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Trump Video Update on Condition: “I Feel Much Better Now”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following his COVID-19 diagnosis, President Donald Trump was flown by Marine One to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday night, where he will stay for “a few days,” according to the White House.


What You Need To Know

  • President Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 Friday
  • First Lady Melania Trump also tested positive for coronavirus, in addition to Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien and two Republican Senators
  • Reports of Trump’s condition emerged after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive
  • Trump was given remdesivir at the hospital after being given an experimental drug cocktail at the White House

A feverish and fatigued Trump walked out of the White House Friday night and boarded the helicopter to the military hospital, where he was given remdesivir following treatment with an experimental drug at the White House.

AP Photo

Giving a thumbs-up to reporters as he left the White House, President Trump left to undergo treatment for the virus that has killed over 200,000 Americans and infected more than 7 million in the U.S.

The White House said his visit to Walter Reed is precautionary, and he will be able to work from the medical hospital. According to the Associated Press, he has not transferred power to Vice President Mike Pence under the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This is a developing story. Read below for updates throughout the day:

11:00 p.m. EDT

The White House late Saturday night released photos of President Trump working from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

President Donald J. Trump works in the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

9:27 p.m. EDT

President Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said that Trump is “not yet out of the woods,” but “the team remains cautiously optimistic,” in a statement released by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Trump completed his second dose of Remdesivir “without complication,” according to Dr. Conley, noting that the president was “fever-free and off supplemental oxygen.”

Doctors plan to continue observing Trump Sunday “in between doses of Remdesivir” and will “closely” monitor him “while fully supporting his conduct of Presidential duties.”

9:00 p.m. EDT

The Biden campaign says they will release the results of all coronavirus tests that the former Vice President takes, according to a spokesman.

Before President Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Biden disclosed neither the full details of his testing protocol, nor the results of each test, though Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates reemphasized Saturday that the Democratic presidential nominee is tested “regularly.”

Biden, meanwhile, told reporters Saturday in Wilmington that he was not tested earlier in the day but would be tested Sunday morning.

His campaign said he tested negative for COVID twice on Friday.

In a statement, Bates said that Biden was not in “close contact” with Trump, his family members or his aides during their debate Tuesday night.

Biden’s campaign added that Biden, as well as the campaign, followed public health guidelines on wearing masks and proper social distancing.

Trump, on the other hand, has held large public rallies without requiring masks or enforcing social distancing.

7:00 p.m. EDT

On Saturday night, President Trump released a hospital video saying he is feeling better, saying “I think I’ll be back soon.”

President Trump said, “I have to be back because we still have to make America great again. We have to finish that job. […] I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started and the way we have been doing. The numbers we have been doing, we are so proud of it.” 

In the video, the president indicated he had “no choice” in going to the hospital because the alternative was to stay in the White House “locked in.”

“Don’t see people. Don’t talk to people, and just be done with it. I can’t do that. I had to be out front,” he said.  

Trump sounds a little raspy in the video, but he appears to be in good spirits as he said he’s fighting for the millions of people who have had the virus across the world.

He also thanks the doctors and nurses treating him as well as well as the world leaders and Americans who have sent their well wishes.

6:34 p.m. EDT

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he was not tested for the coronavirus on Saturday but will undergo such screening on Sunday.

After attending Saturday evening Catholic Mass in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden was asked if he’d undergone testing for the virus that day and replied, “No, but I will tomorrow morning.”

Biden’s campaign has not announced any public events for its candidate on Sunday.

The former vice president said he underwent two coronavirus tests on Friday and both came back negative.

President Donald Trump has been hospitalized with the virus and Biden was potentially exposed during Tuesday night’s presidential debate in Cleveland. Biden hasn’t commented on the possibility of going into quarantine but said Saturday he was praying for Trump’s “quick and full recovery.”

6:00 p.m. EDT

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Saturday afternoon checked himself into Morristown Medical Center after testing positive for COVID-19.

“While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we have decided this is an important precautionary measure,” Christie wrote on Twitter. 

Christie is the latest in a string of virus cases connected to President Donald Trump’s inner circle.

Trump’s former 2016 rival told The Associated Press on Friday that the last time he was with the president was Tuesday during preparations for his debate with former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland.

5:10 p.m. EDT

The Trump campaign on Saturday announced the launch of “Operation MAGA.” 

The operation aims to keep President Trump’s reelection campaign at full speed with just one month to go before Election Day. The campaign will use top-level surrogates, campaign coalitions, and Trump supporters to rally behind the president and carry the campaign forward until President Trump can return to the campaign trail. 

Vice President Mike Pence, who until now has tested negative for COVID-19, will continue to make in-person campaign appearances in key states. The Trump campaign also stated that members of the first family will also make in-person campaign appearances. 

The Trump campaign intends to host virtual events until the vice presidential debate this Wednesday, October 7. The debate, as of now, is still expected to take place in-person. 

“Operation MAGA will fire up the entire MAGA universe to keep President Trump’s campaign at full speed until our Commander-in-Chief returns to the campaign trail,” said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager. 

4:30 p.m. EDT

Senator Mitch McConnell on Saturday afternoon tweeted he had spoken with President Trump over the phone. 

“He sounds well and says he’s feeling good,” Senator McConnell wrote. 

The confirmation of Judge Barrett was one of the topics the senator discussed with the president. The Senate majority leader asked to “Keep our President and First Lady in our prayers.” 

3:15 p.m. EDT

Vice President Mike Pence is set to hold an in-person “Make America Great Again” campaign rally in Arizona on Oct. 8, the day after the vice presidential debate.

Pence tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday.

Axios reports that the Trump campaign will be handing out face masks, and will encourage attendees to wear them; the campaign said that they will distribute hand sanitizer and conduct temperature checks, but declined to say if they would encourage safe social distancing.

3:08 p.m. EDT

Supporters of President Trump have gathered outside of Walter Reed Military Medical Center as the president battles COVID-19.

2:07 p.m. EDT

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has declared Sunday, Oct. 4, a Day of Prayer for the president and first lady, “as well as all those suffering from or impacted by coronavirus.”

1:55 p.m. EDT

The White House has issued a statement from Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, attempting to clarify his comments about the timeline he gave earlier Saturday.

“I incorrectly used the term ‘seventy two hours’ instead of ‘day three’ and ‘forty eight hours’ instead of ‘day two’ with regards to [President Trump’s] diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy,” Conley said.

“The President was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st and had received Regeneron’s antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd,” he added.

1:49 p.m. EDT

Trump has tweeted again, urging lawmakers come together to get a stimulus deal done.

The White House and Congressional Democrats appear to be far apart on another round of COVID relief aid.

Democrats narrowly passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Thursday night, a move that came as top-level talks on a smaller, potentially bipartisan measure dragged on toward an uncertain finish. An air of pessimism has largely taken over the Capitol.

The Democratic bill passed after a partisan debate by a 214-207 vote without any Republicans in support. The move puts lawmakers no closer to actually delivering aid such as more generous weekly unemployment payments, extended help for small businesses and especially troubled economic sectors such as restaurants and airlines, and another round of $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.

1:25 p.m. EDT

President Trump has posted an update to Twitter praising the medical staff at Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

“Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well,” Trump wrote.

1:05 p.m. EDT

A source told the Associated Press that President Trump was given supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before going to Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

When asked by reporters if the president required supplementary oxygen, Dr. Conley said that “he’s not on oxygen right now.”

Dr. Conley refused to say whether or not the president was ever given oxygen, and would also not say if Trump has any lung damage.

12:45 p.m. EDT

Attorney General William Barr has tested negative for COVID-19, according to a spokesperson.

12:30 p.m. EDT

President Donald Trump went through a “very concerning” period Friday and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care as he battles the coronavirus at a military hospital, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Saturday.

Meadows told reporters, “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.”

Some of Trump’s medical team’s statements sparked concern that they weren’t being transparent about the president’s health. During his address, Dr. Conley said that the president is “72 hours into his diagnosis now,” meaning the president would have received his positive test results on Wednesday. Trump did not share the news of his diagnosis until early Friday morning. 

The president attended two events between Wednesday and Friday. 

The White House attempted to clarify Dr. Conley’s remarks, with an official saying that Dr. Conley meant that the president is on day three of his diagnosis, rather than 72 hours.

Read more on this update here.

Meanwhile, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate will be out of session until Oct. 19.

However, he said that this new schedule will have no bearing on the Senate Judiciary Committee holding confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

12:00 p.m. EDT

President Trump is “doing very well,” according to an update from his physician, Dr. Sean Conley.

Dr. Conley said that Trump has been “fever free for 24 hours,” but declined to give a specific temperature.

“At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” Conley said. “Thursday he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving.” 

When asked if the president required supplementary oxygen, Dr. Conley said that “he’s not on oxygen right now.”

Dr. Conley refused to say whether or not the president was ever given oxygen, and would also not say if Trump has any lung damage.

The physician also declined to say when Trump took his last negative COVID-19 test.

Dr. Conley said that we are “72 hours” into Trump’s diagnosis, which would mean he was diagnosed Wednesday. President Trump only announced his positive diagnosis after midnight Friday. Trump traveled to a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday. 

Dr. Conley did not “want to put a hard date” on when Trump might be discharged from the hospital.

11:37 a.m. EDT

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two,” Christie wrote on Twitter. “I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition.”

According to reports, Christie was one of the people who helped Trump prepare for Tuesday’s presidential debate, which took place in a small conference room.

Christie told ABC News that “no one was wearing masks in the room when we were prepping the president” for the debate.

10:55 a.m. EDT

Reports that Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) tested positive for COVID-19 are, by his own admission, false.

In an appearance on Fox News, Scott said, “I was tested yesterday, I think for the 6th time and I tested positive again.”

However, a spokesman for the senator says that he meant to say “negative” rather than “positive.”

Scott corrected his statement on Twitter, saying that he “misspoke.” 

10:00 a.m. EDT

Dr. Sean Conley, President Trump’s physician, will provide an update on his condition at 11 a.m. ET, according to the White House.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has tested positive for COVID-19, the third Republican senator to test positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Johnson tested positive for coronavirus Friday — his office says he came into contact with someone who had contracted COVID-19 after Johnson to Washington, D.C.

“Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms,” the spokesman continued. “He will remain isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor. Most staff in the senator’s Washington office have been working remotely. The office will go all-virtual for the immediate future.”

Notably, Johnson was not in attendance at the White House Rose Garden ceremony announcing Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

In other Senate news, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said that he has tested negative for COVID-19, but said he will be working remotely from his home in Nebraska due to his “close interaction” with others who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Sen. Sasse is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the group that is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings on Judge Barrett on Oct. 12.

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), seeming to address the explosion of rumors, misinformation and conspiracy theories in the wake of Trump’s diagnosis, called for more transparency from the White House about Trump’s condition.

“Lies spread much faster than fact checking,” Rubio wrote in a Twitter post.

Overnight

Late Friday night, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced that she, too, tested positive for the virus.

Conway is one of several people in attendance at the White House Rose Garden ceremony announcing Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court to test positive for COVID-19, including Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and University of Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins.

Tillis is the second member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to test positive for COVID-19, the first being Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who announced his diagnosis earlier Friday. (Read more about Sen. Tillis testing positive for coronavirus.)

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, also tested positive. Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh confirmed the news that Stepien received a diagnosis Friday and is experiencing “mild flu-like symptoms.” Stepien, who joined Trump at Tuesday’s first presidential debate, plans to quarantine until he recovers. Earlier Friday, Stepien sent emails to the campaign staff that their offices would remain open, but any campaign events involving the president were being postponed or transitioned to virtual events.

Both Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), have tested negative, according to the Biden campaign.

Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus Friday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesman said.

Here are some other storylines we’re following:

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