Tom Swarbrick 10pm - 1am
Donald Trump’s doctor says US president can resume public engagements this weekend
9 October 2020, 06:05
Donald Trump has insisted he is well enough to resume campaign rallies and felt "perfect" only one week after his Covid-19 diagnosis.
His doctor has given the president the green light saying he had "completed his course of therapy" for the disease.
Mr Trump has not been seen in public since his return from the military hospital where he received experimental treatments for the virus on Monday. He has appeared in White House videos while in recovery.
On Thursday, his physician, Navy Commander Sean Conley, said in a memo Mr Trump would be able to safely "return to public engagements" on Saturday.
While Mr Trump said he believed he was no longer contagious, concerns about infection appeared to scuttle plans for next week's presidential debate.
"I'm feeling good. Really good. I think perfect," Mr Trump said during a telephone interview with Fox Business on Thursday, his first since he was released from a three-day hospital stay on Monday.
"I think I'm better to the point where I'd love to do a rally tonight.
"I don't think I'm contagious at all."
Mr Trump said he wanted to hold a rally in Florida on Saturday "if we have enough time to put it together".
He said he might also hold a rally the following night in Pennsylvania. "I feel so good," he told Fox's Sean Hannity.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says individuals can discontinue isolation 10 days after the onset of symptoms, which for Mr Trump was October 1, according to his doctors.
Dr Conley said that meant Mr Trump, who has been surrounded by minimal staffing as he works out of the White House residence and the Oval Office, could return to holding events on Saturday.
He added the president was showing no evidence of his illness progressing or adverse reactions to the aggressive course of therapy prescribed by his doctors.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump's doctors suggested they would work closely with military medical research facilities and other laboratories on "advanced diagnostic testing" to determine when the president was no longer contagious, but did not elaborate.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, said two negative PCR lab tests 24 hours apart are a key factor in determining whether someone is still contagious.
"So, if the president goes 10 days without symptoms, and they do the tests that we were talking about, then you could make the assumption, based on good science, that he is not infected," Dr Fauci said on Thursday on MSNBC.
While reports of reinfection are rare, the CDC recommends that even people who recover from Covid-19 continue to wear a mask, stay distanced and follow other precautions.
It was unclear if Mr Trump, who eschewed mask-wearing in most settings, would abide by that guidance.
The White House has continued to decline to share when Mr Trump last tested negative for the virus - which would help pinpoint when he was infected. Strategic communications director Alyssa Farah said that information was Mr Trump's "private medical history".