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'I think I'm doing well,' Trump transported to Walter Reed Hospital after COVID-19 diagnosis

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 19:21:57-04

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was transported to Walter Reed Hospital Friday afternoon after being diagnosed with the coronavirus on Friday. He was transported on Marine One from the White House.

At 6:16 p.m. ET, Trump emerged and left the White House on his own power.

Despite reports from administration officials that he was only experiencing "mild" symptoms of COVID-19 and in good spirits, the call was made as a precautionary measure to move him to the hospital.

In a video posted to Twitter before his departure, the president offered an update on his condition.

"I think I'm doing very well, but we're going to make sure things work out" said the president. "The First Lady is doing very well, so thank you very much. I appreciate it and I will never forget it."

Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, confirmed Friday afternoon that the president is being treated with an Regeneron antibody cocktail. Conley added that Trump is "fatigued."

“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. "Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady.”

According to Fox News, The New York Times and NBC News, Vice President Mike Pence filled in for Trump on the call, which was to discuss COVID-19 support for vulnerable seniors.

It's unclear if it was his illness that prevented him from participating in the call.

The call was the only public event on Trump's daily schedule. Several events, including a rally in Florida, following Trump's announcement that he had contracted the virus.

In addition, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said Friday that all "previously announced campaign events involving the President's participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed."

Stepien added that all other campaign events are being considered on a "case-by-case basis" and that more information on those events would be coming in the days ahead.

The New York Times confirmed the AP's reporting on Friday that Trump was only experiencing "mild" symptoms. The Times reported that one White House official described Trump's symptoms as "cold-like." Another White House official told the Times that Trump seemed "lethargic" while at a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Thursday.

In a gaggle with reporters on Friday morning, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that the president was in "good spirits" and was feeling energetic following his diagnosis.

Later, in a brief meeting with reporters, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the president was in "good spirits," and that White House staff members had to "slow him down" as he continued to work hard.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said Trump was in "good spirits" following a phone call with the president on Friday.

Dr. Conley confirmed that the first lady has mild symptoms, including a cough and headache.

The reports come as several cabinet members, including Vice President Mike Pence, tested negative for the virus on Friday morning. Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reported Friday that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who shared a debate stage with Trump on Tuesday, tested negative for COVID-19 along with his wife Jill. The nominee will reportedly pull all his negative ads and go all positive.

Biden also sent a message supporting the president via Tweet on Friday afternoon.

It's unclear how Trump contracted the virus, but several White House officials and Republican lawmakers have all tested positive in recent days. Adviser Hope Hicks was first confirmed to have contracted the virus on Thursday evening.

McEnany confirmed that the White House learned of Hicks' positive test on Thursday afternoon prior to Trump leaving the White House for a fundraising event in New Jersey. McEnany said White House operations determined it was safe for Trump to travel to the event because it was outdoors and those in attendance were socially distanced.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee and President of the University of Notre Dame, who was at the White House on Saturday for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, have also contracted the virus. Both were photographed maskless at that event.

Trump's positive test throws another wrench into an already-chaotic election cycle. The president was forced to cancel several campaign events on Friday, and a potential quarantine could keep him off the trail for several weeks. The CDC says that for those with confirmed coronavirus cases, isolation is necessary for 10 to 20 days.

As of Friday, there were 32 days remaining ahead of the 2020 election on Nov. 3.