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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 TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm 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 HannityGrenell hints at potential California gubernatorial bid Cruz blames criticism of Cancun trip on media 'Trump withdrawal' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Tanden's odds plummet to lead OMB 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 HicksUPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus MORE and Stephen MillerStephen MillerHouse plans for immigration bills add uncertainty on Biden proposal Trump reemerges to legacy being erased by Biden Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee MORE.

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