Trump can no longer spread COVID-19, says top US health official Fauci

Trump can no longer spread COVID-19, says top US health official Fauci

FILE PHOTO: Senate HELP Committee's update on COVID-19 and progress toward safely getting back
FILE PHOTO: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington, DC, on Jun 30, 2020. (Photo: Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS)

WASHINGTON, DC: US President Donald Trump is no longer capable of spreading the novel coronavirus and can attend a town hall on Thursday (Oct 15) without putting others at risk, top US public health official Anthony Fauci said in an interview with CBS Evening News.

Fauci said that he and his colleague Clifford Lane at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded this after reviewing all the COVID-19 tests taken by the president as well as an additional test conducted at an NIH laboratory.

Trump revealed early on Oct 2 that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He said he had recovered and was no longer contagious the following week.

The town hall with NBC News is less than three weeks before the election in which Republican Trump is trailing Democratic candidate Joe Biden in opinion polls.

READ: Trump holds first rally since contracting COVID-19

Fauci also said in the CBS interview that the United States was unlikely to have 100 million doses of a vaccine deemed by regulators as "safe and effective" available by the end of the year, contrary to a claim Trump made in September.

Enough vaccines to inoculate the general population might be possible by April 2021 if all of the experimental vaccines in late stage clinical trials prove effective, Fauci said. A couple of the vaccine candidates could potentially receive regulatory clearance in November or December but only "a few million" doses may be available to the public by year-end.

READ: Trump's son Barron tested positive for COVID-19, says Melania Trump

He added that the experimental antibody drug made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that was used to treat the President, and which Trump said he wants to make free to all Americans, is not yet available in sufficient supply to provide to all COVID-19 patients. It is still awaiting US regulatory clearance.

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Source: Reuters/ga