Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Monday, that “the President is what would be well within the 10-day timeframe of being non-transmissible.”
Yet he might consider wearing a mask out of caution.
Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, was responding to a question about the statement made by President Trump’s physician that the President was no longer considered a transmission risk after his bout with Covid-19.
“They have found that if you are 10 days from the onset of symptoms, the chances are extraordinarily low that you are going to be transmissible — that you would be able to transmit it. If you really want to nail it down, you do a PCR test and you show that the person has a level of virus that's not going to be transmitted. And that's what you can do sometimes. Whether they do that or not that remains to be seen,” Fauci said.
Trump and Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, also recently infected with coronavirus, have been conducting official government business in the last few days, to the concern of many.
Fauci said that people who’ve very recently been infected, such as Trump and Lee, should probably wear a mask, out of an abundance of caution.
“As the better part of caution, I think that that would be appropriate to do that. I mean, I certainly think from a practical standpoint, I probably would do that myself just to be extra careful,” Fauci said.
He also said the President or Lee could also get a test to determine the level of viral remnants.
That, Fauci said, “would probably get people to be feeling much more comfortable about the lack of transmissibility. And they very well may do that to just go that extra step to show that an individual, whoever that might be — the President or anybody else, a senator or anybody — to just go that extra step in addition to the 10-day period to show that the virus itself is not present in a form that would be transmissible.”
As for whether the President is immune, Fauci told Tapper, probably yes — but it’s unclear for how long.
“If he means that he's been infected and having been infected and recovered, that he will not get infected again — that's true for a limited period of time. What we do not know is how long that protection lasts. So technically speaking, the fact that he has recovered from an immunological standpoint, he has an immune response in him — that very likely would protect him from being reinfected,” Fauci said.
He noted there have been well-documented cases of people getting reinfected with coronavirus a second time.
“So you really have to be careful that you're not completely quote ‘immune,’” Fauci said.