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Trump says he hasn't been tested for COVID-19 recently but will get a test 'soon'

Adds that he doesn't 'feel' contagious
Trump says he hasn't been tested for COVID-19 recently but will get a test 'soon'
Posted at 7:08 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 12:02:41-04

During a phone interview with Fox Business on Thursday morning — his first TV interview since contracting COVID-19 — President Donald Trump said that while he hasn't been tested for the virus recently, his health is continuing to improve.

"I'm essentially very clean," Trump told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo.

Trump added that he would be tested again for the virus "very soon" to determine if he's still infected.

The President also added that he doesn't "feel" like he could spread the virus to others.

"No, I don't think I'm contagious. I don't think I'm contagious at all," Trump said.

According to the CDC, people infected with COVID-19 can still spread the virus, even if they are asymptomatic. The virus is typically active in humans for about two weeks, though it can last longer.

The White House has refused to report when Trump last tested negative for the virus, but Trump announced his positive test on Friday, meaning he may be contagious for about another week.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday that Trump would like to begin working from the Oval Office and that White House staff would implement safety precautions to make that happen. The CDC recommends those who are infected with the virus remain quarantined.

Trump also falsely said Thursday that he's now "immune" to COVID-19.

"Remember, when you catch it, you get better, and then you're immune, you know?" Trump said. "As soon as everything goes away for me, you're immune."

There are several documented cases where people who had previously contracted COVID-19 caught it again — though they suffered less severe symptoms. The CDC says that estimates indicate that COVID-19 antibodies make a person immune for about three months.

During his Thursday interview, Trump said he assumed earlier this year that he might catch the virus at some point.

"But I did look at the numbers say I'll probably catch it, and I'll get better," Trump said. "And that's what happened."

Despite the risks, Trump said he needed to continue to face the public because he had to be a "leader." As an example, he said he continued to meet with the families of soldiers who had been killed in action, even though social distancing was not always observed at those ceremonies.

"They're telling me these stories, and I can't say, 'Back up, stand 10 feet.' I just can't do it. I went through like 35 people and everyone had a different story," Trump said. "They come within an inch of my face sometimes, they want to hug me and they want to kiss me. And they do. I'm not telling them to back up."

Trump said Thursday that he believed he contracted the virus at a September ceremony at the White House where he nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

"As far as the White House is concerned, somebody got it in — it was a day of celebration with Notre Dame, etc. etc. Somebody got in and people got infected, whether it was there or something else.," Trump said.

Finally, Trump touted the COVID-19 therapeutic drugs he took while in the hospital, falsely calling them "cures." He added that drugs made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly would be granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA to treat the virus.

"You take it, and it beats the hell out of it. I'm telling you, I could have walked out of there 24 hours after I went in. I didn't even have to go in, frankly. I think it would have gone away."

Trump was referring to REGN-COV2, a monocolonal antibody therapy the clones the strongest antibodies from COVID-19 patients. Regneron formally requested EUA for the drug on Wednesday.

Regeneron says it has approximately 50,000 doses of the drug on hand, but could have up to 300,000 doses "within the next few monts," according to CNBC.

While the drug has been effective in treating COVID-19, there is no "cure" for the virus. Health experts expect several COVID-19 vaccines to be approved by the end of 2020 and be widely available by the middle of 2021.

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