President Donald Trump hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19
Trump's physician late Friday said the president was "doing very well." State officials from both parties said earlier in the day that they were praying for Trump.
President Donald Trump was taken Friday evening to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, hours after testing positive for the coronavirus.
“President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.”
In a short video posted to his Twitter account shortly after 5:30 p.m., Trump said, "I think I'm doing very well, but we're going to make sure that things work out."
Late Friday night, McEnany released a statement from the president's physician that said the president was "doing very well," did not need supplemental oxygen and was starting remdesivir therapy.
"He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably," Sean P. Conley, Trump's physician, wrote in the statement.
Earlier Friday afternoon, Conley had disclosed the president was receiving an experimental antibody treatment. Trump “remains fatigued but in good spirits,” Conley wrote in a memo at the time.
A tweet from the president’s account late Friday said things were “going well”:
Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
Trump was hospitalized less than 24 hours after announcing that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for the virus. That revelation, late Thursday, came hours after news reports surfaced that one of the president’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, had become infected.
News of Trump's illness shook Washington and drew widespread expressions of concern from across the political spectrum on Friday.
"This cannot be a partisan moment," wrote Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, on Twitter. "It must be an American moment. We have to come together as a nation."
Friday featured a steady flow of notifications from people close to Trump testing positive for COVID-19. Most had attended a ceremony last Saturday at the White House Rose Garden, where Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court justice.
Footage of the event circulated widely on social media Friday showing guests talking, hugging and even fist bumping in close proximity without masks.
By Friday night, at least seven people who had attended the Rose Garden event announced they tested positive for COVID-19: the president and first lady, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and an unnamed journalist.
The White House Correspondents’ Association also said that two other journalists working at the White House, including Michael D. Shear of The New York Times, had tested positive. Neither journalist had attended the Rose Garden event.
The president's illness led to the postponement of a Trump campaign event in Texas that would have featured the president's son. Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien has also tested positive for the virus, according to reports by Politico and The New York Times.
Donald Trump Jr. had been scheduled to appear in McAllen for a get-out-the-vote lunch event Friday, alongside Trump adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle. But local GOP officials said the event would be moved back to a later date "out of an abundance of caution."
"As many of you know, President Trump has tested for COVID19 and both Kimberly and Donald Trump Jr have been in close proximity to President Trump, our First Lady, Ivanka Trump, and Hope Hicks," the Hidalgo County GOP wrote on Facebook on Friday. "Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. will be in quarantine for the next couple of days until they test negative for COVID."
The party said the event will be rescheduled.
"The great news is, the event is not cancelled. It is postponed. We will see Donald Trump Jr. in Hidalgo County before Election Day," the party said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott said he was "lifting up prayers" for the president and first lady on Twitter at about 1 a.m. Friday, about an hour after the president announced the news.
"May God’s healing powers touch them, strengthen them, and raise them up," he said.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also said he was praying for the president and first lady. That sentiment was echoed by much of the Texas delegation in the U.S. House, with multiple members from both parties urging Texans to take the virus seriously.
"This virus should be taken very seriously - wishing them a full and speedy recovery," said U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas.
Heidi & I are praying for a full and swift recovery for @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 2, 2020
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, seemed to suggest on Twitter that Trump use the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine for treatment, even though in July the Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19. The FDA found that the drug had no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or seeing recovery, but did provide a risk for heart rhythm problems. Gohmert tested positive for the virus in late July and has since recovered.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, also responded and asked that other members of Congress who were in close quarters with the president not show up for work Friday.
"That’s why we put in place proxy voting during this pandemic," Castro said. "Sincerely, A Co-worker."
Aliyya Swaby contributed to this story.
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