President Donald Trump was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland for treatment Friday, less than 24 hours after announcing on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said he is expected to be there “for the next few days.”
Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, said his treatment has included an experimental antibody cocktail and an antiviral drug, remdesivir, which has been approved for emergency use and has shown some benefits in reducing hospital stays for patients with the disease.
Trump, 74, arrived at the hospital via Marine One at about 6:30 p.m. Friday, walked on his own to a waiting SUV and waved to the press pool when his motorcade passed.
Five hours later, Trump tweeted “Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!” and Conley soon provided a late night update on Trump’s condition.
“This evening I am happy to report that the President is doing very well,” Conley said in a statement shortly before midnight. “He is not requiring supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy.
“He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably.”
Earlier Friday, Trump was said to be suffering from “mild” symptoms of the illness, including fatigue, fever congestion and a cough. No further details were publicly released by the administration or Walter Reed.
Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden both tested negative on Friday. Biden returned to the campaign trail in preparation for the Nov. 3 election.
Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
Trump received the antibody cocktail, produced by Regeneron, while still in the White House residence earlier Friday. The drug has shown promise in reducing the viral load in positive coronavirus patients and alleviating their symptoms.
Trump was wearing a face mask when he walked to the helicopter for the flight to Walter Reed. He did not address reporters but flashed a thumbs up at the cameras.
In a video released online, he said, “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.”
It was not immediately clear when or where Trump contracted the disease, which has killed nearly 210,000 people in the United States this year. His positive test was one of several announced Thursday and Friday among high-profile Republicans and members of Trump’s inner circle, many tied to a ceremony last Saturday in the Rose Garden.
Unmasked attendees sat side by side and mingled indoors at the event, which celebrated the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat previously held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the photos show.
Also testing positive were Hope Hicks, a close aide to the president; Bill Stepien, who is Trump’s campaign manager; Kellyanne Conway, a former aide to Trump; and U.S. senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah. Melania Trump, the first lady, has also tested positive, as have several journalists who cover the White House.
The Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, also announced a positive test Friday. He was among those at the event.
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A third senator, Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, has tested positive for the virus, his office announced Saturday morning. He was exposed “shortly after” returning to Washington on Sept. 29 to “an individual who has since tested positive,” his office said. Johnson is not experiencing symptoms, and will remain in isolation until being cleared by his doctor, his office said.