WASHINGTON — President Trump still plans to debate Democratic nominee Joe Biden at the second presidential debate in Miami later this month after his three-day stay in the hospital with the coronavirus, his campaign said.
“It is the president’s intention to debate,” Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh told CNN on Monday after the commander-in-chief announced he was checking out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The president’s doctors cleared Trump to finish his recovery at the White House residence earlier Monday after he was helicoptered to the Maryland hospital on Friday with a spiking fever and poor oxygen levels, according to multiple reports.
In a tweet, Trump told his followers he was “feeling great” and “better than I did 20 years ago.”
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley echoed the president’s remarks and said while he wasn’t out of the woods, Trump was “back to his old self.”
The remaining 29 days of the presidential election were plunged into doubt when the commander-in-chief announced he and the first lady had tested positive in the early hours of Friday morning.
At least 12 other White House staffers or associates of Trump have also been diagnosed with COVID-19 since then and his re-election campaign has been forced to cancel all in-person events.
Joe Biden has been continuing to campaign in battleground states across the nation while Trump has been laid low by the virus.
Speaking before a crowd in Florida, the former veep said he continued to pray for Trump and Melania and said he was “glad to see the president speaking and recording videos over the weekend.”
“Now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: listen to the scientists and support mask mandates nationwide,” Biden told the crowd.
“Since the president entered the hospital on Friday, more than 100,000 more people have been diagnosed with COVID, and this week, at least 5,000 more will die. Cases and deaths are climbing in many states,” he went on.
“I hope the President’s recovery is swift and successful, but our nation’s COVID crisis is far, far from over.”
Despite concerns that he could be infected with the virus, Vice President Mike Pence flew to Utah on Monday afternoon ahead of his debate with Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City on Wednesday evening.
Amid lobbying from the Biden-Harris campaign, the candidates will be placed 12-feet apart, instead of the previously agreed upon 6 feet.