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White House Updates On Trump's Health Condition Raise More Questions


President Trump appeared on a Twitter video this evening and assured the American people that he is doing well.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I came here, wasn't feeling so well. I feel much better now. We're working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back because we still have to make America great again.

MARTIN: Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., yesterday after testing positive for COVID-19. We're going to go to White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez now to tell us more about the president's condition. Franco, thanks for joining us.


MARTIN: How did the president seem in the video?

ORDOÑEZ: Well, you know, he looked a little tired. His hair was a little bit off, you know, a little bit more than normal. But he was very upbeat. He said he was feeling much better and expressed optimism about returning to the campaign trail. But he said the next few days would be, you know, the real test.

MARTIN: You know, Franco, just - I want to remind you that there are some discrepancies in the timeline of the president's treatment and condition and how we were informed of this. Could you just walk us through that?

ORDOÑEZ: Yeah. Sure. I mean, the doctors said the president is doing well. His fever has gone down. His symptoms are easing up. We saw that a little bit as well in his video when he was talking. Now, the doctors also say he's on Remdesivir, and they plan for that to continue for the next five days. But things actually also got a little bit more confusing when Dr. Conley - that's the president's doctor - talked about the timeline.

MARTIN: How did the doctors explain this discrepancy?

ORDOÑEZ: Well, I mean, they talked about, you know, one of the issues was that, you know, they talked about different times. You know, so the doctor said that it was the last three days. They talked - there was a lot of questions about when the president got the virus and when he was tested for the virus. But there were a lot of questions about when he - about - you know, it appeared that he was positive for the virus on Wednesday afternoon before he did the rally in Minnesota and went to a fundraiser in New Jersey. So, you know, we've - we heard, first of all, that he was positive for the virus on late Thursday. Also, a second doctor said that it had been 48 hours since he had received a cocktail of antibodies, a treatment called Regeneron, and that would also pre-date his time at Walter Reed.

MARTIN: And all this is happening, of course, as the election is now a month from today. Can you just tell us what's happening with the campaign?

ORDOÑEZ: Yeah. Well, you know, Trump's campaign manager also has the virus. There's a lot of concerns out there. But they say they're forging ahead. Today the campaign said that they're going forward and carrying on with what they're calling Operation MAGA. This will really get rolling on Wednesday with the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City. A senior administration official told me today that the president - pardon me - that the vice president actually expects to arrive in Utah on Monday. He will - the vice president will also do events in Arizona and Indiana. And, you know, President Trump's children will also be active. But, you know, in the meantime, we're all really just waiting to see what happens with the president.

MARTIN: That is NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez. Franco, thank you.

ORDOÑEZ: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.