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Trump very well and fever-free after Covid-19 diagnosis, doctor says

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Media captionTrump doctors “extremely happy” with president’s progress

US President Donald Trump is “very well” after spending his first night in a hospital where he is being treated after testing positive for coronavirus.

His personal doctor Sean Conley said he was not receiving supplemental oxygen and had been fever-free for 24 hours.

Dr Conley was “cautiously optimistic” about the president’s condition but said he could not give a timetable for his discharge from hospital.

In exactly one month, Mr Trump faces Joe Biden in the presidential election.

The diagnosis, made public in a tweet on Friday, has upended his campaign and also cast doubt on his attempt to get a new Supreme Court judge confirmed before polling day.

Speaking to reporters, Dr Conley refused to say whether the president had ever been on oxygen despite being repeatedly questioned. He also said the team were “72 hours” into the positive diagnosis, which – if confirmed – would suggest the president attended an event on Thursday night knowing he was infected.

The president, being 74, a man and someone categorised as obese, is in a higher-risk category for Covid-19. He has so far been treated with an experimental drug cocktail injection and the antiviral medication remdesivir.

First Lady Melania Trump, who has also tested positive for Covid-19, was “doing great”, Dr Conley said.

The list of other people to have tested positive around Mr Trump include close aide Hope Hicks – believed to be the first to show symptoms – campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway. Republican Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis have also tested positive.

Mr Trump remains in charge. Vice-President Mike Pence, to whom under the constitution the president would transfer power temporarily should he become too ill to carry out his duties, tested negative.

How did the president look on Friday?

Wearing a mask and suit, Mr Trump walked out across the White House lawn on Friday at 18:15 (22:15 GMT) to his helicopter, Marine One, for the short flight to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center close to Washington DC.

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Reuters

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Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

He waved and gave a thumbs-up to reporters but said nothing before boarding the aircraft.

In an 18-second video posted to Twitter, Mr Trump said: “I think I’m doing very well. But we’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much.”

The president’s children, Ivanka and Eric, retweeted his post, praising him as a “warrior”. Ms Trump added: “I love you dad.”

Donald Jr said his father was “obviously taking it very seriously”.

Mr Trump was admitted to the presidential suite at Walter Reed, which is where US presidents usually have their annual check-up. Shortly before midnight, he tweeted again: “Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent time in intensive care with the virus in April, said he had no doubt Mr Trump would make a “very strong recovery”.

Covid cluster at the heart of government

Analysis by Peter Bowes, BBC North America correspondent

This is a crisis that is escalating by the hour.

With the news that another member of Trump’s inner circle, Kellyanne Conway, has tested positive, along with two Republican senators, there is a growing realisation that a Covid cluster has penetrated the heart of US government.

Like Ms Conway, Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina attended the White House event where the president announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said it would be “irresponsible and dangerous” to move forward with Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings.

It would be another huge blow to the president if the proceedings were delayed, although Senate leader Mitch McConnell has said they will continue with expanded use of remote hearings.

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Reuters

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At least seven people who were at the White House event for Amy Coney Barrett have reportedly tested positive



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