The White House said Friday President Donald Trump will spend a “few days” at a military hospital on the advice of his physicians after contracting COVID-19.
President Trump departed the White House by helicopter early Friday evening for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The White House said that the visit is precautionary, and that President Trump will work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
When President Trump walked out of the White House, he was wearing a mask and gave a thumbs-up to reporters.
He also released a video on Twitter, saying, “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that President Trump “remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day.”
Dozens of people gathered outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after they learned of President Trump’s arrival.
Mike Hellgren spoke with one woman who brought her prayer card.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) October 3, 2020
Shortly before the president departed for the hospital, his personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memo issued by the White House that he had received an experimental antibody cocktail.
Earlier Friday, the White House said President Trump remains “fatigued” and had been injected with an experimental antibody drug combination for the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support,” Trump says in the 18-second clip, tweeted moments after he arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“I think I’m doing very well but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” he added. “The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much. I appreciate it. I will never forget it.”
The president’s brief remarks were the first time he has spoken to the public since he revealed early Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, which has infected more than 7 million people in the U.S. and killed more than 205,000.
The video clip was released just after Trump had been seen for the first time since his diagnosis when he left the White House to walk to Marine One for the short flight to Walter Reed hospital. The president wore a mask, flashed a thumbs up and a wave to assembled reporters, and made his way to the helicopter under his own power.
White House officials have said the president is experiencing “mild symptoms,” and his physician said he is feeling fatigued. But a person familiar with the matter said Trump was also running a light fever, and other outlets have reported the president is dealing with nasal congestion.
His absence from public view and lack of Twitter activity since announcing his diagnosis spurred speculation, however, that his condition could be more serious than officials were letting on.
The White House has credibility issues and has been secretive about COVID-19 cases within its walls. The administration did not publicize that Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides, had tested positive for the virus Thursday.
Trump is 74 and overweight, putting him in a higher risk category for serious complications from the virus.
He is expected to remain at Walter Reed for at least a few days to receive treatment, but officials said he has not transferred power to the vice president.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020