Is the President Immune to COVID-19?
Ten days after announcing to the country that he tested positive for COVID-19, President Donald Trump has declared that he is immune to the highly infectious virus that has already killed over 215,000 Americans. During an interview on Sunday with Fox News Channel's Sunday Morning Futures and via a tweet later in the day, Trump assured the country that he could no longer become reinfected with the virus. However, according to research—as well as one of the top doctors in the country—his statement is incorrect. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Is the President Immune to COVID-19?
"I'm immune," Trump exclaimed. "The president is in very good shape to fight the battles." He continued to say that he had passed "the highest test," beaten the "crazy, horrible" virus, and claimed immunity. "I have to tell you, I feel fantastically," he continued. "I really feel good. And I even feel good by the fact that, you know, the word 'immunity' means something — having really a protective glow means something. I think it's very important to have that, to have that is a very important thing."
"Now you have a president who doesn't have to hide in a basement like his opponent," he added, referencing his opponent in the 2020 Presidential election, Joe Biden. "You have a president who is immune, which is a big — I think, which is a very important thing, frankly."
"It looks like I'm immune for, I don't know, maybe a long time, maybe a short time," he told host Maria Bartiromo. "It could be a lifetime. Nobody really knows, but I'm immune."
Later in the day he tweeted, "A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can't get it (immune), and can't give it. Very nice to know!!!"
However, Darren Mareiniss, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine Physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and expert in pandemic preparedness, explains that there are many flaws in Trump's immunity declaration.
"First, we are not sure that the president has cleared his infection," he points out. "The statement by Conley"—Dr. Sean Conley, the President's physician—"was a little vague. It states he is not at risk for transmitting the virus. It did not say his PCR is negative. It may imply he has a low viral load."
Second, even if Trump has fully recovered from the virus, "we simply don't know if he would be immune or for how long," he explains.
Dr. Mareiniss is a COVID-19 survivor and doesn't consider himself "immune" to the virus. "I had Covid in March and would love to be immune, but we just don't know," he points out. "This is why I still need to use PPE in the ER and continue to take precautions. The president should also continue to be cautious and follow public health guidance."
Twitter also called out Trump's statement, flagging his tweet for spreading "misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19."
Could You Be Immune to COVID-19?
While research is ongoing and the CDC has yet to confirm that COVID-19 reinfection is definite, there have been cases reported across the country. "There are no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within 3 months of initial infection. However, additional research is ongoing. Therefore, if a person who has recovered from COVID-19 has new symptoms of COVID-19, the person may need an evaluation for reinfection, especially if the person has had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. The person should isolate and contact a healthcare provider to be evaluated for other causes of their symptoms, and possibly retested," reports the CDC. "CDC recommends that all people, whether or not they have had COVID-19, take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Wash hands regularly, stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible, and wear masks." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.