With full-body PPE and disinfecting equipment, a member of the White House cleaning staff sprays the press briefing room the evening of US President Donald Trump's return from Walter Reed Medical Center, in Washington, DC, Oct. 5, 2020.

A member of the White House cleaning staff sprays the press briefing room the evening of US President Donald Trump's return from Walter Reed Medical Center, in Washington, DC, Oct. 5, 2020.

Credit:

Erin Scott/Reuters

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US President Donald Trump has returned to the White House, still infectious with COVID-19 but with a fresh sense of victoriousness over the disease and scorn for those who fear it. Trump, who spent a long weekend at Walter Reed military hospital, returned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where — against medical advice — he removed his mask for the TV cameras to see.

While Trump is still being closely monitored, his ongoing recovery from the coronavirus — which has so far killed more than 210,000 Americans — has been boosted by top-level medical care and quick administration of the best currently available therapeutics. But his newly cavalier message was heavily criticized Monday by public health experts, who have watched with apprehension as the number of cases in the presidential cluster and at the highest levels of the US government continues to mount. When Trump arrived, presidential aides were milling about the Blue Room, also without any face coverings.

Trump’s doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Monday that the president remains contagious and won’t be entirely “out of the woods” for another week as he recuperates at the White House medical unit. The physician declined to share results from Trump’s lung scans and also refused to answer questions about the date of Trump’s last negative coronavirus test, adding to speculation about how the West Wing may have misled the Americans and the global public.

In a short video address, Trump told Americans not to be afraid of what he has called an invisible enemy. “You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines,” he said, with his voice sounding strong but taking deeper breaths than usual while speaking. But experts countered that the virus is still a “complete threat” and that “most of the people aren’t so lucky as the president.”

What The World is following

During protests over a parliamentary election, opposition groups in Kyrgyzstan claimed to have seized power in the Central Asian country. President Sooronbay Jeenbekov warned that the nation was facing a coup but commanded security personnel not to shoot at protesters seizing government buildings in the capital, Bishkek. The opposition said that it had freed Almazbek Atambayev, the former president who was jailed on charges of corruption.

A US judge has ordered Iran to pay $1.45 billion to former FBI agent Robert Levinson’s family. The American citizen is presumed to have died in Iranian government custody after being kidnapped while conducting an apparently unauthorized 2007 mission to Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. The US still holds billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets that could in theory be used to settle the matter.

From The World

COVID-19 in the West Wing means instability amid fraught election, analyst says

The coronavirus has sidelined President Donald Trump from at least some of his duties. Garrett Graff, a writer and national security analyst, raised concerns about the national security implications for a West Wing with a coronavirus outbreak.

"They physically don't know who among them is sick and how far this virus has spread in their own ranks," Graff told The World's Marco Werman.

"That's a recipe for instability and uncertainty. That is the type of opportunity foreign adversaries would normally try to take advantage of even before you begin to factor in that we are just weeks away from what was already promising to be a fraught, and potentially challenging, election."

Israelis rally against new COVID-19 measures that restrict protests

Under new measures against the coronavirus, the Israeli government has banned protesters from holding demonstrations more than 1 kilometer (about a half-mile) from their homes. In response, some activists have turned to WhatsApp, Facebook and an interactive map to find protest sites near them.

Bright spot

Singing in public is probably on hold for now with the pandemic and concerns about droplets from your mouth spraying people nearby. But, this bar in Ontario, Canada, has installed a "shower" so that karaoke can live on.

In case you missed it

Listen: Trump’s illness poses US national security risks

US President Donald Trump is shown with his arms outstretched, speaking at a podium with a crowd of people behind him.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Duluth, Minn, Sept. 30, 2020.

Credit:

Jack Rendulich/AP

China, Russia and other actors that don’t have America’s best interest in mind may seek to take advantage of the US in this precarious moment, as President Donald Trump has been sidelined by the coronavirus. And, nothing about the president’s coronavirus infection is normal — from the combination of experimental treatments he is receiving all at once to the way the outbreak is unfolding in his inner circle. Plus, Venice finally managed to stay dry after all 78 floodgates successfully barricaded the Venetian lagoon during high tide.

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