3 October, 2020
President taken to hospital with fever
His actions were a ‘brazen invitation’ for a positive COVID-19 test, says Speaker Pelosi
Buhari, other world leaders wish him quick recovery
PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Friday canceled a planned trip to Florida for campaign moments after confirming that he and First Lady Melania had tested positive for COVID-19.
The couple immediately went into quarantine.
With the presidential election just 30 days away, there are fears that the restrictions usually imposed on coronavirus patients will affect campaign meetings involving Trump, travel by staff and volunteer organization efforts.
The White House is scrambling to track the extent of the outbreak.
President Muhammadu Buhari and other world leaders sent get well quick messages to Trump while global stock markets dipped on account of the announcement of his infection.
There are doubts over two additional presidential debates between Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden later this month.
Trump was said to be experiencing “mild symptoms” of COVID-19 yesterday and, depending on the turn of events,it is not certain now how long he could be out of circulation.
Prior to the announcement of the health status of the first family yesterday a campaign e-blast had gone to donors to meet Trump for a rally in Houston, Texas next week.
The situation could be worse for his campaign team should additional members of the White House staff, or other elected officials, test positive.
Trump, who has spent much of the year downplaying the threat of a virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans, said he and Mrs. Trump were quarantining.
Sean Conley, Trump’s doctor, said the president was expected to continue carrying out his duties “without disruption” while recovering.
Hours before Trump announced he had contracted the virus, the White House said a top aide who had traveled with him during the week had tested positive.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump tweeted just before 1 a.m. “We will get through this TOGETHER!”
Meanwhile, the White House indicated yesterday night the president was being taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Trump had a fever since Friday morning sources said, though the fever remains consistent with the White House’s description of “mild symptoms.”
Earlier in the afternoon, his physician wrote in a memo he “remains fatigued but in good spirits.”
“He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps,” Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley wrote.
He said Trump had been administered a Regeneron polyclonal antibody cocktail and has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.
The memo also said First Lady Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and headache, and the remainder of the first family is well and have tested negative.
Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus yesterday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesman said.
Many White House and senior administration officials were undergoing tests yesterday , but the full scale of the outbreak around the president may not be known for some time as it can take days for an infection to be detectable by a test. Officials with the White House Medical Unit were tracing the president’s contacts.
In the extreme circumstance of presidential disability, vice-president Mike Pence could be required to temporarily assume the powers of the office – and unforeseen campaign duties. A Pence spokesman announced Friday morning that Pence and his wife had tested negative for Covid-19.
Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and did not appear ill. He is 74 years old and clinically obese, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has infected more than 7 million people nationwide.
The president’s physician said in a memo that Trump and the first lady, who is 50, “are both well at this time” and “plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.” Their son Barron, who lives at the White House, tested negative.
Trump has been trying all year to convince the American public that the worst of the pandemic is behind them. In the best of cases, if he develops no symptoms, which can include fever, cough and breathing trouble, it will likely force him off the campaign trail just weeks before the election and puts his participation in the second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, into doubt.
Trump’s handling of the pandemic has already been a major flashpoint in his race against Democrat Joe Biden, who spent much of the summer off the campaign trail and at his home in Delaware citing concern about the virus. Biden has since resumed a more active campaign schedule, but with small, socially distanced crowds. He also regularly wears a mask in public, something Trump mocked him for at ‘Tuesday nights debate.
“I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said of Biden. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
In a tweet Friday morning, Biden said he and his wife “send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”
It was not immediately clear whether the former vice president had been tested since appearing at the debate with Trump or whether he was taking any additional safety protocols. Trump and Biden did not shake hands during the debate, but stood without masks about 10 feet apart for the 90-minute event.
Trump’s actions were a ‘brazen invitation’ for a positive COVID-19 test, says Speaker Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s status as tragic and very sad.
“This is tragic, it’s very sad,” Pelosi told MSNBC yesterday.
“But it also is something that, again, going into crowds, unmasked, and all the rest, was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen.”
However, she was hopeful that “ it will be a transition to a saner approach of what this virus is all about.”
Pelosi said the news could serve as a “learning experience” for the rest of the country to heed coronavirus health guidance and take the crisis more seriously.
Buhari, other world leaders send get-well-soon wishes
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday joined other world leaders to wish Trump and his wife get-well-soon.
Buhari said the development in the White House manifested the challenge posed by the pandemic across the world, and difficulty in containing its spread.
While wishing the American First Family speedy turnaround in their current health status, President Buhari urged more compliance among Nigerians to protocols, and adherence to advice of medical doctors, particularly epidemiologists.
“I hope that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus,” Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in a direct message to Trump released by the Kremlin.
World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted “My best wishes to President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS for a full and speedy recovery.” The Trump administration in July formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from WHO, although the pullout won’t take effect until next year. Trump claims the U.N. health agency is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China.
Italian right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini tweeted: “In Italy and in the world, whoever celebrates the illness of a man or of a woman, and who comes to wish the death of a neighbor, confirms what he is: An idiot without soul. A hug to Melania and Donald.″
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized for a week in April after he contracted COVID-19, wished Trump a “speedy recovery.”
World stocks dip after Trump’s diagnosis
News of President Donald Trump’s infection sent world stocks down and sparked even more uncertainty in the world’s biggest economy a one month before Americans go to the polls.
Investors nervously awaited Wall Street’s opening at 1330 GMT, with sentiment additionally hit after key non-farm payrolls data came in weaker-than-expected.
The Dow opened down 1.2 percent at 27,485.51 points, with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index falling 1.7 percent to 11,128.88.
Europe’s major bourses dropped sharply at their open before clawing back some ground.
Oil fell sharply again, posting losses of nearly five percent on the prospect of too much supply and too little demand.
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