President Donald Trump is doing ‘very well’ and in high spirits while undergoing an experimental treatment for coronavirus, his doctors say.
Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning alongside several other members of the president’s medical team.
‘The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,’ Conley said. ‘He’s been fever free for 24 hours and we are cautiously optimistic.’
Dr Shaun Dooley, a critical care physician, took the podium next and said Trump’s heart and kidney function are being monitored and are currently in good condition.
Dooley said Trump is in ‘high spirits’ and told his team this morning: ‘I feel like I could walk out of here today.’
Conley was repeatedly asked by reporters if Trump had been placed on oxygen at any point but he declined to respond, merely saying: ‘He is not on oxygen right now.’
Trump is currently undergoing a range of treatments including a polyclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that is not available to the public, remdesivir – an ebola drug that has already been shown to work against the virus – and vitamin D.
He is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (the generic name for Pepcid AC), melatonin and daily aspirin.
Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning alongside several other members of the president’s medical team
The president, 74, gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening. He waved to reporters on the South Lawn but didn’t speak. He walked on his own with no help
President Trump tweeted Friday night that he believed his treatment was ‘going well’ and gave thanks for his support
A video was tweeted from President Trump’s account as he was transported to the hospital. In the 18-second clip, Trump thanked the American public for their support after he announced his coronavirus diagnosis on Friday morning
The president took to Twitter on Friday night to share an upbeat message about his condition amid reports that he had been hospitalized because he was having ‘trouble breathing’.
‘Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!’ Trump tweeted after a CNN report quoted an unnamed presidential adviser claiming that there is ‘reason for concern’ about his condition.
‘This is serious,’ the source told CNN, stating that Trump was ‘very tired, very fatigued’ and claimed that his condition was much more severe than First Lady Melania Trump’s.
They confirmed he is ‘fatigued’, but that his condition is not deteriorating and the public should not be alarmed.
The president gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening. He waved to reporters on the South Lawn but didn’t speak.
Before traveling to hospital, Trump had released an 18 second video message to the nation, 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 the first lady was also ‘doing very well’.
With just a month to go until the election, it also emerged that:
- Eleven people involved in the set-up and planning of Tuesday night’s presidential debate have now tested positive for COVID-19
- Debate moderator Chris Wallace revealed that Donald Trump and his family arrived to the debate too late to take a COVID test
- Wallace also said that debate organizers ‘were not especially happy that the presidential party was not wearing masks’ and ‘there seems to have been a disregard for the risks of this virus’
- Seven people who attended Amy Coney Barrett’s ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court last Saturday tested positive for COVID-19, giving rise to fears that it was a ‘super-spreader event’
- Among the top Trump officials who have tested positive are: Former presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, top aide Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stepien and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
- Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump have expressed their well-wishes for their father
- New Jersey contact tracers are struggling to work out the names of all of the people who were present at a fundraiser the president attended on Thursday just hours before he was diagnosed with the virus
- Trump will work from the Presidential suite at Walter Reed that is specially outfitted with protective devices and communications gear
President Trump tweeted Friday night that he believed his treatment was ‘going well’ and gave thanks for his support
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows arrives at Walter Reed ahead of Conley’s press conference on Saturday
Trump supporter Richard Potcner camps outside Walter Reed hospital on Saturday
WHO HAS TRUMP BEEN IN CONTACT WITH AND WHO AMONG THEM IS INFECTED
Hope Hicks, counselor to the president – POSITIVE
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump – NEGATIVE
Barron Trump – NEGATIVE
Tiffany Trump – NEGATIVE
Eric Trump, Lara Trump – NEGATIVE
Donald Trump Jr, Kimberly Guilfoyle – NEGATIVE
Vice President Mike Pence – NEGATIVE
Joe Biden and Jill Biden – NEGATIVE
Dan Scavino, Social Media Director – NEGATIVE
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel – POSITIVE
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff – NEGATIVE
Kayleigh McEnany, press secretary – NEGATIVE
KellyAnne Conway, Trump’s former advisor who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE
Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court nominee – NEGATIVE (She had the virus in the summer)
Rev John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE
Mike Lee, Utah Republican senator who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE
Bill Stepien, campaign manager – POSITIVE
John McEntee, Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office – UNKNOWN
Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney. Giuliani had spent the weekend at the White House doing debate prep – UNKNOWN
Mitch McConnell – UNKNOWN
Lindsey Graham – UNKNOWN
Robert Ford, CEO of Abbott Laboratories, who was at the White House on Monday – UNKNOWN
Admiral Brett Geroir, assistant Health and Human Services secretary – UNKNOWN
Alex Azar, HHS secretary – UNKNOWN
The White House said Trump was being admitted to Walter Reed for tests ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after he developed a fever, congestion and a cough.
He is expected to remain in hospital for ‘a few days’ where he will continue working, they added.
White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah confirmed that Trump had not transferred power to Vice President Mike Pence, despite his hospitalization. ‘The president is in charge,’ she said.
Pence is at the Naval Observatory where he lives. He tested negative for COVID on Friday morning.
For patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the FDA has given emergency-use authorization for Veklury, also known as remdesivir, an intravenous antiviral drug sold by Gilead Sciences Inc, which has been shown to shorten hospital stays.
White House physician Sean Conley said in a letter to Press Secretary McEnancy that Trump began taking the drug Friday night.
‘This afternoon, in consultation with specialists from Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins University, I recommended movement of the President up to Walter Reed Military Medical Center for further monitoring,’ Conley wrote.
‘This evening I am happy to report that the President is doing very well. He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate remdesivir therapy. He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably.’
Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug first made to try and treat Ebola, has been used experimentally on COVID-19 patients since the outbreak’s early days.
It was given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration on May 1 but could only be used on severely ill hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
On August 28, the FDA extended its authorization to all hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, irrespective of their severity of disease.
The update on Trump’s treatment came as the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in his administration became more clear.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, it was confirmed that Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Politico said Stepien, 42, received his diagnosis Friday and is experiencing ‘mild flu-like symptoms’.
He traveled to and from Cleveland for Tuesday’s presidential debate with the president.
Just hours earlier, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina confirmed he had tested positive. He was in the Rose Garden for the announcement of Trump’s Supreme Court nomination on Saturday.
Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway also tested positive Friday night.
It means at least seven people who were in attendance at the Saturday Rose Garden event nominating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court have now tested positive: President Trump, the first lady, a senior White House aide, two Republican senators who sit on the judiciary committee, Conway, and the head of the University of Notre Dame.
There are still several people who have been in close contact with Trump recently who have not revealed whether they have since tested positive or not.
As more positive tests were revealed, the White House’s testing infrastructure came under fire with claims that it is inconsistent and relying on rapid tests that produce mixed results.
Additionally, the White House does not appear to be making any changes to its current virus protocol, as it will not move to a new testing system.
Three White House reporters also tested positive Friday as the White House National Security Council ordered all staff to begin wearing masks in White House common areas and to ‘avoid unnecessary visits’ to the West Wing, according to an internal email.
Mask use on the White House grounds has mostly been lax, with Trump often having questioned and sometimes ridiculed their use despite medical experts´ insistence the practice saves lives.
Many White House staffers only appeared publicly wearing masks for the first time Friday as they waited for Trump to Board Marine One.
In a video message posted to Twitter as he was transported to hospital, the president thanked the American people for their support following his diagnosis.
‘I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital, I think I’m doing well, but we’re going to make sure things work out,’ he said in the 18-second clip.
‘The First Lady is doing very well. So, thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget it.’
Trump is seen stepping off Marine One after arriving to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday afternoon
Trump waves from the Presidential motorcade while arriving to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Trump’s motorcade arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center shortly after the White House announced that he ‘will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days’ after testing positive for coronavirus
On Friday evening, Eric Trump tweeted that his father ‘is a true warrior’ and asked Americans to ‘join me in praying for his recovery’.
‘He will fight through this with the same strength and conviction that he uses to fight for America each and every day,’ Eric wrote. ‘I ask you to join me in praying for his recovery. I have never been more proud of someone and what they have had to endure.’
Trump’s daughter Ivanka also called him a ‘warrior’ saying he ‘will beat this’.
‘I love you, Dad,’ she added.
Ivanka Trump tweeted ‘I love you dad’ as the president was hospitalized on Friday night
Trump, 74, and Melania, 50, announced they tested positive in the early hours of Friday morning and at the time were self-isolating at the White House.
Melania, who tweeted that she has ‘mild symptoms’ has not been taken to hospital with the president and will remain quarantined in the White House.
Trump’s son Eric called for prayers for his father’s recovery and said he was a ‘true warrior’
Earlier while still at the White House, Trump’s physician said he was treated with a single dose of Regenron’s experimental polyclonal antibody cocktail. He added that the President was ‘fatigued but in good spirits’.
The next week is considered the critical phase in his illness. Dr David A. Nace, a geriatrics expert and director of medical affairs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told the New York Times that Trump’s symptoms may be more severe because of his failure to wear a mask.
Older men are also at greater risk of becoming seriously ill.
Supporters of Trump gathered around the military hospital on Friday night as some held a prayer group for his recovery.
Trump’s presidential suite in the hospital has its own ICU, secure conference room and kitchen. Doctors are vetted in advance in case the president needs specialty care and the White House physician has sleeping quarters.
The White House Chief of Staff also has his own office space in the president’s area, which is controlled by the White House, not by the Department of Defense.
Known as Ward 71, the Presidential Suite is one of six special patient rooms reserved for high-ranking military officers and members of the White House cabinet.
The suite is ‘specially outfitted with protective devices and communications gear used in support of the president,’ wrote Rear Admiral Connie Mariano, who served as a physician to both presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and was director of the White House Medical Unit.
With a dining room lit by a crystal chandelier and, a desk a few steps from the hospital bed and rooms decked out with couches for receiving visitors as well as security technology, it’s equipped for Trump to continue to carry out his presidential duties.
Trump will stay in the ‘Presidential Suite’ at Walter Reed Medical Center. Pictured: One of the rooms of Ward 71, which are reserved for high-ranking military officers and cabinet members
The White House has said President Trump will continue to work from Walter Reed. One of the Rooms in Ward 71 is equipped with a desk for just that purpose
As the outbreak in the White House intensified, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, 77, and his wife Jill have tested negative. The President’s 14-year-old son Barron, daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have also tested negative, as has Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
When news of Trump’s hospitalization broke, Biden stressed that the president’s illness ‘cannot be a partisan moment’.
‘It must be an American moment. We have to come together as a nation,’ he tweeted.
Former President Barack Obama also wished Trump a speedy recovery on Friday night.
‘It’s important … for all of us to remember that even when we’re in the midst of big political battles with issues that have a lot at stake, that we’re all Americans and we’re all human beings, and we want to make sure everybody is healthy,’ he said.
Joe Biden said that Trump’s hospitalization must be ‘an American moment’ and ‘cannot be a partisan moment’
‘Michelle and I are hopeful that they and others that have been affected by COVID-19 around the country are getting the care that they need, that they are going to be on the path to a speedy recovery.’
Obama was speaking at a fundraising event with Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who said she shared her deepest prayers for ‘the health & recovery of the president and the first lady’.
‘The threat of this virus is real for all of us. Let it be a reminder to all of us that we must remain vigilant and take care of ourselves and take care of each other,’ she added.
Bill and Hillary Clinton were among the other Democrats to wish Trump and Melania well.
The former president and his wife, Trump’s 2016 opponent in the presidential race, tweeted out separate but identical statements on Friday night, after Trump was airlifted to hospital.
‘We wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery, and hope for the safety of the White House staff, the Secret Service, and others putting their lives on the line,’ their statements said.
‘This pandemic has affected so many. We must continue to protect ourselves, our families, and communities,’ they added.
On Friday evening, Biden’s campaign confirmed that it was pulling all negative advertising about Trump from their rotation of paid media.
Trump’s campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said that they would not be doing the same.
‘Joe Biden used his speech in MI today to attack the President repeatedly on Social Security, the economy & job creation. Now Biden wants credit for being magnanimous?’ he said.
Earlier in the day in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Biden said he and Jill were praying for the Trumps – and, in a break from past practice, wore a mask to speak.
‘My wife Jill and I pray that they make a quick and full recovery,’ he said, at a campaign event with union workers, which had been moved outside and attendance limited.
‘This is not a matter of politics. It is a bracing reminder to all of us that we take this virus seriously. It means wearing a mask in public and encouraging others to do so as well.
‘We as a nation need to be better in dealing with this pandemic.’
He added: ‘For all those who are fighting this, including the First Family, my prayers are with you. My prayers are with those who died – 207,000 I think today.’
At the end of his speech, Biden said: ‘May God protect the First Family, and every family that is dealing with this virus.’
Trump and Melania announced they had tested positive hours after he returned from a campaign fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club where he is believed to have come into contact with at least 100 people.
It raised $5million for his campaign, which has now canceled all future events in light of the president’s diagnosis.
New Jersey contact tracers are struggling to work out the names of all of the people who were present at a fundraiser, however.
So far, the names of those present are believed to have been logged by three bodies, namely The White House, the Republican National Committee and the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.
Seven infected after ‘Amy Coney Barrett superspreader event’
Seven people who attended Amy Coney Barrett’s ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday have now tested positive for COVID-19, giving rise to fears that it was a ‘super-spreader event’.
The September 26 gathering attracted around 100 people – many of them not wearing face masks; all sitting close.
Attendees were photographed hugging, shaking hands and chatting without face masks.
Donald Trump, his wife Melania, Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, two senators – Mike Lee from Utah and Thom Tillis from North Carolina – plus the president of Notre Dame university, John Jenkins, have now all tested positive for COVID-19.
Many of the other high-profile figures who attended have not yet been given the all-clear.
Among them are Bill Barr, the attorney general; Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey; and Laura Ingraham, the Fox News host.
All were seen in close proximity to infected people, and are yet to confirm their negative test results.
Yet there is no single complete list of those who were present at the event including those who worked there including golf club staff or outside vendors.
Sources cited by The New York Times say the President was already lethargic on the way back from Thursday’s New Jersey event, and that he fell asleep on Air Force One on Wednesday night when returning from a rally in Minnesota – something that is highly unusual for the energetic President, who ordinarily spends his time on the aircraft watching television and tweeting.
The Minnesota rally was also only half as long as his other rallies. Air Force One is now being deep cleaned.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said it was deemed safe for the president to attend Thursday’s fundraiser.
‘It was deemed safe for the president to go. He socially distanced. It was an outdoor event and it was deemed safe by White House operations,’ she told reporters at the White House on Friday.
Trump is 74 years old and at 244lbs and 6ft 3, is technically obese which puts him at higher risk of serious complications from the virus.
People who attended the fundraiser said he seemed healthy. He spoke to supporters for 15 minutes and then took questions for an hour.
‘We said, “How is this guy doing it? Look at the stamina of this guy.” I can’t tell you how healthy he looked. I’m sure that this will come and go,’ comedian and radio host Joe Piscopo told North Jersey.com.
John Sette, the former chair of the Morris County Republican Committee, told Politico: ‘First of all, he looked 100 percent normal.
‘He spoke 100 percent normal. He spoke for about 15 minutes and he took questions for an hour.’
There are questions about when White House staff learned Hope Hicks – one of Trump’s most trusted aides – tested positive, when Trump learned about it and why, with that knowledge in mind, he still went to the fundraiser.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday told reporters that they discovered Hicks had tested positive on Thursday afternoon, just as the President was preparing to travel to the fundraiser at his golf club, at around 1pm. Bloomberg claims the President found out about Hicks’ diagnosis hours earlier.
Meadows said that they ‘pulled people off’ Marine One who they thought had been in close contact with Hicks to try to limit the spread, but they still allowed the President to go despite the fact that he’d traveled with Hicks on Air Force One on Tuesday and Wednesday, and had spent much of last week working with her.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday spoke to reporters outside the White House and insisted Trump was in ‘good spirits’ and still able to perform the responsibilities of the President
A TIMELINE OF THE PRESIDENT’S TRAVEL
Saturday, September 26: Trump announces his Supreme Court pick at the White House, then travels to a rally in Pennsylvania with aides including Hope Hicks.
Sunday, September 27: The president plays golf in Virginia, gives a press conference in the White House briefing room and hosts a reception for Gold Star families.
Monday, September 28: Trump gives a press briefing and inspects pickup vehicles on the White House lawn.
Tuesday, September 29: Hicks is aboard Air Force One with the president and Melania to travel to the first presidential debate in Cleveland. Hicks is seen leaving the jet without a mask.
The president spars with Joe Biden in a chaotic debate. Trump family members do not wear masks during the debate, violating venue rules.
Wednesday, September 30: Hicks travels on Marine One and on Air Force One to a rally in Minnesota Wednesday.
She is understood to have felt poorly on the way back, quarantining on the presidential plane to get home.
Thursday, October : Hicks tests positive.
White House aides are told about it and pull people from Air Force One who had been in contact with her but they still let Trump go to the NJ event.
Trump went to the event where the NY Times claims he came into contact with 100 people.
He then came back to the WH, where he was ‘lethargic’, and tested positive.
Friday, October 2:
A political rally in Sanford, Florida is cancelled.
Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the FDA, said that it was unlikely Hicks was the source of the White House outbreak because Trump would not have started showing symptoms as soon as Thursday had she infected him on Wednesday.
It’s more likely that they were both exposed by another source days earlier, he said.
If Trump becomes seriously ill, there are constitutional procedures that would allow Vice President Mike Pence to assume power temporarily, just weeks before the November 3 election.
But if Trump suffers mild or no symptoms, the president would be able to tout his recovery as evidence that the virus is a less grave threat than many believe.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Friday morning, Meadows said: ‘His first question to me was, “how is the economy doing? How are the stimulus talks going on Capitol Hill?’
‘The American people can rest assured that we have a president who is not only on the job but who will remain on the job.
‘In terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday we actually pulled some of the people who had been travelling with her,’ Meadows added.
Those people are understood to be Dan Scavino, Social Media Director, and Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, both of whom have since tested negative.
On Wednesday night, the President was on the plane with Hicks but she kept a safe distance from him and others when she started experiencing symptoms.
She was quarantined away from others on the plane and her diagnosis was confirmed Thursday, according to an administration official.
Trump then continued with his schedule Thursday and traveled to and from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort to take part in two campaign events.
He flew back to the White House on Thursday evening, when it was publicly confirmed Hicks had the virus. Hours later, Trump and Melania shared their own diagnoses on social media.
First Lady Melania tweeted: ‘As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19.
‘We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements.
‘Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.’
The White House had earlier distributed a schedule for Friday that showed he planned to go forward with a fundraiser at his Washington, D.C., hotel and a political rally in Sanford, Florida. These trips were later canceled.
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