President Donald Trump to be hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center

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Exiting the White House residence at 6:16 p.m. ET for his first public appearance since announcing 16 hours earlier that he had tested positive for coronavirus, Trump walked on his own to his waiting helicopter and showed no major outward signs of illness.

Dressed in a navy suit, blue silk tie and dark mask, Trump waved to the media and raised his thumb, but didn’t stop to speak. Also masked Chief of Staff Mark Meadows followed him aboard.

Trump landed at the hospital a short time later, greeting his military aides before getting into his limo for the brief ride to the main hospital building. His hand could be seen waving as he walked past the assembled media.

After his arrival, the president posted an 18-second video on his Twitter account, seeking to reassure the American people that he is “very well” after his coronavirus diagnosis.

“I want to thank everyone for the amazing support. I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I am doing very well. We will make sure that things go well. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget him. Thank you, ”he said.His optimistic attitude did not reflect the inherent gravity of the situation. It remains extremely rare for a president to spend the night in the hospital, given the vast medical facilities available at the White House.

Trump himself was reportedly scared after announcing that he tested positive early on Friday and grew increasingly alarmed by his diagnosis as he developed symptoms like a fever overnight, according to a person familiar with his reaction.

A Trump adviser said there were reasons to be concerned about the president’s health.

“It’s serious,” the adviser said. The adviser then described Trump as being very tired, very tired and having trouble breathing.

A source familiar with the situation said White House officials were seriously concerned about Trump’s health, and a senior administration official told CNN that Trump was “OK at the moment, but we’re concerned that things can change quickly ”.

A third source said the president’s condition was worse than that of first lady Melania Trump.

Yet there was no transfer of power to Vice President Mike Pence, White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said. “The president is in charge,” she said.

On Friday evening, a White House official stressed that there was no reason for the public to be concerned about Trump’s condition.

The official admitted that Trump was facing some symptoms of the virus and was “tired”. But, according to the official, the president’s condition is not deteriorating. The official said there are plans to keep the public informed about Trump’s health over the next few days.

The president is taking the situation “very seriously”, added the official.

The White House had continued to insist that the president “stays in a good mood, shows mild symptoms and has worked all day” in the hours leading up to his trip to Walter Reed.

“Out of caution and on the recommendation of his doctor and medical experts, the president will be working from Walter Reed’s presidential offices for the next few days,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. “President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both himself and the First Lady. ”

An administration official said Pence worked from his residence at the Naval Observatory and remained in good health.

Take a Regeneron antibody cocktail

Trump has had a fever since Friday morning, a person familiar with the matter said, although an official said the fever remained in line with the White House’s description of “mild symptoms.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Trump’s doctor wrote in a note that he “remains tired but in a good mood.”

“It is evaluated by a team of experts, and together we will make recommendations to the President and the First Lady as to the next best steps,” wrote Navy Commander Dr Sean Conley.

He said Trump was given a cocktail of Regeneron polyclonal antibodies and was taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and an aspirin daily.

The decision to give Trump a cocktail of experimental monoclonal antibodies illustrates how concerned the White House can be about his diagnosis of Covid-19, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst and professor at CNN told CNN on Friday. George Washington University.

“The great news is he got an investigational drug. He got a drug not approved by the FDA, ”said Reiner, who treated former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The memo also states that Melania Trump is staying well with only a mild cough and headache, and that the rest of the First Family are doing well and tested negative.

The president revealed early in the morning that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

The development threw the country’s leaders into turmoil and lent new uncertainty to the ongoing presidential race.

Moments before news broke that Trump was heading to Walter Reed, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he was suspending negative publicity for now.

The Gang of Eight – top Congressional leaders and key lawmakers on House and Senate intelligence committees – were not told about Trump’s health, according to two well-known sources.

The group is generally aware of classified information and national security matters, the sources added.

Two officials from two previous administrations told CNN that the “presidential offices” consisted of a suite of rooms on Walter Reed’s expansive campus, including a living room, conference room and hospital bedroom.

But officials, a Democrat and a Republican, both said the explanation in McEnany’s statement struck them as curious. The offices are not reserved for Presidential use, but the Office Suite is a place presidents can visit while on the medical campus.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Jim Acosta and Vivian Salama contributed to this report.

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