Coronavirus: Trump criticized for drive to greet supporters; EU chief self-isolating

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President Donald Trump waved to supporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before returning to his presidential suite. He also said he "learned a lot about Covid" during his stay.

Earlier, a press briefing led by White House physician Dr. Sean Conley led to more questions than answers about Trump's health.

Conley said Trump's condition has improved and he could be discharged from as early as Monday. Yet he also revealed the president's oxygen saturation levels dropped below 95% twice, once on Friday and once on Saturday. The president was also given supplemental oxygen at least once and he has been treated with a steroid that is normally only used in severe cases of Covid-19. 

Health experts are concerned the president's condition is more serious than originally thought, and doubt that a release on Monday is realistic. 

Here are today's major developments so far: 

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 35 million
  • Global deaths: More than 1 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 7.4 million
  • U.S. deaths: More than 209,000

France to raise Paris' alert level to maximum and close bars

A queue for Covid-19 tests outside a Laboratory in Paris on September 22, 2020 in Paris, France.
Kiran Ridley | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The French capital city of Paris and its surrounding suburbs are expected to be put on "maximum alert," following a prolonged period of rising coronavirus cases. 

The new package of restrictions could last up to 15 days, according to France 24, with further details likely to be laid out on Monday morning. Bars in the city are set to be closed from Tuesday, but restaurants and bistros are reportedly set to be allowed to stay open, albeit with strict regulations. 

To date, France has recorded more than 658,000 cases of Covid-19, with 32,246 related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Sam Meredith

EU chief self-isolating after contact with positive Covid-19 case

The President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen addresses her first state of the union speech.
JOHN THYS | AFP | Getty Images

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said she is self-isolating after attending a meeting with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I've been informed that I participated in a meeting last Tuesday attended by a person who yesterday tested positive for COVID-19," Von der Leyen said via Twitter on Monday.

"In accordance with regulations in force, I'm therefore self-isolating until tomorrow morning. I've tested negative on Thursday & am tested again today," she added. — Sam Meredith

Biden tests negative for coronavirus, campaign says

Democratic nominee Joe Biden tested negative for coronavirus, his campaign said. 

"Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected," the campaign said in a statement.

It did not say if Biden received more than one test on Sunday or when he would receive another one. 

This is the third negative test for Biden. He tested negative on Friday in two separate tests before making an abbreviated campaign visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

More than 200 people who went to Bedminster informed of possible exposure

U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Marine One as he departs on campaign travel for Bedminster, New Jersey, from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, October 1, 2020.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

New Jersey officials are reaching out to 206 individuals who attended events at President Donald Trump's golf course in Bedminster to make them aware of possible exposure to coronavirus, according to the director for public information in Somerset County.

The White House provided the list of names to New Jersey officials, who are telling the individuals to self monitor for symptoms and quarantine for 14 days if they came into close contact with the president and his staff. 

"The Somerset County Health Department are interviewing staff members of the club and assessing the level of contact they had with the President and his staff and providing public health recommendations accordingly," said Nathan Rudy, public information director for the county. "The majority of staff reside in Somerset County."

The contact tracing process is ongoing, Rudy said. The federal government is also conducting contact tracing. 

Trump was at a fundraiser at his Bedminster golf course on Thursday before testing positive for the virus that evening, according to the White House.   

—Spencer Kimball

Attorney General Barr tests negative, but will self quarantine

U.S. Attorney General William Barr tours the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., September 21, 2020.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

Attorney General William Barr tested negative again for coronavirus, but will self quarantine at home and will not be in his office tomorrow, a spokesperson for the Justice Department told NBC News. 

Barr has taken four tests since Friday morning and all have come back negative, according to the spokesperson. 

— Spencer Kimball

Trump drives by supporters outside Walter Reed

US President Trump waves from the back of a car outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on Ocotber 4, 2020.
Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump drove by and waved to supporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after posting a video to his Twitter account saying he was going to pay a "surprise visit."

Trump then returned to the presidential suite inside Walter Reed, according to the White House. 

In the video posted to his account, the president said he has "learned a lot about Covid" during his stay. More than 200,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 7 million have been infected since the pandemic hit the U.S. hard in March and April. 

"I learned it by really going to school," Trump said. "This is the real school, this isn't the 'let's read the book' school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it's a very interesting thing, and I'm going to be letting you know about it." 

— Spencer Kimball

Trump treatment suggests he has Covid pneumonia, experts say

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows rubs his head as U.S. Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, speaks to the media about U.S. President Donald Trump's health after the president was hospitalized for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., October 4, 2020.
Erin Scott | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Health experts said an update given Sunday by the team of doctors caring for President Donald Trump suggested that the president could be suffering from pneumonia

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president's medical team had begun treating the president with dexamethasone. 

Dexamethasone is a steroid that is generally reserved for patients with the most severe cases of Covid-19. It is potentially harmful for patients who take it too early in their battle with the disease because it can suppress the immune system, according to the World Health Organization.

"The treatment the doctors report they administered suggest the president has COVID pneumonia of at least mild severity," said Dr. Vin Gupta, a member of the faculty at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who led the FDA from 2017 to 2019, said the president's two episodes of low oxygen saturation levels were concerning. 

"The low oxygen and the statement that his 'chest imaging had findings that were consistent with his condition' suggest he could have a pneumonia of his lungs," Gottlieb said. 

The president's doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have not been forthcoming about his condition, forcing the public to read between the lines. 

 Amanda Macias and Tucker Higgins

VP Mike Pence and second lady test negative for coronavirus again

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence adjusts his protective face mask as White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Debbie Birx listens during a White House coronavirus disease (COVID-19) task force briefing at the Education Department in Washington, U.S., July 8, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence have tested negative for coronavirus again, a White House official told NBC News.

Sunday's results mark the third day the Pences have tested negative since President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the disease. 

Vice President Pence is next in line for the presidency.

 Amanda Macias

Former FDA boss Gottlieb now more concerned about Trump's health

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that he is more concerned about President Donald Trump's condition following an update by the team of doctors caring for the president at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"Sounds very much like POTUS has inflammatory changes on chest CT," Gottlieb told CNBC, referring to scans of the president's chest. Trump's medical team Sunday refused to discuss what they saw in images of Trump's lungs.

"They threw the kitchen sink at POTUS. But they saw signs he was decompensating," Gottlieb said of the president's medical team.

Gottlieb and other experts saw the disclosure of one particular treatment as a potential red flag about the president's condition.

"The dexamethasone was a key disclosure. A lot of us were speculating that but to know that now is a key fact," Gottlieb added.

Dexamethasone is a steroid that is generally reserved for patients with the most severe cases of Covid-19. It is potentially harmful for patients who take it too early in their battle with the disease because it can suppress the immune system, according to the World Health Organization.

— Amanda Macias

Trump could be discharged as soon as Monday, White House doctor says

White House physician Sean Conley waits to answer questions during an update on the condition of US President Donald Trump, on October 4, 2020, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump experienced two drops in his blood oxygen levels in recent days but has since improved and may be discharged as soon as Monday, according to Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician. 

Conley made the announcement alongside the rest of the president's medical team at the Walter Reed military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where Trump is being treated. 

Trump's blood oxygen saturation level fell beneath 94% briefly on Friday and Saturday, Conley said. Healthy adults generally have a blood oxygen level of 95% or higher.

Conley said the president's condition "continued to improve" but acknowledged that he had not been totally forthcoming previously because he was "trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team."

"As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course," he said. 

Conflicting statements from the president's doctors and administration officials, some of whom have discussed the president's health on the condition of anonymity, have left the public without a reliable source of information on the president's condition.

— Tucker Higgins

Trump's medical team to hold briefing at 11:30 a.m.

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley and the president's medical team are expected to hold a briefing at 11:30 a.m. on Trump's health condition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

Trump will remain at Walter Reed for a 'period of time,’ national security advisor says

WASHINGTON — National security advisor Robert O'Brien said Sunday that President Donald Trump is feeling well but will remain at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for "at least another period of time."

"The president is in great shape. He's firmly in command of the government of the country," O'Brien said on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

O'Brien also said that he will brief Trump on national security matters later on Sunday.

 Amanda Macias

Doubts mount about Barrett confirmation after GOP senators fall ill

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, looks on during a meeting with Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD), on Capitol Hill, in Washington, September 29, 2020.
Shawn Thew | Pool | Reuters

Mounting cases of Covid-19 among Republicans in the Senate are threatening to knock Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans for a swift confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court off track. 

At least seven people who attended Barrett's nomination ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 29 have since fallen ill with the virus, including President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump.

The new cases present a number of procedural roadblocks to the confirmation process that McConnell had previously said could be wrapped up by Election Day, a deadline Trump has repeatedly pressed lawmakers to meet. 

Two of those who have reported positive test results are GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be overseeing Barrett's hearings. Both Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah said on Friday they would quarantine for 10 days. 

After Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., announced Saturday that he too had come down with the virus, McConnell postponed the return of the Senate from recess by two weeks until Oct. 19. Johnson is not on the judiciary committee. 

Despite that postponement, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that committee hearings for Barrett would not be delayed and would kick off Oct. 12. Senators could attend virtually, he said. 

The actual committee vote, which is expected around Oct. 22, must take place in person, though, and requires a majority of the committee's 22 members to be physically present. If the committee's 10 Democrats avoid the hearing, the GOP can't afford a single no-show.  

Theoretically, if the committee is unable to muster a vote, McConnell could circumvent the panel and move immediately to a vote on the Senate floor.

But that, too, would require a majority of senators to be present, allowing for just two of the Senate's 53 Republicans to be absent. 

Senate Democrats, who have argued that the nomination process should be postponed until after Election Day, have pointed to the three cases of Covid-19 among Republican senators as evidence that the Senate does not yet have adequate protection against the spread of the infection. 

"The decision to recess the Senate for 2 weeks after at least 3 GOP Senators have tested positive for COVID makes clear that the Senate cannot proceed with business as usual," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement on Saturday.

"If it's too dangerous to have the Senate in session, it's too dangerous for committee hearings to continue," he said.

 — Tucker Higgins 

Trump's personal aide tests positive for Covid-19

White House aide Nick Luna, who serves as President Trump's personal aide and so-called "body man," has tested positive for Covid-19, two people familiar with the diagnosis told NBC News. 

Luna, who directs Oval Office operations, has traveled extensively with the president. Luna accompanied Trump for the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and the campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. 

— Emma Newburger 

Doctors monitoring Trump between doses of remdesivir

President Donald Trump speaks from Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Oct. 3rd, 2020.
The White House

Doctors will continue monitoring President Donald Trump's health condition today between doses of remdesivir, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said. 

Trump spent his second night in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after contracting the coronavirus. Conley said in a memo last night that the president remains free of fever and "off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96[%] and 98%."

Conley said he's "cautiously optimistic" about Trump's condition but warned that the president is "not yet out of the woods."

It's now clear that Trump's initial condition was worse than the public knew. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News that the president's blood oxygen level "dropped rapidly" Friday, prompting serious health concerns. 

The New York Times and the Associated Press reported that Trump was put on supplemental oxygen Friday before going to the hospital. Trump's doctors would not confirm whether he was ever on oxygen.  

Here's who has tested positive or negative

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on October 03, 2020 shows (L-R, top to bottom) US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, former communications director Hope Hicks, Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, Senator Thom Tillis, republican of North Carolina, Senator Ron Johnson, Trump Campaign manager Bill Stepien. As of October 3, 2020, all nine have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last two days.
Getty Images

President Donald Trump's positive test has raised concern that the coronavirus could rip through the federal government and Capitol Hill. So far, several people in Trump's orbit have tested positive.  


  • President Donald Trump
  • First lady Melania Trump
  • Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien
  • White House advisor Hope Hicks
  • Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel
  • Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah
  • Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
  • Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc.
  • Former White House advisor Kellyanne Conway
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie


  • Vice President Mike Pence
  • Second lady Karen Pence
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden
  • Jill Biden
  • Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Ivanka Trump
  • Jared Kushner
  • Barron Trump
  • Eric and Lara Trump
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
  • White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow
  • Attorney General William Barr
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley
  • Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett
  • Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez

— Spencer Kimball

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