WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump will continue his coronavirus treatment at the White House Tuesday after his three-night stay at Water Reed Medical Center in Maryland.
Wearing a mask, Trump left the hospital for a waiting SUV that carried him to Marine One for the short helicopter flight back to the White House Monday night. Trump’s doctor, Navy Cdr. Sean Conley, said the president would not be fully “out of the woods” for another week but that Trump had met or exceeded standards for discharge from the hospital.
Landing at the White House on Marine One, Trump climbed the South Portico steps, removed his mask and declared, “I feel good.” He gave a double thumbs-up to the departing helicopter from the portico terrace, where aides had arranged American flags. He entered the White House, where aides were visible milling about the Blue Room, without wearing a face covering.
Later after landing, the president posted a video to social media saying he learned so much about coronavirus.
“One thing that’s for certain: Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” President Trump said. “You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines.”
Trump said a few days ago he “didn’t feel so good.”
“I could have left two days ago,” he said. “Two days ago I felt great, better than I have in a long time.”
“Maybe I’m immune? I don’t know,” he said.
President Trump also said the vaccines are “coming momentarily.”
Trump is expected to continue his recovery at the White House, where the reach of the outbreak that has infected the highest levels of the U.S. government is still being uncovered.
Before leaving the hospital, the president tweeted: “Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!!”
Earlier in the afternoon a news conference from Conley and his medical team about the president’s status, said it was 72 hours since the president’s last fever and his oxygen levels are all normal.
Doctors say his kidney and liver function also remains normal and he will receive his fourth dose of remdesivir Monday evening before heading back to the White House. His fifth and final dose will be administered on Tuesday.
Conley said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the president will continue to get better.
“We send patients home with medications all the time… and he is returning to the White House medical unit which is staffed 24/7 top-notch,” Conley said. “He has 24/7 world-class medical care and we are not going to miss anything that we would have caught here.”
Conley also addressed reporters questions about safety concerns after the president rode around with secret service agents on Sunday wearing a cloth mask.
“The president has been surround by medical and security staff for days wearing full PPE and yesterday the U.S. Secret Service agents were in that same level of PPE for a very short period of time,” said Conley.
President Trump will need to continue treatment as the president is still undergoing a five-day course of an intravenous antiviral drug, remdesivir. He is also being treated with a steroid, dexmethasone. The normal quarantine period for anyone testing positive for the coronavirus is 14 days.
Sequestered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington since Friday, Trump has released a series of videos about his recovery.
“It’s a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID,” he said in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday.
Trump briefly ventured out in a motorcade on Sunday to wave to supporters who had gathered outside the hospital. Secret Service agents could be seen inside the black SUV with the president, wearing masks and other protective gear.
Some medical professionals have questioned the decision.
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die,” said Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed who is a critic of Trump and his handling of the pandemic.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump’s trip outside the hospital “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.” He said precautions were taken, including using personal protective equipment, to protect the president as well as White House officials and Secret Service agents.
On Friday, Trump was given a single dose of a drug that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. is testing to supply antibodies to help his immune system fight the virus. Trump also has taken two doses of a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients.
Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, said Trump was given the steroid after his blood oxygen level had dropped suddenly twice in recent days.
Conley said Trump had a “high fever” and a blood oxygen level below 94% on Friday and during “another episode” on Saturday.
Trump’s team said Sunday that the president received oxygen at the White House on Friday. They were not clear on whether he received any Saturday.
Pressed about conflicting information he and the White House released on Saturday, Conley acknowledged that he had tried to present a sunnier description of the president’s condition.
“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had. Didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” Conley said. “And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true. The fact of the matter is that he’s doing really well.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, 77, has tested negative for the disease several times since sharing a debate stage with Trump last week. He’s scheduled to participate in a town hall with Florida voters in Miami Monday.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.