Less than two weeks after being infected with the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump says he is now immune to infection in remarks defending his first in-public event over the weekend.
"It looks like I'm immune for, I don't know, maybe a long time, maybe a short time, it could be a lifetime," Trump said in a Sunday morning telephone interview with broadcaster Fox News.
Being infected "gives you immunity," Trump said, downplaying concerns in the scientific community that immunity in previous Covid-19 patients may be short-lived.
The remarks come after Trump took off his mask on Saturday at his first in-person event since testing positive for the coronavirus.
The White House doctor on Thursday gave the president a green light to emerge from coronavirus isolation this weekend, after he tested positive 11 days ago. On Saturday Trump's doctor, Sean Conley, said the president is "no longer considered a transmission risk to others."
However, Conley did not say if Trump has received a negative coronavirus test result, raising concerns that the doctor's short memo on Saturday may not accurately portray the president's health situation.
According to US health agencies' guidelines, people who contract the coronavirus can remain contagious for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms, though this can last even longer for more severe cases.
The White House has already faced criticism for hosting large events where mask-wearing is largely dispensed with and that appear to have spread the virus.