BETHESDA, United States (AFP) – US President Donald Trump said in a video released on Twitter Saturday night that he was feeling “much better” in his battle against the coronavirus – but the next few days would be “the real test.”
The 74-year-old assured the public of his progress hours after a source with knowledge of the President’s condition had warned his vital signs were worrying, with the next 48 hours critical.
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well,” said Trump, who is being treated at Walter Reed military medical center near Washington following his COVID-19 diagnosis.
“I feel much better now, we’re working hard to get me all the way back.”
It was unclear whether the undated video, apparently filmed at Walter Reed, had been made before or after the dire warnings about his health, which US media later said came from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
That message contrasted with a more optimistic assessment from his doctors, such as White House physician Sean Conley who characterized Trump as mobile, fever-free for 24 hours and with an improving cough and less nasal congestion and fatigue.
Sporting a blue blazer and white dress shirt, but more casual than usual without a tie, Trump predicted a quick recovery.
“I think I’ll be back soon and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started,” Trump said.
“We’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said, adding “I guess that’s the real test.”
The President added that he’d had “no choice” other than to work from his hospital suite rather than cocooning himself in his bedroom for his recovery.
Trump has all the capabilities of White House communications in a special suite at the hospital that allows him to carry out his normal duties.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump added that this would have involved seeing no one in person, which was not his approach to the presidency.
He also thanked global heads of state “for their condolences… they know what we’re going through.”