Trump ‘feeling better’ as physician warns president ‘not out of woods’
(Update adds statement from physician, minor edits, change, headline)
Washington DC, Oct 3 (efe-epa).- United States President Donald Trump said Saturday that he feels “much better” in a video that was apparently shot inside the military hospital where he was taken after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
The president is seen sitting at a desk, wearing a suit but no tie.
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now, we’re working hard to get me all the way back – I have to be back because we still have to make America great again,” Trump said in the clip posted to his Twitter account.
The president was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Washington DC as night fell on Friday, roughly 17 hours after he disclosed via Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus.
“I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started,” he said in the video posted Saturday, referring to his bid to win a second four-year term in the Nov. 3 election.
Regarding his prognosis, he said: “Over the next few days we’re probably gonna know for sure.”
His physician Sean Conley later released a statement late Saturday night saying “while not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic.”
He said Trump had been given a second dose of anti-viral drug Remdesivir, remains “fever-free and off supplemental oxygen,” and had been working and moving around the medical suite “without difficulty.”
The video and the statement came at the end of a day that saw Conley earlier say that Trump was doing “very well” just before a source subsequently identified as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows used the phrase “very concerning” in regard to the 74-year-old head of state’s vital signs.
“At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” Conley, a specialist in osteopathic medicine and not infectious diseases, said at a press conference shortly before midday outside Walter Reed.
“The president has been fever-free for over 24 hours,” Conley said. “He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy.”
Conley was not forthcoming on whether Trump had been given extra oxygen at any point since he began showing symptoms.
He also declined to disclose how high a temperature Trump had when he was experiencing a fever.
“I’d rather not give any specific numbers but he, but he did have a fever, Thursday into Friday, and since Friday morning, he’s had none,” Conley said.
One of Conley’s colleagues on the medical team, Dr. Sean Dooley, described the president as being “in exceptionally good spirits” and added that Trump told him “I feel like I could walk out of here today.”
But after the upbeat presentation from the medical team, an official offered the reporters who had attended the news conference a more somber appraisal.
“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” said the statement later revealed to have come from Meadows.
Trump is in a high-risk category for coronavirus, which tends to have a bigger impact on males than females and to affect older people more than the young.
He has not transferred power to Vice President Mike Pence, who has twice tested negative for Covid-19 following the president’s positive test.