So. What’s going on with Trump’s COVID diagnosis?


Donald Trump during his infamous Walter Reed drive-by. Source: Wall Street Journal

By Nicholas Evans, Reporter

On October 1st, 2020, at 11:54 PM, The President announced on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, with him checking into Walter Reed Hospital shortly after. And, oh boy, was the response chaotic.

From every side, really. Inside and out. Pure chaos. If I were to read the replies to his announcement tweet back-to-back once again, my head would probably start spinning. Apologies, Twitter prayers, mocking, conspiracies; there were people that were very clearly against him, that previously labeled him a fascist, now wishing that he would get better soon. What? There was such a diverse response that you could find a cure for cancer if you searched hard enough. That night alone already felt like one, big boom; so the next week or so was bound to be very interesting, and very impactful to the country in multiple ways.

Until it wasn’t. The President exited Walter Reed hospital within 3 days. Donald Trump. A seventy-four-year-old man.

So, how did this happen, what was the process inside of the hospital, and what does this mean for us?

One of your first questions is most likely, “Did he really have the virus?” The President has been known to downplay the virus multiple times, and some people think that, with an election coming soon, he might have been trying to be his own living proof that it isn’t so bad, he, himself still saying after he caught the virus that it isn’t something to be scared of.

First, I want to explain some of the backgrounds to this and give a very brief timeline/summary of what you need to know.

So, of course, Trump was diagnosed with COVID. He was admitted into Walter Reed hospital, where he was put in a presidential suite. A team of doctors came out everyday for a briefing on the president’s health, and to answer any questions. The head doctor was asked if the president had been put on any supplemental oxygen. The doctor was hesitant to answer until a different briefing, where he stated that yes, in fact, the president had been put on oxygen. During his visit at the hospital, Trump decided to have a drive-by and wave at the citizens. Once again, he was still under the care of the hospital at this time, so everyone else in the vehicle had to quarantine. Soon after that, he was released from the hospital, saying he was, “feeling great!” Although, shortly after his return to the White House, there was a video shot of him, seeming to be gasping for air outside, (shown later in the article). Similarly, in one of his video messages, it’s speculated that a cough was cut out using software like Adobe Premiere.

He also held a rally recently, where he claimed that he was immune from the virus.

So, what does this all mean? If he had recovered from the virus and is fine, how was he able to do it so quickly? Let’s dive into some factors that could’ve played into this.

I should probably knock out one of the most obvious questions; how long did Trump have the virus beforehand? Most likely not long, and that’s for two reasons. First, Trump stated during his town hall debate last night, (at the time of writing), that he gets tested very frequently. If this is true, then he should’ve caught the virus very close to the time of testing. Could he have caught it at the debate? The debate was on September 29th, two days before his diagnosis. People that catch the virus are usually asymptomatic for 2-14 days, so with him going to Walter Reed and experiencing symptoms a day after the diagnosis, that lines up nicely.

It is completely possible that he could have already had it during the debate. However, that contradicts The President’s claim that he regularly gets tested. But for now, let’s throw that out the window and just speculate; did he have the virus before or during the debate? Maybe. It’s not exactly the easiest thing to tell; we don’t know all that much about The President’s life. The best thing we have to go off of is the debate, where he didn’t seem to show any symptoms. This means that, if he did already have it, it would’ve been very recent to the debate.

Alright, so let’s just assume that he got it very close to around the time of the debates and his actual diagnosis. Okay; but that still doesn’t explain how he recovered so quickly. According to, it should take 2-6 weeks to recover, depending on the severity of the case. Trump got out in three days.

So either he was given some really, really good treatment, he checked out of the hospital earlier than he should have, or this was all completely fabricated, meaning he’s never had it in the first place.

What did Trump’s treatment entail? Well, from what we know, he was given the Regeneron Antibody Cocktail, which, according to Science Magazine, is, “a combination of two antibodies directed against a key protein of the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2.” Is it effective? Yes…? Mostly, at least. It’s still in trial phases, but it’s supposed to be highly effective.

He was also taking remdesivir. According to Science Magazine, remdesivir is, “an antiviral drug developed by Gilead Sciences, originally to treat the hepatitis C virus. It did not perform well against that pathogen but has been tried against Ebola and other viruses, after showing some activity in cells and animal models.” And, according to the BBC, it’s been shown to cut symptom presence from 15 days to 11 days.

He was also taking dexamethasone, a heavy steroid. According to the BBC, “This steroid saves lives by calming the immune system, but it needs to be used at the right time. Give it too early and the drug could make things worse by impairing the body’s ability to fight off the virus.” Why was Trump given this? I can’t really say. I’m sure it was most likely given in small doses, but I can’t be sure.

Along with these, he’s also taken average treatment medications and supplements, like vitamin C and zinc.

So, is it safe to say that Trump did, in fact, have COVID, but got out of the hospital too early? Most likely. Not only, (if he was actually totally fine), would that mean that the virus only lasted 5 days in his body, (with someone his age, that makes no sense), but there’s also a video of him with extremely abnormal breathing as soon as he returned to the White House. Kind of concerning.

In conclusion, there isn’t really much we can say about Trump’s COVID diagnosis. As you can see, it’s confusing and messy. There’s a possibility that this may be damaging to the country, after him claiming that it isn’t something to be scared of. But we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens. I hope this has been able to give you some sort of insight into this chaotic situation.


You can find my list of sources here.