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Trump, downplaying risk, says he’s ready to ‘kiss everyone’ at his first campaign trail rally since COVID-19 diagnosis

President Trump in his return to the campaign trail in Florida on Monday evening boasted he has recovered from COVID-19 and is impervious to the disease that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

The president, who tested positive on Oct. 1, also indicated he is unconcerned about being contagious and told the audience gathered at Orlando Sanford International Airport that he would be happy to engage in some close contact. 

“One thing with me, the nice part, I went through it, now they say I’m immune. … I feel so powerful,” Trump said. “I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women, and the — everybody. I’ll just give you a big fat kiss.”

Trump spoke for about an hour. While his remarks were short by the standards of his past rallies, which are often about 80 minutes long, it was far longer than any of the brief videos he released while recovering from the virus or his first live speech, which took place at the White House on Saturday and lasted less than 2 minutes. 

The president’s return to the campaign trail came shortly after the White House medical team announced that he tested negative “on consecutive days.” Trump’s return to public events came exactly 10 days after the White House said his symptoms first appeared, which is the period of isolation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Trump, who was treated with steroids and experimental drugs, became ill after his campaign and the White House hosted a series of events that ignored masks and social distancing measures designed to stop the spread of the virus. Over a dozen people linked to those gatherings also tested positive, including senior members of the president’s campaign team and White House staff.

The White House has declined to reveal precisely how many staffers have fallen ill. Trump’s team has also repeatedly refused to say when he last tested negative prior to his diagnosis, raising the possibility that the testing regimen supposedly in place at the White House was not followed and also making it impossible to say whether the president traveled to events while contagious. 

Even after the cluster of cases at the White House, Trump’s Florida rally still didn’t include standard measures designed to minimize risks of coronavirus spread. Guests were packed together and many did not wear masks. 

On stage, Trump, as he has for months, criticized lockdowns and quarantine measures as detrimental to the economy. He encouraged people to ignore them if they choose.

“The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself,” Trump said of the lockdowns.“If you want to stay, stay. Relax. Stay. But, if you want to get out there, get out.”



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla. (John Raoux/AP)


© Provided by Yahoo! News
President Trump at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla. (John Raoux/AP)

The president also suggested keeping distance from others was never an option for him.   

Video: President Trump: White House doctors said I can’t spread the virus anymore

2020 Election Live Updates: Trump Will Hit the Trail as the Barrett Hearings Begin

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The event that conservatives hoped would reshape the 2020 election is upon us: The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begin Monday at 9 a.m. Eastern time and promise to last most of the week. Republicans have regarded her nomination as an opportunity to reinvigorate voters on the right and refocus the broader electorate on matters other than the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, Judge Barrett’s appointment has not worked out that way. The White House event at which President Trump announced her election became a major transmission point for the coronavirus — Dr. Anthony S. Fauci called it a “super-spreader event” — and at least two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been infected. Mr. Trump’s bout with the disease, and rising case counts across most of the country, have relegated the Supreme Court fight to the political background for most of the last few weeks.

There is still hope within the G.O.P. that Democrats might fumble the hearings in a way that could be politically useful to them — a concern some Democrats share, given the apparently diminished capacities of Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the panel that will screen the nomination. And at the very least, the hearings give Republicans something to talk about besides Mr. Trump and the virus, even if that is where most voters remain focused. That could be no small favor in red states where Senate seats are at stake.

It is unlikely, however, that Mr. Trump will cooperate with efforts to shift the spotlight this week. He is due on Monday to campaign in Florida, making his first in-person appearance outside Washington since he tested positive for the coronavirus. The president’s insistence on returning to the campaign trail while there are still huge unanswered questions about his medical condition, including about the continued presence of the coronavirus in his body and his ability to transmit it to others, has the potential to become a bigger story than the opening stages of the judicial confirmation process.

That may be doubly the case if Mr. Trump and his supporters continue their practice of flouting basic public-health guidelines for large events, as has been their tendency up to this point.

The question for Democrats — not just Joseph R. Biden Jr. but the party’s whole ticket — may be how much time and political capital they will put into making a strenuous public case against Judge Barrett, at a moment when Mr. Trump continues to serve up generous quantities of easier political fodder for the election that is only weeks away.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Trump claims he’s free of virus, ready for campaign trail

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday declared he was ready to return to the campaign trail despite unanswered questions about his health on the eve of a Florida rally meant to kick off the stretch run before Election Day.

His impending return comes after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it. The president insisted he was now “immune” from the virus, a claim that was impossible to prove and added to the unknowns about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”

In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus.


But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

His return to full-fledged rallies will be in Florida on Monday, a comeback that comes with the president facing stubborn deficits in the polls. The Trump campaign and White House has not indicated that any additional safety measures will be taken to prevent the transmission of the virus among those traveling on Air Force One, at the event site or at rallies scheduled for Pennsylvania and Iowa later in the week.

Campaign officials have signaled that Trump will be traveling nearly every day the rest of the campaign, and sometimes making more than one stop, an aggressive schedule for a 74-year-old who was hospitalized just days ago.

On Sunday, Trump asserted in a tweet that he had “total and complete sign off from White House Doctors” to fully return to the campaign trail, insisting he can no longer spread the disease to others and was impervious to getting sick again.

That’s far from certain, and Twitter later flagged his tweet with a fact-check warning.

While there’s evidence that reinfection in unlikely for at least three months even for those with a mild case of COVID-19, very few diseases leave people completely immune for life. Antibodies are only one piece of the body’s defenses, and they naturally wane over time.

“Certainly it’s presumptuous to say it’s a lifetime,” said Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist and department chairman at the Yale School of Public Health.

As to whether Trump could still be

Trump Insists He’s Free of Virus, Ready for Campaign Trail | Political News

By JONATHAN LEMIRE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday declared he was healthy enough to return to the campaign trail, a day after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it.

Trump, who was poised Monday to host his first rally after his COVID-19 diagnosis, declared he was now “immune” from the virus, a claim that was impossible to prove and comes amid a series of outstanding questions about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News. “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”

In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus.

But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at a military hospital. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn for a Trump address on his support for law enforcement from a White House balcony.

Trump took off a mask moments after he emerged on the balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below, his first step back onto the public stage with just more than three weeks to go until Election Day. He flouted, once more, the safety recommendations of his own government days after acknowledging that he was on the brink of “bad things” from the virus and claiming that his bout with the illness brought him a better understanding of it.

His return was a brief one. With bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection, Trump spoke for 18 minutes, far less than his normal hour-plus rallies. He appeared healthy, if perhaps a little hoarse, as he delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a short version of his campaign speech despite the executive mansion setting.

“I’m feeling great,” Trump told the crowd, adding that he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered. He then declared that the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans, was “disappearing” even though he is still recovering from the virus.

In either an act of defiance or simply tempting fate, officials organized the event just steps from the

Trump insists he’s free of virus, ready for campaign trail

President Donald Trump on Sunday declared he was healthy enough to return to the campaign trail, a day after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it.

Trump, who was poised Monday to host his first rally after his COVID-19 diagnosis, declared he was now “immune” from the virus, a claim that was impossible to prove and comes amid a series of outstanding questions about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News. “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”


In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus.

But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at a military hospital. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn for a Trump address on his support for law enforcement from a White House balcony.

Trump took off a mask moments after he emerged on the balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below, his first step back onto the public stage with just more than three weeks to go until Election Day. He flouted, once more, the safety recommendations of his own government days after acknowledging that he was on the brink of “bad things” from the virus and claiming that his bout with the illness brought him a better understanding of it.

His return was a brief one. With bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection, Trump spoke for 18 minutes, far less than his normal hour-plus rallies. He appeared healthy, if perhaps a little hoarse, as he delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a short version of his campaign speech despite the executive mansion setting.

“I’m feeling great,” Trump told the crowd, adding that he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered. He then declared that the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans, was “disappearing” even though he is still recovering from the virus.

In either an act of defiance or simply tempting fate, officials organized the event just steps from the Rose Garden, where exactly two weeks ago the

Is Trump ready to hit the campaign trail? Here’s what doctors say

Just days after receiving oxygen therapy for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump is busy giving long TV interviews and says he’s eager to return to the campaign trail. 

But is he risking his recovery by taking on too much too soon, and could he still infect others? 

– Each case is unique – 

According to Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease and critical care doctor as well as scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, there is a wide variation between patients in terms of the speed of their recovery.

“Some people are able to resume their activities of daily living pretty quickly. There are other people to take some weeks before they’re back to their baseline,” he said.

In general, “for someone in their 70s who was hospitalized with Covid, I would say it takes a couple of weeks to get back to their baseline.

“But because he’s the president, he has a lot of people assisting him with his activities of daily living. He probably doesn’t carry his groceries in, he doesn’t drive a car.” 

Trump was hospitalized for three nights on October 2 and has been in the care of the White House medical unit — which can provide hospital-level care — since October 5, four days ago.

Doctor Mangala Narasimhan, senior vice president of critical care at Northwell Health, New York, said patients of Trump’s age who had needed oxygen for Covid pneumonia often continue to experience “severe fatigue and myalgia, which are muscle pains and aches,” for some time after.

Both doctors stressed it is very difficult to know precisely where Trump is in his recovery, since his medical team and others around him have provided opaque and at times conflicting updates.

– Danger of coming back too soon – 

A well-known danger from over-exertion following disease is that it wears down the immune system.

“He needs his immune system to fight the virus — that’s why you’re always told to stick to rest and drink fluids, because your immune system needs to be at its optimum,” said Narasimhan.

She added this was particularly crucial for older patients who are more susceptible to experiencing a second viral replication phase where symptoms such as fevers and chills return.

Trump’s full medical history and underlying conditions aren’t fully known, but one thing we are aware of is that he has mild heart disease that could be aggravated, said Adalja.

Narasimhan added that Trump’s medical team hasn’t released key lab values, from which doctors could infer more information. 

These include “inflammatory markers” that would indicate how he was recovering from the inflammatory phase of the disease, and certain blood values that would reveal how likely he is to develop clots as a result of the virus.

“People tend to form clots, and depending on what his blood levels are of certain things, you would want to make sure that at 30 days afterwards that he is on medicine that would prevent clots,” she said.

“There’s all kinds

Is it safe for President Trump to return to the campaign trail?

President Trump appears eager to get back out on the campaign trail a little over a week after he was taken to the hospital for COVID-19. He told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday night that he wanted to hold a rally in Florida Saturday, although he is currently expected to remain at the White House through the weekend before resuming travel next week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with COVID-19 remain contagious for 10 to 20 days after their onset of symptoms, depending on the severity of the case. The president’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a White House memo, released hours before Mr. Trump’s own announcement, that Saturday will be 10 days since Mr. Trump’s diagnosis, “and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagements at that time.”

The White House has said that the president began experiencing symptoms on Thursday, October 1, and tested positive that night. The next day, he was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center where he received a combination of treatments. He returned to the White House Monday evening.

The CDC says a person with COVID can safely end isolation if at least 10 days have passed since their first symptoms, plus their fever has been gone for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are improving. It adds they can end isolation sooner if they receive “two negative tests results in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.” 

Mr. Trump told Hannity that he would be tested for the first time since his diagnosis on Friday. “What we’re doing is probably the test will be tomorrow, the actual test, because there’s no reason to test all the time,” he said in the Thursday interview. He said in a separate interview on Fox News Thursday that he thinks he’s “better,” adding, “to a point where I’d love to do a rally tonight.”

“They are going to be testing him to determine the trajectory and whether he gets to the point where he’s not infected,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, told CBS News in an interview Friday. “I can guarantee you that they will be testing him before they let him go out.”

But physician and Rutgers medical professor Dr. Bob Lahita says that if Mr. Trump were his patient, he would still be in isolation on Saturday. 

“He’s talking about getting in front of thousands and thousands of people, and making a speech without a mask,” Lahita said on CBSN Friday. “This is an extraordinary display of behavior that’s very unusual.”

President Trump’s treatment plan

The medications used in the president’s treatment plan are suggestive of a severe COVID-19 infection, but could also be attributed to his multiple risk factors and high profile as president of the United States. Mr. Trump was given supplemental oxygen; Remdesivir, an antiviral drug manufactured by Gilead; dexamethasone,