22 de octubre de 2020
English - News

Trump leaves hospital for White House, but doctor says he's not out of danger

By Susana Samhan

Bethesda, Maryland, Oct 5 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday afternoon after being treated there for Covid-19 since last Friday.

Trump walked out of the hospital wearing a white facemask and a suit and got into his armored SUV to be taken to Marine One, the presidential helicopter, which was waiting to ferry him back to the White House.

He said merely "Thank you very much, everybody," but did not stop to answer reporters' shouted questions.

After the short helicopter trip from the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital back to the White House lawn, the president disembarked and climbed a staircase to a second-floor balcony festooned with US flags and took off his facemask when he reached the top. There, he posed for photos and saluted Marine One as it took to the air again.

Earlier in the day, Trump had announced on Twitter that he would be leaving the hospital despite the fact that his personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, had acknowledged that the president "is not out of the woods yet" from Covid-19.

"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life," the president tweeted regarding the disease that has infected more than seven million people in the US and killed more than 210,000.

Trump also took advantage of his Twitter message to claim responsibility for the more effective treatment for Covid-19 these days, compared to the situation when the pandemic first hit, tweeting: "We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

The two drugs that Trump received while at Walter Reed to battle the disease - remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone - were in existence and in use long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Trump has been tweeting quite a bit on Monday, calling on people to vote in the Nov. 3 general election, sharing campaign news and comments on TV programs, along with criticizing the media.

"It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President. If I didn't do it, Media would say RUDE!!!" said the president in one of his Twitter messages.

Shortly after Trump made his announcement, members of his medical team said at a press conference outside the hospital that the president is not out of danger from Covid-19.

"Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, his team and I agree that all our evaluations - and most importantly his clinical status - support the president's safe return home," said Trump's chief physician, Dr. Sean Conley, who told reporters that the president would be "surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7."

"He spent much of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty," Conley said in his statement.

"Over the past 24 hours ... he's met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria," Conley told reporters, adding that it had been more than 72 hours since Trump last ran a fever and that his oxygen levels were normal.

He added that "If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, then we will take this deep sigh of relief."

At the entrance to Walter Reed Hospital on Monday several dozen Trump supporters gathered wearing T-shirts and carrying signs saying "Make America Great Again," waving at passing cars occasionally chanting "Four more years."

The group was comprised of many different types of people and included residents of other parts of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC of a wide variety of ages, even including several Chinese and Chinese-Americans who expressed their opposition to the Beijing government.

Many of the Trump supporters denounced what the president has called the "China virus" and one African American man from North Carolina held a yellow sign saying "Jesus saves."

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases continue to increase among White House personnel, with press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announcing on Monday that she had tested positive, along with two of her assistants, bringing to at least 13 the number of people around the president who have become infected in recent days.

"After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms," McEnany wrote on Twitter a day after she had informally briefed reporters.

"As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time," she wrote. "With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely."


Contenido relacionado

White House optimistic that Trump will be released from hospital on Monday

Washington, Oct 5 (efe-epa).- White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Monday morning that administration officials are "still optimistic" that President Donald Trump could be released later in the day from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he has been treated since Friday afternoon after testing positive for the coronavirus.

"Spoke to the President this morning. He continued to improve over night and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule," Meadows said in a statement to Fox News.

"He will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress," Meadows added. "We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today."

However, later in another interview on "Fox & Friends," Meadows said that the "determination has not been made yet" to release the president from the hospital, adding that a final decision "won't be made until later" on Monday.

"The doctors will actually have an evaluation some time late morning. And then the president, in consultation with the doctors, will make a decision on whether to discharge him later today," Meadows said.

The chief of staff said that Trump understands what millions of Americans have had to face - and more than seven million US residents have been diagnosed with Covid-19 over the past six months - but he also knows the country needs to keep working on a vaccine for the sometimes deadly disease.

Trump entered Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on the outskirts of Washington, on Friday afternoon after testing positive for the coronavirus and experiencing a drop in his blood oxygenation level, a situation in which doctors at the White House put him on supplemental oxygen.

Since that time, the president has been taking the antiviral medication Remdesivir and steroids to deal with the symptoms, which initially included a high fever, and his medical team says that he has improved, and although he registered a second drop in blood oxygen level he has mostly experienced only slight symptoms of the viral disease that has killed more than 200,000 in the US.

Meadows said that ultimately it will be Trump himself who will make the decision whether or not to leave the hospital.

Trump has tried to project an image of strength during his hospital stay and on Sunday he briefly left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday to make a surprise in-car visit to greet supporters who had gathered outside, a decision that sparked criticism from medical officials, among others.

Trump, wearing a suit and a facemask and with the windows of the armored presidential SUV closed, greeted the people who had gathered outside the hospital where he has been treated for Covid-19 since last Friday, many of them holding signs with Trump's name and messages of support for the president.

Two Secret Service agents, also wearing facemasks, accompanied Trump in his vehicle during his brief sojourn.

The trip was not announced and not even the group of White House reporters who are regularly on hand to report on the president were advised of the visit in advance.

Trump announced his trip outside the hospital complex in a video posted on Twitter shortly after 5 pm, saying: "I also think we're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street. They've been out there for a long time and they've got Trump flags and they love our country."

"It's been a very interesting journey, I learned a lot about COVID," Trump said in his pre-recorded remarks. "I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn't the let's-read-the-book school, and I get it, and I understand it."

James Philips, the physician in charge of residents at Walter Reed, on Twitter harshly criticized Trump's decision to briefly leave the hospital, saying: "Every single person in the (hermetically sealed) vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity."

Philips is also the chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Emergency Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people sick with Covid-19 or who have recently come in contact with an infected person should refrain from all transportation options "that may put them in close contact with others."

At least a dozen people around Trump have been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the past few days, including first lady Melania Trump, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former advisor Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign director Bill Stepien, the head of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, and three GOP senators.

The most probable scenario is that all these people - and perhaps others who have not yet been diagnosed with the highly communicable disease - were infected at a Sept. 26 event in the White House garden to present Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a ceremony attended by at least seven of those who have recently been diagnosed with Covid-19.



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