COVID-19-infected Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Tuesday that his fever was gone and that he might soon be released from the hospital. After contracting the coronavirus, Giuliani was admitted to Georgetown University Medical Center on Sunday. When or where Giuliani caught the virus remains a mystery, but the former New York mayor had previously somehow avoided infection despite repeated exposure to close contacts who had the coronavirus during previous outbreaks among Trump’s inner circle.
At the age of 76, the prostate-cancer survivor is in a high-risk demographic for COVID-19 complications, and its not yet clear how serious his symptoms got, other than the fact that they were apparently bad enough that he needed to be hospitalized. On Monday, President Trump announced that Giuliani did not have a fever. On Tuesday afternoon, Giuliani called into his WABC radio show and said his recovery was proceeding well, and that he had been administered the same treatment — remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone — that Trump had received in October after the president developed a serious case of COVID-19 and also required hospitalization.
“Pretty much all the symptoms are gone,” Giuliani said on Tuesday. “I have no fever, I have very little cough, it’s just about also gone, I’ve been walking around, and I think they’re going to let me out tomorrow morning.”
Another key member of Trump’s legal team, Jenna Ellis, has also tested positive for the coronavirus.
During the first big White House outbreak in October, Giuliani was one of the only members of President Trump’s small debate-prep team who did not test positive. He also dodged the outbreak which infected White House chief of staff Mark Meadows around the election, and another outbreak which struck Trump’s legal team two weeks later. The latter outbreak also infected his son, White House aide Andrew Giuliani, who had attended a press conference with his father the day before testing positive. (The elder Giuliani subsequently tested negative.)
Giuliani has spent the past few weeks traveling the country leading Trump’s desperate legal fight to overturn the results of the presidential election, and has served as the president’s primary spokesperson for the Trump team’s baseless voter-fraud claims. Giuliani has repeatedly gone without a face mask while appearing at hearings and other events on the president’s behalf over this time, including lengthy legislative hearings last week in Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan — where he asked a Detroit election worker appearing as a witness if she would remove her own face mask so it would be easier to hear her:
After Giuliani’s infection was announced, the Arizona legislature said that it was closing down for a week since at least 15 legislators had been in close contact with him. Giuliani was in Arizona on November 30 to appear at an unofficial hearing held by an election fraud conspiracy committee made up of state GOP lawmakers. The Michigan House cancelled its session on Tuesday as a result of the exposure to Giuliani as well, and is facing an investigation by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violating COVID-19 protocols. In Georgia, lawmakers who attended the same hearing as Giuliani have been asked to quarantine themselves.
“Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!” Trump said in a tweet revealing Giuliani’s infection on Sunday. It’s not clear why the president was the one who announced it, or how Giuliani’s illness will affect the Trump team’s already reality-challenged attempt to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The Trump campaign later said that Giuliani had twice tested negative before his three state trip last week, but as the White House outbreaks have proved, such tests can provide a false sense of security.
The country has set new records for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in recent days. Over 1 million new coronavirus cases were reported across the U.S. between Tuesday and Saturday, a 12 percent increase from two weeks prior, and the ongoing surge of hospitalizations is putting enormous strain on numerous states’ health-care systems. Nearly 282,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic.
This post has been updated.