News ID: 275391
Published: 0343 GMT October 11, 2020

White House physician: Trump 'no longer a COVID transmission risk to others'

White House physician: Trump 'no longer a COVID transmission risk to others'
TOM BRENNER/REUTERS
US President Donald Trump, with bandages seen on his hand, takes off his face mask as he comes out on a White House balcony to speak to supporters gathered on the South Lawn for a campaign rally that the White House is calling a “peaceful protest” in Washington, US, on October 10, 2020.

US President Donald Trump is no longer a COVID transmission risk to others, the White House physician said.

Sean Conley's memo was the first update on Trump's health since Thursday, BBC wrote.

There had been concerns that he might still be contagious following his three-day hospital stay. However, the statement did not say whether Trump had tested negative for COVID-19.

He is due to face Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the presidential election in less than a month, on November 3.

Polling suggests Biden has a 10-point lead over Trump nationally. However, his lead in some key swing states is narrower – he is seven points ahead in Pennsylvania, 3.7 points ahead in Florida and less than a point ahead in Ohio, according to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics.

There is also unprecedented uncertainty over mailed ballots. Some states want to expand postal voting as a public health measure against the virus but Trump has claimed without evidence that postal voting is vulnerable to fraud.

Meanwhile an ABC News/Ipsos poll found that just 35 percent of Americans approved of how the president has handled the coronavirus crisis.

More than 214,000 Americans are known to have died of COVID-19.

The doctor's memo said the latest tests on the president revealed there was "no longer evidence of actively replicating virus", and that his viral load was "decreasing".

In the memo, Conley said Trump had been given sensitive lab tests that detect how much of the virus is still in his system and that "by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others".

Trump first started showing symptoms of coronavirus 10 days ago, and was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center a day later.

While there, he was treated with – among other medication – dexamethasone, a steroid medication usually only used on people who are seriously or critically ill with the virus.

Conley's latest update comes after Trump told a crowd at a White House event that he was "feeling great". He also said that he was no longer taking any medication against COVID-19.

The event on Saturday was officially a "peaceful protest", but looked, critics said, much like a Trump campaign rally.

The rally brought together several hundred people. Images from the event showed many of them packed closely together.

The White House said those attending were required to undergo temperature checks and fill out questionnaires. Face masks were advised, although not everybody complied.

Senior Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said it was "morally bankrupt" for the president to hold "another super-spreader rally" at the White House.

After a previous event in the White House Rose Garden on September 26, at least 11 people who attended subsequently tested positive for coronavirus, including Trump. The top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci described it as a "super-spreader event".

The president's campaign team has also said he is planning to attend a "big rally" in Florida – a battleground state in the presidential election – today, followed by trips to Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Trump's rival in next month's election, Biden, has been campaigning in Pennsylvania, another key swing state, as well as Delaware. He said his "heart goes out" to all those families who had lost someone they loved to coronavirus.

Biden has also expressed disbelief at the president's plans to hold rallies and criticized the Trump administration's lax stance on mask use as reckless.

"They should be socially distant and wearing masks," he said. "It's the only responsible thing to do."

At a campaign event with unions in Pennsylvania, Biden vowed to create millions of well-paid jobs, and to fund the pandemic recovery by making billionaires and corporations pay more tax.

 

   
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Resource: BBC
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