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tv   BBC News  BBC News  October 3, 2020 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news. i'm james reynolds. our top stories: president donald trump has been taken to hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with coronavirus. he left the white house unaided, wearing a mask. on twitter he said he was doing well. i am going to walter reed hospital. i think i am doing very well, but we are going to make sure that things work out. the first lady is doing very well. so thank you very much. i appreciate it. i will never forget it. thank you. he's already been treated with an antibody cocktail and vitamins. his doctors earlier said he was fatigued but in good spirits. we'll look at the possible health risks the president is facing.
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donald trump has been taken to the walter reed medical hospital as a precaution less than 2a hours after testing positive for coronavirus. his physician said he was feeling fatigued but in good spirits and is expected to spend the next few days there. here's our north america editorjon sopel. an extraordinary moment in an extraordinary day. the president leaves by marine one from the south lawn. destination walter — reed hospital. i think i am doing very well, but we're going to make sure that things work out. the first lady is doing very well. so thank you very much. i appreciate it, i will never forget it. thank you. but if the symptoms are mild, why is he having to go to hospital, particularly when the white house has its own medical unit with a team of doctors and nurses, and a well—equipped surgery?
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as you know, tonight's al smith dinner... on thursday night, in what appears to now be grim irony, the president made a speech from the white house about the pandemic. "the worst was behind us", he said. and i just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the greatest years in the history of our country. but then later that evening came a bombshell statement that will reverberate around the world. the most serious health issue to affect a serving president in decades. a hint of something being wrong came earlier in the evening when it announced that this woman, hope hicks, had contracted the virus. on wednesday she was part of the inner circle to travel with the president on the cramped marine one helicopter. none of them is wearing a mask. as donald trump seemed to dance with joy at the rally in duluth, minnesota, she had become symptomatic and was quarantined on air force one for the return journey to washington. the ripples of concern will reach everyone who has been in close contact with the president —
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not leastjoe biden, who shared a debate stage with him for a shouty 90 minutes on tuesday night. a debate where the president ripped into the democratic candidate for his mask wearing. i don't wear masks like him. every time you see him he has got a mask. he could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask i've ever seen. (laughs). and it was noticeable that none of the trump entourage wore face coverings. that actually violated the rules of the cleveland clinic which was in charge of all the safety issues inside the hall, which were that everybody except the president, the vice president and i were were not supposed to wear masks, i mean, were supposed to wear masks. the president has won masks in public on less than a handful of occasions, and his ambivalence towards them is evident. can you take it off because i cannot hear you. i will just speak louder sir. oh, ok, you want to be politically correct. i just don't want to wear one myself. it is a recommendation — they recommend it. i am feeling good.
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and he has been holding rallies as though covid was in the rearview mirror, with thousands turning up, no attempts at social distancing, few wearing masks. messages of support have come in from around the world. this from boris johnson, who has been where the president is now. i think we all want to send our best wishes to the president, and the first lady, and i have done that this morning, as you can imagine. and i am sure that they will both stage a very strong recovery. and messages of support too from political rivals. this from joe biden, who has tested negative. my wifejill and i pray that they will make a quick and full recovery. this is not a matter of politics. it's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously. but another leading democrat, the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, comes very to saying to the president, "serves you right." this is tragic — it's very sad. but it also is something that... again, going into crowds,
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unmasked and all the rest, was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen. the president has now left the white house and is in the care of the medical teams at walter reed medical centre, to the north of washington. it is an unbelievable series of developments that have taken place today. two days ago, no—one could have imagined this. but now the president has coronavirus and he is in hospital, and who knows how the election will unfold. let's show you the scene live at the hospital. you can see this as the perimeter of the hospital, where there is a small group of pro— trump supporters, and inside that facility the president is now beginning his first night in the hospital, not farfrom all the hospital, not farfrom all the other correspondence. i'm joined now by
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barbara plett usher. i guess for the next few days the hospital behind you becomes a kind of medically fortified white house. yes, that's probably a good way of putting it, james, because the white house has made it very clear that although mr trump is a patient here, he is also still the president and is continuing his presidential duties. he is still in charge, he hasn't handed them over to the vice president, which would be the constitutional process if he felt he was incapacitated. i think the whole process of him getting to the hospital was a message that he was not incapacitated. he walked to the helicopter, marine one, and when it landed here he walked out of it. he waved to that handful of supporters who frankly keep driving up and down the street shouting at the moment, and then he walked into the hospital, and we understand went straight up to the presidential suite. it is equipped for him to continue his work as long as he is not seriously ill. it has all the things he needs. it has office
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space and space for his secret service and his communications. it has places for him to eat and cook — not that he would do his own cooking, i'm sure — and it has a dedicated medical team as well as its own intensive ca re as well as its own intensive care unit. so it's all there, and he tweeted out actually a tweet just as and he tweeted out actually a tweetjust as he landed here. i think it's the one you played. that was his message to show that he is taking precautions but still says he doesn't feel that bad. that was about three hours ago, and he hasn't tweeted anything since. hours ago, and he hasn't tweeted anything sincelj follow the american media. there's been criticism of the information the white house has given out about the american president was ‘s health. is the white house expected to deliver regular updates on the president's health? have they given any guidance on that? not that i'm aware of, no. they have put out a few notices today. but this day was pretty chaotic. so it may have been
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that they were trying to keep a lid on the information, but it may also have been that they we re may also have been that they were trying to figure out what the information was, quite frankly, because at one point we we re frankly, because at one point we were told that he would be staying in the white house, and suddenly on the advice of medical experts and physicians he would be coming here. again, we understood that he would be participating in a call with governors. at least they got an e—mail saying there would be a call with the president, and vice president mike pence stepped in instead to take that call, so he had no events today, even though he had one scheduled to which he didn't show up. i will have to see how it plays out and whether there comes to be a more formatted element to this, a more structured, in terms of the information. but what we do know is that he does not have anything on his schedule. i have received the presidential guidance for tomorrow, and it says the president has no events says the president has no eve nts o n says the president has no events on his schedule. barbara, we don't expect you to
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mount a 24—hour watch where you are, can we expect visitors to come and waved through the glass? can we expect aides to come with papers for the president to sign? or do we expect, as that blank schedule you just mentioned suggests, that the president might now be com pletely that the president might now be completely cut off? that's a good question. i think the issue would be infection, of course. at the moment the white house has been scrambling to contact trace all the people who have been in touch with the presidents over the past week, and they have been considerable, because he has done a considerable, because he has doneafair considerable, because he has done a fair bit of travelling. he was that at least three rallies, one debate and one ceremony. so i think the concern would be to keep the infection breakdown. we will have to see how they manage that. he is also on the telephone, presumably on other media, whereby he can communicate. that might be the way they do it, and perhaps the
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hospital has its own protocols that he would have to abide by. we will have to wait and see. we will have to wait and see. we do know that he has received letters, or a letter or a notice or message of condolence from kim jong—un, the notice or message of condolence from kimjong—un, the north korean leader, who has wished him a quick recovery and that he knew he would overcome it. this is of course the latest instalment and is quite extraordinary exchange of letters that a veteran journalist has called the diplomatic courtship which the president is called love letters. kim jong—un has entered the picture here on this very tumultuous day as well. bedside reading, i'm sure. our north america correspondent, peter bowes, told us what future campaigning for the election might look like now the president is in hospital. it will be a campaign like no
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other, and we are already seeing signs of course from joe biden that everything has changed. the democrats, the biden campaign, have pulled what they called "negative ads", the attack ads that we always see and they increase in intensity as the election campaign goes on, criticising the other candidate. so clearlyjoe biden will continue with his campaign, but he will focus on talking about his policies and what he will do if he is elected america's next president. and clearly central to that will be the coronavirus. and i don't think he is going to shy away from criticising the president over his past statements and past attitude towards the virus, because that is central to at least howjoe biden sees america's predicament right now, with a number of cases rising in some states, with more than 200,000 americans having been killed by the virus. directly blaming the trump administration's slow response, mr trump's refusal to be totally open with the american
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public about the severity of the virus again earlier in the year. that will be a running theme, but those personal criticisms, those personal attacks that we see during the campaign at this time of year will not be happening. the next presidential debate is scheduled for october 15, so what happens to that? we don't know — we really don't know the course of this disease as far as the president is concerned. we don't know whether he will just be in hospital as the white house is suggesting right now, just for a few days while he is looked at by the medical experts, and his situation is gauged in terms of where he is fighting covid—i9. but we know for the example of so many other people that is very unpredictable. what is certain is that the president won't be doing any of his rallies.
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it seems unlikely that he won't be able to part in at least that first debate, but everything hinges on the president's health. what might the vice president, mike pence do, might we see him try to substitute for the president and the rallies himself, or not? it is always a possibility. the white house for the time being has ruled out the possibility of mike pence taking over the presidential duties, mr trump remains in charge. of course mike pence has his own debate next week against vice presidential candidate there is only as far as we understand that we still go ahead. mike pence will be focused on that. whether he will then take over perhaps some of the duties of the president in terms of appearing in front of huge crowds, which of course have been much criticised and again go to the central issue that is a lack of social distancing, the use of masks, again whether mike pence would step into that role,
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it is difficult to see because he is a very different person, a very different personality and politician to donald trump. donald trump revels in that situation. he enjoys talking off—the—cuff. that is not the style of mike pence. so maybe a political decision will be made on the trump side as to whether it would indeed be beneficial to put mike pence in that kind of situation. what do you make of the president's condition and also the information that the white house is giving about his condition? what i make of the condition? what i make of the condition is that we have learned a lot in the past 2a hours, and we keep hearing more news. in terms of a critical illness, more news is never good news, unless it is explicitly good news, such as — the president is feeling better, the president is ready to go home. any developments we
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are hearing keep adding to this overall picture that this is not going as well as one would hope. however, we still have a long way to go before we can say that this is over and that we are through the worst of it, oi’ we are through the worst of it, or we can say that things could get much worse. so at the moment it's very tense, because things have developed extremely quickly. i think that that can happen with coronavirus, but in a lot of those cases those are the ones that do catch our attention and deserve extra attention. what kind of things will doctors be looking for as they have him now in front of them in walter reed? if you wa nt to them in walter reed? if you want to follow the evidence—based approach, using the best data we have come up with, the things that really matter right now are his oxygen levels and just how fast he is breathing, and whether or not he develops any sign of any organ dysfunction. those are the prognostic indicators that would tell us we have not a mild or moderate case but a severe or critical case. the
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treatment such as dexamethasone, which british trials have shown to help the most severe cases, become helpful for patients who require oxygen and would even require oxygen and would even require mechanical ventilation, things like remdesevir are helpful for patients who have a more serious illness but not the most severe. so right now, if you want to tailor his treatment, you really need to look at the patient as a whole and try to forget that he is the president and treat him like a normal person, and from there it is actually straightforward. of course, we have been told he has significant risk factors. his age, the weight he carries, the fa ct age, the weight he carries, the fact he is a man, these are all factors which will clearly be concerning to doctors? from the very beginning of this crisis we have known a lot about who is most at risk. unfortunately, we have learned that the risk is not just limited to we have learned that the risk is notjust limited to people of that demographic. our initial impression about this virus is that it hits people in that demographic, the bill that
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you just described, perfectly, the hardest. and among those who have to be admitted to the hospital, the risk is much higher. again, we are left to wonder, is he hospitalised because he needs to be hospitalised because he is the president of the united states and it was advised to have a bit more close monitoring? that is hard to know. so hopefully, for him, he is being admitted to hospital because he is president, not because he would be if he were any other patient. an interesting distinction. doctorjeremy faust, thank you so much. thank you. you are watching bbc news. the headlines: president donald trump has been taken to a military hospital as a precaution after being diagnosed with coronavirus. he's already been treated with a cocktail of antibodies and vitamins. his doctors have said he's fatigued but in good spirits. the president has been given a treatment that involves an injection of antibodies, similar to a system currently being trialled in the uk, to see if its effective against coronavirus. our science correspondent, rebecca morelle, explains the thinking
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behind it. how does this work? when a person is infected with coronavirus, they produce antibodies. these attach to this spike of the virus, blocking it from entering our cells. we make hundreds of different types of antibodies, so scientists sifted through them to find the best at sticking to the virus. they chose two because they both attach to slightly different parts of the spike, so if the virus mutates and the structure changes, at least one will still work. both antibodies are then multiplied in the lab and produced in huge quantities. they are then mixed together and given to the patient, immediately boosting their own immune response. it's well known that the older you are and the heavier you are, the higher the chance of having serious complications with covid—i9. our medical editor, fergus walsh, looks at the possible risk to president trump's health. donald trump has several
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factors which raise his risk profile for coronavirus — his age, weight, and being a man. at 7a, he's often insisted how healthy he is, despite a love of burgers and hot dogs. age is the biggest risk factorfor covid—i9. in the united states, eight out of ten deaths have been among the over—65s. the risk of dying for somebody aged 65 to 7a is 90 times higher than for someone in their 20s. to put that in context, a recent international study found that once infected with coronavirus, the chances of dying were around one in 100 at age 65, one in 25 at 75, and one in seven at 85. the president and first lady of the united states... the first lady, melania trump, is just 50, 2a years younger than donald trump, and physically fit, so her risk from covid should be low. the president is six foot three
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and weighs more than 17 stone, putting him in the obese category — another red flag. his medical team will be on constant guard for any change in his condition. often patients have quite mild symptoms to start with and then it's as if they drop off a cliff and suddenly it gets worse, and that can happen really within hours. i don't think they can be sure for approximately ten days. if then he really hasn't developed any worse symptoms, he seems to be controlling the virus in his throat and his nose, then i think they will relax. i have a temperature... it was nine days after testing positive for coronavirus before boris johnson was admitted to hospital in early april.
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he spent three nights in intensive care and says the nhs saved his life. another leader who got covid was president bolsonaro of brazil. he had few symptoms and dismissed the virus as a measly cold. it's impossible to predict how any individual will cope with covid. many people never develop any symptoms at all. and there are treatments now which have helped improve survival rates for what can be a brutal disease. fergus walsh, bbc news. del quentin wilber is an investigative reporter for the los angeles times and also author of the book rawhide down: the near assassination of ronald reagan. earlier i spoke to him about the importance of donald trump's walk from the white house to marine one. seeing president reagan walking was also relevant when he was shot in 1981. well, it was a very important to ronald reagan, back in 1981, to ronald reagan, back in 1981, to demonstrate he wasn't in trouble. he wasn't on live
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television when he did that, right? in fact, television when he did that, right? infact, it television when he did that, right? in fact, it happened so quickly after the assassination attempt, three minutes, but he arrived at the hospital, he was doing it mostly to send a message to those around him. like, ican message to those around him. like, i can do this. and then, as we know, he got into the hospital and managed to walk 35 feet before he collapsed like a deadweight into the arms of his agents. and we learned he had been shot and nearly killed. reagan lost more than half his blood that day and a bullet was extracted just one inch from his heart. but to your point about it being important for donald trump to be seen walking to the helicopter, it goes, actually, to the next day after reagan had been shot, after he had been shot, he had to sign a dairy bill, and it is kind of crazy, dairy bill, but if he didn't sign the bill it wouldn't go into effect, and they were desperate to make sure he could sign it, his aides, to send the message that the president was ok and doing
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hisjob. so they the president was ok and doing his job. so they went into his room the next morning after he had been shot and he scrawled, you can see how messy his signature is, i think that is the moment that is more analogous today, they are trying to demonstrate that the president is doing hisjob and is ok. because you have to send a message. you don't want to send a message that the president is in dire straits. do americans tend to rally around a leader who is struck down either by a bullet, and this case a virus? absolutely. there is a big sympathy factor. we don't want the president, the don, people are praying for him to get better. —— the president to die. reagan, when he got shot, there was a lot of goodwill from people but it went beyond sympathy. reagan was a very humble person. he showed a lot of courage when he was shot. when he saw his wife, she walked into the emergency room that he was in the trauma bay with his chest tube drowned into his side, draining all this blood, he looked at his wife and the first thing he said was, "honey, iforgot to duck". he was not worried about himself, he was worried about
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those around him. those m essa g es those around him. those messages and the quips issued that they got out, and it formed a bond with the american people because it reinforced the image of who ronald reagan really was. he was a cowboy. the situation is a bit different. for months, tom has been downplaying the seriousness of the virus, right? only old people get it, it will go away, it is a hoax. he said all these things, and now he has it. and he is in some parol is going to the hospital, you know, for several days. —— some peril if he is going to the hospital. it is a different situation. in your book you wrote about the confusion about who might take over president reagan's powers if necessary. was anything learned from that confusion in 1981 which could be applicable either now or in future cases? absolutely. so, when reagan was shot, there was a great deal of debate about whether to invoke something called the 25th amendment, so, the constitution allows you to transfer power temporarily from the president to the vice president if the president is incapacitated. they didn't do it, but now, the
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people involved in those decisions agree that probably should have, it is the president was unconscious in surgery and couldn't have made any presidential decisions, like launching missiles or defending the country. so if the president gets to the point where he can't execute the job, thenit where he can't execute the job, then it is incumbent upon the vice president and the majority of the cabinets to inform congress but, hey, the vice president is acting president until the president gets better. i am until the president gets better. iam not until the president gets better. i am not sure we are anywhere close to that yet, and the president was obviously able to give a video, which he recorded tonight for the american people, and he was seen walking to the helicopter. my seen walking to the helicopter. my gut feeling is that he is probably just my gut feeling is that he is probablyjust going to rest a lot and get a lot of fluids in the hospital where they will keep a close eye on him. del clinton there. —— keep a close eye on him. del clinton there. -- quentin. let's show you the scene live at the hospital. this is outside the walter reed hospital in washington. the white house as it expects the president to be there for several days. it has prepared
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an entire presidential facility for him. in the meantime, of course, the presidential campaign goes on, despite the fa ct campaign goes on, despite the fact that one candidate is now in hospital. hello there. scotland, northern ireland didn't fare too badly on friday with some good spells of sunshine around, some pleasant sunset scenes as well. but for england and wales, it really was pretty atrocious. wet and windy — all courtesy of storm alex — and it looks like all areas willjoin in with the heavy rain this weekend, including scotland and northern ireland. could cause some transport disruption, some flooding in places, and the winds will be quite a feature too. so for saturday, it looks thoroughly wet to start the day across much of england and wales, eastern scotland, that rain also drifting a little bit further westwards at times. but meanwhile, it will be clearing a little bit from the south—east, so here, we could see some brightness into the afternoon, but it stays windy. south wales into south—west england, those temperatures pretty disappointing — the low teens for most of us, could see 16 in the south—east. but it's the rainfall amounts we are most concerned about this weekend.
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saturday into sunday morning, amber warnings issued for parts of wales, the south—west of england and also for the east and north—east of scotland. areas here, certainly over the high ground, could see in excess of two inches of rain, so flooding is likely to be an issue here. as we move through saturday night then, that rain really piles its way westwards, affecting northern ireland as well. winds will be quite strong across the south—west. temperatures a little bit lower than what we had for the previous night — typically around 9—10 degrees. now, this new area of low pressure will be sitting right across the uk as we head on into part two of the weekend. it will be sending bands of cloud and rain around the country, mainly around its periphery, where we will also see the strongest of the winds — gale force winds at times here — but in the centre of it, winds not quite as strong. and we should see some sunshine and that will set off a few heavy, maybe thundery showers. and again, those temperatures pretty disappointing — in the low teens for most.
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as we move out of sunday into monday, our area of low pressure begins to fill somewhat, begins to weaken a little bit, but it is still going to be enough to generate showers or longer spells of rain, certainly around the edges. fairly strong winds, too, though those winds will continue to ease down. central areas will see the lightest of winds with some sunny spells through monday afternoon, but that could set off some heavy, maybe thundery showers again. temperatures again low teens for most but we could make 15 or 16 in the south—east, given some sunshine and light winds. but it remains unsettled as we head through the new week, certainly for england and wales, with a high chance of heavy showers and sunny spells.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump has been admitted to the walter reed military hospital in washington to undergo medical tests as a precautionary measure after having contracted coronavirus. earlier the president's doctor released a statement saying mr trump was fatigued but in good spirits and he was expected to continue to work. president trump has been receiving an experimental drug to treat his coronavirus infection. it is a synthetic antibody cocktail which has not yet been tested on a large scale. early results from a small trial showed a decline in virus levels after patients had been given a high dose of the drug. mr trump's democratic challenger, joe biden, has twice tested negative for the virus following tuesday's debate. he's continued his campaign with a speech in michigan. he announced


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