Trump spends first night in hospital after Covid-19 diagnosis

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Media signature“I think I am very well”: President Trump recorded a video message before he was flown to the hospital

U.S. President Donald Trump spent his first night in a military hospital receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus.

“Fine, I think!” Mr Trump tweeted late Friday. US media said his symptoms were mild fever.

So far, he has been treated with an experimental drug cocktail injection and the antiviral drug Remdesivir.

In exactly one month, Trump will face Joe Biden in the presidential election.

The president’s diagnosis has turned his campaign on its head and cast doubts about his attempt to get a new Supreme Court judge reassigned before election day.

The latest update from Mr. Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, in a memorandum late Friday read, “I am pleased to report that the President is doing very well.” He said the president didn’t need additional oxygen.

The 74-year-old president, a man and someone classified as obese, belongs to a higher risk category for Covid-19. The White House said he was flown to the hospital “out of caution” and will be there “for the next few days.”

First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive for Covid-19, had “a slight cough and headache,” said Dr. Conley.

Other people who have tested positive for Mr Trump include close aide Hope Hicks – believed to be the first to show symptoms – campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House aide Kellyanne Conway. Republican Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis also tested positive.

Mr Trump remains responsible. Vice President Mike Pence, who would be constitutionally transferred to power by the President if he got too sick to do his job, received negative marks.

  • What if Trump got too sick to be president?

What did the president look like on Friday?

In mask and suit, Mr. Trump walked across the White House lawn to his Marine One helicopter at 6:15 p.m. (10:15 p.m. GMT) Friday for a short flight to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington DC to do.

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Donald Trump arrives at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

He waved and gave reporters a thumbs up but said nothing before getting on the plane.

In an 18-second video posted on Twitter, Trump said, “I think I’m very fine. But we’ll make sure everything goes well. The first lady is very fine. Thank you very much.”

  • What is the risk to Donald Trump’s health?
  • Who he met and who tested positive

The president’s children, Ivanka and Eric, retweeted his post and praised him as a “warrior”. Ms. Trump added, “I love you Dad.”

Donald Jr. said his father “obviously took it very seriously”.

Mr Trump has been inducted into Walter Reed’s presidential suite, where US presidents usually undergo annual examinations.

Shortly before midnight he tweeted again: “Fine, I think! Thanks everyone. LOVE !!!”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had spent some time in intensive care with the virus in April, said he had no doubt that Mr Trump would “recover very much”.

What treatment did the president receive?

Dr. Conley said the president “doesn’t need supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we’ve decided to start remdesivir therapy. He has completed his first dose and is comfortably resting.”

Tests have shown that remdesivir, originally developed as a treatment for Ebola, interferes with the virus’ ability to replicate and can shorten the duration of symptoms.

  • How Remdesivir Benefits were found

On the previous Friday, Dr. Conley, the President had “received a dose of 8 g of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail in the White House as a precaution.”

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Media signatureBBC’s Rebecca Morelle explains how the monoclonal antibodies work

The antibodies adhere to the coronavirus, protect the body cells and make the virus more visible to the immune system.

However, the treatment is still experimental and has not yet been approved by regulatory authorities. Although there is much hope behind this, some doctors have expressed surprise at the President’s engagement at this stage.

  • Read more about Regeneron and Antibodies

Mr Trump also took zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and aspirin, said Dr. Conley.

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Media signaturePresident Trump is seven days before his Covid-positive test

On Friday afternoon, the 50-year-old first lady said she had mild symptoms but felt “good” and “looked forward to a speedy recovery.”

The rest of the Trump family, including the first couple’s son, Barron, who also lives in the White House, tested negative.

Covid cluster in the heart of government

Analysis by Peter Bowes, BBC North America correspondent

This is a crisis that escalates by the hour.

With the news that another member of Trump’s inner circle, Kellyanne Conway, along with two Republican senators, tested positive, there is growing awareness that a Covid cluster has penetrated the heart of the US government.

Like Ms. Conway, Senators Mike Lee from Utah and Thom Tillis from North Carolina attended the event at the White House at which the President announced the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said it was “irresponsible and dangerous” to advance Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings.

It would be another major blow to the President if the process were delayed despite Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he would continue the increased use of remote hearing.

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At least seven people who attended the White House event for Amy Coney Barrett reportedly tested positive

How did the Democrats react?

Mr Biden, the Democratic nominee, and his wife Jill tested negative on Friday. The Bidens wished the presidential couple a speedy recovery.

The Democratic campaign is temporarily removing all negative ads related to Mr. Trump.

Mr. Biden added on Friday in the Grand Rapids, Michigan campaign, “It is a haunting reminder to all of us that we must take this virus seriously. It will not go away automatically.”

  • What older voters think of the Trump Covid story

Since the pandemic broke out, Democrats have criticized the president for violating basic health guidelines – like social distancing and wearing a face covering in public – including those promoted by his own government.

Mr Trump has continued to hold major campaign rallies and gather thousands of supporters, often without a mask.

The Republican president also made fun of Mr Biden during his live TV debate on Tuesday, saying, “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he has a mask.”

The most powerful Democrat elected, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, said her prayers for Mr Trump had “intensified” and she hoped his diagnosis would be “a learning experience” for the country.

According to research from Johns Hopkins University, the US had more Covid-19 cases – 7.3 million – and more deaths – 208,000 – than any other nation.

What about others who tested positive?

Campaign manager Bill Stepien has “mild flu-like symptoms” and Kellyanne Conway also has “mild symptoms”.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, who was with Mr Trump a week ago, tested positive, as did Rev. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame University, who visited the White House last weekend, to the Colonel’s announcement Court of Justice.

There was criticism of the president’s decision to go to a fundraiser Thursday that was attended by dozens of people in New Jersey, apparently when officials were already aware of Hope Hicks’ symptoms.

Officials said the process of tracking all of Mr. Trump’s contacts over the past few days is still ongoing.