Golden autumn sunshine shone down on Washington on Saturday to illuminate a US capital upended as Donald Trump began his first full day in hospital battling coronavirus amid a presidential election thrown into chaos.
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Just hours earlier, on Friday evening after an excruciating wait for news, the president had emerged from the White House with a lacklustre wave and thumbs up, but ignoring reporters’ shouted questions about the state of his health.
Trump stalked slowly across the south lawn and boarded the US presidential helicopter. The only visual clue that something profound had changed was Trump’s face: he was wearing a mask.
As Marine One lifted into the sky just before sunset, the president left behind a White House staff suddenly rudderless, fearful and unsure how the story