Ahead of President Donald Trump’s first campaign rally since he was hospitalized for Covid-19, his physician released a memo Monday saying the president had recently tested negative on consecutive days and was no longer contagious.
Trump and the administration have repeatedly dodged questions about when the president last tested negative for the virus. The White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in his memo that a number of measures were used to test Trump and that he had tested negative on antigen tests instead of the more conclusive polymerase chain reaction test. Conley did not say on which days Trump tested negative.
“This comprehensive data, in concert with the CDC’s guidelines for removal of transmission-based precautions, have informed our medical team’s assessment that the President is not infectious to others,” Conley said in the memo.
Trump returned to the campaign trail Monday night with a rally in Florida after he and several White House and campaign aides were infected with Covid-19. Florida is a crucial battleground state, and polls show that Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, is leading Trump, who won the state in 2016.
“They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful,” Trump told the crowd in Sanford. “I’ll walk into that audience, I’ll walk in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women.”
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics
Biden held events Monday in Ohio, another battleground state. Vice President Mike Pence was also campaigning in Ohio on Monday. However, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Biden’s running mate, was not on the trail, participating instead as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
Trump spent much of the day ranting on Twitter about health care and other issues after Democrats grilled Barrett about her views on the Affordable Care Act, which they argued Republicans are trying to overturn through the courts.
“Republicans must state loudly and clearly that WE are going to provide much better Healthcare at a much lower cost. Get the word out! Will always protect pre-existing conditions!!!” Trump wrote on Twitter after the committee adjourned for a lunch break.
Trump has long touted a health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but Republicans have failed to offer a plan that would protect pre-existing conditions. Trump-backed Republican legislation in 2017, which failed, included state waivers that would have allowed insurers to charge higher prices for sicker people.