Coronavirus: Trump says ‘Maybe I’m immune’ as he leaves hospital after three nights of COVID treatment
Donald Trump has returned to the White House after three nights in hospital being treated for COVID-19.
Shortly after arrival, the US president released two videos – one with footage of his return accompanied by sweeping orchestral music, the other of him speaking on a balcony flanked by US flags.
Mr Trump told Americans to “get out there” and “don’t be afraid” of the coronavirus, despite more than 210,000 of the country’s residents having died from the disease and almost 7.5 million confirmed as having been infected.
He said: “Don’t let it dominate you, don’t be afraid of it.
“We’re going back to work, we’re going to be out front. As your leader I had to do that. I knew there was danger to it but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. I know there is a risk, there is a danger, but that’s ok. Now I’m better and maybe I’m immune, I don’t know.”
Responding to Mr Trump’s comments, Dr David Nace of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre said COVID-19 was still a “complete threat” and Dr Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine added: “I would go so far as to say (Mr Trump’s words) may precipitate or worsen spread.”
The 74-year-old president also promised the medicines being developed to treat the virus are “all getting approved” and the vaccines “are coming momentarily”. He gave no further details but a widely-available vaccine is not expected until next year.
Earlier, Mr Trump had waved as he walked out of the golden doors at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland after his three-night stay.
He did not answer questions, saying only “thank you very much” when a reporter asked about the growing number of people infected at the White House.
He was taken by presidential helicopter Marine One back to the White House, where he walked up the staircase of the South Portico, removed his mask and posed for pictures.
At times his breathing appeared laboured and his mask remained in his pocket as he walked inside.
Mr Trump was admitted to hospital on Friday and his doctor Sean Conley revealed he had received supplemental oxygen twice since his diagnosis, something that had earlier been denied.
Mr Trump has not had a fever in more than 72 hours and his oxygen levels are normal, his medical team said. They did not say when he last tested negative for the virus.
Mr Trump, who was seen as a high risk COVID patient due to his age and weight, was treated with dexamethasone and remdesivir.
Dexamethasone is a steroid usually used for severely-ill patients and remdesivir is an intravenous antiviral drug being given to Mr Trump over the course of five-days.
He will continue to receive care from medical staff at the White House but it is not yet clear how he will handle his re-election campaign ahead of the 3 November vote.
The White House’s deputy press secretary Judd Deere said “every precaution” was being taken to keep Mr Trump, his family, and staff safe.
“Physical access to the president will be significantly limited and appropriate PPE will be worn when near him.”
Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest White House staffer to test positive for the virus, along with two other press office staff.
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