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Trump’s illness is dominating the front pages of the Sunday papers in Britain and the US. Below is a selection.
Here’s our wrap on the latest from Australia, and in particular the state of Victoria which has been under a long hard lockdown for months, but is now seeing vastly improved numbers.
Singapore is expected to move into “phase three” of its reopening plan, but recent rule changes have people wondering if they haven’t unofficially done it already.
“Instead, we are calling the big overall phases as one, two and three, like signposts that we have reached major staging points in our journey,” says Associate Prof Alex Cook, vice dean of research at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Saw Swee Hock school of public health in the Straits Times.
“Careful relaxation is necessary as countries that have rushed into reopening are entering second waves, and either starting localised lockdowns, in the case of Spain and Britain, or full national lockdowns, like Israel,” he said.
Restrictions have been eased over recent weeks, including doubling the number of people allowed at weddings, and allowing tourists from more countries including Australia (but not the state of Victoria), and Vietnam, and resuming live music at worship services.
Here, the Straits Times charts the plethora of changes to restrictions since the pandemic began.
The White House has released some photographs from inside Trump’s suite where he’s evidently up and about and looking at things, signing things.
Australia is heading into summer, and for much of the country’s coastal population this usually means long days at the beach.
While the country has relatively very few cases of Covid, there are still social distancing measures in place – the only big waves we want to see are in the ocean, thanks very much.
So what does this mean for beachgoers and for the lifesavers who occasionally have to rescue them? Well, to start, there will be more crowd control, no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and swimmers should watch out for others coughing up mucus in the water (ew).
Elias Visontay takes a look:
Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has reported a further 2,279 cases in the country, bringing the total number to 299,237. Two people were reported to have died, bringing Germany’s death toll to 9,529.
Donald Trump’s campaign said on Saturday it is launching an initiative called “Operation MAGA” to maintain momentum with the US president hospitalized and November’s general election just over a month away.
The operation entails “a full marshalling of top-level surrogates, campaign coalitions and Trump supporters” to carry the campaign until Trump can return to the trail, according to a campaign statement.
Vice president Mike Pence outlined the effort in an all-staff conference call Saturday afternoon with campaign manager Bill Stepien, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
“I want to encourage you to stay in the fight,” Pence told the staff.
A woman who attended a Minnesota fundraiser with Donald Trump on Wednesday said it was “very safely done” with all guests tested beforehand and adherent of social distancing measures.
Helene Houle, who paid $100,000 to attend the event at a private residence in suburban Minneapolis on Lake Minnetonka, said guests were told to arrive early and were tested in their cars.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has more:
“They gave us the test in our cars, and it took about 20 minutes and they came back and told us if we were OK or not. And everyone was,” she said. The fundraiser was in a dining room with about 40 guests in all, she said. Trump spoke and took questions but did not get too close to any guests, she said.
Houle said she and other guests posed for photos with Trump but that they all stood at least 6 feet from him.
“The president was very welcoming, very personable. It was quite emotional for me, actually, to be in the same room with him,” Houle said. She said it was by far the largest political donation she’s ever made but that “if it helps him get reelected, it’s worth it.”
I think all we can really take from this is that Trump is not on supplemental oxygen right now.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will depart for Japan on Sunday but will not go to Mongolia and South Korea as originally planned, the state department said on Saturday.
Reuters: Pompeo had planned to visit all three countries between 4 and 8 October. He is still set to leave for Tokyo on Sunday but will be returning to Washington on 6 October after consultations with his Japanese counterparts and attending a wider meeting with foreign affairs ministers of India and Australia.
In a speech delivered virtually earlier to the Florida Family Policy Council, Pompeo said he was in good health but that he cancelled his in-person appearance at the event “out of an abundance of caution”. He still planned to go to Asia.
“You should know that I’m feeling fine, I’m doing great. I’ve been tested twice in two days. I’m as healthy as I’ve been, and I still have a trip that I’m planning to take to Asia tomorrow,” he said.
The state department said Pompeo was expecting to travel to Asia again in October and would work to reschedule the visits in his original itinerary.
Pompeo’s visit to east Asia, his first to the region in over a year, comes at a time when US ties with Beijing are at their worst in decades. Apart from Trump, the coronavirus infected his wife, Melania, and several Republican senators, as well as millions of other Americans.
AFP: The Solomon Islands has announced its first case of Covid-19, leaving just nine small, remote territories that have not reported a single case.
Only Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are believed to be still free of the virus.
In a television address the prime minister of the Pacific island nation, Manasseh Sogavare, said that a student who recently arrived from the Philippines on a repatriation flight carrying 96 passengers had returned a positive test.
“It pains me to say that we have lost our Covid-19-free status despite our collective effort to prevent the pandemic from entering our country,” Sogavare said.
He urged the population of 600,000 in the archipelago to remain calm and said contact tracing and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus had been activated and there was no need for a lockdown.
The student, who tested negative three times in the Philippines before boarding the flight, was found positive in a routine test on return to the capital Honiara and is now in isolation.
Eighteen other students who tested positive remain in quarantine in Manila.
Since the Solomons borders were closed in March, more than 400 students have been stuck in the Philippines, which has been hard hit by the virus.
Under pressure from parents, Solomons officials arranged three repatriation flights with the first arriving last Tuesday.
Despite confirming its first case Sogavare said the government would continue working to bring the remaining students home.
White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has just sent out a new update on Trump, from his doctor Sean Conley.
Conley says Trump has made “substantial progress since his diagnosis” and has just taken his second dose of Remdesivir “without complication”.
He remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96% and 98% all day. He spent most of the day conducting business and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty. While not out of the woods yet, the team remains cautiously optimistic. The plan for tomorrow is to continue observation in between doses of Remdesivir, closely monitoring his clinical status while fully supporting his conduct of presidential duties.”
Hello, this is Helen Davidson in Sydney, taking over from my US colleagues. There’s a lot of news around today, so we are consolidating our live blogs. This is where you want to be for news on the global pandemic, and on Donald Trump.
First, a quick global rundown on the latest coronavirus developments:
- Donald Trump posted a video message on Saturday evening saying that he is “doing well”, his wife Melania is “doing very well” and the next few days will be the “real test” after he was taken to hospital with Covid-19.
- Joe Biden’s campaign is committing to releasing the results of all future Covid tests the candidate takes.
- Victoria, the state of Australia most affected, recorded just 12 new cases and one life lost in the past 24 hours. That’s the equal lowest death toll for almost a month.
- Mexico’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 757,953 on Saturday, according to the health ministry, with a total reported death toll of 78,880
- France reported 16,972 new confirmed cases over the past 24 hours on Saturday, a new daily record, as well as 49 new deaths.
- Italy on Saturday reported 2,844 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily tally since April, when the country was still in lockdown.
- The UK reported 12,872 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to Saturday, nearly double the number reported a day earlier, which was blamed on reporting delays from previous weeks, as it came to light that the government does not currently know Saturday’s actual number of new infections.
- Brazil on Saturday registered 599 new coronavirus deaths and 26,310 new confirmed cases.
- Tunisian authorities will ban all gatherings and reduce working hours for employees in the public sector in order to stop the rapid spread of the coronavirus
- Ireland is seeing a “significant escalation” in coronavirus infections, after reporting the highest daily death toll since May and the third-highest number of daily cases recorded to date.
- Thousands of Israelis protested again across the country on Saturday, flouting a new law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during a new national coronavirus lockdown.
Eric Trump, the younger of Donald Trump’s adult sons, told Fox News pundit Jeanine Pirro that his father “sounded incredible” and was “full of energy” when they spoke on the phone on Saturday.
“Obviously Covid is very, very serious,” Eric Trump said on Saturday night in a phone interview on Justice with Judge Jeanine. “Obviously it’s something that’s affected a lot of people. And obviously it’s something that hit him very hard in the opening days. But I probably spent 20, 25 minutes on the phone with him today and he sounded incredible, honestly. He sounded clear, he sounded great.
“The man just never takes his foot off the gas. He just never, ever lets up. He might be in Walter Reed but I can assure you he was running a thousand miles a minute.”
He believed his father will “hold China accountable” for the pandemic.
“This is a deadly virus; it’s something that you have to take incredibly seriously,” he said. “He was the first person to shut down travel to China – by the way, I think my father is going to hold China accountable because they need to be held fully accountable.”
Pirro, whose weekend program attracts impressive prime-time ratings by packaging the host’s acerbic hot takes with Verhoevian flair, opened Saturday’s show by saying she spoke to the president by phone “earlier this evening” and will share what he said before the end of the night.
Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin senator who has tested positive for Covid-19, has come under fire after it was revealed he attended an Oktoberfest fundraising dinner on Friday evening while awaiting the test results.
The Daily Beast reports:
The Wisconsin Republican chose to attend the bash even though he knew that President Trump and many of his inner circle had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Johnson, who didn’t reveal his diagnosis until Saturday, justified his behavior in comments to the Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times by saying he only took his mask off when it was time to address the crowd. He also insisted that he was ‘at least 12 feet from anybody’ during his speech at the event, which was sponsored by the Ozaukee County Republican party. It was held at the River Club of Mequon, a self-described ‘casually elegant private club committed to personal service’.
‘I feel fine, I feel completely normal,’ he said in a conference call with reporters, adding that he didn’t ‘stick around’ to mingle at the dinner.
Attendees paid from $40 for a single ticket to $500 for gold host status, which included two meal tickets, priority seating, and ‘special host recognition’. Former Wisconsin attorney general Brad Schimel was the evening’s featured guest, according to an invitation on the Ozaukee County Republican party’s Facebook page.
Johnson, who heads the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee, is one of three Republican senators to test positive over the last day along with Utah’s Mike Lee and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis.
Joe Biden told reporters he was not screened for the coronavirus on Saturday, but plans on getting tested again on Sunday.
The Democratic presidential candidate spoke briefly with reporters outside St Joseph Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he attended mass on Saturday night, saying he underwent two tests on Friday and both came back negative.
The former vice-president’s health has been in the spotlight in the days since Trump was hospitalized with the virus. Biden was potentially exposed when he faced off with Trump in Tuesday night’s presidential debate.
Biden hasn’t commented on the possibility of going into quarantine but said Saturday he was praying for Trump’s “quick and full recovery.”
Read the original article at The Guardian