President Donald Trump said in a video from his hospital room on Saturday that he felt “much better” and hoped to be “back soon,” after a day of contradictory messages from the White House about his condition following his Covid-19 diagnosis.
In a four-minute video posted on Twitter, Mr Trump, looking tired and wearing a jacket and open-necked shirt, said he “wasn’t feeling so well” when he first arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and that the next few days would be crucial in his fight against the coronavirus.
“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,” Mr Trump said, seated at a round table in front of an American flag.
The address came hours after differing assessments of his health from administration officials left it unclear how ill the president had become since he tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday night.
A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning that Mr Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House.
One doctor said Mr Trump had told them “‘I feel like I could walk out of here today.'”
Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, telling reporters,
“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altering his tone hours later, telling MM that Mr. Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors are very pleased with his vital signs”.