The president was helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland Friday evening for specialist treatment
Donald Trump grew ‘spooked’ by his coronavirus diagnosis as he began struggling to breathe, insiders said, amid warnings the president’s condition is ‘serious.’ The President of the United States fears for his own health were revealed as he was helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland Friday evening.
Trump, who is set to spend ‘a few days’ at the military hospital, reportedly grew increasingly alarmed as his symptoms worsened over the course of Friday, a source told CNN.
The president is said to have suffered nasal congestion that left him struggling to breathe, a fever and severe fatigue. An aide said that while Trump appears to be in good health at the minute, White House staff are keenly aware that coronavirus patients can take a sudden and serious turn for the worse.
Trump remains in charge of the United States, although the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution may be used to transfer power to Mike Pence if he becomes incapacitated. Pence tested negative for Covid earlier on Friday.
Trump walked himself out to his Marine One helicopter on Friday evening – and gave a small wave for the camera – after sharing a video to Twitter insisting that he would be fine. Trump said: ‘I want to thank everybody 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 that things work out.
The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it – thank you.’ The president was admitted to hospital around 14 hours after he revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus. Trump, who wore a navy mask for Friday’s helicopter flight, later disembarked the chopper solo, while holding onto its handrail.
His diagnosis marks a sudden and shocking development in an election campaign already fraught with drama ahead of the November 3 election, with voting already underway via mail-in ballots. On Friday evening, Fox News host Chris Wallace – who hosted Tuesday’s presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden – revealed the president and his party turned up too late to get pre-broadcast Covid tests.
Trump was allowed to take to the stage by making use of the event’s honor system. The president receives regular coronavirus tests, and is a self-confessed germaphobe, with a Supreme Court nomination event held at the White House last Saturday believed to be a possible source for the spread.
Trump leaves the White House to travel to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday afternoon (Picture: EPA)
Marine One flies out of the White House garden and past the Washington Monument to Walter Reed Medical Center with President Trump on board (Picture: AP)
Trump was seen disembarking at Walter Reed shortly afterwards. Aides say he plans to stay at the military hospital for several days (Picture: EPA)
The president was given an experimental antibody treatment called Regeneron Friday evening, in a bid to protect his immune system from the worst effects of Covid-19, which has so-far infected 7.2million Americans, and killed over 107,000.
Trump’s election rival Joe Biden tested negative for coronavirus on Friday morning. The president is feared to have been infected at a White House garden party last Saturday which saw him unveil his new Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett. Five high profile attendees – Trump, his wife Melania, Trump’s aide Hope Hicks, as well as Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis have all since tested positive for coronavirus.
Attendees were filmed gathered closely in the garden, and were snapped hugging and kissing one another without wearing face masks. Trump – who is 74 years-old and obese – is in the ‘at risk’ category for serious complications from coronavirus.
His aides say he will continue to work from special presidential offices at Walter Reed Medical Center, with the US presidential election just 32 days off. Melania Trump has mild symptoms of Covid, including a headache and fatigue, and has not required hospital treatment.
Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are among those who have sent Trump their best wishes, with election rival Joe Biden also wishing the president a speedy recovery. Voting by mail has already begun for the November 3 presidential election. Trump’s name could still end up being on the presidential ballot even if he is incapacitated in the coming weeks, sparking meetings in the White House about how to deal with the unprecedented crisis.