Since news broke on Friday that President Trump and his first lady Melania have tested positive for COVID-19, the situation with the president seems to have rapidly developed—or at least the administration’s public acknowledgment of the reality of coronavirus.
On Friday night, the White House announced that Trump has been hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment of his coronavirus symptoms, which include fatigue, reports The Washington Post.
Before heading off to Walter Reed, Trump posted a short video on Twitter in which he says he “thinks he’s doing very well.” Meanwhile, Trump’s doctor at the White House revealed that he started the president on a suite of drugs aimed at treating the deadly coronavirus.
Trump, who is 74, began taking a cocktail of drugs as a “precautionary measure,” according to doctor Sean Conley, who provided only limited information about Trump’s condition or the reasons for his extended stay at Walter Reed.
“In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin,” Conley said in a White House memo Friday afternoon, describing Trump as “fatigued but in good spirits.”
Conley said Trump received an 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail via “infusion without incident.”
While the White House says Trump will stay in hospital and “work” from there for several days, coronavirus continues to reverberate through members of his administration and others in its orbit, putting a pandemic-sized wrench in his campaigning (which for the most part has been taking place in seeming denial of the very real and deadly threat of COVID-19).
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien revealed on Friday that he has also tested positive for coronavirus, reports Politico, and will be working from home while quarantining with “mild flu-like symptoms.”
Stepien was among several members of the campaign who have been traveling in the last week with the President and his advisor Hope Hicks, who first tested positive on Thursday—leading to a flurry of testing within the White House (so far Vice President Pence has tested negative, reports the New York Times).
Former senior Trump administration staffer, Kellyanne Conway, also confirmed on Friday that she has COVID-19 after her daughter first revealed the news on TikTok.
Conway was in attendance at last weekend’s White House Rose Garden ceremony, where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee to a crowd of people who were mostly maskless and doing plenty of closeup hobnobbing:
At least seven attendees of the recent Rose Garden ceremony, including Senate Judiciary Committee member Mike (R-Utah) and an unnamed White House reporter, have since tested positive for COVID-19 says NBC News.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was also in close quarters with Trump at the presidential debates earlier this week (to which Trump arrived too late to be tested for COVID-19 per the established protocol, The Hill reports moderator Chris Wallace saying). However, Biden announced on Friday that both he and his wife have tested negatively for coronavirus, according to CBS News.
The Bidens (as well as former President Barack Obama) have passed their well-wishes on to Trump for his swift recovery, maintaining a “we go high” stance even though the president mocked Biden for his propensity for wearing masks during a deadly pandemic just days earlier.
Speaking of going high: while CBS News reports that Biden is proceeding with his campaign travel as scheduled, his camp has also moved to pull negative ads targeting the president for a “yet-to-be determined time,” in response to Trump’s diagnosis.
The Trump campaign, of course, is still going full-force with its negative ads hitting Biden.
Updated: 10/03/2020, 1:10 p.m. ET: At a press briefing on Saturday about the president’s condition, Dr. Sean Conley said that Trump has made good progress “just 72 hours into the diagnosis,” and is experiencing an improvement in his coughing and nasal congestion symptoms. The official update has raised questions about when exactly Trump tested positive for coronavirus, given that he had been carrying out campaign and fundraising activities for much of the week.
Another attendee at the recent White House Rose Garden ceremony, Chris Christie, announced Saturday afternoon that he has tested positive for COVID-19.