3rd LD Writethru: Trump says to leave hospital on Monday evening amid COVID-19 treatment

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-06 04:43:42|Editor: huaxia

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will leave hospital in the evening amid COVID-19 treatment.

In a tweet, Trump, who is still recovering from the highly contagious virus, said he will be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland at 6:30 p.m. ET (2230 GMT).

"Feeling really good ... I feel better than I did 20 years ago," the president wrote, while seeking to downplay the impact of the disease that has infected more than 7.4 million people and killed 210,000 in the United States.

"Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life," he declared.

White House physician Sean Conley told reporters later that Trump "has continued to improve" over the past 24 hours and "met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria" but also acknowledged that the president "may not be entirely out of the woods yet."

"Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all his evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status support his return home where he'll be surrounded by world class medical care 24/7," the doctor said.

Trump was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on Oct. 1 and flown to Walter Reed a day later, where he is using Remdesivir, a COVID-19 drug made by the U.S. biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, as a treatment.

"Our plan is to give him the fourth treatment 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," Brian Garibaldi, a member of Trump's medical team and lung specialist, disclosed on Monday.

Trump also received a dose of an experimental antibody cocktail being developed by U.S. drug maker Regeneron and was given a dose of dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid typically used by some severely ill COVID-19 patients.

His return to the White House would come hours after his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany revealed that she has tested positive for COVID-19. More than a dozen individuals who have been on the White House grounds or in contact with the president have also contracted the disease.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump, also stricken by the disease, tweeted on Monday morning that she is "feeling good & will continue to rest at home."

It is not yet clear when and how the Trumps were infected by the novel coronavirus.

Before the diagnosis, Trump had a packed schedule, including hosting a ceremony to introduce a Supreme Court nominee at the White House Rose Garden, traveling to Cleveland, Ohio for the first 2020 presidential debate, addressing a rally in Duluth, Minnesota, and attending a fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted on Monday that contact tracing efforts are underway following the Trump fundraiser.

"We know it can take up to a week - even longer - for an infected person to test positive, so even a negative test taken within this window should not override the need to self-quarantine for a FULL 14 days," Murphy warned. Enditem