Donald Trump: 'I learnt a lot about Covid, I get it, I understand it'

Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Donald Trump says he has "learnt a lot about Covid" and that he "understands it" in a video update posted on his Twitter page.

The president's condition has "continued to improve" his doctors have said, after the president faced a third night in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

In the video message, Mr Trump said: "It's been a very interesting journey. I learnt a lot about Covid, I learnt it by really going to school.

"This is the real school - this isn't the let's read the books school - and I get it and I understand it and it's a very interesting thing and I'm going to be letting you know about it".

The president then announced he would "pay a little surprise" to supporters gathered outside the hospital, describing them as "great patriots".

Mr Trump, who has at least once required oxygen since being admitted to hospital with the virus, briefly left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday - waving from his car to crowds gathered outside.

Providing an update on his condition earlier on Sunday, Mr Trump's doctor Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, stressed: "As with any illness, there are frequent up and downs with the course".

But Dr Conley added that the president had been "up and out of bed, with only mild symptoms".

The medical team said he could be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center "as early as Monday" after he was admitted on Friday night.

Mr Trump was treated with the steroid dexamethasone after a drop in oxygen levels on Saturday, his team said.

Dr Conley said the president’s oxygen level had dropped down to 93% on Saturday but added Mr Trump did not feel short of breath.

Dr. Brian Garibaldi, a specialist in pulmonary critical care, said the president also received a second dose of the experimental drug remdesivir and wasn't showing any side effects "that we can tell."

Robert Moore has the latest from Washington:

He added that Mr Trump is "up and well" and the plan was to have him "out of bed" Sunday as much as possible.

If things continue to go well, the team said, Mr Trump could be able to return to the White House on Monday to continue his five-day course of remdesivir treatment and other appropriate therapy.

Interested in the US election? Listen to the latest episode of our podcast Will Trump Win? below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

Reporters at the briefing quizzed the medical team on "who was in charge" of updating the public on Mr Trump's care after confusion on Saturday with regards to the president's condition.

The president and doctors both said he was "doing well" following his coronavirus diagnosis. But that message was contradicted by Mr Trump's White House chief of staff who told reporters the next 48 hours "will be critical" to the president's recovery.

Dr. Conley said he was trying to "reflect the upbeat attitude" of the president when he declined to share on Saturday that Mr Trump had been placed on oxygen the day before.

What impact will Trump's Covid diagnosis have on the upcoming election? Emma Murphy reports:

He said: "I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team, that the president, that his course of illness has had."

Adding: "I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, came off like we’re trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true."

By Saturday evening the president appeared to have taken messaging into his own hands, turning his hospital room into a makeshift campaign rally as he posted an address to the American people - shared Twitter - and told them that his mission was still "to make America great again".

In the message, Mr Trump also claimed he was feeling better and was raring to go.

"I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back, because we still have to make America great again. We’ve done an awfully good job of that, but we still have steps to go and we have to finish that job. And I’ll be back, I think I’ll be back soon."

The president has continued to like and share videos and messages of support from his followers on Twitter over the weekend.

Trump supporters have gathered near the hospital. Credit: AP

First lady Melania Trump has also tested positive for Covid-19 and has a "mild cough and headache", but the remainder of the first family, including son Barron, who lives at the White House, have tested negative.

The Trumps' positive tests follow the announcement on Thursday that the president's senior aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for coronavirus.

A number of other White House staff - including attendees of an event on the South Lawn of the White House last week to announce Judge Barrett's nomination for the Supreme Court - have also contracted the virus.