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COVID CONFUSION Questions raised over President Trump's health

His doctors' positive updates contradicted reports from White House correspondents who received an briefing via "a vague note from a source familiar with the president's health".

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Donald Trump puts on bullish display as he heads to hospital

Donald Trump puts on bullish display as he heads to hospital

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Donald Trump puts on bullish display as he heads to hospital

Confusion reigned over the true state of President Donald Trump's health as an unofficial source painted a darker picture despite an upbeat briefing by medics.

His doctors' positive updates contradicted reports from White House correspondents who received an briefing via "a vague note from a source familiar with the president's health".

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

It was also reported that on Friday the President needed supplemental oxygen.

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Tested positive: Chris Christie

Tested positive: Chris Christie

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Tested positive: Senator Mike Lee

Tested positive: Senator Mike Lee

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Tested positive: Senator Thom Tillis

Tested positive: Senator Thom Tillis

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Tested positive: Chris Christie

Early on Saturday he posted on his Twitter account: "I am feeling well!"

He praised hospital staff and other "incredible institutions."

"Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE."

But Trump's inner circle is reeling this week and his campaign for re-election was in trouble last night after several close allies were struck down one by one with Covid-19.

Last night, as doctors at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where Mr Trump was being treated, declared that the 74-year-old was "doing very well", it emerged that former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, who had helped him prepare for the first presidential debate earlier this week, had also tested positive for Covid-19.

It is now feared that a celebration at the Rose Garden last Saturday, where Mr Trump announced he would be nominating Amy Coney Barrett (who tested positive for the virus earlier in the summer) as his Supreme Court pick, has become a "superspreader" event with several of the President's inner circle contracting Covid-19.

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US presidential candidate Joe Biden wished Trump well

US presidential candidate Joe Biden wished Trump well

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APPOINTEE: Amy Coney Barrett

APPOINTEE: Amy Coney Barrett

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US presidential candidate Joe Biden wished Trump well

Disease

Mr Trump and first lady Melania, who are both being treated for the disease after testing positive, were seen without masks at the event, where several other attendees including former presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Notre Dame University president John Jenkins, and an unnamed journalist have all since tested positive.

Christie was among a group of senior Trump campaign staffers who were tested on Friday following news of the president's positive diagnosis.

"I just received word that I am positive for Covid-19," Christie wrote on Twitter.

"I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two. I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition."

Bill Stepien, President Trump's campaign manager, also fell victim, after testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday, making him just one more senior aide to the president to receive such a diagnosis in the past few days.

However, Mr Trump's immediate family, including Donald Trump Jr, and Eric Trump tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

Last night, the president's physician told reporters that the president was "doing very well".

Dr Sean Conley added that he was "extremely happy" with the president's progress so far.

Doctors said the president had been fever free for over 24 hours and was not on oxygen yesterday but did not answer several questions about whether he had been at any point previously. Trump's medical team denied a report on Friday that the president was having trouble breathing.

"He's not on oxygen right now," Conley said, adding that Trump had an oxygen saturation level of 96 per cent, within the normal range for a healthy person.

Doctors monitor oxygen in blood as an indicator of whether there's low oxygen levels, one of the problems that occurs with Covid-19.

Conley said the president developed a fever on Thursday and said that doctors were continuing to evaluate when he could return to the White House. Asked why, specifically, he had been transferred to Walter Reed, Conley indicated it was out of an abundance of caution.

"Because he's the President of the United States," Conley said.

Trump remained at Walter Reed after he and first lady Melania Trump announced early Friday they had tested positive for Covid-19. White House officials, who initially described the president's case as mild, later said he was experiencing symptoms such as fatigue and fever.

There are fears the Rose Garden ceremony could become a "superspreader" event, with at least seven people who attended testing positive for coronavirus.

Guests sat in tightly-packed chairs which did not appear to be two metres apart, with some of those who have since tested positive sitting close together.

Symptoms

The incubation period of the virus is between one to 14 days, although on average people will start to develop symptoms after five to six days.

Ms Conway, who announced she had the virus and had "mild symptoms" on Friday, was pictured at the event sitting behind the first lady and in front of Mr Jenkins, who both tested positive.

Footage also shows her standing close to attorney general William Barr and leaning in to whisper something to him while neither of them are wearing masks. Later, she shakes hands with another guest.

"Tonight I tested positive for Covid-19," Ms Conway tweeted. "My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I'm feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians. As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic."

Mr Jenkins admitted he had not worn a mask and had shaken hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden in an email to others at Notre Dame University announcing his positive test.

He added that he had been tested before attending and was "told that it was safe to remove our masks".

Meanwhile, Alex Azar - the country's top health official - was seen at the event fist-bumping without a mask on, according to CNN.

Acrimonious

Joe Biden Jr, who faced Mr Trump in an acrimonious debate on Tuesday, said that he had tested negative for the virus. At a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan Mr Biden said that he and his wife, Jill Biden, hoped that Mr and Mrs Trump would have a full recovery.

"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.

Mr Pence who is the first in line to assume the president's duties if Mr Trump becomes too ill to do his job, tested negative for the virus on Friday.

The presidential line of succession, laid out in a 1947 law, falls first to Mr Pence. If he were to become too ill to carry out the duties of the president, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who has tested negative, would step in.

He was not planning to transfer his authority to Vice-President Mike Pence, according to a White House spokesman, Judd Deere.

"The president is in charge," he said.