Trump ‘not yet out of the woods’ but medical team ‘cautiously optimistic’

US President Donald Trump is “not yet out of the woods” but those treating him remain “cautiously optimistic”.

Mr Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Thursday evening and was taken to hospital a day later.

In a Saturday night update, his physician Dr Sean Conley said the president is free of fever and improving, adding that he had continued to “do well”, having made “substantial progress” since his diagnosis.

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump rally outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 3, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland
Image:Trump supporters are waiting outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the president is being treated for coronavirus

“He spent much of the afternoon conducting business, and has 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.

“The plan for tomorrow is to continue observation in between doses of remdesivir, closely monitoring his clinical status while fully supporting his conduct of presidential duties.”

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The president’s physician said he has been put on a five-day course of remdesivir – an antiviral drug originally created to treat Ebola.

He was given another experimental treatment – an antibody drug developed by Regeneron – before he was flown to hospitalby military helicopter on Friday.

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Trump: Next few days will be the ‘real test’

The update came a few hours after Mr Trump posted a four-minute video on his Twitter page, saying he was “starting to feel good”. It was the second video message from Mr Trump since his diagnosis.

Earlier on Saturday, messages from the president’s staff and medical team regarding his health appeared contradictory.

The medical team said he was improving and was already talking about returning to the White House but minutes later his chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters that his vital signs during the previous 24 hours had been “very concerning”. Mr Meadows later stepped back from his comments.

Why president's age and physical condition put him at 'highest risk' from COVID-19

Why president’s age and physical condition put him at ‘highest risk’ from COVID-19

Mr Trump, 74, is considered to be at higher risk of serious complications from coronavirus due to his age, the outcome of his recent physical tests, and the fact that he is obese.

Meanwhile, questions are being asked about the timeline of Mr Trump’s illness, after White House doctors said he began exhibiting “clinical indications” of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, earlier than previously thought.

There had been no suggestion Mr Trump thought he was infected before his aide Hope Hicks was diagnosed on Thursday morning.

Timeline of US president's movements with wife Melania before testing positive for COVID-19

Timeline of US president’s movements with wife Melania before testing positive for COVID-19

Mr Trump travelled to a fundraiser in New Jersey later on Thursday, seemingly unaware he may have been infected.

At least seven people who attended a White House event on Saturday 26 September have also tested positive for COVID-19 – after guests were seen hugging, fist-bumping and not wearing masks.

They are among a number of Mr Trump’s aides and allies who have fallen ill with coronavirus in recent days.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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