Donald Trump, 74, is insisting he’s just fine one week after being released from the hospital, where he was treated for coronavirus. The president held his first official rally since testing positive for the infectious disease in Sanford, FL on Oct. 12 and told his supporters that he is “immune”, even though just hours before, physician and immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, confirmed that he may only be immune for “a limited period of time” since there have been cases of re-infection in some people. “I went through it. Now they say I’m immune,” Trump said to the cheering crowd. “I feel so powerful I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful woman and the — I’ll just give you a big fat kiss.”
Trump’s confident speech was witnessed by an in-person crowd of reportedly around 2,000 people, and in some social media photos going around from the event, there appeared to be little to no social distancing or mask wearing. “Waiting for Trump rally outside Orlando, very few supporters wearing masks, including many senior citizens,” CNN‘s White House Correspondent Jim Acosta tweeted along with attached pics taken shortly before Trump took the podium for his enthusiastic speech, which can be seen below.
Trump’s Sanford rally happened just hours after Dr. Fauci warned the public that his campaign rallies before the election are just “asking for trouble”, in an interview he gave to CNN, which can be seen in the clip below. “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves,” he said. “And now is even more so a worse time to do that, because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really very troublesome. A number of states right now, are having increase in positivity.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases further touched upon Trump’s recovery from the virus and how it’s still possible that he could be contagious, since there’s no evidence that he was retested with a negative result. He also explained that the word “immune” means “different things to different individuals” and Trump’s meaning of the word is not clear enough to know whether or not he’s fully recovered and/or whether he could be reinfected in the future.
“If he means that he’s been infected and having been infected and recovered, that he will not get infected again, that’s true for a limited period of time,” he said. “What we do not know is how long that protection lasts, so technically speaking, the fact that he has recovered from an immunological standpoint, he has an immune response in him that very likely would protect him from being reinfected, but we got to be careful about that because we’re starting to see a number of cases that are being reported of people who get reinfected, well documented cases of people who were infected after a relatively brief period of time, measured anywhere from weeks to several months, come back, get exposed, and get infected again.”
Trump first announced he and wife Melania Trump, 50, tested positive for coronavirus on Oct. 1, the same day it was confirmed that his close aide, Hope Hicks, 31, also tested positive for the virus. He was hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center one day later after his doctor reported he was going through “mild symptoms”, but checked out and returned to the White House on Oct. 5. “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!” he wrote in a tweet on the same day he was discharged. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”