President Trump ‘doing very well’, says White House doctor | US & Canada

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Donald Trump’s doctor said on Saturday that the US president is “doing very well”, hours after he was moved to Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters outside the military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr Sean Conley said Trump has been “fever-free for 24 hours” after he had a mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue on Thursday.

“This morning, the president is doing very well,” Conley said.

“At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” said Conley, who added that he recommended moving Trump to the medical centre “as a precautionary measure to provide state-of-the-art monitoring and any care that he may need”.

An unnamed source familiar with the president’s health told reporters Saturday, however, that Trump was “still not on a clear path to a full recovery”, according to a read-out from the White House press pool.

“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,” the source said.

Still, Conley said Saturday that “there’s no cause for concern”.

President Trump ‘doing very well’, says White House doctor | US & CanadaDr. Sean Conley spoke to the media about US President Donald Trump’s health outside Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday morning [Ken Cedeno/Reuters]

The president received a first dose of a five-day course of Remdesivir, a drug known to help patients recover from the virus, and has not received supplemental oxygen on Saturday, Friday or Thursday, Conley told reporters.

“Right now, all indicators are that he’ll remain off of oxygen going forward,” he said.

White House officials said late on Friday that Trump was moved to the facility “out of an abundance of caution” and would be working from there for the “next few days”.

Trump was seen walking onto a helicopter outside the White House on Friday evening to be taken to Walter Reed.

In a video filmed shortly before his departure, the president said, “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.” He later tweeted from the hospital: “Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”

Trump’s hospitalisation has thrown the US presidential election campaign into uncertainty, as the Republican leader has had to postpone scheduled events.

It is also unclear whether upcoming debates between Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, will be held.

Other officials test positive

Meanwhile, attention turned on Saturday to a number of Trump administration officials and Republican politicians who have also tested positive for COVID-19.

On Saturday morning, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin announced that he tested positive. “Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing any symptoms,” a statement from his office said.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, also Republicans, also tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

US first lady Melania Trump, Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks and former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also tested positive for the disease, as did the president of Notre Dame University, John Jenkins.

President Trump ‘doing very well’, says White House doctor | US & CanadaDonald Trump has downplayed the risk of COVID-19 for months, recently holding presidential campaign rallies that drew thousands of often maskless supporters [File: Alex Brandon/AP]

His son, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted on Saturday that he had tested negative. “I’ll give it a few more days out of and abundance of caution and test again and if I’m clear I’ll be back to work asap,” he wrote.

Many of those infected attended a White House event where Trump announced his nominee to the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, on September 26. The Washington Post reported that about 150 people were at that event.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also said Saturday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and would be receiving medical attention.

US news outlet The Hill reported that Christie attended the ceremony for Barrett, where he was seen “interacting closely with others in the Rose Garden without a mask”, and then interacted closely with Trump last week ahead of the president’s first debate.

Trump has downplayed the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic from the outset, even as the disease has killed more than 200,000 people in the US and hammered the country’s economy.

As recently as Wednesday, Trump has said the worst of the pandemic is in the past.

He has mostly refused to abide by basic public health guidelines – including those issued by his own administration – such as wearing face coverings in public and practising social distancing.

Until he tested positive, he continued to hold campaign rallies that drew thousands of often maskless supporters.

President Trump ‘doing very well’, says White House doctor | US & Canada

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