U.S. President Donald Trump’s doctor says the president has tested negative for COVID-19 on “consecutive days" as Trump traveled to Florida for his first campaign rally since being diagnosed with the disease earlier this month.
In a memo released Monday by the White House, Dr. Sean Conley said Trump was tested using a newer rapid coronavirus test from Abbott Laboratories. He did not say when Trump was tested.
Conley said the negative tests, along with other clinical and laboratory data, "indicate a lack of detectable viral replication." He also repeated an assessment that he gave over the weekend that Trump is no longer infectious to others.
Trump returned to the campaign trail Monday for a busy week that includes stops in Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin, his first campaign travel since his positive test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on Oct 2. Trump spent several days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and completed his COVID-19 treatment at the White House.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN before Trump left the White House for Florida, questioned the wisdom of holding an event like this. Test positivity rates, he noted, are climbing in parts of the Sun Belt.
“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, said on CNN.
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.”
Those who recover from COVID-19 are likely to be immune for some period of time, Fauci told CNN on Monday, but there are cases emerging in which patients are reinfected weeks or months later, he added.
Trump said he had a “protective glow” after being treated with several medications during his hospital stay and after returning to the White House last week.
A short time after the television interview, Trump said of the coronavirus on Twitter, “I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!”
Twitter 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 platform.
The U.S. 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.
The coronavirus has killed nearly 215,000 people in the United States and infected more than 7.8 million Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed cases and deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
Some medical experts have also voiced skepticism that Trump could be declared contagion-free so soon, according to the Associated Press.
It also was unclear what — if any — added precautions and safety measures the campaign planned to take to prevent the trips from further spreading a virus that has already infected many of the president's closest aides and allies, including his campaign manager and the head of the Republican Party, according to the AP.
CDC guidelines for limiting exposure to the coronavirus is washing your hands, wearing a face mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others, and socially distancing by keeping at least 2 meters between you and others.