“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back,” Trump said in the video posted to social media. Trump went to the hospital on Friday evening after he tested positive for the virus on Thursday night.
The president was dressed in a suit with an open collar and although his voice sounded a little raspy, he appeared to be doing well. He spoke offhandedly for four minutes, in remarks that did not appear to be prepared or on a teleprompter.
He appeared eager to return to work at the White House, as well as to the campaign trail.
“I have to be back because we still have to make America great again. We’ve done an awfully good job of that, but we still have steps to go, and we have to finish that job,” the president said.
Trump did not offer a timetable for staying in the hospital but said, “I think I’ll be back soon.”
He said the next couple of days would be “the real test.” Earlier Saturday, the president’s physician, Sean Conle,y said that the second “inflammatory” phase of the virus had not taken place yet but would likely do so in a few days.
Trump used his fight with the virus as an inspiration for the battle the entire world was waging against the coronavirus pandemic.
“This was something that happened, and it’s happened to millions of people all over the world,” Trump said, adding, “We’re going to beat this coronavirus – or whatever you want to call it – and we’re going to beat it soundly.”
The president noted that he was also taking some of the new therapeutics developed to fight the virus, that he described as “miracles.”
“We have things happening that look like they’re miracles coming down from God,” he said.
Trump indicated he was touched by the many Americans rallying to support him and the first lady outside the hospital as they continued to fight the virus, describing it as “even bipartisan.”
“It’s a beautiful thing to see, and I very much appreciate it, and I won’t forget it,” he said.
Trump also defended his behavior about the virus: leaving the White House, traveling across the country, meeting people, fundraising, and campaigning despite the ongoing pandemic.
He admitted that he had the option of staying in the White House, remaining locked up in the residence to keep safe from the virus, but did not like the idea.
“I had no choice because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House,” he said.
Trump argued that America needed a visible president during a crisis.
“I had to be out front, and this is America, this is the United States, this is the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world,” he said. “I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe.”
He also made the case that any true leader would never distance himself entirely during a crisis.
“As a leader, you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that,” he said.
Trump said that his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, expressed to him her gratitude and love for the country.
“Melania is really handling it very nicely,” he said, and joked, “As you’ve probably read, she’s slightly younger than me. Just a little tiny bit.”