WASHINGTON (WFLA/AP) – President Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center on Marine One Friday evening after testing positive for coronavirus.
Trump departed the White House just after 6 p.m. He walked out of the White House wearing a mask and gave reporters a thumbs up before boarding the helicopter.
The president landed at Walter Reed around 6:30. Shortly after he landed, a video message was posted to the president’s official @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. It was his first tweet since announcing he and the first lady had tested positive.
“I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure things work out,” the president said in his video. “The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it.”
The White House released a statement saying the president’s visit is precautionary and that Trump will work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties, for the next few days.
News of Trump being taken to Walter Reed came shortly after President Trump’s physician provided an update on Trump and the first lady’s COVID-19 diagnosis, saying the president was showing mild symptoms and both he and the first lady were “well at this time.”
Earlier Friday, the White House said Trump had been injected with an experimental antibody cocktail by the White House physician. Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs. They attach to a virus and help it be eliminated, but it can take weeks for them to form. The drugs are purified versions of ones that seemed to work best in lab and animal tests.
Trump is receiving a two-antibody combo drug that’s currently in late-stage studies from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company previously developed a successful treatment for Ebola using a similar approach.
It’s given as a one-time treatment through an IV.
Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the drug was being given “as a precautionary measure,” and that Trump also was taking zinc, vitamin D, an antacid called famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. None of those have been proven to be effective against COVID-19.
Trump apparently is not receiving hydroxychloroquine, a drug he widely promoted that has been shown in many studies to be ineffective for preventing or treating COVID-19.
According to the White House, First Lady Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and a headache.
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