US President Donald Trump said he was feeling “much better” amid conflicting reports of his condition after being hospitalized with Covid-19.
The president’s medical team said he was “very good” and was “exceptionally cheerful” in an update on Saturday less than 24 hours after he was in a helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington DC had been brought.
However, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows briefed reporters shortly thereafter, saying that Mr Trump was going through a “very worrying” period on Friday and that the next 48 hours would be critical.
The president himself then posted a video on Twitter from his hospital suite saying he was “feeling much better now” and hoping to be “back soon”.
In a press conference in front of the hospital, Dr. Sean Conley said the president was fever free, had no oxygen, and had no breathing difficulties.
Dr. Conley refused to say whether Mr Trump had ever been given oxygen, despite repeated questioning, but said the president’s symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, “are now going away and getting better”.
A source familiar with Mr Trump’s condition told the Associated Press that the president was given supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before going to the hospital.
Dr. Conley’s optimistic view contrasted with Mr. Meadows’ later assessment, even though Mr. Trump himself said in his video message that he was feeling better, even though the “next few days” would matter in his battle against the disease.
“I came here, didn’t feel so good, I feel a lot better now,” said Trump.
“You won’t know in the next few days, I think that’s the real test. So we’ll see what happens in the next few days.”
There was also confusion about when the President tested positive as Dr. Conley initially suggested that Mr. Trump was 72 hours after the diagnosis.
Dr. Conley later clarified that he wanted to say “day three” instead of 72 hours and said the president was first diagnosed with Covid-19 on Thursday evening.
The White House said the 74-year-old would work in the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to continue his official duties.
Shortly after the update from Dr. Conley on Saturday tweeted Mr. Trump, “Doctors, Nurses and EVERYONE at GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center and others from equally incredible institutions that have joined them are AMAZING !!! Tremendous progress has been made in the fight against this plague over the past 6 months. With your help, I’m fine! “.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was certain the president would “get through” his treatment “very well.”
Speaking to reporters on Saturday morning, Mr Johnson said he called the White House on Friday night and added, “I think obviously everyone wishes him and Melania well and hope they recover quickly and I have no doubt that he will do it, he I will recover very much. “
When asked if he had any advice for Mr Trump, Mr Johnson added, “I think he will do exactly what the doctors tell him and I am sure he will get the best possible care that he can can get. “
Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis is the youngest among world leaders. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and EU chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, have also fallen ill.
Almost 13,000 new cases of Covid-19 have now been confirmed in the UK. However, the government said a technical glitch resulted in underreporting of the numbers this week.
The government said there had been an additional 12,872 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus at 9 a.m. on Saturday – almost twice as many as the previous day when an additional 6,968 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported.
The official dashboard announced on Saturday that there had been delays in publishing a number of cases due to a technical issue that has now been fixed.
This means that the total reported in the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between September 24th and October 1st.
Experts previously warned that it could be misleading to describe the daily number as a record, as it is not clear how many people were actually infected during the peak of the first wave, as community testing was not conducted at that time.
The prime minister has called for people to be “patient” as the government tries to quell a second wave of outbreaks. More than a third of the UK population now lives under tightened restrictions.
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of losing control of the fight against the virus and lacking a clear strategy.
Sir Keir said the Prime Minister should create a new “roadmap” for navigating the country through the winter, including investing in NHS labs and university labs to expand testing to ensure regular routine testing for all high-risk workplaces and high-transmission areas and a program to ensure the manufacture and distribution of vaccines.
Speaking to The Observer, he said: “The Prime Minister rules in hindsight. So he storms forward, not realizing the problem, has a car accident, looks in the rearview mirror and says, “What is it about?”
Meanwhile, Number 10 has vowed that the prime minister will “stay on track” with the coronavirus pandemic if he fails to meet his manifesto commitments.
Commons chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg has written to his cabinet colleagues calling for “bold and ambitious” bills for the next queen’s speech, Downing Street said.