Ahead of his first campaign rally since being hospitalized for Covid-19, President Donald Trump’s White House physician Dr. Sean Conley released a memo on Monday stating the president had recently tested negative on consecutive days and is no longer contagious.
Trump and the administration have repeatedly dodged questions about when the president last tested negative for the virus. Conley said in his memo a number of measures were used to test Trump and that he had tested negative on antigen tests instead of the more conclusive polymerase chain reaction test. Conley did not say on which days Trump tested negative.
“This comprehensive data, in concert with the CDC’s guidelines for removal of transmission-based precautions, have informed our medical team’s assessment that the President is not infectious to others,” Conley said in the memo.
The news comes as Trump returns to the campaign trail Monday night with a rally in Florida after he and several White House and campaign aides were infected with Covid-19. Florida is a crucial battleground state and polls show that Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, is leading Trump. Trump won the state in 2016.
“They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful,” Trump told the crowd in Sanford. “I’ll walk into that audience, I’ll walk in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women.”
Biden on Monday held events in Ohio, another battleground state. Vice President Mike Pence was also campaigning in Ohio on Monday. However, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., Biden’s running mate, was not on the trail on Monday, participating instead as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
Trump spent much of the day ranting on Twitter about health care and other issues after Democrats grilled Barrett over her views on the Affordable Care Act, which they argued Republicans are trying to overturn through the courts.
“Republicans must state loudly and clearly that WE are going to provide much better Healthcare at a much lower cost. Get the word out! Will always protect pre-existing conditions!!!” Trump wrote on Twitter after the committee adjourned for a lunch break.
Trump has long touted a health care plan to replace the ACA, but Republicans have failed to offer a plan that would protect pre-existing conditions. The Trump-backed GOP legislation in 2017, which failed, included state waivers that would allow insurers to charge higher prices for sicker people.