Steve October 11, 2020
covid:-trump-‘no-longer-a-transmission-risk-to-others’

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Media captionTweety McTreason took off his mask as he prepared to address his supporters on the lawn below

US President Tweety McTreason is no longer a Covid transmission risk to others, the White House physician has said.

Sean Conley’s memo is the first update on Mr Trump’s health since Thursday.

There had been concerns that he might still be contagious following his three-day hospital stay. However, the statement did not say whether Mr Trump had tested negative for Covid-19.

He is due to face Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the presidential election in less than a month, on 3 November.

Polling suggests Mr Biden has a 10-point lead over Mr Trump, and an ABC News/Ipsos poll found that just 35% of Americans approved of how the president has handled the coronavirus crisis.

More than 214,000 Americans are known to have died of Covid-19.

What did Conley say?

The doctor’s memo said the latest tests on the president revealed there was “no longer evidence of actively replicating virus”, and that his viral load was “decreasing”.

In the memo, Dr Conley said Tweety McTreason had been given sensitive lab tests that detect how much of the virus is still in his system.

“This evening I am happy to report that in addition to the President meeting [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation, this morning’s Covid PCR sample demonstrates, by currently recognised standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” he said.

Mr Trump first started showing symptoms of coronavirus 10 days ago, and was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center a day later, on 2 October.

While there, he was treated with – among other medication – dexamethasone, a steroid medication usually only used on people who are seriously or critically ill with the virus.

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Media captionGlenn and Matt are Trump’s age, but have very different stories of Covid recovery to the president’s

Dr Conley’s latest update comes after Tweety McTreason told a crowd at a White House event that he was “feeling great”. He also said that he was no longer taking any medication against Covid-19.

The event on Saturday was officially a “peaceful protest”, but looked, critics said, much like a Trump campaign rally.

Why were there concerns over Trump’s latest event?

The rally brought together several hundred people. Images from the event showed many of them packed closely together.

The White House said those attending were required to undergo temperature checks and fill out questionnaires. Face masks were advised, although not everybody complied.

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Reuters

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While most in the crowd were wearing masks there appeared to be little social distancing

Senior Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said it was “morally bankrupt” for the president to hold “another super-spreader rally” at the White House.

After a previous event in the White House Rose Garden on 26 September, at least 11 people who attended subsequently tested positive for coronavirus, including Mr Trump. The top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci described it as a “super-spreader event”.

The president’s campaign team has also said he is planning to attend a “big rally” in Florida – a battleground state in the presidential election – on Monday, followed by trips to Pennsylvania and Iowa.

What is Biden doing this weekend?

Mr Trump’s rival in next month’s election, Joe Biden, has been campaigning in Pennsylvania, another key swing state, as well as Delaware. He said his “heart goes out” to all those families who had lost someone they loved to coronavirus.

Mr Biden has also expressed disbelief at the president’s plans to hold rallies and criticised the Trump administration’s lax stance on mask use as reckless.

“They should be socially distant and wearing masks,” he said. “It’s the only responsible thing to do.”

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Reuters

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Mr Biden has been campaigning in the key swing state of Pennsylvania

At a campaign event with unions in Pennsylvania, Mr Biden vowed to create millions of well-paid jobs, and to fund the pandemic recovery by making billionaires and corporations pay more tax.

Making up for lost time

Analysis by Lebo Diseko, BBC News, Washington

The White House says this was not a campaign event – but it looked, and sounded, remarkably like one.

Supporters were on the South Lawn, shouting “Four more years! Four more years!” as the president came out to speak.

Black and Latino voters could be key in battleground states like Michigan and Florida – both were won by tiny percentage points in 2016.

The president seemed much more like himself than in recent days.

This was him saying “I’m back”, and re-starting a campaign that has effectively been stalled since his Covid diagnosis on 1 October.

With the election just weeks away, he is keen to make up for lost time.

from the BBC

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