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Trump returned to the Oval Office even as the White House outbreak grew.

President Trump returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday, even as a full picture of his health remained unclear and many of his aides were in quarantine amid a West Wing outbreak that continues to grow.

White House officials said he went in for an update on the stimulus talks that he had called off Tuesday. And two people close to the White House said that advisers were exploring the possibility of resuming travel events for the president next week.

Despite the president’s insistence on returning to seeming normalcy, experts on the virus say he is entering a pivotal phase in the disease — seven to 10 days after the onset of symptoms — when some patients take a turn for the worse.

Underscoring the potential dangers, a White House memo instructed staff members to follow new safety protocols, among them some that Mr. Trump has previously dismissed. They include surgical masks and protective eye covers. Many health experts believe the West Wing outbreak is a result of White House officials ignoring precautions recommended by public health experts.

Mr. Trump told the White House medical staff that he was feeling “great” and was symptom-free, according to a statement released Wednesday by his physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley. But Dr. Conley offered few further details about the president’s treatment, including whether he was still taking a steroid.

Dr. Conley’s statement said Mr. Trump has not needed supplemental oxygen since returning from the hospital. But the full picture of the his health remains murky. Doctors, for instance, have not shared results of the president’s chest X-rays or lung scans, crucial measures of the severity of his illness.

The president — trailing in the polls and less than a month away from the election — is trying to project the image of a healthy leader, and not of a patient with Covid-19. He has said he plans to be at the next debate, on Oct. 15, when he could still be contagious. His opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., says there should not be a debate if the president still has the virus.

Since leaving the hospital Monday evening, the president has returned to minimizing the seriousness of the pandemic — even as many states in the country are experiencing serious outbreaks.

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Trump Returns to Oval Office While Infected With Coronavirus | National News

President Donald Trump, who announced he tested positive for the coronavirus less than a week ago, returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Photos: Donald Trump, the Past 2 Weeks

trump covid

According to the White House, Trump was being briefed on Hurricane Delta in the Gulf of Mexico and stimulus talks, which he has delivered conflicting messages about this week. The president returned from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to the White House on Monday evening where he removed his mask and posed for photos.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that if Trump “decides to go to the Oval, we’ve got safety protocols there.”

Trump’s doctor on Wednesday released a statement on the president’s health, saying he reports feeling great and has no coronavirus symptoms.

Lab work from Monday detected antibodies in Trump’s system that were not detectable as of last Thursday, Dr. Sean Conley said. However, Trump was administered an experimental antibody combination from Regeneron last week, and Conley did not address what role that treatment could play in the lab results.

A Regeneron spokeswoman told The New York Times that “given the volume of IgG antibodies delivered in our therapy, and the timing of these tests, it is likely that the second test is detecting” antibodies from the treatment.

Trump’s current treatment regimen is unclear. He was scheduled to receive a final dose of remdesivir on Tuesday, but his doctor did not mention the treatment in his brief updates Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends a person who had coronavirus can resume being around others 10 days after symptom onset if they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the help of medication and other symptoms are improving.

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Trump works from Oval Office six days after COVID-19 diagnosis

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE worked from the Oval Office on Wednesday, less than a week after his coronavirus diagnosis, as his doctor said he was feeling “great” and experiencing no symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that coronavirus patients self-isolate for at least 10 days after the onset of their symptoms. Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Facility receiving care over the weekend, returning to the White House on Monday evening. 

A White House spokesman said Trump is being briefed on stimulus talks and Hurricane Delta. A Marine stood outside the entrance to the West Wing, a sign that the president is at work inside.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he had spoken with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) about the hurricane, and shared local Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance for individuals to prepare for the storm.

“Please heed the directions of your State and Local Officials. We are working with them very closely — please be prepared, be careful, and be safe!” Trump tweeted.

 

In working from the Oval Office, Trump may be increasing the risk that others in the West Wing catch the virus. It was not clear who was briefing Trump on Wednesday afternoon. 

A growing number of individuals working in the White House or connected to Trump’s campaign or who otherwise have recently attended White House events have tested positive for the virus over the past week.  

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsFormer GOP chair Michael Steele calls Trump ‘the superspreader’ in the White House Murkowski after Trump halts talks: Congress must move on virus package Overnight Health Care: Trump calls off coronavirus relief talks MORE said earlier Wednesday that Trump had wanted to work from the Oval Office on Tuesday — one day after he returned from the hospital — and the White House was instituting safety protocols in order to ensure that it is safe. Trump has otherwise been working out of the residence, where he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpDemocratic Rep. Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19 Biden: ‘We shouldn’t have’ second debate if Trump still has COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot,