Doctor says Trump is symptom-free as election fight looms
By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's doctor said on Wednesday the president has had no COVID-19 symptoms for the past 24 hours, as the Republican seeks ways to get back to a normal working schedule and revive his struggling re-election bid with four weeks left until U.S. Election Day. White House physician Sean Conley said in a statement that Trump has been fever-free for more than four days and has not needed or received any supplemental oxygen since his initial hospitalization, which began on Friday
By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's doctor said on Wednesday the president has had no COVID-19 symptoms for the past 24 hours, as the Republican seeks ways to get back to a normal working schedule and revive his struggling re-election bid with four weeks left until U.S. Election Day.
White House physician Sean Conley said in a statement that Trump has been fever-free for more than four days and has not needed or received any supplemental oxygen since his initial hospitalization, which began on Friday.
Since he returned to the White House in a dramatic display before cameras on Monday, Trump has not been seen in public or on video, although his Twitter account has been busy sending messages attacking opponents and downplaying the coronavirus pandemic.
Conley said Trump's physical exam and vital signs "all remain stable and in normal range."
Tests from Monday showed Trump had evidence of coronavirus antibodies, which are protective against the infection, the doctor said. A spokeswoman for Regeneron
Despite his illness, Trump has been looking for ways to get his election message out and cut into Democrat Joe Biden's lead in battleground states where the Nov. 3 election will be decided, advisers said.
They said they had been discussing Trump delivering a national address, while a speech to senior voters is being contemplated for Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence's debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City will take center stage of the campaign on Wednesday evening.
Aides say Trump is impatient to get back on the campaign trail and insistent on going ahead with the next debate on Oct. 15 in Miami, but Biden said on Tuesday he will not participate if Trump is not virus-free.
The White House's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said on Wednesday that Trump was eager to get back to work in the Oval Office. He has been working from a makeshift space in his residence in the White House since returning from hospital.
"He wanted to go to the Oval yesterday. If he decides to go the Oval we've got safety protocols there," Meadows told reporters, adding there would be adequate personal protective equipment and ventilation.
Any political boost Trump could get from a fresh injection of stimulus money into Americans' pockets appears to be out of reach after he abruptly ended negotiations with Democrats on Tuesday, with both sides far apart on how much money to devote to a deal.
Both Biden and the top Democrat in the U.S. Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accused Trump of abandoning needy Americans. Republican Senator Susan Collins, facing a tough re-election bid in her home state of Maine, called Trump's move a "huge mistake."
"The president turned his back on you," Biden said in a Twitter post.
With layoffs in key industries mounting by the day and threatening the fragile recovery, Trump late on Tuesday urged Congress to quickly pass $25 billion in funding for passenger airlines, $135 billion for small businesses and provide $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans.
But White House officials on Wednesday downplayed the likelihood of any kind of stimulus being passed before the election.
Trump's drive to get Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court by the Republican-controlled Senate before the election also may be in doubt, since three Republican senators have been infected with the coronavirus and may not be able to vote.
A wave of infections at the White House among Trump's top lieutenants and press office aides has left the West Wing struggling to find its footing. ABC News said its count of cases related to the White House was now 23, including Trump and his wife, Melania.
Trump has attempted to use his coronavirus infection to his political advantage, making a prime-time exit from Walter Reed military hospital on Monday and whipping off his face mask before the cameras on his return to the White House.
He depicted himself as a man who vanquished the disease and emerged stronger, telling Americans: "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life."
But Trump's handling of the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States, has been met with skepticism from many Americans.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted Oct. 2-6, found that 38% of adults approved of Trump's handling of the coronavirus , while 56% said they disapproved.
The poll found that 79% of U.S. adults, including 94% of registered Democrats and 70% of registered Republicans, said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned personally about the spread of the virus.
Advisers say Trump wanted to be talking about other issues instead of the virus by this stage of the campaign, to put pressure on Biden. Opinion polls show Trump down double digits, and Biden with sizeable leads in many swing states.
Trump had been expected to go on tour this week through Western states to raise millions of dollars for a campaign facing a deficit to Biden's well-funded effort.
One adviser noted that almost exactly four years ago in 2016, Trump's campaign was knocked off the rails by release of an "Access Hollywood" tape in which he boasted about groping women. He went on to beat the odds and win the election.
"He's the real comeback kid and if anybody can come back from something it's him," the adviser said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert and Chris Kahn; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Rosalba O'Brien)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.