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Trump "doing well," taking antiviral remdesivir treatment: doctor

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    Kyodo News

Washington, United States   /   Sat, October 3, 2020   /   05:30 pm
Trump A counter sniper watches while waiting for US President Donald Trump to arrive at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 2, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland. President Donald Trump will spend the coming days in a military hospital just outside Washington to undergo treatment for the coronavirus, but will continue to work, the White House said October 2nd. (Agence France Presse/Brendan Smialowski)

US President Donald Trump is "doing very well" and has received antiviral remdesivir therapy after being hospitalized for contracting the novel coronavirus, his physician said Friday.

Trump, 74, was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington "out of an abundance of caution," according to the White House, adding that he is expected to stay there for several days.

Trump tweeted at night, "Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!"

Trump is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but medical specialists have elected to initiate treatment with remdesivir, according to an evening health update by the president's physician Sean Conley.

"He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably," Conley said.

The situation has evolved rapidly since Trump tweeted in the early hours of Friday that he and his wife Melania, 50, tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The president's physician had initially said the two are "both well" and that "they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."

As of the afternoon, the doctor said Trump "remains fatigued but in good spirits" while his wife remains well with a mild cough and headache. The president also received a dose of an experimental antibody cocktail manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a "precautionary measure," the doctor said.

Trump later left the White House and traveled to the military medical center by helicopter. He gave a thumbs-up and a short wave to reporters before boarding, but did not take questions.

Concerns linger over the president's health condition, as his age and weight are seen among the risk factors for developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Trump has faced criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 7.3 million people and killed 208,000 in the United States, outstripping any other country.

He has repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus, telling the public to stay calm because the virus would just "go away," while holding in-person campaign rallies in recent months to galvanize his support base.

Trump has also been seen wearing a mask on only a handful of occasions.

Trump's coronavirus diagnosis has upended his election strategy, with only a month to go before the Nov. 3 election. The incumbent has trailed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, 77, in national polls.

Biden, who shared a debate stage with Trump on Tuesday, has said he tested negative for the virus.