'Immune' Trump back on presidential campaign trail

AP
US President Donald Trump on Monday declared he was ready to return to the campaign trail despite unanswered questions about his health.
AP
Immune Trump back on presidential campaign trail
AFP

Bandages are seen on the back of his hand as US President Donald Trump speaks from the South Portico of the White House in Washington, DC during a rally on Saturday.

US President Donald Trump on Monday declared he was ready to return to the campaign trail despite unanswered questions about his health on the eve of a Florida rally meant to kick off the home stretch to the November 3 presidential election.

His impending return comes after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it.

The president insisted he was now “immune,” a claim that was impossible to prove and added to the unknowns about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News.

In a memo released on Saturday by the White House, Navy Commander 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.

But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat.

Some medical experts are skeptical Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness.

Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

His return to full-fledged rallies in Florida comes with the president trailing in the polls. The Trump campaign and the White House have not indicated any extra measures will be taken to prevent the transmission of the virus among those traveling on Air Force One, at the event site or at rallies scheduled for Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Trump tweeted on Monday he had a “total and complete sign off from White House Doctors” to return to the campaign trail.

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