Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Trump’s coronavirus battle: Timeline of events

The president is being treated in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 amid confusion over how unwell he is. Here are some of the events leading up to and during his battle with coronavirus.

Saturday 26 September (All timings are US time) Superspreader event?

Donald Trump holds a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House where he announces Amy Coney Barrett as his choice to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

The pair, as well as many of the guests, were not wearing masks and there is speculation the event could have been a superspreader for COVID-19.

That evening he and his aide Hope Hicks travelled to Pennsylvania for a rally.

He returned to the White House at 10pm.

Evening of Tuesday 29 September Presidential debate

Mr Trump takes on Joe Biden in the first presidential debate in Cleveland in what was an ill-tempered affair with lots of interruptions, particularly from the president.

The two candidates did not wear masks during the clash, nor did members of the Trump family and senior staff.

Evening of Thursday 1 October Fundraiser in Bedminster

Mr Trump attends a fundraising event at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

It is later revealed that the White House knew Ms Hicks had tested positive for coronavirus before the Marine One helicopter took the president from Washington to the New Jersey event.

10.44pm on Thursday 1 October Trump reveals Hope Hicks tests positive

Mr Trump tweets that Hope Hicks has tested positive for COVID-19 and he and the First Lady Melania will be self-isolating.

He wrote: “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”

Evening of Thursday 1 October Trump tests positive for coronavirus

It is believed that sometime in the evening Mr Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

It is not known exactly what time he had his test or when he first started experiencing symptoms.

12.54am on Friday 2 October Trump reveals he and Melania have tested positive

Mr Trump tweets that he and his wife have contracted the virus:

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Morning of Friday 2 October Trump's oxygen level drops rapidly

Mr Trump’s oxygen level falls rapidly fuelling concerns about his health, White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows later reveals.

Sometime on Friday, he received supplemental oxygen, it is believed.

4.11pm on Friday 2 October Doctor reveals Trump has taken experimental drug for COVID-19

A letter is released by the White House from his physician Dr Sean Conley, saying the president was injected with an experimental Regeneron antibody cocktail and has also been taking vitamins.

Early evening on Friday 2 October Trump is taken from White House to hospital by helicopter

Mr Trump is taken by the Marine One helicopter from the White House to the Walter Reed hospital in Maryland to be treated further for COVID-19.

6.31pm on Friday 2 October President says he is 'doing very well'

Shortly after he left the capital, he tweeted a video saying he was going to hospital and he thought he was doing very well.

11.31pm on Friday 2 October Trump: 'Thank you to all'

Mr Trump tweets again, saying: “Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!

11.34pm on Friday 2 October Trump 'doing very well', says doctor

An update from Dr Conley in a letter says the president is “doing very well” and is not requiring any supplemental oxygen.

He also says the president is taking another experimental drug called remdesivir.

Lunchtime on Saturday 3 October Trump's physician and medical team update reporters outside hospital

Outside the Walter Reed hospital, Dr Conley and the hospital medical team update reporters on the president’s condition.

Dr Conley said Mr Trump had a fever on Thursday into Friday but has been fever-free for 24 hours.

He said the president was in “exceptionally good spirits”, and was not having difficulty breathing.

But he also said it was 72 hours since Mr Trump’s diagnosis which would put his positive test result sometime on Wednesday – a day earlier than thought.

This was later clarified by the physician as he explained he was supposed to say Saturday was day three of his diagnosis.

Despite the upbeat assessment from doctors, a person familiar with Mr Trump’s condition warned his vital signs over the past 24 hours were “very concerning”.

And they said the next 48 hours would be critical in terms of his care.

1.19pm on Saturday 3 October President praises medical staff

Mr Trump tweets he is “feeling well” and praises the medical staff treating him.

He wrote: “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!”

1.46pm on Saturday 3 October Trump says US economy needs stimulus

The president tweets again, urging politicians to agree a stimulus package for the US economy.


6.51pm on Saturday 3 October President 'starting to feel good'

Mr Trump tweets a video saying he is starting to feel “much better” but the next few days will be “the real test” of his treatment for COVID-19.

The president said he was “starting to feel good” and was looking forward to “finishing up the (election) campaign the way it was started”.

Speaking from his room at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Maryland, a tired-looking Mr Trump said: “I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now.”

9.08pm on Saturday 2 October Trump 'not yet out of woods'

Dr Conley says the president is “not yet out of the woods” but his medical team remain “cautiously optimistic”.

Dr Conley also says Mr Trump is free of fever and improving, adding that he had continued to “do well”, having made “substantial progress” since his diagnosis.

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