Alex Wong/Getty Images

All White House staffers have been ordered to wear face masks at all times to protect the president and vice president from the coronavirus after some staffers tested positive.

President Trump famously said he would not wear a mask. But Chief of Staff Mark Meadows issued a memo to all White House staff that masks should be worn at all times inside the building except when at one's desk.

The news comes as four of Pence's close aides tested positive. Secret Service agents and Trump's personal valet also tested positive.

The CDC recommended face coverings for the public but stopped short of making the recommendation mandatory.

Both Trump and VP Mike Pence have been criticized for not wearing a face mask during public appearances or when touring clinics and factories.

Trump said he doesn't believe wearing a mask is "appropriate" for public duties. "I don't see it for myself, I just don't," he said.

Several aides told The Wall Street Journal they don't expect Trump to start wearing a face mask.

Photo may have been deleted

Screen grab: YouTube/PBS

Vice President Mike Pence declined to wear a face mask during a tour of the Mayo Clinic, disregarding the famous Minnesota clinic's face mask policy.

News footage shows a maskless Pence surrounded by Mayo Clinic staffers wearing masks. After the tour, the Mayo Clinic tweeted that Pence was informed of the masking policy prior to his arrival. That tweet has since been deleted.

Pence's refusal to don a mask renewed public speculation that a Covid-19 vaccine exists. But Pence explained to reporters that he and President Trump are regularly tested for the coronavirus.

"As Vice President of the United States I'm tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis," he said, "and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus. And since I don't have the coronavirus, I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised the public to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. But President Trump declared the CDC suggestion is not mandatory and that he would not wear a mask.

COVID-19 causes mild symptoms or no symptoms in most healthy adults. The virus causes acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and potentially fatal pneumonia among the elderly, particularly those with chronic illnesses such as respiratory and heart problems, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and smokers.
 

Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the photograph(s) used in this post. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" of photographs for purposes such as parody, criticism, commentary, news reporting, education, and research.

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to free up billions in funds to agencies battling the coronavirus outbreak in America.

Trump made the announcement during a White House presser with Vice President Mike Pence, who heads up the president's Coronavirus task force.

"I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words," said Trump during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Friday.

Trump made the announcement as chaos ensued and Americans emptied store shelves of food, water, toilet paper, alcohol, bleach and other essentials.

Trump has come under extreme pressure from lawmakers to increase testing sites where people who believe they have the virus can go to get tested.

Medical experts say there is a shortage of testing kits to determine the extent of the epidemic.

Wall Street panicked as the stock market suffered its worst 2 days since the financial crash in 1987.

The president said he would direct billions in aid to the CDC and other health agencies to speed up testing.

Trump urged calm as schools were shut down in multiple states and major sports leagues canceled their seasons in an unprecedented overreaction to a virus that causes mild flu-like symptoms in most healthy adults.

"This will pass," Trump said of the coronavirus. "We'll be stronger for it. We've learned a lot."

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Wednesday he is appointing Vice President Mike Pence to head a task force to confront a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

As President Trump said, "The risk to the American people remains very low" since the common flu virus is far deadlier than the coronavirus outside of Asia.

The typical flu virus kills an average of 40,000 people a year in the U.S. There are no coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

"We're ready. We're ready for anything," Pence said. "We're all in this together. This is not the time for partisanship. This president will always put the health and safety of America first."

The Coronavirus (known as COVID-19) has not yet hit the U.S. as hard as it has hit Asian countries.

So far, there are 60 confirmed cases in the U.S. and no deaths.

The coronavirus enters the body by attaching to ACE2 receptors. ACE2 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) is an enzyme that is expressed predominantly in the heart, kidneys and testicles.

East Asians and Caucasian men have more ACE2 enzyme receptors and are more at risk for Coronavirus infections.

The risk of infection is lower for Black people of African descent, women and white Europeans.

According to health experts the coronavirus is highly contagious and can enter the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes as well as inhaled into the lungs.

Mucous membranes lines various openings of the body including the eyes, inner nose, inner ears, inner lips, mouth, vagina, urethral opening and the anus.

Unlike our skin, mucous membranes are porous and allows the passage of gas, liquid or microscopic viruses into the bloodstream.

The coronavirus is smaller than the HIV virus, which means COVID-19 can easily enter the body through openings such as the eyes, mouth and nasal passages.

No photo

When treating patients infected with COVID-19, medical personnel must wear face masks and eye protection shields (such as this one) to protect against the virus entering the body through the eyes, mouth and nose.

If you think you have been infected with Coronavirus, the CDC advises you to stay home to prevent spreading the virus. Wash your hands frequently, and drink plenty of fluids.

Piedmont's WellStreet Urgent Care Clinics in Atlanta and surrounding suburbs sent out a newsletter to educate patients about the coronavirus.

The following are excerpts from the newsletter:

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus infection?

The symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. However, many infected people will have rather mild symptoms, like a sore throat. While it is unclear why some people deteriorate, most of those infected with Coronavirus recover fully after a mild illness.

How is Coronavirus spread?

The virus spreads through contact with another infected person. It may take 2-14 days for someone to become ill after being exposed to the Coronavirus. This time frame is called the incubation period. As you may already know, while there are sporadic cases in many countries throughout the world, the vast majority of infections remain in China. For that reason, if you have NOT traveled to China within the past 14 days or been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus infection, you are highly unlikely to have the disease.

What should I do if I get a fever and cough?

While things can certainly change, for now, you are far more likely to have influenza or another type of respiratory infection. At Piedmont Urgent Care, we can evaluate and test for flu and other infections. There are treatments available that can help shorten the duration of flu and reduce symptoms. And if needed, we can check for pneumonia with a chest x-ray.

Mike Pence Joy Behar

Vice President Mike Pence has accepted Joy Behar's public apology after she mocked him and called all Christians "mentally ill" for having conversations with God. Behar humbly apologized to Christians during an episode of The View on Tuesday.

Read more »

President Trump Edwin Jackson

President Trump tweeted about the untimely death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson who was killed when an illegal immigrant drunk driver ran him over on Super Bowl Sunday in Minneapolis.

Manuel Orrego-Savala, an illegal alien from Guatemala, was driving drunk when he lost control of his car and veered onto the shoulder of Interstate 70, striking both Jackson, 26, and his driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, of Avon, Indiana.

Read more »