President Donald Trump tested negative for COVID-19 at some point in the “recent” past, his personal doctor said Monday, though he didn’t specify what that meant.
Dr. Sean Conley, the White House doctor who has continued to offer misleading or incomplete information about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, offered the latest confusing update in a memo released shortly before the president was set to hold an evening campaign rally in Florida.
“In response to your inquiry regarding the president’s most recent COVID-19 tests, I can share with you that he has tested NEGATIVE, on consecutive days,” Conley wrote in the memo.
A White House spokesman did not return a request for clarity.
Conley wrote in the memo that Trump’s negative results came back using the so-called “Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card” — a rapid test known to not be as accurate as more sensitive swab tests.
However, Conley said the team of White House physicians also relied on “clinical and laboratory data” in assessing that “the president is not infectious to others.”
Since Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Oct. 1, Conley and White House officials have refused to say when he took his last negative test.
The obfuscation has raised concern that Trump could still be contagious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 patients who experience severe symptoms — which Trump did — can be contagious for “up to 20 days.”
Nonetheless, Trump was not wearing a face mask as he boarded Air Force One on Monday afternoon for a rally in Sanford, Florida — his first public campaign event since being diagnosed with the virus that’s killed more than 215,000 Americans.
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