Alex Brandon / AP
President Trump, who had spent the weekend in the hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19, returned to the White House Monday night, stepped off Marine One, and walked the stairs to the south portico entrance where he turned to the cameras, removed his mask and gave his signature two thumbs up.
Shortly before, a masked Trump had emerged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was receiving treatment, pumping his fist and giving a thumbs up as he ignored questions from reporters.
In a video recorded at the White House that he later tweeted, the president appeared to be a little more cautious about a virus he has often downplayed, along with measures to stop its spread, such as wearing masks.
Trump thanked Walter Reed staff, saying that he “learned so much about coronavirus” during his three-day stay.
“One thing is for sure – don’t let yourself be dominated. Don’t be afraid of it. You will beat it,” he said. “We have the best medical equipment. We have the best drugs. All of them were recently developed. And you will beat it.”
“I left, I didn’t feel so good,” he said, but added, “And two days ago I could have gone two days ago. Two days ago I felt great, as better than I said in a long time only recently, better than 20 years ago. “
Trump’s doctor Sean Conley said he was cautiously optimistic about the president’s forecast, but medical staff had to stay on guard for another week.
“In the past 24 hours, the president’s condition has continued to improve,” Conley told reporters at a news conference Monday. “He met or exceeded all of the standard hospital discharge criteria.”
“While he may not be completely out of the woods just yet, the team and I agree that all of our assessments, and especially his clinical status, support the president’s safe return home, where he will be surrounded by world-class medical care / 7. “
The presidential treatment included the steroid dexamethasone and a five-day remdesivir treatment. Dr. Brian Garibaldi told reporters Monday that Trump would be given a fifth dose of remdesivir in the White House on Tuesday night and that he will continue to be given a steroid.
When asked by a reporter whether he had any concerns about the possible deterioration or reversal of the president’s condition, Conley replied, “You are absolutely right.”
“That’s why we’re all cautiously optimistic and wary because we’re in uncharted territory when it comes to a patient who has received the therapies they had this early in the course,” said Conley.
“The first week of COVID, and days seven through ten in particular, are most critical in determining the likely course of this disease. At this point, the team and I are extremely pleased with the progress the president has made,” he said.
Trump tweeted early Friday that he and the first lady tested positive for coronavirus just hours after being quarantined after testing positive for White House adviser Hope Hicks. Since then, at least nine others in Trump’s inner circle have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Critics have alleged that the Trump administration’s slow response to the growing pandemic – and the president’s mixed messages about the use of masks – helped the virus gain a foothold in the U.S., where it has spread rapidly. The first US case was discovered in January, and since then nearly 7.5 million Americans have contracted more than 210,000 COVID-19 deaths – the highest of any country.
In Monday’s video, the president defended his actions regarding the pandemic, particularly his decision to open up the economy even though the disease showed no signs of subsiding.
“We will work again. We will be in front,” he said. “As your leader, I had to do this. I knew there was a danger, but I had to do it. I was in front. I was leading,” he said.
“No one who is a leader would not do what I did,” added the president. “And I know there is a risk; there is a danger. But that’s okay.”
“And now I’m better. And maybe I’m immune, I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your life. Get out there. Be careful,” he said.