Trump ‘not yet out of the woods,’ doctor says, but is ‘cautiously optimistic’

Published October 4, 2020, 8:21 AM

by AFP and Bloomberg

WASHINGTON, United States — US President Donald Trump is “not yet out of the woods” from the coronavirus, his physician said in an update Saturday night, but added that the medical team is “cautiously optimistic.”

“President Trump continues to do well, having made substantial progress since diagnosis,” Sean Conley said in a statement.

US President Trump waves from the back of a car in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

“While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic,” he said.

Trump said in a video released on Twitter Saturday night that he was feeling “much better” in his battle against the coronavirus – but the next few days would be “the real test.”

The 74-year-old assured the public of his progress hours after a source with knowledge of the president’s condition had warned his vital signs were worrying, with the next 48 hours critical.

“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well,” said Trump, who is being treated at Walter Reed military medical center near Washington following his COVID19 diagnosis.

“I feel much better now, we’re working hard to get me all the way back.”

It was unclear whether the undated video, apparently filmed at Walter Reed, had been made before or after the dire warnings about his health, which US media later said came from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

That message contrasted with a more optimistic assessment from his doctors, such as White House physician Sean Conley told reporters Saturday that he is “extremely happy” with the president’s progress and that he was experiencing “mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue” on Thursday but “all of which are resolving and improving.”

But while Conley said that Trump has been fever-free for more than 24 hours, he declined to directly answer several questions about the president’s health, including how high his fever was on Thursday or whether he has ever been on supplemental oxygen to help him breathe.

Sporting a blue blazer and white dress shirt, but more casual than usual without a tie, Trump predicted a quick recovery.

“I think I’ll be back soon and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started,” Trump said.

“We’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said, adding “I guess that’s the real test.”

The president added that he’d had “no choice” other than to work from his hospital suite rather than cocooning himself in his bedroom for his recovery.

Trump has all the capabilities of White House communications in a special suite at the hospital that allows him to carry out his normal duties.

“I was given that alternative: stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the Oval Office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it,” Trump said.

Trump added that this would have involved seeing no one in person, which was not his approach to the presidency. He also thanked global heads of state “for their condolences… they know what we’re going through.”

Aide positive for COVID-19

White House aide Nick Luna, who serves as a personal attendant to President Trump, has tested positive for coronavirus infection, according to people familiar with the matter.

Luna’s diagnosis emerged a little more than 24 hours after Trump entered the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment of Covid19 following his own infection.

Known as one of Trump’s so-called body men, Luna is the latest member of Trump’s inner circle of White House personnel to contract coronavirus.

Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest advisers, fell ill on Wednesday while traveling with Trump to Minnesota.

Luna, who runs Oval Office operations for the White House, accompanied Trump on his trip to Cleveland for the presidential debate on Tuesday and was also aboard Air Force One on the Minnesota trip when Hicks first began experiencing symptoms.