Donald Trump coronavirus live – President rushed to hospital from White House by helicopter but ‘remains in charge'

PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been rushed to a military hospital in an "abundance of caution" as he experiences coronavirus symptoms following his diagnosis.

The White House announced on Friday that Trump will spend "the next few days" at the Walter Reed medical center in Maryland – just hours after he confirmed he had the deadly virus.

The president was transported to the hospital by presidential helicopter Marine One.

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: "President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day."

Meanwhile, stock markets plunged overnight in the wake of the president's positive coronavirus announcement.

Trump revealed he and the First Lady had caught coronavirus having seemingly caught it from senior White House aide Hope Hicks.

At the age of 74, Trump is considered to be in the 'high risk' category as a covid patient due to his weight and age.

Follow our US Election 2020 blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP SAID HE & HICKS SPENT 'A LOT OF TIME TOGETHER'

    Trump confirmed to Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday that he and Hicks, 31, “spent a lot of time together.”

    Hicks served as White House communications director from September 2017 to February 2018 before returning to Washington earlier this year as “counselor to the president.”

    Hicks and Trump travelled together at least two days this week – including to and from the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday and to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.

    She began having mild symptoms when traveling back from the rally in Minnesota onboard Air Force One on Wednesday, according to reports.

  • Samantha Lock

    CHINA MOCKS TRUMP, SAYING HE'S 'PAID THE PRICE'

    A senior Chinese journalist with close ties to the Communist Party has said Donald Trump is “paying the price" for "playing down the pandemic” following the President's diagnosis with coronavirus.

    Hu Xijin is the editor-in-chief of state-owned tabloid Global Times and a fervent ally of President Xi Jinping.

    Taking to Twitter, Hu wrote: “President Trump and the First Lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the Covid-19.

    “The news shows the severity of the US’s pandemic situation.

    “It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his re-election.”

    Hu is not a state official himself, but the Global Times is part of a network of state-run outlets that publish propaganda on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Samantha Lock

    ELECTION PROCESS THROWN INTO DOUBT

    If Trump becomes incapacitated from Covid-19, he could be replaced on the election ballot, throwing the entire election process into chaos.

    Under Republican National Committee rules, it is empowered to fill vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the party’s candidate for president and vice-president.

    All 168 members of the RNC would have to meet to vote on Trump's replacement. 

    Mike Pence or another candidate could then replace Trump on the ballot paper.

    Trump could temporarily hand over power to his vice president should he become incapacitated, for example while undergoing a medical procedure as treatment for the coronavirus.

    Under the Constitution's 25th Amendment Trump could declare in writing his inability to discharge his duties.

    Vice President Mike Pence would become acting president, although Trump would remain in office.

    The president would regain his powers by declaring in writing that he is again ready to discharge them.

    If the vice-president is also unable to discharge his duties, the Constitution puts the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, next in line for the presidency.

  • Samantha Lock

    CHAOS FOR UPCOMING ELECTION

    Trump's positive test is an extraordinary turn of events that has thrown the US presidential election – already historic and notable – into chaos.

    It means that Trump and Melania, 50, will need to quarantine, a move which is likely to set back his campaign with just 32 days until the election.

    Trump is behind in the polls and was judged by many commentators across the political divide to have lost the opening TV debate against Democrat challenger Biden on Tuesday.

    The pair were set to go head-to-head again in Miami on October 15 – around the time his two-week isolation period will end.

    But Trump's positive test means he will no longer be able to campaign at what is a crucial time for the election.

    If Trump's health declines, he may have to transfer power to his second-in-command, Vice President Mike Pence.

  • Samantha Lock

    MOST SERIOUS PUBLIC HEALTH SCARE

    Trump's positive Covid test is the most serious known public health scare encountered by any sitting president in recent history.

    For a man of his age, Trump is five times more likely to be hospitalized from the virus and 90 times more likely to die than a patient in their 20s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Trump is the oldest first-term President in US history.

  • Samantha Lock

    VP MIKE PENCE POISED TO TAKE OVER IF TRUMP TOO ILL FOR DUTY

    Vice President Mike Pence, 61, could potentially take over for Donald Trump should the president become too ill to fulfil his official duties.

    Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative for COVID-19, clearing the way for him to temporarily take over from Trump if the president becomes incapacitated.

    Should Trump become too ill to work, he can transfer power to vice-president Mike Pence under the US Constitution.

    The 25th Amendment would allow Trump to declare in writing his inability to discharge his duties.

    The president would regain his powers by declaring in writing that he is again ready to discharge them.

    And if the vice president becomes ill, the Constitution would then allow the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or Nancy Pelosi, to become president.

  • Samantha Lock

    WHAT HAPPENS IF A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IS ILL BEFORE AN ELECTION?

    If a presidential candidate has to withdraw before an election, the party would try to replace that nominee.

    If a candidate dies between the popular vote and the meeting of the Electoral College – the body which is formed every four years for electing the president and vice president of the United States – the parties will try to replace the candidate.

    If the candidate that dies is on the winning presidential ticket, it's still the party's responsibility to provide a new candidate who the electorate could vote into office.

    The replacement candidate's name would go on the Electoral College ballot only, and their political party would expect its voters to vote that candidate into office.

    There's no federal law, however, saying electors have to vote for the replacement candidate.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP THANKFUL FOR “TREMENDOUS SUPPORT” IN NEW VID

    President Trump has arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

    Shortly after he was transported to the military hospital in Maryland, Trump tweeted a video of himself thanking “everybody for the tremendous support”.

    “I'm going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I'm doing very well. But we're going to make sure things work out,” Trump said.

    He said First Lady Melania Trump — who also tested positive for COVID — “is doing very well.”

    “So thank you very much — I appreciate it — I will never forget it, ” the president said. Thank you.”

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP'S TRANSPORT TO HOSPITAL: IN PHOTOS

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP FLOWN BY HELICOPTER TO HOSPITAL

    Marine One was pictured on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday afternoon.

    Shortly after arriving, the helicopter lift off to carry President Donald Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.

    The White House says Trump will spend a “few days” in hospital.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP TO REMAIN IN CHARGE

    White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah said that Trump “is in charge” and has not transferred any power to his second-in-command, Vice President Mike Pence.

    Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Trump has continued to work.

    McEnany added that the president “will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days”.

  • Samantha Lock

    BIDEN CAMPAIGN TAKING DOWN NEGATIVE TRUMP ADS

    Joe Biden's campaign is taking down its attack ads in the wake of President Donald Trumps coronavirus infection.

    A Biden campaign official spoke to PA news agency on the condition of anonymity on Friday.

    The official said the Democrats campaign is removing all its negative ads, although in some cases, it may take days for ads already in circulation to stop running.

    The official said Biden made the decision before the news surfaced that Trump was being transferred to a military hospital for “a few days” of treatment.

  • Samantha Lock

    HOSPITAL VISIT 'PRECAUTIONARY'

    Trump's visit to hospital is precautionary, the White House has said.

    The president will work from the hospital's presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.

    Earlier Friday the White House said Trump is experiencing mild symptoms of the virus and remains fatigued but has been injected with an experimental antibody drug combination.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP RUSHED TO HOSPITAL

    President Donald Trump is being rushed to the Walter Reed medical center out of an “abundance of caution” as he experiences coronavirus symptoms following his diagnosis.

    The White House announced on Friday that Trump will spend “the next few days” at the military hospital in Maryland – just hours after he confirmed he had the deadly virus.

    Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: “President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day.

    “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.”

    Trump will be transported to the hospital by presidential helicopter Marine One.

  • Samantha Lock

    BIDEN CONTINUES CAMPAIGN TRAIL

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis is a “bracing reminder” that the pandemic needs to be taken seriously, as he campaigned on Friday in the battleground state of Michigan.

    Speaking at a union hall in Grand Rapids hours after testing negative twice for the coronavirus, Biden said he and his wife, Jill Biden, were praying that Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, had a swift and full recovery.

    But Biden also urged all Americans to wear masks to slow the spread of the disease. He implicitly criticized the Republican president, who has played down the deadliness of the virus, frequently eschews masks, and has held huge campaign rallies with little social distancing.

    “Be patriotic,” Biden said. “It's not about being a tough guy. It's about doing your part.”

    Trump will be off the trail indefinitely while isolating at the White House.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP RIDICULED BIDEN FOR CAUTIOUS VIRUS APPROACH

    As recently as Tuesday, Trump ridiculed Biden on national television for his cautious approach.

    “I put a mask on when I think I need it,” Trump said during the debate.

    “I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away, and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen.”

    Both presidential candidates are in high-risk categories for COVID-19 complications.

    Trump is 74 years old and clinically obese. Biden is 77 years old.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP TO TRAVEL TO MILITARY HOSPITAL

    President Trump is said to travel to a military hospital after COVID-19 diagnosis, AP reports.

    He will reportedly remain there for a 'few days' on advice of doctors.

  • Jon Rogers

    TRUMP – MEDICAL UPDATE

    President Donald Trump “remains fatigued but in good spirits,” in the latest update from his physician, Dr. Sean Conley.

    The doctor revealed that Trump has been treated with one dose of Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail, as well as zinc, vitamin D, the antihistamine famotidine, melatonin and aspirin.

  • Jon Rogers

    CALLS FOR COVID TESTING TO BE CARRIED OUT ON CAPITOL HILL

    Members of Congress have reiterated their calls for coronavirus testing to be carried out on Capitol Hill after President Trump tested positive.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, said providing testing at the Capitol is being discussed.

    “I talked to the Speaker about that this morning, but we haven't made a decision on that. But I think certainly in light of that we need to consult with our medical people,” Hoyer told reporters on Friday. 

    “The tests, depending upon what tests we have, if we are going to do tests we need to do reliable tests.

    “I think one of the problems is they were doing a quick test at the White House, probably not as reliable. I think that changed, I’m not sure. But anyway, we are looking at that.”

  • Samantha Lock

    WHITE HOUSE NOT MAKING CHANGES TO VIRUS PROTOCOL

    The White House does not appear to be making any changes to current virus protocol, even after President Donald Trump and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19.

    A senior White House official said Friday that masks will still not be mandatory at the White House, describing facial coverings as a personal choice.

    And the White House is not planning to move to a different, more reliable testing system after the one it uses failed to detect that adviser Hope Hicks had the virus the day she began experiencing symptoms.

    The president, his White House and his campaign have generally taken a lax approach to the pandemic, continuing to hold large events and failing to abide by social distancing recommendations.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP BLASTED FOR 'ACTIVELY SPREADING' VIRUS

    Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a frequent target of President Donald Trumps, has blasted the president for what she calls actively spreading a deadly virus.

    Omar said earlier this year that her father died of the virus, and she said in a statement Friday that she doesn't wish it on anyone.

    Omar, a Democrat, says the nation has been waiting for months to hear Trump say America will get through this together.

    She says he's only saying that now because it's about him.

  • Samantha Lock

    “I FELT NO VULNERABILITY WHATSOEVER”: TRUMP

    Back in May Trump told report he “felt no vulnerability whatsoever” in relation to contracting coronavirus.

    The president has consistently played down concerns about being personally vulnerable.

    He has mostly refused to abide by basic public health guidelines including those issued by his own administration such as wearing face coverings in public and practicing social distancing.

    Instead, he has continued to hold campaign rallies that draw thousands of often maskless supporters.

  • Samantha Lock

    PUSH TO CONFIRM BARRETT DESPITE TRUMP'S DIAGNOSIS

    Senate Republicans said they will carry on with the confirmation process for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett despite Trump's positive COVID-19 test, with Judiciary Committee hearings still set to begin on Oct. 12.

    “I think we can move forward,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, even as senior Democrats urged caution.

    The Republican president has asked that the Senate confirm Barrett, a federal appeals court judge, by the Nov. 3 election, which would forge a 6-3 conservative majority on the top U.S. judicial body.

    “Our biggest enemy, obviously, is … the coronavirus, keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job,” McConnell added.

    Barrett herself tested positive for the virus earlier this year and has since recovered, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    “Full steam ahead,” an aide to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham told Reuters when asked if the schedule for hearings due to begin on Oct. 12 could change.

  • Samantha Lock

    FEARS TRUMP SPREAD VIRUS AT GOLF CLUB FUNDRAISER

    The day Trump found out Hicks had coronavirus he was about to take off in his Marine One helicopter for a fundraiser at his golf club in New Jersey.

    He attended the indoor event regardless – potentially coming into contact with 100 people – to raise £3.8million from his campaign.

    The trip – during which he seemed “lethargic” – appeared to go against his own health officials’ guidelines.

    Mr Meadows, who was not wearing a mask while giving an update yesterday, confirmed: “We discovered that (Hicks’ positive test) right as Marine One was taking off.”

    Officials with the White House Medical Unit were desperately trying to trace the president's contacts yesterday – following fears he was a super-spreader.

    In the last week, Trump has taken four round-trips on Air Force One and three helicopter rides – attending three large rallies and a press conference with his Supreme Court nominee.

    He has visited New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Minneapolis, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN EVENTS POSTPONED

    Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, released an announcement Friday, saying all events involving Trump's participation have been postponed or will be virtual.

    “All previously announced campaign events involving the President’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed,” the statement read.

    “In addition, previously announced events involving members of the First Family are also being temporarily postponed.

    “All other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we will make any relevant announcements in the days ahead.

    “Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative for COVID-19, plans on resuming his scheduled campaign events. Any further information about the President will come from the White House.”

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