Newsletter: Trump’s diagnosis and the test ahead


President Trump said he and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, creating another moment of uncertainty for the country and the presidential campaign.


Trump’s Diagnosis and the Test Ahead

The news, as it often does, came in a tweet: At 12:54 a.m. Eastern time Friday, President Trump said that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” the tweet said. “We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Trump’s positive test came hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest advisors, had tested positive for the virus Thursday after several days of traveling with the president.

In a letter, White House physician Sean P. Conley said the president and first lady “are both well at this time and plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.” He added that he expects Trump to continue the duties of his job as president “without disruption.”

The announcement comes just 32 days until election day, and the health scare for Trump — who at 74 is at higher risk of serious complications from the virus that has already killed more than 207,000 Americans — almost certainly will affect his ability to hit the campaign trail in the coming weeks.


Since the coronavirus first emerged, the president, the White House and his campaign have played down the threat and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines — including those issued by his administration. Instead, Trump has continued to hold campaign rallies that draw thousands of supporters.

More From Washington

World leaders were quick to weigh in, with official sympathy from the top and something approaching schadenfreude elsewhere. Trump joins a growing list of the powerful who have contracted the virus, including many who were skeptical of the disease.

— News of Trump’s diagnosis presents a formidable new obstacle for a reelection campaign already struggling to overcome the drag of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant crippling of much of the U.S. economy.

Big OT Payouts at the LAFD

The coronavirus has battered the economy and cost many people their jobs. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has told top city managers to prepare for possible layoffs and other cutbacks. But for dozens of Los Angeles Fire Department employees assigned to COVID-19 test sites, the pandemic has delivered a bonanza in overtime pay.

“There are guys making more in a month than a teacher makes in a year,” an LAFD official told columnist Steve Lopez.


“Of course we all appreciate the heroic work of firefighters who routinely risk their lives ... ,” Lopez writes. “But in my cruise through city payroll records, I found staggering payouts to LAFD personnel whose primary role when they work at testing sites is to open the facilities, close them, deliver results to a lab, replenish supplies and keep tabs on the equipment.”

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— A federal appeals court decided 2 to 1 to uphold California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus restrictions on indoor worship during the pandemic. The majority of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel said California’s health orders on churches did not discriminate against religious expression.

— Walt Disney Co. Executive Chairman Bob Iger has resigned from Newsom’s COVID-19 economic task force, an abrupt public confirmation of the growing tensions stemming from the state’s reluctance to allow theme parks to reopen.

— California’s larger counties will not be permitted to reopen their economies further unless they reduce coronavirus infections in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods that have been hit hard.

— The head of Pfizer, one of the drugmakers racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, told employees he was disappointed that its work was politicized during this week’s presidential debate and tried to reassure U.S. staff that the company won’t bend to pressure to move more quickly.


‘Just Stop Assuming’

Police vehicles surrounded Abel Mata on a sunny afternoon outside his Torrance home. Officers wanted to know the identity of the child he’d been holding moments before — a neighbor had called 911 to report that a Latino man had kidnapped a white baby.

A stunned Mata was forced to explain: The child was his grandson. Mata’s daughter, Athena, had dropped 2-year-old Milo off for babysitting, as she did routinely, and the boy was inside the house with his grandmother.

As Mata and the officers walked toward the door, a blond woman came out of a neighboring apartment and approached them, shouting that he was the abductor. She carried, he said, a samurai sword.

A Bridge to the Future

The new Gerald Desmond Bridge between Long Beach and Terminal Island has been 19 years in the making.

Today, there will be an opening ceremony, and barring delays, the bridge will open Monday. Cars and trucks — by some estimates, 60,000 a day, now rattling across the old bridge just a few feet away — will sail over the new span connecting the 710 Freeway and downtown Long Beach to the nation’s busiest port complex.


The bridge is designed to last 100 years. It’s one of three construction projects with a billion-dollar-plus price tag completed in Los Angeles County in the last five years.


In October 1928, Los Angeles County obtained 50 new voting machines ahead of the upcoming presidential election. On Oct. 2, one of the assembled machines was shown to the media in a demonstration.

According to a story that ran in the next day’s Times, the machines were supposed to make voting easier and save “considerable time in compilation of returns, as it mechanically records the numbers of votes for each candidate or measure as the votes are cast.” When election day arrived, The Times reported the full results were received before 9 p.m. for the first time in county history.

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— Your garden needs soil amendments. Here’s where pros suggest you buy them. Plus, see the 12 fruits and vegetables you should plant right now.


Kimchi is everywhere. Check out these Koreatown shops for some of L.A.’s best and the community that supports them.

— Safely get in the mood for fall with pumpkin picking and apple cider. (And sign up for Escapes, our travel newsletter.)

— Should you kick Halloween to the curb this year? Here are five reasons why it’s time to do so.


— Dangerously dry and windy conditions will challenge crews battling the Glass fire in Northern California’s wine country over the coming days, as officials warn that gusts could potentially push the blaze toward communities in Napa County. Track the progress of California’s wildfires with our map.

— Nearly $12 million has been pumped into November’s contentious L.A. County district attorney’s race. Here are the megadonors and police unions writing many of those checks.

— After a disastrous March election marked by breakdowns and delays at the polls, L.A. County election officials are approaching the November vote with a whole new set of challenges brought on by the pandemic as well as new scrutiny.


— Newsom vetoed a bill that would have further protected journalists covering demonstrations from physical or verbal obstruction by a law enforcement officer.

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— The Trump administration was blocked from restricting H-1B visas that highly skilled foreign technology workers rely on to work in the U.S. The ruling conflicts with a pair of decisions in September in similar cases.

— A court approved a settlement totaling $800 million from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the 2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting, the deadliest in recent U.S. history.

— Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, has already weighed in on one of the most significant and controversial cases it is scheduled to consider this fall — albeit in a mock exercise.

— Critics say political repression in Saudi Arabia has deepened during the last two years since journalist Jamal Khashoggi was slain.

— Zoom, drones and virtual offerings: Families are taking South Korea’s ancestral rites digital to balance tradition and the threat of COVID-19.



Darren Star has been making hit TV shows for 30 years. He has a new series, good memories, big plans — and one regret.

— The skateboarding TikTok star @420doggface208 — real name Nathan Apodaca — posted a video that went viral and tripled sales of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

— An L.A.-area school district banned Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.” But by the time national backlash arrived, it had already been quietly unbanned. Here’s what happened in between.

— The coronavirus shutdowns have pushed L.A.’s small theaters to unite. For some, survival starts with a new festival.


— Workers are quietly trickling back to Los Angeles offices as businesses and the companies who manage their spaces ease back into normal routines.

— Employers can require workers to get flu shots. So how might that play out with a future COVID-19 vaccine?



— The Dodgers swept the Brewers to advance to the National League Division Series. They’ll face either the St. Louis Cardinals or San Diego Padres.

— It might sound a bit odd, but the NFL is making some noise by re-creating fan reactions.

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— Trump’s coronavirus infection is the result of his deadly, foolish recklessness, writes the editorial board.

— Trump’s war on election integrity follows a racist playbook used in 1980s Orange County, writes columnist Gustavo Arellano.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend went on social media to share images after they lost a child to miscarriage. They were bravely “speaking to, and for, millions of parents who have experienced the same thing,” columnist Mary McNamara writes.



— Why can’t hospitals handle the kind of surges they’ve seen during the pandemic? Officials rely on real-time data to make sure resources go — but federal attempts to build a system have failed. (Wall Street Journal)

— “The secret history of Kimberly Guilfoyle’s departure from Fox.” (The New Yorker)


It’s a sight now synonymous with California’s fire season: A tanker aircraft flies over vegetation and drops a stream of red. But what exactly is that stuff? It’s sticky, gooey fire retardant and it’s made in the Southland at a 100,000-square-foot plant in Rancho Cucamonga. Phos-Chek is by far the dominant brand. Firefighters use the substance to create a chemical barrier against spreading flames. And when the fire is gone, the goo washes off in the rain.

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