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Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis

Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE on Thursday said he is aiming to hold a campaign rally as soon as Saturday, even as he conceded he has not been tested again to know whether is still positive for COVID-19.

"I think I'm going to try doing a rally on Saturday night if we have enough time to put it together," Trump told Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Pressure builds as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine 'Tiger King's' attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report MORE on Fox News.

The president said he was eyeing holding a campaign event on Saturday in Florida and another in Pennsylvania on Sunday. Both are critical swing states that Trump won in 2016, and polls show him trailing narrowly in Florida and more substantially in Pennsylvania.

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"It's incredible what's going on. I feel so good," Trump said of his recovery.

But the president said he had not been tested again since being diagnosed with COVID-19 a week ago, meaning it's unclear whether he is still positive for the highly contagious virus. He said he expected to take another test on Friday.

During his interview with Hannity, Trump paused multiple times to clear his throat. The president has not been seen in person since departing the hospital on Monday.

White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo released earlier Thursday evening that he believed it would be safe for Trump to resume public activities on Saturday. That timeline is a shift from earlier in the week, when Conley said doctors would not breathe a sigh of relief for Trump's health until he made it to next Monday without complications.

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But the president has appeared eager to return to a normal routine, flouting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that state individuals should remain isolated for 10 days after the onset of symptoms. Trump has been symptomatic since at least a week ago, but he has worked out of the Oval Office each of the last two days.

Saturday would mark the ninth day since Trump tested positive.

White House officials have dismissed concerns that holding rallies would risk further spreading the virus, arguing that Trump is distanced from the crowd. But he could expose staff and Secret Service agents if he is still contagious. Several senior White House aides have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and top aides Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and Stephen MillerStephen MillerWhite House liaison barred from DOJ after pressing for sensitive information President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 MORE.

The virus has killed more than 210,000 Americans, the highest reported total of any country in the world.