Just before leaving The White House for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, President Donald J. Trump tweeted an 18-second message, which also came after an experimental drug was administered to the President — OK’d under a “compassionate use request.”
The video message was the first tweet since Trump announced around 12:54 a.m. Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’m going to Walter Reed hospital,” Trump said. “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure things work out.”
Intelligence experts agreed that the message was not only a thank you, but also a way to continue to show allies and adversaries that the President remains in control of the country and is not unable to carry out his duties.
The President landed at the hospital at 6:30 p.m. Friday where he is expected to remain for a few days.
The trip to Walter Reed was a quick turn of events since a letter dated Oct. 1 addressed as a Memorandum for Kayleigh McEnany, assistant to the President and White House press secretary, from Sean P. Conley, Physician to the President, stated that he received confirmation that the Trumps had tested positive for COVID-19.
'Compassionate Use Request’
Then on Friday afternoon, just prior to the news that the President would enter Walter Reed hospital, out of what the White House called “an abundance of caution,” Conley released a statement that Trump had completed an infusion of an antibody cocktail.
“Following PCR-confirmation of the President’s diagnosis, as a precautionary measure he received a single 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail. In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine (generic Pepcid), melatonin and a daily aspirin.”
The President was administered the cocktail through what Regeneron confirmed was under the “Compassionate Use Request.” According to the Mayo Clinic, compassionate use requests are “a long and challenging process.” The explanation from the Mayo Clinic about compassionate use stated that in certain situations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows companies to provide their experimental drugs to people outside of clinical trials. The New York Times reported that the “President has known the CEO of Regeneron for years.”
The experimental drug is currently in a clinical trial, with data from 275 patients released Sept. 29 who had confirmed COVID-19 but were being treated in an outpatient setting. A press release from Regeneron said that its “investigational antibody cocktail REGN-COV2 showed that “it reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients.”
11:34 p.m. Friday:
The next step in his COVID-19 treatment, and after arriving at the hospital, was a first dose of the drug remdesivir. The FDA allows the drug to be administered under “an emergency use declaration.” According to the company that’s developed the drug, Gilead Sciences, trials showed effectiveness under some circumstances.
“He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably,” Conley wrote in an update released through the White House.