Trump to head back to White House after COVID-19 hospital stay

Three days after checking into the hospital, Trump says he will head home to continue treatment for coronavirus.

US President Donald Trump walks to the Marine One helicopter wearing a protective face mask as he departs the White House to fly to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center [File:Leah Millis/Reuters]
US President Donald Trump walks to the Marine One helicopter wearing a protective face mask as he departs the White House to fly to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center [File:Leah Millis/Reuters]

United States President Donald Trump’s doctors announced that he will be discharged from the hospital on Monday evening after a three-day stay to treat symptoms of COVID-19.

“He’s met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria, he’ll receive another course of remdesivir here today, and then we plan to get him home,” White House physician Dr Sean Conley told reporters this afternoon.

Trump tweeted the announcement before his doctors spoke publicly about his condition.

“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!,” Trump tweeted. “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!”

“Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all of 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 24/7,” Conley said.

Trump’s doctors could not say when he will no longer be contagious or when he would be able to travel again. They also refused to disclose the findings of his lung scans as they update the public on his condition. COVID-19 can cause serious lung damage, including pneumonia, that can be visible in scans.

When asked if the president was suffering any side effects or neurological issues as a result of his treatment, Conley said:  “You’ve seen the videos, and now the tweets, and you’ll see him shortly … He’s back.”

Trump was reluctant to go to the hospital last week and is eager to get out, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters earlier on Monday. Trump was transported by helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on Friday evening.

The president was running a high fever and was given supplemental oxygen after his blood oxygen levels dropped on Friday, according to Conley, who said Trump received an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron at the White House.

Doctors at Walter Reed have been treating him with a steroid, dexamethasone, that is normally used only in the most severe COVID-19 cases. The president has also been receiving the drug remdesivir. The five-day course of that medication will be completed on Tuesday at the White House, Conley said.

Trump has frequently downplayed the threat of the pandemic which has infected 7.4 million Americans. In recent days, he released a series of videos to reassure the public he is recovering from the disease caused by the virus.

Trump, accompanied by a Secret Service detail, also took an SUV ride on Sunday to acknowledge his supporters who were outside of Walter Reed hospital.

Critics slammed the drive-by photo op, saying he dismissed US public health guidelines and put Secret Service agents in harm’s way.

The coronavirus outbreak around Trump widened on Monday when White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she had tested positive for the virus. Two other White House staffers also tested positive Monday.

McEnany is the ninth person to test positive who attended the September 26 White House event to announce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Most of the attendees at the event did not wear masks or distance.

The virus has killed nearly 210,000 Americans to date.

Source : Al Jazeera and News agencies

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