After testing postive for COVID-19, Trump departed from the White House on Friday for the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, for a “precautionary visit” while he would work from the hospital’s presidential suite to continue his official duties. First Lady Melania Trump also tested positive for COVID-19, along with several others in the White House. These recent events have caused a lot of emotion as the virus that has killed over 205,000 Americans alone has now spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.
Kyle Ramlow, graduate student and political science major at Western Illinois University said, “I wish the President and First Lady the best in the recovery process. President Trump has a difficult job, especially now in this election year. He is getting some of the best care that anybody could receive. Whether you agree with his policies or not, I believe we should hope for a speedy recovery because we Americans cannot handle anymore chaos in 2020.”
A month before the presidential election, Trump attended a political fundraiser knowing that he had been exposed to an aide with the disease, but had mentioned nothing to the crowd. He has spent much of the year downplaying the threat of the virus, rarely wearing a protective mask and urging the reduction of shutdown rules. Senior Brooke Barnes said, “Hopefully this will be an eye opener to some on how anyone can get COVID, and it is a very real thing happening right now in America.”
“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms and has been working throughout the day,” said Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany. “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the president will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.” Senior Tate Dowell said that, “President Trump having COVID is a chance to put politics aside and focus on the well being of people.”
The president’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a memo late Friday that Trump received a dose of an experimental antibody cocktail by Regeneron that is in clinical trials. “The president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94 percent,” Conley said. “Given these developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness, however he claimed he wasn’t short of breath.” Later that day, the president had been up out of bed and moving about the residence with only mild symptoms. The first lady had a “mild cough and headache,” Conley reported, and the rest of the first family had tested negative.
Both Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have tested negative. Vice President Mike Pence tested negative as well Friday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesperson said. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was with him and many others on Saturday, tested negative as well. Many White House and senior administration officials were undergoing tests Friday, but the full scale of the outbreak around the president may not be known for some time.