Donald Trump tweets he is 'feeling great' and 'looking forward' to next debate with Joe Biden

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·3-min read
AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump has tweeted to say he is "feeling great" and looking forward to next week's debate with Joe Biden despite doctors saying he is still contagious with coronavirus.

The US president was diagnosed with the virus last week and was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre where he received an unprecedented level of care for Covid-19.

But he staged a dramatic return to the White House, entering the building without a protective mask.

He immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that, despite his illness, the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

​Landing at the White House on Marine One, Mr Trump gingerly climbed the South Portico steps, removed his mask and declared: “I feel good.”

Now he has tweeted to say that he is "feeling great" and that he is looking forward to taking on his Democratic rival in the next debate in Miami on Thursday.

It comes after Mr Biden criticised Mr Trump for downplaying the severity of coronavirus, saying there is "a lot to be concerned about".

He also said the president should be communicating the "right lesson" on masks and social distancing.

Mr Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where his doctor Navy Commander Sean Conley, said earlier on Monday that the president remains contagious and would not be fully “out of the woods” for another week.

He added that Mr Trump had met or exceeded standards for discharge from the hospital.

The president is expected to continue his recovery at the White House, where the reach of the outbreak that has infected the highest levels of the US government is still being uncovered.

Still, Mr Trump indicated he will not be kept from campaigning for long, tweeting before leaving the hospital: “Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!!”

For more than eight months, Mr Trump’s efforts to play down the threat of the virus in hopes of propping up the economy ahead of the election have drawn bipartisan criticism.

“We have to be realistic in this: Covid is a complete threat to the American population,” Dr David Nace of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, said of Mr Trump’s comments.

Dr Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said: “It’s an unconscionable message.

“I would go so far as to say that it may precipitate or worsen spread.”

Republican Senator John Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board that Mr Trump had “let his guard down”” in his effort to show that the country was moving beyond the virus and had created “confusion” about how to stay safe.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, those with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19 can be contagious for as many – and should isolate for at least – 10 days.

Mr Trump’s discharge raised new questions about how the administration was going to protect other officials from a disease that remains rampant in the president’s body.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she had tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and was entering quarantine.

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