The White House doctor said President Donald Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting COVID-19, but has yet to confirm whether the president has tested negative for it.
In a memo released by the White House on Saturday night, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for exiting isolation as he is no longer considered a transmission risk by "current recognized standards," the Associated Press reports.
However, the memo did not specify whether Trump had tested negative for COVID-19, but instead reiterated how sensitive lab tests -- including the PCR test cited in the statement -- detect the virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Last week, Dr. William Morice, who oversees laboratories at the Mayo Clinic, said using the PCR test would allow the president's medical team to hypothetically measure and track the amount of virus in samples over time and monitor the viral load as it goes down, the Associated Press reports.
Other medical experts have provided skepticism that the president could be declared free of risk from transmitting COVID-19 just 10 days after his initial diagnosis.
Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist and department chairman at the Yale School of Public Health, said Saturday night that the White House appeared to be following CDC guidelines in allowing the president to exit isolation, but cautioned that individuals with severe cases should isolate for 20 days, noting that Trump was treated with the steroid dexamethasone, which is typically reserved for patients with severe cases.
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