US President Donald Trump leaves hospital after Covid-19 treatment

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

US President Donald Trump has left Walter Reed hospital after three nights of treatment for Covid-19.

A masked Mr Trump pumped his fist and gave a thumbs up as he walked out of hospital on Monday evening towards a waiting SUV that carried him to the Marine One helicopter for the short flight back to the White House.

He said "Thank you very much" to the assembled reporters, and avoided a question from a reporter, who asked: "Are you a super spreader, Mr President?"

Even before he walked out of the doors of the hospital, he tweeted that he would be back on the campaign trail soon.

Ahead of his release from hospital Mr Trump tweeted that he was "feeling really good".

"Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs and knowledge," he tweeted.

"I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

He arrived back at the White House and stood on the balcony outside of the Blue Room, giving his signature two thumbs up.

His return comes as the White House is still learning of the scale of the Covid outbreak on the complex last week as Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for coronavirus on Monday morning.

Donald Trump gives a thumbs up in front of the White House. Credit: AP

Mr Trump has been treated at the hospital since Friday afternoon and doctors have confirmed the US President will continue to receive his treatments from the White House.

Speaking at a press briefing, his personal physician Dr Sean Conley said President Trump has continued to improve and that he has "met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge procedures".

Robert Moore has the latest from Washington:

Dr Conley said: "Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations - and most importantly his clinical status - support the president's safe return home where he'll be surrounded my world class medical care."

Dr Brian Garibaldi said Mr Trump has now had three doses of Remdesivir, a treatment intended to shorten recovery time for Covid patients which is currently in clinical trials.

He has been prescribed a five-day course of the antiviral drug, normally given to those with moderate or severe cases of the disease, and will be given a fourth dose on Monday before returning to the White House and a "fifth and final dose" on Tuesday.

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However, the health team repeatedly declined to share the findings of his lung scans as they update the public on his condition, with Dr Conley saying that he is "just not at liberty to discuss" the findings.

The US President has also received the following treatments:

  • Regeneron monoclonal antibody therapy. This highly experimental drug was given as a 8-gram dose on Friday afternoon. It is still in clinical trials, and so giving it to the President is seen as an exceptional and controversial step. Many infectious disease experts have questioned this decision.

  • Dexamethasone. Trump was given the corticosteroid drug on Saturday after his oxygen level fell to alarming levels.

  • Supplemental oxygen. We now know that Trump had two episodes in which he suffered transient dips in his oxygen levels. He was given breathing support with supplemental oxygen treatment in the White House.

Dr Garabaldi said: "The plan for today is to be up and out of bed, eat and drink, and work as he is able."

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden urged the president to support a national mask mandate, as he's released from hospital.

He tweeted: "Now that President Trump is busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: Listen to the scientists. Support masks. Support mask mandates nationwide."

While Mr Trump’s physician offered a rosy prognosis on his condition, his briefings lacked basic information, including the findings of lung scans, or were quickly muddled by more serious assessments of the president’s health by other officials.

Less than a month before Election Day, Mr Trump is eager to project strength despite his illness.

The still-infectious president surprised supporters gathered outside the hospital, riding by on Sunday in a black SUV with the windows rolled up. US Secret Service agents inside the vehicle could be seen in masks and other protective gear.

The move capped a weekend of contradictions that fuelled confusion about his health, which has imperilled the leadership of the US government and upended the final stages of the presidential campaign.

On Sunday, wearing a mask the President made a "surprise" appearance in a limo outside the hospital waving at a group of his supporters.

The stunt angered his opponents who expressed concern that he was putting members of the Secret Service at risk of infection.

Dr Conley said: "The President has been surrounded by medical and security staff for days wearing full PPE. 

"Yesterday the US Secret Service agents were wearing that same level of PPE for a very short period of time. We've worked with our infectious disease experts to make some recommendations for how to keep everything safe down at The White House for the President and those around him. 

"We're looking at where he is able to carry out his duties, you know, office space. And I'll just say that it's in line with everything we have been doing upstairs for the last several days."

It is unclear how long the US President will remain in isolation at the White House.

Those with mild to moderate symptoms should isolate for at least 10 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.