The Latest: GOP Minnesota congressmen criticized for flight
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on coronavirus infections hitting President Donald Trump and others in his circle (all times EDT):
Three Republican congressmen from Minnesota are facing criticism for taking a commercial flight home from Washington just two days after they were on Air Force One with President Donald Trump.
Reps. Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn were on a Delta Air Lines flight Friday night despite its restrictions on passengers recently exposed to COVID-19. Trump announced early Friday that he had tested positive for the virus.
Delta’s policy says customers who know they were exposed to the virus in the past 14 days cannot travel. The airline defines exposure as face-to-face contact with someone with the virus or sustained contact for more than 15 minutes less than 6 feet (2 meters) apart.
State Democratic Party chairman Ken Martin said the three congressmen put the health and safety of other passengers at serious risk.
Hagedorn pushed back in a post on his campaign Facebook page Saturday, saying the three men had tested negative and had not been exposed to someone carrying the virus longer than 15 minutes and closer than 6 feet (2 meters). He said they also informed the airline and the flight’s captain of their situation and Delta “made the decision to fly based upon the facts.”
Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the flight was less than 40% full and that no one left the plane before it took off to protest the men’s presence.
The White House says President Donald Trump’s doctor will provide an update on his condition Saturday morning as the president undergoes treatment for COVID-19 symptoms at a military hospital.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley will address reporters at 11 a.m. from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
In a late Friday letter, Conley reported that Trump had been treated at the hospital with remdesivir, an antiviral medication, after taking another experimental drug at the White House. He added that Trump is “doing very well” and is “not requiring any supplemental oxygen.”
The White House said Trump was expected to stay at the hospital for “a few days” out of an abundance of caution and that he would continue to work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to keep up his official duties.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson says he’s tested positive for the coronavirus.
Johnson’s office announced the diagnosis in a statement Saturday. He’s the third Republican senator to report a positive test this week, following Utah Sen. Mike Lee and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis. Johnson’s announcement is adding to the swirl of tension in Washington since President Donald Trump announced his positive test Friday.
Johnson, a second-term Republican, had reported exposure last month to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and quarantined for 14 days without developing symptoms. Johnson said he tested negative twice during that time.
He returned to Washington on Sept. 29 and said he was exposed soon after that to someone who tested positive. Johnson says he was tested Friday afternoon after learning of the exposure, and it came back positive.
Johnson said he feels healthy and doesn’t have symptoms, but will isolate until cleared by his doctor.