Despite COVID-19 treatment, Trump edges back into campaign spotlight

On 8 October 2020 at 12:10

US President Donald Trump, still confined to the White House where he is being treated for COVID-19, planned more steps on Thursday to try to reinvigorate a re-election campaign hit hard by his handling of the pandemic.

Trump is scheduled to appear in his first TV interview since revealing last Friday he had contracted COVID-19. Fox Business Network said the interview would air on Thursday after 8 a.m. (1200 GMT).

Itching to get back out on the campaign trail since leaving a military hospital on Monday, Trump has called off negotiations with Congress for a fresh round of stimulus for the ailing economy and declared in a video that his illness was “a blessing from God.”

National opinion polls show Trump trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the November election, with Biden also showing an advantage in battleground states critical to winning the Electoral College.

Trump has faced criticism for underestimating the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work. Even since revealing his own illness on Friday, Trump has downplayed the respiratory disease’s dangers and been censured by social media platforms for spreading misinformation about it.

“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,” Trump said in the video posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday, adding his use of an experimental medication from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc had allowed him to experience first-hand how effective it could be.

He vowed to make the treatment available free of charge, but did not say how he would do that or who would pay the cost of the treatments. The United States is currently reporting more than 44,000 new COVID-19 infections each day.

Trump himself has not been seen in public since he flew by helicopter on Monday from Walter Reed Military Medical Center outside Washington to the White House in a made-for-TV spectacle.

Source: Reuters