President Donald Trump, who has Covid-19, will be flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday afternoon in his helicopter as a precautionary measure, the White House said Friday.
The move was recommended by the president’s physician, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, and he is expected to remain at the military hospital for several days. He will work from the presidential offices there, McEnany said.
Three people familiar with his condition said earlier Friday Trump has a low-grade fever. The president’s doctor said he was administered an antibody cocktail, along with vitamins, and is fatigued, while Melania Trump has a mild cough and headache.
Earlier, administration officials said Trump was experiencing “mild symptoms” after testing positive for the disease early Friday.
But Trump, who regularly posts on Twitter, was silent on the social media platform after announcing his infection, and ceded the only event on his official public schedule to Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump, who is 74 and clinically overweight, is at a higher risk of complications from the virus, due to his age and weight, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk of a severe illness increases with age and other factors, and other medical conditions can also increase risk, including obesity, according to the agency.
Trump’s weighs about 240 pounds and is about 6 feet, 3 inches tall, according to past health assessments made public in June. His physician has said he is overall healthy.
Vice President Mike Pence, who tested negative for the disease on Friday, remained at the vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory, according to a senior administration official.
Presidential power has not been transferred to the vice president, White House communications director Alyssa Farah told NBC News.
“The president is in charge,” she said.
Marine One landed on the White House South Lawn shortly before 5:30 p.m. ET. A small group of senior White House staff gathered outside for the departure.
Joe Biden, who tested negative for Covid-19 earlier Friday, said during a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Mich., that Trump’s positive test required the U.S. to take the virus seriously and follow safely protocols rigorously.