In an interview with Maria Bartiromo at Fox Business, Trump spoke candidly about his health scare as well as the upcoming presidential elections.
Speaking with his usual steady, albeit raspy, voice, Trump seemed confident that he would be able to host a political rally despite being told he would not be allowed for some time.
Trump told Bartiromo, “First of all, I think I’m better, to a point where I’d love to do a rally tonight. I wanted to do one last night”.
Despite being in the dangerous category for anyone contracting coronavirus, the 74 year old is clinically obese at 6 foot 3 inches and weighing 244 pounds, Trump declared that he was a ‘perfect physical specimen…. I’m lucky in that way”.
It is this very sense of humor that seems to be pushing the president through his illness and although protocols at the White House have had to change, he returned to work at the Oval Office just two days after being discharged from hospital. The White House is now operating with a minimum number of staff and any that are in contact with Trump has to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Talking about coronavirus Trump simply stated, “You catch this thing. A lot of people caught it,’ a comment which many sees as further evidence that Trump is continuing to downplay the seriousness of the virus that, at the time of writing, has seen 7,834,289 confirmed cases with 217,750 deaths. Numbers which are continuing to increase daily at an alarming rate.
While the president is seemingly boastful of his quick recovery it is important to remember that the treatment that he has received is of a far higher quality than the average American.
Trump is also convinced that he is now immune from the virus, even though it is unclear how long he has been ill due to his doctors refusing to confirm when Trump’s last negative test was and therefore is possible he still has the virus in his body, saying “Remember this, when you catch it – you get better, and then you’re immune you know? As soon as everything goes away, for me, you’re immune”.
The president also believes that even though he was only diagnosed last week, he is no longer contagious. However, CDC guidelines have constantly stated that anyone who tests positive but only has mild to moderate symptoms will remain infectious for around 10 days after first becoming ill. Those with more serious symptoms can be contagious for around 20 days.
Despite claiming to have only had mild symptoms Trump had been receiving treatments usually only given to those with heightened symptoms, such as dexamethasone as well as supplemental oxygen during his three-day stay in hospital.
“I don’t think I’m contagious at all,” Trump said when asked, however he also said “we still have to wait” which implies he is less confident than he makes out.
When speaking about a potential rally for the upcoming election Trump denied that he would make it a ‘superspreader’ event, due to him being positioned at a safe distance from those attending. He seemed to forget that he could spread the virus to those traveling with him to and from locations, a fact that is prominent due to senior aide Hope Hicks also testing positive after joining Trump at his rally in Minnesota. The outbreak is now thought to have infected around 36 people.
Trump has continued to release videos while he has been ill, some during his stay in hospital, and has called his illness a “blessing from God” saying, “I feel great. I feel, like, perfect. I think it was a blessing from God that I caught it, I think it was a blessing in disguise.”
In the Fox interview Trump appeared to claim he had become ill after attending an event for Gold Star family members, honoring those who had died in the line of duty, saying, “They want to hug me, and they want to kiss me. And they do. And frankly, I’m not telling them to back up. I’m not doing it.”
Following his illness the second presidential debate has been moved online in a bid to reduce the spread of infection, a move that Trump is not happy with.
“I’m not going to waste my time on virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about.”
The first presidential debate between Trump and Democrat contender Joe Biden soon spiraled into a ‘slanging match’ with insults being exchanged alongside petty moves such as talking over the opponent. However Trump has stated he thinks that if you move a debate online the moderators could “cut you off whenever they want”, a procedure that could remove the freedom of speech needed for debates.