Emerging from the White House residence at 6:16 p.m. ET for his first public appearance since announcing 16 hours earlier he had tested positive for coronavirus, Trump walked under his own power to his waiting helicopter and displayed no major outward signs of illness.
Wearing a navy blue suit, a blue silk necktie and a dark face mask, Trump waved to the media and gave a thumbs up, but did not stop to talk. Chief of staff Mark Meadows, also wearing a mask, followed him aboard.
Trump landed at the hospital a short time later, saluting his military aides before climbing into his limousine for a brief ride to the hospital's main building. His hand could be seen waving as he sped past assembled media.
After his arrival, the President posted an 18-second video to his Twitter account, seeking to reassure the American people he is doing "very well" after his coronavirus diagnosis.
"I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I'm going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I'm doing very well. We're going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget it. Thank you," he said.
His upbeat attitude did not reflect the inherent severity of the situation. It remains extremely rare for a president to overnight in hospital, given the extensive medical facilities available at the White House.
Trump himself was said to be spooked after he announced he tested positive early Friday, and has become increasingly alarmed by his ...