SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — President Donald Trump is claiming he is immune from COVID-19, but San Francisco Bay Area medical experts dispute those claims, saying there is no evidence right now that people are immune if they’ve been infected.
In a Fox News interview Sunday and in a tweet about COVID-19, Trump claimed he got a “complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can’t get it (immune) and can’t give it.”
In a memo Saturday night, White House doctor Sean Conley said Trump is no longer considered a transmission risk to others, and does not need to self-isolate.
He did not mention immunity, nor did he says whether the President has received a negative COVID-19 test.
Twitter flagged the President’s tweet Sunday saying it “violated the twitter rules about spreading misleading and false potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
“I think most people understand or believe that the immunity that’s from a product like from a Regeneron for example, any convalescent antibody product, would only last two or three months,” said UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. “We also don’t know how long natural immunity would last.”
Bay Area medical experts agree immunity is something we still don’t know a lot about.
“There’s a general assumption and it may well be true that the antibodies will protect you against reinfection for some period of time, that could be weeks or months, maybe it’s years, maybe it’s lifetime,” said UC Berkeley epidemiologist Art Reingold. “But we don’t really have enough information yet to know.”
The CDC has specifically cautioned people not to assume they are immune, since it has not yet been established.
“I think many of us are worried that people will not protect themselves after COVID, because they think they’ll be invincible, that it’ll be a passport, but it’s not true,” said Chin-Hong.
The President Sunday again boasted about his handling of the coronavirus.
“We lost 200,000 plus and there are those that say we did a phenomenal job,” he said in a Fox News interview.
But a new CBS News battleground tracker poll found that likely voters in Michigan, Nevada and Iowa think former Vice President Joe Biden would better handle the outbreak.
Majorities of likely voters in all three states say President Trump handled contracting the virus “irresponsibly.”
“If Donald Trump were my patient, I would actually tell him to be isolated for 20 days, not because of optics or politics or anything, just as a patient, because he had more serious disease,” said Chin-Hong.
Trump plans to hold a campaign rally Monday in Central Florida. It will be his first rally outside Washington since his COVID-19 diagnosis.