President Donald Trump was hospitalized Friday and given an experimental COVID-19 treatment but said he was “well,” following bombshell news he had contracted the virus, knocking him off the campaign trail a month from the US election.
After having not been seen in public since the shock announcement, the president walked out of the White House Friday evening, wearing a mask, and flew by helicopter to the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington.
“We’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said, adding that First Lady Melania Trump — who also contracted the virus — was “doing very well.”
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump was receiving the anti-viral drug Remdesivir following consultation with specialists. The president was “not requiring any supplemental oxygen,” she said in a statement late Friday.
Earlier, she said that medical experts recommended Trump work from the presidential offices at Walter Reed “for the next few days.”
The hospitalization indicated an intense effort to make sure the president’s reportedly “mild” symptoms do not deteriorate.
The development also highlighted the uncharted waters for the US election on November 3, with Trump — who is well behind his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the polls — having to freeze much of his campaign.
At first, aides gave rosy assessments, with Trump’s chief of staff saying the president, 74, had only mild symptoms, was in “good spirits” and feeling “very energetic.”
But later Friday White House physician Sean Conley said Trump received a single dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, a treatment not yet approved by regulators.
“He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps,” Conley wrote.