Trump was air-lifted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center early Friday evening, less than 24 hours after news broke of his COVID diagnosis, as more of his current and former aides test positive.
Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and the President’s campaign manager Bill Stepien both tested positive. This follows the positive diagnoses of two US senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina who attended Trump’s Supreme Court nomination announcement last weekend in the Rose Garden. It may have been a super-spreader event.
The President has downplayed the virus, all while spreading quickly throughout the government and his campaign.
Three journalists who work at the White House tested positive on Friday, according to a series of memos from the White House Correspondents Association. The association said in a email to members Friday night,
“Given these positive cases, the president’s diagnosis and positive cases among other members of the White House staff, a number of White House journalists are self-isolating pending diagnostic testing.”
Shortly before midnight, the President’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley finally gave an update on the President’s condition, saying simply that the President is
“doing very well”
He hasn’t required any supplemental oxygen so far, but doctors have initiated the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which has shortened recovery time in some coronavirus patients.
Conley recommended the President’s movement from the White House to Walter Reed in consultation with specialists from both Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins University.
“Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”
This is the most serious health threat to a US President since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981.
Melania remains at the White House, while Trump gave a low-key wave as he walked across the South Lawn of the White House, the exact spot where he accepted the nomination of his party in August.
Trump has not transferred power to Vice President Mike Pence, as is customary when a president is ill or scheduled to undergo a procedure that could require anesthesia.
Trump released a video on Twitter thanking his supporters for their well wishes as he arrived at Walter Reed shortly before 6:30 p.m. ET.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I’m doing very well.
We’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget it. Thank you.”
The President’s indifference toward the virus, his decision to keep traveling and holding large rallies, and the fact that he discouraged mask use by most Americans until late this summer made his eventual diagnosis all but inevitable.
All spring and summer, both Trump and his aides continually answered questions from the press about why the President refused to wear a mask insisting that he and the people around him are tested for coronavirus on a daily basis.
Eric Trump said on Twitter,
“He will fight through this with the same strength and conviction that he uses to fight for America each and every day.
I ask you to join me in praying for his recovery. I have never been more proud of someone and what they have had to endure.”
No mention of the nearly 210,000 dead Americans or what THEY had to endure.
Trump’s bestie, Putin wished him the best.
“I am sure that your inherent vitality, vigor and optimism will help you overcome the dangerous virus.”
Yeah, um… #ThoughtsAndPrayers
Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020