BETHESDA, Md. — President Donald Trump tweeted he’s planning to leave Walter Reed Medical Centre on Monday at 3:30 p.m. PT, a day after he briefly ventured out while contagious to salute cheering supporters by motorcade.
The president entered the military hospital on Friday after being diagnosed with COVID-19, a was his wife.
Trump says he’s feeling better than he did 20 years ago and advised Americans not to be afraid of COVID-19.
“Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge,” he says.
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
White House officials said Trump was anxious to be released after three nights at the military centre, where doctors revealed on Sunday that his blood oxygen level had dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick.
Still, the doctors said Trump’s health was improving and he could be discharged as early as Monday to continue the remainder of his treatment at the White House. He was to receive another dose of remdesivir first.
Infectious-disease specialist s working with Trump’s medical team
An infectious-disease specialist says he’s working with Trump’s medical team on infection control strategies so that the president can return to the White House.
Dr. Jason Blaylock said Monday that he’s working closely with local laboratories to obtain advanced diagnostic testing that would inform the White House medical team about Trump’s ability to transmit the virus to others.
The president’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, says he’s not concerned about the president going back to the White House on Monday.
He says the first five days of illness is when people are most likely to shed the virus.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes for the president to safely conduct business” within the White House, Conley says.
He adds Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet,” but he and the team agrees “that all our evaluations and, most importantly, his clinical status support the president’s safe return home, where he’ll be surrounded by world-class medical care.”
Conley said Trump had “met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria.”
Conley said that because of Trump’s unusual level of treatment so early after discovery of his illness he was in “uncharted territory.” But he also was upbeat at an afternoon briefing and said the president could resume his normal schedule once “there is no evidence of live virus still present.”
Those with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 can be contagious for as many 10 days
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 can be contagious for as many — and should isolate for at least — 10 days.
Trump’s aggressive course of treatment included the steroid dexamethasone and the single dose he was given Friday of an experimental drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that supplies antibodies to help the immune system fight the virus.
Trump on Friday also began a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients. The drugs work in different ways — the antibodies help the immune system rid the body of virus, and remdesivir curbs the virus’ ability to multiply.
The steroid’s use has only been proven to help in more serious cases. Among the concerns with earlier use is that steroids tamp down certain immune cells, hindering the body’s own ability to fight off infection.
Trump is 74 years old and clinically obese, putting him at higher risk of serious complications.
First lady remained at White House
First lady Melania Trump has remained at the White House as she recovers from her own bout with the virus.
Doctors say Trump will continue to receive his treatments from the White House.
The scale of the outbreak within the White House itself was still being uncovered as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she tested positive for the virus Monday morning and was entering quarantine.
Less than one month before Election Day, Trump was eager to project strength despite his illness. The still-infectious president surprised supporters who had gathered outside the hospital, riding by Sunday in a black SUV with the windows rolled up. Secret Service agents inside the vehicle could be seen in masks and other protective gear.
COVID-19 has killed more than 209,000 Americans.