Kari Paul here, signing off for the night! It has been an active day at the end of a very busy news week, so here are some top lines in case you missed them.
- Three people at the school of Amy Coney Barrett’s teenage children, who attended the super-spreader event in the Rose Garden, have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
- The presidential debate on Thursday of next week was officially cancelled after Trump refused to participate remotely. This comes as Trump has two events planned at the White House this weekend and a rally planned on Monday in Florida.
- A debate between South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and his democratic opponent was canceled when Graham refused to take a coronavirus test.
- Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Friday he will release more emails from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton at Trump’s behest.
- The Trump administration blocked an order proposed by the CDC last month that would have required masks to be worn on public transit across the US.
- Trump participated in his first on-camera interview since his Covid diagnosis, speaking to a Fox News contributor and doctor about his experiences with the virus. Trump said he is glad he got intensive treatment quickly and learned “coronavirus is contagious”. He denied ever having breathing problems, despite reports he was on oxygen previously, and said “I feel very good and very strong. He did not say whether he had tested negative for the virus.
Trump conflicts his own team’s report on his health in Fox News interview
Donald Trump said in an interview about his bout of coronavirus on Friday that he never had breathing problems as part of his diagnosis, conflicting with official reports from his doctors and team. His chief previously said he was taking oxygen after having trouble breathing.
Trump also said that he had taken a test for the virus and “is either at the bottom of the scale or free” of the virus. “it’s been amazing to watch it disappear”, he said. Meanwhile, the White House has refused to answer whether the president tested negative.
Trump on what he has learned from his own coronavirus experience: ‘Covid is contagious’
In his first on-camera interview since he was hospitalized for coronavirus, Trump talked about what he learned from his experience that he could bring to his leadership on the topic. He said one thing he learned is that “this is a contagious disease” and that “generally you get better from it.”
He said the biggest lesson he learned from the experience is that it is important to get medical attention quickly. He did not mention how the 27 million Americans without health insurance should access medical care quickly. Experts have estimated Trump’s round-the-clock treatment for coronavirus would cost the average American more than $1m.
“I think the biggest thing is to do it early,” he said. “We have the White House doctor, we have so many doctors, so it is a lot easier for me than somebody that doesn’t have a doctor.”
Trump would not say if he had tested negative for coronavirus, ahead of two events he is holding in person at the White House this weekend. He said he is open to donating plasma to help other coronavirus patients.
“Well nobody has asked me to do that but I’d love to do it,” he said.
Trump claims to be ‘medication free’ following coronavirus treatment
Speaking to a doctor on Tucker Carlson’s evening show, Trump discussed his treatment for coronavirus and claimed he is no longer taking medications for the virus.
The remote interview, which had been advertised as a ‘medical exam’, touched on how Trump was treated and his controversial trip outside the White House to greet his supporters. It was conducted by Marc Siegel, a doctor and Fox News contributor who has previously downplayed the severity of coronavirus.
Trump once again refused to answer if he had tested negative for coronavirus following his diagnosis but said he is no longer taking medication for it.
“I don’t know numbers or anything but I have been retested and I’m at the bottom of the scale or free,” Trump said when asked if he had tested negative. “It’s been really great to see it disappear.”
Trump has kicked off his interview on Tucker Carlson’s show. He said he feels “very good and very strong” following his coronavirus treatment at Walter Reed hospital.
He said he “didn’t have any breathing problems”, contradicting his doctor’s previous report that he was on oxygen while in the hospital. He said his primary symptoms were general fatigue and sore throat.
Trump administration blocked a CDC mask order
In September, months into a deadly pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people, the Trump administration blocked a CDC mandate that would have required masks on all public transportation.
The coronavirus task force, which is required to sign off on all coronavirus-related policies, refused to pass the CDC recommendation, the New York Times reported. Under the ruling, masks would have been required on airplanes, buses, trains, and subways across the United States as well as in transit hubs like bus stops and train stations.
From the report:
The order would have been the toughest federal mandate to date aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, which continues to infect more than 40,000 Americans a day. The officials said that it was drafted under the agency’s “quarantine powers” and that it had the support of the secretary of health and human services, Alex M. Azar II, but the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, declined to even discuss it.
In absence of a national mask mandate, individual states, cities, and transportation systems have been left to create their own rules. Health experts say this stokes confusion as the virus continues to spread.
Donald Trump to undergo ‘medical exam’ on television shortly
In his first on-camera TV appearance since his coronavirus diagnosis, Donald Trump will speak with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. We will be updating you live so stay tuned.
Trump is still obsessed with Hillary Clinton’s emails
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Friday he will release more emails from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, a move sparked by pressure from Donald Trump.
“We’re going to get all this information out so the American people can see it. You’ll remember there was classified information on a private server, should have never been there, Hillary Clinton should never have done that, that was unacceptable behavior,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News on Friday.
Trump spoke of the emails in a previous interview with Fox News on Thursday, saying Pompeo had not yet released emails deleted from Clinton’s private server, which she said in 2015 “were personal and private.”
The president for at least the third time this week brought up the emails when speaking to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Friday, saying Clinton “should be in jail” for clearing out her inbox.
An investigation by the State Department concluded in 2019 there was no “persuasive evidence” of widespread mishandling of classified information by Clinton or her aides.
South Carolina debate canceled after Lindsey Graham refuses Covid-19 test
A Friday debate between South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison and incumbent Republican senator Lindsey Graham was cancelled after Graham refused to take a coronavirus test beforehand.
The hashtags #LindseyGrahamHasCovid andn #LindseyIsPositive were trending Friday after the cancellation. The candidates will now participate in two separate interviews, a half hour each, aired on the same network. Graham accused Harrison of adding on requirements to the debate to get out of it.
Harrison’s demand for coronavirus testing comes after Donald Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 just days after his debate with Joe Biden. Graham said he did not have to take the test, citing a note from the attending physician of Congress saying that he did not need one.
“We’re disappointed that Lindsey has failed to take a simple coronavirus test, but we appreciate our hosts were able to change the event format to make it safer for everyone,” said Harrison campaign spokesman Guy King. “Jaime will be there in Spartanburg to talk to voters.”
Trump rally comes with some distressing fine print
Trump earlier announced he will hold a rally in Sanford, Florida on Monday – the first event outside the White House since his coronavirus diagnosis.
As with other events held by the Trump campaign, attendees must sign a waiver acknowledging Covid-19 risks. From the registration page:
By registering for this event, you understand and expressly acknowledge that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. In attending the event, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and waive, release, and discharge Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; the host venue; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers from any and all liability under any theory, whether in negligence or otherwise, for any illness or injury.
Rallies for Trump have been criticized for allowing people in close quarters, many without masks. Anyone who is infected with the coronavirus at these events cannot take legal action against the campaign over it.
There will no longer be a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on Thursday, the Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed on Friday.
The announcement comes after a public disagreement between the two candidates over the debate’s format. Trump, who is infected with the coronavirus, insisted on having an in-person debate while Biden and the commission advocated for a virtual debate for safety reasons.
“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22,” the commission said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Trump is hosting two events at the White House this weekend and is planning a rally in Florida on Monday. It is not clear if the president, who announced a Covid-19 diagnosis one week ago, is still contagious.
Human rights groups push tech companies to stop hosting Proud Boys content
Human rights group Color of Change said Friday it had convinced Google Cloud to stop facilitating websites that contain content from the Proud Boys hate groups.
“Big Tech companies can no longer passively support hate groups by allowing them to organize on their platforms,” said Rashad Roberts, president of Color of Change. “They – and Congress – must act.”
The move comes as scrutiny surrounding tech companies and hate content intensifies. In 2019, web hosting firm Cloudflare cut off hate speech-filled message board 8chan from hosting on its platform after it was used to post a mass shooting manifesto.
Last week, Facebook announced it would remove all pages and groups related to Qanon, a baseless conspiracy theory that has been linked to violence. Twitter recently began to remove calls to violence from Donald Trump’s account and Facebook similarly is flagging misinformation and other dangerous content from the president.
A spokesman from Google Cloud said the websites were not direct customers of Google but of a website hoster who uses Google Cloud.
“After a heads up from Color of Change, we notified one of our customers–a website hoster–who then took action,” Google Cloud said in a statement. “The websites in question were not Google Cloud customers.”
Color of Change is still calling on others to take similar action and deplatform hate groups. It criticized PayPal for refusing to remove a fundraiser page for a domestic terrorist who killed two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Tech companies must enact and enforce a proactive, aggressive approach to stop the violent, hateful activity on its platforms— it cannot continue to fall on advocates, as it has for far too long,” Color of Change said in a statement. “Anything short of creating the policies and enforcement mechanisms necessary to proactively keep these hate-fueled groups off of tech platforms will only lead to more dangerous outcomes.”
This post has been updated to reflect that the websites in question were not direct customers of Google Cloud.
3 people infected with coronavirus at the school of Amy Coney Barrett’s children
Two students and a teacher at the school attended by children of supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The cases, confirmed by the New York Times, come after Coney Barrett brought her family to the Rose Garden celebration of her nomination on 26 September that became a superspreader event for Covid-19, infecting more than 20 people.
The nominee reportedly kept her children home from school for days after learning of infections stemming from the event and allowed them to return after testing negative for the virus. A spokesman from the White House said there is “no evidence” the cases could be linked to the children, who are in high school.
“It is disgusting that this publication, with no evidence, would insinuate that minor children spread Covid-19 after attending an event to celebrate their mother,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said. “The Barrett children should be off limits. Period.” He added, “The White House Medical Unit conducted contact tracing consistent with CDC guidelines and appropriate recommendations were made.”
Read the original article at The Guardian