1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Coming days critical for Trump's COVID-19 — live updates

October 3, 2020

The next 48 hours will be "critical" for Donald Trump as he battles a coronavirus infection. Trump has postponed campaign events ahead of the election. Follow DW for the latest.

Pulmonologist Sean Dooley gives an update on the condition of US President Donald Trump, on October 3, 2020, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Image: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
  • The President tweeted a video of himself, saying he looks forward to being back
  • Trump's symptoms "are now resolving and improving," his doctor says
  • The US president is set to spend several days in a military hospital
  • He and his wife Melania announced they tested positive earlier on Friday
  • Trump's election campaign has postponed events

All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

02:31 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cut his Asia trip short, in light of the president's illness. He will visit Japan as scheduled, but will skip South Korea and Mongolia. Pompeo will be in Japan until Tuesday, and will meet the foreign ministers of Australia, India and Japan. 

01:24: Trump's doctor, Sean Conley, said he was "not yet out of the woods," but that he remained cautiously optimistic. Conley said Trump had made substantial progress since being admitted, and remained fever-free and off supplemental oxygen.

11:03 Trump shared a video of himself on Twitter, saying that he was doing better, and looked forward to being back on the campaign trail again. He said that the next few days "will be the real test." He also added that the first lady was handling the virus "very nicely."

He said the drugs that he was being treated with were "miracles coming from God."

Trump said that he had "no choice" but to face the risk of getting the virus, saying the alternative was to stay locked up in his office.

However, many critics say Trump took unnecessary risks and was cavalier in his approach to the virus, eschewing social distancing and refusing to wear a mask.

Trump was sitting at a desk in the video, looking reasonably healthy. His voice did not sound frail.

22:26 Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie confirmed that he has checked himself into the Morristown Medical Center, after testing positive for COVID-19. He said he had been experiencing mild symptoms, but has been admitted as a precautionary measure since he suffers from mild asthma.

Christie is the latest among Trump's inner circle to have been affected by the virus. Apart from the president and the first lady, presidential advisor Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stepein, former advisor Kellyanne Conway, and Senator Mike Lee from Utah are among those to have tested positive.

20:51 US Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said he spoke to the president, and said that he was doing well. "Just had another great call with @POTUS. He sounds well and says he’s feeling good," announced McConnell on Twitter. 

19:15 President Donald Trump is doing "very well" and that doctors are pleased with his vital signs, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Saturday.

"The president is doing very well. He is up and about and asking for documents to review. The doctors are very pleased with his vital signs. I have met with him on multiple occasions today on a variety of issues," Meadows told Reuters news agency.

There have been conflicting news about Trump's health, with his doctors saying the president is doing well and some sources claim that the next two days are critical for him.

17:18 The AP news agency reports that President Donald Trump on Friday was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House, just hours after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley sidestepped the question about supplemental oxygen at a press briefing Saturday, saying Trump was not administered oxygen on Thursday or since he has been a patient at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Stefan Simons, DW's correspondent in Washington, says the press conference leaves many questions unanswered. "If you believe Dr. Sean Conley it is all hunky-dory and the president is doing fine… However, we heard about 72 hours into his diagnosis – that is what the doctors said – and it does not make sense, the timeline doesn't add up," Simons said.

"The question is when was President Trump tested for COVID-19? When was he found negative and when was he found positive? Did he know that he was coronavirus positive when he went on a campaign event?" Simons added.

Update from White House Physician Sean Conley on President Trump's condition

16:33 President Donald Trump is not yet on a clear path to recovery and some of his vital signs over the last 24 hours were very concerning, according to a source cited by several news agencies.

The source said the next 48 hours will be critical for President Trump.

The assessment comes after Trump's medical team told a press conference on Saturday that the president is doing "extremely well."

However, the source cited by Reuters, DPA and the AP was less optimistic. The AP described the anonymous source as a person familiar with Trump's health condition but not authorized to speak on it publicly.

"The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery," the source told White House reporters traveling with the president, according to the DPA.

In his latest tweet, Trump said he was "feeling well."


15:48 "President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are extremely grateful for the support. The president is doing very well," Dr. Sean Conley at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center told a press conference on Saturday, giving an update on Trump's health. 

Trump's medical team moved the president to the hospital "as a precautionary measure."

"At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made," Conley added.

He said that Trump's symptoms, including cough and nasal congestion "are now resolving and improving."

According to Trump's medical staff, the president is receiving multi-disciplinary care and they are monitoring him very closely. His cardiac and kidney functions are normal and Trump does not require oxygen, they said, adding the president has no fever and has no difficulty in breathing and walking around.

"He's in exceptionally good spirits," said another doctor, Sean Dooley.

U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks from the Marine One helicopter followed by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Trump has been transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in MarylandImage: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

15:25 The White House says President Donald Trump's doctor will provide an update on his health condition as he undergoes treatment for the coronavirus. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley is set to address reporters from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"We are hoping to get some information now. How is the president doing? What are his symptoms? Is he getting better? Is he getting worse? And what about the other medicines he may get from the doctors the hospital?" said Stefan Simons, DW's correspondent in Washington.

14:59 After Trump contracted coronavirus, some observers have put the spotlight on a White House event held last Saturday, when the president introduced Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. More than 150 people participated in a gathering, where they mingled, hugged and shook hands, overwhelmingly without masks. Some of those who attended the event have now tested positive for COVID-19: former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, the president of the University of Notre Dame, and at least two Republican lawmakers, Mike Lee from Utah and Thom Tillis from North Carolina.

14:49 Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wished President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump a speedy recovery in a message on his official Twitter account.

14:38 As a precautionary measure, President Trump will work in a special suite at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the next few days, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Saturday.

Meanwhile, an online video showed a small group of Trump supporters gathered outside the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland late on Friday, waving Trump 2020 flags. Most of them were not wearing face masks.

14:27 US Vice President Mike Pence, who would take over presidential duties if President Trump became severely ill, has tested negative for coronavirus, a spokesman said on Saturday. The 61-year-old vice president is working from his own residence about three miles from the White House.

11:32 UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson says he has no doubt that Trump will make a very strong recovery after the US president was moved to a military hospital.

"He's a naturally obviously very resilient character and I'm sure he'll come through it very well," he told UK media.

Johnson himself was hospitalized in April with COVID-19 and spent three days on a ventilator. After being discharged, he required two weeks of convalescence before returning to work.

10:24 Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a message to Trump and the first lady following their coronavirus diagnoses.

"My wife, Peng Liyuan, and I express our sympathies to you and your wife and wish you a fast recovery,'' state TV on its website cited the message as saying.

US-China relations have hit a new low in recent months amid disputes over trade, technology, security, Beijing's tightening of control over Hong Kong and complaints about abuses in China's Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang.

On Friday, Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the Communist Party's tabloid, Global Times, was more critical of the US president, writing on Twitter: 

"President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19. The news shows the severity of the US' pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection."

07:54 Trump's shock diagnosis has been a huge blow to his reelection effort, triggering a freeze on plans to travel the country in an attempt to catch up with his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls.

The Trump campaign has postponed all events involving the president, including a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday and others in western states like Arizona next week.

Rallies are such a key part of the Trump brand that his campaign team is now scrambling to reinvent its strategy. 

Biden, meanwhile, is now able to argue that his more cautious approach to Covid-19 had been vindicated.

Also in doubt is the second Trump-Biden debate, scheduled for October 15.

04:34 Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh confirmed the news on Saturday, which was first reported by Politico.

Politico said Stepien received his diagnosis Friday and is experiencing "mild flu-like symptoms."

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, also announced Friday that she had tested positive, joining Trump, the first lady, top aide Hope Hicks and numerous others.

Stepien, who joined Trump at Tuesday's first presidential debate, plans to quarantine until he recovers.

04:00 Alongside Remdesivir, Trump is being treated with an experimental drug. Read more about it here: What is the experimental drug that Trump is being treated with?

03:47 White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted an update from Trump's doctor Sean P. Conley. According to the update, Trump has begun taking the antiviral drug Remdesivir after consultation with specialists.

Trump is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, added Conley in the memo, saying that the US president is "resting well."

03:40 Trump tweeted hours after arrival at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was transported to the Maryland hospital on Friday after contracting COVID-19. "Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!" said the president.


Read more: Is compulsory licensing of remdesivir a feasible option?

03:20 House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted that Trump was "upbeat" and that he "appreciates all the prayers and support from everyone," after speaking with the president on the telephone.

02:10 Kellyanne Conway, Trump's 2016 campaign manager, said she too had tested positive for COVID-19. "My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I'm feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians," Conway tweeted.

Videos circulated on social media showing her daughter Claudia Conway, who has frequently and openly clashed with her mother over Trump, first announcing the news on TikTok.

Fellow Republicans Thom Tillis, senator for North Carolina, and Utah Senator Mike Lee both said Friday that they had tested positive for the virus. Both attended a ceremony for Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 25 with President Donald Trump.

00:47 Hillary Clinton, the Democrat's 2016 presidential nominee, joined those wishing the president well, following his diagnosis.

"We wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery, and hope for the safety of the White House staff, the Secret Service, and others putting their lives on the line," Clinton tweeted.

00:30 Microblogging platform Twitter reminded users that it would remove tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against anyone. Some have used the platform to tweet that they hope the US president dies from the virus after he tested positive.


00:05 "Nobody can yet say what impact the virus will have on Trump, who is 74 and overweight, but it is certain this development will have a disastrous effect on his election campaign," writes DW's Washington bureau chief, Ines Pohl. Read the full article here:Reality rears its head in Donald Trump's coronavirus infection

23:16 Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted, telling Americans to come together. He earlier used the microblogging platform to tell his followers: "this cannot be a partisan moment."

Biden earlier used the US president's diagnosis to tell those living in the US that wearing masks is more important than being a "tough guy." Trump has been criticized for not encouraging mask-wearing at mass rallies in the run-up to the US presidential election set to take place on November 3.

23:13 Former US President Barack Obama joined public figures wishing Trump well. "Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery," he said in a tweet.

"Obviously, we're in the midst of a big political battle right now, and while there’s a lot at stake, let's remember that we're all Americans. We're all human beings. And we want everyone to be healthy, no matter our party," the former Democrat president added.

23:05 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered his sympathy and "warm greetings" to Trump and his wife, reported state media outlet KNCA.

The leader wished the president a speedy recovery.

22:50 Kayleigh McEnany earlier posted a memo from Trump's physician Sean P. Conley on Twitter. Trump was "fatigued but in good spirits," the memo stated.

Trump had received a dose of Regeneron's polyelonal antibody cocktail, added Conley in the memo. The cocktail being tested by New York-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. has reported improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with no serious side effects in trials.

Read more: Donald Trump has a coronavirus infection: What happens next?

22:45 Trump released a video message, shot in the White House, in which he thanks people for their good wishes and says he is doing well. "I am going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I'm doing very well but we are going to make sure things work out," Trump said. 


22:37 The helicopter transporting the US president has arrived at the military hospital.

Trump wears a black face mask and a dark blue suit as he walks to a helicopter. He is profile in the picture. He is giving a thumbs up to the camera with his right hand.
Trump gave a thumbs up but did not speak as he walked to a helicopter that would transport him to the military hospitalImage: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

22:30 Trump is being transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. He walked out of the White House unassisted and wearing a mask to the Marine One helicopter that will take him to the hospital. He gave a thumbs up before boarding.

Trump is being moved "out of an abundance of caution." He is set to remain at the hospital for "a few days" said White House officials. 

22:25 Catch up on the previous day's developments here: Donald Trump tests positive for COVID-19 — live updates

shs,kmm/aw (Reuters, AFP,  AP, dpa)