White House doctor says Donald Trump won't transmit coronavirus

Updated: 12 October, 2020 09:49 IST | Agencies | Washington

Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, some medical experts said

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The White House doctor said President Donald Trump was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it. The diagnosis came as the president prepared to resume campaign rallies and other activities.

On Saturday night White House Navy Cmdr Dr Sean Conley said Trump met the CDC criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by "currently recognised standards" he was no longer considered a transmission risk.

The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus. But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor's statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat.

Dr William Morice, who oversees laboratories at the Mayo Clinic, said earlier this week that using the PCR tests, Trump's medical team could hypothetically measure and track the amount of virus in samples over time and watch the viral load go down.

Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, some medical experts said.

Dr Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist and department chairman at the Yale School of Public Health, said cautioned that those who have had severe cases of the diseases should isolate for 20 days.

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First Published: 12 October, 2020 08:32 IST

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