WTF Community

Day 1352

1/ Trump and Melania tested positive for the coronavirus and have “mild symptoms” months after playing down the pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and sickened millions more. “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!“ Trump, 74, was diagnosed hours after one of his closest advisers, Hope Hicks, tested positive. Hicks traveled with Trump on Air Force One and Marine One this week to the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. She tested positive Thursday morning. After the White House learned of Hicks’ symptoms, Trump flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser anyway, delivered a speech, and was in close contact with dozens of other people, including campaign supporters at a roundtable event. At a political dinner Thursday night, Trump told guests that “the end of the pandemic is in sight.” While he did not appear ill, he did not speak to reporters when he returned to the White House. The president’s physician, meanwhile, said Trump was “well.” Hicks is showing symptoms. Three days ago, at the presidential debate, Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask every time he appears in public. “I put a mask on when I think I need it,” Trump said. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from it. And he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” The Trump campaign announced that all of Trump’s planned events are being postponed or going virtual. Trump also canceled his plans to travel to a rally in Florida. There are 32 days before the election on Nov. 3. (Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal / The Guardian / Politico / ABC News / NPR / CNBC / New Yorker / NPR / CNBC / BuzzFeed News / HuffPost / Los Angeles Times / Politico / Daily Beast)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Revised entry…from Bloomberg Jennifer Jacobs

Senior aides on Thursday discussed scenarios for how to handle both governing and campaigning if Trump tested positive, according to people familiar with the situation. Other White House aides learned the news of Trump’s illness when they awoke Friday morning.

Only a very small circle of people knew that Hicks had tested positive, and senior staff hoped to keep that information private, two of the people said.

“Wishing President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump a speedy recovery,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted early Friday.

Some of Trump’s closest aides said they sensed on Wednesday that Trump was feeling poorly but they chalked it up to fatigue from an intense campaign schedule.

The president seemed exhausted, one person familiar with the situation said.

If Trump were to become incapacitated, the 25th Amendment that allows for the vice president to take over would apply. But for now, the president is able to rest and work in the White House residence, people familiar with the matter said.


I’m not sure I’d take a number of his tweets without a heaping tablespoon of salt.

1 Like

MSNBC reporting

and all those who Hope Hicks came in contact with


Ok…Biden is Negative for Covid. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Well done.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill, have tested negative for the coronavirus, he announced Friday, just hours after President Trump revealed that he had tested positive.

“I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID,” Mr. Biden wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Earlier Friday, Mr. Biden wrote on Twitter that he and his wife “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,” he added.


From Politico Playbook - updates on condition of President today and yesterday. And how the campaign may be taking it.

NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN on TRUMP: “President Trump is showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, but mild ones, according to two people familiar with his condition. The president has had what one person described as cold-like symptoms. At a fund-raiser he attended at his golf club at Bedminster, N.J., on Thursday, where one attendee said the president came in contact with about 100 people, he seemed lethargic.

“A person briefed on the matter said that Mr. Trump fell asleep at one point on Air Force One on the way back from a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday night. A White House official said that as of Thursday night, the president’s treatment plan was still being discussed. So was a possible national address or a videotaped statement from the president to demonstrate that he was functioning and that the government is uninterrupted.”

THE PRESIDENT has canceled his travel for this evening, according to W.H. pooler Thomas Howell of the Washington Times

IN NEW JERSEY – “Murphy urges attendees at Trump fundraiser in Bedminster to get tested, self-quarantine,” by Matt Friedman

THE POLITICAL FALLOUT – “‘This is the worst nightmare for the Trump campaign,’” by David Siders and Charlie Mahtesian: “Donald Trump had done everything possible to shift the focus of the presidential campaign away from his handling of the coronavirus.

“His own infection now ensures that he can’t – pulling Trump off the road 32 days before the election, throwing debates into question and fixing the [public’s attention] more squarely than ever on a pandemic dragging down his prospects for a second term. A president who once seemed impervious to October surprises is suddenly confronting one big enough to alter the outcome of the election.”




An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America’s larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

COVID-19 positives:

  • President Trump tested positive early Friday and is reportedly experiencing “mild” symptoms.
  • First lady Melania Trump tested positive early Friday and is experiencing “mild” symptoms.
  • White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive on Thursday.
  • Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tested positive on Wednesday.
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tested positive on Thursday.

COVID-19 negatives:

  • Vice President Mike Pence tested negative on Friday.
  • Second lady Karen Pence tested negative on Friday.
  • POTUS son Barron Trump tested negative on Friday.
  • Ivanka Trump tested negative on Friday.
  • Jared Kushner tested negative on Friday.
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested negative on Friday, per two White House sources.
  • Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Comey Barrett tested negative on Friday. Barrett previously tested positive for the coronavirus this summer, WashPost reports.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tested negative on Friday.
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper tested negative on Wednesday and will be tested again on Friday.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tested negative on Friday.
  • United States National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow tested negative. Kudlow said he gets tested every day.


  • The COVID-19 status of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer remains unknown.

Among Democrats:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden tested negative on Friday, according to a statement from the Biden campaign.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, have both tested negative on Friday, according to a Harris aide.



Part 2: What happens if a U.S. presidential candidate withdraws or dies before the election or inauguration?

Here’s the second part of the answer to that gloomy question.

Editor’s note: We are reposting this piece, originally published May 16, 2020. Don’t miss the first part of this conversation at “What happens if a U.S. presidential candidate withdraws or dies before the election is over?”

Joshua Tucker: What happens if the party’s nominee dies or withdraws after having been officially nominated but before the November election?

Richard Pildes: This puts the ball in the hands of the “national political parties,” which for this purpose means the legal entities known as the Democratic and Republican national committees.

The Democratic National Committee has a clear rule for this situation. The 447 members of the Democratic National Committee, the entity that formally hosts the convention, would choose the new nominee. The DNC chair, currently Tom Perez, is required to consult with the Democratic leadership in Congress and with the Democratic Governors Association. After the consultation, the chair provides a report to the DNC members, who then make the choice.

The Republican National Committee’s rules are similar. The RNC has 168 members — three from each state, plus three from six territories. The RNC’s rules provide that the three members from each state cast the same number of votes that their state or territory is entitled to at the convention. So Alaska’s three members get to cast a total of 28 votes, for example. If those three members disagree, they each get to cast one-third of those votes.

Second, the parties would now have to replace the name of their dead candidate on each state’s ballot with that of the new candidate. Depending on when this happens, that might not be simple. Different states have different deadlines for when the parties must certify their candidates for the ballot. In 2016, most were in August and September. If states do not have laws that permit changing the candidate’s name after that date, courts would probably have to be brought in. It’s hard to imagine courts refusing to permit one of the two major parties to replace a deceased candidate’s name with that of a validly chosen replacement.

J.T.: What happens if a party’s nominee dies or withdraws after having accumulated enough delegates for the nomination but before the convention meets?

R.P.: The Democratic National Committee’s rules permit delegates to vote their conscience, even if their states’ voters selected a particular candidate. So Democratic convention delegates would be free to vote for whomever they might prefer. They are not required to vote for the candidate who has earned the second-most delegates, nor would they be required to vote for the person the presumptive nominee identified as the vice-presidential choice, if that had already been announced. This year, the superdelegates — DNC members and elected officials who officially attend the convention without representing a candidate — cannot vote in the first round, but they can beginning in the second round. Such an event would, of course, involve intense intraparty discussions, arguments, efforts to build coalitions and the like. But remember, the delegates have been carefully chosen by the various primary candidates to be sure to support those candidates. So if Biden were out, the Biden delegates would be likely to support whomever the Biden forces in the Democratic Party coalesced behind.

On the Republican side, it’s a bit more complicated. For a candidate’s name to be put into nomination at all, eight state delegations must agree to do so. If a candidate has died, he might not get past that first hurdle. RNC rules, unlike the DNC rules, do require delegates to vote for the candidate selected by their state’s primary (or other mechanism, such as a state convention). I would imagine the RNC would adopt a rule change, or creatively interpret its own rules, to address the situation.

J.T.: Is there any precedent for a presidential nominee being incapacitated at the time of election? So, say one of the candidates is in a medically induced coma and does not have the ability to voluntarily withdraw from the election but is not dead. How would that change any of the above scenarios?

R.P.: We have never had a major-party presidential nominee incapacitated at the time of the election. The closest we’ve come involved a sitting U.S. vice president. When William Howard Taft was elected president in 1908, James S. Sherman was his vice president; when Taft ran again in 1912, Sherman was again Taft’s running mate. Vice President Sherman died six days before the 1912 election, but it didn’t matter, because Taft came in third in the election’s three-way contest.

J.T.: Finally, since we are both from New York, I have to ask: What happens if Joe Biden “shows up” at a virtual national convention for the Democratic Party and announces that he wants his supporters to nominate Andrew M. Cuomo instead. Is there anything to prevent Cuomo from becoming the nominee?

R.P.: Now you have really jumped the shark.

J.T.: Fair enough, although I remember a time when President Trump sounded a lot less likely than President Cuomo …


Another one…


I have nothing.

1 Like

And that he’s got a raspy voice.

No direct communications from him…only Melania via twitter.

He has received an 8 gram dose of this experimental antibody drug - Regeneron per MSNBC and described below (NYT article)

see chart


:eyes: They’re taking him to Walter Reed for a few days?!

So the President is now in the hospital?

Holy guacamole!


He’s about to get on the 'chopper, ’ leaving the WH…cameras are aimed at what to see.





Mr. Trump is showing mild symptoms, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday. Mr. Meadows said that the president was in “good spirits” and “very energetic.”

As a precautionary measure, the president received an eight-gram dose of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s antibody cocktail, the White House said Friday. In addition to the infusion, he has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin, according to the White House.

Monoclonal antibodies have shown promising early results in treating patients earlier in the course of their disease and are administered with a single infusion. The drugs mimic the natural antibodies the immune system makes to fight off viruses.

The most advanced of these agents are under development by Eli Lilly & Co. and Regeneron. Both treatments are still in clinical trials and haven’t been cleared by regulators.

Lilly said in September that 1.7% of patients receiving its antibody drug were later hospitalized, compared with 6% of patients who were given a placebo, in a Phase 2 study of about 450 patients.

Patients taking Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cleared more of the virus from their systems than those taking placebos, but the company said earlier this week that the greatest benefit was seen in patients who hadn’t yet mounted an effective immune response of their own.


CNN reporting :hushed: ‘serious’