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Trump returns to White House after COVID treatment

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President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after being treated for COVID-19 for three days at the hospital, and removed his mask to pose for photos on a balcony before walking into the residence.

Trump didn’t speak to reporters at the White House and only said “thank you very much” to those gathered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before boarding the presidential helicopter. Back at the White House, he walked up the South Portico stairs to the balcony, where he removed his mask, flashed thumbs-up with both hands and saluted for several seconds.

He did not appear to put his mask back on before walking into the residence. The show of defiance toward both the virus and public health measures to combat its spread was in keeping with the president’s tone earlier when he announced he would leave the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital.

In a video released shortly afterward, Trump said of the virus: “Don’t let it dominate you.”

“I knew there’s danger to it. But I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. I know there’s a risk. I know there’s a danger. But that’s O.K. And now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune, I don’t know,” he said.

“Get out there, be careful,” Trump added. “The vaccines are coming momentarily.”

The president has received medical care unavailable to most people, including three powerful medicines and an airlift to and from the hospital. The virus has infected more than 7.4 million Americans and has killed more than 210,000 since February, including 475 on Sunday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The president’s aides hope to keep him at the White House residence and away from the Oval Office but are uncertain how long that will last, according to people familiar with the matter.“We’ll be back on the campaign trail soon!!!” Trump tweeted before leaving the hospital.

“Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve. He’s met or exceeded all hospital discharge criteria,” White House physician Sean Conley said at a briefing after Trump’s announcement.

Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods” but the rest of his care can safely be performed at the White House, Conley said.

The race to determine who would be the next US president is well underway. Here’s a look at the developments along the way that lead to the election day on November 3, 2020.

The president received a fourth dose of an antiviral drug, Remdesivir, at Walter Reed before he was discharged and will get a fifth dose at the White House, his medical team said.

“He’s returning to a facility, the White House medical unit, that’s staffed 24-7,” Conley said, adding, “Every day a patient stays in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves.”

Conley said coronavirus patients could stop shedding the virus in as few as five days after diagnosis, and that Trump would be monitored to determine when he is no longer infectious. The White House plans for Trump to stay in the residence for a few days before returning to normal, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

The White House is creating additional room for Trump to work in the residence, and avoid heading into the Oval Office, by converting the Map Room and Diplomatic Reception Room into office space, according to a person familiar with the matter.

All aides who will see Trump over the next few days will be required to be in full personal protective equipment and maintain physical distance from the president, that person said, asking not to be identified discussing internal preparations.

Conley conceded that the course of Trump’s illness could still take a turn. “We all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard because we’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course,” he said.

“We’re looking to this weekend,” Conley added. “If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief.”

Trump has received doses of two other medicines, including an experimental “antibody cocktail” and a steroid, dexamethasone, usually used to combat inflammation in people with more severe cases of Covid-19.

During the news conference, one of Trump’s doctors read off a list of the president’s vital signs as of this morning, including his temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood-oxygen saturation level. His medical team has not previously released that data to the public.

But Conley declined to discuss the results of scans of Trump’s lungs, citing federal health privacy law.

Trump went to the hospital Friday evening, after announcing early that morning he’d tested positive for the virus. He was briefly administered supplemental oxygen at the White House before traveling to Walter Reed, Conley said Sunday.

The White House did not provide any update on Trump’s health in more than 24 hours between Sunday and Monday. Before he suddenly announced he would leave the hospital, he had not said anything about his condition on Twitter since shortly after 5 pm Sunday.

With less than a month until Election Day, Trump’s hospitalization has jolted the presidential campaign, forcing him to scrap rallies and other events as polls show him trailing Joe Biden nationally and in swing states. His campaign has launched “Operation MAGA,” referring to his Make America Great Again slogan, to flood the campaign trail with top surrogates like Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s family and others.

Among the aides who were with the president Monday evening as he was preparing to leave Max Miller, the deputy campaign manager for presidential operations, and Bobby Peede, the White House director of advance. They arrived at the hospital just before 3pm, heading to presidential suite.

Peede had the coronavirus earlier this year, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Trump’s release comes after a weekend of mixed signals from Conley, who on Sunday disclosed for the first time that the president had been given supplemental oxygen and received a medication that’s typically used in more severe Covid-19 patients.

Asked why he didn’t disclose during Saturday’s briefing that Trump had received oxygen despite repeated questions about it, Conley said, “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude” of the team and the president.

Trump was diagnosed with the disease late Thursday, after a close aide, Hope Hicks, also tested positive for the virus.

The president first tested positive after he returned from a fundraiser at his New Jersey golf resort on Thursday, McEnany told reporters on Sunday evening. Trump made an appearance on Fox News on Thursday night before disclosing on Twitter shortly after midnight on Friday that he had tested positive.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday criticized Trump’s travel to the fundraiser at his Bedminster golf resort in the state, saying it ought to have been canceled. The president went to the event despite knowing Hicks had tested positive.

“I hope it’s a lesson that now we’ve all learned,” Murphy said on CBS’s “This Morning.”

Biden, speaking in Miami, wished Trump and the first lady well and said he hoped the president would take mask-wearing seriously.

“I was glad to see the president speaking and recording videos over the weekend,” Biden said. “Now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: Listen to the scientists, support masks.”

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Buhari appoints Semiu Adeniran new stastician general

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Semiu Adeniran as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics.

The appointment follows the demise of the former statistician general, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13, 2022, eight months into his five-year tenure.
A statement by Sufuyan Ojeifo, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said, “Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics. He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience garnered from various local and international institutions.”

“Until his appointment, Mr Semiu was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics.”

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Cancel gospel crusade in Abia — IPOB warns Kumuyi

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Pastor William Kumuyi

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has asked the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, to take note of the ugly security in the South East zone and cancel the crusade he has scheduled to hold in Aba, Abia State.

Pastor Kumuyi is slated to hold a gospel crusade in Aba, from 24th to 29th May, 2022.

IPOB stated that it will not allow anybody to die because of this crusade as there are high chances of criminals operating as unknown gunmen to infiltrate the crusade and blame it on IPOB.

In a statement signed by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB urged the cleric to pray for an end to the insecurity in Biafra land and tasked Christians to engage God in fervent prayers to expose all those behind the insecurity in the land.

“The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to advise Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper life Ministry to take note of the security situation in the South East as he comes to Aba for his gospel crusade. Let him and the organizers of the crusade make sure that nothing happens.

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“The security of this region is not good because of political and criminal activities. Therefore, we advise him to stop this crusade for security reasons. We equally want them to be united against the Islamic agenda against non Muslims in Nigeria. We had expected them to demand justice for the innocent Deborah Yakubu burnt alive by Muslim fanatics in Sokoto State. Her killers are walking freely today and 34 lawyers shamelessly volunteered to defend her killers but Christians are just watching them. The double faced Nigeria security agencies only managed to arrest two of her killers because they are Muslims. If it were to be in Biafra land, all the youths on the street will be in police cell by now while the unlucky ones would have been killed.

“How many Igbo or Christian lawyers came to defend our Leader fighting for the freedom of all Biafrans but 34 Muslim lawyers have come in defense of killers of Deborah Yakubu? Is it not time Christians and Men of God woke up to the realities in Nigeria? They should support Biafra and Oduduwa agitators in their bid to free Biafra and Oduduwa republics from the Islamic bondage in Nigeria so that they will enjoy freedom of worship in both republics.

“Leah Shuaibu is still in captivity today because she is a Christian but all the Muslims abducted along with her have since been freed. Christians must support IPOB to liberate them from bondage in Nigeria.”

The pro Biafra group further asked Kumuyi to pray against wicked leaders in Biafra land and Nigeria, stressing that they are the real problems of the people.

“Let him use the opportunity to pray against the powers holding people captive in Nigeria in his church in Lagos.”

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I’ve no apology for being ‘mad’ about Nigeria ― Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has a “mad passion” for Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who stated this when he played host to a presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen at his Penthouse residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said he had no apology for being mad about Nigeria “because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say yes, I have come to live here.”

According to him, Nigeria needs a leader who is ‘mad’ and passionate about the country to address its myriad problems and put it on the right path.

He said, “Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness and I look at you (Hayatu-Deen) and say yes, you are mad about Nigeria too.”

Obasanjo lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country and insisted that Nigeria could overcome its security challenges within two years with the willingness to make tough decisions.

He said, “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.

“I believe like you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, that this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words – decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.

“It is an agonising situation for you obviously and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.”

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Hayatu-Deen who came in the company with his team at 12.30pm went into a closed-door meeting with Obasanjo which lasted for about an hour before speaking with journalists.

The former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, described Obasanjo as a father of modern Nigeria whose administration recorded tremendous achievements.

Speaking at the state PDP secretariat, Hayatu-Deen said he possessed the capacity, experience and knowledge to govern Nigeria.

The aspirant, who said he had been to several parts of Nigeria, including South-West, stressed that he is a passionate and complete Nigerian.

He said, “My blood is Nigerian blood. I had seen Nigeria with the eyes of a Nigerian and not from the perspective of a tribal man. I am prepared to govern Nigeria from the first day of inauguration on May 29, 2023.

“We are suffering from self-inflicted wounds. As an economist, I know how to fix the economy. I will provide social security, I will provide Energy Security, I will deal with the issue of national insecurity.”

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