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Chris Christie, a high-profile Covid-19 case suspected to have resulted from an event at the White House, was released from hospital. President Donald Trump will hold his first rally on the campaign trail since his Covid-19 diagnosis, heading to Florida on Monday. He’ll address a group on the White House South Lawn Saturday.
Trump first unveiled his positive test for the coronavirus early Oct. 2, and credits an antibody treatment fromRegeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. for a quick recovery. He returned to the Oval Office Wednesday after working from the White House residence following his departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
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Christie Leaves NJ Hospital After a Week (9:30 a.m.)
Chris Christie tweeted Saturday that he’d been released from Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey after treatment for the coronavirus.
The former New Jersey governor checked into hospital on Oct. 3 after testing positive, citing his “history of asthma.”
He’s among the high-profile officials suspected to have become infected at the Sept. 26 White House event celebrating Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court.
On Saturday Christie thanked his “extraordinary doctors & nurses” and said he’ll have more to say next week. — Yueqi Yang
Trump to Head to Florida Monday for Rally (5:04 p.m.)
Trump plans to travel to Florida on Monday for his first campaign-trail rally since his hospitalization for Covid-19, his campaign said in an email.
Florida is viewed as a must-win for the president, and Trump has consistently polled behind challenger Joe Biden in the state. Florida is tied for third in the electoral-college vote count, with New York and behind California and Texas.
Trump Plans Saturday Address on Law, Order (4:03 p.m.)
Trump plans on Saturday to host his first in-person event at the White House since being hospitalized with Covid-19, two White House officials said, amid questions about the stage of his recovery.
The South Lawn event is expected to include a couple hundred guests, said a person familiar with the matter. The president will address the crowd from a distance, on the Blue Room balcony. The Saturday event will be focused on law and order, according to the White House official. It wasn’t immediately clear what precautions would be taken to protect White House guests from the virus. — Jennifer Jacobs
Fauci Calls White House Ceremony ‘Super-Spreader’ Event (2:35 p.m.)
Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the White House had experienced a “super spreader” coronavirus incident.
“The data speak for themselves. We had a super-spreader event in the White House,” Fauci said in an interview with CBS Radio. “And it was in a situation where people were crowded together, were not wearing masks. So the data speaks for themselves.”
The administration on Sept. 26 held a ceremony in the Rose Garden for Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court justice, as well as gatherings inside the building. Washington, DC, health authorities have called for attendees, along with people who’ve been in contact with them and workers at the White House, to get tested for Covid-19.
The Sept. 26 event has been linked to at least 12 coronavirus infections, when including Trump’s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
White House Residential Staff Members Test Positive (11:11 a.m.)
Four staff members at the White House residence have tested positive for the coronavirus, linked to an outbreak at the building nearly three weeks ago, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Those infected include three members of the housekeeping staff and an assistant to the chief usher, Timothy Harleth, according to the people. None of the infected staff came in direct contact with the president or his relatives, and wore masks in the residence, one of the people said.
Trump regularly asked some staffers who came near him to remove their masks, according to one of the people. He seemed impatient with people wearing masks around him, because he’d been tested, the person said. — Jennifer Jacobs
Democrats Introduce Presidential Medical Removal Bill (10:28 a.m.)
House Democrats unveiled a bill to create a medical commission under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. constitution to adjudicate the possible removal of future presidents due to medical incapacity. They said the bill would not apply to Trump in his current term, even as conservatives are accusing Democrats of trying to undermine the election.
“We do need to do this, certainly in the next Congress,” Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland said at a press briefing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Covid-19 raises the issue because the president could be on ventilator or incapacitated, he said.
The bill would provide for a congressionally appointed panel that could move to shift power to the vice president. “The commission is entirely bipartisan,” Raskin said, with eight medical members chosen by Republicans and Democrats and another eight former high-level executive branch members also chosen by the two parties, along with a chair.
Under the 25th Amendment, two-thirds majorities would be needed to approve removal of power from the president under a petition from the vice president, if the president insists on maintaining power.
With regard to whether Trump’s judgment is now being impaired by drugs, Pelosi said, “I don’t know.” She also said the legislative proposal “is not about the election at all.” — Erik Wasson
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