Aides

Despite White House outbreak, Trump and some aides return to work, flouting CDC guidance

But midafternoon — less than a week after testing positive for the potentially lethal virus — Trump returned to work in the West Wing, potentially endangering any staffers still in the building.

Trump’s presence there sent yet another message to the public that illness has not chastened a president who has consistently eschewed masks and social distancing. His rush to get back to business as usual just two days after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has been the most prominent example of the continued defiance of public health guidelines at the White House. But it isn’t the only one.

Though aides who have tested positive, including counselor Hope Hicks and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, have stayed home, aides who have continued to test negative have remained on the job. Among them were Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, senior adviser Jared Kushner, social media director Dan Scavino and political director Brian Jack, administration officials said.

Kushner was in contact with Christie, Hicks and others involved in prepping the president for last week’s debate. Meadows has been in contact with virtually everyone in the president’s orbit who is now sick. And at least four aides who traveled on Air Force One and Marine One with a maskless Trump last Thursday were in the White House this week, officials say.

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence, who aides said has had several negative tests, flew to Utah on Tuesday to prepare for his debate late Wednesday with the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.).

Pence attended the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony — to announce Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court — that is suspected to be at the center of the White House outbreak. He was near others during the ceremony who have since tested

BuzzFeed pulls White House reporter over coronavirus concern, saying Trump aides largely not wearing masks

  • BuzzFeed News pulled its political reporter out of the White House press pool.
  • Trump administration aides in the facility have “largely not worn masks” or abided by other basic coronavirus protections, the news site said.
  • President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Trump aide Hope Hicks and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany all have tested positive for Covid-19 since last Thursday. So have three White House journalists.



a group of people standing in front of a building: Members of the White House press corps work outside the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.


© Provided by CNBC
Members of the White House press corps work outside the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.

BuzzFeed News pulled its political reporter out of the White House press pool on Wednesday, saying that Trump administration aides in the facility have “largely not worn masks” or abided by other basic coronavirus protections.

The news site’s decision to withdraw journalist Kadia Goba from the press pool came after images showed White House aides standing outside the White House not wearing masks. The pool is comprised of a rotating group of journalists who share details of presidential and facility events with their White House colleagues.

“We will not put our reporters at needless risk of getting a deadly disease — and neither should anyone else,” BuzzFeed Editor Mark Schoofs said in a Twitter post.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Trump aide Hope Hicks and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany all have tested positive for Covid-19 since last Thursday, along with multiple other people connected to the White House and the president.

Three White House journalists also have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since last week.

BuzzFeed News deputy editor-in-chief Tom Namako, in his own Twitter post wrote: “The Trump administration aides working in the White House have largely not worn masks or adhered to

White House aides downplay coronavirus aid chances; Pelosi blasts Trump, but discusses airline help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top White House officials on Wednesday downplayed the possibility of more coronavirus relief, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disparaged President Donald Trump for backing away from talks on a comprehensive deal.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters that “the stimulus negotiations are off,” echoing Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, and said in an interview on Fox News the administration backed a more piecemeal approach to help some sectors of the economy.

But in a separate interview with CNBC, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that approach would likely not work either.

“Right now in terms of the probability curve, this would probably be low low-probability stuff.”

On Tuesday evening, after having shut down the negotiations on a comprehensive coronavirus package during the day, Trump wrote on Twitter that Congress should pass money for airlines, small businesses, and stimulus checks of $1,200 for individuals.

Pelosi told ABC’s “The View” that Trump’s tweets were an effort to rebound from “a terrible mistake,” but she brushed aside questions about doing a slimmed-down aid package, still favoring a comprehensive version.

“It is really important for us to come to this agreement,” she said.

Pelosi, however, did ask Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday to review a standalone bill for $25 billion in aid to airlines that Democrats tried to advance last week, her spokesman wrote on Twitter. [L1N2GY0NM]

Mnuchin, who had been Pelosi’s negotiating partner as they tried to reach a comprehensive package in recent days, had asked her about the possibility of a standalone airlines bill in a telephone call Wednesday.

As for Trump’s suggestion about the stimulus checks, Pelosi told ABC: “All he has ever wanted in the negotiation is to send out a check with his name printed on it.”

Trump Aides Unsure They Can Keep Him Contained at White House

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s aides will try to keep him confined to the White House residence after he’s discharged from the hospital with Covid-19 later Monday, but are unsure they can limit his movements, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump announced on Twitter that he’ll leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Monday evening after being treated for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He urged Americans not to fear the virus after receiving medical care unavailable to most people, including three powerful medicines and an airlift to the hospital.

“Don’t let it dominate your life,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

The virus has infected more than 7.4 million Americans and has killed more than 210,000 since February, including 475 on Sunday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve. He’s met or exceeded all hospital discharge criteria,” White House physician Sean Conley said at a briefing after Trump’s announcement.

Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods” but the rest of his care can safely be performed at the White House, Conley said.

The president will receive a fourth dose of an antiviral drug, Remdesivir, at Walter Reed before he’s discharged and a fifth dose at the White House, his medical team said.

“He’s returning to a facility, the White House medical unit, that’s staffed 24-7,” Conley said. “Every day a patient stays in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves.”

Conley said coronavirus patients can stop shedding the virus in as few as five days after diagnosis, and that Trump would be monitored to determine when he is no longer infectious.

Trump Infection Puts Large Circle of White House Aides at Risk

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump interacted or traveled with a large coterie of top aides and advisers in the days before he was diagnosed with Covid-19, raising the risk of a widespread outbreak within the White House.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: US President Donald Trump arrives to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on September 22, 2020.


© Photographer: MANDEL NGAN/AFP
US President Donald Trump arrives to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on September 22, 2020.

The circle of close contacts with the infected president and his wife, Melania, begins with his adviser Hope Hicks, who fell ill on Wednesday night. She traveled with Trump to the presidential debate on Tuesday and to campaign stops in Minnesota on Wednesday.

She was seen in close quarters with several other officials, including White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller.

Depending on how far the virus spreads through the halls of the West Wing and Congress, as well as the president’s campaign headquarters, much more than Trump’s travel schedule may be derailed. Face-to-face negotiations over another round of economic stimulus may be complicated, and the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett could be delayed.

It wasn’t immediately clear when or how the president was infected and how many other White House aides will be asked to quarantine due to contact with the Trumps or Hicks. The typical incubation period for the virus, or time between exposure and emergence of symptoms, is thought to be two to five days.

It is possible, if not likely, the president was infected before Wednesday, when Hicks started exhibiting signs of illness.

Ronny Jackson, the president’s former White House physician, told Fox News early Friday morning that the positive test would “affect everybody who has been around the president” as they would likely need to self-isolate. He cautioned that it’s not yet clear