COVID-19 Is A Blessing From God - Donald Trump Says As He Promises To Make Experimental Drug Free For All Americans

President Donald Trump tweeted out a video shot from the White House Rose Garden where he says he has been 'cured' of COVID by the experimental drug Regeneron – then pitched the medication and promised to make it available to all Americans for free.

The president released the outdoor statement Wednesday evening, after being out of sight for more than 24 hours after returning from Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was checked in after testing positive for the coronavirus.

He called getting the disease a 'blessing from God.' 

'I think this was a blessing from god that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,' Trump said.

Trump went out to tout the experimental antibody cocktail Regeneron.

'I heard about this drug. I said let me take it. It was my suggestion,' he said. Then he proclaimed himself 'cured' and said he wanted every American to get the type of treatment he got.

Trump is just one of 10 people receiving the drug, which is still in the experimental phase, and is intended to boost antibodies to fight the infection. He's receiving a series of medications, including a steroid that critics and some doctors have said could be making the president manic.  

Trump kicked off the nearly-five minute video with an odd introduction that did not state his name.

'Hi, perhaps you recognize me, it's your favorite president,' he said. It appeared from the makeup he was wearing a liberal application of makeup on his face.

'And I'm standing in front of the Oval Office at the White House, which is always an exciting place to be,' he continued.

'I got back a day ago from Walter Reed Medical Center, I spent four days there, and didn't have to, I could have stayed at the White House but the doctors said because you're president let's do it, I said fine,' Trump said.

The video was posted Wednesday. Trump returned to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters at the White House the video 'taken on the South Lawn earlier this afternoon' - indicating the president was confused about what day it was when he spoke before the camera.

Trump made his first foray to the Oval Office since he came home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. 

His Democratic rival Joe Biden said the way Trump was dealing with COVID was a 'tragedy.'

'I’m going to think before I speak,' he told reporters in Wilmington where he was asked about Trump calling his diagnosis a blessing from god. 'I think it’s a tragedy the president deals with COVID like it is something not to be worried about when already 210,000 people have died.' 

Trump, meanwhile, praised the medical staff who treated him. 

'You tell me what to do and I'm going to do it. These are great professionals,' Trump said. He also went on a tangent where he praised police and firefighters.

He then praised the experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron he took, calling it a 'cure.' 

'But I spent four days there and I went in, I wasn't feeling so hot and within a very short period of time they gave me Regeneron, it's called Regeneron, and other things too, but I think this was the key. But they gave me Regeneron and it was like unbelievable, I felt good immediately, I felt as good three days ago as I do now. So I just want to say we have Regeneron, we have a very similar drug from Eli Lilly. And they're coming out and we're trying to get them on an emergency basis,' Trump said.

The White House physician also said Trump was put on oxygen, a steroid, and Remdesivir. 

'If you're in the hospital and you're feeling really bad I think we're going to work it so you're going to get them and you're going to get them free,' he promised. He said there were 'hundreds of thousands of doses almost ready,' speaking after the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. has already topped 210,000.

Then Trump turned to an attack on China, who he said would pay a 'big price' for the outbreak. 

'And I'm going to make it free. You're not going to pay for it. It wasn't your fault that this happened, it was China's fault. And China's going to pay a big price what they've done to this country, China's going to pay a big price what they've done to the world. This is China's fault and just remember that.'

'Our military is doing the distribution - it's called logistics - and they deliver hundreds of thousands of troops in a matter of days, this is easy stuff for them.'

'And the drug companies have just made a lot of it,' he said.

The longtime promoter who has put his named on skyscrapers and marketed products from a hit TV show less successful steaks and Trump-branded water told the public: 'You're going to get better, you're going to get better fast, just like I did. So again a blessing in disguise, good luck.'

Trump talked up the therapeutic medication and those in development – then appeared to walk back his optimistic pronouncements for the timing of a vaccine.

'But to me it wasn't therapeutic, it just made me better, I call that a cure. But on the vaccines we have many companies that are in final stages on the vaccine,' Trump said.

'I think we should have it before the election, but frankly the politics gets involved, and that's OK they want to play their games, it's going to be right after the election.'

'Some people don't know how to define therapeutic.'

'It's a cure. For me, I walked in, I didn't feel good, a short 24 hours later I was feeling great, I wanted to get out of the hospital. And that's what I want for everybody. I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president because I feel great, I feel like perfect. So I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it.'

'This was a blessing in disguise. I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said let me take it, it was my suggestion. Let me take it and it was incredible the way it worked. Incredible. I think if I didn't catch it we'd be looking at that like a number of other drugs. But it really did a fantastic job. I want to get for you what I got.'

Presumably he was filmed by a White House videographer on the grounds of the White House. The video came soon after it was revealed that Trump returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon despite being contagious from the coronavirus, the state of his health uncertain and several aides fighting the disease.

Meadows was with Trump in the presidential office suite in the West Wing of the White House - the area where all the president's staff work - as was Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, the White House said. Both men were wearing protective gear and a table with PPE is set up outside the West Wing. 

'I’m on PPE anytime any time I get close,' Meadows told reporters, adding Scavino was wearing it too.

A nurse was on duty outside the Oval Office, The New York Times reported, citing a source. Additionally, a cleaning crew was seen entering the West Wing shortly after the report of Trump's arrival back in his office.

The White House announced six days ago Trump tested positive for the disease. He left the hospital two days ago. 

While the president has been eager to get back to work, his fury of tweets and his decision to end talks on a coronavirus relief package - announced in a tweet that sent the stock market tumbling Tuesday - have led to questions about his mental state. 

The president taking the steroid dexamethasone as part of his treatment for coronavirus. The steroid is known to have side effects that can affect the brain and thought processes.  Doctors also warned that dexamethasone comes with risks of serious side effects, including mood swings, aggression and confusion.

He has been trying to project a picture of health after his diagnosis and as he trails Biden in the polls with Election Day less than six weeks away. 

Biden wouldn't comment on Trump's mental health.  

'I have no idea and I’d never comment on the president’s mental health,' he said when asked whether the medications Trump was on was affecting the president's mental state. 'I’m not qualified to comment on that.'

Meadows told Fox News the president was in the Oval Office most of Wednesday afternoon.

'He's telling me privately, he feels better than he did 20 years ago,' Meadows said.

Trump went into the Oval via the colonnade, which is the outdoor walkway that leads from the residence, around the Rose Garden and to the outer doors of the West Wing. That kept him away from West Wing hallways where staff work in cramped, crowded offices.

He was briefed on the stimulus talks and Hurricane Delta, the White House announced. Trump tweeted he spoke with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards about the hurricane headed to their coast and urged people to listen to FEMA.

'Was just briefed on Hurricane Delta, and spoke with @GovAbbott of Texas and @LouisianaGov John Bel Edwards. Please heed the directions of your State and Local Officials. We are working with them very closely — please be prepared, be careful, and be safe!,' he wrote.

A Marine guard appeared in front of the West Wing Wednesday afternoon, giving a clue as to what was going on in the building behind him. A Marine is present when the president is in the Oval Office.

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