After a day spent furiously tweeting, Donald Trump has released another video message, telling his supporters that the experimental treatment he received had speeded his recovery.
Looking healthier than his last appearance, perhaps due to the heavy layer of makeup he was wearing, he said that his infection with the virus had been a “blessing from God”.
Introducing himself as “your favourite president”, Trump described the medicines used to treat him as a “cure”, despite the fact there is no cure for viruses like Covid-19.
He praised staff at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he spent four days, admitting that he “wasn’t feeling so hot” when he arrived but said that his treatment with “unbelievable” Regeneron had been central to his recovery.
“I feel great. I feel like, perfect,” Trump said. “I think this was a blessing from God, that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise. I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said let me take it, it was my suggestion.”
“I said, let me take it. And it was incredible the way it worked, incredible. And I think if I didn’t catch it, we’d be looking at that like a number of other drugs. But it really did a fantastic job. I want to get for you what I got. I’m going to make it free, you’re not going to pay for it.”
Saying that he wants “everybody to be given the same treatment as your president”, he said he disagreed with describing Regeneron and other drugs as therapeutics, instead describing them as “a cure”.
“To me, it wasn’t therapeutic, it just made me better. I call that a cure.”
“We have hundreds of thousands of doses that are just about ready,” he said.
“I have emergency use authorisation all set and we’ve got to get it signed now – and you’re gonna get better, you’re gonna get better really fast.”
It’s not the first time the president has trumpeted an unproven treatment. He spent months painting the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a miracle treatment for the virus — even taking a preventative course himself — even though experts have said it is not effective against Covid-19.
He also hit out at China in the video, blaming them for the global pandemic and saying that they would “pay”.
“It wasn’t your fault that this happened, it was China’s fault. China’s going to pay a big price for what they’ve done to the world.”
The message comes after Trump remained out of sight for a second day Wednesday as he recovers from Covid-19, with the White House offering scant details about his health and activities.
Trump’s doctor released a brief statement earlier today revealing that he has been fever-free for four days and symptom-free for 24 hours.
As Trump convalesced, he again publicly played down the virus on Twitter after his return from a three-day hospitalisation, though even more aides tested positive, including one of his closest advisers, Stephen Miller. All told more than a dozen White House staffers have tested positive.
Trump unleashed a flurry of tweets today, taking aim once again at the mainstream media and his political rivals.
Many of his tweets focused on the so-called “Obamagate” scandal and what Trump terms the “Russia hoax” – the investigation into his 2016’s campaign links to Russian intelligence.
He retweeted prominent Conservative voices who were tweeting about the unproven theories.
He labelled his Democratic opponent Joe Biden a “wacko” and a member of the “radical left”.
In one significant national coronavirus action, Trump declared there would be no action before the election on economic-stimulus legislation — an announcement that came not long after the Federal Reserve chairman said such help was essential for recovery with the nation reeling from the human and economic cost of the pandemic.
Stocks fell on the White House news. He later tweeted his support for a range of piecemeal stimulus proposals that appear to be a political non-starter before Election Day.
Stocks then rose on the news and the S&P 500 was 1.3 per cent higher in late morning trading after Trump sent the series of tweets late Tuesday which said he’s open to sending out US$1200 payments to Americans, as well as limited programmes to prop up the airline industry and small businesses.
The White House has been a ghost town since Trump’s return, with many staffers scared of potential exposure. Aides have been instructed to take extensive precautions to prevent themselves from catching the coronavirus from the president.
Access to Trump for White House aides has been extremely limited since his discharge. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and senior adviser Dan Scavino were among those with the president in the Oval Office, according to officials. Those meeting with Trump are required to wear full personal protective gear to minimise their risk.
Trump could have received his briefings elsewhere in the complex, but the president believed it was important that he be seen working from the Oval, according to a White House official who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
– Additional reporting, Associated Press