US President Donald Trump made a bold statement Sunday as he prepared to return to the election campaign and to meet and greet his supporters despite the pandemic. President Trump and his wife Melania tested positive for coronavirus more than a week ago and are in quarantine at the White House. But with his latest statement, it appears that he is determined to ignore the risk of contracting the coronavirus again, or he could be spreading it to more people.
In a phone interview with Fox News, Trump declared himself immune to COVID-19–a day after his doctor claimed he was no longer a risk of transmitting the disease. “It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time and maybe a short time, it could be a lifetime, nobody really knows, but I’m immune.”
The president even went on to say, as if to mock Democrat Joe Biden for taking the most cautious approach to campaigning in times of pandemic: “You have a president who is immune… so now you have a president who doesn’t have to hide in a basement like his opponent.” It remains unclear to what extent contracting Covid-19 can confer immunity against future infections, although early studies suggest that it should be for a few months, while newer ones indicate that it could last longer.
And while it is generally recognized that a person who has recovered from COVID-19 becomes more immune to new infections, the World Health Organization in August has some comments that will serve as a warning: “For COVID-19, we do not yet have enough data to confirm if antibodies protect, what antibody levels are required, or how long protection will last.”
Trump even went so far as to speculate that his rival for the presidency might be ill, all because he heard him (Biden) cough. “If you look at Joe, yesterday he was coughing horribly and grabbing his mask, coughing,” Trump said. “And I don’t know what that was all about, and it didn’t get a lot of press.”
Details about Trump’s own health status have remained less transparent, as his medical team is in no way going to reveal when the president last tested negative for the virus. And that creates suspicions that he may have skipped tests for several days before his diagnosis.
Biden’s camp, however, has been more transparent and cautious in its election campaign as a way of dealing with the pandemic. Starting from the time Trump contracted COVID-19 on October 1, causing him to land in the hospital for three nights and his campaign derailed, Biden’s camp has been posting daily coronavirus tests for its candidates to monitor the candidates’ health status with regard to coronavirus infection.
In what was seen as a comeback rally that took place at the White House on Saturday, President Trump, without a mask and standing alone on the White House balcony, spoke with hundreds of his supporters. The assembled crowd, although many of them wore masks, did not follow social distancing guidelines. The US elections are scheduled for November 3, which are only three weeks away.
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