The president’s erratic conduct has only deepened an alarming leadership vacuum in a disease-ridden White House as the pandemic takes a worrying turn amid further signs of a slowing economic rebound.
Trump’s official physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr Sean Conley said the president would be fit to resume his public engagements on Saturday after completing his treatment. But questions remain when Trump fell ill, who he could have infected and if he is still contagious. And twice in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News on Thursday night, the president declined to say if he had tested negative even though he said he might try to organize a rally in Florida as early as Saturday. evening. While speaking with Hannity, Trump had to interrupt his sentences, audibly clear his throat, and cough at least twice.
Trump plans to do another Fox News interview – this time on camera with Dr. Marc Siegel, the channel’s medical analyst – which airs Friday night. This will be her first on-camera interview since contracting the coronavirus.
Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority, said that normally a person who has undergone experimental Covid-19 therapies would still be in a hospital bed.
” It’s very dangerous. He’s in charge of a lot of things, makes a lot of important decisions for our country and the world, in fact, ”said Bright, who spoke publicly after stepping down from the National Institutes of Health this week. “If he is not in the right sane mind to make decisions rationally, then he could be very reckless for the country and the world. ”
See Trump and Biden’s face-to-face poll
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, asked on Thursday whether the Speaker was in “a modified state” during an interview with Bloomberg TV, alluding to his sudden decision to halt stimulus negotiations. She noted that doctors have said the steroid drug Trump is taking can affect a patient’s judgment.
“When the president made his weird tweet that said, ‘We’re moving away from negotiations,’ it was like ‘What? “” Pelosi said at his weekly press conference. “We all worked really hard to find our common ground. ”
She pushes a new bill, which is unlikely to become law, to give Congress a role in determining the need to force the president to resign because he is unable to do his job.
Debate rather than debate
Conley’s statement on Trump’s health was particularly practical since the president spent the day locked in a test of willpower with Biden’s campaign and the Commission on Presidential Debates in the second face-to-face clash scheduled for next Thursday. The timing will only add to concerns that Conley is being intimidated by a president who is solely driven by his own political destiny.
Trump initially said he refused to show up for a virtual confrontation, which was scheduled due to fear of always being contagious. Then the Trump camp demanded that the last two debates each be delayed by a week. Then, following Conley’s evening bulletin, Trump’s team insisted the debate could take place as scheduled next week in Miami despite concerns over whether the president is still contagious.
The president’s latest move reflects the fact that he now risks losing one of the last chances to overthrow his campaign – simply because he ignored social distancing measures and fell ill. And he offered Biden, who would be happy to steer clear of the risks in the final days, an opening to accuse him of stepping down.
Trump also carried out a complete reversal on Thursday after he blew up talks over an economic bailout with House Democrats earlier in the week, a further sign of his increasingly fierce behavior since leaving the National Military Medical Center. Walter Reed.
Trump touts Covid ‘cure’
The president is trying to deflect the campaign from his mismanagement of the pandemic by making exaggerated promises about the imminent availability of a Regeneron antibody treatment which he touts as a “cure” – even though he still lacks Food and Drug Administration approval. And his post-hospital warnings that Americans should not let the disease “dominate them” complicate efforts by public health officials to promote public safety measures like wearing masks and avoiding crowded areas.
On the same day that federal and state officials announced charges in an alleged domestic terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Trump accused the Democrat of “complaining” and attacked her again for her handling of the situation. the pandemic, accusing him of having “locked” down “his condition. Trump has always called on states to reopen, regardless of the number of cases across the country.
Earlier this week, Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, warned the country could see up to 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus by this winter.
“The models tell us that if we don’t do the kinds of things we talk about in the cold of fall and winter, we could have 300,000 to 400,000 deaths,” Fauci said in a statement. discussion with students from the American university. Tuesday. “It would be so tragic if that happened. ”
On Thursday, Fauci tried to clear up Trump’s social media lie this week that the flu is deadlier than Covid-19.
“There is no doubt, no doubt at all, that this Covid-19, with its 210,000 deaths in the United States, one million deaths worldwide, more than seven million infections in the United States, is much more serious than a seasonal flu, no doubt about it, “Fauci said on MSNBC’s” Andrea Mitchell Reports “.
White House coverage of Trump’s latest negative test
Without medical expertise, the president insists that he is no longer contagious. The White House also argues unconvincingly that privacy concerns prevent them from sharing details about the timing of the president’s latest negative Covid-19 test.
This information is important in assessing whether the president recklessly continued public events – including last week’s first presidential debate – when he may have been infected. The date of the test could determine whether the White House was telling the truth when it said Trump was regularly tested – an important consideration as the presidential compound has become a raging coronavirus hotspot. Knowing the date of the test is also essential in assessing the president’s claims that he is no longer contagious as he agitates to resume the campaign trail and resume crowded rallies that endanger the health of supporters and supporters. anyone they might meet later.
Trump is also launching furious political attacks as national polls show Biden is rising by double digits with voting in many states already underway.
In recent days, including in a manic Fox Business interview on Thursday, Trump has wondered aloud why his enemies – namely Hillary Clinton, Biden and former President Barack Obama – aren’t in jail. The president has incredibly raised the possibility that relatives of fallen U.S. service members infected him in the White House, exonerating his team of responsibility for his negligent measures to protect staff and visitors from the virus. A president who received round-the-clock care by top military doctors and experimental treatments unavailable to other Americans told Fox Business: “What happens is you get better… you know, you don’t really need any medication. ”
Trump on Thursday also used shocking racist, sexist and McCarthyist slander to claim that Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris behaved like a “monster” and a communist in her debate with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.
Trump’s savage behavior coincides with signs that the pandemic’s dreaded fall peak is accelerating.
Coronavirus cases are increasing in 23 states, based on the average of new cases over the past seven days. The number of new cases alone hit nearly 50,000 on Thursday, and another 850 deaths belied the president’s claim that people with the pathogen are simply recovering from it.
Still, there is no sign of a coordinated government health offensive to prepare Americans for a bleak winter before vaccines become widely available.
This story has been updated with additional information.