UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 12:20 a.m. EST: Remdesivir treatment has been started for Donald Trump at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as he continues to battle COVID-19, the Hill reports.
Remdesivir is typically reserved for more serious COVID-19 cases. As ESSENCE previously reported, the president is also taking an infusion of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail—which is not FDA-approved, but administered to Trump because he qualified as a “compassionate use” case—as well as “zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.”
White House physician Sean Conley released the following memo Friday night:
“This afternoon, in consultation with specialists from Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins University, I recommended movement of the President up to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further monitoring,” Conley wrote. “This evening I am happy to report that the President is doing very well. He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy. He has complete his first dose and is resting comfortably.”
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reports.
The news come after Hope Hicks, 31, a top Trump aide who traveled with Trump to Cleveland Tuesday for the first 2020 presidential debate, tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday. Politico reports that Hicks was seen traveling on Air Force One without a mask. She also traveled with Trump to his rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
On the heels of Hicks’ diagnosis, Trump said that he and the First Lady might quarantine as they awaited their test results. He later said definitively that they would. He announced their positive diagnosis on Twitter shortly after midnight Friday.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The president’s physican confirmed the positive diagnosis in a memo.
During Tuesday’s presidential debate, he mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for following recommended safety protocols to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“I think masks are OK,” Trump said, in response to moderator Chris Wallace asking why he is rarely seen wearing a mask in public. “I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it.
“I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said of Biden. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask…he could be speaking 200 feet away” and then “shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
To date, the United States has had 7.31 million COVID-19 cases and 208,000 deaths. Trump intentionally downplayed the coronavirus in the early stages of the pandemic, telling journalist Bob Woodward in a Feb. 7 interview that COVID-19 was transmitted through the air and more deadly “than even your strenuous flus.”
Speaking from Capitol Hill on March 10, Trump said: “Just stay calm. It will go away.” WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11.
Nine days later, Trump told Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Since then, the president has consistently politicized his COVID-19 response, ignored the science about the trajectory of the pandemic, threatened schools that didn’t open for face to face instruction with loss of funding, and been openly antagonistic toward healthcare leaders, including CDC Director Robert Redfield.
“I think he made a mistake when he said that,” Trump said after Redfield suggested that a COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t be available to the general population until late next year. “It’s just incorrect information.”
There has been no word on whether Biden, who was potentially exposed to COVID-19 during Tuesday’s presidential debate, has been tested or if he will quarantine following Trump’s diagnosis.
This is a developing story. Check here for updates…