News World US Donald Trump releases hospital video and insists he’s ‘doing well’
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Donald Trump releases hospital video and insists he’s ‘doing well’

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A pale but upbeat President Donald Trump says he is doing well in his battle against COVID-19, thanking doctors and “miracle” medical treatments he said had been sent “from God”.

Wearing an open-neck white shirt and blue jacket, Mr Trump sat with hands clasped behind a desk in an impromptu studio set up with the US and Presidential flags at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was airlifted on Friday.

Mr Trump appeared relaxed as he insisted he was making good progress and thanked wellwishers while expressing the hope that First Lady Melania’s younger age would make her fight against the coronavirus less of a challenge.

Donald Trump’s doctor says the President is “doing very well” as he remains under close watch in hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

However the White House has offered a more concerning assessment, telling reporters the next 48 hours “will be critical”.

Mr Trump’s tweeted video appears an attempt to quieten speculation that his condition has been rapidly deteroriating.

The White House press corps had been widely reporting comments, initially attributed to an an anonymous source who warned some of the president’s symptoms have given cause for concern.

That source has since been named as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

“The President’s vitals over last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” Mr Meadows said.

“We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Mr Trump was ferried  to the  Walter Reed Center near Washington DC on Friday (local time) just hours after his diagnosis, walking unaided to the waiting helicopter.

Donald Trump was transferred from the White House to a military hospital as a precaution. Photo: AAP

Outside the hospital, White House doctor Sean Conley gave an upbeat briefing, saying that Mr Trump was fever-free and having no trouble breathing.

“The first week of COVID and, in particular, the days seven to 10 are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness,” Dr Conley said at a news briefing.

“At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the President has made,”

“Thursday he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion, fatigue, all of which are resolving and improving.”

Dr Sean Conley, the president’s physician, and a team of doctors provide an update outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Photo: AAP

At the briefing, Dr Conley repeatedly refused to say whether the President ever needed supplemental oxygen, and declined to discuss exactly when he fell ill.

“Thursday no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” Dr Conley said.

But according to a source, Mr Trump was administered oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was transported to the military hospital.

Dr Conley also revealed Mr Trump began exhibiting “clinical indications” of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, earlier than previously known.

When asked why Mr Trump was transferred to Walter Reed, Dr Conley replied: “Because he’s the President of the United States.”

The White House has said Mr Trump, 74, will run the country from a special suite at the hospital for the next few days as a precautionary measure.

In a tweet Mr Trump announced to his followers he was “feeling well” and praised the doctors and nurses fighting the coronavirus.

Dr Conley said Mr Trump had received a first dose of a five-day course of Remdesivir, an intravenous antiviral drug sold by Gilead Sciences that has been shown to shorten hospital stays.

He is also taking an experimental treatment, Regeneron’s REGN-COV2, one of several experimental COVID-19 drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, as well as zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin, Conley has said.

The president is considered at high risk because of his age and weight.  While he has remained in apparent good health during his time in office he is not known to exercise regularly or to follow a healthy diet.

A number of other prominent Republicans also tested positive on Friday, including former White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Republican Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis.

Ms Conway attended the Rose Garden announcement last weekend where Mr Trump announced his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

American media are reporting the event may have been a super spreader, resulting in an emerging cluster of White House infections.

Among the attendees, Republican senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, the president of the University of Notre Dame, as well as Mr Trump himself tested positive on Friday for the coronavirus.

-with AAP