President Donald Trump is pushing ahead with an appearance at a White House gathering on Saturday, even though he has not yet publicly announced a negative test for coronavirus which CDC officials have said is a definitive benchmark for determining whether a person who contracted COVID-19 is still contagious.
“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,” Trump told Fox News’ medical analyst Dr. Marc Siegel during an interview on Friday. “They test every couple of days, I guess, but it’s really at a level now that’s been great — great to see it disappear.”
The fact that Trump is unable to say whether or not he has tested negative for coronavirus, comes as he prepares to deliver another speech from the White House balcony with roughly 2,000 people expected at the event and potentially at risk of infection.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tore into the President, calling his behavior “reckless.”
“He didn’t take the necessary precautions to protect himself or others,” Biden said at a campaign event on Friday. “The longer Donald Trump is President, the more reckless he gets. How can we trust him to protect this country?”
Trump seemed to acknowledge during the Fox News interview on Friday that he may have contracted the virus at one of the recent events at the White House which has routinely flouted guidelines to protect against the spread of coronavirus. Although earlier in the week her appeared to blame Gold-Star families for his infection, he hasn’t had much to say about a Sept. 26 Rose Garden event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett where at least eight attendees later tested positive for coronavirus, including President Trump.
Earlier on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS News Radio during an interview that “we had a super-spreader event at the White House.”
“People were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci said in an apparent reference to the event.
The remarks follow claims by White House Strategic Communications Director Alyssa Farah who on Thursday brushed away criticism of the event and claimed that staffers “always take precautions” with events hosted on White House grounds.
Per CNN, some experts have said the Fox News interview offered little clarity about whether or not Trump remains infectious.
“They are being purposely vague on this, but I think they’re trying to track his viral load,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
The White House and the President’s physicians have remained evasive about Trump’s last negative test for coronavirus. But Trump revealed during the Fox News interview that he was no longer taking medication for COVID-19 and that the steroid dexamethsaone had helped to keep “the swelling down of the lungs.”
White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, who has been famously vague about the details of Trump’s health said in a statement earlier in the week that Saturday would mark 10 days since Trump’s diagnosis. He appeared to contradict earlier statements by preemptively appearing to clear President Trump in anticipation of his “safe return to public engagements” on Saturday.