US President Donald Trump has announced that catching COVID-19 was a “Blessing from God”
It exposed him to experimental treatments and he vowed it would become free for all Americans, in a video address released on Wednesday.
Trump is eager to energise his troubling re-election campaign two days after his release from Walter Reed military hospital. He repeatedly stressed on how well he felt so far in his recovery from Corona Virus. It was unclear if he was still testing positive for the virus.
“I think catching COVID-19 was a blessing from God. This was a blessing in disguise,” Trump said. He further added that his use of the medication from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc had allowed him to experience first-hand how effective it could be.
“I want to get for you what I got. And I’m going to make it free,” Trump said, at one point calling the unapproved medicine a “cure.”
Trump has been widely criticised for his slow response to the pandemic that killed more than 210,000 Americans. He put his own staff at risk by discouraging the use of masks in the White House and on the campaign trail.
The timing of the video’s recording is unclear.
Donald Trump said in the message that he had gotten back to the White House “a day ago,” suggesting he was speaking on Tuesday. But Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the video was recorded earlier on Wednesday.
The video’s release followed White House assurances that the 74-year-old president was back at the Oval Office on Wednesday and was getting briefed about economic stimulus talks and Hurricane Delta.
Chief of staff Mark Meadows, who briefed Trump in personal protective gear, said the White House was keeping access to the Oval Office extremely limited.
Trump had been in his residence in the White House since his dramatic made-for-video return from Walter Reed in a helicopter on Monday night.
A White House official said Trump entered the office from the Rose Garden to avoid walking through the White House hallways and possibly exposing others to the coronavirus.