Trump says COVID-19 diagnosis was 'blessing in disguise,' touts experimental antibody drug
WASHINGTON - In a nearly five-minute long video posted Wednesday, President Donald Trump said his COVID-19 diagnosis was “a blessing in disguise” and promised to make an experimental antibody drug “free” for all Americans that he credited for his improved condition.
The president, who received an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals during his three-day stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, called the drug “a cure.”
“To me, it wasn’t therapeutic, it just made me better. I call that a cure,” Trump said in a video posted on Twitter that was recorded in the Rose Garden. “I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president, because I feel great.”
Trump received an experimental antiviral cocktail made by Regeneron through a “compassionate use” exemption, a recognition of the above-and-beyond standard of care he receives as president. The safety and effectiveness of the drug have not yet been proven. And there is no way for the president or his doctors to know that the drug had any effect.
Earlier in the day, the White House said Trump returned to the Oval Office for a briefing on Hurricane Delta, which is bearing down on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and on economic stimulus prospects — despite still being contagious two days after he was discharged from the hospital.
President Donald Trump salutes to Marine One from the Truman Balcony as he returns home after receiving treatments for COVID-19 at the White House on Oct 5, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
White House officials said additional safeguards have been put in place to protect staff who may interact with the president, including requiring full personal protective equipment.
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In the video, Trump also downplayed the threat of the novel coronavirus — stating that those who become infected are “going to get better really fast.” Trump's doctor reported Wednesday that the president continued to make progress in his recovery.
Nearly 212,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and more than 7.5 million have contracted the virus, according to data compiled Oct. 7 by Johns Hopkins University.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.