October 2: Trump's Covid diagnosis

By Veronica Rocha, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 12:44 a.m. ET, October 3, 2020
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12:26 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus, according to Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the Bidens’ primary care physician.

“Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected. I am reporting this out in my capacity as both Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden’s primary care physician.”

In a tweet, Biden also confirmed that his wife Jill tested negative for coronavirus.

Biden shared the debate stage with President Trump on Tuesday.

12:22 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

It's afternoon on the East Coast. Here's what you need to know.

President Trump and Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19. They both have mild symptoms and are quarantining.

If you're just tuning in, here's what we know so far:

Trump's condition

  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump was on the phone this morning and sounds "good."
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed the President has mild symptoms but said he is in "good spirits" and is "very energetic."
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed these comments, saying he "talked business" with the President on the phone.

White House and campaign business is continuing

  • Some campaign events may be canceled but offices are still open, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in an email.
  • Several White House officials who have been in close contact with the President in recent days are working from home and contact tracing is underway.
  • President Trump is expected to be on a governors call today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The call is supposed to be about Covid-19.

When the White House knew about positive tests

  • People knew about Hope Hick's positive diagnosis before Marine One took off for New Jersey on Thursday afternoon for a fundraiser, according to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Some people were pulled off the trip, but Trump continued to travel anyway, Meadows said.

Other key figures

  • Joe Biden has received his coronavirus test, and they are waiting on the results to determine whether or not he will still travel to Michigan today as planned. Sen. Kamala Harris tested negative yesterday.
  • President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere. 
  • Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, is getting tested for Covid-19 today and is currently in quarantine at home in New York.

Reaction

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN she hopes that this will be a “lesson learned” by the rest of the country “that you have to wear your mask.”
12:07 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

CDC director tested negative Tuesday and has had no close contact with Trump

From CNN's Kristen Holmes and Nick Valencia 

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to Covid-19 on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, September 23, in Washington.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to Covid-19 on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, September 23, in Washington. Ale

Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tested negative for Covid-19 on Tuesday and did not have "direct, close contact" with the President during the timeframe that would have resulted in an exposure, a CDC spokesperson said in a statement.

Read the full statement:

The president and first lady are in Dr. Redfield’s thoughts and prayers and he wishes them a speedy and complete recovery. Dr. Redfield did not have direct, close contact with the president or first lady in the timeframe that would have resulted in an exposure. Dr. Redfield’s most-recent COVID-19 test was Tuesday, Sept. 29th, and the result was negative. Core public health strategies – testing, isolation and contact tracing – underway in communities and institutions across the nation are critical tools to slowing the spread of the virus.
12:06 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Exact distance between Trump and Biden podiums at debate was 12 feet, 8 inches

From CNN’s Dan Merica

Per a source with knowledge of the presidential debate set up, the distance between Donald Trump and Joe Biden's podiums at Tuesday's debate was 12 feet and 8 inches.

The debate's Covid-19 measures: The candidates did not shake hands with each other during the debate and did not shake hands with the moderator. Biden nor Trump wore masks on stage.

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, everyone attending the debate at Case Western Reserve University, would undergo testing for Covid-19 and follow other health safety protocols. 

 

11:55 a.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Senator Mike Lee tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly 

Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah who met with Amy Coney Barrett Tuesday, has tested positive for coronavirus. He took the test yesterday and the results came back today, according to a statement he posted on Twitter. 

In his tweet he makes a point of noting that he’ll be back in time for the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Barrett's nomination. 

Lee also attended the Supreme Court unveiling announcement on Saturday. 

See his tweet:

11:54 a.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Trump expected to talk with governors today

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said President Trump is expected to be on a governors call at noon today. Cuomo made the comment during the state’s Covid-19 news briefing.

The governor said if Trump is on this call it would be good news because Trump is still working. 

Governors are supposed to be discussing Covid-19 with the President.

11:38 a.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Senate minority leader calls for testing and contact tracing for senators and staff

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks at a news conference on October 1, in Washington.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks at a news conference on October 1, in Washington. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a testing and contact tracing program for Senators and staff.

He said in a statement that the positive tests at the White House “demonstrates that the Senate needs a testing and contact tracing program for Senators, staff, and all who work in the Capitol complex. We simply cannot allow the administration's cavalier attitude to adversely affect this branch of government.”

Schumer also said the administration needs to be transparent and follow the protocols that are in place.

"Though they have not done so in the past, the administration must now follow the science and all recommended health protocols in order to not put additional people at risk. And they must be completely transparent," he said in the statement.

11:41 a.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Melania Trump also experiencing mild symptoms

From CNN's Kate Bennett

First lady Melania Trump tweets confirmed that she also has mild symptoms of coronavirus, but she added “overall feeling good.”

"Thank you for the love you are sending our way. I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery," Trump said on Twitter.  

The White House has said that President Trump is also currently experiencing mild symptoms. 

11:40 a.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Defense secretary last saw Trump Sunday and has tested negative

From CNN's Barbara Starr

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper attends an honor cordon at the Pentagon on September 22, in Washington.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper attends an honor cordon at the Pentagon on September 22, in Washington. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley tested negative for Covid-19 Friday and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was tested again Friday “as planned for continuation of his travel” after testing negative on Monday and Wednesday this week, according to Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.

Esper is currently traveling in north Africa and Hoffman said he “will not be returning to the US early.”

“Secretary Esper and Chairman Milley last met with the President on Sunday at the White House Gold Star Families event,” Hoffman said in a statement.

The have been no changes to Department of Defense alert levels, Hoffman said. 

“With regard to reports about E-6B aircraft on alert status, US STRATCOM has confirmed these E-6B aircraft were part of pre-planned missions,” he said. “Any timing to the president’s announcement was purely coincidental.”

“The Secretary, Mrs. Esper, Chairman Milley, and Mrs. Milley send their thoughts and prayers to the President and First Lady for a swift recovery,” Hoffman said.

“The Secretary has expressed his appreciation for the White House’s military medical team and is confident that they will ensure that the President and First Lady – like all members of our military family – will continue to receive the best medical care in the world,” he said.