Donald Trump has claimed he is feeling ‘much better’, despite swirling speculation about his health after being hospitalised with coronavirus.
The American President admitted the ‘next few days will be a real test’ and that he ‘wasn’t feeling so well’ when he arrived, in a Twitter video from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre near Washington DC.
It comes after his medical team said he was doing ‘very well’ and in ‘exceptionally good spirits’ in an update on Saturday, less than 24 hours after he was taken by helicopter to the facility. But later White House chief of staff Mark Meadows briefed reporters that Mr Trump went through a ‘very concerning’ period on Friday and that the next 48 hours would be critical.
The president himself then posted the video on Twitter from his hospital suite, saying he hoped to ‘be back soon’ and that ‘we are going to beat it (Covid-19) soundly’.
Thanking his medical team and public messages of support, he added: ‘Over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test.’
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In a press conference outside the hospital, Dr Sean Conley had said the president was fever-free, was not on oxygen and was not having difficulty breathing.
Dr Conley refused to say whether Mr Trump, 74, had ever been on oxygen despite repeated questioning, but said the president’s symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, ‘are now resolving and improving’. The White House has repeatedly been criticised for not telling the truth under Donald Trump.
A source familiar with Mr Trump’s condition told the Associated Press the president was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before going to hospital.
Mr Trump himself said in his video message he was feeling better, although the ‘next few days’ would be telling in his battle against the disease.
‘I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now,’ Mr Trump said.
‘You don’t know over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test. So we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.’
There was also confusion over when the president tested positive, as Dr Conley initially suggested Mr Trump was 72 hours into the diagnosis.
Dr Conley later clarified he meant to say ‘day three’ instead of 72 hours, and said the president had been first diagnosed with Covid-19 on Thursday evening.
The White House said Mr Trump from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
The President said he was given the option of staying in the White House but decided to move to hospital and added that the First Lady Melania was doing well.
He said: ‘So many things have happened, if you look at the theraupetics… (some) are coming out soon that are looking like miracles coming down from God.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was sure the president would ‘come through’ his treatment ‘very well’.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday morning, Mr Johnson said he rang the White House on Friday night and added: “’ think obviously everybody’s wishing him and Melania the very best and hoping that they recover speedily and I’ve no doubt that he will, he’ll make a very strong recovery.’
Mr Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis is the latest among world leaders, with Mr Johnson, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also having fallen ill.
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