US President Donald Trump said in a video on Saturday evening that he’s starting to feel better, after a day of contradictory information about his health since being moved to hospital following his COVID-19 diagnosis.
Trump thanked healthcare workers for attending to him and said the next few days will be the “real test” for him.
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now. They’re working hard to get me all the way back,” he said, sitting behind an office desk.
Earlier on Saturday, the president’s doctors painted an upbeat picture of his health, but that assessment was immediately contradicted by his Chief of Staff as well as other sources.
Speaking at a news conference at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president has been fever-free for 24 hours and that he was already talking about returning to the White House. “He’s in exceptionally good spirits,” said another doctor, Sean Dooley.
Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care.”
Dr Conley’s briefing also raised questions about whether the president needed supplemental oxygen. While Conley said Trump is not currently on oxygen, he refused to say whether he had ever been on oxygen, despite repeated questioning.
“Thursday no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” he said.
But a source close to the White House said Trump has received supplemental oxygen since his illness began.
President Trump did not address the conflicting reports about his condition in the video he tweeted Saturday evening, but he did acknowledge that the days ahead would be crucial.
“I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good,” he said. “You don’t know over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test. So, we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.”
He is expected to remain at the hospital for a few days and has so far been treated with an experimental drug cocktail injection and antiviral medication remdesivir.
Other people to have tested positive around Trump include close aide Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway. On Saturday, campaign adviser and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie became the latest to report a positive result.
President Trump’s covid-19 diagnosis has disrupted his election campaign, with the presidential elections just a few weeks away on November 3rd.