Trump Contradicts CDC, Claims He's Not Contagious

It's been a week since diagnosis was made public; CDC calls for at least 10 days of isolation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2020 9:40 AM CDT
Trump Contradicts CDC, Claims He's Not Contagious
President Trump stands on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as he returns to the White House in Washington on Monday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump is "cured" of the coronavirus—or so he claims in his first interview since his hospitalization a week ago. "I feel perfect. There's nothing wrong," he told Maria Bartiromo of Fox News in a phone interview on Thursday, per CNBC. "I don't think I'm contagious at all." The CDC says people "with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset" and may end "transmission-based precautions" at that time, so long as it's been 24 hours since the last fever and other symptoms have improved, per CNBC. But it's been just about a week since Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis was announced, and days since he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was given a range of treatments, including remdesivir and dexamethasone—drugs typically administered in severe cases.

"For patients who had severe or critical illness, we wait up to 20 days to state they are noninfectious," Sigal Yawetz, a physician caring for COVID-19 patients in Boston, tells Vox. Dr. Sean Conley said Wednesday that the president had been without a fever for more than four days and free of other symptoms for more than 24 hours. Given that information, University of Michigan infectious disease doctor Kevin Gregg says he "should be isolating ... so as not to infect [others]," per Vox, which notes "there's no clinically validated test to measure a patient's COVID-19 infectiousness." An internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News indicates "34 White House staffers and other contacts" have been infected in recent days. (Trump also told Bartiromo he won't participate in the next presidential debate.)

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