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Trump Says Coronavirus Diagnosis A ‘Blessing From God’, Shares COVID-19 Treatment He Received

KEY POINTS

  • Trump called his coronavirus diagnosis a ‘blessing from God’
  • The president shared a five-minute clip where he touted his Regeneron treatment regimen
  • He also said he wants to make the treatment available for free to the general public

President Donald Trump on Wednesday uploaded a video on his Twitter account where he called his recent coronavirus diagnosis a ‘blessing from God’ and touted the benefits of an experimental drug treatment he received. 

In the nearly five-minute clip, the president — who spoke from the White House Rose Garden — praised his treatment regiment, including the antibody cocktail made by Regeneron, for helping him “feel great.”

“For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good. A short 24 hours later I was feeling great. I wanted to get out of the hospital,” Trump said. “And that’s what I want for everybody. I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president, because I feel great. I feel, like, perfect.”

“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,” he added.

Trump claimed he told his doctors to give him the Regeneron treatment. The president also said he is now convinced that his treatment regimen should be made available for free to the broader public. It is unclear how he planned to make the cost of the drugs free for thousands of patients, The Hill reported.  

Regeneron, a New York-based biotech company, made the drug REGN-COV2 that is intended to mimic the human body’s immune system and provide it with molecules to fight off the novel coronavirus. 

According to USA Today, REGN-COV2 is currently being tested in people who contracted COVID-19, including those who have been diagnosed with the virus, are symptomatic, but not hospitalized. The drug has yet to receive approval for use in the U.S. or other countries. 

The video is the latest attempt from the White House to project optimism after numerous reports alleged that Trump’s coronavirus condition may be severe after he received the antiviral drug remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone. 

The president covered other talking points in the clip, including his belief that a coronavirus vaccine will soon be ready. He also said he pushed health agencies to speed up their approval processes and claimed China will “pay a big price” for the virus originating there. 

No mask, no worries, says US President Donald Trump No mask, no worries, says US President Donald Trump Photo: AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM

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Trump Calls His Illness ‘a Blessing From God’

It was the first time that Mr. Trump tacitly acknowledged another appearance problem — that he has received the kind of intensive and costly medical care for coronavirus that is not available to any member of the general public.

In an interview on Wednesday, Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s president and chief scientific officer, said it was possible that Mr. Trump responded to the treatment and that the level of virus had declined. “That’s a logical conclusion,” Dr. Yancopoulos said. “Based on his symptomology, that has to have happened.”

But neither Dr. Yancopoulos nor Mr. Trump can definitively say whether the treatment worked because any drug must be proved in large clinical trials that compare the outcomes of people who got the product with those who received a placebo. Those trials have not yet been completed.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at U.C.S.F. Health in San Francisco, said in his opinion, there was “one million percent no” chance that the Regeneron treatment could have cured Mr. Trump in 24 hours, as the president claimed.

Another explanation, he said, is that the president is experiencing the effects of the steroid dexamethasone, which he has been receiving since Saturday, which is known to reduce fever and can create feelings of well-being and euphoria in patients. “This is all in keeping with the dexamethasone speaking,” Dr. Chin-Hong said.

The president has been desperate to announce some kind of definitive treatment, or a vaccine, ahead of the election on Nov. 3, in which nearly all polls show him trailing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, nationally and in key states.

Mr. Trump has also been looking for a type of miracle cure for the virus for months, initially seizing on hydroxychloroquine as an answer before health experts raised concerns about its use. But his disdain for those experts has been consistent with his general refusal to believe in science, a refusal that led The New England Journal of Medicine, in an editorial published on Wednesday, to say the Trump administration had responded so poorly to the coronavirus pandemic that it had “taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.”

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