President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus "on consecutive days," a White House doctor said Monday. This was the first disclosure that Trump had tested negative for the virus since he revealed his diagnosis earlier this month.
Dr. Sean Conley said in a short memo shared hours before Trump's scheduled re-election campaign in Florida that the president's latest Covid-19 results came from an antigen test at Abbott Laboratories.
However, Conley's memo noted that a variety of laboratory data all show that the virus is no longer active in the president's body.
"Repeated negative antigen tests performed in conjunction with additional clinical and laboratory data, including measurements of viral load, subgenomic RNA and PCR cycle, and ongoing evaluation of the viral culture date, indicate a lack of detectable virus replication," said Conley wrote.
Conley's memo did not specify which consecutive days Trump tested negative. The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Since Trump announced on Oct.2 that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus, the White House has refused to respond the last time the president tested negative before being diagnosed positive.
Knowing when the president last tested negative could provide vital information about when he was infected and by whom and by whom Trump may have been exposed to the virus while he was contagious.
74-year-old Trump had flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center the same day he shared his diagnosis. He stayed there for three days before returning to the White House, where he stayed until Monday night when he boarded Air Force One for the outdoor rally in Sanford, Florida.
Since Trump tweeted his positive diagnosis, numerous White House employees and others who work there, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and several members of the press, have also tested positive for Covid-19.
Less than a week before his positive diagnosis, the President gathered a large group of supporters at the White House to announce his youngest candidate for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Several Republican lawmakers who attended the event, including Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, as well as former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, later tested positive.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News on Friday, "I think the data speaks for itself. We had a super-spreader event at the White House."
The president was keen to get back on the campaign trail, where he has just over three weeks left before the election against Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who is currently leading Trump in the polls.
The former vice president, 77, tested negative for the coronavirus on Monday.
Trump has been criticized for holding personal rallies, an integral part of his successful 2016 campaign. Senior health experts, including those in his own administration, said the gatherings were unsafe during the pandemic because of the increased risk of transmission of the virus.
"We know this is causing problems," Fauci said in a CNN interview Monday afternoon when asked about the public health risks posed by the rallies.
Trump has long downplayed the threat from the virus and pressured heads of state to lift their strict restrictions on social distancing, in part to revitalize the U.S. economy.
Although the US holds the world record death rate from Covid-19 – more than 214,000 deaths – and the number of daily reported cases has increased recently, Trump has continued to press for a "reopening" of the country.
"Lockdowns are killing countries around the world," tweeted Trump on Monday night before the rally. "The cure can't be worse than the problem itself. Open your states, Democratic governors. Open New York. A long struggle, but you finally did the right thing!"