President shares recovery experience in first on-camera interview since diagnosis
The president made the remarks in an interview with Fox News aired late Friday, marking his first on-camera appearance since being diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Right now I’m medication free,” the president told Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel. “I’m not taking any medications as of, you know, probably 8 hours ago. Which frankly makes me feel good, I don’t like medication.”
When asked whether he would donate his own plasma, Trump said, “Well I will, nobody’s asked me that question, actually, but I will, if they want me to do it, I’d love to do it.”
He added that he has been retested for COVID-19 and has not found out the results, but said that he knows he is “at either the bottom of the scale or free” from the disease.
The president said that he was feeling “really good” and “very strong,” and was quick to point out the origin of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, saying “it came from China.”
When asked about lessons learned from contracting COVID-19 and how it could be applied to others who get the disease, Trump responded that “the biggest thing” is that he tackled the illness early.
“Now, I have such great access to medical, we have White House doctors … and so many great doctors,” Trump noted. “It’s a lot easier for me than somebody that doesn’t have access to a doctor so easily where it’s a big deal to see a doctor.
“But I think very important for me was very early, as soon as I felt something … the big secret for me was I got there very early. I think it would have gotten a lot worse. One of the doctors said he thought it would have gotten a lot worse.
“I just think that even these medications, they’re a lot better if you get them early than if you get them late,” Trump said.
He said that when he first went into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 2, he “didn’t feel very strong” and “weakness” but didn’t have a problem with breathing.
“I didn’t feel very vital, I didn’t feel like the president of the U.S. should feel,” he said.
“It was just, you were tired,” the president later elaborated. “It was just getting to you from the standpoint [that] you didn’t have that same energy level. And my life is based a little bit on energy, and you didn’t have it.”
Trump also said that he had a sore throat.
When asked whether he followed the doctors’ advice or negotiated with them, Trump said that he “did negotiate” with the doctors but “tended to listen.”
“I took a medicine that was very miraculous to me,” Trump said as he proceeded to speak about the experimental drug treatment RegEneron. He noted that Eli Lilly & Co. therapeutics is developing a similar therapy.
Trump was given a single 8-gram transfusion of an antibody cocktail from RegEneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Oct. 2, and has since Oct. 7 credited the treatment for his recovery. The polyclonal antiviral antibody cocktail includes a collection of antibodies produced by B cells.
Trump told Siegel that the treatment “made a tremendous difference” and he was ready to leave the hospital after one day. “I think I would have been in much worse shape had I not taken this medication,” Trump said of the experimental treatment.
The president had also been taking other medications and supplements at the time, including “zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin,” White House physician Dr. Sean P. Conley said on Oct. 2. That same day, Trump was put on remdesivir therapy, an experimental antiviral therapy developed by Gilead.
Conley said in an update on Oct. 7 that Trump’s immune system has developed CCP virus antibodies.
Trump praised the doctors and staff at Walter Reed and told Siegel that he thinks the reason why doctors wanted him to stay at the hospital for a bit longer was because they saw some congestion through tests and imaging.
He said that when he surprised his supporters outside the hospital by going for a drive through the crowd on Oct. 4, he saw “a great display of love … and there were many, many, many people.”
The Trump campaign had to cancel five previously scheduled rallies in Florida, Wisconsin, and Arizona, upon news of the president’s diagnosis.
Since his return to the White House on Oct. 5, Trump has been active on Twitter and is now eager to get back on the election campaign trail. He will be speaking at the White House at an event on Saturday, and later hold a campaign rally in Florida 2 days later.
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