Trump stays out of sight after returning to White House

Trump stays out of sight after returning to White House
The president remains largely isolated in White House residence (Alex Brandon/AP)

US president Donald Trump remained out of sight for a second day on Wednesday as he recovers from Covid-19, with the White House offering scant details about his health and activities.

Lashing out on Twitter, the president remains largely isolated in White House residence, where aides were instructed to take extensive precautions to prevent themselves from catching coronavirus from the contagious president.

Mr Trump’s physicians have not provided a substantive update on his health since Monday afternoon, including his medications and potential long-term health impacts from the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans and reached into the upper echelons of the US government.

President Donald Trump on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as returned to the White House on Monday (Alex Brandon/AP)

As Mr Trump convalesced, he again publicly played down the virus on Twitter after his return from a three-day stay in hospital, though even more aides tested positive, including one of his closest advisers, Stephen Miller.

All told more than a dozen White House staffers have tested positive.

In one significant national coronavirus action, Mr Trump declared there would be no action before the election on economic-stimulus legislation — an announcement that came not long after the Federal Reserve chairman said such help was essential for recovery with the nation reeling from the human and economic cost of the pandemic.

Stocks fell on the White House news.

He later tweeted his support for a range of stimulus proposals that appear to be a political non-starter before election day.

As for Mr Trump’s own recovery, his doctor, Navy Commander Sean Conley, said in a brief Tuesday letter that the president had a “restful” Monday night at the White House and “reports no symptoms”.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump was grappling with the next political steps exactly four weeks from election day.

Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was planning to attend next week’s debate with Democrat Joe Biden in Miami and “It will be great!”

Mr Biden, for his part, said he and Mr Trump “shouldn’t have a debate” as long as the president remains Covid-19 positive.

Mr Biden told reporters in Pennsylvania that he was “looking forward to being able to debate him” but said “we’re going to have to follow very strict guidelines”.

(PA Graphics)

Elsewhere in the government, the scope of the outbreak was still being uncovered.

On Tuesday, the nation’s top military leaders including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and the vice chairman, General John Hyten, were in quarantine after exposure to Admiral Charles W Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard.

It was not known how Adm Ray contracted the virus, but he attended an event for military families at the White House on September 27. The Coast Guard said in a statement that Adm Ray felt mild symptoms over the weekend and was tested on Monday.

Mr Trump was working out of makeshift office space on the ground floor of the White House residence, in close proximity to the White House Medical Unit’s office suite, with only a few aides granted a face-to-face audience.

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