Trump returns to Oval Office, breaking isolation after coronavirus hospitalization


The White House said it was aware of an impending hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and stimulus talks, although Trump himself dropped talks on additional aid a day earlier.

Dissatisfied with the temporary office space erected for him in the White House residence, where he was isolating himself after his three-day return to hospital, Trump had been eager to return to the Oval Office since Tuesday.

In a new memo released Wednesday at noon, Trump’s doctor relayed the president by saying, “I feel great!” And reported that he had no symptoms for 24 hours. But the memo again declined to provide critical information such as the date of Trump’s last negative test, what his lung tests show, and whether he is still on the steroid dexamethasone or any other medication that might mask his symptoms.

Few of the collaborators seemed to think Trump would last much longer by isolating himself in his private quarters.

“Trump’s schedule is fluid right now, we are reviewing his prognosis,” Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters at the White House. “If he decides to go to the Oval, we have security protocols there. “Indeed, preparations had been made for Trump’s eventual return to the Oval Office, including the positioning of a so-called “isolation cart” filled with the yellow medical gowns, breathing masks and plastic glasses needed for visitors right outside the office doors near where Trump’s assistants sit.

Trump made phone calls and spoke with assistants primarily from his third-floor quarters on Tuesday, but recorded video of the downstairs where offices were set up for him next to the medical suite. The video had not been released Wednesday morning and the White House had not distributed photos of the president after his return from Walter Reed Hospital.

Trump’s intention to return to his office had convinced some senior officials that he had already done so.

“The President did show up in the Oval Office yesterday with extra precautions for his Covid-19,” Kudlow said Wednesday in an interview on CNBC. “He’s doing a lot better, he’s very strong. So there was limited activity. ”

Kudlow’s account was entirely different from that of Meadows, who was speaking simultaneously in the White House. The White House insisted that Kudlow had misspoken and that Trump was staying in the White House residence.

Everyone except key Trump aides are generally unaware of his state of health beyond what his doctor has made public. While he seemed out of breath at times on Monday night, people said he looked a bit better on Tuesday, although few saw him in person.

In his Wednesday memo, White House doctor Dr Sean Conley wrote that Trump “had not needed or received supplemental oxygen since the initial hospitalization” and said he was “without fever for more than 4 days, ”but did not say whether Trump was currently on medication that could lower the fever.

Trump’s labs, he said, “have demonstrated detectable levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies from labs collected on Monday. ”

Regeneron, the company that makes the experimental antibody treatment given to Trump on Friday, said the test likely showed evidence of the treatment, not Trump’s own immune response.

Over the weekend, Trump’s doctor said days seven to ten after Trump’s diagnosis could be the most critical, a window that appeared to open on Wednesday. The White House continued to refuse to disclose the last time Trump tested negative for the coronavirus, questioning the broad testing regime they had long referred to as their primary protection against the virus.

It was also unclear what drugs the president continues to take. He was due to receive his last dose of remdesivir on Tuesday night at the White House, but it was not known whether he was staying on a steroid, which some inside the building openly speculated could alter his mood.

Any aide who approaches Trump is required to don protective gear, according to a person familiar with the matter. It gave the White House residence the feeling of a sci-fi movie, one person said, as assistants, staff and Secret Service personnel who need to get close to Trump s dress to protect themselves.

Trump could return to the West Wing as early as Wednesday if he succeeds. He raised the possibility of working from the Oval Office instead of the rooms that were fitted out for him on the lower level of the Executive Mansion, saying he felt ready to return.

If he does, he will find the hallways and offices around him more vacant than when he left. The president’s staff have largely switched to working from home as many have tested positive for the coronavirus.

More than 15 members of Trump’s staff or inner circle have tested positive in recent days, including his wife, senior adviser, press secretary, campaign manager, former adviser, personal assistant, four aides from press, three Republican senators and a member of the military. which directly serves the president.

Stephen Miller, Trump’s immigration adviser and speechwriter, said he tested positive on Tuesday and was going into solitary confinement. He is among the many who helped Trump prepare for last week’s presidential debate who have now tested positive, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

It’s unclear when the White House or the president will release the video remarks he recorded on Tuesday, which were similar in themes to the video Trump recorded on Monday night, a person familiar with the recording told CNN. .

The atmosphere inside the White House was described by one official as “chaotic,” in large part because many people were working remotely and the president was punching.

This story has been updated to reflect news that Trump worked from the Oval Office on Wednesday.


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