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Donald Trump marked his return to public campaigning after testing negative for COVID-19. The White House doctor said the US president was no longer infectious.
US President Donald Trump held his first public rally since contracting the coronavirus on Monday, in Florida. Trump delivered his speech without a mask, in front of a packed crowd.
"I am so energized by your prayers and humbled by your support," said Trump.
Trump joked that he was healthy enough to plunge into the crowd, after reportedly recovering from the coronavirus.
"I went through it now. They say I'm immune. I feel so powerful ... I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women... everybody. I'll just give you a big fat kiss," Trump told the thousands of supporters who attended the rally.
Trump promised a "safe" vaccine for the virus and insisted on the US's recovery rate as a success in his government's battle against the pandemic. "If you look at our upward path, no country in the world has recovered the way we have recovered," he said.
Recovery before the rally
Trump's physician, Sean Conley, had declared before the rally that the President had repeatedly tested negative for the coronavirus.
Conley said that Trump had tested negative on "consecutive days" using the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card.
Conley added that Trump's negative test was supplemented with additional clinical and laboratory data.
"This comprehensive data, in concert with the CDC's guidelines for removal of transmission-based precautions, have informed our medical team's assessment that the President is not infectious to others," said Conley.
Trump held his first rally since contracting COVID-19 in Florida
A day before Conley's statement, Trump had tweeted that he had received a sign-off on his health status from doctors in the White House.
The tweet was removed by Twitter for violating its rules about the spread of misinformation on COVID-19. Trump had also claimed in an interview that he was immune from the virus for "maybe a long time, maybe a short time, could be a lifetime."
There have been concerns from several experts on Trump's decision to hold a public rally. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top immunologist, said that Trump was "asking for trouble" by holding the rally, at a time when coronavirus cases are rising in Florida.
am/dr (AFP, AP, dpa)