Trump military aide who carries the nuclear ‘football’ and stays close to the President at all times tests positive coronavirus

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A military aide who stays close to President Donald Trump at all times, and carries his emergency briefcase known as the “nuclear” football has tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN, ABC News, Bloomberg and others reported on Tuesday.

President Trump himself and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday last week.

The aide is among at least 12 people who work close to President Trump who have contracted the coronavirus so far. At least 17 people tied to the White House have tested positive for the deadly virus.

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President Trump himself remains stable after his first night at the White House, his physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement on Tuesday, even as the United States recorded 460 new COVID-19 deaths on Monday.

“He had a restful first night at home, and today he reports no symptoms. Vital signs and physical exam remain stable, with an ambulatory oxygen saturation level of 95-97 percent. Overall, he continues to do extremely well,” Conley said.

But the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate around the President.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s vice commandant, Admiral Charles Ray, tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, prompting the senior Pentagon leadership to go into quarantine on Tuesday. Admiral Ray will be quarantining at home.

Admiral Ray was tested after feeling mild symptoms over the weekend, the Coast Guard said, adding that it is following established policies and CDC guidelines, including quarantine and contact tracing.

The entire military leadership at the Pentagon is now working from home. There was no indication that any of them had tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile coronavirus killed 460 Americans on Monday, even as President Donald Trump was downplaying the deadly virus, prompting outrage, shock and condemnation.

In another development, Facebook on Tuesday removed a post from President Trump comparing coronavirus to the seasonal flu, and falsely claiming that COVID-19 was less lethal than flu.

“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

The tweet triggered outrage across the United States and the world and has been seen as an insult to the 210,000 Americans who have died from the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, President Trump plans to attend and participate in the presidential debate in Miami next week, his campaign said on Tuesday, a day after he left the hospital following three days of treatment for COVID-19.

Americans go to the polls in 28 days to elect a new president.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama made her closing argument to Americans in a campaign video released on Tuesday, saying “our country is in chaos” because of President Donald Trump, and urging them to vote for Joe Biden and dump Trump.

“I want everyone who is still undecided to think about all those folks like me and my ancestors,” she said, “the millions of folks who look like me and fought and died and toiled as slaves and soldiers and laborers to help build this country.”

Her message, less than a month until Election Day on November 3, warned again highlighted the high stakes in the coming election.

She said if the United States would like to regain ‘any kind of stability,” every eligible voter must be engaged.

Michelle Obama said Trump is incompetent and Americans must turn the page.

Her plea came, even as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden widened his lead over President Donald Trump by 16 points, according to the latest nationwide CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

In the latest poll, 57 percent of Americans among likely voters back Biden and 41 percent back Trump.

The poll was conducted after the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, last week, and mostly after the president’s coronavirus infection on Thursday.

“Regardless of Biden’s national lead, the race for the White House will ultimately come down to a handful of swing states that will drive the outcome in the Electoral College,” CNN wrote, adding that “the former vice president leads in several of those critical battlegrounds, but by more narrow margins than his national advantage. A poll is not a prediction of how the election will ultimately turn out but instead is a snapshot of the race as it currently stands.”

On Tuesday morning, President Trump again tried to downplay a disease he is still battling, comparing it to a seasonal flu and saying it was less lethal.

Trump triggered a national outrage on Monday, after he took off his mask at the White House when he returned from the hospital where he was being treated for the deadly coronavirus.

President Trump, who is still infected with the virus, remains highly contagious stunned Americans when he removed his mask at the White House.

TV commentators described the move as “reckless.”.

Trump on Monday evening left the Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda where he was being treated for COVID-19, after, again, downplaying a disease that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” Trump wrote on Twitter, infuriating hundreds of thousands of families that have lost loved ones to coronavirus.

David Gergen, 78, who worked for Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton said on CNN — following Trump’s latest tweet — that America is “in the grips of a madman”.

A new CNN poll found that 63 percent of Americans believe Trump acted irresponsibly on coronavirus risk while most Americans distrust information coming out of the White House. Most of those polled also said they did not expect Trump to change even after contracting the coronavirus himself.

Trump is moving back to the White House where he would be surrounded by doctors 24 hours a day, his physician Sean Conley told reporters at a briefing on Monday.

The White House itself where Trump is moving back to is already the center of the outbreak with many aides to the President testing positive in the past 72 hours alone.

Many of those aides do not have the same care the United States President has and may die if the virus hits then hard.

At the briefing on Monday, Trump’s team of doctors said the President was not out of the woods yet but would be discharged to the White House where he would be surrounded by world class doctors.

Dr. Conley said if President Trump can get through next Monday without his condition worsening, then he would be in a good place.

Addressing journalists at the Walter Reed National Military Hospital in Bethesda, the President’s team of doctors said Trump remains on Redemsivir drug and would receive one dose today and another final dose at the White House on Tuesday.

President Trump himself tweeted on Monday that he’s ‘feeling really good’ and would be leaving the military hospital where he’s being treated for coronavirus at 6.30 p.m. today.

Trump also downplayed COVID-19 again, a respiratory disease that has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States and infected more than 7.3 million Americans.

He urged Americans not to “be afraid of Covid.” “Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge,” he said.

Health experts warned that Trump was not out of the woods yet even with his VIP treatment, as it takes days for some patients infected with coronavirus to take a turn for the worse.

TV commentators described Trump’s tweet as reckless and an an insult to hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from the disease, and those who have contracted the virus and are still suffering from long terms effects of the virus.

In another tweet, the President responded to critics who said it was reckless for him to go out on Sunday for a photo op with his supporters who gathered at the Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, outside Washington DC.

“It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President. If I didn’t do it, Media would say RUDE!!!” he wrote.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden advised Trump on Monday to listen to the scientists and support mask wearing “now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages.”

Biden was reacting to mixed messages from Trump after the President tried to downplay coronavirus in a tweet on Monday and announced that he would be leaving the Walter Reed National Military Center on Monday evening.

Trump urged Americans not to be afraid of the coronavirus, adding that they should not let it “dominate” their lives, even though more than 210,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 7.3 million people have contracted the deadly bug.

More Americans do not have the same care or their government helicopter to transport them from their house to the hospital and Biden urged the President to use his diagnosis to embrace the measures recommended by scientists to curb the spread of the virus.

“My prayers continue to be with the President and the First Lady for their health and safety.

“As like so many Americans are dealing with COVID-19, I was glad to see the President tweeting and recording videos over the weekend.

“Now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages, I would like him to do this: Listen to the scientists, support masks, support a mask mandate nationwide, require masks in every federal building and facility and inner state travel,” Biden said while speaking from Miami.

Biden asked Trump to require other governments to embrace the same measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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