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Trump makes surprise outing as treatment suggests he has more severe case of COVID-19 than doctors acknowledged

Plus: State Sen. Jasinski takes ‘complete responsibility’ for driving while impaired; Surly Beer Hall temporarily closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19; Duluth mayor responds after caravan of Trump supporters gathers outside her home; and more.

President Donald Trump gestures from a car as he rides in front of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
President Donald Trump gestures from a car as he rides in front of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
REUTERS/Cheriss May

The Associated Press reports: “President Donald Trump declared, ‘I get it,’ in a message to the nation Sunday evening before briefly leaving the hospital to salute cheering supporters from his motorcade. The surprising move raised new questions about his understanding of the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 209,000 Americans. Hours earlier, Trump’s medical team reported that his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid treatment typically only recommended for the very sick. The doctors also said his health is improving and that he could be discharged as early as Monday.”

In The New York Times, Katie Thomas and President Trump’s doctors offered rosy assessments of his condition on Sunday, but the few medical details they disclosed — including his fluctuating oxygen levels and a decision to begin treatment with a steroid drug — suggested to many infectious disease experts that he is suffering a more severe case of Covid-19 than the physicians acknowledged. In photos and videos released by the White House, there is hardly any sign that Mr. Trump is sick. But at a news conference at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Mr. Trump’s doctors said his oxygen levels had dropped to a level that can indicate that a patient’s lungs are compromised. The symptom is seen in many patients with severe Covid-19. The president’s medical team also said that he had been prescribed dexamethasone on Saturday. The drug is a steroid used to head off an immune system overreaction that kills many Covid-19 patients.”

Anthony Lonetree of the Star Tribune says, “St. Paul homeowners can expect an easier go of it next year when it comes to paying property taxes, according to projections released last week. The owner of a median-valued $215,800 home would see his or her tax bill rise 1.2%, from $3,030 to $3,066, in 2021 if the city, Ramsey County and St. Paul Public Schools sign off on their respective tax-levy proposals later this year. You need to go back seven years to find a friendlier outlook. But that does not mean taxpayers couldn’t have gotten a better break.”

MPR’s Emily Bright reports: “Marner Saw, a leader in Minnesota’s Karen community, died Friday from complications of COVID-19, after several weeks in the hospital. He was 50. Marner Saw was born in Burma in 1970, spent time in a refugee camp in Thailand, and had lived in Minnesota with his family since 2005. He was part of an early wave of Karen to arrive in the state, and he volunteered countless hours helping other new arrivals. He was involved with the Karen Community of Minnesota and was a founding member of the St Paul nonprofit Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM), where he worked in immigration services and coordinated an elders’ program.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Chao Xiong and Kim Hyatt write: “State Sen. John Jasinski said Sunday that he takes ‘complete responsibility’ for driving while impaired Saturday. Jasinski, R-Faribault, declined to be interviewed but acknowledged in a statement that he was pulled over for a driving infraction. ‘I take complete responsibility for my actions. This case is pending and I am awaiting the legal process,’ he stated. ‘However, I do want to say that I understand my actions affect my family, friends and constituents. I cannot overstate my gratitude for the public’s understanding, support and thoughts during this time.'”

In the Pioneer Press, Kristi Belcamino writes: “Alexander M. ‘Sandy’ Keith, former lawyer, lieutenant governor and Minnesota Supreme Court justice, has died. He was 93. Family friend Anne Brataas, who said she knew Keith through her mother, the late State Sen. Nancy Brataas, said he died early Saturday in his sleep at his Rochester, Minn., home.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Surly Beer Hall and Beer Garden in Minneapolis is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend. The announcement, made Sunday on the business’s website, says the company has notified customers and others employees who were in close contact with the infected worker. … Surly officials also said in their statement that the closure ‘may affect the union election that’s already underway.’ The company reached an agreement last month with Unite Here Local 17 on election terms for workers who are seeking to unionize out of health and safety concerns.”

WBAY-TV in Wisconsin reports, “Wisconsin health officials report more than 1,800 people have tested positive for the coronavirus Sunday. This breaks a five day streak of the state adding more than 2,000 cases a day. According to Sunday’s report, 10,815 tests came back and 1,865 were positive, or 17.24%. State officials say Wisconsin is averaging 2,400 cases a day for the past 7 days. A total 132,663 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 throughout the past 8 months.”

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Says the Star Tribune’s Kim Hyatt, “One person is dead after an early-morning shooting Sunday in the Hiawatha neighborhood of south Minneapolis, police said. Officers arrived at a duplex in the 4300 block of S. 46th Avenue after a report of a shooting about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Inside, they found a man believed to be in his 30s with life-threatening gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said. Officers were told that a dispute had led to the shooting, and the suspect had fled the scene. The identity of the victim has not been released. The shooting marks the 64th homicide in Minneapolis so far this year.”

Duluth’s KBJR reports: “Duluth Mayor Emily Larson is speaking out following an incident Friday night where a caravan of Trump supporters gathered outside her Hillside home. A dozen cars drove by in a parade honking and displaying flags and signs. This came days after the Mayor said the President was a “white supremacist” during a virtual call prior to the President’s visit to Duluth. The Mayor released a statement on social media Sunday night. ‘Turns out, when you speak up to criticize someone for being selfish, divisive and racist, twenty or more vehicles show up to absolutely prove you right,’ said Mayor Larson.”