October 2, Friday
22:55 GMT – Obama and Harris send ‘best wishes’ to president, first lady
Former President Barack Obama and democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris both expressed concern for Trump and his wife, Melania, on Friday evening.
“Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery.”, Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president, said on Twitter.
Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 2, 2020
Obama continued: “Obviously, we’re in the midst of a big political battle right now, and while there’s a lot at stake, let’s remember that we’re all Americans. We’re all human beings. And we want everyone to be healthy, no matter our party.”
At a fundraising event, in which Obama also participated, Harris said she and her husband, Doug, are “sharing our deepest prayers for the health and recovery of the president and the first lady. The threat of this virus is real for all of us.”
22:34 GMT – Trump tweets he is ‘doing well’ as he arrives to medical centre
As the president’s helicopter landed at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethedsda, Maryland, his Twitter account released a brief, 18-second video message.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital, I think I’m doing very well but we’re going to to make sure that things work out”, Trump said in the video.
“The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much I appreciate it thank you very much I’ll never forget it.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The president will live and work in a suite of rooms at the medical centre for the next few days, the White House said.
22:20 GMT – Trump boards helicopter for Walter Reed Medical Center
Trump boarded a helicopter set for the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, a short flight away.
Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from outside the White House, said Trump walked to the helicopter that would take him to the Walter Reed Medical Center.
First Lady Melania Trump, did not accompany the president. Trump did not give comment to waiting reporters as he walked to the helicopter.
Fisher said Trump was accompanied by Mark Meadows, his chief of staff, and a personal aide who is always with him.
“The president will be touching down at Walter Reed hospital somewhere around 6:30 local time,” Fisher said.
21:52 GMT – Biden campaign removes negative ads
Multiple sources report the Biden campaign is going to remove negative advertisements about Trump.
Biden has called for unity and positivity as Trump prepares to travel via helicopter to Walter Reed medical centre. The decision was reportedly made before the White House announced the president’s move.
The campaign took a heated, negative turn after the first debate, which many considered too volatile. Trump was widely viewed as being the more aggressive of the two, though Biden hurled a few insults of his own.
NEWS: @JoeBiden is taking down his negative ads, going all-positive, per source familiar.
Decision was made *before* WH put out word Trump was going to Walter Reed
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 2, 2020
21:15 GMT – Trump going to Walter Reed military hospital on advice of doctors
The White House says Trump will spend a “few days” at a military hospital on the advice of his physicians after contracting COVID-19.
Trump is to depart the White House by helicopter early Friday evening for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland.
The White House says that the visit is precautionary and that Trump will work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
“President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day”, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
“Out of an abundance of caution … the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days”.
20:45 GMT – Biden: Trump diagnosis is a ‘bracing reminder’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis is a “bracing reminder” that the pandemic needs to be taken seriously, as he campaigned in the battleground state of Michigan.
Speaking at a union hall in Grand Rapids hours after testing negative twice for the coronavirus, Biden said he and his wife, Jill Biden, were praying that Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, had a swift and full recovery.
“This is not a matter of politics,” he said. “It’s a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus, seriously. It’s not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible.”
20:30 GMT – Trump receiving experimental treatment: doctor
President Donald Trump is receiving an experimental treatment of synthetic antibodies for COVID-19, his doctor said, and is “fatigued but in good spirits”.
Trump received a single dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail, as well as zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin, according to a statement by White House physician Sean Conley.
The treatment is undergoing clinical trials but hasn’t received any form of regulatory approval.
20:10 GMT – Nancy Pelosi tests negative for COVID-19
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tested negative for the coronavirus, according to her spokesman.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Speaker Pelosi was tested for COVID-19 this morning by the Capitol’s Office of the Attending Physician. Dr. (Brian) Monahan just informed the Speaker that she tested negative,” Drew Hammill wrote on Twitter.
Out of an abundance of caution, Speaker Pelosi was tested for COVID-19 this morning by the Capitol’s Office of the Attending Physician. Dr. Monahan just informed the Speaker that she tested negative.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) October 2, 2020
20:00 GMT – Supreme Court pick had virus over the summer: AP
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and her husband had coronavirus earlier this year and recovered, according to two administration officials, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The officials were not authorised to speak publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
Barrett was nominated to the high court last week after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
19:40 GMT – Ilhan Omar blasts Trump for ‘actively spreading’ virus
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s, has slammed him for what she called “actively spreading a deadly virus”.
Omar, whose father died from COVID-19 earlier this year, said in a statement she doesn’t wish it on anyone.
The first Somali-American member of the US Congress said the nation has been waiting for months to hear Trump say “we will get through this together”.
“And now we only hear those words when it is about him,” the Democrat added.
19:07 GMT – Pence-Harris VP debate will go ahead
The vice presidential debate between Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will go ahead as scheduled on October 7, the debate commission said.
Pence and Harris announced separately on Friday that they had tested negative for COVID-19.
A source at the Commission on Presidential Debates, which oversees the events, said there were no plans to scrap the running mates’ debate in Utah on Wednesday.
18:15 GMT – Minnesota, New Jersey officials urge testing after Trump events
Officials in New Jersey and Minnesota urged hundreds of people who attended President Donald Trump’s campaign events in those states this week to get tested for COVID-19 after the US president said he had contracted the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Trump held an outdoor campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota with hundreds of attendees.
Video shows Trump tossing campaign caps into the crowd, not all of whom were wearing masks.
In less than four years, Trump has been able to take full control of the Republican party, bullying its traditional leaders and demolishing its liberal wing https://t.co/jBIL9LINz1 — #AJOpinion, by @marwanbishara.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 2, 2020
18:00 GMT – WH: Contact tracing initiated after aide tested positive
Contact tracing was put into place at the White House immediately after Trump aide Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
“Immediately there was contact tracing that was put into place and all of the necessary procedures,” McEnany said. She said Trump got his positive result on Thursday night.
“He’s had mild symptoms, but he is hard at work. We’ve had to slow him down a little bit.”
17:50 GMT – Trump campaign events postponed or moved online
All election campaign events featuring US President Donald Trump and his family will be held virtually or temporarily postponed, the Trump campaign said.
“All other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement.
Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative for COVID-19, plans to resume his scheduled campaign events, the statement added.
17:30 GMT – Trump cancels participation in Friday event: reports
President Donald Trump will not participate in the only event on his schedule for Friday, a phone call with seniors on COVID-19, according to US media outlets CNN and MSNBC.
The White House had cleared Trump’s packed schedule after he announced on Twitter that he tested positive for the deadly novel coronavirus, keeping only the call with “vulnerable seniors” on support for COVID-19 on the calendar.
The call would go forward, but MSNBC reported that Vice President Mike Pence would take Trump’s place.
17:20 GMT – Trump rally-goers urged to get tested if sick
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is encouraging people who were at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport on Saturday to get tested if they are feeling sick.
The department is asking people to download the COVID Alert PA phone app if they do test positive to anonymously alert people they may have come in contact with.
Thousands attended the outdoor rally, held hours after the president introduced his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, from the Rose Garden at the White House.
17:10 GMT – Biden traveling to Michigan after negative test
Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden will go ahead with a campaign trip to Michigan on Friday after testing negative for COVID-19, his campaign said.
The 77-year-old former vice-president, who was tested after President Donald Trump revealed he had the novel coronavirus, planned to travel to Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in the Midwestern state, which Trump won in 2016.
16:30 GMT – Biden and wife test negative for COVID-19
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill have tested negative for coronavirus.
Their doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said the couple underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and the disease was not detected.
I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
16:10 GMT – Republican Senator Mike Lee tests positive
Republican US Senator Mike Lee said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would remain isolated for 10 days, but said he would be back to work in time to consider the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday’s test came back positive,” Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Twitter.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 2, 2020
15:50 GMT – Schumer calls for Senate testing programme
US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called for the Senate to adopt a coronavirus testing and contact tracing programme for lawmakers and others at the US Capitol.
“The Senate needs a testing and contact tracing program for senators, staff, and all who work in the Capitol complex,” Schumer said in a statement.
“It is imperative that all results be made public in order to contain a possible outbreak and so we can determine the need for senators and staff to quarantine or self-isolate,” he added.
15:45 GMT- Senate Republicans push to confirm Supreme Court pick
Senate Republicans said they will press forward with the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett despite President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test, with Judiciary Committee hearings still set to begin on October 12.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would proceed with Barrett’s confirmation.
“I think we can move forward. Our biggest enemy, obviously, is … the coronavirus, keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job,” McConnell told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
15:30 GMT – McConnell says Trump in ‘good spirits’
US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he spoke to President Donald Trump by phone and found him to be in “good spirits” after testing positive for coronavirus.
“He’s in good spirits and we talked business,” McConnell said in a statement on Twitter, adding that the two discussed the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve,” McConnell said in the tweet.
Just finished a great phone call with @POTUS. He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett. Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 2, 2020
15:20 GMT – Melania Trump: I have mild symptoms
US First Lady Melania Trump has said she has “mild symptoms” of the new coronavirus, but is “feeling good”, after she and President Donald Trump tested positive.
“Thank you for the love you are sending our way,” the first lady wrote on Twitter. “I am looking forward to a speedy recovery.”
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.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
15:15 GMT – Biden awaiting results of coronavirus test: AP
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been tested for the coronavirus in the wake of President Donald Trump’s infection and is awaiting results.
That’s according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke to the Associated Press news agency on the condition of anonymity to share internal discussions.
Biden was on the debate stage with Trump for more than 90 minutes earlier in the week.
15:10 GMT – Russian ruble sinks after Trump news
Traders pondering how to play the Russian ruble have a new metric to follow: betting odds of a presidential election win by Joe Biden.
A slump in the currency in recent months has mirrored rising wagers that Biden will beat President Donald Trump on November 3.
After two days of gains, the ruble sank the most in emerging markets on Friday on news that Trump had contracted the coronavirus.
Read more here.
15:00 GMT – White House: Trump will remain on job
President Donald Trump has mild symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19 but he was expected to remain on the job, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said.
“The American people can rest assured that we have a president that is not only on the job, will remain on the job and I’m optimistic that he’ll have a very quick and speedy recovery,” Meadows told reporters at the White House, adding that Trump is “in good spirits”.
He said there would be updates on Trump’s health later on Friday.
14:30 GMT – Trump’s youngest son tests negative
President Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron Trump, has tested negative for COVID-19, the White House said.
“Barron tested negative and all precautions are being taken to ensure he’s kept safe and healthy,” said Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff for Melania Trump.
She said the first lady was doing well.
14:15 GMT – Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ of COVID-19
President Donald Trump is experiencing “mild symptoms” of COVID-19 after revealing that he and his wife had tested positive, a White House official said according to the Associated Press news agency and the New York Times.
Two people familiar with his condition told the Times they were cold-like symptoms.
The White House physician said the president is expected to continue carrying out his duties “without disruption” while recovering.
13:50 GMT – US House Speaker Pelosi: ‘This is tragic’
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the plans for continuing government should Trump become incapacitated remain in place, after the Republican president tested positive for the coronavirus, and that she should know the results from her own virus test on Friday morning soon.
“This is tragic. It’s very sad,” Pelosi said in an interview with US broadcaster MSNBC about Trump’s diagnosis. “Going into crowds unmasked and all the rest was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen.”
She hoped that the president’s news will help people understand that mask wearing, physical distancing and contact tracing are important.
“Maybe now the people who see the president of the United States with all the protection that he has, and the first lady, still having this exposure. It might be a learning experience.”
13:45 GMT – Pompeo says Asia trip next week to go ahead
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he will go ahead with a trip to Asia next week after President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus.
Pompeo made the remark to reporters after meeting Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Zagreb.
13:40 GMT – Biden says praying for Trump and family
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wish Trump and First Lady Melania a swift recovery from Covid-19.
“Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Biden said as America and the world digested the bombshell news overnight that Trump has contracted the coronavirus.
Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
“We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family,” Biden said on Twitter.
Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris put out a similar tweet, saying she and her husband Doug are “keeping them and the entire Trump family in our thoughts.”
13:30 GMT – US health secretary Azar tests negative
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he has tested negative for COVID-19 after protectively being screened following news of Trump’s positive test.
“Out of an abundance of caution I was tested for COVID-19 this morning and the result was negative. I will be testifying before Congress as scheduled,” Azar wrote on Twitter.
Out of an abundance of caution I was tested for COVID-19 this morning and the result was negative. I will be testifying before Congress as scheduled.
— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) October 2, 2020
13:15 GMT – Mexican president wishes Trump, Melania quick recovery
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wished Trump and his wife a quick recovery from COVID-19.
Lopez Obrador was speaking at a regular government news conference.
13:10 GMT – Canada PM Trudeau wishes ‘get well soon’
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire wished Trump and the first lady a full recovery.
“Sophie and I are sending our best wishes to @POTUS (President) Trump and @FLOTUS (Melania Trump). We hope you both get well soon and have a full recovery from this virus,” Trudeau said on Twitter.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 2, 2020
13:00 GMT – US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin tests negative
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has tested negative for coronavirus, his spokeswoman said.
“As part of regular protocols, Secretary @stevenmnuchin1 has been tested daily for COVID-19. He tested negative for COVID-19 this morning and will continue to be tested daily,” Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley said on Twitter.
As part of regular protocols, Secretary @stevenmnuchin1 has been tested daily for COVID-19. He tested negative for COVID-19 this morning and will continue to be tested daily.
— Monica Crowley (@TreasurySpox) October 2, 2020
Hello, this is Saba Aziz in Toronto, Canada, taking over the live blog from my colleague Virginia Pietromarchi.
12:08 GMT – Vice President Mike Pence tests negative
Devin O’Malley, the vice president’s press secretary, said that Mike Pence tested negative and “remains in good heath”.
As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day. This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19. Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.
— Devin O’Malley (@VPPressSec) October 2, 2020
11:45 GMT – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tests negative
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and his wife tested negative for the coronavirus after they were examined on their plane 20 minutes prior to landing in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
He said it was the fourth time in two weeks he has been tested.
Pompeo said the last time he was with Trump was on September 15, at the White House, for the signing of normalisation agreements among Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The top US diplomat said he is reconsidering upcoming travel to Florida on Saturday and Asia starting from Sunday as a precaution.
11:22 GMT – More world leaders offer wishes
The list of world leaders offering their best wishes and a speed recovery to the presidential couple keeps growing:
Polish President Andrzej Duda: “Our good wishes for speedy recovery to our Friends… Poland and USA will get through the hardships and succeed in fighting Covid-19”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “I wish a speedy recovery to US President Donald Trump and Melania Trump, who tested positive for Covid-19. I sincerely hope that they will overcome the quarantine period without problems and regain their health as soon as possible,” he said on Twitter.
I sincerely hope that they will overcome the quarantine period without problems and regain their health as soon as possible.
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 2, 2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin: “I am certain that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with this dangerous virus.”
French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal: “This demonstrates that the virus spares no one, including those who have shown scepticism. I wish him a swift recovery.”
10:47 GMT – Stocks, oil prices extend losses
United States stock futures extended losses after President Donald Trump said he and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, weeks ahead of elections.
Futures for the S&P 500 slid 1.21 percent by early afternoon in Asia, while US Treasury yields also fell as bond prices rose.
The US dollar was also higher, particularly against the British pound, the Australian and New Zealand dollars as investors sought what they consider relatively safe assets.
Read the full story here.
10:10 GMT – Trump’s comments on coronavirus: A timeline
US President Donald Trump has underplayed the pandemic for months, eschewing masks, criticising others who wear them and holding large rallies with unmasked supporters against the advice of public health professionals.
Here is a timeline of some of his comments:
January 22 to CNBC: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
February 27 at the White House: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
March 10 after meeting Republican senators: “This was unexpected … And it hit the world. And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”
March 15 at a White House briefing: “This is a very contagious virus. It’s incredible. But it’s something that we have tremendous control over.”
April 3 at a White House briefing: “With the masks, it’s going to be really a voluntary thing. You can do it, you don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it and that’s OK … As I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens … I don’t see it for myself, I just don’t.”
May 21 on a Ford plant visit: “I wore one (a mask) in the back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
July 21 announcing a change of heart at a White House briefing: “We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they’ll have an effect and we need everything we can get … I will use it, gladly … Anything that potentially can help … is a good thing.”
September 29 at a presidential debate, after producing a mask from his pocket: “I wear masks when needed. When needed, I wear masks.”
Ridiculing Democratic rival Joe Biden for wearing them regularly, he said: “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
September 29, when asked during the debate whether he was worried about the disease spreading at his rallies: “Well, so far we have had no problem whatsoever. It’s outside – that’s a big difference according to the experts. And we do them outside, we have tremendous crowds, as you see … We had no negative, no negative effect. We’ve had no negative effect, and we’ve had, 35, 40,000 people at some of these rallies.”
09:55 GMT – Contact tracing Donald Trump
With just a month to go until the election, President Donald Trump had a busy schedule during the week the coronavirus infected him.
From travelling to Cleveland for the presidential debate to fundraising in Minnesota and New Jersey, read more here on Trump’s schedule.
09:43 GMT – Germany wishes Trump, his wife speedy recovery
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sends US President Donald Trump and his wife best wishes for a speedy recovery from their coronavirus infection, her spokesman said on Twitter.
“I hope that they recover well from their coronavirus infection and are soon completely healthy again,” he quoted her as saying.
Merkel joined a growing list of world leaders wishing a speedy recovery to the presidential couple, read more here.
09:15 GMT – ‘Things could change rapidly’: Al Jazeera’s correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting in front of the White House in Washington, raised two major questions.
“How many other staff members […] may have been exposed?” Halkett said, in a reminder that a number of top aides were helping US President Donald Trump to prepare for the presidential debate on Tuesday.
“And another question is, if the vice president has been exposed. That would be a national security issue given the fact of continuity of the government. It can be presumed that the activation has gone into place to ensure that the health of the vice president remains stable and also that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would then follow the vice president in terms of acting on behalf of the president should he not be able to do his duty,” she said.
While the president seems to show no symptoms at the moment, his age and his signs of obesity, might put him in a very high risk group, Halkett explained, hence “things could change very rapidly”.
08:49 GMT – Concerns over past rally in Minnesota
Congressman Dean Phillips wished the presidential couple a speedy recovery.
COVID-19 is a serious and unpredictable disease, and I wish the President, First Lady, and Hope Hicks a speedy recovery. I also have those in my district in Minnesota who may have been exposed on my mind. https://t.co/pKSDghZj9n
— Rep. Dean Phillips ?? (@RepDeanPhillips) October 2, 2020
However, he also expressed his concerns over some who may have been exposed to the virus in Minnesota when the US president held a rally in Duluth earlier this week.
08:40 GMT – WHO wishes Trump full recovery
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), a body which US President Donald Trump has savaged for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, sent his best wishes to the first couple.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) October 2, 2020
Relations between the US and the United Nations health agency have come under increasing strain in recent months as the US, formerly top donor to the Geneva-based body, has said it plans to withdraw funding, while accusing the WHO of being too close to China.
08:30 GMT – ‘I wear mask when needed’
Trump, who has been criticised for questioning the efficacy of wearing a face covering, produced a mask from his pocket in the first presidential debate on Tuesday and said, “I wear masks when needed. When needed, I wear masks.”
He then ridiculed his Democratic rival Joe Biden for wearing them regularly: “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Here's Trump mocking Biden for wearing a mask at the debate on Tuesday. He traveled to that debate with Hope Hicks, who has tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/MvFs3HR2Z3
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) October 2, 2020
08:25 GMT – UK, Russia wish a quick recovery
The Kremlin wished US President Donald Trump a speedy recovery after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Of course, we wish President Trump a swift recovery,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had his own brush with death from COVID-19 this year, also sent his well wishes.
“My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus,” Johnson tweeted.
My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 2, 2020
08:16 GMT – ‘Another reminder’: China Daily
The state-run China Daily newspaper said that Trump’s positive test “is yet another reminder that the coronavirus continues to spread, even as Trump has tried desperately to suggest it no longer poses a danger”.
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) October 2, 2020
08:08 GMT – Israeli Prime Minister wishes speedy recovery
“Like millions of Israelis, Sara (Netanyahu’s wife) and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery.”
Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery. https://t.co/UcxQpsxBLE
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 2, 2020
08:00 GMT – Uncertainty spikes in stock market
President Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus test triggered a stock market sell-off and a move into government bonds as uncertainty spiked only a month before the US election.
US stock futures fell more than 1 percent in London, while government bond yields slid as investors assessed the impact of the president’s illness and quarantine on financial markets.
07:49 GMT – EU’s Michel wishes ‘speedy recovery’
European Council President Charles Michel wished Donald and Melania Trump a speedy recovery after the US president and his wife tested positive for COVID.
No matter where we live. https://t.co/w5WH1pgvpB
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) October 2, 2020
07:27 GMT – A ‘price for his gamble’: China’s newspaper
The Editor in Chief of China’s Global Times, Hu Xijin, said on Twitter that Trump and Melania paid the price “for his gamble to play down” the pandemic, adding that it will negatively affect his re-election.
President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19. The news shows the severity of the US’ pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) October 2, 2020
07:20 GMT – Vice President Pence send ‘love and prayers’
Vice President Mike Pence said on Twitter that he and his wife send “love and prayers” to the Trumps.
Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump. We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) October 2, 2020
07:07 GMT – Trump’s rally in Florida cancelled
The US health protection agency, CDC, recommends a 14-day quarantine for people who test positive to COVID-19. Trump was due to speak at rallies in Florida, Wisconsin and Arizona within this timeframe. All three are swing states.
The White House already issued a new schedule for Trump’s activities that did not include Florida. His only scheduled event is a “phone call on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors”.
The White House just released an updated press schedule for tomorrow. President Trump’s only scheduled event is “a phone call on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors.” pic.twitter.com/Nbm1PWB70I
— Andrew deGrandpre (@adegrandpre) October 2, 2020
06:51 GMT – At greater risk
Questions loom over the health effects of COVID-19 on Trump, who is 74 years old.
Due to his age, Trump falls within a category of people at greater risk of severe illness from the virus.
Trump is 74 pic.twitter.com/fmGE9CoRhv
— Helen Sullivan (@helenrsullivan) October 2, 2020
06:30 GMT – The UK wishes Trump speedy recovery
The British government wishes Trump a speedy recovery but the United States has a clear succession protocol should it be needed, said a British minister.
“All of us want to send our best wishes to President Trump, the first lady and the Trump family and wish them a speedy recovery,” Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News.
“We know what it’s like to have, in our case a prime minister who tested positive for COVID and setting aside politics we all want to see him and his wife get better soon,” he said, referring to Boris Johnson who fell gravely ill after catching COVID-19 in March.
06:15 GMT – Speaker Nancy Pelosi ‘should be in isolation’
Speaking to CNN, George Washington School of Medicine professor Jonathan Reiner said House speaker Nancy Pelosi should be in isolation as it is possible that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence could become ill, in which case she would likely need to step in.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner says on CNN that Nancy Pelosi should be in isolation right now, because given that they've been exposed to Covid, it's possible both Trump and Pence could become sick pic.twitter.com/pkcdT33vYN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2020
05:30 GMT – Trump says he tests positive to COVID-19
Trump announced on Twitter that he and the First Lady Melania Trump tested positive to the coronavirus.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The news came a few hours after the president and the first lady started quarantining after they found out that Hope Hicks, one of his closest aides, had tested positive.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of Trump’s announcement that the presidential couple tested positive for the coronavirus. I’m Virginia Pietromarchi in Rome.