President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE on Friday participated in his first on-camera interview since testing positive for COVID-19, during which he admitted that he remained hospitalized for observation after scans showed some congestion in his lungs and touted the benefits of his early treatment.
The president offered a rosy outlook of his path forward in a pre-recorded interview with Fox News medical contributor Marc Siegel. Trump spoke to Siegel from the Rose Garden, while the doctor was based in a network studio.
Trump insisted that he was feeling well and that he had been “medication free” since earlier in the day. But he acknowledged that he experienced fatigue and could have faced a more dire outcome without the access to medical care he has as president.
“They tested the lungs, they checked for the lungs and they tested with different machinery … and it tested good,” Trump said of his stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “Initially I think they had some congestion in there, but ultimately it tested good. And with each day it got better, and I think that’s why they wanted me to stay.”
The president also reported feeling fatigued after contracting the virus. While he did not discuss it on Friday, Trump also required supplemental oxygen, according to his physician, before being taken to the hospital.
The president — who has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the virus and falsely claimed that the disease affects “virtually” no young people — highlighted the importance of early treatment for combating COVID-19.
“The biggest thing is that I did do it early,” Trump said. “Now I have such great access to medical … so it’s a lot easier for me than somebody who doesn’t have access to a doctor so easily.”
“And, you know, I think it would have gotten a lot worse. One of the doctors said he thought it would have gotten a lot worse,” he added. “I just think that even these medications, they’re a lot better if you get them early than if you get them late. I think going in early is a big factor in my case.”
The president tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 1. He was taken to the hospital on Oct. 2, and he was discharged Oct. 5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance advises that those infected with COVID-19 isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or longer in more serious cases.
Trump has repeatedly touted the benefits of an antibody cocktail he was given upon his diagnosis, calling it a “miracle” and a “cure.” But the treatment from Regeneron is still in the trial phase and is not widely available to the public.
Trump has politicized other treatments for the virus, including hydroxychloroquine, and pushed