Trump airlifted to military hospital – less than 24 hours after coronavirus diagnosis

Donald Trump has told supporters he is “doing very well” after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The US president and First Lady Melania tested positive for the virus in the early hours of Friday UK time.

On Friday evening, he was taken to hospital by helicopter, pictured giving the ‘thumbs up’ as he left the White House.

The president was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center by helicopter

Soon after the helicopter departed, a video was posted on Mr Trump’s Twitter account.

In it, he told supporters: “I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital.

“I think I’m doing very well but 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.”

BREAKING: US President Donald Trump has arrived at the Walter Reed Medical Centre after being taken there in the Marine One helicopter.

More on this breaking story after the US president tested positive for #coronavirus:

— SkyNews (@SkyNews) October 2, 2020

A White House statement said: “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.”

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Kayleigh McEnany, Mr Trump’s press secretary, told reporters: “President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day.”

She added that he appreciated the “outpouring of support” for him and Mrs Trump.

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Trump quarantines in White House

A source has told the Reuters news agency that Mr Trump is suffering with a mild fever and his doctor said he “remains fatigued” but in “good spirits”.

The president has been injected with an experimental antibody cocktail of drugs – a single 8g dose of a Regeneron cocktail which he completed “without incident”, according to his physician, Dr Sean P Conley.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:Mr Trump has been taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington DC

He has also been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (which decreases stomach acid production), melatonin (a natural hormone that can help with sleep) and a daily aspirin.

Dr Conley said: “He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the president and First Lady in regards to next best steps.”

From mocking masks to backing bleach - 10 things Trump has said about COVID-19

From mocking masks to backing bleach – 10 things Trump has said about COVID-19

He added: “Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and headache. The remainder of the first family are well and tested negative for coronavirus.”

At least two senators, three journalists, and the president of the University of Notre Dame have also tested positive.

The latest person to reveal a positive test result is one of Mr Trump’s advisers and long-time team member Kellyanne Conway, who said her symptoms were mild and she had begun a “quarantine process”.

Mr Trump’s election rival Joe Biden – who took part in a televised presidential debate earlier this week – confirmed he has tested negative for the virus, along with his wife Jill.

Mr Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, told reporters that Mr Trump’s illness was a “bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously”.

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Biden ‘sends prayers’ to the Trumps

He added: “Be patriotic, it’s not about being a tough guy, it’s about doing your part, wearing a mask not only protects you but it protects those around you.”

Two days before testing positive, during the first debate, Mr Trump belittled Mr Biden for frequently wearing masks and not having campaign rallies that matched his own in size.

The president has regularly refused to wear a mask, has continued to shake hands with visitors despite public health officials warning against it, and also initially resisted being tested.

US election 2020: What happens if Trump becomes incapacitated or dies

US election 2020: What happens if Trump becomes incapacitated or dies

Mr Trump’s illness will have an effect on his campaigning, a month ahead of the presidential election but Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative, “plans on resuming his scheduled campaign events”.

World leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself went to hospital with coronavirus, and Russian President Vladimir Putin offered messages of support.

Mark Gibson

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

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