President Donald Trump takes his Covid denial tour back to the campaign trail Monday as the tense final stretch of an election now three weeks away gets a fresh jolt with Senate hearings on his Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett.
Trump, who announced Sunday, without providing evidence, that he has tested “totally negative” after his bout with the virus, plans to hold his first rally since his diagnosis was publicly disclosed, in Florida, in what risks turning into yet another super spreader event.
“I’m immune. So, the President is in very good shape to fight the battles,” Trump said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” in comments that misrepresented his own capacity to spread the virus if he is exposed to it again. A tweet along the same lines earned a warning from Twitter that the President was spreading misleading information about the virus.
The President’s proclamations about his own health followed another opaque memo from his physician, who cleared Trump to end isolation but who hasn’t taken reporters’ questions in a week.
Trump’s Monday rally and subsequent events this week in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina will underscore both his increasing concern about his own prospects, as time to rescue his presidency runs out, and how his own infection with Covid-19 has done nothing to convince him to adopt a more responsible attitude toward the pandemic.
He heads to Florida after University of Minnesota infectious disease specialist Mike Osterholm warned Friday on CNN that the Sunshine State could soon be like a “house on fire” after dropping most precautions needed to quell the spread of the virus.
The state added 5,000 new cases over the weekend. Trump’s rallies are habitually packed and feature little mask wearing in violation of his own government’s guidelines. At least nine people who attended a Trump rally in Minnesota last month have tested positive.
Further underscoring how Trump puts his own political goals ahead of his duty to lead the emergency response, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday objected to being misrepresented by a Trump campaign ad hailing the President’s pandemic leadership.close dialog