President Trump was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House on Monday, following three days of treatment for the coronavirus.
Trump walked out the facility’s front door and gave a thumbs up as he departed Bethesda, Maryland, the same way as he arrived, aboard the Marine One helicopter.
“Thank you very much everybody,” Trump said toward reporters before taking a short SUV ride from the hospital door to the helicopter, which flew back to the White House South Lawn.
Trump’s supporters cheered outside the hospital as the helicopter lifted off.
Back at the White House, Trump climbed the stairs of the White House from the lawn and stood atop of the balcony. He faced the helicopter and took off his mask, putting it in his pocket before saluting and giving a double thumbs-up toward cameras in the distance.
“He’s back,” Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, told reporters at a press conference hours earlier outside the hospital.
Conley said Trump, 74, was “back to his old self” but “may not be entirely out of the woods” while still experiencing the virus that infected 7.4 million Americans and killed 210,000 since March.
Trump received experimental “polyclonal antibodies” and oxygen at the White House on Friday. At the hospital, he received doses of the antiviral drug remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone.
Conley would not tell reporters the results of Trump’s lung scans, but said ” he has not been on any fever reducing medications for over 72 hours.” Conley said Trump’s vital signs were great and he had no more respiratory complaints.
Trump took a break from his presidential hospital suite Sunday for drive-by visit to supporters rallying near the hospital and broke the news he was going home in a tweet where he declared he was “feeling really good.”
“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!” he told his 86 million followers. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
The president’s physicians defended the decision to release him after just three nights in the hospital, saying that he was returning to world class medical care at the White House.
“If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief,” Conley said. “There’s nothing that’s being done upstairs here that we can’t safely conduct down there.”
First lady Melania Trump, who also became infected, stayed behind at the White House where she is quarantining in the executive residence.
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