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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5:59 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Biden campaign is taking down all negative ads following Trump's diagnosis

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden speaks from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 2.
Joe Biden speaks from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 2. Andrew Harnik/AP

Joe Biden's campaign is pulling all negative ads today, going all positive after President Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19, a campaign aide told CNN.

This decision was made before the White House announced that Trump will go to Walter Reed medical center.

The news was first reported by the New York Times. 

5:56 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Congress "Gang of Eight" not briefed on Trump's health

From CNN's Manu Raju 

The Gang of Eight — made up of top leaders from Congress and top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees — have not been briefed on President Trump’s health, according to two sources familiar. 

The Gang of Eight typically gets briefed on classified intelligence and national security matters, the sources added. 

5:51 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

There has been no transfer of power, White House says

From Betsy Klein, Kaitlan Collins and Jim Acosta 

White House communications aide Alyssa Farah tells CNN there has been no transfer of power.

“The President is in charge,” she said.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere added, “absolutely not,” when asked if there would be a transfer. 

Vice President Mike Pence meanwhile is at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, the official residence of the vice president, according to an administration official. 

The official says he remains in good health. 

6:03 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Trump will be spending "the next few days" at Walter Reed medical center

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 2.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 2. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

President Trump will be spending "the next few days" at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

McEnany said in a statement that Trump "remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day."

The President, she said, "will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed."

Two officials from two previous administrations tell CNN that the “presidential offices” consist of a suite of rooms on the sprawling campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, including: a sitting room, a conference room and a hospital bedroom.

But the officials, one Democrat and one Republican, both said the explanation in press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s statement stood out to them as curious. The offices are not dedicated for presidential use only, but the suite of offices are a place where presidents can go while they are on the medical campus.

5:45 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Marine One has landed at the White House

Marine One lands on the lawn of the White House on October 2 in Washington, DC.
Marine One lands on the lawn of the White House on October 2 in Washington, DC. CNN

Marine One has landed on the White House lawn to transport President Trump to Walter Reed medical center.

“President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. "Trump will be headed to Walter Reed Medical Center shortly — Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady.”

Watch:

5:48 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

How to minimize risk when the President travels to Walter Reed medical center

From CNN's Betsy Klein

The pilot of Marine One wears a face mask as President Donald Trump prepares to leave the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 2 in Washington, DC.
The pilot of Marine One wears a face mask as President Donald Trump prepares to leave the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 2 in Washington, DC. Alex Brandon/AP

In the event the President travels aboard Marine One while he has coronavirus, there are ways to minimize exposure to the virus of the other key staff aboard. 

The front cabin of Marine One, former US Secret Service agent and CNN contributor Jonathan Wackrow said, can be closed, which would include the pilot and crew chief. The crew can also operate on supplemental air, Wackrow said.

USSS agents traveling with the President would have to wear N95 medical-grade masks and other personal protective equipment to prevent inhalation. 

It’s always safer for a president to travel via helicopter than in a motorcade for a variety of reasons, Wackrow said, minimizing the risk of a crash with an errant vehicle or a coordinated attack.  

Separately, the medical unit has “advanced medical capabilities” at the White House and is prepared for a variety of medical care situations.

But, Wackrow said, their capabilities are typically predicated upon trauma situations, not advanced acute care. While it’s possible to perform something like thoracic surgery in the event of a bullet wound, there are certainly situations where a President would need to be transported to another facility for medical care for a more focused diagnosis – for just one example, a chest X-ray.

5:45 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Trump to head to Walter Reed medical center following Covid-19 diagnosis 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Brian Rokus

President Trump is headed to Walter Reed medical center, according to a White House pool report. 

Trump has had a fever since this morning, a person familiar with the matter says. The person said the fever remains consistent with the White House's earlier description of "mild symptoms."

This is in addition to new information released by the White House doctor, which described Trump as "fatigued."

Trump announced on Twitter he tested positive for coronavirus early Friday morning.

“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. "Trump will be headed to Walter Reed Medical Center shortly — Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady.”

Trump was also administered a dose of Regeneron, according to a memorandum from the President’s physician. “As of this afternoon the President 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,” the physician writes.

The memo also says first lady Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and headache, and the remainder of the first family are well and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 today. 

Hear Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss:

4:59 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

President Trump and first lady's Covid-19 cases will be counted in Florida

From CNN's Devon M. Sayers

President Trump’s and first lady Melania Trump’s coronavirus infections will be counted in Florida, not Washington, DC, a DC government official told CNN.

Washington is not their permanent home; Florida is, the official said.

The District of Columbia "only includes its own residents within its case total," LaToya Foster, communications director for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, told CNN via email.  

The Florida Department of Health said it was "unable to comment on specific epidemiological investigations," but said cases are recorded according "to an individual's self-reported permanent residency." 

Trump and the first lady changed their permanent residence to Palm Beach, Florida, last year.   

“The White House physician will do their own contact tracing and provide guidance to impacted individuals as has been the practice throughout the pandemic," Foster said.   

 

4:49 p.m. ET, October 2, 2020

Federal officials will handle debate contact tracing, Ohio health department says  

From CNN’s Devon M. Sayers

The Ohio Department of Health told CNN that federal officials will handle contact tracing for those who may have been exposed to coronavirus at the first presidential debate in Cleveland this week.   

“Contact tracing is usually done at the local level; however, it is our understanding that federal officials are handling it in this case,” Melanie Amato, press secretary for the Ohio Department of Health, told CNN via email. “If Ohioans were at the debate or feel they were exposed in another setting, then we recommend that they get tested."

Earlier today: President Trump and the first lady have contracted Covid-19 following the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.