First Thing election special: Trump’s breathless return to the White House | News from the United States

Good morning. For the remainder of the election season, First Thing will be dedicated to covering the most important stories of the campaign journey – and some smaller but no less relevant from off the beaten track. But today’s headline news is inevitable …

A still contagious Donald Trump returned to the White House from Walter Reed Military Hospital on Monday night and immediately took off his mask for a photo shoot on the Truman balcony, where he appeared to be short of breath as he posed for the cameras. In a video of the campaign shot moments later, however, the president insisted he was better after three days of hospital treatment for Covid-19 – and possibly even “immune” to the disease.


‘Don’t be afraid’: Trump removes mask as he returns to the White House

Trump’s declared desperation to leave the hospital and return to campaign while still in the throes of the disease is a sign of his willingness to sacrifice everyone, even those closest to him, to spare himself the humiliation of a presidency of a only sent, writes Julian Borger. : “It has produced a workplace that is toxic to the point of being potentially lethal.”

  • White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has tested positive for Covid-19, he announced on Monday.

  • Another guest of the Rose Garden event also for Amy Coney Barrett it tested positive. Mega-church pastor Greg Laurie said in a Facebook post that his symptoms were so far “mild”.

Trump’s team and the rest of the world might have hoped that the president would learn something from his personal experience of the virus, Francine Prose writes:


We like to believe that suffering instructs and ennobles; that our pain, fear and pain increase our sympathy for the pain, fear and pain of others. But once again, Donald Trump appears to be uneducable, impervious to shame, guilt or any sense of personal responsibility, unaffected by anything but vanity, selfishness and reckless self-esteem.

Fauci thinks an experimental antibody treatment helped Trump


“It’s still early”: Anthony Fauci warns that Trump’s conditions could “reverse” – video

The administration’s top coronavirus expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned on Monday that Trump was “still early” in the potential progression of Covid-19 and that the president could still undergo a “reversal.” Walter Reed’s doctors also explained that although Trump met the criteria for discharge, “he was not out of the woods yet.”

In the same interview with CNN, Dr. Fauci said he suspected Trump’s condition had improved thanks to an experimental antibody cocktail from drug manufacturer Regeneron, which has yet to be approved by the FDA but was given to Trump for reasons. ” compassionate “.

Biden’s blunt message to Trump: ‘masks matter’


‘Masks Matter’: Biden says Trump is responsible for coronavirus contraction – video

A recent poll found that two out of three people believe Trump bears some personal responsibility for contracting the coronavirus. Joe Biden, who appeared at an NBC television town hall event in Miami on Monday night, said he agreed with them. “Whoever contracts the virus is essentially saying, masks don’t matter, social distances don’t matter, I think he’s responsible for what happens to them,” the Democratic candidate told Lester Holt.


I hope that the president after going through what he’s been through – and I’m glad he seems to be doing well enough – can deliver the right lesson to the American people. Masks matter. These masks matter. It matters. Save lives. Prevents the spread of the disease.

A vice president debate with the highest stakes




Kamala Harris and Mike Pence will be separated by plexiglass barriers on Wednesday.



Kamala Harris and Mike Pence will be separated by plexiglass barriers on Wednesday. Composite: Reuters / AP

Mike Pence tested negative for Covid-19 and coronavirus protections will be even stricter in Wednesday’s vice president debate in Ann Arbor than they were in last week’s clash between Trump and Biden, with Pence and his opponent, Kamala Harris. , to be. separated by plexiglass barriers.

Yet the virus will still be inevitable in an event with two running mates whose willingness to take over the main job is more relevant than ever, writes David Smith. Trump’s infection has raised the question of whether Pence may have to assume the presidency before November 3. And there is widespread speculation that Biden, who will be 78 by inauguration day, intends to be a single-term president and pass the baton to Harris in 2024.

In other election news …




Melania Trump



Melania Trump called Stormy Daniels ‘the porn prostitute’ Photograph: Carolyn Kaster / AP
  • Melania Trump discussed Stormy Daniels on a covert tape from her then friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, in whom the first lady called the adult movie star, who claims she had an affair with her husband, “the porn whore.”

  • The head of a Christian organization has designated an LGBTQ + “I hate group of Southern Poverty Law Center attended the White House event announcing Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s choice for the supreme court.

Stat of the day

At least 30 people have now tested positive in the Trump Covid-19 outbreak, according to Politico’s tally, including at least 11 people who helped organize the presidential debate in Cleveland and three members of the White House press.

Don’t miss this

In the April Wisconsin primary, more than 79,000 ballots in the mail arrived after election day and were counted only thanks to a court order. in 2016 Trump won the state with just under 23,000 votes. Sam Levine reports on the legal battles over voting in the US states and how they could still affect the outcome in November.

Right view

Trump seemed to think that returning to the White House and removing his mask would project strength, writes anti-Trump Republican Tim Miller for The Bulwark. Instead, it was just weird.


A madman, his face covered in a 2mm layer of orange powder, pulled up on steroids, straining to breathe – and not caring about anyone around him.

Last thing: Trump-era art




Clockwise from left: Benicio del Toro in Soldado, Terrance Hayes, Donald Trump, The Leftovers, CocoRosie, Sweat.



Clockwise from left: Benicio del Toro in Soldado, Terrance Hayes, Donald Trump, The Leftovers, CocoRosie, Sweat. Composite: Allstar / Columbia Pictures / Getty / Joan Marcus / Van Redin / HBO

Trump’s presidential term has inspired a vibrant array of art and pop culture, not all in homage. Guardian writers ponder examples from architecture to comedy, while Nadja Sayej reports on a new auction of leading artists to raise money for the Biden campaign.

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