A version of this story appeared in the October 6 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

CNN  — 

President Donald Trump and most of his inner circle have been recklessly breaking public health guidelines for months. They were mostly getting away with it until a major outbreak started in the White House last week.

Here is just a brief overview of some of their recent failures.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public and when around people who don’t live in your household.

What the White House did: Trump and many of those close to him have repeatedly failed to wear masks even when specifically told to do so – such as when the Trump family took their masks off during the first presidential debate last week.

The CDC says: When going out in public, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.

What the White House did: Trump has been holding large in-person outdoor and indoor rallies which have largely ignored the guidelines.

The CDC says: People who have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19 need to self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their last exposure.

What the White House did: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was told that she had been a close contact of top Trump adviser Hope Hicks, who tested positive last week. She did not quarantine, continued to come to work and failed to wear a mask in public while speaking to reporters. She tested positive yesterday.

CDC says: Contact tracing will be conducted for close contacts of laboratory-confirmed or probable Covid-19 patients.

What the White House did: After reaching out to more than half a dozen people who came into contact with Trump over the past week, CNN has uncovered little more than a few phone calls and emails to potentially infected people encouraging them to get tested.

CDC says: Separate yourself from others if you have Covid-19. Wear a mask when around other people.

What the White House did: On Sunday, in the midst of an aggressive course of treatment for Covid-19, the President briefly left the hospital with his security detail so he could ride in an SUV past his supporters. Then yesterday, the still infectious Trump left the hospital and returned to the White House, where he removed his mask and walked into the presidential residence.

The President removed his mask before entering the White House.


Q. What is aerosolized spread? What’s the difference between aerosols and droplets?

A: Aerosolized spread is the potential for the virus to spread not just by respiratory droplets, but by even smaller particles called aerosols that can float in the air longer than droplets and can spread farther than 6 feet. Respiratory aerosols and droplets are released when someone talks, breaths, sings, sneezes or coughs. But the main difference is size.

The CDC again updated its guidance yesterday about how Covid-19 spreads to include information about the potential for airborne spread. “CDC continues to believe, based on current science, that people are more likely to become infected the longer and closer they are to a person with COVID-19,” the agency said.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.


One in 10 may have been infected

The World Health Organization estimates that the coronavirus has infected about 10% of the world’s population. With a global population of about 7.7 billion people, this would mean about 770 million have been infected – but most have not been diagnosed or counted.

According to Johns Hopkins University, 35.2 million people have been officially diagnosed with coronavirus globally. The WHO estimate suggests that only one in 22 infected people has been counted. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cases in the US were likely also undercounted by at least 90%.

Coronavirus fatigue is rising in Europe

The World Health Organization’s Europe director Hans Kluge has warned that apathy concerning the virus has reached high levels in some European countries. He said leaders can reverse this trend and tackle the spread of Covid-19 by taking “the pulse of the community regularly” and “meeting the needs of citizens in new, innovative ways.”


  • India’s drug authority approved a new paper-strip test for Covid-19 that shows results in less than an hour.
  • Only about half of Americans said they would try to get a Covid-19 vaccine once one is available, according to a new CNN poll. The percentage appears to be falling.
  • Hotels are offering free health care, doctors on demand and other Covid-19 safety amenities to lure in customers.
  • A third-grade teacher died in North Carolina days after testing positive for Covid-19 and while her students were quarantined as a result of the exposure.
  • At least 159 staff in the EU’s executive branch have tested positive for Covid-19 as of yesterday. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is quarantining. She has tested negative twice after coming into contact with an infected person.
  • Regeneron’s stock is up sharply after Trump received its experimental antibody cocktail — and questions are swirling about the President’s ties to Regeneron’s billionaire CEO.


Eating when feeling stressed has become a reality for many of us during these unsettling days, even among people who don’t usually reach for food when feeling anxious.

If impulsive eating has become more frequent recently, the hunger meter can come in handy. Here’s how it works.


“Presidents, like the leaders of most countries, do not like to share signs of physical or other weakness. A chronic illness suggests weakness.” – Tim Naftali, CNN presidential historian

Going all the way back to George Washington, many American presidents have faced serious health issues while in office. But their administrations have often hidden the true state of their health from the public. Naftali explores the long history of medical issues — and medical misdirection — in the White House. Listen Now.