President Donald Trump effectively declared victory over COVID-19 on Monday afternoon.
Trump announced on Twitter he would be leaving “the great Walter Reed Medical Center” in Bethesda, Maryland, at 6:30 p.m., following three days of treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Feeling really good!” he said. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
At a press conference outside Walter Reed minutes later, Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the president “may not be out of the woods yet” but was ready to continue his treatment at the White House.
- In response to questions about whether Trump had “any neurological symptoms” or “fogginess from the virus,” Conley said, “No … He’s back.”
The reaction: The instant response on Twitter to the developments reflected the partisan culture war that has been waged over Trump’s infection.
Supporters, like activist Scott Presler, celebrated that Trump was “feeling better.”
But critics, like Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, slammed Trump for downplaying the disease, which has so far killed more than 209,000 people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How he got here: Trump’s condition has seemed to be improving since Saturday morning — though spin by the White House and the press created uncertainty about what was really happening.
What were his symptoms?: The president tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, including in a “gold standard” PCR test.
- On Friday, Trump was fatigued and had a cough, a fever and difficulty breathing.
- His blood oxygen levels were also lower than normal — a sign the disease was hurting the functioning of his lungs.
How was he treated?: Doctors gave Trump supplementary oxygen at the White House on Friday and at Walter Reed on Saturday.
- Trump on Friday received a single dose of an experimental antibody cocktail being developed by the drug maker Regeneron which in preliminary clinical trials has shown promise in shortening the duration of a bout of COVID-19.
- After checking into Walter Reed in the evening, Trump began a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences antiviral medication thought to be most useful when administered early in a COVID-19 case.
- He was also taking vitamin D, zinc and a daily aspirin — presumably to guard against blood clotting associated with COVID-19.
- The president on Saturday was treated with the steroid dexamethasone, which soothes the haywire immune response common in serious COVID-19 cases.
What did he say?: The president has released three video updates about his condition.
- “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said before leaving the White House on Friday. “The first lady is doing very well.”
- “I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back,” Trump said on Saturday evening. “I’ll be back, I think I’ll be back soon.”
- “I’m starting to feel good. You don’t know, over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test. So we will be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” he continued, alluding to the pivotal first seven to 10 days of a COVID-19 case. “I think we’re going to have a very good result. Over the next few days we’re going to probably know for sure.”
- “We’re getting great reports from the doctors” Trump said on Sunday afternoon, thanking the medical staff and teasing a drive-by “visit” of his supporters outside the hospital minutes later. “In the meantime, we love the U.S.A. and we love what’s happening.”