President Donald Trump said on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 and would immediately quarantine and begin the “recovery process.” “We will get through this,” Trump tweeted. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

President Donald Trump and the first lady have tested positive for COVID-19, he tweeted early Friday morning. The announcement drew shock, sympathy and criticism from leaders around the world and thrust markets into a downward tumble overnight. Investors are now in the unusual position of betting on the health of the president, a heightened concern among those who cite President Trump’s age bracket and weight as risk factors that could expose him to health complications. 

President Trump’s infection has raised questions  of whether other people in high levels of U.S. government were exposed to COVID-19 and renewed reviews of the process for how to determine if the president is incapacitated to serve. Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence announced their daily COVID-19 test on Friday produced a negative result. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said his medical team will maintain a “vigilant watch” of President Trump and the first lady’s condition, adding that he expects the president to “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

President Trump’s announcement of a COVID-19 infection has upended his campaign in the final stretch leading up to the Nov. 3 election. Strategists say he could face harsh judgment from voters and that his announcement brings a level of deep uncertainty as many voters have already begun voting by mail. 

A new poll suggests that only 30% of the U.S. population plans to vote by mail this year, a significant decline from earlier forecasts of 70%. While this year’s primary elections reflected a dramatic shift in how people prefer to vote, respondents in the poll cited doubt in the Postal Service’s reliability and concerns about mail voting security. The new preference would shift concerns from how to count every mail-in vote to unsafe crowding at polling places on Election Day. 

U.S. job growth slowed in September to 661,000 jobs added, bringing the total to about half of the jobs lost at the onset of the pandemic. The U.S. House passed a Democratic $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan on Thursday night, although agreements with the Republican-majority Senate on a stimulus package remain stalled . 

The coronavirus has cast a shadow over U.S. space exploration, prompting questions over whether NASA astronauts will ever make it to Mars. Turmoil across the nation has historically led to a pause in mission ambitions, although some argue there is no better time to generate a bit of hope and good news.

Risk of COVID-19 was highest in window seats in economy class on one Qantas flight, study reveals – Business Insider – 10/2/2020
Passengers sat in window seats in the middle of an economy class cabin on a Qantas Airways flight in March were most at risk from contracting coronavirus, according to research by Australian scientists into that particular trip. As many as 11 travelers caught COVID-19 onboard the five-hour flight from Sydney to Perth on March 19, the survey said.

This scientist made a Google Doc to educate the public about airborne coronavirus transmission – MIT Technology Review – 10/2/2020
A lot of people were asking questions, so I thought it made sense to put them in one place. It means you don’t have to keep repeating yourself, and you can tweak the document and improve it over time. We [aerosol transmission experts] were answering so many questions on Twitter and via email. 

Dark kitchens are a light for COVID-struck restaurants – Protocol – 10/2/2020
Alternately known as dark kitchens, cloud kitchens, ghost kitchens and virtual kitchens, the concept is the same: Delivery-only food operations with no space for in-person dining or, in some cases, collection.

How COVID-19 helped the struggling drone industry take flight – Fast Company – 10/2/2020
COVID-19 “has forced organizations who already have drone programs to take them more seriously, as it becomes a major way they can operate,” Benowitz says. “Drones have become a critical tool to continue working in these difficult times.”

‘INFECTED’: How the media scrambled to cover Trump and the first lady’s positive coronavirus tests – Washington Post – 10/2/2020
At the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Greg Mees, the paper’s design director, was in bed when a colleague in the sports department called with the news. Mees, 29, leaped up and called the paper’s printing facility, which was already running off thousands of copies of the next day’s edition. He didn’t quite yell, “Stop the presses!” — but close.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 1 Oct Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!

Andy Ostroy @AndyOstroy 2 Oct “It’s hard to imagine this doesn’t end his hopes of re-election,” said Rob Stutzman, a Republican consultant, pointing to Mr. Trump’s “flaunting of obvious precautions.” #Trump #COVID19 #coronavirus

Yascha Mounk @Yascha_Mounk 2 Oct 46% of British voters approved of Boris Johnson’s job performance on March 16th 2020. On March 23rd, it was officially announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. By April 13th, 66% of Britons approved of Johnson. Lots of differences between the UK and the US. But…

The New Yorker @NewYorker 2 Oct For some time, commentators have routinely discussed what would be “the October surprise.” Now it is here, and it involves something truly alarming––the state of the President’s health, and what it all will mean for the governance of the United States.

Gary R’nel @GaryRnel 1 Oct Ladies and Gentlemen your October Surprise. #HopeHicks infected with Corona virus @realDonaldTrump keeping it under wraps for 24 hours. Oh wait! There is no surprise here.

CONTENT FACTS

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