Trump, still recovering from COVID-19, returns to Oval Office

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President Trump has returned to the Oval Office, less than one week after he announced he tested positive for COVID-19. The president may still be contagious, and White House staff who come near the president must wear full personal protective equipment. 

A White House spokesman confirmed the president’s return to the Oval Office. Even though the White House residence is fully equipped for him to work from there, Mr. Trump wanted to be in the Oval Office. He had wanted to return even sooner, but the West Wing was not yet prepared to be a protective environment for the staff

“Isolation carts” with PPE were being set up with gowns, masks and goggles for any staff who come within six feet of the president, senior administration officials said. 

“He continues to work,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said earlier. “We’ve got a number of safety protocols with full PPE, masks, goggles and the like for any direct interaction with the president in those areas.”

The Centers for Disease Control says a person should not be around others for 10 days after his or her diagnosis in mild cases, or for up to 20 days in severe cases. The president is still scheduled to debate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on October 15. 

On Wednesday, the president was being briefed on hurricane preparation and on stimulus talks — which the president himself had canceled in a flurry of tweets on Tuesday, before seemingly suggesting Congress pass portions of COVID-19 relief, rather than a comprehensive bill.

It’s unclear whether the president will be seen on camera at all Wednesday. Mr. Trump was last seen on the White House balcony Sunday night after returning from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The president’s physician said the president does appear to have some antibodies, although White House physician Sean Conley did not disclose anything about the president’s vital signs. 

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