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Trump Heading for Stay in Military Hospital for Covid Treatment

Jordan Fabian and Jennifer Jacobs
·4 mins read
Trump Heading for Stay in Military Hospital for Covid Treatment
Trump Heading for Stay in Military Hospital for Covid Treatment

(Bloomberg) --

President Donald Trump arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday to be treated over the coming days for Covid-19, signaling growing concern about the severity of his illness.

After leaving the White House by helicopter, Trump tweeted a video in which he said “I think I’m doing very well.”

“We’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said. “The first lady is doing very well.”


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020

Trump walked to the presidential helicopter outside the White House without assistance, wearing a mask. He flashed a thumbs-up to reporters but made no remarks.

Several top staffers gathered outside to see him off, wearing masks, and the Marine who saluted Trump as he boarded Marine One also wore a mask. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows accompanied Trump abord the helicopter.

Face coverings had not been commonplace at the White House before Friday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the president will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

The trip capped a day of dizzying developments in Washington sparked by the president’s disclosure of his illness just a month before Election Day. As Trump was flown to the hospital, his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, was campaigning in the battleground state of Michigan, where he delivered a speech while wearing a face mask.

McEnany didn’t say what tests or treatments Trump would receive. She described his symptoms as “mild,” but the plan to send him to the hospital deepened questions about his condition.

Her statement wasn’t issued until after financial markets closed in the U.S.

The fact that Trump, who is wary of doctors, agreed to go to Walter Reed is a sign of concern about his condition, several people familiar with the matter said. Within the White House, several aides said they had received no more information about Trump’s condition than the public.

There will be no transfer of power from Trump to Vice President Mike Pence while the president is at the hospital, White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Earlier, the White House physician issued a statement saying Trump is in “good spirits” after his Covid-19 diagnosis on Friday and has been treated with a Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. “antibody cocktail.”

“Following PCR-confirmation of the president’s diagnosis, as a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s” drug, the physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement released by McEnany.

In addition to the antibodies, “the president has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin,” Conley said.

Trump “remains fatigued but is in good spirits,” Conley said. First lady Melania Trump, who is also infected, “remains well with only a mild cough and headache,” he said.

Regeneron shares spiked in late trading, rising more than 3% after the market closed in New York. The company’s experimental treatment for Covid-19 hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but Regeneron confirmed in a statement that it had provided a a single dose of the medicine for Trump’s use after receiving a “compassionate use” request from the president’s doctors.

Trump and his wife have been in isolation at the White House since his diagnosis, which he announced after Bloomberg News reported that one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for coronavirus infection.

Conley’s statement was the first update from Trump’s doctor since early Friday morning. The president has not tweeted or made any public statement since announcing his infection at 12:54 a.m. in Washington.

Trump learned of Hicks’s positive test Thursday morning but continued with his planned schedule for the day, including a fundraiser at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort that raised $5 million for his campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump and Hicks had been in close contact in the days before her diagnosis. She traveled with him to the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to campaign events in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Hicks tested negative for infection Wednesday morning, then fell ill in Minnesota and was isolated on the flight back to Washington aboard Air Force One, according to people familiar with the matter.

(Updates with Trump video in second paragraph)

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