WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has said in his hospital room that the next few days will be a “real test” of his COVID-19 treatment, after a series of conflicting messages from the White House caused widespread confusion over his condition.
In a four-minute video posted on Twitter on Saturday from his hospital station at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a tired-looking Trump said he felt “much better.”
“In the next few days, I think that’s a real test, so we’ll see what happens in the next few days,” Trump said on camera, sitting in front of the American flag and wearing a jacket and shirt with an open neck.
Trump’s illness boosted the campaign ahead of the November 3 presidential election and highlighted the president’s handling of the epidemic. The President of the Republic follows his Democratic Alliance rival Joe Biden.
Trump’s separate health check on administrative officials early Saturday has left it unclear how sick the president has been since he was diagnosed with coronavirus on Thursday night.
The White House medical team said on Saturday morning that Trump’s condition had improved and that he was talking about returning to the White House.
Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less-than-ideal test, saying, “The president’s priorities for the past 24 hours have been extremely worrying and the next 48 hours will be critical of his care. We are not yet on the clear path to full recovery. ”
Meadows, whose initial comments were given on condition of anonymity, changed his voice hours later, telling that Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors were very happy with his important signs.”
Meadows did not specify inconsistencies in his comments. Trump’s adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the president was not happy to hear of the Meadows’ earlier statement.
A source close to Trump’s condition said the president was given extra oxygen before he went to the hospital. The decision to hospitalize Trump came after he suffered from respiratory problems and his oxygen level dropped, according to a source familiar with the situation.
White House physician Sean P. Conley told reporters outside the hospital on Saturday that Trump had no respiratory problems, and had not been given oxygen at Walter Reed.
He declined to give a timetable for Trump’s discharge, and later had to issue a statement saying he had failed miserably after it emerged he was proposing that Trump be found Wednesday.
In a statement on Saturday evening, Conley said the president had “not yet come out of the woods” but his party remained hopeful.
“Today’s spectacle – doctors say one thing, White House sources say something else, and both later amend their statements – only reinforces the state’s credibility problems,” said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
THE CAMPAIGN FAILED AGAIN
As Trump has embarked on a permanent campaign, his campaign has announced “Operation MAGA,” based on his motto “Make America Great Again,” which will co-operate with high-level partners including Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s older sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, take the in-person campaign this week.
Pence, who was found to be untrue on Friday, was expected to debate the position of Democratic Alliance president Pamela Harris on Wednesday.
Biden, who had strongly avoided Trump’s criticism during a campaign trip to Michigan on Friday, took a harsh voice on Saturday while speaking to a transport workers’ union, wishing the president well.
“I’m in a small situation here, because I don’t want to attack the president and the first woman now,” Biden said, adding that he hoped Trump and his wife, Melania, who also has the disease, would fully recover.
But he quickly turned to Trump’s response to the epidemic, calling it “unthinkable” and blasting Trump’s comments in a summer speech saying “that’s it” when asked about the death toll.
“I find this to be one of the most despised things I have ever experienced in my entire career,” Biden said.
Trump has repeatedly played down the threat of the coronavirus epidemic, having killed more than 208,000 Americans and affected the U.S. economy.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was also seriously ill with COVID-19 earlier this year, said on Sunday he was confident Trump would be fine.
“He’s got the best care … He just needs, I mean, the most important thing he has to do is follow his doctor’s advice, get the best medical advice,” Johnson said in an interview with BBC television.
Biden, who found out he did not have Friday, told the media that he would be tested next Sunday.
Conley said Trump received the first two five-day doses of Remdesivir, a prescription drug sold by Gilead Sciences Inc GILD.O which has been shown to shorten hospital stay.