400 points, with the S&P 500 rising by 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq hitting 2 percent as investors cheered the news.
The stock market has seen sluggish activity in recent days as concerns have grown about the speed and strength of the nation's economic recovery, lawmakers' delay in the latest stimulus package, and the uncertainty about the election and the potential for a contested result.
Shares of Regeneron have also soared, topping 7 percent after Trump's physician said the president was being treated with remdesivir, the New York-based company's antibody therapeutic.
Trump says he's leaving Walter Reed after three days of Covid treatment
President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be leaving Walter Reed Medical Center, where he has been treated for Covid-19 since Friday, later in the evening.
Trump's doctors told reporters on Sunday his health had been improving, but that he was taking a steroid typically use in severe Covid patients.
Pastor who attended Barrett announcement ceremony tests positive
Pastor Greg Laurie, who heads a megachurch in Riverside, Calif., and reportedly attended the formal Rose Garden ceremony announcing Amy Coney Barrett's nomination for the Supreme Court as well as a prayer rally with Vice President Mike Pence, says he has tested positive for the virus.
Two of McEnany's deputies test positive
Two of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s deputies have tested positive for coronavirus, according to two sources familiar with their diagnoses.
Chad Gilmartin, principal assistant press secretary, and Karoline Leavitt, assistant press secretary, have contracted Covid-19 and are working from home. It’s unclear exactly when they tested positive.
Secret Service won't say if agents who rode with Trump are quarantining
The Secret Service is declining to say whether the agents who rode with President Trump during his motorcade appearance on Sunday will be quarantining after their exposure to the COVID-19 positive president.
In a statement to NBC News, a spokesperson for the agency said, "The Secret Service does not discuss our protectees or the specific means and methods regarding our protective mission."
Last week, after the news that Trump tested positive for the virus, the Secret Service declined to say how many of its agents had been infected.
"For privacy and operational security reasons, the Secret Service is not releasing how many of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, nor how many of its employees were, or currently are, quarantined,” a separate spokesperson said.
Other components of the Department of Homeland Security, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have publicly provided the number of employees who have been infected with the virus.
White House Correspondents' Association says 'not aware of additional cases' after McEnany tests positive
White House Correspondents’ Association President Zeke Miller said Monday that the group is not aware of additional cases among White House journalists following Kayleigh McEnany's announcement that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We wish Kayleigh, the president and everyone else struggling with the virus a swift recovery," Miller said in a statement. "As of this moment we are not aware of additional cases among White House journalists, though we know some are awaiting test results. We strongly encourage our members to continue following CDC guidance on mask-wearing and distancing — especially when at the White House — and urge journalists to seek testing if they were potentially exposed.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for Covid-19
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest administration official to test positive for Covid-19, she revealed on Twitter on Monday morning.
Her diagnosis means that nine people tied to the president have contracted the virus.
McEnany said in a statement that her “close contacts” did not include members of the press. She spoke with reporters outside the White House on Sunday while not wearing a mask. She said she is experiencing no symptoms.
Trump Covid diagnosis puts America's friends and foes on alert
Ripples of alarm, and some glee, coursed across the globe after President Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis emerged, with U.S. allies and foes weighing whether the president's condition was a dangerous distraction or an opportunity.
If adversaries like Russia's Vladimir Putin, North Korea's Kim Jong Un or China's Xi Jinping "were looking for a moment to test American resolve abroad, they might be tempted by a moment when the U.S. leadership situation was so precarious," former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told NBC News.
Fauci on Trump hospital drive-by: 'Don't want to really go there'
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that he didn't want to comment on Trump's decision to leave Walter Reed hospital on Sunday evening to wave to supporters from a motorcade outside.
In an interview on CNN, Fauci was asked whether it was correct for Trump to have left the hospital for the drive-by, given that he needed to isolate after displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
"I don't want to really go there, John, and comment on that, OK?" Fauci told CNN's John Berman.
Meadows: Decision on Trump's discharge to be made later today
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told NBC News on Monday morning that a decision on whether to discharge President Trump from the hospital “will be made later today between the president and his medical team.”
In an interview on Fox News, Meadows said he was "optimistic" that Trump would be released, but that the president's doctors will perform an evaluation sometime late morning, and then Trump, in consultation with the doctors, will make a decision.
Trump's allies defend his drive-by outside hospital
Allies of President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to drive by his supporters and wave from his motorcade despite criticism that he put Secret Service agents at risk.
Several close associates of the president said Trump did the drive-by Sunday to show he was doing well during his treatment for Covid-19. They also dismissed the possibility of the Secret Service personnel contracting the disease because of the precautions taken.
"The president wanted to thank all the supporters who had been standing out there for days supporting him," said Corey Lewandowski, one of Trump's 2016 campaign managers, on NBC's "TODAY" show.
Lewandowski said he was told that the detail leader of the Secret Service and the driver "both volunteered for that assignment."
Pence and Harris prep for a debate with suddenly higher stakes
Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris are expected to take the debate stage Wednesday night against an extraordinary backdrop that has raised the stakes of an event that for decades has been a routine, inconsequential fixture of presidential elections.
No vice president has debated while the president is known to be sick and possibly still in the hospital. And never have two vice presidential nominees debated at a time when Americans are giving far more than cursory thought to how each might lead in the top job.
"Vice presidential debates oftentimes get a lot of attention at the moment, and then a few days later they're forgotten," presidential historian Michael Beschloss said. "But this year it may be different."
Trump lets the tweets fly from inside Walter Reed hospital
Is President Donald Trump feeling better?
He began Monday morning with a stream of tweets from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Trump hasn't been this active on the social media platform in days as he's undergone treatment for Covid-19. The president posted a string of tweets in all-caps about once a minute around 7 a.m. ET Monday, urging people to vote for a variety of reasons.
For example, he suggested that people should vote for him because of "RELIGIOUS LIBERTY" or "STRONGEST EVER MILITARY" or "MASSIVE REGULATION CUTS."
His tweets come after his drive-by photo-op Sunday evening when he passed by his supporters outside the hospital, potentially putting Secret Service agents in the SUV with him at risk.
Venezuela's Maduro wishes Trump a speedy recovery from Covid
Venezuela's Maduro wishes Trump a speedy recovery from CovidOct. 5, 202001:09
U.S. 'fully prepared' against 'malign actors,' says Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the United States was “fully prepared” when asked if there was concern about adversaries taking advantage of the moment with President Donald Trump in hospital.
“We know there’s rogue actors, we know there’s malign actors around the world,” he told reporters before departing on an official visit to Tokyo according to a statement released by the State Department.
“The United States is fully prepared, both the State Department and our diplomats. I was with General Milley this afternoon,” he added, referring to Gen. Mark Milley, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. “Everyone’s ready.”
Pompeo also said he had talked to more than half a dozen world leaders over the past few days all of whom had wished the president and the first lady well.
He added that he had spoken to Trump at length on Sunday and that the president "was in a great mood."
Hear what these Trump supporters say about Covid and the president
Hear what these Trump supporters say about Covid and the presidentOct. 5, 202001:15
Two White House residence employees tested positive three weeks ago
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 briefly leaves hospital to drive past supporters
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.
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.
White House will be 'as transparent as we can,' aide says
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."