(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s aides will try to keep him confined to the White House residence after he’s discharged from the hospital with Covid-19 later Monday, but are unsure they can limit his movements, according to people familiar with the matter.
Trump announced on Twitter that he’ll leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Monday evening after being treated for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He urged Americans not to fear the virus after receiving medical care unavailable to most people, including three powerful medicines and an airlift to the hospital.
“Don’t let it dominate your life,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
The virus has infected more than 7.4 million Americans and has killed more than 210,000 since February, including 475 on Sunday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve. He’s met or exceeded all hospital discharge criteria,” White House physician Sean Conley said at a briefing after Trump’s announcement.
Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods” but the rest of his care can safely be performed at the White House, Conley said.
The president will receive a fourth dose of an antiviral drug, Remdesivir, at Walter Reed before he’s discharged and a fifth dose at the White House, his medical team said.
“He’s returning to a facility, the White House medical unit, that’s staffed 24-7,” Conley said. “Every day a patient stays in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves.”
Conley said coronavirus patients can stop shedding the virus in as few as five days after diagnosis, and that Trump would be monitored to determine when he is no longer infectious. The White House plans for Trump to stay in the residence for a few days before returning to normal, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
The White House is creating additional room for Trump to work in the residence, and avoid heading into the Oval Office, by converting the Map Room and Diplomatic Reception Room into office space, according to a person familiar with the matter.
All aides who will see Trump over the next few days will be required to be in full personal protective equipment and maintain physical distance from the president, that person said on the condition of anonymity.
Conley conceded that the course of Trump’s illness could still take a turn. “We all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard because we’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course,” he said.
“We’re looking to this weekend,” Conley added. “If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief.”
Trump has received doses of two other powerful medicines, including an experimental “antibody