Monday January 25th, 2021 11:40AM

The Latest: Trump claims mask wearers infected all the time

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says, without evidence, that people who wear face masks are getting infected with the coronavirus “all the time.”

Trump made the claim Thursday under questioning during an NBC News town hall event in Miami.

The president was asked about a large White House gathering Sept. 26 that is believed to be a source of coronavirus infections in many people who attended, including the president and first lady Melania Trump. Most guests didn’t wear masks.

Trump says he’s “good with masks” before claiming that “people with masks are catching it all the time.” Trump rarely wears a mask himself.

The director to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said wearing a mask is the best way to prevent infection, short of a vaccine that is still in development.



President Donald Trump is traveling to North Carolina and Florida on Thursday and will participate in an NBC town hall from Miami at 8 p.m. Eastern. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, is participating in an ABC town hall from Philadelphia at the same time.

Read more:

— President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will compete for TV audiences in dueling town halls.

— Poll by AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds majorities of Americans are highly critical of Trump’s handling of coronavirus pandemic and his own illness.

— Harris temporarily suspend in-person events after two campaign associates test positive for virus.



8:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is refusing to condemn a conspiracy theory that holds that the government is run by anti-Trump Satanic pedophiles, but he is condemning white supremacy.

Trump gave the initial condemnation under sharp questioning by Savannah Guthrie of NBC News. She pushed him to condemn the movement in a way he had refrained from doing on the debate stage with Joe Biden last month.

“I denounce white supremacy,” Trump said. “I’ve denounced white supremacy for years.”

But Trump refused to make the same statement about the QAnon movement, which believes Democrats and the government are Satanic pedophiles whom Trump will destroy. Trump falsely insisted he knew nothing of the movement, although he has been asked about it many times before. Trump has previously said he was pleased with the movement because it praises him.

“I know they are very much against pedophilia,” Trump said.


8:20 p.m.

Joe Biden is opening an ABC News town hall by criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Thursday that it’s “a president’s responsibility to lead” and that Trump “didn’t do that.” Biden said Trump focused too exclusively on the stock market while downplaying how the virus spread and threatened both Americans’ health and the economy on the ground.

Biden also criticized Trump for not more actively engaging with Congress to pass another economic relief package for individuals and businesses.

The former vice president acknowledged that he didn’t call for widespread mask use and social distancing until the spring. But he said that was when “the science” had become clearer on how the virus spreads.

Biden repeated that he’d listen to government scientists and public health experts but said that doesn’t mean the economy has to shut down.


8:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump was evasive when asked whether he took a coronavirus test on the day of the first debate, like he was supposed to.

Trump’s comments came in the opening moments of Thursday night’s town hall-style meeting on NBC. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, was appearing at a similar event at the same time on another network.

Trump was seated on stage, not wearing a mask, on a set with several voters spaced several feet apart, all of them wearing masks.

Pressed many times, he finally said he “probably” took a test the day of the opening debate last week, but he doesn’t remember. The Commission on Presidential Debates asked the two candidates to take tests before they arrived, but it was on the honor system.

He tested positive for the coronavirus two days after the first debate.

Trump also says he has “nothing, whatsoever” remaining of symptoms from his coronavirus infection. But he acknowledged that doctors determined that his lungs were “a little bit infected” when he was hospitalized.


8 p.m.

The dueling town halls have begun.

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are competing for TV audiences on Thursday night instead of meeting face-to-face for their second debate as originally planned.

The two are taking questions in different cities on different networks: Trump on NBC from Miami, Biden on ABC from Philadelphia. Trump backed out of plans for the presidential faceoff originally scheduled for Thursday evening after debate organizers said it would be held virtually following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.

The town halls offer a different format for the candidates to present themselves to voters, after the two held a chaotic and combative first debate late last month.


5:55 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is rallying Hispanic voters in Florida by highlighting President Donald Trump’s record opposing socialist leaders across Latin America.

Pence said Thursday that their support in the battleground state is crucial to guarantee Trump’s reelection. About 2.4 million Latinos are registered to vote for the 2020 presidential election in Florida.

A few hundred Trump supporters who emigrated from various countries gathered at the Cuban Memorial in Miami’s Tamiami Park to cheer for Pence as he criticized Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for being part of former President Barack Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba in 2014.

Pence says, “President Trump brought eight years of appeasement to an end and President Donald Trump will only stand hand in hand with you.”

For the past four years, Trump has been taking steps to reinstate an economic blockade of Cuba and reverse Obama’s thaw.


5:05 p.m.

Kamala Harris says the Democratic presidential campaign’s response to positive coronavirus tests among their team “obviously stands in stark contrast to you-know-who.”

Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, made the thinly veiled remark about President Donald Trump on Thursday during a virtual fundraising call.

She was scheduled to campaign in North Carolina but canceled the trip after her communications director and a member of the flight crew on a recent trip tested positive for the virus. Harris says she last saw them both seven days ago, and her doctors say her activity doesn’t need to be restricted based on CDC guidelines. Harris tested negative for the virus on Thursday.

Harris says the campaign has been following a strict set of rules to keep people safe.

She says, “Just so you know, I feel great and will proceed with everything that is necessary in these next 19 days.”

She says she’s spoken to both people who contracted the virus and that they “are doing well.”


4:20 p.m.

A third person tied to Joe Biden’s campaign has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The news comes as Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, paused her in-person campaigning after finding out two others, one of her staffers and a crew member on her flight to Arizona last week, tested positive for the virus. Both Biden and Harris tested negative for the coronavirus Thursday morning.

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement that an administrative staffer for the company that charters Biden’s campaign plane tested positive on Thursday morning. The staffer flew with Biden to Ohio on Monday and Florida on Tuesday, but O’Malley Dillon says they were always over 50 feet (15 meters) away from Biden, and both wore masks for the entire flight.

Because Biden was not in close contact with the person, the campaign’s medical experts have advised that Biden doesn’t need to quarantine.


3:05 p.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris has tested negative for the coronavirus.

It comes the same day she canceled travel for several days after two people involved with the Democratic presidential campaign tested positive.

The campaign says both Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, tested negative for the virus Thursday.

Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, was scheduled to campaign in North Carolina, which she has replaced with a virtual event.

The campaign announced Thursday morning that Harris’ communications director and a noncampaign staff member of the fight crew for her travel tested positive for the virus. The campaign says Harris did not have close contact with either within the past 48 hours.


3 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taking some of his most overt swipes yet at Dr. Anthony Fauci while campaigning in North Carolina.

Trump is defending his administration’s response to the pandemic, as he generally does at his rallies.

He offered a reminder that Fauci at one point said that people should not wear a mask. The doctor has said that an early recommendation about not wearing a mask was because there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for health professionals at the time. He has since called for universal mask wearing.

Trump called Fauci a nice guy, “so I keep him around.”

But he also described Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, as a Democrat. “Everybody knows that. He’s Cuomo’s friend,” Trump says, a reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Fauci has been studiously apolitical over a five-decade career in public health. The doctor has expressed dismay that the president used his comments in a campaign ad and says his comments were taken out of comments.


2:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has added some new material to his campaign rally speech: his teenage son Barron’s recent coronavirus infection.

Trump has worked the 14-year-old’s medical condition into his rally speech since the first lady disclosed Wednesday that their son had tested positive. She said he didn’t have any symptoms and has since tested negative.

Mrs. Trump has fiercely guarded the ninth-grader’s privacy, but the president is now using his son’s case to bolster his argument for why schools can and should fully reopen.

At a rally Thursday in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump said: “My beautiful Barron had it. He recovered so fast.” Trump and the first lady have also recovered from the coronavirus.


1:35 p.m.

Joe Biden is thanking some Republican donors as he celebrates a record-breaking campaign fundraising haul.

The former vice president, in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee, raised $383 million in September, breaking the record for monthly contributions he set in August with $364 million.

Biden participated Thursday in a virtual fundraiser hosted by Democratic National Committee Finance Chair Chris Korge. Biden said of those participating: “Some of you are Republicans, which makes a great deal of difference to me.”

“We’ve raised more than I ever thought we could,” Biden added.

Biden also said he’d spoken to billionaire Warren Buffett about plans for post-coronavirus pandemic spending. He says they discussed how perhaps “in the last 100 years, we’ve never been in this position to be able to come back and, not only build back better, but lead the world.”

“No one can outcompete us. I really mean it,” Biden said. “It’s the nature of who we are if we invest in our people.”


1:30 p.m.

Joe Biden has tested negative for the coronavirus.

The test result comes even as his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, has halted her in-person campaigning after two campaign aides tested positive for the virus. Harris traveled with the staffers during a trip to Arizona last week on Oct. 8, during which she and Biden campaigned together.

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said Harris had minimal contact with the staffers but paused her in-person campaigning out of an “abundance of caution.” Biden was slated to continue with a planned trip to Philadelphia on Thursday evening for a televised town hall because he did not come in contact with the staffers.

Both have had multiple negative coronavirus tests since the Oct. 8 trip.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Biden says he won't eliminate all Trump tax cuts
Democrat Joe Biden says he doesn’t plan to eliminate all the tax cuts enacted by President Donald Trump, just those that apply to the top earners
8:34PM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump claims mask wearers infected all the time
President Donald Trump says, without evidence, that people who wear face masks are getting infected with the coronavirus “all the time.”
8:31PM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump falsely says he knows nothing about QAnon
President Donald Trump is refusing to condemn a conspiracy theory that holds that the government is run by anti-Trump Satanic pedophiles, but he is condemning white supremacy
8:27PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Oakland, Portland sue over use of federal agents at protests
The cities of Oakland and Portland, Oregon have sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, alleging that the agencies are overstepping constitutional limits in their use of federal law enforcement officers to tamp down on protests
7:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden campaign flips COVID-19 threat into new Trump contrast
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign turned its first known coronavirus scare into another contrast with President Donald Trump
7:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Jewish family's painting looted by Nazis in 1933 is returned
A painting of two young, 19th-century skaters that was looted by Nazis from a Jewish family in 1933 and recently discovered at a small museum in upstate New York has been returned after 87 years
6:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
NBC holds fast to dueling town halls despite celebrity anger
NBC News isn't backing down from its decision to schedule President Donald Trump for a town hall in the same time slot that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, is speaking on ABC
5:30PM ( 3 hours ago )
Biden campaign finds 3rd virus link; Harris suspends travel
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is suspending in-person events until Monday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for the coronavirus
5:00PM ( 3 hours ago )
Europe, US reel as virus infections surge at record pace
Coronavirus cases around the world have climbed to all-time highs of more than 330,000 per day as the scourge comes storming back across Europe and spreads with renewed speed in the U.S. Many places are being forced to reimpose tough restrictions they had eased just a few months ago
5:00PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, wife finance anti-Biden group
Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife have given $75 million into a new super PAC that is attacking Democratic nominee Joe Biden
7:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump's election-eve drug discounts for seniors get snagged
President Donald Trump’s plan to mail millions of seniors a $200 prescription savings card has hit legal and budget roadblocks, making it unlikely the government can carry it out before Election Day
5:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Harris says Biden campaign takes virus seriously
Kamala Harris says the Democratic presidential campaign’s response to positive coronavirus tests among their team “obviously stands in stark contrast to you-know-who.”
5:07PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Biden thanks GOP donors after record fundraising
Democrat Joe Biden is thanking some Republican donors as he celebrates a record-breaking campaign fundraising haul from last month
1:48PM ( 6 hours ago )
GOP pushes Barrett's nomination ahead, Dems decry 'sham'
The Senate Judiciary Committee has set an Oct 22 vote on recommending approval of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination
1:27PM ( 7 hours ago )
Harris highlights stakes of election in Barrett hearings
Kamala Harris used three days of Supreme Court hearings this week to remind voters about the stakes of the November election and how Democrat Joe Biden would govern if elected president
1:18PM ( 7 hours ago )
General Election News
Senate Judiciary to consider Barrett ahead of vote next week
The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to take the first steps toward approving Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett
12:07AM ( 20 hours ago )
US Senate high stakes spur astronomical spending in Montana
Political groups fighting for control of the U.S. Senate have poured more than $118 million into the contest between Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican incumbent Steve Daines
10:37PM ( 22 hours ago )
Vision 2020: Will mailed-in ballots be delivered on time?
Can you trust the U.S. Postal Service to deliver your ballot on time
10:07PM ( 22 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
New book will include final thoughts from Justice Ginsburg
Some final thoughts from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and some previously unreleased materials have been gathered by one of her former clerks and will appear in a book coming out in March
6:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Residente signs with Sony Music to create TV, films and more
The artist known as Residente has directed his own music videos and now he will help develop TV shows, films and other on-screen content for a global market
5:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
Out and about again: Queen Elizabeth in visit with William
Queen Elizabeth II has carried out her first public engagement outside of a royal residence since early March when the coronavirus pandemic really started to impact all aspects of day-to-day life in the U.K. The 94-year-old monarch was joined Thursday by her grandson Prince William at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury, in southern England, and met with scientists battling the virus
3:43PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Broadway reaches for normalcy with Tony Award nominations
Broadway’s coronavirus-shortened season is getting an awards process that reflects this tumultuous year — incomplete, seemingly unfair and filled with loss
11:31AM ( 9 hours ago )
Post Malone owns Billboard Awards, Legend shines onstage
Walking into the show with 16 nominations, Post Malone won nine honors at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, where John Legend gave a heartfelt performance that was dedicated to his wife
8:11AM ( 12 hours ago )
A popular Ardern poised to win 2nd term in New Zealand vote
Opinion polls indicate New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern is on track to win a second term as prime minister in an election on Saturday
12:35AM ( 20 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
The Latest: Audio difficulties force pauses in court hearing
The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett paused for about 40 minutes because of audio difficulties
3:25PM ( 1 day ago )
St. Louis couple who waved guns at protest plead not guilty
A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters near their home have pleaded not guilty to two felony charges
3:00PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Biden says Barrett could strip health safeguards
Democrat Joe Biden says Judge Amy Coney Barrett “seems like a decent person,” but he calls it “an abuse of power” to confirm her to the Supreme Court before the presidential election
2:12PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
NBC faces backlash after agreeing to Trump town hall
NBC News says it'll host President Donald Trump for a town hall-styled event on Thursday, after the president submitted to a coronavirus test administered by the National Institutes of Health
10:56PM ( 21 hours ago )
'A little bit concerned': Trump looks to boost Iowa support
President Donald Trump is trying to shore up support from constituencies that not so long ago he thought he had in the bag: big business and voters in the red state of Iowa
8:31PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump tries to shore up support from big business, Iowans
President Donald Trump is trying to shore up support from constituencies that not so long ago he thought he had in the bag: big business and voters in the red state of Iowa
7:14PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
The Latest: Trump falsely says he knows nothing about QAnon
President Donald Trump is refusing to condemn a conspiracy theory that holds that the government is run by anti-Trump Satanic pedophiles, but he is condemning white supremacy
8:27PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump, Biden square off, in a way, in dueling town halls
President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are squaring off, in a way, with their scuttled second debate replaced by dueling televised town halls several channels apart
8:02PM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Dueling town halls with Trump and Biden begin
The dueling town halls have begun
8:00PM ( 38 minutes ago )
General manager Daryl Morey leaving Rockets on Nov. 1
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down on his own accord
7:52PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Black man's family views graphic video of in-custody death
Family members viewed graphic body-camera video this week of a Black man who died in Louisiana State Police custody following a high-speed chase
7:46PM ( 52 minutes ago )