White House doctor says Trump can emerge from isolation, doesn't specify test results

Tim O'Donnell

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley released a memo Saturday night saying President Trump is "no longer considered a transmission risk" and is safe to come out of isolation more than a week after he first tested positive for the coronavirus.

Conley didn't reveal much more information than that, but he said the decision was based off Trump's Saturday morning "COVID PCR sample." That doesn't mean the president tested negative for COVID-19, but Conley said "there is no longer evidence of actively replicating virus." Trump is also reportedly still fever-free and all other symptoms have "improved," but Conley didn't say if he was still exhibiting any.

There's nothing particularly out of the ordinary about Conley's announcement — as CNN notes, research has shown PCR tests can come back positive for COVID-19 patients even when they're no longer infectious, because they can still pick up pieces of the virus' genetic material long after recovery. But there are still some concerns about whether Trump's infection was more severe than the White House has admitted publicly. In more serious cases, patients may need to isolate for 20 rather than 10 days, per The New York Times. And even if there is no transmission risk, Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician in South Carolina, told the Times that Trump is "not out of the woods for certain" when it comes to his own health.

Regardless, the president made his first public appearance at the White House on Saturday afternoon and is prepared to resume campaign activities this week. Read more at The New York Times and NPR.

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