Washington, October 11
US President Donald Trump said on Sunday his doctors had found he no longer had COVID-19 and would not be a transmission risk to others as he returns to holding big rallies during the final weeks of the race for the White House.
Trump’s physician said on Saturday the president had taken a test showing he was no longer infectious and there was no evidence “of actively replicating virus”, but did not directly say whether Trump had tested negative.
“I passed the highest test, the highest standards, and I’m in great shape,” Trump, who spent three days in the hospital after revealing he had tested positive on October 2, said on Fox News Channel.
Trump said he was no longer on medications for the coronavirus. “I beat this crazy, horrible China virus,” he said, adding: “It seems like I’m immune”.
The scientific evidence is unclear on whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection, and how long that immunity might last.
Trump is eager to get back on the campaign trail after an absence of more than a week. He plans to travel to the key battleground state of Florida on Monday, followed by rallies in Pennsylvania and Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Trump, trailing his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in opinion polls, addressed supporters from a White House balcony on Saturday afternoon. He urged a crowd of hundreds of largely Black and Latino supporters to help get out the vote in the November 3 election.
Standing alone at the event, Trump was not wearing a mask as he spoke. In the crowd, most were wearing masks but not following social distancing guidelines.
The president’s illness has cast a spotlight on the pandemic, which has infected nearly 7.7 million people in the United States and killed over 213,000. His administration has faced criticism for its handling of the crisis, and for its lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing in the White House. At least 11 close Trump aides have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump repeated past calls for states to reopen their economies even as the pandemic shows little sign of abating.
Nationally, the United States is reporting on average 48,000 new cases a day, with hospitalizations in the Midwest hitting a record for the sixth day in a row on Saturday.
Opinion polls show Biden with a substantial lead nationally, although with a narrower advantage in some of the states that may decide the election outcome. Reuters