President Donald Trump could be discharged from the hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19 by Tuesday, according to his doctors, although his condition remains unclear and outside experts warn that his case may be severe.
Mr Trump’s doctors have said his health is improving and he could be sent back to the White House overnight.
Yet they are treating Mr Trump, 74, with a steroid, dexmethasone, that is normally used only in the most severe cases. He is also just two days into a five-day course of an intravenous antiviral drug, remdesivir.
Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said Mr Trump’s condition had been worse than he had previously admitted. Dr Conley said Mr Trump had run a high fever on Friday morning and he had been given supplemental oxygen after his blood oxygen levels had dropped.
Doctors not involved in Mr Trump’s treatment said they suspected his condition might be worse than Conley let on. As an overweight, elderly man, Mr Trump is in a category that is more likely to develop severe complications or die from the disease.
It comes after Mr Trump waved at supporters from a motorcade on a short drive outside the hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19.
The outing came minutes after the president had announced "a surprise" for fans, and it appeared designed to personally take back the narrative on his improving health after a weekend of confused and contradictory messaging from the White House and Mr Trump's medical team.
Seen in a dark face mask and waving, the president rolled past delighted supporters before returning to the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington.
"We're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street," Mr Trump had said in a video posted to Twitter moments earlier.
"I'm about to make a little surprise visit."
Mr Trump, who has been repeatedly rebuked for flouting public health guidelines and spreading misinformation on the pandemic, added that he had "learned a lot about COVID" by "really going to school", as he has battled the virus.
"This is the real school. This isn't the 'let's read the books school,' and I get it, and I understand it, and it's a very interesting thing," he added.
The episode came hours after a briefing by Mr Trump's medical team, who said he had "continued to improve" and could be returned to the White House, which has all the necessary equipment and expertise to continue his treatment, as early as Monday.
"The president has continued to improve," said his White House physician, Sean Conley.
"As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course."