Providing few particulars, the White Home physician says Trump is not contagious.
President Trump’s doctor said in a memo released Saturday night that he “is no longer viewed as a transmission risk to others” as the president prepared to resume campaigning this week.
The memo from Dr. White House doctor Sean P. Conley said he was posting information with Mr. Trump’s permission. However, the amount of information he provided was limited, which was in line with the restrictive presentations to the public that Dr. Conley has made throughout Mr Trump’s struggle against symptoms of the coronavirus since officials released his diagnosis early October 2nd. Dr. Conley last posted an update on the state of the president on Thursday.
Experts have repeatedly questioned the true severity of Mr Trump’s illness. According to guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with severe Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, may need to be isolated for up to 20 days. And the president’s health could worsen in the next few days.
“I don’t think he’s out of the woods for sure,” said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, a South Carolina-based infectious disease doctor. Men aged 74 and weighing Mr. Trump are at greater risk of severe cases of Covid-19. His recent history of steroids, which suppress certain parts of the immune system, could leave him prone to other infections as well, added Dr. Kuppalli added. “I would still be careful with someone like him.”
The start date of Mr. Trump’s symptoms has also remained unclear. According to Dr. Conley should have shown signs of illness to Mr Trump on Wednesday September 30th for Saturday to qualify as 10 days after symptoms appeared. According to the CDC, most people stop being contagious by the 10th day after they start their illness
“I am pleased to announce to you tonight that this morning’s Covid-PCR sample not only meets the President, who meets the CDC criteria for safely aborting the isolation, but no longer as a risk of transmission according to currently recognized standards is viewed by others, “said Dr. Conley wrote. “Now, on the 10th day after the onset of symptoms, well over 24 hours without fever and all symptoms improved, the selection of advanced diagnostic tests shows that there is no longer any evidence of active replication of the virus. In addition, sequential tests during his illness have shown that viral load decreases, which correlates with increasing cycle threshold times, as well as that subgenomic mRNA decreases and is now undetectable. “
Several experts were skeptical about the wording used to describe Mr. Trump’s diagnostic tests, which did not specifically classify the president as “negative” for the coronavirus. PCR, a laboratory technique that detects the genetic material of the virus, can give researchers a rough idea of how much virus is left in a person’s body or how high the viral load is. Dr. Conley’s note suggested that Mr. Trump’s viral load was decreasing but still appeared to be detectable.
Dr. Conley mentioned subgenomic mRNA is a part of the virus that can be detected by laboratory techniques and indicates the presence of an actively replicating virus, said Susan Butler-Wu, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Southern California. “However, there are no cleared tests dealing with subgenomic mRNA” from the coronavirus, she added, meaning the procedure is “experimental at this point”.
Another, more traditional approach to determining if Mr Trump is still actively replicating virus in his body could be to take a sample from the president’s airway and see if the coronavirus can be grown from the sample in a laboratory. However, this technique was used in Dr. Conley’s memo not mentioned.
There is also no test that can definitely show whether a person is still contagious and at risk to others at the end of coronavirus infection, said Melissa Miller, a clinical microbiologist at the University of North Carolina Medical School.
Dr. Conley said he will continue to monitor the president in the coming days.
Mr Trump is due to speak at a campaign event on Monday that may raise concerns that he could still infect people.
It was unclear when Mr Trump last had a fever or whether his symptoms were resolved or just better than before. He was treated with an experimental cocktail of antibodies, the antiviral remdesivir, and dexamethasone, a heavy steroid that was believed to be supposed to reduce inflammation in his lungs. He said he was out of medication now.
Mr. Trump’s voice has grown stronger since he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday. But unlike on his trips to and from the hospital, he hadn’t been seen publicly until Saturday when he appeared on a balcony for nearly 20 minutes before a crowd of a few hundred people gathered on the south lawn of the White House.