United States President Donald Trump, hospitalized since Friday for COVID-19 treatment, was not on oxygen on Saturday and was doing better according to his doctor, but a source close to him warned his recovery was not guaranteed.
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“This morning the president is doing very well,” said Sean Conley, a White House doctor, accompanied by nine doctors and nurses outside the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington, where Donald Trump was admitted on Friday evening.
Mr. Trump, 74, suffered from fever, cough, mild congestion and fatigue, he said, but the symptoms “are getting smaller and better,” he said. He hasn’t had a fever for 24 hours, he added.
Minutes later, a source with knowledge of his condition gave a much more alarmist description of Donald Trump’s situation, saying: “The President’s vital signs for the past 24 hours have been very disturbing, and the next 48 hours. will be critical in terms of care. We still have not taken a clear path to recovery. “
According to the medical team treating him, the president was not receiving supplemental oxygen on Saturday, but Dr Conley was evasive when reporters asked him if he had received any earlier.
He also created perplexity by referring to the “72 hours” since the diagnosis, a duration inconsistent with previous statements, as it would trace Donald Trump’s positive test back to Wednesday, instead of Thursday as previously reported. But the White House quickly corrected the doctor, indicating that he was talking about the third day.
In exactly one month, on November 3, Americans will vote to decide between the outgoing president and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, but the campaign already disrupted by the pandemic was upset by the hospitalization of the Republican: his trips have been canceled, his director campaign has also been contaminated according to Politico, and uncertainty hangs over the next televised debates, in particular the one which is supposed to oppose their running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Senator Kamala Harris on Wednesday.
The White House is linked to multiple contaminations. The list of infected Mr. Trump’s relatives is growing: his wife Melania, advisor Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stepien, three Republican senators, and former councilor Kellyanne Conway … not to mention three accredited journalists.
On Saturday alone, it was learned that Senator Ron Johnson and Chris Christie, who helped Mr. Trump prepare for last Tuesday’s televised debate against Joe Biden, had tested positive.
Last Saturday, dozens of guests flocked to 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.
Since the announcement of his positive test on the night of Thursday to Friday, Donald Trump has tweeted twice: an 18 second video message on Friday afternoon where he announced that he was going to be hospitalized, and another, in the night from Friday to Saturday: “I think it’s fine! Thanks everyone. LOVE !!! “
He was last seen getting into the presidential helicopter and alighting at Walter Reed. Dressed in a suit, he walked in his usual slow pace, and wore a black mask.
He has received two treatments to date: first, an injection of an experimental cocktail of synthetic antibodies, developed by the company Regeneron and which has shown promising preliminary results in clinical trials. Then he received the first dose of the antiviral remdesivir, the first drug authorized for severe forms of COVID-19, which doctors believe also works against milder forms.
Hydroxychloroquine, which Mr. Trump used to take preventively, is no longer part of his treatment.
As it is not known when Donald Trump was infected, it is not known if he was contagious during the debate last Tuesday night in Cleveland. The two opponents spent 90 minutes on the same stage.
Joe Biden, 77, had two tests on Friday, and both were negative, but it’s possible the virus was in him and not yet detectable.
Despite the countless wishes for a speedy recovery addressed to Donald Trump, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats were extremely critical of the negligence of the White House, accused of having relied on its entire prevention system on tests in defiance of instructions basic health, like the management deemed disastrous for the pandemic.
In Bethesda, a supporter of Donald Trump settled in front of the hospital early Saturday, with a camping chair and a “Trump 2020” flag. Compassion was not universal: a driver passed by, windows open, playing a song with lyrics insulting to the president.