President Trump is back home at the White House.
The commander-in-chief tweeted on Monday afternoon that he was leaving Walter Reed Medical Center, just days after he moved into the Bethesda, Md. hospital for “further evaluation” and out of “an abundance of caution” after revealing he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” he added, urging his followers not to fear the coronavirus or “let it dominate your life.”
Upon his return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., he promptly ignited controversy by taking off his mask, even though his physician Dr. Sean Conley said earlier in the day that the president is still contagious and “may not entirely be out of the woods yet.” Still, his clinical status supported a “safe” return home, Trump’s medical team said.
Here’s what we know so far about his prognosis and treatment, as well as how they’re impacting the federal government and the election.
The president’s medical treatment
He was being treated with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s experimental neutralizing antibody cocktail, Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir, and the steroid dexamethasone. The latter is often used to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients. Trump was also given supplemental oxygen at least once, his physician Dr. Sean Conley confirmed on Sunday. And the president is taking zinc, vitamin D, an acid reducer, melatonin and aspirin.
The president has been reassuring the public about his prognosis
Trump told the American people that “I feel much better now” in a video statement from Walter Reed late Saturday, and that the first lady was doing well, too.
The president also briefly left Walter Reed on Sunday night to take a motorcade ride past his supporters, who had been lining up outside since he was admitted. Some doctors expressed alarm over the move, including an attending physician from Walter Reed, James Phillips, who called it “insanity” and “political theater.” Phillips tweeted, “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days.”
His medical team told reporters on Monday afternoon that Trump had not recorded a fever in more than 72 hours, and his oxygen levels were normal. And once the president returns to the White House, Conley added that Trump will be “surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7.”
Indeed Dr. Daniel McQuillen, senior staff physician at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., told MarketWatch that the president is “not really going home from a medical perspective.” That’s why his Walter Reed residency has been a relatively quicker trip in and out of the hospital compared to other coronavirus patients.
What’s more, the president tweeted “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” on Monday, sparking heated Twitter exchanges.