Trump in video from Walter Reed says he’s feeling good, next few days will be ‘the real test’
President Trump on Saturday tweeted out a video message from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as he undergoes treatment for COVID-19, saying he felt his condition had improved over the past day but acknowledged he was not out of the woods yet.
“I came here. Wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now,” Trump said in the four-minute video clip, where he is sitting behind a desk wearing a blue jacket and a white dress shirt with the top button undone.
“We’re working hard to get me all the way back,” he continued. “I have to be back because we still have to make America great again.”
But Trump acknowledged that the coming days would be critical for his health.
“Over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test,” he said. “So we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.”
The president said he was given the option to isolate at the White House after testing positive for the virus and undergo treatment from the residence. But he suggested that doing so would have sent the wrong message.
“I can’t do that. I had to be out front, and this is America. This is the United States. This is the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world,” Trump said.
“I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say, ‘Hey, whatever happens, happens.’ I can’t do that. We have to confront problems. As a leader, you have to confront problems,” he continued.
Trump expressed his gratitude to the medical team at Walter Reed and to Americans and world leaders who have expressed condolences and sent their well-wishes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
The president revealed early Friday morning that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19. Trump reportedly required supplemental oxygen while at the White House on Friday as he showed symptoms, and he was taken to Walter Reed later Friday evening.
The White House’s credibility has wavered on updating the public on Trump’s health, offering the press and the American people conflicting messages about the president’s current status.
Chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Trump was “very energetic” on Friday morning, but a memo from the White House physician issued hours later said he was experiencing fatigue.
The physician, Sean Conley, told reporters on Saturday morning that Trump was 72 hours into his diagnosis, which would have meant Trump tested positive on Wednesday. He later said he misspoke and meant 48 hours.
Conley gave an optimistic assessment of Trump’s health, saying he was doing “very well” and that some of his symptoms were improving.
But Conley was quickly contradicted when reporters were given a statement from a source familiar with the president’s health who said Trump’s vitals over the last 24 hours “were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Later reports attributed the comments to Meadows, who was caught on camera outside Walter Reed talking to reporters and asking to go off the record to speak to the president’s condition.