Corona patient Donald Trump gets the green light from the doctor this week to campaign again. The president wants to appear in two states this weekend – he is also calling for a TV debate.
Photo series with 13 photos
US President Donald Trump has announced the first appearances in the election campaign since his Covid-19 illness for the weekend. He wanted to go to Florida on Saturday and to Pennsylvania on Sunday, Trump said in a telephone interview with Fox News. His personal doctor previously announced that the president had completed the Covid treatment prescribed for him and would be able to attend public appointments again on Saturday.
Trump also limited that the events still had to be organized. Florida and Pennsylvania are key states for the Nov. 3 presidential election, with Trump lagging behind in polls. While the White House insisted for days that Trump is no longer suffering from illness, in the 20-minute interview, he had to pause twice in the middle of a sentence due to problems with his voice and coughing.
“I don’t think I’m contagious”
It should be retested on Friday, Trump said after initially ignoring TV host Sean Hannity’s question twice. Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley previously provided only vague information about why the president was allowed to go public again. This Saturday is the tenth day after Trump’s positive coronavirus test last Thursday, Conley wrote in a health update. “I expect the president to return safely to public meetings around this time.” Conley also referred to “the curve in advanced diagnostics”.
In general, ten days is considered the time after which corona patients are no longer contagious. However, experts point out that this is especially true for mild cases and that the period can vary in individual cases and depending on the treatment. “I don’t think I’m contagious,” Trump said earlier in the morning in an initial phone interview with Fox.
Are you interested in the US election? Washington correspondent Fabian Reinbold writes a newsletter about the election campaign, his work in the White House and his impressions from the US under Donald Trump. Here you can subscribe for free to the “Post from Washington”, which then ends up in your mailbox once a week.
Treatment with an experimental antibody agent
Trump had returned to the White House on Monday night after three nights in the hospital. He had been treated with an experimental antibody drug and steroids, among other things. “Overall, he responded very well to the treatment,” said the personal physician. There is no evidence that the disease is progressing.
Conley said Trump’s heart rate was 69 beats per minute on Thursday afternoon and his blood oxygen saturation was 96 to 98 percent. This is an important value for corona patients because the virus can affect the lungs. Trump was given supplemental oxygen last week after the saturation level dropped below 94 percent.
Conley also announced that the president has 15 to 17 breaths per minute and a blood pressure of 127 to 81. However, he gave no information about Trump’s temperature. Most recently, it was only said that Trump was fever-free again – and Conley doesn’t reveal just how high the fever was last week. The White House also declines to say when Trump last had a negative corona test. The personal doctor has not asked journalists questions since Trump was released from the clinic.
You haven’t seen much of Trump since then either. The president only posted three short videos on Twitter. In it, he called his illness “God’s blessing” because it led him to discover antibody therapy as a “cure.”
Trump team calls TV duel on stage
Trump’s campaign team on Thursday demanded that his second TV debate with Biden take place next Thursday, as originally scheduled, with both candidates present. To do this, the committee organizing the debates would have to reverse its decision to conduct the duel online.
Trump had stated he would not participate in an Internet debate – arguing that Biden could then read the answers from the screen. The president is well behind Biden in national polls. The gap widened after Trump’s aggressive stance in the first debate last week and his corona contamination.
The committee announced on Thursday morning that the debate would take place over the internet instead of with Trump and Biden in Miami. After Trump canceled his participation, TV broadcaster ABC scheduled Biden’s Question Time with voters for the day.
Authorities ask for tests
Health authorities in the US capital Washington and the surrounding area, meanwhile, have stopped those who may have been affected after the Corona outbreak in the White House from getting tested. A letter published Thursday said the number of corona cases among people who worked in the White House or around government headquarters, or who attended an event there on Sept. 26, had increased in the past two weeks. According to the authorities, only a limited number of contacts of infected persons have been detected so far. There is therefore a risk that other employees and residents have become infected.
TV broadcaster ABC News reported on Wednesday, citing an internal civil protection agency (Fema) document, that 34 White House employees and other contacts had been infected with the virus in recent days. After Trump’s contamination became known on Friday, the list of infected people in his area had grown. In addition to the White House spokeswoman, Trump’s close advisers Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller have also tested positive. The White House is extremely cautious about the scale of the outbreak regarding personal rights.
On Sept. 26, Trump presented his candidate for a vacant Supreme Court judge position in the White House rose garden. More than 100 guests gathered that day, few wore masks and there was hardly any space between the seats. Multiple participants were then tested positive for Corona.