White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the administration is “optimistic” President Trump will be able to return to the White House on Monday after spending several days at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center treating the coronavirus, saying the Trump’s health has improved overnight and the president is ready to return “to a normal work schedule.”
“I spoke to the president this morning,” Meadows said. “He has continued to improve overnight and is ready to return to a normal work schedule.” He added that the president “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.”
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Meadows added, “We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today, with his medical professionals making that decision later today.”
Meadows, in an interview on “Fox & Friends”, said the White House would learn of the president’s potential release by “soon” Monday afternoon.
Meadows said, however, that the president “really, not only understands what millions of Americans went through when they came into contact with this disease, but most of all that we need to keep working on therapy.”
“His treatment was remarkable,” Meadows said. “His strength was incredible.”
The president has so far received doses of Remdesivir, an FDA-approved antiviral drug to help treat the coronavirus.
“If you look at the therapies I’m taking right now, some of them and others that are coming out soon that look like, frankly, they’re miracles,” Trump said in a video posted on his Twitter Saturday night.
“I don’t know the next few days period, I guess – this is the real test, so we’ll see what happened in the next couple of days,” he added.
Meadows’ comments came as the president tried to project an image of strength during his time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while battling COVID-19. The president, over the past few days, has faced health problems during his battle with the novel coronavirus, including two cases where his blood oxygen level suddenly dropped. Doctors treated the President with a dose of steroid dexamethasone in response.
A normal blood oxygen reading is between 95 and 100. Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician who served as the president’s personal physician, said Trump had a “high fever” and an oxygen level. in blood less than 94% on Friday and during “another episode” on Saturday.
However, members of the president’s medical team said they were encouraged by his energy and test results, and signaled that he may be ready to be discharged from Walter Reed on Monday.
The president took a short trip out of the hospital on Sunday to greet supporters who had gathered outside, but was criticized for the brief visit to the march, with some saying he endangered the health of members of the US secret services for a short photo.
In response, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement that “appropriate precautions have been taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those who support him, including PPE.”
He added: “The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”
But Meadows dismissed those critics on Monday, saying “how do they think it got here?”
“We came here with Marine One, the US intelligence agent who is with him was with him, yet we took extra precautions with PPE and others to make sure they were protected,” Meadows said. “A lot of people are trying to make a big deal when I know that myself and the intelligence details are with him every day and I want him to get back to the White House as quickly as possible.”
Meadows went on to explain that he has been working with Walter Reed’s chairman for the past “72 hours” and said he “won’t come in a fireproof suit”.
“I wear a suit, I go with a mask and we also have eye protection,” Meadows explained. “We are close to him, we continue to engage in his room and also in the workplace”.
Meadows noted that his own family “cares” but said “this is a message to our military men and women.”
“They didn’t shoot me bullets and I could put myself at risk from this virus,” Meadows explained. “But the president will defeat this virus. I’m not putting myself in danger with bullets.”
He added: “This is an enemy that we will defeat and do it together, but these are the risks associated with this work.”
Meanwhile, as White House staff await the president’s return, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Sunday that the White House will not release the names or exact number of staff members who have been infected with the novel coronavirus – marching. back on a previous comment from another spokesperson. .
McEnany said due to privacy concerns the White House will not release the number of employees who have COVID-19 despite previous assurances from Alyssa Farah – the White House director of strategic communications – that the numbers may come up.
“There are privacy concerns,” McEnany said. “We take the safeguarding of staff information here in the White House seriously.”
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McEnany also didn’t comment on whether President Trump – who announced early Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had contracted the virus – had received a coronavirus test ahead of last week’s presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio or before a fundraiser at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey on Thursday.
“I’m not going to give you a detailed timestamped read every time it’s tested,” he said. “He is tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster.”
Trump’s senior adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning.
The results came not long before the president was ready to take off in Marine One to raise funds for his golf club.
Hicks’ diagnosis claimed Trump had been in close proximity to someone infected with the virus. That’s when you should quarantine, according to public health guidelines. But Trump went on with the journey. Not only that, but others who had also been around Hicks were not immediately told of his positive test.
Andrew O’Reilly and Fox News’ The Associated Press contributed to this report.