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Trump’s doctor expects he can make ‘safe return to public engagements’ Saturday

President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, to board Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. to begin his trip to Minnesota. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

President Trump’s doctor said the commander in chief has completed treatments for COVID-19 and is on track to make a “safe return to public engagements” as early as Saturday.

“Overall he’s responded extremely well to treatment,” without any adverse effects to the therapeutics, Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a memorandum Thursday evening.

Saturday marks day 10 since Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis Oct. 1, and based on the trajectory of unidentified “advanced diagnostics,” Conley said “I fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagements at that time.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance said people infected with COVID-19 who exhibited symptoms can discontinue isolation at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared and after at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications.

The president was put on supplemental oxygen early in his diagnosis and was treated with a host of drugs, including the steroid dexamethasone, the antiviral remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron.

But since he returned home from Walter Reed military hospital on Monday, Conley said Trump’s “physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness.”

Trump returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday as his doctor reported he was symptom-free for more than 24 hours and hadn’t had a fever in four days.

“I’m feeling good. Really good. I think perfect,” the president said during a telephone interview on Fox Business Channel Thursday, his first since his hospital release. “I don’t think I’m contagious at all.”

Even as the president makes what appears to be a swift recovery, the fate of the final presidential debates between the Republican incumbent and Democratic challenger Joe Biden remains uncertain.

Trump’s campaign seized upon his doctor’s note to quickly call for the Oct. 15 debate to proceed in person.

“There is therefore no medical reason why the Commission on Presidential Debates should shift the debate to a virtual setting, postpone it, or otherwise alter it in any way,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said.

The Commission on President Debates had announced Thursday morning that the second presidential debate, a town hall-style affair originally scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, would be held virtually.

Trump soundly rejected the notion of a virtual debate, setting off a long day of sparring between the two campaigns.

Biden’s campaign suggested the forum be delayed until Oct. 22, when the third debate was originally slated for.

Trump’s team agreed to a debate on Oct. 22, but only if it was in person. And they asked for the third contest to be held instead on Oct. 29.

But Biden’s advisers said Oct. 22 should be the final debate.

They also booked Biden for an ABC News town hall next Thursday, when the second debate was originally supposed to be held.


© 2020 the Boston Herald