Donald Trump’s doctor said on Saturday that the US president is “doing very well”, hours after he was moved to Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.
Speaking to reporters outside the military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr Sean Conley said Trump has been “fever-free for 24 hours” after he had a mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue on Thursday.
“This morning, the president is doing very well,” Conley said.
“At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” said Conley, who added that he recommended moving Trump to the medical centre “as a precautionary measure to provide state-of-the-art monitoring and any care that he may need”.
Conley said the president has not received supplemental oxygen on Saturday, Friday or Thursday.
“Right now, all indicators are that he’ll remain off of oxygen going forward,” Conley said.
“At the moment, there’s no cause for concern.”
White House officials said late on Friday that Trump was moved to the facility “out of an abundance of caution” and would be working from there for the “next few days”.
Trump was seen walking onto a helicopter outside the White House on Friday evening to be taken to Walter Reed.
In a video filmed shortly before his departure, the president said, “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.” He later tweeted from the hospital: “Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Trump’s hospitalisation has thrown the US presidential election campaign into uncertainty, as the Republican leader has had to postpone scheduled events.
It is also unclear whether upcoming debates between Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, will be held.
Other officials test positive
Meanwhile, attention turned on Saturday to a number of Trump administration officials and Republican politicians who have also tested positive for COVID-19.
On Saturday morning, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin announced that he tested positive. “Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing any symptoms,” a statement from his office said.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, also Republicans, also tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
US first lady Melania Trump, Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks and former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also tested positive for the disease, as did the president of Notre Dame University, John Jenkins.
His son, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted on Saturday that he had tested negative. “I’ll give it a few more days out of and abundance of caution and test again and if I’m clear I’ll be back to work asap,” he wrote.
Donald Trump has downplayed the risk of COVID-19 for months, recently holding presidential campaign rallies that drew thousands of often maskless supporters [File: Alex Brandon/AP]Many of those infected attended a White House event where Trump announced his nominee to the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, on September 26. The Washington Post reported that about 150 people were at that event.
Trump has downplayed the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic from the outset, even as the disease has killed more than 200,000 people in the US and hammered the country’s economy.
As recently as Wednesday, Trump has said the worst of the pandemic is in the past.
He has mostly refused to abide by basic public health guidelines – including those issued by his own administration – such as wearing face coverings in public and practising social distancing.
Until he tested positive, he continued to hold campaign rallies that drew thousands of often maskless supporters.