Doctor: Trump Can't Give You COVID Anymore

White House says president is free of risk of transmitting coronavirus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 11, 2020 5:51 AM CDT
Doctor: Trump Can't Give You COVID Anymore
President Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The White House doctor said Saturday night that President Trump was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus, a diagnosis that came as the president prepared to resume campaign rallies. In a memo, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus, reports the AP. But sensitive lab tests—like the PCR test—detect virus in swab samples from the nose and throat. Dr. William Morice, who oversees labs at the Mayo Clinic, said earlier this week that with PCR tests, the president’s medical team could hypothetically track the amount of virus in samples over time and watch the viral load go down.

Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis, there's no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said. The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House. Hundreds gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn for a Trump address on his support for law enforcement. Trump took off a mask moments after emerging on a balcony to address the crowd, his first step back onto the public stage with just more than three weeks to go until Election Day. Trump had hoped to hold campaign rallies this weekend but settled for the White House event. But even as his health remained unclear, he planned to ramp up his travel with a rally in Florida on Monday, and trips to Pennsylvania and Iowa. It was not clear if Trump posed a risk to those he would fly with on Air Force One or encounter at rallies.

(More President Trump stories.)

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