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Trump Will Spend Few Days At A Hospital, According To A White House Statement


And this afternoon, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany revealed President Trump will be spending the next few days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Trump has been put on a regimen of drugs, including an experimental treatment. He is described as being in good spirits but fatigued. Joining us now to talk about the latest is NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

Hello, Tam.


MOSLEY: So President Trump is visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. What do we make of that? Does it indicate that the president is in worse shape than the White House has been letting on?

KEITH: We don't know. But in a statement, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said that out of an abundance of caution, Trump will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. And she added that he remains in good spirits. She said Trump has mild symptoms and has been working throughout the day. And the military hospital is set up for comfortable presidential stays. They have more extensive medical facilities and testing than is available at the White House. What we're trying to sort, though - and may not know for some time - is what this really means. Is he being hospitalized, or is he just working from the hospital? The president did release a video message this evening where he tried to express some optimism.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I'm going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I'm doing very well, but we're going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well, so thank you very much. I appreciate it. I will never forget it. Thank you.

KEITH: And to make his trip to Walter Reed, he did walk to Marine One wearing a suit and a mask with no apparent difficulty. He gave the press a thumbs up and a wave, but he didn't say anything.

MOSLEY: You know, there's so much that we still don't know. But how does this affect his campaign?

KEITH: Well, we do know now that all in-person events that he was supposed to do today and this weekend have been canceled. There were a bunch of rallies scheduled. He was supposed to participate in a call this afternoon with governors about COVID and senior citizens, but Vice President Mike Pence ended up pinch-hitting. Pence has tested negative for COVID - tested again today negative, and he ended up running that call. Bill Stepien, the president's campaign manager, said in a statement that all previously announced campaign events are in the process of either being moved to virtual events or being temporarily postponed. And he also added that any previously announced events involving members of the first family are also being temporarily postponed, and other events will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is some talk of getting Vice President Pence back out on the campaign trail, though.

MOSLEY: Yes, so Vice President Pence has tested negative, but what about others at the White House? Have they tested positive as well?

KEITH: Yeah. So as you know, first lady Melania Trump has tested positive. She described her symptoms in a tweet as mild. The president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, tested negative, as did Barron Trump, the president's 14-year-old son. Numerous other White House and administration officials, including, as we say, Pence, Mark Meadows, a number of Cabinet members - they've all announced today that they've tested negative. But these tests simply capture a moment in time. Someone who tests negative one day could test positive a few days down the line, so this doesn't mean that they won't have positive tests later. And, in fact, chief of staff Mark Meadows said he expects more people at the White House likely will test positive as this progresses. It's highly contagious.

MOSLEY: NPR's Tamara Keith, as always, thank you.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.