Seven hours after a defiant President Donald Trump resumed public events Saturday with a divisive speech from a White House balcony in front of hundreds of guests, his doctor released a memo clearing him to return to an active schedule.
Trump’s Saturday event, which featured little social distancing, came just two weeks after a large White House gathering that has since been called “a superpreader event” and potentially put lives at risk once again, just nine days after the President revealed his own Covid-19 diagnosis.
The latest memo from Trump’s physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, said that the President has met US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for “the safe discontinuation of isolation.” But it does not say Trump has received a negative coronavirus test since first testing positive for the virus, although that is not a criteria for clearing isolation, according to the CDC.
“This evening I am happy to report that in addition to the President meeting CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation, this morning’s COVID PCR sample demonstrates, by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” the memo from Conley reads in part.
That’s welcome news for Trump, who’s been itching to return to the campaign trail and has already planned three rallies for next week.
But the memo’s opacity, the inability for reporters to question the doctor and the fact that the White House still will not say when Trump last tested negative before his positive diagnosis only adds to the confusion over his case, which Trump has been eager to distract from.
After being sidelined from the campaign trail for more than a week, Trump leaned into his law-and-order message in a speech threaded with falsehoods on Saturday that was clearly a campaign rally disguised as a White House event.
Trump claimed that if the left gains power, they’ll launch a crusade against law enforcement. Echoing his highly inaccurate campaign ads that suggest that Democratic nominee Joe Biden would defund 911 operations and have a “therapist” answer calls about crime, Trump falsely claimed that the left is focused on taking away firearms, funds and authority from police.
With just three weeks to go until an election in which he’s trailing badly in the polls, and millions of voters already voting, Trump is deploying familiar scare tactics.
Biden has not made any proposals that would affect the ability to answer 911 calls. As CNN’s Facts First has noted many times, Biden has repeatedly and explicitly opposed the idea of “defunding the police,”