Daily Camera (Boulder)

Trump says he’s ready for ral­lies

- By Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin and Jonathan Lemire Health · U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Donald Trump · Washington · Sean Conley · U.S. Centers for Disease Control · White House · Oval Office · Anthony Fauci · Executive Office of the President of the United States · Pennsylvania · Michigan · Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

WASHINGTON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in­sisted Thurs­day that he is ready to re­sume cam­paign ral­lies and feels “per­fect” one week af­ter his di­ag­no­sis with the coro­n­avirus that has killed more than 210,000 Amer­i­cans, as his doc­tor said the pres­i­dent had “com­pleted his course of ther­apy” for the dis­ease.

The pres­i­dent has not been seen in pub­lic — other than in White House­pro­duced videos — since his Mon­day re­turn from the mil­i­tary hospi­tal where he re­ceived ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ments for the virus. On Thurs­day, his physi­cian, Navy Cmdr. Sean Con­ley, said in a memo that Trump would be able to safely “re­turn to pub­lic en­gage­ments” on Satur­day, as the pres­i­dent tries to shift his fo­cus to the election that’s less than four weeks away, with mil­lions of Amer­i­cans al­ready cast­ing bal­lots.

While Trump said he be­lieves he’s no longer con­ta­gious, con­cerns about in­fec­tion ap­peared to scut­tle plans for next week’s pres­i­den­tial de­bate.

“I’m feel­ing good. Re­ally good. I think per­fect,” Trump said dur­ing a tele­phone in­ter­view with Fox Busi­ness, his first since he was re­leased from a three­day hospi­tal stay Mon­day. “I think I’m bet­ter to the point where I’d love to do a rally tonight,” Trump said. He added, “I don’t think I’m con­ta­gious at all.”

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion says in­di­vid­u­als can dis­con­tinue iso­la­tion 10 days af­ter the on­set of symp­toms, which for Trump was Oct. 1, ac­cord­ing to his doc­tors. Con­ley said that meant Trump, who has been sur­rounded by min­i­mal staffing as he works out of the White House res­i­dence and the Oval Of­fice, could re­turn to hold­ing events on Satur­day.

He added that Trump was show­ing no ev­i­dence of his ill­ness pro­gress­ing or ad­verse re­ac­tions to the ag­gres­sive course of ther­apy pre­scribed by his doc­tors.

Ear­lier this week, the pres­i­dent’s doc­tors sug­gested they would work closely with mil­i­tary med­i­cal re­search fa­cil­i­ties and other lab­o­ra­to­ries on “ad­vanced di­ag­nos­tic test­ing” to de­ter­mine when the pres­i­dent was no longer con­ta­gious, but did not elab­o­rate.

Dr. An­thony Fauci, the gov­ern­ment’s top in­fec­tious dis­ease ex­pert, said two neg­a­tive PCR lab tests 24 hours apart are a key fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing whether some­one is still con­ta­gious.

“So, if the pres­i­dent goes 10 days with­out symp­toms, and they do the tests that we were talk­ing about, then you could make the as­sump­tion, based on good sci­ence, that he is not in­fected,” Fauci said Thurs­day on MSNBC.

While re­ports of re­in­fec­tion are rare, the CDC rec­om­mends that even peo­ple who re­cover from COVID19 con­tinue to wear a mask, stay dis­tanced and fol­low other pre­cau­tions. It was un­clear if Trump, who es­chewed mask-wear­ing in most set­tings, would abide by that guid­ance.

The White House, mean­while, con­tin­ued to de­cline to share when Trump last tested neg­a­tive for the virus — which would help pin­point when he was in­fected. Strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Alyssa Farah said that in­for­ma­tion was Trump’s “pri­vate med­i­cal his­tory.”

Trump’s cam­paign and the White House were al­ready draw­ing up plans for Trump to re­sume cam­paign­ing, eye­ing a visit to Penn­syl­va­nia on Mon­day and Michi­gan on Tues­day ahead of what was to have been next Thurs­day’s de­bate.

But the Com­mis­sion on Pres­i­den­tial De­bates an­nounced that event would be held “vir­tu­ally” in or­der to “pro­tect the health and safety of all in­volved.” Trump swiftly re­jected that of­fer, and his cam­paign later called on the com­mis­sion to de­lay the fi­nal two de­bates by a week to al­le­vi­ate con­cerns about an in­per­son con­test.

Over the ob­jec­tions of some aides, Trump re­turned to the Oval Of­fice on Thurs­day, even though a workspace had been set up in the res­i­den­tial sec­tion of the White House. Aides were dis­cussing a po­ten­tial photo op­por­tu­nity with the pres­i­dent at the White House ei­ther Thurs­day or Fri­day but plans had not been fi­nal­ized, ac­cord­ing to two White House of­fi­cials not au­tho­rized to pub­licly dis­cuss in­ter­nal de­lib­er­a­tions. Only a few se­nior aides, med­i­cal staff and se­cu­rity per­son­nel have laid eyes on the pres­i­dent since he re­turned to the White House on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Trump also re­leased a video Thurs­day morn­ing, filmed a day ear­lier, di­rectly ad­dress­ing the na­tion’s se­niors — a crit­i­cal de­mo­graphic for his cam­paign that is also at great­est risk of poor out­comes from the virus — say­ing, “I want you to get the same care that I got.”

On Thurs­day, Trump con­tin­ued to credit an ex­per­i­men­tal drug for the seem­ingly quick pace of his re­cov­ery. He called his di­ag­no­sis a “bless­ing in dis­guise” in the na­tion’s bat­tle against the pan­demic.

Seem­ingly sen­si­tive to the fact that his treat­ment course has been far more com­pre­hen­sive than the care re­ceived by av­er­age Amer­i­cans, he promised to swiftly get the drug ap­proved for broader use — and dis­trib­ute it for free — even though he does not have the power to or­der that him­self.

Trump re­ceived an ex­per­i­men­tal an­ti­body drug made by Re­gen­eron through a “com­pas­sion­ate use” ex­emp­tion, a recog­ni­tion of the above-and-be­yond stan­dard of care he re­ceives as pres­i­dent. The safety and ef­fec­tive­ness of the drug have not yet been proven. And there is no way for the pres­i­dent or his doc­tors to know that the drug had any ef­fect. Most peo­ple re­cover from COVID-19.

“I had tremen­dous luck with this Re­gen­eron,” Trump said dur­ing the in­ter­view.

 ?? Saul Loeb / Getty Im­ages ?? U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump leaves Wal­ter Reed Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda, Mary­land head­ing to Marine One, to re­turn to the White House af­ter be­ing dis­charged on October 05, 2020.
Saul Loeb / Getty Im­ages U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump leaves Wal­ter Reed Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda, Mary­land head­ing to Marine One, to re­turn to the White House af­ter be­ing dis­charged on October 05, 2020.

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