Trump itching to get back to campaign trail, but he and White House evasive on health questions
Even when President Donald Trump made it clear that he wanted to return to campaign this weekend, the White House declined on Friday to provide basic information about his condition and how he would find out he was not from his battle with COVID was more contagious. 19th
During a friendly Thursday night interview with a political ally, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, Trump ignored questions about whether he had recently tested or tested negative for COVID-19.
PHOTO: President Donald Trump points to the Truman Balcony after returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington on October 5, 2020. (Win Mcnamee / Getty Images, FILE)
"Well, we'll probably do the test tomorrow, the real test, because there's no need to test all the time," Trump said, referring to Friday. "But they found very few infections or viruses, if at all. I don't know if they found any, I didn't really go into it with the doctors."
The president said in the same interview that he hoped to be back on the campaign trail by Saturday and Sunday - he hovered Florida and Pennsylvania as possible rallying venues.
MORE: The White House won't say the last time President Trump tested negative for COVID-19
But on Friday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated that Trump might not even travel on Saturday.
PHOTO: White House Doctor Sean Conley answers questions surrounded by fellow doctors during an update on President Donald Trump's condition at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images) .
"Logistically, it would be difficult whether tomorrow is possible, it would be a decision for the campaign," she said during an interview with Fox News.
The President's Doctor, Dr. Sean Conley, in a memorandum released by the White House late Thursday, said he expected Trump to achieve a "safe return to public engagement" as early as Saturday, which would mean "day 10" since Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
He didn't say how the White House would determine the president was no longer contagious, and when asked, McEnany pushed her way to Trump's doctors.
On Thursday night, Trump interrupted his interview with Hannity twice to clear his throat. Apparently he was coughing, a potential symptom of the coronavirus.
On Friday afternoon, he denied all concerns. "There's always this lingering thing for a few days," Trump told another ally, Rush Limbaugh, during a radio interview dubbed a "radio rally." "It's called lingering."
PHOTO: President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township, Pennsylvania on September 22, 2020. (Almond Ngan / AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
The president's doctors have not held a press conference since Monday when the president was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The daily memoranda from Conley, the White House, have been sparsely published since then.
MORE: Trump falsely rejects the virus threat: "You catch it, you get better and you are immune."
The White House declined Friday morning to comment on whether the president's doctors would provide any form of update today. It was also declined to say whether the president should still receive a COVID-19 test today, as he had indicated Thursday evening - and if so, whether the White House would release the results.
Conley and various White House officials last week also refused to provide an important detail key to understanding the public about when Trump first contracted the virus and when he became contagious: exactly when he was last negative tested before getting his first positive test. The White House said it tested the first positive Thursday.
This information could help determine who he was exposed to the virus and answer the severity of his illness and whether he was possibly contagious during his presidential debate with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday night.
Both Biden and Trump's campaigns confirmed to the organizers of the debate that the candidates and anyone who traveled with them to Cleveland for the debate tested negative within 72 hours of the debate. But the White House has since refused to confirm when and how Trump was tested prior to the debate.
“I don't want to go backwards,” Conley said when asked Monday when the president's last negative test was before he got positive results. White House MP Brian Morgenstern told reporters on Wednesday, "We're not asking to go through a series of records and look backwards."
In an interview with MSNBC on Friday, Morgenstern referred to the president's right to privacy to defend the White House without disclosing that information. However, Trump could choose to post this information himself - or allow his doctors or the White House to do so on his behalf.
ABC News' Jordyn Phelps, Benjamin Siegel, and Elizabeth Thomas contributed to this report.
Trump is itching to get back on the campaign trail, but he and the White House, dodging on health issues, originally featured on abcnews.go.com
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