Coronavirus live news: global cases pass 35m as Walter Reed physician calls Trump drive ‘insanity’

Trump has no public events listed for Monday

Hi, Helen Sullivan here.

The US politics live blog will be closing soon and I’ll be bringing you all of the latest Trump news in addition to key global coronavirus updates here.

If you see anything I’ve not yet reported, if you have questions, comments or suggestions – please get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.


Back to Trump news now:

Sean Conley, White House physician, reportedly told co-workers in the spring, before the president contracted Covid-19, that he was feeling intense personal stress in his current job, according to a new report from the Washington Post.

Conley, a 40-year-old Navy commander, joined the White House medical staff in December 2016 after serving as a Navy emergency physician and serving in a trauma unit in Afghanistan. He was tapped as White House physician in 2018.

The Post reports that those who have worked with Conley believe that the public statements he has given appear to be dictated by politics. “Every statement he is giving appears to be political, dictated by the White House or the president,” one anonymous source who has worked with Conley told the Post. “These are not statement a medical doctor gives.”

After painting an upbeat picture of the president’s health on Saturday, Conley today admitted that the president’s oxygen levels had dropped at one point. He said that he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness, has had.”

In the UK, thousands of work coaches will be hired under a new government employment programme to help those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, amid fresh warnings of an unemployment crisis as the furlough scheme ends.

The £238m job entry targeted support (Jets) scheme will help jobseekers who have been out of work for at least three months. It will be available to people receiving the “all work related requirements” universal credit payment, or the new style jobseeker’s allowance:

Irish health chiefs recommend return to full lockdown

Nine New York neighbourhoods headed for lockdown

More now on doctors condemning Trump for his surprise drive-by visit to supporters outside the Walter Reed military medical center, where the president is being treated for an infection of Covid-19.

At least two other people, probably Secret Service agents, wearing respirators and eye protection, were seen on video in the vehicle accompanying Trump, who was also masked, during the short drive.

James Phillips, doctor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, who is an attending physician at Walter Reed, called the stunt “insanity”.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die,” he wrote in a tweet.

Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University school of medicine and health services, said in a tweet: “By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk”:

Jonathan Reiner

By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk. In the hospital when we go into close contact with a COVID patient we dress in full PPE: Gown, gloves, N95, eye protection, hat. This is the height of irresponsibility.

October 4, 2020

Trump signalled his intention to visit his flag-waving supporters in a video tweet of his own, released only moments before a cavalcade of black SUVs drove through the gates of the Maryland medical center. Trump was seen waving animatedly through a fully-closed window, before the vehicles doubled back into the hospital grounds.

Donald Trump drives past supporters after saying he has ‘learnt a lot about Covid’ – video

Leak reveals possible harsher three-tier Covid plan for England

Walter Reed physician calls Trump drive ‘insanity’



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