President Donald Trump was hospitalized Friday and given an experimental Covid-19 treatment but said he was “well,” following bombshell news he had contracted the virus, knocking him off the campaign trail a month from the US election.
President Donald Trump has been hospitalized on Friday after news of him contracting the coronavirus was announced on
After having not been seen in public since the shock announcement, the president walked out of the White House Friday evening, wearing a mask, and flew by helicopter to the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington.
“Doing very well,” says Trump
In an 18-second video recorded inside the White House and released on Twitter, Trump broke his silence, saying he was being hospitalized but “I think I’m doing very well.”
“We’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said, adding that First Lady Melania Trump — who also contracted the virus — was “doing very well.”
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had said that Trump was receiving the anti-viral drug remdesivir following consultation with specialists. The president was “not requiring any supplemental oxygen,” she said in a statement late Friday.
Read more: Trump incapacitated from electioneering
Earlier, she said that medical experts recommended Trump work from the presidential offices at Walter Reed “for the next few days.”
The hospitalization indicated an intense effort to make sure the president’s reportedly “mild” symptoms do not deteriorate.
The development also highlighted the uncharted waters for the US election on November 3, with Trump — who is well behind his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the polls — having to freeze much of his campaign.
At first, aides gave rosy assessments, with Trump’s chief of staff saying the president, 74, had only mild symptoms, was in “good spirits” and feeling “very energetic.”
But later Friday White House physician Sean Conley said Trump received a single dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, a treatment not yet approved by regulators.
“He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps,” Conley wrote.
The president’s son Donald Trump Jr had told ‘Fox News’ his father was “obviously taking it very seriously, but he’s a fighter.”
President Trump received oxygen at the White House before he was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center, two sources confirmed to CBS News’ Paula Reid.
Mr. Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters on Saturday that Mr. Trump was “not currently on oxygen,” but did not say whether he had ever been.
Receiving oxygen may be standard medical protocol and is not an indication that Mr. Trump was suffering shortness of breath.
Conley told reporters earlier Saturday that Mr. Trump is “just 72 hours into the diagnosis now,” indicating that the president may have known that he had contracted the virus as early as Wednesday.
The president met in person with officials in Minnesota and appeared at a fundraiser at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Wednesday. A memo from the White House attempted to clarify Conley’s comments, saying Mr. Trump was diagnosed on the evening of Thursday, October 1.
Biden still campaigning
Trump’s illness upended the White House race, with Biden suddenly finding himself alone on the campaign trail — and able to argue that his more cautious approach to Covid-19 had been vindicated.
Biden has made Trump’s frequent downplaying of the pandemic and mixed messaging on mask-wearing a central campaign theme, while Trump has tried to shift the narrative to areas where he feels stronger, like the economy.
The former vice president, who stood in close proximity to Trump for 90 minutes during their ill-tempered first debate Tuesday, announced that he and his wife Jill tested negative Friday.
Underlining his sudden advantage in the bitter race, Biden, 77, traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, going ahead with a previously scheduled campaign stop.
Read more: The case of Trump vs American deep state
Biden said he was praying for Trump and his family, and his campaign announced it would take down all negative ads.
However, Biden also reminded voters that he has pushed consistently for taking seriously the coronavirus, which has killed more than 208,000 Americans, unlike his opponent who has mocked the Democrat for his rigorous use of masks.
“Be patriotic,” Biden told supporters in Michigan through a blue surgical mask. “It’s not about being a tough guy. It’s about doing your part.”
GVS News Desk