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Rep. McCarthy rips Pelosi for 'unbecoming' reaction to Trump coronavirus diagnosis: 'rather disgusting'

Leader McCarthy calls Pelosi’s reaction to Trump coronavirus diagnosis ‘disgusting’

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., discusses President Trump’s health condition and developments on Russian intelligence.

GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy argued there should be more consideration for the well-being of President Trump and others following the commander in chief's coronavirus diagnosis.

McCarthy, R-Calif., told “Sunday Morning Futures” that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to the news was “rather disgusting.” Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump’s behavior a “brazen invitation” to the diagnosis.

“This is uncalled for, especially in this time and place,” he said. “Other nations are watching America. This is the one time we could unite together… [Trump] is sitting here trying to work with this speaker to get a COVID relief package together and these are the comments that she makes? It’s really unbecoming of that position.”

TRUMP TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: HERE'S WHO ELSE IS POSITIVE, AND WHO'S NEGATIVE

The leader recalled having a conversation with the president Friday night and said he was most worried about the others who had also contracted the virus. He said Trump appreciated the well wishes but was still hard at work.

President Donald Trump waves to members of the media as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington. October 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

McCarthy also reacted to recently released, declassified Russian intelligence, suggesting that Hillary Clinton approved a plan in July 2016 to stir up scandal between then-candidate Trump and President Vladimir Putin.

The information was swapped in a Sept. 29 letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

FRED FLEITZ: REPORT CLAIMS HILLARY OK'D EFFORT TO DEFEAT TRUMP IN 2016 WITH FALSE RUSSIA COLLUSION CHARGE

“No one in Congress, the House or the Senate, has ever seen this information, even though we have spent all these years investigating,” he revealed. “Now remember [former FBI agent] Peter Strzok, he was on Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller Report, and never once did this intelligence show up anywhere… This is the biggest news that didn’t get reported.”

The fact that former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and President Obama were aware of Clinton’s alleged formulation and never brought it to the attention of Congress, McCarthy said, was a “waste” of two years.

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“This should drive every member of Congress to go get the underlying information that John Ratcliffe has just made transparent to the world,” he said.

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Trump’s Blood Oxygen Level Dropped Below Normal Twice, White House Doctor Says

President Donald Trump’s blood oxygen level has twice dipped below 95% — an important threshold — including a transient dip to 93% on Saturday, White House physician Sean Conley said Sunday.

A normal blood oxygen level ― which indicates the oxygen saturation of someone’s blood ― usually ranges from 95% to 100%, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Doctors have reported that some seriously ill coronavirus patients can have critically low levels of blood oxygen, but may not report feeling out of breath.

In response to the second blood oxygen level drop, Trump’s medical team administered dexamethasone, a steroid that has been shown to save the lives of people seriously ill with COVID-19 in a clinical trial.

Despite these two incidents, Trump’s condition is continuing to improve, Conley said during a news conference. Trump’s medical team said they’re hoping to discharge the president “as early as tomorrow.”

Trump was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday, just hours after revealing he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

Conley said Trump was doing “well” late Thursday into early Friday and showed only mild symptoms at that time. But by late Friday morning, Trump had a high fever, and his blood oxygen level dipped below 94%, Conley said.

Trump was then given supplemental oxygen for “about an hour,” despite the president insisting he didn’t need it, Conley said. On Friday, he also received a single infusion of an experimental coronavirus treatment developed by the biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Shortly thereafter, Trump was transported to Walter Reed.

After Trump’s blood oxygen level dipped again on Saturday ― this time to 93% ― his doctors made the decision to administer a first dose of dexamethasone. 

“We’re trying to maximize everything that we could do for him,” Conley said. “We debated whether we’d even start it ― the dexamethasone ― and we decided that, in this case, the potential benefits early on in the course probably outweighed any risks at this time.”

Conley said he wasn’t sure whether Trump received supplemental oxygen on Saturday but that if the president did, “It was very limited.” As of Sunday morning, Trump’s blood oxygen level was 98%, Conley said.

The president on Saturday also completed his second dose of remdesivir, an antiviral drug authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in treating hospitalized coronavirus patients.

Trump hasn’t had a fever since Friday, his medical team said during the news conference Sunday. He was walking around the presidential suite of Walter Reed without issue earlier in the day, one his doctors said.

Trump’s age and weight — he’s considered obese by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines — put him at higher risk of serious illness due to the virus.

When asked Sunday if any X-rays or medical imaging showed signs of pneumonia or damage to Trump’s lungs, Conley wouldn’t say.

“There’s some expected findings but nothing of any major clinical concern,” Conley told reporters.

He was also evasive when asked whether Trump’s blood oxygen level ever dropped below 90%. Conley said he doesn’t “have any recordings here of that” and later added that the level “wasn’t down into the low 80s or anything.”

After Trump’s doctors on Saturday provided an optimistic update on Trump’s condition during their first news conference since his hospitalization, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters that Trump’s symptoms were “very concerning.”

Conley said Sunday that he believed Meadows statement was “misconstrued.”

Conley on Saturday had also danced around questions about whether Trump was ever administered supplemental oxygen during the course of his treatment. Asked Sunday why he was previously reluctant to disclose that Trump was administered supplemental oxygen, Conley said he had been “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude” the president had.

“I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of the illness in another direction,” Conley said. “And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true. The fact of the matter is, is that he’s doing really well.”

Watch the full news conference with Trump’s medical team below.

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Trump's Doctor Admits to Omitting Details of President's Condition: 'Was Trying to Reflect Upbeat Attitude'

Physicians working closely with President Donald Trump during his bout with COVID-19 said he is doing well amid "frequent ups and downs" of his treatment.

On Sunday morning, doctors told reporters during a press conference that Trump, 74, could potentially be discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and back in the White House tomorrow if he continues to improve.

"He has been up and around. Our plan today is to have him eat and drink, be up out of bed," said Dr. Brian Garibaldi. "[If] he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is to plan for discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House, where he can continue his treatment course."

Dr. Sean Dooley said the president "continues to improve" and has been without a fever since Friday morning, adding that Trump is "not complaining of shortness of breath" and is walking around his medical quarters in the hospital "without limitation or disability."

Addressing whether the president has been placed on supplemental oxygen during his treatment, Dr. Sean Conley said Trump had "two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation," which "certainly never" dropped to the low-80 percentile.

"We debated the reasons for this, and whether we'd even intervene," said Conley of the two episodes. "It was a determination of the team based on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiate dexamethasone."

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid typically given to patients with severe COVID-19 cases.

Then, Conley, who confirmed the president had received supplemental oxygen while at the White House on Friday morning, was asked why the medical staff had been cagey about the use of oxygen in previous statements. "It came off as if we were trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true," he said, sharing that he was "trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, his course of illness has had."

Also addressing the mixed messages given by him and chief of staff Mark Meadows, Conley said Meadow's Saturday statement about the president's "very concerning" vitals was "misconstrued" and that Meadows was referring to Trump's report before he was admitted to the hospital.

The health update comes hours after Trump posted a video message Saturday on social media, in which he said that he "wasn't feeling so well" when he went to the Walter Reed Medical Center but has since improved. The night before, he tweeted, "Going well, I think!"

Conley told reporters on Saturday that Trump was "72 hours into the diagnosis," meaning the president would have received his positive test result on Wednesday morning. Trump, who publicly revealed his coronavirus diagnosis in a tweet on early Friday morning, had traveled to Minnesota for a campaign rally on Wednesday night without a mask and then went to New Jersey on Thursday.

Shortly after the briefing, Conley made a clarification on his briefing statements. "This morning while summarizing the President's health, I incorrectly used the term 'seventy-two hours' instead of 'day three' and 'forty-eight hours' instead of 'day two' with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy," read Conley's statement obtained by PEOPLE. "The President was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st and had received Regeron's antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd."

On Saturday, Trump's doctors said they plan to continue carrying out a five-day treatment plan of Remdesivir.

It remains unclear how Trump and First Lady Melania Trump got sick, although a number of lawmakers and advisors he has recently come into contact with have since tested positive.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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Rebecca Grant: Trump ailing but national security not at risk — president still in command

Rudy Giuliani reveals details of recent conversation with President Trump

Former New York City mayor talks about a phone call he just had with the president.

Millions of Americans are praying for President Trump’s speedy recovery after he was hospitalized Friday with COVID-19, but we need not fear that his illness has created a national security crisis.

The president of the United States is president no matter where he is. Like many of us during the coronavirus pandemic, he is working away from the office. But the communications tools at his disposal and the aides working to help him carry out his duties dwarf anything those of working from home via email and Zoom calls have at our disposal.

As long as he remains of sound mind and not sedated, the president is perfectly capable of carrying out his duties from the quite spiffy facilities at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington.

DR. JANETTE NESHEIWAT: TRUMP AND COVID-19 — SOME ENCOURAGING SIGNS SO FAR

The president tweeted out a video Saturday night recorded at Walter Reed’s presidential suite and was clearly alert and in full command of his faculties. He was seated at a table – not bedridden – and was wearing a sports jacket or suit coat rather than hospital garb.

"I came here, wasn't feeling so well,” President Trump said in the short video. “I feel much better now. We're working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back, because we still have to make America great again. We've done an awfully good job of that, but we still have steps to go and we have to have to finish that job."

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In a statement released Saturday night by the White House, presidential physician Dr. Sean Conley said, “President Trump continues to do well, having made substantial progress since diagnosis…. He spent most of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty. While not yet out of the woods, the team remains optimistic.”

That was welcome news. So barring a turn for the worse, it looks like the commander in chief remains firmly in command.

Presidents are flesh-and-blood human beings and, like the rest of us, they sometimes get sick or injured. That has happened throughout American history and will be the case in the future as well. But they’ve rarely had to step away from the heavy responsibilities of the most challenging job in the world.

President Ronald Reagan was hospitalized from March 30 to April 11, 1981, after he was shot by John Hinckley. Reagan was seeing visitors the morning after his life-saving surgery and turned his hospital room into his temporary office.

Reagan transferred executive power to Vice President George H.W. Bush for eight hours while undergoing surgery in 1985. President George W. Bush twice transferred power to his Vice President Dick Cheney for just a few hours while undergoing medical procedures that required he be sedated.

Should President Trump’s condition worsen to such an extent that he is unable to carry out his duties, he could step aside for a few hours or even several days and Vice President Mike Pence could serve as acting president, with no impact on the U.S. military posture and readiness.

Trump is not the first world leader infected with the coronavirus. The leaders of Britain, Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala and Honduras have also tested positive for COVID-19. And a larger group of cabinet-level officials in countries around the world have come down with the disease. Members of Congress and state and federal officials in the U.S. have also been stricken, as well as legislators in other countries.

Even if President Trump is sidelined as Boris Johnson was, we needn’t worry about military operations and nuclear command and control. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracted COVID-19 in March. Johnson went from staying home with mild symptoms to spending several days in the hospital, including three nights in intensive care receiving “liters and liters of oxygen,” he later said.

“It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it,” Johnson told The Sun newspaper. “They had a strategy to deal with a 'death of Stalin-type' scenario,” he quipped. Britain also has nuclear weapons, and Johnson informally transferred authority to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during the worst phase of his illness.

Even if President Trump is sidelined as Boris Johnson was, we needn’t worry about military operations and nuclear command and control.

The National Military Command Center keeps track of the president, vice president, defense secretary and everyone else in the military chain of command around the clock every day of the year.

A special military office at the White House ensures presidential communications are constant, and if Pence temporarily becomes acting president the transfer of power will occur seamlessly and instantly.

A military aide is with the president (or acting president) at all times, carrying codes and procedures for military operations, including launching a nuclear strike.

The military aides are handpicked young officers, male and female, from all branches of the armed forces. Their job is to link the president into conference calls for evaluating major threats and ordering military operations if necessary. They can do the same for Vice President Pence if he holds executive authority.

In addition, U.S. forces and commanders around the world are keeping their eyes open, as always.

Russia is playing nice. “I am convinced that your vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with this dangerous virus,” Putin messaged to Trump, according to the Kremlin. No doubt NATO is already quite vigilant due to the Black Sea activity, unrest in Belarus and the shooting outbreaks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

From North Korea, President Kim Jong Un sent warm greetings and sympathy to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive for COVID-19.

Other leaders around the world also put out statements wishing President and Mrs. Trump speedy recoveries. These included leaders of China, Russia, India, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico and Mrs. Trump’s birthplace of Slovenia.

No word yet from Iran, but I’d expect something inappropriate and insulting at some stage. This is a nation where officials lead huge crowds in chants of “Death to America!”

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a message Saturday directed at Trump stating: "My wife, Peng Liyuan, and I express our sympathies to you and your wife and wish you a fast recovery.”

But Chinese media – which are under control of the government – were not so kind. They have twisted Trump’s diagnosis into more ammunition for China’s global war on America’s reputation and leadership.

“President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19,” tweeted Hu Xijin, editor of China’ Global Times, a state-run newspaper. That’s cold.

China has shamelessly refused to take any blame for the virus that originated in Wuhan and has spent months trying to convince the world the ongoing pandemic shows America is unfit as a world leader. Bizarre as this sounds, China’s press blames the U.S. for holding up global progress in fighting the pandemic.

All this is happening because Trump has reset America’s relations with China over the last four years. The world is warier of China’s technology heists, trade deals and military intentions. China hates this, and its state-run media gloat over America’s struggles with COVID-19.

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At the moment, the relentless propaganda from China is a bigger threat than military action from the People’s Republic. China is trying to use COVID-19 to prove the United States is unfit to lead the world and will use Trump’s diagnosis for its own sinister ends.

America has benefited from the sheer momentum of President Trump as commander in chief on issues from China to revitalizing the military. And while he’s still on the job from his hospital suite, I’m rooting for his full and fast recovery because our nation needs him back on the world stage.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY REBECCA GRANT

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Working smarter, not harder, will help you boost productivity and avoid becoming a workaholic

  • Working smarter, not harder, can save you from becoming a workaholic and give you a better quality of life. 
  • Constantly working around the clock won't always give you the results you need, so it's important to define what your priorities and goals are for each day and take breaks between different activities. 
  • Once you've established what you want to accomplish, delegate your tasks and assign yourself clear time limits and deadlines. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When you are an entrepreneur, working tirelessly seems not to be an option, but a commitment. Mainly because of the desire that everything goes well and also because of the need to be constantly aware of changes in the market, innovations in the sector. Various details which, however, are not unimportant.

For this type of person, the fine line between working "just enough" and becoming a workaholic is practically imperceptible. When you least notice it, you live to work, lose track of time, and exceed your work objectives.

Like tobacco, alcohol, even video games, workaholism is a condition that must be taken seriously. While it may seem deceptively positive for business to become a workaholic, it can lead to a variety of problems that affect your mental and physical health.

It is important to differentiate between smart work and overwork because the former does not mean that you should enslave your life by becoming a workaholic and have great productivity. Reflecting on it, I share with you some tips to avoid becoming a workaholic.

Work for goals, not for hours

If you believe that working around the clock will bring better results, I must inform you that you are wrong. The number of hours you work will not define the productivity and much less the success of your business.

While dedication is important, even more so if it is a business that is just starting out, organizing a work schedule is essential to avoid work overloads, which can, in the long run, truly affect productivity.

In this context, working with a focus on objectives is a very smart way to run a business. It is important in principle to set clear objectives, to know where you are going and what actions will lead you to achieve your goals.             

Define priorities

A common mistake a workaholic makes is wanting to solve all the outstanding issues in one day. When this is not achieved, the feeling of frustration invades and he continues to work tirelessly in search of finishing what he started. This only ends in exhaustion, both physical and mental.

To avoid this, the best thing to do is to define our priorities. In this way, you will focus your attention and time on tasks or issues that require immediate solutions and you will be able to solve them according to your list step by step.

Learn to delegate

An important key to productivity is learning to delegate. Making a list of tasks will not only allow you to differentiate between the most important ones. You will also be able to assign some of them to whomever you consider relevant.

This way, you will be able to focus on only the tasks that require your attention and, on the other hand, have an idea of the time that each one of them could take.

Assign time limits to tasks

If you are used to working all day long it may seem unnecessary and even a little silly. However, it is highly useful. Although it may be a little difficult at first, assigning a time to each task will help you make a habit of working in a more organized way.

You will be able to set limits according to the importance of each task and avoid wasting your energy on carrying out just one thing. While you can be flexible with some tasks, it's important to manage your time wisely.

Take advantage of resources

Today, thanks to technological innovation there is a great diversity of applications and tools that you can use appropriately within your work environment. Each of them can lead you to optimize your work and save a great deal of time.

Taking advantage of technological resources for work can not only make many aspects easier but also give you a lot of options to improve your work habits.

Take a break

You deserve a break, after every activity, every day. Taking breaks from your work schedule will benefit you in two ways:

First, taking a break from work will help you regain energy. With every activity you do, it wears down not only your brain but also your body. That's why rest is so important.

In addition, you will be giving your body a break from all the work, especially if you focus on activities that improve your well-being, such as exercising, going for a walk, among others.

On the other hand, you will have the possibility of increasing your productivity at work. After the rest, both the body and the mind are renewed, have recovered energy and will be able to participate with a better attitude in other elementary aspects of the company. In other words, rest is not only necessary but beneficial.  

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Unemployed in North Dakota: A welder who's been out of work since February shares his story

  • Garrett Dodd is a 22-year-old welder in the North Dakota oil fields based in Watford City, North Dakota.
  • He's been unemployed since February.
  • In the meantime, he's started doing photography and media production, but he says he's not done with welding just yet.
  • This is his story, as told to Will Meyer.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I moved to Watford City, North Dakota, from Fort Worth, Texas, in 2017. 

I was part of a very active welding program in high school, and I had a really good teacher who got me interested in it. I started welding right out of high school. I worked for a city for a little while; I thought that's where I was going to retire at one point in time. And thankfully that didn't work out. 

I ended up working in a fab[rication] shop in Dallas making $16/hour.  I knew I could make more money, frankly, if I moved elsewhere. I worked in that fab shop for about a year, and every night when I was working there I would go home and get on social media and talk to people that are already in the oil fields, and try to make enough contacts for somebody to offer me a job. 

I finally got to the point where somebody offered me a job, and I pondered on it for about four hours or so, and called him back to tell him I wanted the job, and he said, "Oh, that job isn't available anymore." 

After that job slipped away, I knew the next opportunity I got I was taking.

And then a day or two later I got an email from a guy who is now a good friend of mine — it was a mass email that he sent out to a lot of kids that were in my position. And he said "Hey, this guy's looking for labor hands in Watford City, North Dakota, here's the pay, here's the number."

I called him, and he said, "The sooner you can be here, the sooner I can guarantee you a job."

It was a Wednesday, and I said "What if I was there Monday?" He said, "if you're here by Monday, I can offer you a job." 

So Thursday I went in and told my boss — they knew it was coming, they definitely saw it happening — "I got an opportunity here, and I'm not missing it." 

Times were tough back then; I didn't have enough money to travel across the country, and so I asked for my last check a week early. They told me no, and that Thursday could be my last day instead — they didn't even want me back Friday. So Thursday I stayed up all night and packed most of my belongings, and was gone the next day. 

I took a chance and drove across the country.

Because I knew if I came up here and actually worked, and didn't fool around, I could be successful. 

After some bumps in the road and a detour to Colorado, I got up here and I was able to work consistently with a welder. I worked with him for eight months. And after eight months, I was ready to break out and become a welder myself. 

After working on my own pretty consistently for a couple years, making more than $200,000,I was laid off in November 2019 as oil prices were dropping. Layoffs for a welder are pretty common. It's nothing to freak out about or be ashamed of, it happens very regularly. 

They laid me off, and I thought "OK, that happens," especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I made what I wanted to that year, and thought, "If I'm not able to work the rest of the year, no big deal." And then I wasn't able to work the rest of the year.

At the beginning of the year I found a gas plant that needed building, and I was hired on with another contractor. We built that gas plant, but that wasn't a whole lot of work. They were pretty far along with that project, so there wasn't a whole lot to do. 

I worked there a month and they laid me off. I haven't really worked since February at all.

I just started moving onto a different hustle because I can't just not work. I have to do something. I have a lot of camera equipment, and I started doing photography and media production around town. I'm just kind of working on getting that off the ground. I don't really care to take family photos; I like to build commercials for businesses. 

I'm definitely not done with welding. I have a lot of money invested into welding and earning potential with it. I enjoy media production and it's fun — it's just a matter of getting clients to constantly shell out money. 

The oil price was also dropping before the pandemic really set in. I think there was still a crash coming, but the pandemic just really did a number on it. 

You have to try to stay as positive as you can, I guess, but it's daunting for sure. 

The day to day is kind of daunting; it puts you in survival mode, which I don't like. Just because it's hard to think beyond the tip of your nose. You're just trying to think of what the next day holds, not what the next ten years holds. 

I'm just hoping for the best.

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Trump Faces Credibility Crisis Over Health Scare

WASHINGTON (AP) — One month from Election Day, President Donald Trump is facing a credibility crisis as yawning as his health crisis, at a moment when he needs the public’s trust the most.

The president’s coronavirus infection, as well as the illnesses of several aides and allies, has imperiled the highest levels of the U.S. government. The White House’s efforts Saturday to project calm backfired in stunning fashion, resulting in a blizzard of confusing and contradictory information about the health and well-being of the commander in chief.

It’s a moment months in the making, the collision of Trump’s repeated defiance of his own administration’s guidelines for staying safe during the pandemic and his well-known disregard for facts. The result: deep uncertainty for Americans over whom and what to believe about the health of the nation’s leader at a perilous moment in U.S. history.

“This is bigger than Donald Trump. It’s about the institution of the presidency,” said Robert Gibbs, who served as President Barack Obama’s first White House press secretary.

For any president, credibility in a crisis is paramount — the ability to rally Americans of every political persuasion around a commonly accepted understanding of the situation. For a president on the brink of an election, particularly one held in as tumultuous a year as 2020, it could be the difference between serving one term or two.

Yet Trump has squandered widespread credibility from the very start of his presidency, spending his first full day in office disputing official tallies of the crowd size at his inauguration and asking Americans to disregard photographic evidence showing that he drew fewer people to the National Mall in Washington than his predecessor.

The episode set the tone for the rest of his administration, with Trump creating alternate realities around issues big and small, amplified by the help of friendly media outlets. He frequently touts records and milestones that don’t exist. He spreads baseless rumors about his political opponents, including declaring without evidence that Joe Biden, his Democratic rival in the 2020 presidential campaign, might be on drugs in their debate.

Yet Trump’s credibility has come under even greater scrutiny during the pandemic, the single biggest test of his presidency. He’s repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus in public, despite telling journalist Bob Woodward privately in February that COVID-19 was more deadly than the flu. He’s floated unverified and harmful treatments, including suggesting Americans could inoculate themselves by injecting bleach.

In April, just weeks after the pandemic took hold in the U.S., only 23% of Americans said they had high levels of trust in the information the president was providing the public about the virus, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

As Election Day draws near, Trump has increasingly flouted public health guidelines and many of the scientists advising his administration, eager to make the case to voters that the worst of the pandemic that upended nearly every aspect of American life is behind them.

For weeks, Trump has been traveling across the country holding large rallies and hosting events at the White House without social distancing or requiring guests to wear masks. That includes a crowded ceremony in the Rose Garden last weekend to announce the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Several attendees, including two U.S. senators and first lady Melania Trump, have since announced they have tested positive for coronavirus.

They, and the president himself, are now among the more than 7 million Americans who have been infected. More than 205,000 Americans have died.

It’s not clear how Trump became infected. He announced on Twitter at 1 a.m. Friday that he and Mrs. Trump had tested positive for the virus; the following evening, he was transported via the presidential helicopter to a military hospital just outside of Washington. The only details the White House provided were that the hospitalization was precautionary and that Trump’s symptoms were mild.

On Saturday, the White House tried to fill in the details with a televised briefing by Trump’s physician, who painted a sunny picture of the president’s situation, emphasizing that he was still working, walking on his own and not laboring to breath. But Dr. Sean Conley notably refused to provide some specific details, including repeatedly sidestepping questions about whether the president had at any point required oxygen.

Shortly after, and off camera, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave journalists a more troubling depiction. After describing Trump’s symptoms as “mild” the previous day, Meadows now said the president’s situation had been “very concerning.” Though his health was improving, Meadows said the next 48 hours would be critical.

A person familiar with the president’s treatment also confirmed that he had required supplemental oxygen Friday morning.

The conflicting information sparked an outcry, even among some Trump allies who privately wondered how the president’s team could have been so unprepared for the first major disclosures about his condition. The White House tried to quell the frustrations on Saturday night, releasing a four-minute video of Trump saying his condition was improving and that he was looking forward to resuming campaign activities soon.

But to those who have grown weary of Trump’s record on transparency and the truth, there was little hope that the coming days would bring a greater level of clarity.

“These are the patterns of this presidency, and for Trump, the patterns of a lifetime,” said Peter Wehner, a Republican who served in President George W. Bush’s administrations and a Trump critic. “There’s no reason to believe he or his inner circle are going to change.”

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France’s Le Pen Could Top First Round of 2022 Elections: Poll

French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right National Rally Leader Marine Le Pen would take the two top spots in the first round of voting if presidential elections were held this Sunday, according to an Ifop-Fiducial poll published by Le Journal du Dimanche.

The 42-year-old president and Le Pen are neck and neck in the survey, with other politicians far behind, 18 months ahead of the 2022 elections, the poll showed. Macron would get 23%-26% of votes in the first round, versus 24%-27% for Le Pen, according to the survey.

Le Pen “could emerge as the winner in the first round of presidential elections,” Frederic Dabi, Ifop’s deputy general director, was cited as saying in Le Journal du Dimanche.

The approval ratings of Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex have dropped in recent weeks, as the government struggles to contain a renewed surge in coronavirus cases while trying to avoid a second nationwide lockdown. Protests erupted last month in Marseille, France’s second-biggest city, after the government’s decision to close bars and restaurants for at least two weeks. The number of new coronavirus cases in France reached a record on Saturday, with Paris also facing the possibility of stricter Covid-19 rules as of Monday.

The Ifop-Fiducial poll surveyed 1,608 adults via the internet from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, according to the newspaper.

A separate poll by Elabe for the BFM TV channel, also published Sunday, showed that 73% of French people are worried about the renewed coronavirus spread, and respondents are still divided over the government’s decision to shut down Marseille restaurants and bars as well as gyms in 11 cities.

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Britons could knock hundreds off energy bills with these key payments – are you eligible?

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Energy bills are regular payments which break down the charges Britons incur for using utilities such as gas and electricity. As the weather cools, and people spend more time at home due to COVID-19 guidance, it is more likely energy bills will soar due to increased usage. But, for those who are worried about their level of spending, investigating the options at hand could help them knock hundreds or even thousands off their bill.

The Warm Home Discount enables Britons to get £140 off their electricity bill during winter 2020/21. 

The money, while not paid directly to a person, serves as a one-off discount on electricity bills between September and March.

To be eligible to receive the discount, Britons must either be in the core or broader group.

The core group are people who are in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, and these people should expect to receive a letter in the coming weeks, which will tell them how to get the discount if they qualify.

If a person does not receive the letter and still believes they are eligible, they are encouraged to reach out to the Warm Home Discount helpline – which opens on October 12, 2020.

Broader group members are those who are on a low income and receiving certain means-tested benefits.

To apply, people will need to check with their supplier as early as possible, as the number of discounts available are limited.

Another support measure for energy bills is the Winter Fuel Payment, available to people born on or before October 5, 1954 who lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 21st – 27th. 

These individuals could receive anywhere between £100 and £300 – dependent on their age, benefits, and living circumstances – to help with their energy bills.

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Those eligible should receive a letter telling them how much they will receive and when.

Most payments are made automatically between November and December, but if a person has not received the sum to which they are entitled by January 13, 2021, they should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre. 

However, even if a person does not qualify for Winter Fuel Payment, they could be entitled to a Cold Weather Payment. 

This payment is available to individuals who are in receipt of particular benefits such as Pension Credit or Universal Credit, or those receiving help through the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme.

Cold Weather Payments are issued if the average temperature in a person’s area is either recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below or over seven consecutive days.

The government website explains: “You’ll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.

“After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days.

“It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments. Cold Weather Payments do not affect your other benefits.”

Once again, Cold Weather Payments are made automatically to those who are eligible.

Britons can check if the area in which they live is due to receive a payment in November 2020.

Those who believe they should receive a Cold Weather Payment and do not, have been told to reach out to their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office. 

Finally, for those claiming Universal Credit, help with utility bills is on hand through a variety of means. 

The WaterSure programme caps bills for those with a water meter, and advice on reducing energy bills is available from Simple Energy Advice, Energy Savings Trust Scotland, and Bryson Energy.

Finally, the Affordable Warmth Obligation means those claiming Universal Credit and other particular benefits may be able to get help for energy-saving improvements to the home. 

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Armenian-Backed Forces Hit Base in Second-Largest Azeri City

Armenian-backed forces in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh enclave said they struck a military airport in Azerbaijan’s second-largest city on Sunday in a major escalation of the fighting between the two South Caucasus neighbors.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s office said the missiles that hit Ganca came from Armenia, which the Armenian Defense Ministry denied. The missile strike caused deaths, Aliyev’s office said, without providing any further details.

Nagorno-Karabakh said it attacked the military airport in Ganca in retaliation for Azerbaijan’s bombing of Stepanakert, the largest city in the enclave. The president of the disputed territory warned that from now on “military objects in large cities of Azerbaijan’s big cities are the target” of its forces.

.#Azerbaijan’i terrorist army targets civilians in #Stepanakert, using Polonez & Smerch MLRS. From now on mil objects in large cities of Azerbaijan are the target of the Defense Army of #Artsakh. Calling on Azerbaijani population to leave these cities to avoid inevitable loss.8:50 AM · Oct 4, 2020

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Azeri Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov described the attack as an “open provocation” by Armenia that “expands the theater of conflict.” Armenia and Azerbaijan on Saturday set seemingly impossible terms for agreeing to cease-fire calls from the U.S., France and Russia.

Aliyev, who is backed by Turkey, has vowed to continue the military campaign until Armenian forces leave Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts that were taken during a war after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. The violence that began a week ago is more intense and widespread than at any time since Russia brokered a 1994 cease-fire to halt the war that killed about 30,000 and displaced more than a million people.

The confrontation adds to tensions between Russia and Turkey over proxy conflicts in Syria and Libya. Russia has an army base in Armenia and the two nations have a mutual-defense pact that doesn’t cover the disputed territory.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday spoke to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and expressed concerns about the ongoing clashes and increasing number of victims, a German government spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. Merkel stressed that all sides must immediately stop fighting and start negotiations, according to the statement.

Azerbaijani forces captured eight villages in the northeast and southeast of Nagorno-Karabkh, after earlier taking control of seven other small localities, the defense ministry in Baku said.

— With assistance by Henry Meyer, and Chris Reiter

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