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Trump returns to White House, removes mask for photo-op

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: October 06, 2020 08:58 IST
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United States President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday night after spending four days at a military hospital where he was treated for coronavirus.

IMAGE: A White House staff member holds the door for US President Donald Trump as he exits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a fourth day of treatment for the coronavirus disease to return to the White House. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Trump, 74, looked healthy.

Showing his fitness, Trump in an unusual decision climbed up the South Portico stairs, instead of the elevators, to go to his residence. He waved at reporters.

The US president, after taking off his mask, stood up in the portico facing South Lawns for a few minutes and saluted Marine One.

 

In a mass email to his supporters after his arrival at the White House, Trump asked them not to be afraid of COVID-19.

"I'm telling you: Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it dominate your life! This is the greatest country in the world and under the Trump Administration, we have developed some really great drugs and knowledge. WE WILL BEAT THIS, TOGETHER!" he said.

"The love and support from Americans from all over the world has been incredible and is something I'll never forget. When I saw many great Patriots outside of the hospital supporting me, I knew I had to drive by and thank them!" Trump added.

IMAGE: The US president gives a thumbs up towards reporters and photographers as he departs Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a fourth day of treatment for the coronavirus disease to return to the White House. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Earlier, he was discharged from the Walter Reed National Medical Center after doctors treating him found that he was fit enough to go back home.

"Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!! The Fake News only shows the Fake Polls," Trump said in a tweet moments before leaving Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, a Maryland suburb of Washington DC.

His former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the US president was strong and upbeat.

"He's a fighter and will not quit battling this virus or surrender to the liberal mob and forces out to destroy our country," Sanders said in a tweet.

Before boarding Marine One at Walter Reed, Trump told reporters that he was feeling good.

IMAGE: Trump salutes from atop the Truman Balcony after the president returned to the White House in Washington. Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters

White House physician Dr Sean Conley told reporters at the Walter Reed National Military Center, Trump has exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria and has received another dose of remdesivir drug in his treatment of COVID19.

"Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve. He's met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria. He has received another dose of remdesivir you're here today, and then we plan to get him home," he said.

"It's been more than 72 hours since his last fever. Oxygen levels, including ambulatory saturations and his work of breathing or all normal though. He may not entirely be out of the woods, yet the team and I agree that all our evaluations and most importantly, his clinical status support the president's safe return home, where he'll be surrounded by world-class medical care 24 seven," Dr Conley said.

IMAGE: Trump pulls off his protective face mask as he poses atop the Truman Balcony of the White House after returning from being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease treatment, in Washington. Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters

Dr Sean Dooley, a pulmonary critical care physician, told reporters that the president continues to do very well.

"His vital signs this morning, temperature was 98.1, his blood pressure 134 and 78 and respiratory rate 17 per minute. His heart rate was 68 beats per minute and his last Oxo hemoglobin saturation was 97 per cent on room air," he said.

He currently does not endorse any respiratory complaints, the physician said.

IMAGE: US President Donald Trump climbs stairs after the president underwent a fourth day of treatment for the coronavirus disease as he returns to the White House in Washington. Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters

According to Dr Brian Garibaldi, director of Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, on Sunday evening, the US president received his third dose of remdesivir and he tolerated that infusion without difficulty.

His kidney and liver function continued to be normal, he said.

"Our plan is to give the fourth dose of remdesivir this evening, before he goes back to the White House, and we've made arrangements to deliver the fifth and final dose of his treatment course at the White House tomorrow evening," Garibaldi added.

"He continues on dexamethazone and again. The plan for today is to continue to be up and out of bed, eat, and drink and work as he is able," he said.

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Lalit K Jha
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