Monday morning news – October 5, 2020

Doctors say Trump is doing well despite complications over the weekend » President Trump posted a video message on Sunday thanking the staff at the military hospital in Maryland where he’s being treated for COVID-19. 

TRUMP: The work they do is just absolutely amazing and I want to thank them all. I also think we’re going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street. 

The president then briefly left the military hospital to greet supporters gathered outside.

He drove past in an armored SUV, waiving to supporters, but he remained in the vehicle. 

Hours earlier, the president’s medical team said he was doing well. And one of the president’s doctors, Dr. Brain Garibaldi told reporters…

GARIBALD: If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow. 

The White House said the president checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday “out of an abundance of caution” after testing positive the day before. 

But over the weekend, the White House sent mixed messages about his health.

While doctors expressed optimism publicly, chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Saturday—quote—“We’re still not on a clear path yet to a full recovery.”

The president’s chief physician, Dr. Sean Conley said the president had experienced a “high fever” and that his blood oxygen level dropped below normal levels on Friday and again on Saturday. 

CONLEY: Yesterday, there was another episode where he dropped down about 93 percent. He hasn’t ever felt short of breath. We watched it, and it returned back up. 

Blood oxygen saturation is a key health marker for COVID-19 patients. A normal reading is between 95 and 100.

But the president did receive a dose of the steroid dexamethasone in response. He also began a five-day course of the drug remdesivir on Friday.

Other GOP leaders, staffers, lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 » Numerous GOP politicians and staff members tested positive for COVID019 at about the same time as the president and the first lady this week. 

They include former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, White House adviser Hope Hicks, and Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Senators Thom Tillis, Ron Johnson, and Mike Lee also tested positive. 

Doctors have not pinpointed the exact time or place any of the GOP leaders were exposed to COVID-19. 

Given the recent outbreak, the Senate will postpone its floor proceedings until Oct. 19th. But will still hold a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett starting Oct. 12th.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer complained Sunday that the hearing should be delayed. 

SCHUMER: The idea of having virtual hearings where no one is with the witness for the highest court in the land, for a life appointment that would have such effect on people’s lives makes no sense. 

Schumer said “a virtual hearing is virtually no hearing at all.” 

But Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida said lawmakers can ask all the same questions whether it’s in person or online. 

SCOTT: You can go in person and social distance or you can do it virtually. So now, it shouldn’t slow it down. The Democrats, they just don’t want Amy Coney Barrett to be confirmed. I feel very comfortable that she has the votes. She’ll be confirmed the last week of October. 

Another Titans player, staff member test positive for COVID-19 » Meantime, the NFL’s Tennessee Titans are dealing with an outbreak of their own.

Another player and another staff member have tested positive for the coronavirus. That brings The Titans’ outbreak to 20 cases.

But the Associated Press reports that the rest of the NFL returned no new positives on Sunday. 

Calif. wildfires have now scorched 4 million acres » Deadly wildfires in California have now burned more than 4 million acres. CalFire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said that total is entirely unprecedented. 

COX: It’s never happened before in recorded history. The largest record we have before this for annual acreage burned was 1.5 million.

And the state hit the astonishing milestone Sunday with about two months left in the fire season. 

More than 8,200 wildfires have burned since the start of the year, scorching a combined area larger than Connecticut. About 17,000 firefighters are still battling nearly two dozen major blazes throughout the state.

But despite the grim milestone, firefighters welcomed a bit of good news over the weekend. 

Powerful winds that had been expected to drive flames in recent days didn’t materialize. And warnings of extreme fire danger for hot, dry, and gusty weather expired Saturday morning as a layer of fog rolled in. Clearer skies in some areas allowed large air tankers to drop retardant after being sidelined by smoky conditions.

(AP Photo/Phillip Crowther) In this image from video, President Donald Trump drives past supporters gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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