Now What? Questions, Answers, and Updates On Trump’s Coronavirus News
What we know, what we don’t, and what we’re getting answers for
Like so much else in the Trump era, the news that the president tested positive for the coronavirus that has already killed 208,000 Americans is both huge news and not entirely surprising, given the lax coronavirus prevention protocols maintained by the president’s campaign for reelection. It also raises a lot of questions.
We’ll be gathering those questions below, adding new ones, and getting answers as they arise, so stay tuned throughout the day for updates from Garance Franke-Ruta and Max Ufberg and, as always, follow Medium’s Coronavirus Blog.
How is Trump doing?
Trump is not asymptomatic. On Friday evening, he was taken to Walter Reed Military Medical Center. “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,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. Earlier Friday, A Bloomberg News reporter was told the president has for days been experiencing intense fatigue — a Covid-19 symptom. Trump has “cold-like symptoms” and appeared “lethargic” at a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday, the New York Times reported. First lady Melania Trump also has “mild symptoms,” she tweeted. Symptom onset from time of infection is most commonly five or six days, though it can be as fast as two days and as slow as 14 or (in rare cases) more.
Did Trump expose or infect Joe Biden during the debate?
Biden and Trump spent over 90 minutes in an auditorium debating on Tuesday night. Their podiums were 12 feet apart inside the debate hall, they did not shake hands, and they also did not wear masks while debating. Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at George Mason University, told The Guardian on Friday it was “entirely possible” Biden had been exposed. Joe and Jill Biden were tested Friday morning and tested negative, but false negatives are possible early after exposure and they will likely need to continue to monitor for symptoms.