Covid: Trump 'no longer a transmission risk to others'

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Media signatureDonald Trump took off his mask as he prepared to address his supporters on the lawn below

US President Donald Trump is no longer a Covid transmission risk for others, said the White House doctor.

Sean Conley’s memo is the first update on Mr. Trump’s health since Thursday.

On Saturday before, the President made a speech in front of cheering supporters in the White House in his first public appearance since being hospitalized with the virus.

There were concerns that he might still be contagious after his three days in hospital.

The doctor’s memo said the president’s recent tests showed that “there is no longer any evidence of active replication of the virus” and that its viral load is “decreasing”.

However, the statement did not state whether Mr Trump had tested negative for Covid-19.

  • The latest on Trump’s health in six graphs

In the memo, Dr. Conley, President Trump has received sensitive laboratory tests that determine how much virus is still in his system.

“Tonight I am pleased to report this in addition to the presidential meeting [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] This morning’s Covid-PCR sample is a criterion for safely terminating the isolation and shows that it is no longer viewed as a risk of transmission to others under currently accepted standards, “he said.

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Dr. Conley (C), who was seen reaching out to reporters while Mr Trump was in the hospital, said the president’s viral load is decreasing

Mr Trump first showed symptoms of the coronavirus 10 days ago and was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center a day later, on October 2.

There he was treated with dexamethasone, a steroid drug that is normally only used in people who are seriously or seriously ill with the virus.

Dr. Conley’s latest update comes after President Trump told a crowd at a White House event that he felt “great”. He has also said that he is no longer taking any medication for Covid-19.

Saturday’s event was officially a “peaceful protest” but looked like a Trump campaign rally, according to critics.

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His rival in next month’s presidential election, Joe Biden, fought in Pennsylvania. He said his “heart goes out” to all of those families who have lost someone they love to the coronavirus.

Polls suggest that Mr Biden is a single-digit lead over Mr Trump, and an ABC News / Ipsos poll found that only 35% of Americans agreed to Mr Trump’s management of the coronavirus crisis.

More than 214,000 Americans are known to have died from Covid-19.

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Media signatureGlenn and Matt are Trump’s age but have very different stories of recovering from Covid than the president’s

What were the concerns about the event?

Safety issues were raised after a gathering to reveal Mr Trump’s candidate in the Supreme Court resulted in at least 11 people subsequently testing positive for Covid-19 – including the president. Leading U.S. Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci described it as a “super spreader event”.

Senior Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said it would be “morally bankrupt” if the president holds “another super-spreader rally” in the White House.

The White House said ahead of the event on Saturday that attendees would have to undergo temperature controls and wear face masks, and encouraged them to practice social distancing.

However, pictures from the event showed several hundred people packed tightly together.

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While most of the crowd wore masks, there seemed to be little social distancing

The president’s campaign team also said it plans to attend a “major rally” in Florida – a battlefield state in next month’s presidential election – followed by trips to Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Mr Biden expressed disbelief over the president’s plans to hold rallies and criticized the Trump administration’s negligent attitude towards mask use as reckless.

“I wouldn’t show up if you didn’t have a mask and could have your distance,” said Mr Biden while fighting in Las Vegas on Friday.

In the meantime, ethics experts say hosting political events in the White House, as well as rejecting long-standing conventions in the US, could violate federal law.

The Hatch Act of 1939 prohibits federal employees from participating in on-duty campaign activities. While the President and Vice President are excluded, most White House staff are not.

On Thursday, Sean Conley said it would be safe for Mr Trump to return to public engagements on Saturday [10 October] as this would mark “Day 10” since his diagnosis on Thursday October 1st.

After his diagnosis, Mr. Trump spent three nights in the hospital and was treated with the steroid dexamethasone, the antiviral drug remdesivir and a cocktail of antibodies manufactured by the Regeneron company.

  • The latest on Trump’s health in six graphs
  • What do we know about Trump’s medical treatment?

The CDC recommends self-isolating at least 10 days after the first onset of coronavirus symptoms, which may require more serious medical conditions such as hospital treatment that could potentially last up to 20 days.

Make up for lost time

Analysis by Lebo Diseko, BBC News, Washington

The White House says this wasn’t a campaign event – but it looked and sounded remarkably similar.

Supporters were on the South Lawn shouting, “Four more years! Four more years!” when the president came out to speak.

Black and Latin American voters could play key roles in battlefield states like Michigan and Florida – both were won by tiny percentage points in 2016.

The President seemed much more alike than he had been in the past few days.

This was he who said “I’m back” and restarted a campaign that has effectively stalled since his Covid diagnosis on October 1st.

With the elections only a few weeks away, he wants to make up for the lost time.