'He was careless': Trump's ex responds as new photos emerge

 

Donald Trump's ex-wife is "afraid" as he battles COVID-19 in hospital, and has labelled the US President's personal response to the deadly virus as "careless".

Ivana Trump - the mother of Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr - told People their children were updating her on the US President every day, adding it was "a very difficult time" and that the diagnosis was "a stress".

Ivana said Mr Trump, who has rarely been seen wearing a mask in public, "was careless".

"He didn't think it would happen to him," she told People.

But she said the news still came as "a little bit of shock" given Mr Trump is "the cleanest, healthiest person".

"Not healthiest with food, but very healthy otherwise-always washes his hands and always is careful," Ivana told the publication. "His only weakness is food. He likes the Big Mac-it's his biggest weakness."

Ivana Trump and Donald Trump at the US Open Tennis Tournament circa 1988. Picture: PL Gould/Getty Images
Ivana Trump and Donald Trump at the US Open Tennis Tournament circa 1988. Picture: PL Gould/Getty Images

Earlier, photos emerged of Mr Trump working from the military hospital where he is being treated.

Mr Trump is seen sitting at handling paperwork at desks in the Presidential Suite at the Walter Reed Medical Centre, where he was recently transported for treatment.

The Suite has facilities including a sitting and conference rooms, and a hospital bedroom.

"Nothing can stop him from working for the American people. RELENTLESS!," his daughter Ivanka Trump tweeted along with one of the photos.

Donald Trump shown in the Presidential Suite at the Walter Reed Medical Centre. Picture: Twitter/White House
Donald Trump shown in the Presidential Suite at the Walter Reed Medical Centre. Picture: Twitter/White House

 

Mr Trump was recently transported to the Walter Reed Medical Centre for treatment. Picture: Twitter/White House
Mr Trump was recently transported to the Walter Reed Medical Centre for treatment. Picture: Twitter/White House

'I'LL BE BACK': TRUMP'S PLEDGE

Mr Trump told Americans he was faring well as he pledged to return to the campaign trail in a video message from the military hospital where he is being treated.

The four-minute message came after mixed messaging from the White House about Mr Trump's health and when he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

"I came here, wasn't feeling so well, I feel much better now," Mr Trump said at the Walter Reed Medical Centre.

"We're working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back because we still have to make America great.

"I'll be back, I think I'll be back soon and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way we started off."

Donald Trump releases a video message about his COVID-19 diagnosis.
Donald Trump releases a video message about his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Mr Trump said he had decided to go to hospital on Friday, local time, rather than being quarantined in the White House.

"I had to be out front. This is the United States, this is America," he said.

"This was something that's happened and it's happened to people all over the world," he said of his illness.

Mr Trump was earlier reported to have asked "Am I going out like Stan Chera? Am I?" of his aides and to have needed oxygen before he was flown from the White House.

Mr Trump was referring to New York real estate developer Mr Chera, a longtime friend and supporter who died of coronavirus aged 77 in April.

His medical team said he "is doing great" and walking around his hospital wing in an official update that had presented more questions about his diagnosis than it answered.

White House physician Dr Sean Conley said he would not comment on the "specifics" of how high Mr Trump's fever had gone and whether or not he had needed supplemental oxygen.

"He's not on oxygen right now," said Dr Conley.

Mr Trump's condition had improved overnight and his physicians say he is walking around and joking about being ready to leave his top military hospital ward.

Mr Trump has begun treatment with the antiviral drug Remdesivir and has continued working in the White House wing of Walter Reed hospital, according to the multidisciplinary team treating him.

"We remain cautiously optimistic, but he's doing great," said Dr Conley.

But as the briefing from nine medicos was taking place outside the military hospital, a senior source commented to the official "pool" of White House reporters that Mr Trump's vitals were "very concerning".

"The President's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care," said the source.

"We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery."

The doctors also presented conflicting timelines that threw into question how long the Trumps had known they were ill and continued to campaign in public.

While Dr Conley said Mr Trump had been diagnosed 72 hours ago, he was speaking just 35 hours after the early morning tweet with which Mr Trump had announced his illness to the world.

"Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of COVID and in particular days seven to ten are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness," Dr Conley said.

A White House source said after the briefing that the doctor had been mistaken, that the official timeline offered by the Trump administration was correct and that the reference to "72 hours" was down to it being morning of "day three", given Mr Trump was tested Thursday night, local time.

In the press conference outside Walter Reed hospital, White House physician Dr Conley said First Lady Melanie Trump was also faring well and would for now remain at the White House.

Dr Conley said the fever Mr Trump had through Thursday and Friday had gone down and that his latest oxygen saturation was at 96 per cent.

Mr Trump was not currently using supplemental oxygen and had not needed it Friday, but Dr Conley would not confirm or deny whether or not Mr Trump had needed it at any stage since his diagnosis.

Walter Reed pulmonary specialist Dr Sean Dooley said Mr Trump's vitals were strong and that he was not showing any side effects to medications.

"We are monitoring him very closely for any evidence for any complications from either the coronavirus illness or the therapies that we are prescribing to make him better," said Dr Dooley.

"The President is not on oxygen, not having any difficulty breathing, is walking around the White House medical unit upstairs," said

"He is in exceptionally good spirits.

"The quote he left us with is 'I feel like I could walk out of here today', and we feel that was a very encouraging comment."

Dr Conley would not confirm when Mr Trump might be released from hospital and that the first seven to ten days were "the most critical" in determining the course of the disease.

"At this time the team and I are extremely happy with he progress he has made," said Dr Conley.

"Thursday he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion, fever, all of which are now resolving and improving.

"He's got plenty of work to get done from the chief of staff, but he's doing it," said Dr Dooley.

One of the living room-type areas are included in the suite. Picture: USA Today Network
One of the living room-type areas are included in the suite. Picture: USA Today Network

 

A medical examinaiton room from Walter Reed's Ward 71. Picture: USA Today Network
A medical examinaiton room from Walter Reed's Ward 71. Picture: USA Today Network

Mr Trump was flown from the White House by the Marine One helicopter to the Walter Reed Medical Centre, where he is expected to spend three more days.

"I think I'm doing very well," Mr Trump said in an 18-second video filmed before he left the White House and posted to Twitter.

He thanked his supporters and said: "We're going to make sure that things work out."

White House physician Dr Sean Conley laid out the medications Mr Trump had taken and said in a statement he was "fatigued", had a mild fever but in "good spirits".

Famed for its main 20-storey tower, the Walter Reed hospital has a long and rich history when it comes to matters presidential.

It has a secured suite for treating presidents who seek care when medical treatment cannot be provided at the White House.

US media reports the suite, known as Ward 71, has an intensive care unit, a kitchen and a secure conference room.

The diagnosis of Mr Trump and the First Lady with the potentially deadly virus sent shockwaves across the world and forced him to effectively suspend his re-election campaign.

A number of other prominent Republicans also tested positive including former White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Republican senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, as well as Chris Christie.

"The First Lady is doing very well," Mr Trump said; she is understood to have a cough and headaches. She remains in isolation at the White House.

Some of Washington's most powerful figures were speedily tested after coming into close contact with the Trumps, who had maintained a busy campaign schedule until hours before their diagnoses late Thursday night local time.

Among those so far cleared of COVID-19 are Vice President Mike Pence, who will assume power should the 74-year-old Commander in Chief become incapacitated by the deadly disease.

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and wife Dr Jill Biden have tested negative and Mr Biden returned to the campaign trail.

Mr Biden said he prayed for a "quick and full recovery" for the first family, but added that the pair's diagnosis was a stark reminder of the threat COVID still posed and called for a national mask mandate, which the Trump administration has resisted.

"This is not a matter of politics, it's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously," Mr Biden said.

"It's not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible.

"It means following the science, means listening to the experts, washing our hands, social distancing. It means wearing a mask in public. It means encouraging others to do so as well."

Mr Biden repeated public health guidance that wearing masks could save 100,000 US lives by the end of the year.

More than 207,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and coming cold weather in the northern winter has experts bracing for another huge spike in cases as more people stay indoors.

"We as a nation need to do better in dealing with this pandemic," Mr Biden said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr Trump's children and senior aides including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also revealed they were negative for the virus.

Media personalities including Fox News presenter Chris Wallace and members of the travelling White House press pack were either tested or said they planned to be tested. At least three reporters with White House access were confirmed positive by Friday afternoon.

The confirmed cases include Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel as well as close Trump advisor Hope Hicks, who was the first member of the inner circle to test positive.

The Trump 2020 campaign said it had suspended all scheduled in-person events and the White House sent out a series of surrogates to present unified and positive talking points about the president's health.

"Following PCR-confirmation (full range testing) of the President's diagnosis, as a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail," Dr Conley said.

"He completed the infusion without incident."

Dr Conley said: "In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.

"As of this afternoon, the President remains fatigued but in good spirits.

"He is being evaluated by a team of experts and together we'll be making recommendations to the President and the First Lady in regards to next best steps.

"First Lady Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and mild headache and the remainder of the First Family are well and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 today."

The experimental coronavirus drug being given to Mr Trump is potent but "very promising" according to experts in England and is set to be rolled out in clinical trials at 30 hospitals in the UK.

Oxford University Professor Peter Horby said UK patients began receiving REGN-COV2, made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, last weekend as part of Oxford University's national Recovery trial.

Prof Horby, who specialises in emerging infectious diseases at Oxford and is co-chief investigator of the Recovery trial, said "about three hospitals in the north" were the first to start using the drug, but it was being rolled out to "another 30 to 40 hospitals" in the UK next week.

"The class of drugs, these artificial antibodies, have been around for quite a while now and they've been extensively used in inflammatory conditions and cancers, and they're pretty safe and well understood, and so the technology is something that I think we have confidence in," he told the BBC in the UK.

"This particular drug has probably been given to, I would think now, four or five hundred patients, mild or severe patients in different trials, and so far there's been no worrying safety signals."

Prof Horby said a single dose of the treatment provides "prolonged protection" for a month to six weeks.

The antibody cocktail works by binding to a protein on the surface of the virus, stopping it from attaching to cells and replicating, while allowing the immune system to attack the virus.

Mr Trump has been given the drug alongside Remdesivir, an antiviral treatment which has been shown to help some coronavirus patients recover faster.

In Australia, Remdesivir has temporary approval for use from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for very sick people in hospital who need oxygen or more help to breathe.

THE SOURCE OF TRUMP'S COVID-19

A garden party outside the West Wing last week may have been the source of the presidential coronavirus crisis as White House secret service contact tracing continues.

Just where Mr Trump and wife Melania contracted coronavirus has not yet been determined but preliminary investigations point to a high powered ceremony last Thursday to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.

It is known the President's top Adviser Hope Hicks also tested positive after attending the event, now Utah Senator Mike Lee and University of Notre Dame president Reverend John Jenkins who also attended have tested positive.

Rev. Jenkins, who was invited because Barrett is a Notre Dame alumna, apologised earlier this week for not wearing a mask at the ceremony.

At this stage doctors are saying the most likely contracting period for the president was within five days of his Friday positive test, which puts the Rose Garden event in the frame.

Those who attended confirmed very few people wore masks or socially distanced.

Judge Barrett and her husband both had coronavirus earlier this year and recovered but the jury is out on whether you can contract it again.

A large study from Iceland last month suggested antibodies that people make to fight the virus last for at least four months and there have been instances where people have contracted COVID-19 again months after their initial bout.

The presidential diagnosis has sparked calls for mass testing for all who have attended any event associated with the election campaign in the past week.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health encouraged people who were at President Trump's campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport last Saturday to get tested, an outdoor rally attended by thousands.

Congressional leaders also called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to boost or require testing in the Capitol, where testing is offered but not required.

"We simply cannot allow the administration's cavalier attitude to adversely affect this branch of government," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "It is imperative that all results be made public in order to contain a possible outbreak and so we can determine the need for senators and staff to quarantine or self-isolate."

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has also tested positive for the virus.

HOW A TRANSFER OF POWER WOULD WORK

An American constitutional law rushed in post the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy will be invoked should Donald Trump become incapacitated either temporarily or permanently.

President Trump has vowed to work from his Walter Reed Medical Centre hospital room where he is to spend "several days" but White House officials are taking no chances and re-reading the vaunted 25th Amendment of the Constitution.

President Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1965 State of the Union address promised to "propose laws to insure the necessary continuity of leadership should the President become disabled or die."

This followed the confusion and shock after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Congress passed the bill in 1965 which was ratified in 1967.

In 2002, President George W. Bush became the first to use the law as he temporarily transferred power to Vice President Dick Cheney while he, Bush, was anaesthetised for a colonoscopy. He did the same five years later to undergo another colonoscopy.

President Ronald Reagan handed power to his vice president when he was shot in 1981 but the amendment was not invoked.

There is a process to the transfer of power to a vice president that starts with a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President stating the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

If the president cannot sign that power transfer letter, the 25th Amendment has another provision that allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare them unfit.


Gayndah teenager bites man’s arm, smashes windscreen

Premium Content Gayndah teenager bites man’s arm, smashes windscreen

A 19-year-old Gayndah man is charged by police after he smashed the windscreen of a...

HIGHLIGHTS: Hornets pile on 40 points in U17 trial match

Premium Content HIGHLIGHTS: Hornets pile on 40 points in U17 trial match

The Cherbourg Hornets hosted the Sunshine Coast Bunyas at Jack O’Chin Oval on...

Citrus industry under threat by Paradise Dam decision

Premium Content Citrus industry under threat by Paradise Dam decision

The Burnett region’s booming citrus industry, worth $183 million, warns a...