WASHINGTON – The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):
President Donald Trump has returned to the Oval Office for the first time since he was diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19.
Spokesperson Brian Morgenstern confirmed that the president returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday. He has been convalescing in the White House residence since he returned from a three-night hospital stay on Monday evening.
Trump is likely still contagious with the virus.
A Marine was posted outside the West Wing, signifying the president was in the Oval Office.
White House officials say they have put additional safeguards in place to protect staff who may interact with the president, including requiring full personal protective equipment.
Morgenstern says Trump is being briefed on stimulus talks and a potentially devastating hurricane heading toward the Gulf Coast.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House. Democrat Joe Biden is holding two virtual fundraisers. The candidates’ running mates, meanwhile, are meeting in a vice-presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
— Pence-Harris debate to unfold as Trump recovers from virus
— Viewer’s Guide: Virus response on stage with Pence, Harris
— Trump, out of sight, tweets up storm, says he ‘feels great’
— Trump halts COVID-19 relief talks until after election
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
Vice-President Mike Pence will be joined in the debate hall by several special guests, including the parents of Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker who was killed by Islamic State militants.
Their presence Wednesday night is intended to highlight action taken by President Donald Trump, including the killing of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in contrast to the approach taken by the Obama administration, which Mueller’s parents have criticized.
Carl and Marsha Mueller were featured in Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this year and spoke at the Republican National convention. In their speech, they asserted that, had Trump “been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”
The 26-year-old Mueller was taken captive in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.
The debate comes the same day that two Islamic State militants — dubbed part of the “the Beatles” because of their British accents —- were brought from Britain to the U.S. to face charges in connection with the deaths of American hostages, including Kayla Mueller.
Kamala Harris has again tested negative for the coronavirus.
The campaign reported her results on Wednesday, less than 12 hours before she is scheduled to debate Vice-President Mike Pence. She took the test Tuesday.
Pence also tested negative on Tuesday, according to the White House.
Harris and Pence will appear on stage at the University of Utah for a 90-minute debate. Both candidates will have plexiglass around them as an additional precaution. That was requested by the Biden-Harris campaign, and Pence’s team objected.
Harris also tested negative for the virus on Monday.