U.S. President Donald Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 and he is not infectious to others, the White House physician said on Monday, 10 days after Trump announced he had contracted the coronavirus.
In a memo released by the White House just hours before Trump was due to resume holding campaign rallies, Dr. Sean Conley said the president had tested negative on consecutive days using an Abbott Laboratories BinaxNOW antigen card.
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Conley said the negative tests and other clinical and laboratory data "indicate a lack of detectable viral replication."
Trump's medical team had determined that based on the data and guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "the president is not infectious to others," Conley said.
Trump returned to the campaign trail on Monday night with a rally in Sanford, Florida, his first since he disclosed on October 2 that he tested positive for COVID-19.
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Trump tossed out masks to the crowd as he entered the airport rally and repeatedly talked about his recovery from COVID-19.
"I went through it now. They say I'm immune. I feel so powerful," Trump told thousands of supporters standing shoulder to shoulder, most without protective masks. "I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women. I'll just give you a big fat kiss."
Trump's return to his signature campaign rallies kicked off a three-week sprint to Election Day, as new polls showed him losing more ground to Democratic rival Joe Biden in two battleground states that could decide the November 3 contest.
The rally, the first of four planned for this week, showed that Trump had not reshaped his campaign approach since contracting the virus. "If you want to get out there, get out," he told the crowd.
Critics fault Trump for failing to encourage supporters at campaign events, and even White House staff, to wear protective masks and abide by social-distancing guidelines. At least 11 close Trump aides have tested positive for the coronavirus.