Donald Trump’s doctor says he is breathing normally and has been ‘fever-free for 24 hours’ – but sources claim the president’s vitals have been ‘very concerning’ and the next 48 hours are ‘critical’ for his recovery.
The president’s medical team said they were ‘extremely happy’ with his progress today after he was flown to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre near Washington DC to be treated for coronavirus on Friday.
The US leader has been suffering from a mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue, but his condition is improving, Navy commander Dr Sean Conley said.
The Republican politician is considered to be at higher risk of serious complications from Covid-19, based on his age, his recent physical tests, and the fact that he is categorised as obese.
The White House said the decision to take him to the military hospital was ‘out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts’.
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Dr Conley confirmed he is not currently on oxygen, but refused to say whether he had ever been on oxygen, despite repeated questioning.
An AP source has claimed he was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before going into hospital.
Some of his vital signs in the last day had been ‘very concerning’, but had improved since he entered the Walter Reed centre, the unnamed source added.
They said: ‘The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.’
Trump is said to be in ‘exceptionally good spirits’ as he works from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
He tweeted this afternoon saying: ‘Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!
‘Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!
Dr Conley said the president had told them ‘I feel like I could walk out of here today’ as they checked him over this morning.
The medical team ‘remain cautiously optimistic’ about the president’s health, they said.
The press conference this afternoon raised questions over when the former businessman was diagnosed with Covid-19.
Dr Conley initially told reporters he is ’72 hours into diagnosis’, potentially meaning he tested positive on Wednesday. This would suggest he travelled to Minneapolis on Wednesday and New Jersey on Thursday knowing he had coronavirus.
When questioned further, Dr Conley insisted his positive test came ‘late on Thursday night’.
Trump, who has consistently downplayed the threat of the virus, announced he and wife Melania Trump had tested positive to the public on Friday morning.
Writing on Twitter, he said: ‘We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!’.
Melania’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham confirmed she was ‘doing well’ with ‘mild’ symptoms this afternoon.
She said: ‘Her symptoms have not worsened and she continues to rest. She is thinking of all who are ill and wishes them a speedy recovery.’
The president’s re-election campaign said all events featuring Trump and members of his family would either be postponed or go online, but that vice-president Mike Pence would resume campaigning as he had tested negative.
Pence will be taking Mr Trump’s place at a Make America Great Again event in Arizona.
Trump and Melania contracted coronavirus after his close aide Hope Hicks tested positive.
At least seven people who attended an event at the White House last week have also been diagnosed with Covid-19.
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