The White House physician says Trump has tested negative, but experts warn about trusting the results.

President Trump has tested negative “on consecutive days” using a rapid antigen coronavirus test not intended for that purpose, the White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement released Monday before the president began a rally in Florida.

The memo said the president tested negative on a rapid test called Abbott BinaxNOW, but experts cautioned that the test’s accuracy has not yet been investigated enough to be sure that the president is virus-free.

“It doesn’t make much sense in my mind that they should be using the BinaxNOW test for this,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an infectious diseases expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But it’s one additional piece of information.”

The BinaxNOW, which costs $5 and functions like a pregnancy test, looks for a protein produced by the coronavirus. It is most effective when the amount of virus in the body is high, but is much less sensitive than the P.C.R., the gold standard laboratory test. The Trump administration has purchased 150 million BinaxNOW tests and plans to ship them to states for use in schools and nursing homes.

In an announcement of the tests’ deployment to states on Sept. 28, the Department of Health and Human Services cautioned that “results from an antigen test may need to be confirmed with a molecular test prior to making treatment decisions; this may be particularly true for negative results if there is a high clinical suspicion that the patient is infected.”

“Infectiousness should be based more on symptom onset,” said Dr. Ranu Dhillon, a physician at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The BinaxNOW, he said, “could be giving false negatives.”

According to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with severe Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, may need to isolate for up to 20 days. But it has been unclear when exactly Mr. Trump’s symptoms began, or how severe they have been. On Monday, he departed for his Florida rally without a mask covering his face.

Doctors said it’s somewhat reassuring that Mr. Trump has tested negative more than once, but said without more details from the more sensitive P.C.R. tests, it’s impossible to be sure that he is past the point of infectiousness.

BinaxNOW’s “real power lies in marking someone who is transmissible, not the other way around,” Dr. Mina said. “I think they’re mixing things up a bit.”

Source Article

Read more

Trump says he no longer has COVID-19, doesn’t say if he tested negative

CLOSE

The Commission on Presidential Debates cancels the second presidential debate planned for Miami, following President Trump’s refusal to take part in a virtual format.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump claimed Sunday he no longer has COVID-19 even though the White House refuses to say whether he has tested negative for the disease.

Just hours after his physician issued a memo saying he is no longer “a transmission risk” to others, Trump said in an interview on Fox News that he no longer has the disease and suggested he is now immune to the coronavirus.

Trump did not say in that interview whether he has tested negative for COVID-19. The memo issued late Saturday by his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, didn’t address that issue either. 

Later Sunday, in an audio message to supporters, Trump claimed he has tested “totally negative” for COVID-19, going beyond the public memos released from his doctors.

Trump, who was hospitalized for three days last week at Walter Reed Military Medical Center for treatment for COVID-19, said during a telephone interview with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he feels great and that he is not taking any medications for the disease.

“The president is in very good shape,” he said.

‘I’m feeling great’: Trump delivers White House remarks in first public event since testing positive for COVID-19

Trump suggested he is now immune from the coronavirus and that he has “a protective glow” from the virus that has killed nearly 215,000 Americans.

Medical experts say people who get COVID-19 generally develop antibodies that might protect them from a second infection, although there’s no guarantee of how long that protection might last or whether it’s completely effective.

“It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time and maybe a short time,” Trump said.

Later Sunday, Trump made a similar statement on Twitter, causing the social media platform to attach a warning to the post. 

“A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday,” Trump wrote. “That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!”

Twitter said the post violated its rules about “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information” related to COVID-19. But Twitter did not remove the post, saying it may be in the public’s interest for the tweet to remain accessible.

Trump announced Oct. 2 that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, an array of White House officials and top Republicans have also tested positive, several who were in attendance at a Sept. 26 Rose Garden announcement of Trump’s Supreme Court pick. That gathering has since been

Read more

Trump says he no longer has COVID, doesn’t say if he tested negative

CLOSE

US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he was “feeling great” as he made his first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus. (Oct. 10)

AP Domestic

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump claimed Sunday he no longer has COVID-19 even though the White House refuses to say whether he has tested negative for the disease.

Just hours after his physician issued a memo saying he is no longer “a transmission risk” to others, Trump said in an interview on Fox News that he no longer has the disease and suggested he is now immune to the coronavirus.

Trump did not say in the interview whether he has tested negative for COVID-19. The memo issued late Saturday by his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, didn’t address that issue either.

Trump, who was hospitalized for three days last week at Walter Reed Military Medical Center for treatment for COVID, said during a telephone interview with Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures that he feels great and that he is not taking any medications for the disease.

“The president is in very good shape,” he said.

‘I’m feeling great’: Trump delivers White House remarks in first public event since testing positive for COVID-19

President Donald Trump leaves the White House for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for COVID-19. (Photo: Drew Angerer, Getty Images)

Trump suggested he is now immune from the coronavirus and that he has “a protective glow” from the virus that has killed nearly 215,000 Americans.

Medical experts say people who get COVID can develop antibodies that might protect them from a second infection, although there’s no guarantee how long that protection might last or whether it’s completely effective.

“It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time and maybe a short time,” Trump said.

Trump announced Oct. 2 that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, an array of White House officials and top Republicans have also tested positive, several who were in attendance at a Sept. 26 Rose Garden announcement of Trump’s Supreme Court pick. That gathering has since been deemed a “superspreader” event.

Conley wrote in his memo on Saturday that Trump is no longer considered “a transmission risk” to others because 10 days have passed since the start of his bout with COVID. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say someone who tested positive should remain isolated until 10 days have passed since the onset of their symptoms.

“Moving forward, I will continue to monitor him clinically as he returns to an active schedule,” Conley wrote.

The White House has refused to reveal the last time Trump tested negative for coronavirus.Trump spokesman Brian Morgenstern dodged the question six times during an appearance Friday on MSNBC. 

Super spreader events: How do they cause COVID-19 outbreaks and is the White House now a hot spot?

Conley released his memo just hours after Trump held a campaign-style rally at the

Read more

Hours after Trump’s dark and divisive White House speech, his doctor still won’t say if he’s tested negative

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.



President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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.



a group of people that are standing in the grass: Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“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,”

Read more

The White House has dodged questions for six straight days about when Trump last tested negative for the coronavirus

At least three other White House officials have dodged the same question for six straight days, examples of which you can watch in the video above. Trump’s last negative test is one of several pieces of incomplete or contradictory information about his coronavirus infection that the White House has refused to clarify. Health experts have said the negative test information is needed to know how long Trump may have been contagious and who might have to isolate after coming into contact with him.

On Saturday, White House physician Sean Conley declined to say when Trump last tested negative.

On Tuesday, Morgenstern said he did not know when Trump last tested negative.

And by Thursday, White House communications director Alyssa Farah told reporters, “I can’t reveal that at this time, the doctors would like to keep it private.”

Earlier this week, two officials familiar with the situation told The Washington Post that Trump had not been tested daily for the virus in recent months.

In the six days before he announced his positive test Trump traveled to six cities, including to Cleveland for the first presidential debate Sept. 29.

On Friday, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci, called the Barrett ceremony a “superspreader event.”

“We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci told CBS News. “So the data speak for themselves.”

Source Article

Read more

Why won’t White House say when Trump last tested negative?

WASHINGTON (AP) — It is a basic, crucial question and one the White House refuses to answer: When was President Donald Trump’s last negative test for the coronavirus before he tested positive last week?



White House director of communications Alyssa Farah waves after speaking with reporters at the White House, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Provided by Associated Press
White House director of communications Alyssa Farah waves after speaking with reporters at the White House, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last weekend.

“I can’t reveal that at this time,” echoed Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications. “Doctors would like to keep it private.”

“I don’t want to go backwards,” said Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician.

The answer could help fill in vital details about the course of the president’s illness as well as when he may have been contagious and whom else he may have exposed. And the White House refusal to answer makes it hard not to wonder what they’re hiding, given other details they’ve shared.

“At this point it’s just so strange that they’re unwilling to give us the information,” said Michael Joseph Mina, a physician and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health. “It makes people start thinking things like, ‘Was the president the super-spreader?’… If there was no nefarious activity going on, then they should have no problem answering this question.”



Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, talks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


© Provided by Associated Press
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, talks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The information is also key to tracking who else may have been exposed to the virus so their contacts can be traced to prevent new clusters of infection.

“Then you can get an idea, potentially, of when he was infected, how long his incubation period was, and also then evaluate who may have been exposed to him over that time frame,” said Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of the clinical virology laboratory at Stanford Health Care. While there is considerable variability between cases, he said, Trump was most likely infectious several days before he tested positive — a period during which he traveled and had close contact with dozens of people.

Senior White House staff and those who are in direct contact with the president are tested for the virus daily. The White House originally gave the impression that Trump, too, was tested every day, with McEnany claiming in July that Trump was “the most tested man in America” and tested “multiple times a day.” But Trump contradicted her, saying, “I do probably on average a test every two days, three days.”



White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, walks up to be interviewed by Fox News, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


© Provided by Associated Press
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, walks up to be interviewed by Fox News, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The current White House line is that Trump is tested “regularly.”

Video: White

Read more

Why Won’t White House Say When Trump Last Tested Negative? | Political News

By JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It is a basic, crucial question and one the White House refuses to answer: When was President Donald Trump’s last negative test for the coronavirus before he tested positive last week?

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last weekend.

“I can’t reveal that at this time,” echoed Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications. “Doctors would like to keep it private.”

“I don’t want to go backwards,” said Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician.

The answer could help fill in vital details about the course of the president’s illness as well as when he may have been contagious and whom else he may have exposed. And the White House refusal to answer makes it hard not to wonder what they’re hiding, given other details they’ve shared.

“At this point it’s just so strange that they’re unwilling to give us the information,” said Michael Joseph Mina, a physician and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health. “It makes people start thinking things like, ‘Was the president the super-spreader?’… If there was no nefarious activity going on, then they should have no problem answering this question.”

The information is also key to tracking who else may have been exposed to the virus so their contacts can be traced to prevent new clusters of infection.

“Then you can get an idea, potentially, of when he was infected, how long his incubation period was, and also then evaluate who may have been exposed to him over that time frame,” said Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of the clinical virology laboratory at Stanford Health Care. While there is considerable variability between cases, he said, Trump was most likely infectious several days before he tested positive — a period during which he traveled and had close contact with dozens of people.

Senior White House staff and those who are in direct contact with the president are tested for the virus daily. The White House originally gave the impression that Trump, too, was tested every day, with McEnany claiming in July that Trump was “the most tested man in America” and tested “multiple times a day.” But Trump contradicted her, saying, “I do probably on average a test every two days, three days.”

The current White House line is that Trump is tested “regularly.”

Here’s what is known: On Wednesday, Sept. 30, during a trip to Minnesota for a fundraiser and rally, one of the president’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, began feeling ill. She isolated herself aboard Air Force Once during the trip home, but the White House appears to have taken no further action.

The next morning, Hicks was again tested for the virus. This time, the results came back positive, just as the president was about to leave for a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. A frantic effort was made to

Read more

Two more White House residence staff have tested positive for the coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Two more White House residence staff tested positive for Covid-19 nearly three weeks ago, a White House official confirmed to NBC News on Friday.

That brings the number of residence staff who have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks to four, including three members of the housekeeping staff who work on the third floor of the residence and an assistant to the chief usher.

None of the four came into contact with the first family, the official said, and all of them wore masks.

The news, first reported by The New York Times, comes a week after President Donald Trump was checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for Covid-19.

Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening and is receiving treatment for the disease amid concerns that he remains contagious and could infect people inside the White House complex.

On Wednesday, the president returned to the Oval Office and released a video declaring himself essentially “cured” of Covid-19. Trump’s doctors, however, have been guarded about the details of his medical condition; White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said earlier this week that they wouldn’t know whether he was out of the woods until after this weekend.

The White House has been hit hard by the virus, with top aides Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller testing positive for the coronavirus as well as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, numerous members of the press office and White House staff.

More than a dozen people who have been around Trump in recent days have tested positive for Covid-19, many of whom attended the White House ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26.

Source Article

Read more

White House spokesperson evades answering when Trump last tested negative 6 times in 1 interview

The White House really doesn’t want to reveal last time President Trump tested negative for COVID-19.

While the White House insists Trump first tested positive for the coronavirus a week ago, late on Oct. 1, that test only came after he had reportedly been showing symptoms of the virus. Reporters have since been trying and failing to get an answer on just when Trump last tested negative, including MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, who pressed White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern six times for an answer on Friday.

When Jackson first asked for the date of Trump’s last test, Morgenstern first insisted he didn’t know, to which Jackson questioned if he’d even asked for an answer. Jackson then reminded him there is public health value to this question, as knowing when Trump was last testing negative could help pinpoint when he was infected and who he could’ve spread it to. And when Jackson asked if Trump had at least tested negative for the virus before debating Democratic nominee Joe Biden last week, Morgenstern echoed Trump’s doctor Sean Conley in telling Jackson she was “very focused in looking backwards.” After her final attempt, when Morgenstern implored Jackson to talk about something else, she shut the interview down.

More stories from theweek.com
Mike Pence was the unlikely winner of the vice presidential debate
The myth of Mike Pence’s appeal
Trump is shockingly bad at this

Source Article

Read more

Attendees at Rose Garden ceremony urged to get tested for COVID-19

Oct. 8 (UPI) — Wahington, D.C.’s health department and nine other localities on Thursday called on people who attended a Sept. 26 event at the Rose Garden and others close to the White House to get tested for COVID-19.

The health department and officials from the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia sent a letter urging anyone who has worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the event announcing Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and/or have come in close contact with either of the other two groups to contact their local health departments for information on testing and the potential need to quarantine.

“Given the growing numbers of positive COVID cases reported from staff working in and near the White House, people who attended the event hosted by the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, and our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals,” the letter states.

At least seven people who attended the Rose Garden ceremony have tested positive for COVID-18, including President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, University of Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tills of North Carolina.

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, three of McEnany’s deputies and White House senior advisor Stephen Miller have also all tested positive.

President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday after three days of treatment from COVID-19 and returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, in an update Thursday said the president had “completed his course of therapy for COVID-19” as prescribed by his physicians.

“Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness,” Conley said.

Conley also noted that Saturday would mark 10 days since Trump’s diagnosis last week, stating he fully anticipates “the president’s safe return to public engagements in that time.”

The president’s return to work after testing positive has caused concern about further spread at the White House with other top advisers reportedly leaving to quarantine at home after testing positive or as a precaution to avoid contracting the virus.

On Thursday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, 78, said he had not returned to the White House in just over two months citing its handling of the coronavirus.

“I actually haven’t been to the White House since August the 6th because my impression was their approach to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” he said.

McConnell added that he still holds regular phone conversations with Trump.

Scenes from the White House as coronavirus

Read more