October 5 Trump Covid-19 news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Steve George, Nick Thompson, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 2:57 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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4:49 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Offices being set up for Trump near medical unit at White House  

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

A view of the White House on October 5 in Washington, DC.
A view of the White House on October 5 in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

When President Trump returns to the White House this evening, his working spaces will be contained inside the executive mansion in temporary offices set up on the basement level adjacent to the White House medical suite, according to a person familiar with the plans.

While Trump has office space in his personal residence on the third floor of the White House, where he is also expected to work from, the temporary offices in the Map Room and the Diplomatic Reception Room will provide closer access to his physicians and medical equipment.

The Map Room is directly next door to the medical suite, which includes a reception area, an exam room, and Dr. Sean Conley's office. The diplomatic reception room is just down the hall.

The workspace will also serve to isolate the President in the residence away from the West Wing, where staffers this week have faced a fresh outbreak.

4:45 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

The Biden campaign is watching Trump's actions closely

From CNN’s Jeff Zeleny

The Biden campaign is carefully watching the actions of President Trump today, but intentionally avoiding being drawn into any criticism of Trump’s medical decisions — for now, at least.

Conversations with several advisers today echo the central premise of what Joe Biden told reporters before flying to Florida this morning: Any decisions about debates or their own campaign schedules will be based on science, not politics.

With the President scheduled to return to the White House tonight and the Trump campaign now saying he intends to debate on Oct. 15, the Biden campaign is highly skeptical of this. But they do not want to give Trump any ammunition to be able to suggest that Biden is afraid to debate, people familiar with the matter say.

“If the Trump campaign is trying to set a trap for us here, it won’t work,” a senior Biden adviser tells CNN.

The Biden advisers have repeatedly declined to talk about the White House’s refusal to say when Trump last tested negative. But it’s also an incident they aren’t eager to repeat.

So look for the Commission on Presidential Debates to be even more involved with testing protocols — should any other debates take place.

4:29 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Pence and Harris will be separated by plexiglass at Wednesday's debate

From CNN's Dan Merica

Mike Pence and Kamala Harris
Mike Pence and Kamala Harris Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will be separated by plexiglass at Wednesday night’s debate, a source familiar with the preparations tells CNN, as the White House continues to be gripped by a coronavirus outbreak.

The commission, along with medical consultants at the Cleveland Clinic, made the decision on Monday after studying the airborne nature of the virus and as the number of positive cases in the White House continued to grow.

Despite the White House being gripped by a number of positive coronavirus tests and the fact that Pence attended a Rose Garden event over a week ago that is widely seen as the genesis for the spread throughout the White House, the vice president has continued to test negative and the debate is moving ahead as planned. 

CNN previously reported that, in response to the coronavirus outbreak at the White House, the debate commission and both campaigns agreed that Pence and Harris would be separated by 12 feet and 8 inches on Wednesday, further away than originally planned.

7:21 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Trump plans to participate in the next debate, his campaign spokesperson says

From CNN's Ryan Nobles

President Trump is planning to participate in the next presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15, Trump Campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh tells CNN.

Asked by CNN on debate plans, Murtaugh said, “It is the President’s intention to debate.”

About the debate: The second general election presidential debate will be hosted in Miami, Florida, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which hosted the first Democratic debates of the 2020 primary last year.

Unlike the first debate, the second presidential debate will take the form of a town hall where questions will be posed to the candidates from Miami-area residents, the commission said.

Could it be safe for Trump to attend the next debate? Here's what one expert said:

3:51 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Trump's doctor says President has not taken fever-reducing medicine — but dexamethasone can mask fever

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

President Trump "has not been on any fever-reducing medications for over 72 hours," White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a news briefing at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.

Yet Trump has been administered the corticosteroid dexamethasone as part of his treatment regimen for Covid-19. Dexamethasone, which lowers inflammation, can mask a fever. 

"Dr. Conley just said that POTUS has not been on fever-reducing medications for 72 hours. That is wrong," CNN medical analyst Dr. Céline Gounder tweeted on Monday. "Dexamethasone is a fever-reducing medication."

Trump’s doctors have been stressing that the President has not had a fever since Saturday.

Being fever-free is one sign that a patient is recovering from a Covid-19 infection. Conley said Trump had a “high fever” on Friday morning.

3:51 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Trump was given supplemental oxygen both times his oxygen level dropped, his doctor says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

President Trump has been given supplemental oxygen twice during the course of his illness so far, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.

On Sunday, the President's physicians said that there have been two episodes of his oxygen level transiently dipping — but did not explicitly divulge how many times he had been given oxygen.

"Both times, he received a little bit of oxygen and recovered immediately," Conley said on Monday.

Conley has previously said Trump’s oxygen level fell on both Friday and on Saturday.


3:41 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Trump's doctor won't say when he last tested negative: "I don't want to go backwards"

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

The President’s physician Dr. Sean Conley declined to provide any details on when Trump last tested negative for Covid-19 amid ongoing questions about when he was first contagious with the virus. 

“I don’t want to go backwards,” Conley told reporters at Monday’s news briefing at Walter Reed National Medical Center, claiming that contact tracing is “being done.” 

Watch the moment:

3:28 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Doctor: Trump's "clinical status" supports leaving hospital though he may not be "out of the woods"

White House doctor Sean Conley speaks during a press conference at Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, October 5 in Bethesda, Maryland.
White House doctor Sean Conley speaks during a press conference at Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, October 5 in Bethesda, Maryland. Pool

President Trump's physician Dr. Sean Conley said the President's evaluations and clinical status supports his return home.

"Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all his evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status support his return home where he'll be surrounded by world class medical care 24/7," he said.

Earlier today, Trump said he's be leaving Water Reed medical center at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Watch the moment:

3:37 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

Trump will be administered fifth and final dose of remdesivir at White House tomorrow

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Brian Garibaldi, talks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 5 in Bethesda, Maryland
Dr. Brian Garibaldi, talks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 5 in Bethesda, Maryland Evan Vucci/AP

One of the physicians treating President Trump said he has received his third dose of remdesivir and tolerated that infusion "without difficulty." The physician said the President's kidney and liver function "continue to be normal."

"Our plan is to give him the fourth treatment of remdesivir this evening before he goes back to the White House, and we've made arrangements to deliver the fifth and final dose of his treatment course at the White House tomorrow evening," Dr. Brian Garibaldi said in a news conference.

Garibaldi said Trump is still taking dexamethasone.

Remember: Trump is being given a five-day course of the antiviral drug remdesivir. The treatment is intended to shorten recovery time for Covid-19 patients.

In the phase 3 clinical trial, remdesivir was found to speed recovery in moderately ill patients with pneumonia from Covid-19, according to results published in the medical journal JAMA in August.

Trump was given the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone on Saturday after his oxygen level transiently dipped, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing on Sunday.

In the United States, dexamethasone has been used to treat some Covid-19 patients since early on in the pandemic — but some doctors previously have warned "it is not a treatment for mild disease."