Donald Trump: I feel better and I'll be back soon, president says in video from hospital
Donald Trump released a four-minute video message from hospital on Saturday evening saying he is “feeling much better” but is facing the “real test” in his battle against coronavirus over the next few days.
After hours of speculation about the real state of his health following differing briefings from doctors and a close aide, Mr Trump appeared in a shirt and jacket but unusually no tie as he sat by a desk and addressed the camera.
The US president admitted that he “wasn’t feeling so well” when he was rushed to hospital on Friday night by helicopter from the White House.
It has been widely reported in US media that Mr Trump was having difficulty breathing and was given supplemental oxygen before the flight.
But Mr Trump said in the video that he believed he would “be back soon” and vowed to pick up where he left off in his presidential campaign with election day now less than a month away.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back,” said Mr Trump, who spoke by an American flag and looked a little pale in the video.
He added: “I’ll be back, I think I’ll be back soon, and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started.”
The president’s physician Dr Sean Conley released a statement on Saturday evening saying Mr Trump had been working that afternoon and was given a second dose of remdesivir, the experimental drug.
Dr Conley said the president remained fever free and off supplemental oxygen. He also said Mr Trump had been "up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty".
"While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic", Dr Conley said.
Read more: Donald Trump in hospital – everything we know
In the video Mr Trump also praised the medical treatments he is getting, which also includes an antibody cocktail produced by biotechnology company Regeneron.
“Frankly, they’re miracles if you want to know the truth. They’re miracles. People criticise me when I say that, but we have things happening that look like they’re miracles coming down from God,” the president said.
Mr Trump’s message, delivered from the Walter Reed Medical Center where he was moved to on Friday after his Thursday Covid-19 positive test, appeared to be an attempt to reassure the public over the state of his health.
Doctors had given an up-beat assessment in a briefing on the hospital steps on Saturday lunchtime, saying that Mr Trump was doing “very well”.
But that message was immediately undercut by an off-record comment given to reporters, later attributed to his chief of staff Mark Meadows, which said Mr Trump’s “vitals” had become “very concerning” on Friday.
Mr Trump’s video message, sent out from his Twitter feed around 7pm on Saturday, expressed a note of caution about the coming days ahead.
“So I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good. You don’t know over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test, so we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Mr Trump said.
Sunday will be the fourth day since he was diagnosed with Covid-19. Dr Conley said days seven to 10 were the most critical for those who have contracted the illness.
Mr Trump, who polls show voters believe mishandled the pandemic, said that he was going through an experience that a lot of other people also had. More than seven million Covid-19 cases have been logged in the US.
“This was something that happened, and it’s happened to millions of people all over the world, and I’m fighting for them,” Mr Trump said.
He also appeared to defend his approach to campaigning. The US president has been criticised for holding public events that have hundreds of supporters gathered with little social distancing in recent weeks.
“I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don’t ever leave, don’t even go to the Oval Office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it, don’t see people, don’t talk to people and just be done with it and I can’t do that. I had to be out front,” Mr Trump said in the video.
He also joked about the age of Melania Trump, his wife who also tested positive to the virus. Mrs Trump, the First Lady, is 50 and the president is 74.
“Melania is really handling it very nicely. As you’ve probably read, she’s slightly younger than me, just a little tiny bit,” Mr Trump joked of his former model wife.
He referenced her age to explain that she was coping well with the virus, as younger people are more likely to do. Questions had been raised about why she did not join Mr Trump in hospital given they both have Covid-19.
Mr Trump thanked world leaders and supporters for their messages of support and finished the video by saying: “The outpouring of love has been incredible. I will never forget. Thank you very much.”