President Trump attempted to take full advantage of White House physician Dr. Sean Conley’s vague memo issued the night before — which declared Trump as no longer at risk of transmitting COVID-19, but does not address when he last tested negative — during an interview on Fox News on Sunday morning.
When asked about Conley’s memo and whether it suggests he no longer has COVID-19, Trump replied “yes” and that “it seems like I’m immune.”
“So I can go way out of a basement — which I would have done anyway and which I did because you have to run a country, you have to get out of the basement — and it looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time, maybe a short time,” Trump said, appearing to jab Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by repeating a right-wing trope that slams the former VP for making virtual appearances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump then leaned into his unfounded assertion that he has immunity from COVID-19.
“It could be a lifetime. Nobody really knows, but I’m immune,” Trump said. “So the President is in very good shape to fight the battles.”
When asked what he is doing to ensure the safety of attendees at his campaign rally scheduled in Florida on Monday, Trump bragged about how White House doctors are “the best” and supposedly told him that he is “totally free of spreading.”
The President went on to defend his first major public appearance since returning to the White House following his discharge from Walter Reed on Saturday. Trump asserted that because he was on a balcony, he was about a couple of hundred feet away from attendees standing on the lawn, so therefore “there was nobody even close to me yesterday.”
After touting that he knew he was “free” from COVID-19 on Saturday, Trump took on an infomercial-like tone when saying that he believes contracting COVID-19 “also gives you immunity.”
“I mean, it does give you immunity,” Trump said. “Even the people that just cannot accept anything, I mean, they just don’t want to accept anything. No, so we — I passed the highest test, the highest standards, and I’m in great shape.”
The President doubled down on feeling “fantastically” and “good,” before baselessly arguing that he has a “protective glow.”
“I even feel good by the fact that the word immunity means something, having really a protective glow. It means something,” Trump said. “I think it’s very important to have that. To have that is a very important thing.”
Shortly after his interview on Fox News aired, Trump reiterated his unfounded conclusion that he now has immunity from COVID-19 in a tweet:
A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2020
Although Conley wrote in his memo issued late Saturday that he will continue to monitor the President “clinically as he returns to an active schedule,” he did not confirm Trump’s last negative COVID-19 test nor conclude that the President is now immune from COVID-19.
Both Conley and the White House have continued providing few details on Trump’s condition, and have repeatedly dodged questions regarding the President’s last negative COVID-19 test in the past week.
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
When asked what he is doing to ensure safety of attendees at Florida rally, Trump claims he has a "protective glow" pic.twitter.com/edcBqC5L8j
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) October 11, 2020