Trump unlikely to hit campaign trail until Monday, awaits more testing

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is itching to get back on the campaign trail after being sidelined by a COVID-19 infection but is unlikely to hold any in-person events until at least Monday, aides said on Friday. Trump said on Thursday night he hoped to hold campaign rallies in the crucial swing states of Florida on Saturday and Pennsylvania on Sunday. But aides said the short notice would make the events difficult to stage.

Reuters October 10, 2020 00:13:30 IST
Trump unlikely to hit campaign trail until Monday, awaits more testing

Trump unlikely to hit campaign trail until Monday awaits more testing

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is itching to get back on the campaign trail after being sidelined by a COVID-19 infection but is unlikely to hold any in-person events until at least Monday, aides said on Friday.

Trump said on Thursday night he hoped to hold campaign rallies in the crucial swing states of Florida on Saturday and Pennsylvania on Sunday. But aides said the short notice would make the events difficult to stage.

Questions remain about whether Trump, who announced on Oct. 2 he had the virus and spent three nights in a military hospital, is still contagious. Trump told Fox News he was likely to be tested for the virus on Friday.

The illness has kept the Republican president away from holding public rallies and attending fundraisers at a critical juncture of the campaign, as he trails Democratic rival Joe Biden in opinion polls with just weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president was hard at work and ready to go as soon as he got approval from his doctor, telling Fox News, "He wants to talk to the American people, and he wants to be out there."

Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their broad handling of the pandemic, as well as for a lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing in the White House and - in recent days - confusing messages about how ill the president has been.

With Trump's management of the pandemic dominating the campaign, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Americans are steadily losing confidence in how he has managed the health crisis - with his net approval on the issue hitting a new low.

White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo released on Thursday that Trump had completed his course of therapy for COVID-19 , remained stable since returning home from the Walter Reed medical facility on Monday and could resume public engagements on Saturday.

"There are medical tests underway that will ensure that when the president is back out he will not be able to transmit the virus," McEnany said, adding Conley would lay out the details later. "He won't be out there if he can transmit the virus."

McEnany is one of a string of Trump aides, including his campaign manager, who have tested positive in an outbreak of the virus in the last week within the White House and Trump campaign.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, told MSNBC on Thursday that guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said a patient is considered infectious for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or until two negative molecular diagnostic tests 24 hours apart.

The White House has declined to say when Trump last tested negative for the disease.

ON-AIR EVALUATION

Trump was scheduled to do an on-camera interview with Fox News on Friday night, his first since being diagnosed. Fittingly given he is a former reality television star, Fox said in a press release that Dr. Marc Siegel "will conduct a medical evaluation and interview during the program."

Biden has continued to campaign during Trump's illness, with events scheduled on Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The former vice president, who has sharply criticized Trump's handling of the pandemic, is leading in national polls although with a narrower advantage in some of the swing states that may determine the election outcome.

Sounding hoarse and occasionally pausing and clearing his throat, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview on Thursday night that he was doing well.

The president also was hosting a "virtual rally" on Friday by taking part in conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's radio program.

The Trump and Biden campaigns sparred on Thursday over a televised debate that had been planned for next week. Trump pulled out of the scheduled Oct. 15 event after the nonpartisan debate commission said it would be held virtually, with the candidates in separate locations, because of safety concerns after Trump contracted COVID-19 .

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.