As President Trump on Sunday declared he was healthy enough to return to the campaign trail — a day after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus — Twitter slapped a warning label on his tweet in which the president declared he was now “immune” from the virus.
The Twitter warning said his tweet “violated the Twitter rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information” related to COVID-19.
Trump, who is poised to host on Monday his first official campaign rally since his COVID-19 diagnosis, did not say explicitly if he had tested negative for the virus, and his immunity claim comes amid a series of outstanding questions about the president’s health.
“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News. “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”
In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not state whether or not 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.
Some medical experts have been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. It has been just 10 days since his initial diagnosis of infection and there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, docotors argue.
The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn of the White House as Trump spoke about his support for law enforcement from a nearby balcony.
Trump took off a mask moments after he emerged on the balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below, his first step back onto the public stage with just over three weeks to go until Election Day. The speech came just days after he acknowledged that he was on the brink of “bad things” from the virus and claimed that his bout with the illness brought him a better understanding of it.
His return was a brief one. With bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection, Trump spoke for 18 minutes, far less than he normally does at his hour-plus rallies. He appeared healthy, if perhaps a little hoarse, as he delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a short version of his campaign speech despite the executive mansion setting.
Tech giants have cracked down on Trump’s social media presence as recently as last week.