UPDATE: Oct. 5, 2020, 8:45 p.m. EST: President Donald Trump has been released from Walter Reed military hospital after spending three nights in the world-class medical center being treated for COVID-19. Trump walked across the White House lawn, climbed the stairs to the Truman Balcony, positioned himself for photos…

…then immediately took off his mask.

It wasn’t long before the president was gasping for air.

“Don’t let it dominate you,” he said in a video recorded on the balcony and tweeted from his Twitter account. “Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment, the best medicine for it, all developed recently. … Don’t let it take over your lives. We’re the greatest country in the world.”

Trump went on to ramble about being a leader who “stood out in front” despite the dangers to his health.

Earlier today, in a reckless tweet announcing his anticipated release, Trump wrote, “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! 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!”

Though Trump’s doctors remain “cautiously optimistic” about his prognosis, not everyone has access to the experimental and expensive treatments he’s been administered. To date, 211,052 U.S. citizens have died from COVID-19. And the President of the United States is brazenly endangering the lives of many more.

Even though the president has allegedly been experiencing only “mild symptoms,” including fever, cough, fatigue, as well as two transient drops in oxygen, doctors have treated him with Remdesivir. As ESSENCE previously reported, the injection is typically reserved for severe COVID-19 cases. Trump also received an infusion of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail—which is not FDA-approved, but given to the president because he qualified as a “compassionate use” case. Doctors also administered the steroid dexamethasone, zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin. Conley has had to walk back at least two misleading statements about Trump’s health—one being an outright lie about the use of supplemental oxygen.

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.”

Earlier: 

President Donald Trump will be hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center “out of an abundance of caution” after testing positive for COVID-19 and experiencing “mild symptoms,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Marine One landed on the South Lawn at the White House Friday afternoon to transport Trump, who is suffering with symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, to the military hospital.

According to Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, the president is taking an infusion of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail, as well as “zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.”

According to Dr. Peter Hotez, Walter Reed is the best place for the 74-year-old president. “Let’s face it, he’s sick,” Hotez said Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s Deadline White House, with Nicolle Wallace. “He’s got fever. He has all of the risk factors that are suggestive of severe morbidity or mortality. He’s sick. He needs a higher level of care.”

Political opponents have sent Trump words of encouragement, including former President Barack Obama, the Washington Post reports.

“Although we’re in the midst of a big political fight, and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the president of the United States [and] the first lady,” Obama said during a virtual Biden campaign event. “Michelle and I are hopeful that they and others that have been affected by COVID-19 around the country are getting the care that they need, that they are going to be on the path to a speedy recovery, and it’s important I think for all of us to remember that even when we’re in the midst of big political battles with issues that have a lot at stake, that we’re all Americans and we’re all human beings, and we want to make sure everybody is healthy.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who attended the same event, also sent words of support to Trump and the first lady.

“Doug and I are sharing our deepest prayers for the health and recovery of the president and the first lady. The threat of this virus is real for all of us,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee said. “Let it be a reminder to all of us that we must remain vigilant and take care of ourselves and take care of each other. So Doug and I wish them both well, and please take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.”

In a recorded video statement before his trip to the hospital, Trump said, “I think I’m doing very well…[we’re] going to make sure that things work out.”

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