Trump says COVID-19 diagnosis a ‘blessing in disguise’
President Trump on Wednesday called contracting COVID-19 a “blessing in disguise” as he touted the benefits of an experimental drug he was given that is not available to the American public.
The president shared a video on social media in which he spoke from the Rose Garden. In the nearly five-minute clip, Trump sang the praises of his treatment regiment, specifically an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that was given to the White House under a compassionate use agreement.
“For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good. A short 24 hours later I was feeling great. I wanted to get out of the hospital,” Trump said. “And that’s what I want for everybody. I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president, because I feel great. I feel, like, perfect.”
“So, I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,” Trump said.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT! pic.twitter.com/uhLIcknAjT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
The president claimed it was his suggestion that he take the Regeneron treatment, and that he is now convinced it should be more widely available.
The president said he wants his treatment regimen to be an option for the broader public, and pledged to make it free. It’s unclear what authority Trump would have to make the cost of those drugs free for hundreds or thousands of patients. The Regeneron antibody cocktail is still undergoing clinical trials.
Trump was also given the antiviral drug remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone. He has had around-the-clock medical supervision from a team of doctors and has access to resources unavailable to all but a small percentage of Americans.
“So, hopefully this is going to be not just a therapeutic, it’s going to be much more than a therapeutic,” Trump said. “You’re going to get better, you’re going to get better fast just like I did. So, again, a blessing in disguise. Good luck.”
COVID-19 has killed more than 210,000 people in the U.S. to date, and infected millions more. The U.S. has the highest number of reported cases and deaths from the virus of any country in the world.
The video was the latest attempt for the White House to project optimism about Trump’s condition. In the clip, the president covered other typical talking points, including his belief that a vaccine will be ready soon, that he has pushed health agencies to speed up their approval processes and that China will “pay a big price” for the coronavirus originating there.
The president was discharged from the hospital Monday. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters the video was shot Tuesday. It did not appear to be done in one take, as there was a visible cut roughly two minutes in.
Trump has not been seen outside of the video recording since arriving back to the White House from the hospital. The White House has issued a pair of doctors notes in the past two days that are brief and vague, but indicate that Trump says he is feeling well and has had stable vital signs.
The president returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday for briefings on an incoming hurricane and stimulus talks, despite still being infectious. Trump also tweeted that he spoke to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who contracted COVID-19 earlier this year and spent time in the intensive care unit.
“Very thankful for his friendship and support as I recovered from the China Virus,” Trump tweeted, using a term that experts say has led to an increase in discrimination against Asian Americans. “I am looking forward to working with him for many years to come, a great guy!”