Coronavirus live updates: Trump breaks quarantine; New England Journal of Medicine says Trump must go; New Yorkers protest shutdown orders


President Donald Trump has returned to the Oval Office, breaking quarantine despite recommendations from his doctors that he remain in the White House residence.

Trump’s first signs of symptoms came a week ago; he returned to the Oval Office on Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that COVID-19 patients quarantine for at least 10 days after the first sign of symptoms.

Trump — who appeared to have a relatively severe case of COVID-19, requiring supplemental oxygen and taking intravenous drugs — may even need to quarantine for longer, as the CDC says that patients with severe cases “likely remain infectious no longer than 20 days after symptom onset.”

That said, Trump shows no signs of slowing down. He repudiated the Commission on Presidential Debates’ decision to move the second presidential debate to a virtual format, calling it a “joke.” He said he will not be participating. There will be the possibility, however, that an event will be held on Monday in Pittsburgh, an aide told USA TODAY.

Some significant developments:

    Second Lady Karen Pence is being criticized for not wearing a mask when she greeted her husband on stage at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.The head of the White House security office is gravely ill with COVID-19 and has been hospitalized since September.Protesters gathered for a second night in New York on Wednesday in defiance of new shutdown orders in some of the city’s neighborhoods that have seen concerning spikes in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

📈 Today’s numbers:  The United States has reported more than 7.5 million cases and more than 211,000 deaths. Eleven states set records for new cases over the just-ended seven-day period while three states had a record number of deaths. The world has seen over 36 million cases and over 1 million people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

📰 What we’re reading: As winter approaches, restaurants in locations with colder weather nationwide are envisioning new ways to keep outdoor dining open. That means you may end up dining in a heated tent, or better yet, an “igloo.”

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

Med journal writes first-ever editorial against Trump for COVID-19 response

In a historic move, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial on Wednesday condemning President Donald Trump and his administration for their response to the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in it’s 208-year history, it called for current leadership to be voted out of office.

In an editorial signed by nearly three dozen editors, the journal said the Trump administration has “taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy” regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, writing the “magnitude of this failure is astonishing.”

– Savannah Behrmann

What can we expect from a winter COVID-19 second wave?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have predicted that we would have a terrible winter — as more people spend more time indoors, travel for the holidays, and struggle with conflicting messages from national and local leaders.

No one really knows what the next few months will bring, but clues point to a mixed bag. Lots of inexpensive, readily available, fast tests will be available in the coming months, and at least one vaccine is likely to win preliminary approval by the end of the year. That said, we can’t let up yet.

“Things are likely to get bad in the winter if what we continue to do is relax measures in places where COVID-19 cases are high or increasing,” said Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor at Northeastern University in Boston, where he directs the school’s Emergent Epidemics Lab.

– Karen Weintraub

American Lung Association wants to dispel COVID-19 misinformation

The rash of coronavirus infections emanating from the White House, followed by President Donald Trump’s tweeted advice to the nation – “Don’t be afraid of Covid’’ – prompted the American Lung Association to issue guidance for those confronting the disease in hopes of dispelling misinformation.

A statement from ALA chief medical officer Dr. Albert Rizzo largely reiterates info from the CDC, counseling members of the public who get infected to isolate for 10 days from the point of getting a positive test result or develop symptoms, to work with a contact-tracing team and to consult with a doctor without leaving the house, possibly through telemedicine.

But they come at a time of increased skepticism about the government’s instructions regarding the virus and fatigue about restrictions.


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