Dr Scott Atlas gave an interview to Fox News earlier today, in which the White House adviser predicted the president and the first lady would make “a complete, full and rapid recovery” and said there is “zero reason to panic.”
But Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated Tuesday’s presidential debate, took issue with trusting Atlas as a source of information.
“I’m going to say something, and folks, I’m just trying to give you the truth,” Wallace said. “Dr Scott Atlas is not an epidemiologist, is not an infectious disease specialist. He has no training in this area at all.”
Wallace referenced reports indicating other members of the White House coronavirus task force have raised concerns about Atlas’ credibility.
“I very much hope everything he says is true,” Wallace added. “One, he can’t know because the president is just in the earliest stages of this. And two, you know, I understand the desire of the White House and its political people to try to talk this down.”
Wallace then urged viewers to follow the advice of health experts like Drs Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx. “Listen to the independent people who do not have a political ax to grind, and I frankly don’t think Scott Atlas is one of those people,” Wallace said.
The Office of the Attending Physician on Capitol Hill has offered an update on coronavirus testing for lawmakers and their staffers.
“The Office of Attending Physician presently provides coronavirus testing utilizing a sample obtained from the deep recesses of a patient’s nose, in a testing facility that follows CDC guidelines for healthcare personnel,” the update says.
“The testing is available in medically indicated cases of Members who have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus or who are concerned they may have been exposed to a known positive Covid 19 patient. … Other staff members who have been in contact with a known positive case here at the Capitol are also offered testing.”
However, there are still no mandated coronavirus tests for members of Congress and their staffers.
The White House released a statement saying vice-president Mike Pence is not required to quarantine, despite Trump’s positive coronavirus test result.
“Earlier this morning under my care, Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for COVID-19,” Dr Jesse T Schonau said in the statement.
“Under the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Vice President is not considered a close contact with any individuals who have tested positive for COVID, including President Donald J. Trump. Vice President Mike Pence does not need to quarantine.
“Vice President Mike Pence remains in good health and is free to go about his normal activities.”
The Trump campaign previously said the president’s events would be postponed or moved to a virtual setting but the vice president planned to continue with his campaign travel.
According to the Washington Post, there were at least two private receptions at the White House on Saturday to celebrate the supreme court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.
The events were attended by a number of senior officials, and few guests wore masks or observed social distancing.
Several people who were at the White House on Saturday — including the president, the first lady, Republican senator Mike Lee and the president of the University of Notre Dame — have now tested positive for the virus.
Briefly speaking to reporters moments ago, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s decision to move forward with a New Jersey fundraiser after learning his top aide had tested positive for coronavirus.
McEnany said the “White House operations” team determined it was safe for the president to travel to New Jersey and hold the fundraiser yesterday, despite Hope Hicks’ positive test result.
McEnany also denied knowledge of Hicks’ illness at the time of her White House briefing yesterday morning.
The press secretary deflected questions about the timeline of notification during a Fox News interview shortly before talking to reporters at the White House.
“Yeah, I don’t know the answer to that,” McEnany told Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner, who asked when Trump learned Hicks had tested positive. “I’m not going to get into an exact timeline.”
As the Trump campaign postpones its events in light of the president contracting coronavirus, Biden is en route to Michigan, where the Democratic nominee will deliver a speech on the economy this afternoon.
Biden was photographed wearing a mask as he boarded his campaign plane moments ago, after he tested negative for coronavirus this morning.
Biden shared a debate stage with Trump on Tuesday, but the two nominees were instructed not to shake hands and to remain several feet apart from each other.
The president’s campaign has announced any events involving Trump or his family will be postponed or held in a virtual setting.
“All previously announced campaign events involving the President’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.
“In addition, previously announced events involving members of the First Family are also being temporarily postponed. All other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we will make any relevant announcements in the days ahead.”
Stepien noted vice-president Mike Pence would continue with his campaign schedule because he has tested negative, although it can take several days for coronavirus symptoms to develop.
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, who has announced he’s tested positive for coronavirus, has been buzzing around the White House and Capitol Hill for the last week.
Here’s the maskless busy been from the Beehive State with supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
The two met up on Capitol Hill but Lee also attended the event where Donald Trump nominated Barrett at the White House last Saturday.
This extraordinary plot twist, just as questions are pouring in about the event at the White House last Saturday evening where Donald Trump announced federal judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the supreme court, to fill the seat vacated by the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg two weeks ago.
Barrett was taken to Capitol Hill by Mike Pence earlier this week to meet Senator majority leader Mitch McConnell.
The Republican donors who attended Trump’s fundraising event in New Jersey yesterday are reportedly panicking following news that the president has tested positive for coronavirus.
GOP donors have been reaching out to Trump campaign and GOP officials for any guidance following the event, according to a person briefed on the matter.
‘The donors have been texting and calling. Freaking out,’ the person with direct knowledge said. This person declined to be named as the conversations were deemed private.
Trump’s campaign, as of Friday morning, has not sent out any official guidance to many of the donors involved with the event.
About 30 to 50 donors came close to the president Thursday night, this person added, while noting most of the interaction with Trump took place outdoors. Many of those contributors who have been able to get in touch with GOP officials have been told to stay home and reach out to their physician for next steps.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has instructed those who attended the fundraising event to “take full precautions, including self-quarantining and getting tested.”
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Donald and Melania Trump are experiencing “mild symptoms” after testing positive for coronavirus. The president announced overnight that he had tested positive for coronavirus after one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, contracted the virus.
- Joe and Jill Biden tested negative for coronavirus. Biden shared a debate stage with Trump on Tuesday, but the two presidential nominees were instructed not to shake hands and to remain several feet apart from each other.
- The US unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in September. The latest report from the labor department, which was overshadowed by news of Trump contracting coronavirus, showed the US economy added just 661,000 jobs last month.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.