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Newsletter: Out of the hospital, not ‘the woods’

President Trump left the military hospital where he had been receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19 and declared that the nation should not be afraid of the virus that has killed over 210,000 Americans.

President Trump left the military hospital where he had been receiving care for COVID-19 after his doctors warned that they won’t know for a week whether he has recovered.

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Out of the Hospital, Not ‘the Woods’

President Trump returned to the White House on Monday night, three days after he was hospitalized for COVID-19. Though he is out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his doctor warned that the president “may not entirely be out of the woods yet.”

Despite receiving experimental drugs and experiencing setbacks over the weekend that suggested medical complications, Trump insisted he was feeling “better than I did 20 years ago.”

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Moreover, he again attempted to downplay the severity of a pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 Americans and infected 7.4 million others — including more than 100,000 since he went into the hospital Friday. “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he tweeted. “Don’t let it dominate your life.”

Trump’s advice to not be afraid of COVID rang alarms among health professionals, who pointed out that the disease remains deadly and is spiking in numerous states. For now, they said, Trump remains contagious and should isolate himself at the White House for 10 days to avoid infecting others.

After landing in Marine One at the White House on Monday evening, Trump dramatically ascended the south staircase to the balcony and posed for cameras, removing his face mask and saluting. Inside, unmasked, he recorded a video that he later posted on Twitter, seeking political benefit from his ongoing health crisis. “I knew there’s danger to it. But I had to do it,” he said in the video.

Trump’s return to the White House, where he will continue to be treated for COVID-19 and has become a center of contagion for the disease, follows days of confusion and misleading statements. In addition to the president and First Lady Melania Trump, at least a dozen Trump aides — including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany — campaign officials, Republican lawmakers and recent contacts have tested positive for the coronavirus since last week.

President Trump returns to the White House
President Trump removes his mask upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

More About Trump and the Coronavirus

— The White House has blocked new Food and Drug Administration guidelines on bringing potential vaccines for COVID-19 to market that would almost certainly have prevented their approval before the Nov. 3 election.

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— The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that the coronavirus can spread through microscopic respiratory particles known as aerosols that float in the air for minutes or even hours before being inhaled.

— Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden went back on the attack as Trump tried to downplay his own COVID-19 infection, with Biden saying he was “not surprised” Trump caught the coronavirus, considering the president’s resistance to social distancing or wearing masks.

— Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris will debate Wednesday separated by plexiglass shields, one of a handful of changes debate officials are making in response to concerns about COVID-19

— Trump received the steroid dexamethasone. Here’s what that says about his condition.

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— Trump’s doctor is a D.O. How is that different from an M.D.?

An Alarming Analogy

Before Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19, he alarmed Jewish leaders and others with remarks that appeared to endorse “racehorse theory” — the idea that selective breeding can improve a country’s performance, which American eugenicists and German Nazis used in the last century to buttress their goals of racial purity.

“You have good genes, you know that, right?” Trump told a mostly white crowd of supporters in Bemidji, Minn., on Sept. 18. “You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it? Don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

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Trump’s remark was not the first time that he has spoken favorably about the racehorse analogy, which has been embraced by white supremacists for decades. But these latest comments come as the country has been roiled over racial injustice and the protests against it.

The Million-Acre Fire

The August Complex fire has reached “gigafire” status, burning more than 1 million acres, setting a record for California and offering what experts say is a terrifying window into how climate change and other factors such as mismanaged forests are worsening the state’s fire danger.

In the 50 days since a lightning storm set the area ablaze, the August Complex has expanded into seven counties, including Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake and Colusa. Even Monday, it continued to threaten communities as firefighters struggled to gain greater control of the inferno.

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“This is a wake-up call,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist who spent several decades at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. “California burns every year, but it didn’t burn a half a century ago like it is today. The stage is evolving.”

‘The Burden of Being Black and Brown’

Many people who are both Black and Latino have been performing a cultural juggling act all their lives.

Now, with one crisis in public health and another in police brutality, the shared struggles, as well as the misunderstandings, between their two sides have moved front of mind.

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The coronavirus has killed both groups at disproportionately high rates. Poverty, crowded housing and chronic health issues were already more prevalent in their communities. Many have lost their jobs or are essential workers braving hazardous conditions.

In L.A. County, they also bear the brunt of police violence — 80% of those killed by law enforcement in the last two decades were Black or Latino.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

In Hollywood, Oct. 5, 1945, is known as Bloody Friday. The 10,500-member Conference of Studio Unions had been on strike for six months, but a rival union — the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — had not joined them.

Strikers attempted to block the employee entrances of the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank as non-striking workers and studio police arrived. The confrontation quickly went from tense to violent. Cars were overturned and strikers punched those who broke the picket line. At one point, studio firemen unleashed fire hoses on the striking workers. By the day’s end, The Times reported that 25 people had been injured. The strike didn’t end until a settlement was reached on Oct. 24.

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On Oct. 5, 1945, strikers outside of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank flee as studio firemen turn hoses toward them.
Oct. 5, 1945: Strikers outside of the employee entrance to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. Strikers and non-strikers clashed in fights as non-strikers tried to cross picket line. Studio firemen, center, background, turn hose on battlers. Two workers’ cars and officers’ car, at the left, were overturned as they attempted to enter the studio. This photo appeared in the Oct. 6, 1945, Los Angeles Times.
(Andrew H. Arnott / Los Angeles Times)

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CALIFORNIA

— Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday appointed Martin Jenkins, a Black former prosecutor and judge, to the California Supreme Court. He would become the first openly gay man on the court, and only the third Black man ever to serve.

— A judge has ruled that Sheriff Alex Villanueva exceeded his authority when he rehired a fired deputy as part of a settlement agreement that sparked a bitter legal fight between Los Angeles County’s top elected leaders.

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— Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and 10 of the city’s public employee unions have struck another deal to delay the city’s furlough program, hoping for new federal funding.

— A group of elected officials gathered at L.A. City Hall to decry the deadly conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and call on the Trump administration to intervene diplomatically. Armenian protesters in L.A. have said there is a “false equivalence” in media coverage of the conflict.

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NATION-WORLD

— Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use its emergency powers to seal U.S. borders, overruling scientists at the agency who said there was no evidence the action would slow the coronavirus, according to two former health officials.

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— The Supreme Court has reinstated a requirement that South Carolina residents voting by mail in November’s election get a witness to sign their ballots.

— In Malaysia, the world’s largest disposable glove company will pay tens of millions of dollars to migrant workers who were recruited unethically, company documents show. The company’s sales to the U.S. have been restricted over allegations of forced labor.

— Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British scientist Michael Houghton were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Separately, three scientists — including one American, Andrea Ghez — won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics for advancing our understanding of black holes.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Movie theaters are said to be at “a crisis point” as all 536 of Regal’s U.S. theaters temporarily shut down, dampening hopes of a quick recovery.

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— “What would Carrie do?” How “Sex and the City” lives on in Netflix’s new comedy “Emily in Paris.”

— Audience demand for TV shows with diverse casts outpaced their supply in the last three years, according to a new study that challenges Hollywood assumptions about which programming travels well.

— It was in the early days of the pandemic when a group of dancers from the East Hollywood hipster strip club Jumbo’s Clown Room realized no one was coming to save them. So they did it themselves.

BUSINESS

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine announced that he would soon step down and that the paper was launching a search for a new top editor who could chart a digital future and unite a newsroom that has been torn by controversies.

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Card clubs in L.A. County have reopened with health precautions, drawing a stream of gamblers and prompting expressions of relief from city leaders who have struggled without the key source of tax revenue.

SPORTS

— For the last several months, the NBA has tried to be part of a move toward change. Global movements to face past wrongs have inspired the league’s efforts.

— The Dodgers will open up their National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres. Who has the edge in positional matchups?

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OPINION

— California’s tax system needs to be overhauled, but making changes to Proposition 13 won’t do it, writes columnist George Skelton.

— Is Trump getting the medical advice he needs? Columnist Jonah Goldberg writes that some people grow so rich and powerful, they can afford the diagnoses and treatments they want — with harmful consequences.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Amid the coronavirus outbreak, here are some of the White House employees who take care of the president and his family in myriad ways. (The Atlantic)

— Shrinking glaciers have created a new normal for Greenland’s ice sheet: consistent ice loss for the foreseeable future. (The Conversation)

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ONLY IN L.A.

The Southern California steelhead trout matures in the Pacific Ocean, but its ancestral breeding grounds are in the San Gabriel Mountains. In between is a 4.8-mile-long stretch of the L.A. River flood-control channel, strewn with trash and slick with algae. A plan being championed by Mayor Eric Garcetti would have biologists turn it back into the perfect passage, a freeway for Southern California’s fish.

Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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