Donald Trump says 'I'll be back' amid reports he 'asked if he would die' from Covid-19

4 October 2020, 06:54 | Updated: 4 October 2020, 10:17

Lynn Sweet on Trump's fight with Covid-19

By Kate Buck

Donald Trump has said his treatments for coronavirus are like a 'miracle from God' as questions remain over his health after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

The US President was hospitalised on Friday after the bombshell news, and was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment.

Although the White House said this measure was precautionary, reports have since emerged the 74-year-old was put on oxygen before being taken to hospital.

There have also been reports that Trump asked "Am I going to die?" after getting his positive test, and asked if he would "go out" like Stan Chera, a longterm friend who died in April from the virus, aged 77.

But speaking in a video address, Trump promised he would "be back soon" and admitted when he was first taken there he "wasn't feeling so well".

First Lady Melania Trump, 50, was also diagnosed with coronavirus at the same time as her husband, although she is reportedly only experiencing a mild headache and cough, and remains at the White House.

Donald Trump - "We're working hard to get me back to work"

Donald Trump released these pictures of him working from the hospital on Saturday
Donald Trump released these pictures of him working from the hospital on Saturday. Picture: PA

Trump joked that she is fairing much better, and is "handling it nicely" as she is"slightly younger than me just a little tiny bit."

At 74 and classed as clinically obese, Trump falls into a number of categories which place him in

The White House also released pictures of Trump working from the hospital on Saturday as he convalesces from the virus which has infected 7.3 million Americans and killed over 209,000.

Figures released from Associated Press revealed each of the pictures had been taken just 10 minutes apart.

Read more: Concerns mount over Trump's health as doctors and officials send mixed signals

Confusion has erupted over the real state of his health in recent days after his medical team and own staff sent mixed signals.

White House physician Dr Sean Conley told reporters outside the Walter Reed Medical Center that Mr Trump was "doing very well" after spending the night being treated by his team.

In a televised briefing he said: "At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the President has made, first he had a mild cough, some naval congestion and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving."

He was flown to Walter Reed Medical Centre on Friday
He was flown to Walter Reed Medical Centre on Friday. Picture: PA

The doctor refused to comment on whether Mr Trump was given oxygen at the White House on Friday afternoon being being taken to hospital, but it was later reported that he had.

In stark contrast, an anonymous senior White House source - widely rumoured to be Chief of Staff Mark Meadows - said there were concerns of Trump's "vital signs" yesterday.

Read more: Who else in the White House has tested positive?

“The President's vitals over last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery," the source said.

The administration has consistently been less than transparent about the president's health as the virus spread inside the White House.

Aides declined to share basic health information about the president, including a full accounting of his symptoms, what tests he has undertaken and the results.

Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Picture: PA

Also, the first word that a close aide to Mr Trump had been infected came from the media, not the White House.

In a memo released late on Friday, Dr Conley did report Mr Trump had been treated at the hospital with remdesivir, an antiviral medication, after taking another experimental drug at the White House.

Meanwhile, the White House has been working to trace a flurry of new infections of close Trump aides and allies.

Attention is focused in particular on last Saturday's White House event introducing Mr Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Read more: ‘Concern’ over Trump’s vital signs after President’s doctor said he was doing well

Read more: Donald Trump is 'doing very well' in hospital with coronavirus, his physician says

That day, Mr Trump gathered more than 150 people in the Rose Garden, where they mingled, hugged and shook hands.

There were also several indoor receptions, where Mr Trump's Supreme Court pick, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, her family, senators and others spent time in the close quarters of the White House, photographs show.

Donald Trump pictured leaving the White House for hospital treatment
Donald Trump pictured leaving the White House for hospital treatment. Picture: PA

Among those who attended and have now tested positive include former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, the president of the University of Notre Dame, and at least two Republican senators, Mike Lee and Thom Tillis.

The president's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and the head of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, have also tested positive, though they were not at the event.

Despite its failure to protect the president and senior staff from infection, the White House has given no indication that it intends to make any major protocol changes, such as mandating that everyone wears a mask.

Donald Trump's video address in full

I want to begin by thanking all of the incredible medical professionals, the doctors, the nurses, everybody at Walter Reed Medical Center - I think it’s the finest in the world - for the incredible job they’ve been doing. I came here, I wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now.

We’re working hard to get me back. I have to get all the way back because we still have to make America great again.We’ve done an awfully good job of that but we still have steps to go and I have to finish that job.

I’ll be back, I think, I'll be back soon and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started, the way we’ve been doing and the kind of numbers we’ve been doing.

We’ve been so proud of it but this was something that’s happened and it was something that happened to millions of people all over the world and I’ve been fighting for them, not just in the US, I'm fighting for them all over the world. We're going to beat the coronavirus or whatever you want to call it and we’re going to beat it soundly. 

So many things are happening, if you look at the therapeutics which I’m taking right now some of them and others that are coming out soon that are looking like, frankly they’re miracles, if you want to know the truth.

People criticize me when I say that but we have things happening that look like they’re miracles coming down from God so I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good. I don’t know the next period of a few days, I guess. that’s the real test so we’ll be seeing what happened over those next couple of days.

I just want to be thankful for all the support I’ve seen whether it’s on television, reading about it, most of all I appreciate what’s been said by the American people almost a bipartisan consensus, by the American people. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and I very much appreciate it and I won’t forget itI also want to thank the leaders of the world for their condolences and they know what we're going through.

They know what your leader is and what I have to go through. But I had no choice because I just didn't want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative: stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don't ever leave, don't even go to the Oval Office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it.

Don't see people, don't talk to people, and just be done with it and I can't do that, I had to be out front and this is America, this is the United States, the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world. I can't be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say "Hey, whatever happens, happens".

I can't do that.We have to confront problems. As a leader, you have to confront problems. There's never been a great leader that would have done that. So that's where it is. I'm doing well, I want to thank everybody.

Our first lady is doing very well. Melania asked me to say something as to the respect she has for our country, the love that she has for our country. And we are both doing well. Melania is really handling it very nicely as you've probably read, she is slightly younger than me just a little tiny bit.

And therefore, we know the disease, we know the situation with age versus younger people and Melania is handling it statistically like it's supposed to be handled and that makes me very happy and it makes the country very happy but I'm also doing well and I think we're gonna have a very good result. 

Again, over the next few days we're gonna probably know for sure so I just want to thank everybody out there, everybody all over the world, specifically the United States - the outpouring of love has been incredible. I will never forget. Thank you very much.