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Donald Trump leaves hospital, returns to White House after coronavirus treatment

Click to play video 'Trump cleared to return to White House' Trump cleared to return to White House
WATCH: Trump cleared to return to White House – Oct 5, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after seeking medical treatment for COVID-19.

Trump left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland just after 6:30 p.m. ET Monday evening, returning to the White House shortly after.

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Coronavirus: President Donald Trump returns to White House after hospital visit – Oct 5, 2020

Once at the White House, Trump quickly removed his mask before saluting Marine One from a balcony.

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Read more: Trump’s ‘don’t be afraid’ message after coronavirus treatment is ‘appalling,’ experts say

In a video posted to Twitter just after his return, Trump said the public should not fear the novel coronavirus.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trump tells Americans not to let COVID-19 ‘dominate you,’ says he’s feeling better' Coronavirus: Trump tells Americans not to let COVID-19 ‘dominate you,’ says he’s feeling better
Coronavirus: Trump tells Americans not to let COVID-19 ‘dominate you,’ says he’s feeling better – Oct 5, 2020

“I learned so much about coronavirus,” he said. “And one thing that’s for certain: Don’t let it dominate you, don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it.”

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The president also doubled down on claims a vaccine for the virus could be ready for public consumption soon.

“We have the best medicines in the world and it all happened very shortly and they’re all getting approved and the vaccines are coming momentarily,” he said.

Read more: What Donald Trump’s coronavirus treatment could tell us about his condition

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Coronavirus: President Trump leaves military hospital after stay due to COVID-19 – Oct 5, 2020

With less than a month until the U.S. presidential election, Trump also sought to assure his supporters that he would resume campaigning shortly.

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“Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!!” he wrote in a tweet Monday evening.

Trump was hospitalized on Friday, after announcing he and his wife, first lady of the United States Melania Trump, had tested positive for the virus.

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Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley said the president met the requirements to be discharged Sunday afternoon, and that his recovery will continue to be overseen 24 hours a day by medical staff.

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Coronavirus: Trump to be discharged from military hospital after COVID-19 treatment – Oct 5, 2020

“Right now there’s nothing that’s being done upstairs here that we can’t safely conduct at home,” Conley said.

Conley refused to comment on how the president will adequately quarantine while at the White House, which continues to be staffed. The doctor also declined to answer questions on whether Trump has tested negative for the virus yet.

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Coronavirus: Trump’s secret service staff in vehicle with him during drive wore PPE, says president’s physician – Oct 5, 2020

Trump is expected to resume his normal schedule once “there is no evidence of live virus still present,” Conley said. But he also cautioned that it was “uncharted territory” having a patient receive such aggressive medication so early in the course of the disease, and he said Trump would not be fully out of the woods for another week.

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Trump spent several days in the hospital after revealing that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 late Thursday night.

A number of key White House administration members have also tested positive for the virus, including former campaign manager and counsellor Kellyanne Conway, current campaign manager Bill Stepien, senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Trump’s assistant Nicholas Luna.

On Sunday, Trump rode in a vehicle with Secret Service members and waved to supporters outside the hospital.

During his hospital stay, Trump continued to be vocal on Twitter, urging Americans to not be afraid of the coronavirus and carry on with their lives.

Click to play video 'Doctors reveal more about Trump’s condition with COVID-19' Doctors reveal more about Trump’s condition with COVID-19
Doctors reveal more about Trump’s condition with COVID-19 – Oct 4, 2020

“We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge,” he said.

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However, Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine called Trump’s message is “unconscionable.”

“I would go so far as to say that it may precipitate or worsen spread,” she told The Associated Press.

Dr. David Nace of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said the novel coronavirus is a “complete threat to the American population.”

“Most of the people aren’t so lucky as the president,” with an in-house medical unit and access to experimental treatments, Nace told The Associated Press.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who spent more than 90 minutes on the debate stage with Trump last week, said during an NBC town hall Monday evening that he was glad Trump seemed to be recovering well, “but there’s a lot to be concerned about — 210,000 people have died. I hope no one walks away with the message that it’s not a problem.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Biden says Trump ‘responsible’ for catching COVID-19 given stance on masks, social distancing' Coronavirus: Biden says Trump ‘responsible’ for catching COVID-19 given stance on masks, social distancing
Coronavirus: Biden says Trump ‘responsible’ for catching COVID-19 given stance on masks, social distancing – Oct 5, 2020

Biden, who tested negative for the virus on Sunday, said in an interview with WPLG Local 10 News in Miami: “I saw a tweet he did, they showed me, he said `Don’t let COVID control your life.”’ Tell that to all the “families that lost someone.”

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To date, the virus has infected more than 7.4 million people in the U.S. and has claimed 210,127 lives, according to a tally from John’s Hopkins University.

Read more: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for coronavirus

In a series of tweets on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence said he is “grateful” for the “incredible medical staff” at Walter Reed Medical Center, and for the “concern, support and prayers” from the public.

“We believe it’s emblematic of the love, care & compassion that the American People have shown to all of those that have been impacted by the Coronavirus,” he wrote.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced on Monday she had tested positive for the virus, becoming the latest in Trump’s inner circle to contract COVID-19.

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In a tweet, McEnany said she loves “seeing our President @realDonaldTrump return home to the White House & stand strongly on the balcony!”

— With files from The Associated Press