The White House has embraced a declaration by a group of scientists arguing that authorities should allow the coronavirus to spread among young healthy people while protecting the elderly and the vulnerable — an approach that would rely on arriving at “herd immunity” through infections rather than a vaccine.
On a call convened Monday by the White House, two senior administration officials, both speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to give their names, cited an October 4 petition entitled The Great Barrington Declaration, which argues against lockdowns and calls for a reopening of businesses and schools.
“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” the declaration states, adding, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”
The declaration has more than 9,000 signatories from all over the world, its website says, though most of the names are not public. The document grew out of a meeting hosted by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian-leaning research organization.
Its lead authors include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist and infectious
President Trump is scheduled to hold his first public event since testing positive for COVID-19 a little over a week ago. He plans to speak from the South Lawn balcony on Saturday about “law and order,” in what the White House is calling a “peaceful protest” expected to draw hundreds of people.
Mr. Trump’s address comes two weeks after the president nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden, a ceremony that Dr. Anthony Fauci described as a “super spreader” event. Several White House officials, including the president, tested positive for the virus after the ceremony, as well as some senators and other guests.
How to watch President Trump’s speech Saturday
What: President Trump delivers his first in-person address since testing positive for COVID-19
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2020
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Location: South Lawn, White House, Washington, D.C.
Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above or on your mobile streaming device.
The event is coordinated with Candace Owens’ Blexit group and will be attended by conservative activists.
A source familiar with planning for the event told CBS News that 2,000 invitations had been issued. All attendees are required to bring a mask and will be instructed to wear it on the White House complex. All attendees must also complete a COVID-19 screening, consisting of a temperature check and brief questionnaire.
Fauci, director of the National i=Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News’ Steven Portnoy on Friday that the event at the White House two weeks ago shows how important it is to wear a mask.
“I think the — the data speaks for themselves,” Fauci said of mask-wearing. “We had a super-spreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and
Trump again calls for in-person debate, citing doctor’s letter
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reports that the Trump campaign has for a third time today called for an in-person debate with Joe Biden.
On Thursday morning, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said that the next presidential debate, due on 15 October, would be a virtual affair, with the candidates appearing remotely. Biden agreed to the new rules, but Trump did not. It was then announced that Biden would hold a Town Hall that night instead.
Here is the Biden campaign statement from earlier:
What we know so far: Trump expected to return to public engagements on Saturday
White House Physician Dr Sean Conley has released a statement saying that Trump has completed his treatment for coronavirus
“I fully anticipate the president’s return to public engagements on Saturday,” Conley wrote.
Conley, who has not taken questions from journalists in three days about the US president’s health, did not indicate whether Trump had tested negative for coronavirus or when the president’s last negative test was since testing positive.
This means the president is still likely to be positive – and therefore
President Trump is planning to host hundreds of people on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the plans said on Friday, and his campaign announced that he would hold a rally in Florida on Monday.
The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd, which was expected to include people attending an event elsewhere in Washington staged by a Trump supporter, Candace Owens, one of the people familiar with the plans said. The event, which was first reported by ABC News, continues Mr. Trump’s pattern of using the White House for political events, as he did with his speech to the Republican National Convention.
Some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern about what the president might say in his remarks at the Saturday event, and feared the entire event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier about a virus that has killed over 210,000 Americans.
The event will come just two weeks after a Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that White House officials are looking at as the possible source of an outbreak of the coronavirus that has infected Mr. Trump, the first lady and at least two dozen other people.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, told CBS News Radio Friday that there had been “a superspreader event in the
The White House, seeking to revive stimulus talks that President Trump called off just days ago, planned on Friday to put forward its largest offer for economic relief yet, as some Republicans worried about being blamed by voters for failing to deliver needed aid ahead of the election.
The new proposal, for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to present to congressional Democrats, would increase the White House’s plan for coronavirus stimulus to $1.8 trillion.
The president “would like to do a deal,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said on the Fox Business Network on Friday, in the latest head-snapping turn in the on-again-off-again negotiations. The overall price tag of the offer was confirmed by two people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the talks.
Fanning the sense of optimism, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”
The prospects of a compromise remained remote, however, given the opposition of many Republicans to another large infusion of federal virus aid. Speaking to reporters in Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, cast doubt on the chances of a deal, saying political divisions remained too deep less than a month before Election Day.
“The situation is kind of murky and I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election and everybody kind of trying to elbow for political advantage,” Mr. McConnell said. “I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks.”