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Media captionTrump takes off mask in staged White House return

US President Donald Trump has left hospital, three days after being admitted with Covid-19, vowing to be back on the campaign trail soon.

He flew for the short trip back to the White House on the presidential helicopter Marine One.

“Feeling really good!” Mr Trump tweeted earlier. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

More than 7.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the US. The virus has killed nearly 210,000 Americans.

Questions remain over the seriousness of Mr Trump’s illness after a weekend of conflicting statements. The true scale of the outbreak at the White House remains unclear.

Wearing a navy business suit, tie and mask, Mr Trump walked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the Washington DC suburbs on Monday evening pumping his fist.

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Media captionTrump doctor on the president’s condition: ‘He’s back’

“Thank you very much everybody,” he said, ignoring questions from the media, including one reporter who asked: “Are you a super spreader, Mr President?”

Following the short helicopter ride, Mr Trump was pictured alone on the Truman Balcony of the White House. He removed his protective face mask, before giving a thumbs-up and a military-style salute.

A couple of hours later, he tweeted a campaign-style clip of his return set to stirring music.

Shortly before leaving hospital, the president tweeted: “Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!! The Fake News only shows the Fake Polls.”

Mr Trump’s diagnosis has upended his campaign for a second term in office, less than a month before the Republican president faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the White House election.

Telling Americans not to fear the disease in an earlier tweet on Monday, Mr Trump added: “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!!”

Speaking to reporters on Monday, the president’s doctors avoided specifics of his care, but said he was doing well and would receive another dose of antiviral drug remdesivir before being discharged.

1601948602 972 Trump Covid President leaves hospital to continue Covid 19 treatment

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Media captionMichael Cohen says Mr Trump will leave hospital with an “identical understanding” of coronavirus despite his diagnosis.

The president’s discharge comes as more new cases have been reported among White House staff.

At least 12 people close to Mr Trump have now tested positive, as have several junior staff members.

Many of the people who have tested positive around President Trump attended a meeting at the White House on 26 September that is being scrutinised as a possible “super-spreader event”.

The White House has not revealed how many staff members have tested positive since Mr Trump’s own diagnosis.

The latest coronavirus case to emerge from that event, at which the president unveiled his nominee for the US Supreme Court, is a Christian minister.

Before attending the White House Rose Garden gathering, Pastor Greg Laurie was also with US Vice-President Mike Pence at a prayer march in central Washington DC.

The Californian minister is said to be experiencing “mild symptoms” of Covid-19, reports the BBC’s US partner CBS News.

What did Trump’s doctors say?

Navy Cdr Sean Conley, the White House physician, said on Monday afternoon that Mr Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet”, but that the medical team agreed the president’s status and progress “support his safe return home, where he’ll be surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7”.

He refused to answer questions about when Mr Trump last received a negative test or to go into the specifics of his treatment. He would not offer details regarding the president’s scans to check for pneumonia, citing patient protection laws.

Dr Conley did confirm Mr Trump is still on the steroid dexamethasone and has received three doses of remdesivir. He will receive another before discharge and a fifth at the White House.

When asked about whether Mr Trump was safe to travel for campaign events, Dr Conley said: “We’ll see.”

He also affirmed that he was concerned about his own exposure to the virus while aboard Air Force One.

But Mr Trump’s medical team repeatedly emphasised how well the president was doing, in Monday’s briefing.

“We remain cautiously optimistic,” Dr Conley said, adding that Mr Trump received therapies very early on.

“If we can get through to [next] Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief.”

Trump’s back

Donald Trump has gone “home”.

Of course, in this case, home is a secure government compound with top-notch medical facilities. Still, the decision that the president could return to the White House was hailed by him and his medical team as an important indication of his improving condition.

“He’s back,” White House physician Sean Conley said during his Monday afternoon briefing.

Dr Conley and his fellow physicians shared positive details about the president’s condition – a lack of fever, good blood-oxygen levels and “no respiratory complaints”. But he once again refused to disclose when the president last tested negative for the coronavirus – information that would help determine if Mr Trump exposed anyone else to the virus.

And when pressed for more details on the president’s condition, such as evidence of longer-term damage to the his lungs, Dr Conley cited patient privacy.

This patient is the president of the United States, however, and Americans may demand more details about his long-term health and prognosis, particularly as they head to the polls in a month to decide whether to give him another four-year term in office.

Who else around the president has tested positive?

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany became the latest high-profile figure close to the president to confirm a positive test earlier on Monday.

US media said two other aides to the press secretary had had positive results. Ms McEnany was seen speaking to journalists without wearing a mask on Sunday but said no members of the press had been listed as close contacts by the White House medical unit.

First Lady Melania Trump, senior aides and three Republican senators have also tested positive.

Mrs Trump, who is 50, has been isolating at the White House, reportedly with mild symptoms. In a tweet she said: “I am feeling good [and] will continue to rest at home”.



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Pelosi: Covid relief deal could still happen before Election Day

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On Friday, Pelosi told CNN she sent Mnuchin a list of concerns “that we still had about ‘what is the answer?'”

“My understanding is he will be reviewing that over the weekend, and we will have some answers on Monday,” she said Sunday.

Pelosi said she’ll not hold out to see whether Democrats win the White House and the Senate and keep the House after in the Nov. 3 elections to pursue a bill more to Democrats’ liking. Instead, she said she’ll continue working to get a relief bill passed “as soon as possible.”

The speaker went on to say that a relief bill could be passed as soon as this week in the House, but that it’s up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell whether it would go to the Senate floor.

McConnell has largely steered clear of stimulus talks recently and many GOP senators are opposed to the $2 trillion deal being discussed by Pelosi and Mnuchin. On Tuesday, McConnell softened his stance a bit, saying he would allow the Senate to vote on a Pelosi-Mnuchin agreement — assuming that first Trump agrees to sign it.

Earlier Sunday on CNN, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said, “We’ve identified those Senate Republicans most likely to vote” for the relief deal to pass. But he said Republicans will not blindly pass the bill without first reading its terms fully.

“We are not Nancy Pelosi. We are not going to vote or opine on a bill and pass it before we have read it,” he said.

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one man’s reflections on what has gone wrong with ‘the family’

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Jeremy Corbyn is elected as the new leader of Labour Party, September 2015: Forde barely hides his contempt for the MPs ‘who put a Marxist on the ballot paper’. | PA Images


4 min read

At times searing in his criticism of those he holds responsible for trashing the prospects of the Labour party, Gisela Stuart finds Matt Forde’s new book both entertaining and insightful

Matt Forde’s “Politically Homeless” is like an episode from the Archers’ in the early months of the lockdown. One man’s reflections on what has gone wrong with “the family”. To be fair to Forde, unlike the Archers, he does make you laugh.

We often think of political parties as families, and there is a reason for that. We like some members more than others, every so often we have a big row, but eventually we find a way of rubbing along. And we have secrets; things which we either all know to be true, but we would rather not talk about or which we hope will go away if we ignore them long enough.  Even when things get really bad, we rarely pack our bags and, move in with the family on the other side of the road.  

Matt Forde is as entertaining as he is insightful and like many of us, he wants to get back to the days when Labour was in government, invested in Sure Start centres, schools and hospitals, introduced a national minimum wage and ended boom and bust.

Every MP or party activist who has ever screamed and shouted at Regional Office for not doing this, that or the other, would benefit from Forde’s take on what it is like to be a regional organiser. The joys and tribulations of by-elections, ministerial visits, and photo calls. Needs must, and if that means dressing up as a chicken and stalking Charles Kennedy, then so be it. He is generous in naming some MPs he’s worked with who genuinely cared about their constituents and even occasionally said “Thank you”. He thought the late Tessa Jowell “made you behave better by her just being there” and he is right.

Every MP or party activist who has ever screamed and shouted at Regional Office for not doing this, that or the other, would benefit from Forde’s take on what it is like to be a regional organiser

But he is searing in his criticism of the string of events which started with Ed Miliband trashing the achievements of the Blair/Brown governments and culminated with the party electing Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. He barely hides his contempt for the MPs who put a Marxist on the ballot paper. He wonders if those who did so to “broaden the debate” were gutted because they couldn’t find a fascist.

Anyone who is still in doubt about the mountain Labour has to climb only needs to read his chapter on Stoke on Trent. A collection of six towns, represented by three Labour MPs, where the local council was so divided that a grand coalition of Britain’s three biggest political parties could only muster a majority of one against a collection of BNP and independent councillors who were either hard-left ex-Labour or had never been part of any political party.

Corbyn’s Labour Party hoped that by ignoring the stain of antisemitism, which became attached to the party as a whole, it would just somehow go away, which of course it didn’t. But there is an even bigger secret much of today’s Labour Party tries to not talk about. It is the simple fact that the whole point of a political party is to win elections. If you are not in power then you can’t make the changes necessary to help the people you claim to care about.

Jacqui Smith, when she was chief whip, used to remind MPs that the “worst day in government was better than the best day in opposition”. Entertaining as opposition might be, it can’t be your purpose.

It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to have a good heart-to-heart with our friends about the state of the party, drown our sorrows with a glass of wine and have a good laugh, but we can give each other Forde’s book as a Christmas present.

Baroness Stuart of Edgbaston is a Non-Affiliated peer and was Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston 1997-2017

Politically Homeless by Matt Forde is published by Quercus

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Nasa moon announcement: What is on the Moon?

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The US space agency, Nasa, has revealed conclusive evidence of water on the Moon.

Unlike previous detections of water in permanently shadowed parts of lunar craters, scientists have now detected the molecule in sunlit regions of the Moon’s surface.

Nasa has said it will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024.

But what does this new discovery mean for this mission and future missions to the Moon?

What else is on the surface of the Moon?

BBC Science Correspondent Laura Foster explains.

Video by Laura Foster, Terry Saunders and Mattea Bubalo.

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