Trump in Twitter video: "It's been a very interesting journey"
From CNN’s Allie Malloy
President Trump also announced in a new video that he is getting “great reports” from his doctors and said it’s “been a very interesting journey” since getting Covid-19.
“So it’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about Covid,” Trump said in the video released on his Twitter page.
“I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the let’s read the book school and I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing. I’m gonna be letting you know about it. In the meantime, we love the USA and we love what’s happening," he said.
Trump said while in the hospital he was also able to meet “some of the soldiers and great responders.” He didn’t explain further on those meetings.
On his surprise visit passing supporters in a motorcade outside Walter Reed medical center, Trump said: “I’m not telling anybody but you but I’m about to make a little surprise visit. So perhaps I’ll get there before you get to see me. But I just, when I look at the enthusiasm- and we have enthusiasm like probably nobody’s ever had.”
6:17 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020
Trump passes supporters in motorcade outside Walter Reed
From CNN’s Allie Malloy and Maeve Reston
President Trump just rode past supporters in front of Walter Reed medical center.
CNN captured the President waving from inside a SUV.
"We just saw the President drive by in the motorcade to wave to supporters. It was a stunning scene. We didn't get any notification, of course. Initially they started to block off a part of the street right here in front of Walter Reed national military medical center. And then the President's motorcade proceeded to drive down one side of the street where you have several dozen of the President's supporters," CNN's Jeremy Diamond, who is on the scene outside Walter Reed, said.
"The motorcade drove by at a pretty slow pace and the supporters here for the President went wild as they saw this happen," Diamond added.
The image of Trump, wearing a mask but in close contact with others, only raised more questions about how seriously the President is taking the virus.
6:12 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020
Trump says in video on Twitter he's going to make a "surprise visit"
From CNN’s Allie Malloy
President Trump said in a video posted on his Twitter account that he's going to make a "surprise visit" after talking about supporters outside of Walter Reed medical center.
1:15 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020
US diplomatic posts have not received guidance on how to discuss Trump's condition
From CNN's Jennifer Hansler
A State Department official said that as of Sunday afternoon US diplomatic posts had not received guidance on how to talk about President Trump’s condition.
The official said typically when something important happens, the posts will receive guidance but sometimes it takes time. They also noted that the President having a major medical situation is not typical. They expected that the posts would get guidance in the coming days, but did not know for sure.
This official noted the diplomatic importance of the administration providing clear and accurate information.
“If there were straightforward information put out that would be helpful,” they said.
“Governments look to us for some stability so they will be eager for information that allows them to assess where things stand,” they said, adding that there’s not a sense of confidence currently.
However, they also noted that “there’s a lot of experience among most of our government contacts at dealing with a very unconventional chaotic approach to information” over the past four years.
CNN on Monday obtained a diplomatic cable sent to posts Saturday about what America’s diplomats abroad could say about President Trump being diagnosed with Covid-19, but it gave no guidance about the health status of the president who was at Walter Reed hospital by the time the cable was sent.
The guidance makes it clear that America’s diplomats are not expected to discuss the specifics about Trump’s health status or the fact that he had been brought to the hospital on Friday night, after receiving additional oxygen after his oxygen levels had rapidly dropped.
One State Department official who received the cable told CNN that some diplomats were only forwarded the guidance from their bosses who received it on Monday when they got to work.
This post has been updated with additional reporting.
4:45 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020
Trump is taking a steroid drug for coronavirus. That could be serious, doctors say
From CNN's Maggie Fox and Shelby Lin Erdman
One of the physicians treating President Trump, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, said Sunday the President is being given the steroid drug dexamethasone as part of his Covid-19 treatment.
It's an indication that Trump's condition is worrying, as the drug should not be given to anyone who is not ill enough to justify the downsides of taking steroids -- including that it suppresses the immune system.
"We decided that in this case the potential benefits, early on in the course, probably outweighed the risks at this time," White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters outside Walter Reed medical center Sunday.
Some more background on this drug: At least one large, randomized study has shown coronavirus patients do better if they are given dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available corticosteroid drug that tamps down dangerous inflammation.
The National Institutes of Health says in its guidelines on treating coronavirus infections that "patients with severe Covid-19 can develop a systemic (all-of-body) inflammatory response that can lead to lung injury and multisystem organ dysfunction." Based on the results of the one trial, the NIH panel of experts recommended giving dexamethasone to Covid-19 patients who need oxygen.
"The panel recommends against using dexamethasone for the treatment of Covid-19 in patients who do not require supplemental oxygen," the NIH guidelines read.
In the study on dexamethasone, which was conducted in Britain, about 23% of patients who got dexamethasone died, compared to about 26% of those who did not.
White House communications aide commits to sharing West Wing Covid-19 numbers
From CNN's Allie Malloy
White House communications aide Alyssa Farah told reporters that the White House will share the number of positive Covid-19 tests in the West Wing going forward.
“We’re giving updates as we have them about numbers within the West Wing and initiating contact tracing,” Farah said while speaking to reporters on the north lawn Sunday.
When asked whether those numbers could be shared with reporters, Farah said: “Okay let me make sure I have the most accurate information and I’ll circle up and get it to the pool.”
Farah wouldn’t comment on the New York Times reporting that two members of the residence staff tested positive for the coronavirus roughly three weeks ago, saying she wouldn’t comment on private citizens.
3:30 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020
White House pushes back against allegations of mixed messaging around the President's health
From CNN's Sam Fossum
The White House has pushed back against allegations of mixed messaging after two briefings from the President's physicians at Walter Reed medical center have left the public with more questions than answers on the status of President Trump's health.
"Just candidly we've provided three letter updates from Dr. Conley who's given two on camera briefings, the President has spoken directly on camera twice. We've had Chief of Staff Meadows and Kayleigh give briefings, we're going to continue to do this you have my commitment you'll get regular updates," White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah told reporters after an interview on Fox News.
Farah also tried to explain the discrepancy between what White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and the President's doctors told reporters on Saturday as a "snapshot in time."
"It's kind of a snapshot in time. Saturday the President was doing extremely well, Friday was a little bit more concerning, but he continues to trend upward," Farah said Sunday. "So, Dr. Conley was giving an update from that morning. The other point I would make, which was what Conley alluded to, is when you're treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits and that was the intent, but of course Chief of Staff Meadows came out to give you guys more information just to try to be as transparent as you can be throughout this."
However, when Meadows first approached reporters on Saturday his comments to the press pool at Walter Reed were on background, not on the record.
"We can trust the information he's giving but if we later have supplementary information you have my commitment, we'll get that to you," Farah said of Dr. Conley.
When asked on Fox News about Conley's acknowledgement today that he wasn't as forthcoming yesterday with information about the President's health, she said the White House is "committed" to transparency but wanted to be careful with the information they share.
"We're committed to being transparent with the public, but what I've learned in these moments is that accuracy is more important than speed," Farah said.
On reports that Meadows is in the doghouse with Trump following the confusing messages coming from the administration on Saturday, she emphatically denied them.
"No, absolutely not, Mark Meadows has barely left the President's side," Farah said. "He has been at Walter Reed, hours a day working with him, bringing him different documents he's had to sign, briefing him on giving him Hill updates. Honestly, if anything, I think the chief of staff's comments reflect how close their relationship is that he's so close to this individual when he sees him in, you know not feeling well not his tough strong self that we all know, that he wanted to make sure to convey that to the public."
3:06 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020
Attorney General Barr not showing any Covid-19 symptoms, will stay home Monday
From CNN’s Evan Perez
Attorney General Bill Barr still has no Covid-19 symptoms, has tested negative for the virus so far and is mostly staying home, Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec said.
According to Kupec, Barr has had two rapid coronavirus tests and one PCR test since Friday morning. All of those have been negative. Barr went to the Justice Department for only one meeting on Friday and stayed home this weekend other than getting tested. He goes to the White House to get tested.
Barr will stay home tomorrow, Kupec said.
Some context: Barr attended the White House Rose Garden announcement of President Trump’s selection of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Several attendees of that event have subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.
2:36 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020
Here's a timeline of Trump's Covid-19 illness so far
From CNN's Jacqueline Howard
Following two briefings from President Trump's doctors over the weekend, more details about the course of his Covid-19 illness are emerging — but some questions still remain.
Here's a brief timeline of what we know so far:
Since announcing his illness on Twitter early Friday morning, the President's has had frequent "ups and downs," White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
On Thursday night and into early Friday morning, Conley said the President "was doing well with only mild symptoms" and his oxygen level was in the high 90s — but then late Friday morning, "the President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%," Conley said.
The President was given oxygen.
"And after about a minute on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour maybe, and was off and gone," Conley said.
Later that Friday, Conley added, the President was out of bed, moving around the White House residence and had only mild symptoms.
On Friday afternoon, Conley said in a White House letter that Trump received an antibody cocktail — an investigational treatment from the biotechnology company Regeneron — and had taken zinc, vitamin D, the heartburn drug famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.
The President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for monitoring.
The President has remained without fever since Friday morning, Dr. Sean Dooley, one of Trump's physicians, said during Sunday's briefing. Yet his oxygen level was transient again on Saturday.
The President had a second episode of his oxygen level dropping.
"Yesterday there was another episode where it dropped down to about 93%," Conley said on Sunday. "We watched it and it returned back up."
Trump's physicians decided to give him the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone, which has been shown to help patients with Covid-19 and is typically given to patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilation.
As of Sunday around noon, Trump feels well, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, one of Trump's physicians, said.
"He's been up and around. Our plan for today is to have him to eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible to be mobile," Girabaldi said. "And if he continues to look and feel as well as he does today our hope is that we can plan for discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course."