WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump appeared in public on Friday (Oct 2) evening for first time since being stricken by COVID-19, boarding his Marine One helicopter for a flight to a military hospital.
Trump walked out of the White House and gave a thumbs-up but did not speak. Members of the aircrew, Secret Service agents and White House staff wore face coverings to protect themselves from the president onboard the helicopter.
In his first public comments since his diagnosis, Trump said he believes he is "doing very well", in a short video message posted on his Twitter account.
"I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I am going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I am doing very well. But we are going to make sure that things work out," Trump said.
"The First Lady is doing very well," he added.
The White House said the visit of “a few days” to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was precautionary and that Trump would continue to work from the hospitals presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to keep up his official duties.
“President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," said press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“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.”
READ: Trump to carry out duties 'without disruption' while recovering from COVID-19: US president's physician
Earlier on Friday, the White House said Trump had been injected with an experimental antibody cocktail by the White House physician.
He received an intravenous dose of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals's dual antibody, his physician Navy Commander Dr Sean Conley said.
Trump was also taking immune system boosters zinc and vitamin D, aspirin, and other generic drugs.
Regeneron's drug, REGN-COV2, is part of a class of experimental COVID-19 drugs known as monoclonal antibodies: manufactured copies of human antibodies to the virus that are being studied for use in patients with early illness.
Just a month before the presidential election, Trump's revelation that he was positive for the virus came by tweet about 1am after he had returned from an afternoon political fundraiser. He had gone ahead, saying nothing to the crowd though knowing he had been exposed to an aide with the disease that has infected millions in America and killed more than a million people worldwide.
First lady Melania Trump also tested positive, the president said, and several others in the White House have, too, prompting concern that the White House or even Trump himself might have spread the virus further.
Trump has spent much of the year downplaying the threat of the virus, rarely wearing a protective mask and urging states and cities to “reopen” and reduce or eliminate shutdown rules.
The presidents physician said in a memo late Friday that Trump received a dose of an experimental antibody cocktail by Regeneron that is in clinical trials.
Dr Conley said Trump “remains fatigued but in good spirits" and that a team of experts was evaluating both the president and first lady in regard to next steps.
The first lady, who is 50, has a “mild cough and headache,” Conley reported, and the remainder of the first family, including the Trumps son Barron, who lives at the White House, tested negative.
<a href="https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid-19-trump-age-health-wo<a href=https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid-19-trump-heads-to-military-hospital-13185790>Read More – Source</a></p>_
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Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh receive Covid-19 vaccine
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Saturday.
Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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