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Trump says he's leaving hospital Monday evening

"Don’t be afraid of Covid," Trump added of the virus that has killed more than 211,000 Americans so far this year.

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be leaving Walter Reed Medical Center, where he has been treated for COVID-19 since Friday, later in the evening.

"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M," Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. "Feeling really good!"

"Don’t be afraid of Covid," he continued. "Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

The virus has so far killed more than 211,000 Americans.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stipulate that a person quarantines for 10 days after symptoms first appear. The president first said he began feeling sick on Thursday, about five days ago. The CDC says those "who are severely ill" with the virus may need to quarantine for up to 20 days.

The president's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, briefed the press Monday afternoon, saying the president has improved to the point that he could recommend returning to the White House, though he said Trump is not quite in the clear yet. Conley said the president would continue to take Remdesivir, the experimental antiviral drug, later Monday and on Tuesday.

"Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status, support the president's safe return home," Conley said. He declined to say when the president last tested negative for the virus.

Asked if the president will be confined to the White House residence, Conley said: "We're going to do whatever it takes for the president to safely conduct business wherever it is he needs to do within the residence of the White House."

On Sunday, Conley acknowledged in a briefing that he had been not completely forthcoming about Trump's condition at a briefing a day earlier in order to "reflect the upbeat attitude" of the White House.

Later Sunday, White House strategic communications director Alyssa Farah defended the mixed messaging by saying, "when you're treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits and that was the intent."

Doctors had said Sunday that Trump could be discharged as soon as Monday, but also said he was placed on a steroid therapy typically used in more severe coronavirus cases.

Medical experts criticized Trump for briefly leaving the hospital on Sunday to wave to supporters from his motorcade, saying he put the Secret Service agents who had to travel with him at risk.

Earlier Sunday, Conley said the president's condition has "continued to improve," adding, "there are frequent ups and downs over the course, particularly when a patient is being so closely watched."

Conley said Trump experienced a high fever Friday morning and was administered supplemental oxygen later that day. He added that Trump's oxygen levels dipped for a second time on Saturday, but could not answer whether Trump required supplemental oxygen that day. Doctors said Trump has not had a fever since Friday and that his vital signs are stable.

On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies were confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19 as now 11 people tied to the president have contracted the virus in recent days.

Trump tested positive for the virus Thursday night and was hospitalized on Friday. Others, like first lady Melania Trump, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped prepare Trump for last week's presidential debate, are among those who announced positive tests for the virus in the days after White House aide Hope Hicks' diagnosis was first made public. Three Republican senators have tested positive for the disease.

In a video he posted to Twitter on Sunday, Trump said he "learned a lot about Covid" while at Walter Reed Medical Center.

"I learned it by really going to school," Trump said. "This is the real school. This isn’t the ‘let’s read the book’ school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing. And I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

An ABC/Ipsos poll released Sunday found that 72% of Americans believe Trump didn't take the risk of contracting Covid seriously enough, nor the appropriate precautions. That included 43 % of Republicans.

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