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Trump gives overview of COVID-19 case in first on-camera interview since diagnosis

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

Trump Says He Is Off Medication for Coronavirus in First On-Camera Interview Since Hospitalization

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump

Donald Trump opened up about his hospitalization and coronavirus symptoms during his first on-camera interview on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday.

While billed as on virtual on-camera “medical evaluation” by Dr. Marc Siegel, the president, 74, instead answered questions about his time in the hospital and how he is feeling now.

Trump, who was hospitalized for three days after he announced he tested positive for the virus, said that he’s feeling “really good” and has been off medication for eight hours.

Admitting that he didn’t feel very “vital” upon his hospitalization last Friday, Trump said his symptoms included a sore throat and lack of energy.

“I didn’t have a problem with breathing… I had none of that,” Trump told Siegel over a video call from New York.

However, doctors were concerned after a CT scan revealed some congestion on his lungs but “with each day it got better,” according to the president.

Now, Trump said that his treatment has concluded and he will be tested again for COVID-19 tomorrow.

“I think really nothing,” he said when Siegel asked what medications he was currently taking. “We pretty much finished and now we’ll see how things go.”

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“I have been retested and I know I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free,” Trump said, adding that he will be tested again “probably tomorrow… it’s really at a level now that’s great to see it disappear.”

Trump said that he would be willing to donate his convalescent plasma, which can contain COVID-19 antibodies, now that he’s had the virus.

The president, who had been criticized previously for not acknowledging the plight of the sick or the families who have lost loved ones to the deadly virus, finally expressed concern for those impacted saying he has “incredible love and respect for the families that have suffered so badly” during the pandemic.

SAUL LOEB/Getty Images President Donald Trump leaves Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday.

Siegel is a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health who specializes in influenza but has like the president made a number of false assertions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Trump, 74, and Siegel, 64, have claimed the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine is effective against the coronavirus, while medical studies show it’s not.

Siegel also called health officials at the World Health Organization “a bunch of alarmists” in March, while saying “there’s no reason to believe it’s actually more problematic or deadly than influenza.”

In reality, COVID-19 has killed some 210,000 people so far, more people in the U.S. than the last five flu seasons combined, data shows.

ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump waves to onlookers during a brief trip outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.

Downplaying the novel coronavirus compared to the seasonal flu is a