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Trump’s Doc Says He Can Do Public Events As Soon As Saturday, But Experts Disagree

The president’s doctor announced Thursday that Trump has finished his therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 and can return to “public engagements” by Saturday.

President Trump sent a video message on Wednesday to give an update on his health status after testing positive for COVID-19 less than a week before. | Twitter/ Donald J. Trump
President Trump sent a video message on Wednesday to give an update on his health status after testing positive for COVID-19 less than a week before. | Twitter/ Donald J. Trump

President Trump’s doctor has cleared him to “return to public engagements” as early as October 10 — just 10 days after the president announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Public health experts have cautioned that the president’s return to public duties could come too soon, risking his own health or the health of others.

On Thursday, the White House Press Secretary’s Office released a memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley, who said that Trump finished his course of therapeutic COVID-19 medication on Thursday. 

“Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness,” Conley wrote. “Overall he’s responded extremely well to treatment, without evidence on examination of adverse therapeutic effects.” 

Conley also said that because of his improvement, Trump can safely “return to public engagements” on Saturday. 

Trump is set to do his first on-camera interview with the Fox News program “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday. Dr. Marc Siegel is expected to perform a medical exam on the president as part of the interview. 

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating for at least 10 days after a positive test or after symptoms first appear. For severe cases of COVID-19, the CDC recommends isolating up to 20 days. The agency also said that only after people test negative two times at least 24 hours apart, they can be around other people again. 

Conley has repeatedly declined to tell the public when Trump’s last negative COVID-19 test was. 

On Thursday, Trump told Fox Business that he refused to participate in a virtual debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The Commission On Presidential Debates announced the second debate would be remote to keep both candidates and staff safe. 

Trump’s re-election campaign initially said Thursday that the president would “do a rally instead,” but later called for two in-person debates, one as originally scheduled on October 22 and another additional one October 29.

Because of Trump’s refusal to virtually participate next week, Biden’s campaign team said that the former vice president would hold a town hall where he can take questions directly from voters. 

The CPD co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf said Friday that he rejected Trump’s reelection campaign’s push for the president to participate in-person during a town-hall event on October 15, Politico reported. Fahrenkopf reportedly said there’s “no evidence” that the president has fully recovered from COVID-19 in an interview with Fox News.

The exact format of the October 15 event is unclear.