Donald Trump Sends Message to Doctors and Nurses Amid COVID-19 Hospitalization

President Donald Trump tweeted his praise for the Walter Reed Military Medical Center staff on Saturday afternoon, from inside his hospital room. The president has been hospitalized since Friday evening with a case of COVID-19 but is apparently in good enough condition to use his phone. He thanked the hospital personnel around the country for their work.

"Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!" Trump tweeted. "Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!"

The president tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday night and announced it in the early hours of Friday morning. His administration initially claimed that he was in good condition, but on Friday evening, he was hospitalized without warning. White House spokespeople said that Trump was taken to Walter Read "out of an abundance of caution."

On Saturday morning, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley gave a press conference on the front steps of Walter Reed along with the other doctors seeing to the president's care. They painted an optimistic picture of Trump's condition, though they pointedly refused to answer several questions from reporters. Hours later, a source close to the president told The Associated Press that Trump needed supplemental oxygen on Friday afternoon, shortly before he was hospitalized.

Conley and the other doctors would only say that Trump had not needed supplemental oxygen since arriving at the hospital and that his fever had broken on Friday morning. Still, they could not give an estimate on when he might be discharged from the hospital.

In the wake of his diagnosis, Trump has been criticized more heavily than ever for his negligent attitude towards coronavirus precautions. The president has been disdainful of safety precautions like social distancing and face masks and has mocked others for following these guidelines.

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On Friday, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace revealed that Trump arrived late to the presidential debate in Ohio on Tuesday, leaving no time for him to be tested for the coronavirus there. The organizers reportedly used the "honor system," trusting that Trump is being tested regularly at the White House and on the campaign trail.

If Trump was tested, his case was not detected by the White House's testing method, nor was that of his senior adviser Hope Hicks. However, a Trump administration official told The Associated Press on Saturday that there will be no changes to the White House's testing procedure. Critics argue that this is yet more evidence that Trump and his staff are not taking this pandemic seriously enough.