Donald Trump recuperates as Covid cluster expands across Washington

Credit: AP

The latest medical bulletin from the White House doctor claims the president  is resting well and is free of Covid symptoms.

But if Donald Trump is recovering from the virus, there is still disarray across the West Wing.

More than a dozen key officials have tested positive.The cluster of cases is still radiating out from the likely super-spreader event that happened 10 days ago - a ceremony for the nomination of a Supreme Court hopeful.

The so-called 'super spreader event' announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. Credit: AP

The latest person to test positive is Stephen Miller, one of the president’s most powerful advisers and speech writers. He joins a dozen other key staff in isolation.It has also spread across the military leadership at the Pentagon.

All but one of generals on the Joint Chiefs of Staff is in quarantine.

Meanwhile, the president has been engaging in a frenzy of tweeting, revisiting some of his favourite conspiracy theories and attacking his old political enemies.

Will Trump win? Listen to the latest episode of our US election podcast below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

If the number of tweets is a sign of his health, then Donald Trump is in exceptional shape.

He is also making clear that he is itching to get back on the campaign trail.  

Donald Trump is saying he is ready for the second presidential debate next week.

But at the same time, Joe Biden is saying the debate should be cancelled if Trump is still positive for Covid.

The commission that organises the debate has said it may install protective glass between the candidates to ensure they are safe.

The president‘s attempt to leverage his illness for political advantage - seen most clearly in that extraordinary Hollywood production of his arrival back from hospital - does not appear to be working.

The latest polls show that Joe Biden has opened up a significant and growing national lead.

A CNN survey puts Biden 16 points above Trump.

The Democrats have not won this campaign yet. There could be more October surprises.

Biden himself could fall victim to the virus.

But it seems that Trump is unable to escape the same polarising rhetoric about the virus.

He is still reckless about wearing masks and almost completely lacking in empathy for the families of the 210,000 American victims of Covid.

And there now seems no chance of a game-changing vaccine being announced before Election Day.

So as Trump recuperates in the White House, his political fortunes seem bleak, even as his physical health is said to be improving.

Within four weeks, he may have all the time in the world to recuperate, and by January 20 he could be living in New York and his tweet storms will be of significantly less interest.