Chris Christie remains hospitalized and is under observation due to Covid-19

1 hr 51 min ago

Chris Christie remains hospitalized and is under observation due to Covid-19

From CNN’s Dana Bash

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House on September 27. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie remains hospitalized due to Covid-19 and is under observation, according to a source familiar with his condition.

The source said that there is no indication Christie is on a ventilator.

During a news conference yesterday current New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that he has spoken to Christie but did not offer any information regarding his condition.

“He is the quintessential Jersey fighter. So we are all with him in thoughts, prayers and we are here to do whatever we can for him,” Murphy said.

Christie checked himself into the hospital on Oct. 3 as a precautionary measure after receiving a positive Covid-19 test. Christie helped President Trump with presidential debate prep.

1 hr 59 min ago

Twitter moves to blunt impact of false and misleading tweets ahead of Election Day

From CNN’s Kaya Yurieff

Twitter is rolling out a series of changes ahead of the US election next month in an attempt to clamp down on the spread of misinformation.

On Friday, Twitter said users, including political candidates, cannot claim an election win before it is authoritatively called.

Twitter’s new criteria for that requires either an announcement from state election officials or a public projection from at least two authoritative, national news outlets. Twitter did not identify the outlets, though news organizations such as CNN, the Associated Press, ABC News and Fox News would fit the bill.

Previously, Twitter said candidates would be prohibited from claiming victory “before election results have been certified.” This caveat immediately drew the attention of election experts, because Twitter was drawing a red line that was noticeably out of step with how results are processed.

The results publicly reported by election officials and news outlets on election night are always preliminary. Weeks later, the results are formally “certified” by state officials. With Friday’s adjustment, Twitter is smoothing out its policies for Election Night, and eliminating a potentially major hiccup.

Such tweets claiming a premature win will receive a misleading information label and users will be directed to Twitter’s official US election page for more details.

2 hr 7 min ago

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner test negative

From CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Kate Bennett

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump’s spokesperson Carolina Hurley tells CNN, “This morning, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner again tested negative for Covid-19.”

A White House official also tells CNN that Ivanka is planning to travel for campaign events next week.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear when President Trump will be tested again and whether those results would be disclosed publicly. The White House has repeatedly refused to say when he last tested negative, raising questions about the timeline of his disease.

2 hr 35 min ago

GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Haley Byrd

Rep. Mike Bost walks up the House steps in October 2019. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP

Rep. Mike Bost, an Illinois Republican, announced Friday he tested positive for coronavirus.

In a statement, he said he has not had a fever but experienced “a mild cough and a rapid loss of both taste and smell” and quickly got tested afterward.

He said staffers he has been in close contact with are quarantining and awaiting their own test results.

He indicated some of his constituents may have been exposed, saying he is beginning the process of reaching out to those he has met with in recent days.

“I am postponing my public event schedule but will continue conducting virtual meetings as I isolate at home. We are taking this situation seriously and will continue to serve the people of Southern Illinois while doing our best to ensure their health and safety,” he said. “I will provide additional updates in the days ahead and am anxious to get back to work as soon as I make a full recovery.”

Read his full statement:

2 hr 42 min ago

Another White House official, asked at least six times, can’t say when Trump tested negative

From CNN’s Betsy Klein

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern became the latest official to fail to provide an answer to the critical question of when the President last tested negative for coronavirus in a stunning and at times contentious exchange where he was asked at least six different ways and gave at least six non-answers.

Asked when the President last tested negative, he said, “We don’t have that, but we’re looking at this from a public health perspective in that when there’s an indication of a positive test or symptoms showing, then you go back to 48 hours, you do your contact tracing.”

Asked during an appearance on MSNBC whether there wasn’t a negative test or if he just didn’t have the information, after he previously said he’d look into it, he said, “We don’t have that – I don’t personally know.”

Asked once more, he said, “The President doesn’t check all his HIPAA rights at the door when he becomes president… Just because he’s president doesn’t mean he shares every single detail of his entire life.”

And on whether Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was the reason they would not provide the answer to that question, he said, “That is one reason. The fact of the matter is, there’s a reason to share certain information, it’s to prevent further transmission of the virus, it’s public health purposes and that’s what we’re doing.”

He claimed an answer on the last negative test “is not something that has the public health value.”

He attempted to suggest that in the days before he tested positive, “The president was socially distanced from people,” to which the host responded, “We have eyeballs.”

Asked if the President complied with the Cleveland Clinic debate requirements to be negative tested within 72 hours, he said, “You are very focused on looking backwards.”

Pressed again, he did not answer the question. Pressed once more, he criticized the host for not talking about other issues like stimulus.

Morgenstern also echoed White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s doubt on a Saturday event: “We’re looking at it and the doctors will be doing advance diagnostics… he won’t be out there unless it’s medically cleared,” he said, adding that there are “logistical considerations.”

He suggested Trump’s doctors “will certainly prove with medical evidence that there is no transmissibility of the virus,” but declined to provide specifics.

2 hr 44 min ago

Pelosi refuses to say whether she thinks 25th Amendment should be invoked for Trump

From CNN’s Clare Foran, Haley Byrd, Manu Raju and Lauren Fox 

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday refused to say whether she believes the 25th amendment should be invoked in President Trump’s case.

“That’s not for us to decide,” she said in response to a question from CNN’s Manu Raju.

Her comments came at a news conference where she and Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin discussed legislation that would codify how Congress could play a role in potentially removing a President under the 25th amendment. 

Here are key parts of the legislation:

  • The proposal would create a commission of 17 people — 8 appointed by Republicans and 8 appointed by Democrats — as well as a chair selected by the entire body.
  • That commission could study the President’s health as well as request an exam of the President. If the President refused, the commission could make a judgement on the President’s condition with the information they already had.
  • A majority of the commission could vote to remove the President, but only with the support of the Vice President.
  • Members of the commission would be made up of physicians as well as former executive office holders, and they could include people like past Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Secretaries of State.

Pelosi insisted repeatedly that the legislation is not specifically about President Trump and would instead apply to future Presidents.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of the voters, but he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents,” she said.

Pelosi said there should be a process in place in the event of an incapacitating event like a stroke, or if a president needs to be put on a ventilator.

“This legislation applies to future presidents, but we are reminded of the necessity of action by the health of the current president,” she said.

Pelosi downplayed her own public remarks in recent days about the President’s mental state while he is taking steroids. On Thursday she said Trump is in “an altered state right now.” On Friday, she said she doesn’t know all of the facts.

“What I said about the President and the drugs was there are those who believe that taking certain medications can affect your judgment. I don’t know. Let’s say what I actually said. I don’t know. That’s what I said on a call with my members,” she said.

She also said the legislation is not political. 

“It’s not about the election at all,” Pelosi told reporters.

During the news conference, Raskin said the measure “is really only for the most extreme situations where you have a president who cannot fulfill the functions of the office.”

“I wish that Congress had set up this permanent body 50 years ago, it did not do it, but we do need to do this, certainly in the next Congress,” Raskin said.

3 hr ago

New York governor: No matter your religion, “you have to follow the rules”

From CNN’s Aditi Sangal

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said protests by members of the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City in response to strict new coronavirus-related restrictions is “not a matter of religious freedom” and that the community has to “follow the rule.”

“I don’t care if you’re a Roman Catholic, you’re Jewish, you’re Muslim, you’re an atheist. You have to follow the rules of state, the laws of the state,” he said.

New York neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish communities have seen startling rises in Covid-19 cases and test positivity rate in recent weeks, alarming officials concerned about a new outbreak.

Cuomo acknowledged that with religious communities, it can become a “complicated” matter.

“The truth is, if you don’t follow the rules, the infection rate spreads, people get sick and then you make others sick. We’re talking about Brooklyn. We’re not talking about a hermetically sealed community in a rural area. This is in the middle of Brooklyn. They will make other people sick.”

Watch more from Cuomo:

2 hr 49 min ago

Two more White House staffers tested positive weeks ago

From CNN’s Jim Acosta and Kate Bennett

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Two additional members of the White House residence staff previously tested positive for coronavirus approximately three weeks ago, two White House officials confirmed to CNN.

The two cases were not related to the current White House outbreak, the officials said, and the staff members were not believed to have been in contact with the President or first lady. They both wore masks in the White House, per the officials.

The two infected staff went on leave to quarantine at their homes for two weeks, one official said.

A source familiar with residence protocols tells CNN the first lady “was informed of their conditions,” per working chain of command. The official did not comment as to whether the positive Covid-19 results of the residence employees was communicated to Melania Trump, who oversees all of the household staff as first lady. Nor did the official discuss whether contact tracing was conducted.

The two additional staff bring the number of residence staff who tested positive within the last 30 days to four. A source familiar also told CNN the two staffers who tested positive are now back at work in the residence, as are the other two cases who tested positive in what appears to have been an outbreak among residence staff approximately three weeks ago.

There have been cases at the White House during the pandemic that were not made public, the other official said, for privacy reasons.

This was first reported by the New York Times.

In the more recent White House outbreak, 20 people in President Trump’s orbit, himself included, have tested positive for coronavirus.

The President and first lady, nine White House staffers, three advisers who helped with debate preparations, four people who attended the potential “super spreader” Rose Garden event, and a military official who was at the White House on September 27 have all recently tested positive for coronavirus.

3 hr 26 min ago

Here’s what is on Trump and Biden’s campaign schedules today 

Getty Images

As President Trump continues to recover from Covid-19 and the next presidential debate remains in limbo, both Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden have campaign events slated on their schedules today.

  • Biden travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, today, where he will hold a drive-in event and deliver remarks to supporters in their cars at 5:15 p.m. ET. Yesterday, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris traveled to Arizona and kicked off a “Soul of the Nation” bus tour.
  • Trump joins radio host Rush Limbaugh’s show at 12:00 p.m. ET for what is being dubbed as a “virtual radio rally.” According to a statement from the Trump campaign, the President is “taking to the airwaves to speak directly to the American people about the Trump Administration’s record of Promises Made, Promises Kept.”

Meanwhile, the future of the next presidential debate is still unknown. The Biden campaign rejected Trump’s demand yesterday to delay each of the next two debates a week after the President said he would not participate in a virtual debate.

The Biden campaign then booked a town hall with ABC News on Oct. 15, the night of what would have been the town hall debate against Trump.