The Latest On Donald Trump’s Covid-19 Diagnosis

***Last Updated 10/5/2020 at 11:00 a.m.***

This past Friday President Donald Trump was hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland after announcing that he had tested positive for Covid-19. Dr. Brian Garibaldi is a leader on Trump’s medical team who recently updated media outlets claiming that the president could be discharged from the medical center as early as Monday afternoon. 

On Saturday, Garibaldi claimed that Trump completed his second dose of redesivir and was feeling better by Sunday. Now, Trump is hoping to be discharged to complete his treatment in the White House. White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, recently claimed that the president could be released from the medical center after he consults with his doctors later Monday afternoon; which is also when his discharge decision will be made public. 

Trump received scrutiny on Sunday, however, after leaving the medical center with his security team so he could ride in an SUV past his supporters who were cheering him on outside the hospital. 

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The White House claims all “appropriate precautions” were taken before Trump went on the SUV ride, however Dr. James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, criticized the decision as something that could further endanger the lives of the Secret Service agents who accompanied the president, claiming that his “irresponsibility is astounding.”

On Sunday it was reported that the president’s oxygen levels had dropped for a second time since his diagnosis last Friday. Trump had also been receiving supplemental oxygen due to these dips, and was also given the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a widely available steroid that’s been used throughout this pandemic for patients on supplemental oxygen/ventilated individuals. 

When it comes to the president’s official release from the hospital, Rudy Giuliana claims that he will be waiting until his doctors actually give him the stamp of approval to do so. 

“He wants to get out. He sounds perfect. I just cautioned him to listen to his doctors. I said I hope that’s not your decision, it’s the doctors, He said ‘no no, these guys are great. I’ll do what they tell me.’”

After Trump’s brief trip out of the hospital to greet supporters, Giuliani admitted that the Secret Service would be at a greater risk protecting the president in the coming weeks, however, he also supported the decision on the basis that all parties involved were wearing masks at the time. 

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First lady Melania Trump also contracted the virus but has no plans of leaving the White House to continue out her treatments. Since her diagnosis Melania has quarantined in the Executive Residence in the White House and will be remaining there until it’s deemed safe for her to be around others again. The first lady has been relatively precautious when it comes to following Covid-19 procedures and has already cut back on all of her traveling plans/public appearances. 

When it comes to the pandemic in general, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, claims that there has never been a global health crisis to this degree before; for reference Fauci has worked on a number of other viral outbreaks in the past such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Ebola, and Zika virus. 

“We’re living in such a very divisive society right now that’s very charged politically. You always have a degree of that when you have outbreaks as we’ve been in the past but nothing to the intensity that we’re experiencing now with Covid-19.”

With one month left before the 2020 election, Trump and his team are also scrambling to manage catching up to Biden in the polls and maintaining a strong media presence despite the president’s now lack of ability to be around others. Ballots are currently already out in 35 states and with voting beginning in the swing states next week, there’s no way the president’s diagnosis mixed with his downplaying of the virus that has killed over 200,000 Americans won’t have an impact on voters. 

Since the announcement of Trump’s diagnosis Mike Pence and Joe Biden have both tested negative for the virus, however, both will have to continue to be tested daily along with a whole slew of other US political leaders who have been working with/around Trump and his team within the past few weeks. As of right now at least 10 people within Trump’s family, the US Government, and Trump’s circle of advisors have tested positive while 23 others within his inner circle have continued to test negative.


Michelle Obama Comments on Impeachment Hearings in New Interview

The political world in the United States has been completely absorbed by the ongoing impeachment inquiry taking place in Congress, as President Trump stands accused of subverting the integrity of the upcoming 2020 presidential election by requesting election assistance from a foreign power. Today, the House Judiciary Committee is holding its second hearing, as Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman lays out the case against Trump before the committee and Republican members of Congress interrupt the hearing with process arguments and other objections. Tensions rose even further during this hearing, as a protestor in the audience heckled Chairman Jerrold Nadler as he began the event before quickly being removed by police.

As today’s hearing consists mainly of arguments and evidence that have previously been discussed in prior hearings, it is not likely to be as newsworthy as previous events. However, former First Lady Michelle Obama recently made news during an interview with Jenna Bush Hager on Today Monday, during which she described the proceedings as “surreal.” While the focus of the interview was on the former First Lady’s trip to Vietnam to discuss the importance of educating young girls, she was asked about the hearings, giving a rare insight into how current political events are affecting the Obamas, who have mostly resisted calls to give their opinions on news relating to the White House over the past few years.

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On the proceedings, Ms. Obama said, “I don’t think people know what to make of it. But do I think we can come back from it? Oh yeah.” She elaborated on her optimistic outlook, saying, “We’ve seen tough times in this country. You know we’ve gone through depressions and wars and bombings and terrorist attacks, and we’ve gone through Jim Crow, and we’ve always come out stronger. And that’s what we have to continue to believe because what’s our choice? To ball up in a corner and call it a day? Well that’s not fair to this next generation that’s coming before us that are counting on us to get this right.”

Ms. Obama’s comments echo a common refrain of the power of hope and optimism that the Obama’s have articulated throughout their political lives. Barack Obama successfully ran a campaign based on his belief in the power of having hope and the capacity of the country to change for the better, and when he left office in 2017, he again urged Americans to remain hopeful throughout the presidency of Donald Trump, which he astutely predicted would be divisive and potentially harmful to the country. Notably, in his farewell address, President Obama urged Americans that the Constitution is a powerful document but only when people abide by it, and that the United States government depends on the action of patriots who uphold and defend the principles of the Constitution in order to survive. Since then, Obama has upheld the tradition of former presidents withholding commentary on current presidents, despite the fact that the Trump administration has had an unprecedented impact on the US government.

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As such, Ms. Obama tried to keep the focus of the interview on the work that she’s currently involved in, which is raising awareness about the importance of girls’ education around the world and improving access to educational resources. For instance, she supports the “Room to Read” program, which helps girls in Vietnam stay in school, even though in this part of the world girls are often pressured to drop out of school and work instead. After leaving Vietnam, the Obamas will next visit Malaysia, where they will continue their work on this topic. Ms. Obama explained that now that her daughters are in college, she and Barack have the opportunity to travel together more often, as previously they worried about being away from the kids at the same time. In the full interview, which Today has not yet released, Ms. Obama will discuss the emotional experience of dropping her daughter off at college for her freshman year, among other topics.