Ahead of Donald Trump’s return to the campaign trail following his COVID-19 diagnosis, the White House attempted to quell any doubts about the president hosting an event less than two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus. The facility’s physician, Sean Conley, revealed that the president had tested negative on consecutive days and had other tests taken, including RNA and PCR cycle threshold measurements, which aim to track any remaining evidence of the virus in the body.
In his statement via CNN, however, Conley did not share when those negative tests were taken. The particular test used, the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card, reportedly only can determine COVID-19 within seven days of infection, and even then, the US Food and Drug Administration has stated it remains unsure just how accurate that test is in finding COVID-19. Tests aside, from a personal standpoint, Trump has continued to stress just how good he feels in the days since being released from Walter Reed medical center and continued to preach that in Sanford on Monday.
Trump claims he's now "immune" to the coronavirus, feeling "powerful" and willing to "kiss everyone" in the audience. "I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women," he said. pic.twitter.com/0brz0Rl8UQ— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 12, 2020
Trump told the audience on hand, which appeared to be comprised of mostly mask-less attendees with little social distancing that he feels “powerful” after recovering from his bout with the coronavirus. He also brought up something he mentioned early on in the pandemic in which the “cure cannot be worse than the problem itself” and told everyone who feels comfortable to do “get out there” can do just that. “I went through it and now they say I’m immune,” he explained. “I feel so powerful. I’ll walk into that audience and kiss everyone in that audience.” While Trump remained adamant that he is no longer contagious, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN just hours ahead of his event that holding a rally of this size was not a good idea and wouldn’t recommend it especially considering the rising numbers of cases across the country.
An energized Trump, as he described himself, appears to have a busy schedule ahead of him this week despite concerns about the impact his rallies could have as potential superspreader events. His next stops will be in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina. All of this comes as Trump is gearing up for the Nov. 3 election three weeks away.