Donald Trump, hospitalized since Friday to treat his COVID-19, said on Saturday night that he was doing “much better” and would be “back soon” in the election campaign, while admitting that the very next days represented “the real test ” for him.
“I came here, I was not very well,” said the US president, sitting at a table, in a jacket but without a tie, in a four-minute video posted on Twitter. “I feel a lot better now, we are working hard to get me to fully recover. I think I’ll be back soon and can’t wait to finish the campaign the way I started. “
“I had no choice,” he also said to justify not having “locked himself” in the White House since the start of the pandemic, while he and his government are under attack for their health neglect by Democrats and experts. For months, he taunted his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, for campaigning from his “basement”.
Earlier Saturday, the presidential medic had for the first time responded, briefly and piecemeal, to reporters from Walter Reed’s military hospital in suburban Washington.
“This morning the president is doing very well,” said Sean Conley, White House doctor. Mr. Trump, 74, suffered from fever, cough, mild congestion and fatigue, he said, but the symptoms “are getting smaller and better,” he said. He had not had a fever for 24 hours, and his oxygen saturation level was 96%, which is normal.
He is being treated with the antiviral drug remdesivir and also received an injection of Regeneron’s experimental treatment, synthetic antibodies.
Feeling of cacophony about his state of health
But ambiguous or contradictory statements have created a sense of cacophony within the executive in this uncertain time.
Shortly after the medical press conference, a source with knowledge of Mr. Trump’s state of health gave reporters on condition of anonymity a significantly more alarmist description: “The president’s vital signs in the past 24 hours have been very worrying, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of care. We still have not taken a clear path to recovery. “
The New York Times then claimed that person was Presidential Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
A prediction that Donald Trump himself echoed by declaring on Saturday night about the “very next days” that “this will be the real test”.
Did Donald Trump receive oxygen supplementation? Dr Conley simply replied that it had not happened on Saturday, Thursday or since his hospitalization, remaining evasive when reporters asked him if he had received any at any time.
Media outlets, including the ABC channel, then confirmed that he needed oxygenation in the White House on Friday before being hospitalized.
And when was the president’s first positive test? The doctor sowed the disorder by evoking “72 hours” since the diagnosis, a duration inconsistent with the preceding statements, because it would have made go up the test to Wednesday, instead of Thursday as indicated previously.
This forced the White House to quickly correct the doctor, saying he was talking about the third day, then issue a new letter clarifying that the “first” diagnosis was Thursday night.
A central question remains unanswered: when and how did the leader contract the virus?
Outbreak at the White House?
“They relied too much on tests,” laments Ali Nouri, president of the Federation of American Scientists. “By not making masks and physical distancing compulsory, they have created a false climate of trust in the White House.” “I hope this will raise awareness among the president,” added the scientist.
The electoral campaign was upset by this hospitalization. Donald Trump’s trips have been canceled, his campaign manager has also been contaminated, and uncertainty hangs over the next televised debates, in particular the one supposed to oppose the running mates of the two candidates, Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, Wednesday.
The Republican camp said on Saturday that the campaign would continue “at full speed,” however, with Mr. Pence and the Trump sons traveling from after the number two debate.
The White House is linked to multiple contaminations. The list of infected Mr. Trump’s relatives is growing: his wife Melania, councilor Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stepien, three Republican senators, former councilor Kellyanne Conway, current councilor Chris Christie, etc. Not to mention three accredited journalists.
One event catches the eye: Last Saturday, dozens of guests crowded the Presidency’s gardens and interior rooms for the nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to a Supreme Court seat. Cameras captured a host of handshakes and hugs, with most of the guests omitting masks, a practice evident among Republicans as a mark of loyalty.
As it is not known when Donald Trump was infected, it is not known whether he was contagious during the debate against Joe Biden last Tuesday night in Cleveland. The two men spent 90 minutes on the same stage.
Joe Biden, 77, had two drug tests on Friday, both of which came back negative. He will be tested again on Sunday, he said on Saturday.