Donald Trump is “doing very well” after being hospitalised with Covid-19, the president’s doctor has said, revealing that the president was diagnosed 72 hours ago ― a day earlier than previously thought.
Questions have also arisen around whether or not the US president had required supplemental oxygen at any point.
Physicians Sean Conley and Sean Dooley stated that Trump was not currently on oxygen and not having any breathing trouble, but repeatedly declined to say he had definitively not been on oxygen at all over the course of his treatment both at the White House and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre near Washington DC.
Doctors also revealed that Trump had symptoms on Thursday, including a “mild cough, and some nasal congestion and fatigue.” Trump attended a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey, that same day.
Speaking to reporters outside the hospital on Saturday Dr Dooley said Trump was in “exceptionally good spirits” and even told doctors “I feel I could walk out of here today.”
The 74-year-old president – deemed to be at higher risk of severe illness after testing positive for the virus due to his age and weight – was airlifted to hospital on Friday evening “out of abundance of caution”, officials said.
But while Trump’s doctors said they had been pleased with the president’s progress, questions have arisen around the timeline of his positive status, with his doctors referring to “72 hours” since his Covid-19 diagnosis, when it was previously believed to have been fewer than 48.
Despite warning that days seven to 10 were critical in diagnosing the severity of Trump’s illness, the tone of the conference was overwhelmingly positive. But in the wake of the event, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press that some of the president’s vital signs in the last day were “very concerning”, improving since he arrived at hospital.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump announced they had tested positive on Friday on after appearing at a number of events this week, including a presidential debate, a fundraiser at his Bedminster golf resort and a White House Rose Garden ceremony to nominate judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Many people who attended these events, including top Republican senators, have also tested positive for the virus this week.
The president tweeted a short video on Friday evening, filmed in the White House prior to his transfer to hospital, in which he said: “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.”
At least six people in Trump’s inner circle have now tested positive for the virus, including the first lady Melania Trump, his campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway.