US President Donald Trump has been flown to hospital less than 24 hours after testing positive for coronavirus. The White House said the decision to transport him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was taken “out of an abundance of caution”. Mr Trump – who had a fever – said early on Friday he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19.
The White House said he was feeling “fatigued but in good spirits” and was experiencing mild symptoms. The news comes just over a month before presidential elections, where he will face Democratic challenger Joe Biden. How did the president look on Friday? Wearing a mask and suit, Mr Trump walked out across the White House lawn on Friday afternoon to his helicopter, Marine One, for the short trip to hospital. He waved and gave a thumbs-up to reporters but said nothing before boarding the aircraft.
In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Trump said: “I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I’m doing very well. “But we’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it – thank you.”
The president’s children, Ivanka and Eric, retweeted his post, praising him as a “warrior”. Ms Trump added: “I love you dad.” Upon arrival at Walter Reed, the president did not go to the emergency room for treatment, but went directly to the hospital’s presidential suite, according to the BBC’s US partner, CBS News.
What is the White House saying? White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement: “President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day. “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. “President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the first lady.”
Mr Trump’s symptoms include a low-grade fever, according to CBS. Walter Reed, in the Washington DC suburbs, is one of America’s largest and most renowned military medical centres. It is where US presidents usually go for their annual check-ups.
White House communications director Alyssa Farah said the president had not transferred his powers to Vice-President Mike Pence. “The president is in charge,” she said. But he pulled out of a video conference call with vulnerable seniors scheduled for Friday, leaving Mr Pence to chair the meeting.
Under the US constitution, if Mr Trump did become too ill to carry out his duties, he could hand over his powers to the vice-president temporarily. That means Mike Pence would become acting president until Mr Trump was fit again and could resume work