Less than two weeks after President Donald Trump revealed that he had tested positive for Covid-19, the president's physician said Trump is no longer considered a transmission risk and does not have to continue self-isolating.
"Now at day 10 from symptom onset, fever-free for well over 24 hours and all symptoms improved, the assortment of advanced diagnostic tests obtained reveal there is no longer evidence of actively replicating virus," said Dr. Sean Conley in a memo. "Moving forward, I will continue to monitor him clinically as he returns to an active schedule."
Conley added that Trump had demonstrated "decreasing viral loads." Viral load refers to how much virus is present in any sample taken from a patient, whether it's blood or — in the case of Covid-19 — secretions collected during a deep nasal swab.
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Conley did not indicate whether the president had recently taken a Covid-19 test and did not say what treatment, if any, Trump is currently undergoing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with a moderate or severe case of the coronavirus can remain infectious for up to 20 days or longer after testing positive and should isolate themselves during that time.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump held his first public event at the White House since being diagnosed and hospitalized with the coronavirus.
Hundreds of guests filed onto the South Lawn as Trump spoke briefly from a balcony. Attendees were not tested for Covid-19 and social distancing was not enforced. Guests were not required to wear face masks.
"It is disappearing," Trump said of the coronavirus, downplaying his own experience with the virus and failing to mention that he had been given oxygen and a steroid treatment.
"I want you to know our nation is going to defeat this terrible China virus," Trump added. "We're producing powerful therapies and drugs and we're healing the sick and we're going to recover and the vaccine is coming out very, very quickly."
More than 215,000 Americans have died from the virus and nearly 7.8 million have been infected, according to NBC News counts.
— NBC's Lauren Egan contributed to this report.
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