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The Story

President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus.

What happened?

Overnight, the president announced on Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump both received positive test results for COVID-19 – hours after he confirmed that one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, had contracted the virus. Trump said he and the first lady would begin their quarantine and recovery process immediately – and that we would get through this "together." But since more than 205,000 people in the US have been killed by the virus, the news sent shockwaves across the country, the financial markets, and the world.

Has he gotten sick?

It's not clear if either the president or the first lady have experienced any symptoms – but the White House doctor said they were doing "well" and he expected Trump to keep "carrying out his duties without disruption." The CDC says symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure to the coronavirus. At 74 years old, the president's at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

What happens now?

The White House doctor said the Trumps would stay at the White House "during their convalescence." Today, the president was set to head to Florida for an in-person campaign rally. Now, the only thing on his schedule is a phone call on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors. With 32 days until Election Day, it's unclear how he will continue to campaign. Or participate in the next presidential debate on October 15. And if he gets seriously ill, it could raise questions about whether he should stay on the ballot.

How did this happen?

For months, Trump's critics have said he hasn't taken the virus seriously – and that his admin hasn't done enough to protect the American people. He's refused to impose a national mask mandate – and has rarely worn one in public – even though it's considered one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus. He's also held in-person events and indoor rallies – while his own health experts have recommended social distancing. He promoted an unproven drug as a treatment. And even though he knew about the dangers of the coronavirus all the way back in January, he intentionally downplayed the virus's threat so as to not "create a panic." And hours before he announced his test results, he claimed the "end of the pandemic" was in sight.


President Trump's diagnosis is the most serious known health scare to any sitting American president in decades. He'll have access to the best medical treatment in the world, and we wish him and the first lady a healthy recovery. With just over a month until an election that's largely seen as a referendum on how he's handled the pandemic, this news creates more uncertainty in an already unpredictable year.

And Also...This

What people are watching...

Texas. Yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered counties to limit the number of drop-off locations they have for mail-in ballots Starting today, Texans who are voting by mail (which is pretty limited) can drop their ballots at locations determined by their county's early voting clerk. Harris County – which includes Houston, has over 2 million registered voters, and is bigger than the state of Rhode Island – had planned to have 12 drop-off locations. Now, it's got to scale that back to one. Counties will also be required to allow poll watchers to monitor their drop-off spots.

  • Lone Star squabble: Abbott said the changes are meant to "ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting." (Note: evidence shows voter fraud is extremely rare, including when voting by mail.) But the Texas Democratic Party called it "blatant voter suppression." And legal challenges against the governor's order are expected.

What's getting updated…

This refugee cap. Earlier this week, the Trump admin announced plans to slash the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the US down to 15,000 – a historic low. In President Obama's last year in office, that number was around 110,000. But the Trump admin's consistently cut down refugee spots. Now, in part because of the coronavirus, the admin says it needs to prioritize the "safety and well-being of Americans." Refugee advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers denounced the limit, saying it's part of a fear-mongering tactic to villainize refugees.

  • Who this affects: The State Dept's anticipating more than 300,000 new refugee and asylum claims. But there will be spots reserved for those fleeing religious persecution, Iraqis who assisted US forces, and refugees from countries like El Salvador, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Where the tea is reaching a boiling point...

The UK. Yesterday, the European Union took legal action against the country after it failed to ditch its plans to rewrite parts of the Brexit deal. Reminder: Last month, the UK said 'we've had a change of heart about our divorce agreement.' And that it would be making some amendments to its Northern Ireland protocol. The EU said 'a deal's a deal' and gave the country less than a month to drop its plans...or else. But the UK hasn't backed down. So now, the EU's taking action – which could lead to a showdown at the European Court of Justice. But the EU and the UK are also still having trade talks – and could settle everything outside the court.

Where history's been made…

California. Earlier this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) signed a law creating a task force addressing reparations for slavery – the first law of its kind in the US. The nine-person panel will study and make recommendations on what kind of compensation would be provided and who would receive it. The new legislation comes amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D), who authored the bill, said California had a responsibility to "lead the way in terms of civil rights."

Who's reminding us you don't have to suffer in silence...

Chrissy Teigen.

Staying Cool

Trends come and go, but fashion is forever. And for the next few weeks, we're diving into the history of some of the most iconic looks that have serious staying power. Today, the color red...

Ever heard of a cochineal? It's a little bug (stay with us) from Mexico. Europeans learned about it in the 16th century, and started using it to dye royal garments bright red.

The cochineal was used until the 1870s, when the first synthetic reds became available. But we owe a lot to that little bug for bringing us the bright, bold reds we all know, love, and wear today.

So does Tommy Hilfiger. They've used bold colors (like red) since 1985. Cut to today, and they're taking us even further into the future with a vision to create fashion that wastes nothing and welcomes all. And one of their ambitious targets is to become a truly sustainable brand by 2030. Learn more.

Skimm Reads

"Invisible Girl" by Lisa Jewell

This week, we're partnering with Book of the Month to bring you an exclusive Skimm Read. Join Book of the Month now to get a copy for only $9.99. And then pick from five books every month to get one delivered right to your door. Find out more here.

It's officially spooky szn...aka thriller time. Lisa Jewell has you covered. Her latest follows troubled 17-year-old Saffyre Maddox, her child psychologist Roan Fours, and his neighbor who's been accused of sexual misconduct. When Saffyre decides to spy on Roan, she finds things that she wasn't looking for – and ends up in trouble of her own. We won't judge if you read with one eye open.


Here are our favorite picks to help you take a break today...

1. The best dishes to eat in every state. Raise your hand if you plan your trips based on the food options. Obv same. Here's your state-by-state breakdown of the best cuisines in America. Have car, will travel (for food).

2. A perfect playlist for fall. Autumn means listening to acoustic songs and Hozier. It's just the rules.

3. Three totally random things that make us happy: A Central Perk notepad, some mini pie pans, and for the "Schitt's Creek" fans: a Rose Apothecary sweatshirt.

PS: Want more? Sign up to get weekly recs in your inbox.


For when you're not sure what the deal is with electric cars…

Info for you, coming right up. Because electric vehicles are getting more and more advanced. Think: more public fast charging stations, longer ranges (some with up to 300 miles), and more affordable models. Find out more.*

For when you're ready to reflect on the last six months…

We were, too. Cue our latest Skimm Special podcast, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual, where we talk about the economic impacts of COVID-19 on women. Like job loss, difficulty paying bills, and more. But don't worry: we also give you tips for coming out stronger on the other side. Listen here.*

For when the store is always out of toilet paper…

Get yours delivered. Reel makes 100% bamboo TP that's sustainable and biodegradable. And every purchase helps fund access to clean toilets for those who need them. PS: Skimm'rs get 25% off. Do good.*

For when your daily beauty routine is wayyy too complicated…

Simplify it. With products that do more than one job and are designed to ease your struggles. Like a concealer that's also a sunscreen. And a hair brush that'll get out any knot. Easy, breezy.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

Skimm More

1. Last week, President Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his next Supreme Court nominee. Our podcast "Skimm This" breaks down what you need to know about RBG's potential replacement. Think: her background, the Supreme Court cases she'll likely be ruling on, and where she stands on key issues.

2. Speaking of the Supreme Court…This guide explains how the confirmation process works. And how long it typically takes. (Read: around 70 days.)

3. Meet Nakeya. She paid off $75K of debt after getting a divorce. We spoke to her about how she (side-)hustled and cut back on spending.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Driving change...Liz S (PA). She's been delivering meals to people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. Now, her efforts have turned into a multi-state nonprofit org.

Add to cart with...Melissa R and Ali E (TX). They created Shop a Small Business, a website where people can shop and support small businesses from home. Check it out here.

Some (Birthdays)...Skimm Dad Donny Weisberg (IL), Gabe Malitzky (NY), Sasha Levites (NY), Disa DiBuono Simpson (IL), Darci DiBuono Pinello (IL), Ronnie Pollidoro (NY), Rose Denize (FL), Leslie Beauvoir (FL), Dale Gray (NY), Chelsea Thatcher (CT), Joe Cookson (GA), Hope Kelly (NC), Judy Donovan (NY), Leah Bell (GA), Adrien Petersen (TX)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Ellen Burke, Niven McCall-Mazza, and Clem Robineau