BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Two days after being hospitalized with COVID-19, President Donald Trump declared, “I get it,” in a message to the nation.
His comments came Sunday evening just before he briefly left the hospital to salute cheering supporters from his motorcade.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins tweeted a video of President Trump driving by his supporters, and waving at them.
President Trump, wearing a mask, rides by his supporters outside Walter Reed while in the back of a Suburban. pic.twitter.com/nsCJyYXHdK
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 4, 2020
The president was driven by Secret Service agents in protective gear who could have potentially been exposed to the disease that has swept through the White House in recent days.
Dr. Sean Conley said Sunday that Trump is doing well enough that he might be sent back to the White House on Monday — even as he announced the president was given a steroid drug that’s only recommended for those who are very sick.
Conley also backtracked on whether the president has been given oxygen, confusing experts, and raising questions about his credibility.
His comments added a new layer of confusion to the president's health status even as the doctor sought to clarify contradictory statements from the day before.
Conley also told reporters that Thursday into Friday morning, Trump was doing well and only had mild symptoms, with his oxygen levels in the high 90s.
He added that Trump had a high fever Friday morning and his oxygen saturation dipped below 94%, which prompted the move to Walter Reed.
"Given these developments, I was concerned for progression on this," Conley said. "I recommended that we try some supplemental oxygen to see how he would respond. He was adamant that he did not need it, he was not short of breath. He was tired and had the fever and that was about it. After one minute with only two liters, his levels were back over 95%. He stayed on that for about one hour maybe and was off and gone. Later that day, when the team was at the bedside, the President had been out of bed and moving about with only mild symptoms. Despite this, everyone agreed the best course of action was to move to Walter Reed for evaluation and monitoring."
Dr. Sean Dooley added that Trump's vital signs are stable, he remains on room air, and he is not complaining of shortness of breath.
"He is ambulating himself without limitation or disability," Dooley said. "Our monitoring of his cardiac, liver, and kidney function demonstrates normal findings or improving findings."
Dr. Brian Garibaldi stated that the President completed his second dose of Remdesivir Saturday night and he has not had any side effects. Garibaldi said they are continuing their five-day course in response to "transient low oxygen levels."
"We initiated Dexamethasone and he received his first dose yesterday," Garibaldi said. "Our plan is to continue that for the time being. Today he has been up and around and our plan is to have him eat and drink and be up out of bed as much as possible, and if he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we plan for discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House, where he can continue his treatment course."
Trump's chief of staff said Saturday that the president faces "critical" coming days after a "very concerning" period in his fight against COVID-19 at a military hospital, in contrast to a rosier assessment from Trump's doctors.