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Trump to Resume Public Events, Despite Concerns

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This story was updated Oct. 9 at 8:59 p.m. 

Oct. 9, 2020 – President Donald Trump said he wanted to hold a public rally on Saturday, his first since being diagnosed with the coronavirus just more than a week ago.

In a telephone interview with Fox News, Trump said he was aiming for a Saturday night rally in Florida and that he “might come back and do one in Pennsylvania in the following night.”

Friday afternoon, however, ABC News reported that Trump instead will make “remarks to peaceful protesters for law and order.” The network says Trump will speak to supporters gathered on the South Lawn of the White House from a balcony.

Also on Friday, Trump taped an interview with Marc Siegel, MD, of New York University. Siegel is a regular Fox News contributor and the interview aired on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight.

During the interview, parts of which appeared to be edited, Siegal referenced Trump’s earlier comments that he would take a coronavirus test today. Asked for the results, Trump said, "I have been retested, and I haven't even found out numbers or anything yet. But I've been retested, and I know I'm at either the bottom of the scale or free."

But, he did not say definitely that he tested negative.

Trump also said, however, that he was no longer taking the steroid dexamethasone, and was taking “basically nothing” in terms of medication for COVID.

Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 1, spent 3 days in the hospital for treatment and has been sequestered in the White House since Monday. On Thursday, his doctor, Cmdr. Sean Conley, DO, proclaimed Trump symptom free and cleared the way for a return to public life.

“Today the president has completed his course of therapy for COVID-19 as prescribed by his team of physicians,” Conley said in a statement.

“Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness,” he said. Saturday will be Day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of the advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time.”

Yet, concerns remain. The president, the White House and his doctors have refused to say when he last tested negative for the coronavirus. On Fox News, Trump said he “probably” would get a test today.

In a separate Fox News interview, this time on the Hannity show, Trump boasted about his recovery yet sounded at one point as if he was struggling to clear his throat and cough. Host Sean Hannity also asked Trump several times if he has tested negative for the virus and the president did not answer.

"The Trump administration continues to have disregard for the science," Jay Bhatt, MD, an ABC News contributor and practicing internist, told the network. "This statement is premature given that we don't know what will happen between now and Saturday given that symptoms can pop at any time. He put many people at risk and we saw the aftermath. This can't happen again."

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Sources

Yahoo.com: “Viewers notice Trump struggling to clear his throat while telling Hannity that he's in 'great shape.’”

Reuters: “U.S. President Trump says might hold rally in Florida on Saturday.”

Statement from the White House, Cmdr. Sean Conley, DO

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