President Donald Trump “no longer poses an infection risk” to others and can safely end his isolation period, according to a memo released Saturday night by White House physician Sean Conley, just over a week after the president announced his Covid-19 diagnosis.
The doctor’s memo came hours after Trump made his first public appearance since his three-day hospital stay — and released an ad touting his recovery from the coronavirus.
Tests of samples taken Saturday morning from the president show that “by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk,” Conley wrote. At ten days after he first developed symptoms, and after going fever-free for more than 24 hours, Trump met “CDC criteria” for ending isolation, the doctor added.
The CDC says that most patients should isolate for at least 10 days after the start of their symptoms, and can end isolation at or beyond that point when their symptoms ebb and they have gone at least 24 hours without a fever. But some severely ill patients may need to isolate for at least 20 days, the agency says.
Early in his illness, the president was given oxygen treatment as well as dexamethasone, a steroid normally reserved for severely ill Covid-19 patients with lung damage.
Conley also said the president’s medical team could not find any evidence that the coronavirus is replicating in his body, and the amount of virus present in Trump’s body has decreased over time.
But Conley did not say whether the president had tested negative for the virus, which could still be present in his body. And there is no FDA-authorized or approved test that can tell when a person is no longer contagious, making it hard to gauge the reliability of the tests that Conley cited in his memo.
The latest information still leaves out some crucial information for judging Trump’s health — such as the condition of his lungs, and whether he has any lingering damage from the virus.
Over the course of his infection, Trump received a combination of treatments that few if any other coronavirus patients have taken together. Although the FDA has authorized broad emergency use of one drug — the antiviral remdesivir — and dexamethasone has been on the market for decades, Trump also received an unproven antibody treatment made by Regeneron.