President Trump was put on an experimental antibody drug and taken by helicopter to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Friday evening after testing positive for COVID-19 less than 24 hours earlier.
The 74-year-old president, wearing a dark blue face mask, suit and tie, emerged from the White House for the first time since announcing his diagnosis in the small hours Friday to board Marine One for a quick trip to the military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
First Lady Melania Trump, who has also contracted the virus, did not join her husband.
In a brief video posted to Twitter after he arrived at Walter Reed, Trump suggested he headed to the hospital out an abundance of caution.
“I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said. “The first lady is doing very well, so thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget. Thank you.”
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump will continue working out of the hospital’s presidential suite. She said he will remain at the hospital “for the next few days” at the recommendation of his doctors.
“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day,” McEnany said in a statement.
According to reports, Trump has a fever, nasal congestion and a cough.
Trump’s transfer to Walter Reed comes less than 24 hours after revealing in a tweet that both he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, with the Nov. 3 election looming just a month away.
Trump’s diagnosis has put the presidency in flux at a time when the nation reels from widespread economic devastation, racial unrest, mass unemployment and disease.
Before the Walter Reed announcement, Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s personal White House physician, said in a letter that the president had been administered an 8-gram dose of an experimental “polyclonal antibody cocktail” drug from pharmaceutical manufacturer Regeneron.
The drug is still undergoing trials, but has received emergency approval from federal regulators to use on COVID-19 patients.
The drug is meant to reduce the time needed to ease COVID-19 symptoms in hopes of preventing the need for hospitalization, according to the manufacturer.
Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious disease physician at Stanford University hospital, said he’s been administering the Regeneron drug to patients in his care and that he wasn’t surprised that the president’s doctors are giving it to him since they’re likely taking every precaution they can.
“It’s not unreasonable to treat the president with this compound,” said Winslow, who was once under consideration by Trump to be appointed to a senior public health post at the Defense Department.
Late Friday, the White House said Trump is also being dosed with Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug that researchers have found shortens patients recovery time from COVID-19.
In addition to the antibody cocktail, Trump’s taking zinc, vitamin D and aspirin, according to Conley. He’s also taking famotidine, a histamine blocker, and melatonin, a hormone that’s typically used to induce sleep.
As of Friday night, Trump was not taking supplemental oxygen, the White House said.