President Donald Trump is heading to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for what the White House says is a precaution after he tested positive for COVID-19 and began experiencing symptoms.
“President Trump remains in good [spirits], has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day. Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Friday.
Trump is traveling to the military medical complex aboard Marine One, which is the way presidents often travel to the facility in nearby Bethesda, Maryland.
The former Bethesda Naval Hospital has a long history of treating ailing presidents and other dignitaries, and features a variety of VIP quarters, including a presidential suite.
“As of this afternoon, President Trump remains fatigued but in good spirits. He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps,” the president’s physician, Navy Cmdr. Sean P. Conley, wrote in a memo released before it was publicly known Trump was leaving the White House for Bethesda.
Conley confirmed that the president has taken an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron, as well as “zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.”
The experimental drug Trump was treated with is being tested in both hospitalized patients, non-hospitalized patients and people at risk infection because of exposure.
The company says that its early data show improved symptoms in non-hospitalized patients, but the drug has only been tested in 275 people.
While Trump has been a champion of the “Right to Try” law he pushed through Congress, which lets companies provide patients with experimental drugs without Food and Drug Administration oversight, it appears that the company went through a more traditional process for so-called “compassionate use” where the FDA permits emergency use of an unproven treatment.
Besides the president, first lady Melania Trump and senior counselor Hope Hicks have also tested positive for COVID-19.
Andrew Siddons contributed to this report.