(Update wrap-up adds details, edits throughout, changes headline, lede)
Washington DC, Oct 3 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Friday said his COVID-19 treatment in hospital was “going well,” as contact tracing among his circles was underway.
It was a hectic day in Washington, with rumors swirling about Trump’s health, his admission to hospital and amid tracing of his recent close contacts, such as Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who announced that he had returned a negative test.
In the afternoon, less than 18 hours after his and his wife Melania’s diagnosis, the president was transferred by helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. There he will remain indefinitely, exercising his functions from the presidential offices of the medical center.
Minutes before, Trump had walked out of the White House in front of the television cameras to take the helicopter to hospital, in what was his first public appearance after announcing in the early hours of Friday his positive test.
Trump left the presidential mansion wearing a face mask, waving at the cameras and giving the thumbs-up.
During the day, presidential physician Sean Conley said Trump had been given an 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s experimental antibody cocktail, and that he was “fatigued but in good spirits.” US media reported that the president had a fever throughout the day.
Conley added that Melania remained well with only a mild cough and headache, as the rest of the first family tested negative.
Later, Trump was started on the antiviral drug Remdesivir, one of the few drugs that have been proven useful against COVID-19. The US monopolized its production by Gilead in June, a move that prompted outrage from other countries.
“Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!” Trump tweeted from the hospital.
Aside from the diagnoses of Trump, Melania, and the president’s close adviser Hope Hicks, there have also been other infections in the presidential circle, such as those of Republican senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis.
Former adviser Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee chairperson Ronna McDaniel, and University of Notre Dame president John Jenkins have also tested positive.
Lee, Tillis, Conway and Jenkins attended the White House on Saturday for the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, a ceremony in which the majority of people did not wear a mask.
In addition, the moderator of the presidential debate on Tuesday, Chris Wallace, revealed that Trump did not undergo the coronavirus test as stipulated as a condition of entry, as he had arrived at the venue too late.
While debate and election rival Biden tested negative Friday, his campaign also withdrew all negative electoral ads against the president. The president’s campaign did not return the sentiment.
Exactly one month ahead of the presidential election, Trump’s diagnosis and subsequent hospital admission has forced his campaign team to suspend or postpone events, starting with the rally he had planned for Friday night in Florida.
In addition, Stepien, his campaign manager, will not be able to coordinate electoral strategies on the ground either, having also contracted the infectious disease, which in the US has already claimed the lives of at least 208,695 people. EFE-EPA