Trump says he’s planning rally for Saturday while ‘muting mic’ to hide cough in interview
Doctors say president can resume public duties (Getty Images)
President Donald Trump has said he could return to campaigning on Saturday while coughing in an interview and dodging questions about when he last tested negative for Covid-19.
"I think I'll try to hold a rally on Saturday night if we can when we have enough time to put it together," said 74-year-old Trump Sean Hannity of Fox News during a phone call Thursday night.
"But we want to do a rally in Florida, probably Saturday night in Florida. Maybe we can come back and do one in Pennsylvania the next night," he added.
The president is still recovering from coronavirus after testing positive for the disease late Thursday night. He spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received supplemental oxygen and a cocktail of drugs to treat the disease.
During his re-election campaign, the president held large-scale campaign events attended by some of thousands of tightly packed supporters, many of whom wore no face coverings or did not practice social distancing.
An event held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in July was the "likely" source of a surge in coronavirus infections, local health officials said. However, the president has repeatedly claimed that its events had "no negative impact" on the spread of the coronavirus.
During Thursday's 30-minute interview, the president was evasive when questioned by Mr Hannity when he last tested negative for the disease, which killed 213,000 people in the United States and crippled the economy.
"Well, we'll probably do the test tomorrow. The real test because there's no need to keep testing," he said when asked if he had been tested since last week.
Mr. Trump sounded rude throughout the interview; He coughed at least once and on another occasion appeared to have muted his phone after clearing his throat.
The interview came just hours after the White House doctors gave the Commander in Chief permission to resume public duties. Dr. Sean Conley said it had been 10 days since the president's initial diagnosis on Oct. 1, and Mr Trump had not shown any symptoms of coronavirus since leaving Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday.
In a statement released late Thursday, Mr Conley said Mr Trump responded to experimental treatment with antibody cocktails and steroids with no sign of side effects.
"Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and has shown no evidence of disease progression," Conley said.
Saturday's return to public engagements would give the president 24 days of campaigning before the November 3rd election.
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