Barely 24 hours after testing positive for coronavirus, United States president, Donald Trump, was yesterday flown to hospital.
According to the White House, the decision to transport him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre was taken “out of an abundance of caution”.
The American president started manifesting “mild symptoms” of COVID-19 on Thursday after disclosing that he and his wife had gone into quarantine late Wednesday.
The White House said he was feeling “fatigued but in good spirits”.
Wearing a mask and suit, the president walked out across the White House lawn on Friday afternoon to his helicopter, Marine One, for the trip to hospital.
This is coming just over a month before presidential elections, where he will face Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
A statement by White House spokesperson noted: “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.
“President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the first lady.”
The BBC’s US partner, CBS News, listed Trump’s symptoms to include a low-grade fever.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and other world leaders yesterday joined all citizens of the United States in prayers for the quick and full recovery of President Trump and his wife, Melanie.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari noted, with sympathy, that the incident of COVID-19 in the White House manifests the challenge posed by the pandemic across the world, and difficulty in containing the spread.
While wishing the American first family speedy turnaround in their current health status, Buhari urged more compliance among Nigerians to protocols, and adherence to advice of medical doctors, particularly epidemiologists.
Other world leaders who also wished the America president a speedy recovery after they tested positive for COVID-19 included UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Johnson extended his “best wishes” to President Trump and Melania after the two announced they have tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus,” the British prime minister who survived a bout with COVID-19 earlier this year tweeted.
On his part, Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu, wished the US president and his wife a quick.
“Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of Trump and Melania and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery,” Netanyahu said, as quoted by his office.
Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, Finance minister, Israel Katz, and Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, also joined the prime minister’s wishes.
Israel and the US have enjoyed good relations since Trump came into office in 2016, with the two leaders reported to be close.
Similarly, Merkel wished Trump and his wife, Melania, a full recovery from the coronavirus.
“I send Donald and Melania Trump all my good wishes. I hope that they recover well from their coronavirus infection and are soon fully healthy again,” Merkel said via her spokesman on Twitter.
Trump, who minimised the threat of the coronavirus pandemic for months, said yesterday that he and his wife, Melania, had tested positive for COVID-19 and were going into quarantine, upending the race for the White House.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” the president said in a tweet.
Trump’s positive test means that others at the highest levels of the US government may have been exposed and have to quarantine too.
A White House official said contact tracing was underway.
Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said he expected the president to carry out his duties “without disruption” while he recovers.
“The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” Conley wrote in a memo that was distributed to the press.
On Thursday night, shortly after the president said the pandemic’s end was in sight, news broke that Hope Hicks, a top adviser and trusted aide, had tested positive for the virus.
Hicks traveled with the president on Air Force One on Tuesday and Wednesday.