WASHINGTON - More than a week after testing positive for the coronavirus, U.S. President Donald Trump described himself Sunday as being “in very good shape” and said he was no longer taking any medication.
“I beat this crazy, horrible China virus,” Trump said in a telephone interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” show. “It seems like I’m immune, maybe a long time, a short time, maybe a lifetime.”
Trump said he had a “protective glow” after being treated with several medications during a four-day hospital stay and after returning to the White House last week.
But he was not asked by interviewer Maria Bartiromo whether he has definitively tested negative for the virus that has now killed more than 214,000 people in the United States and infected more than 7.7 million Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
A short time after the television interview, Trump said on Twitter that he had received “A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday,” adding, “That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!”
That prompted a reaction from Twitter, which disabled some sharing options on the tweet and labeled it for violating "Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
Facebook did nothing to the same post by Trump on its site.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided limited information about immunity and reinfection. A person who has recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of the virus in their bodies for up to three months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others.
“This science does not imply a person is immune to reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the three months following infection,” the CDC said.
Trump said he felt “really good” soon after being injected with an experimental antibody cocktail that has yet to be approved by government researchers for use more generally on coronavirus patients.
“Now you have a president who doesn’t have to hide in his basement,” Trump said, disparaging opponent Joe Biden’s limited campaigning in months past from his home in Delaware before the Democratic former vice president more recently started campaigning in politically important states.
Biden announced he would travel to the swing state of Ohio on Monday. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana), a Biden campaign co-chair, said on "ABC This Week" that Biden’s focus is the safety of the American people.
“It is not about Joe Biden in his mind,” Richmond said. “It's about everybody else. And so he will not put Americans in harm's way of this great pandemic and dangerous virus simply for attention or political gain.”
Trump staged a White House political rally with supporters on Saturday and is planning large-scale rallies starting Monday in the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Iowa.
As he resumes campaigning, Trump is in a precarious political position, facing the prospect of becoming only the third U.S. president in the last four decades to lose election to a second term.
According to aggregations of a wide range of national surveys, Biden has surged to a 10-percentage-point lead over Trump, although Biden’s edge is roughly half that in battleground states that are likely to decide the election. One new poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News said Biden is ahead nationally among likely voters by a 54%-42% margin. The margin of error of the poll is 4 percentage points.