President Trump has “continued to improve” and respond to treatment for COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his doctors said Sunday, and he could return to the White House as early as Monday if he continues to make progress.
“If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course,” said Dr. Brian Garibaldi of Johns Hopkins University, who is consulting the president’s medical treatment.
Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, said the president’s move to Walter Reed on Friday was prompted by Conley’s concern for the “rapid progression” of his symptoms from Thursday night into Friday morning, with a high fever and low oxygen levels. Conley said Mr. Trump was given supplemental oxygen on Friday before he was brought to the medical center.
In a statement late Saturday, Conley said the president was “not yet out of the woods” but that the medical team was “cautiously optimistic.”
Dr. Sean Dooley, another member of the president’s medical team, said Sunday that Mr. Trump is no longer complaining of shortness of breath and is “walking around.” The president said in a four-minute Twitter video on Saturday night that he is feeling “much better” and thinks he’ll “be back soon.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Fox News late Saturday that he and Conley had been “very concerned” about Mr. Trump’s health on Friday, as the president’s oxygen was dropping “very rapidly,” but also said he was “very optimistic” and that Mr. Trump was doing “extremely well.”
Several other members of Mr. Trump’s orbit reported positive COVID-19 test results, including Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien, former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was admitted to the hospital Saturday afternoon. Nick Luna, the president’s personal aide, tested positive on Saturday, according to two people familiar with the matter.
White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that a transfer of power from Mr. Trump to Vice President Mike Pence is not “on the table right now” as Mr. Trump continues to receive treatment for COVID-19 at Walter Reed Medical Center.
“That’s not something that’s on the table at this point,” O’Brien said on “Face the Nation” when asked whether there have been discussions about handing the powers of the presidency to the vice president. “We have a great vice president, we have a government that is steady at the tiller.”
O’Brien said Mr. Trump will receive a national security briefing remotely Sunday afternoon and stressed that the government and the president are “doing well.”
“So far the president is in great shape. He’s firmly in command of the government of the country,” he said.