A timeline of Trump’s battle with Covid-19

President Donald Trump leaves the White House on Friday, October 2, on his way to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He announced earlier in the day that he had tested positive for Covid-19. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Updated October 12, 2020

President Donald Trump announced Friday, October 2, that he and the first lady had tested positive for coronavirus, a stunning development that threw the country's leadership in turmoil and lent new uncertainty to the unfolding presidential race.

Later that day, Trump was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he spent the weekend and received various treatments. He returned to the White House on Monday, October 5.

More than a dozen members of Trump’s circle also tested positive, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, senior adviser Stephen Miller, campaign manager Bill Stepien and assistant to the President Nicholas Luna.

Monday, October 12

White House physician Sean Conley said Monday that the President has tested negative for Covid-19 on consecutive days and that he is “not infectious to others.”

The doctor’s assessment came moments after Trump was seen boarding Air Force One without a mask on his way to Sanford, Florida, where he held a rally with a large group of supporters, many of whom were not wearing masks.

Trump takes the stage for a campaign rally at the airport in Sanford, Florida. He’s holding face masks that he tossed out to the crowd. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Trump greets the crowd in Sanford as he disembarks Air Force One. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Supporters attend Trump’s rally in Sanford. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Trump boards Air Force One to head to the rally in Sanford. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Saturday, October 10

Trump, in his first public event since he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, gave a brief campaign-style speech from the balcony of the White House.

The President invited some 2,000 people for the speech.

The large gathering followed Trump’s acknowledgment during a televised interview Friday that he may have contracted the virus at one of the recent events at the White House.

Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters from the White House balcony. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Trump removes his face mask during the White House event. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Supporters cheer during Trump’s appearance. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Trump waves to the crowd from the balcony. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Wednesday, October 7

Trump returned to the Oval Office, leaving his private quarters where he had been isolating. The White House said he was being briefed on stimulus talks and a looming hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a memo released midday, Trump's doctor reported that the President had been symptom-free for 24 hours. But the memo declined to provide critical information such as when Trump last tested negative, what his lung scans show and whether he is still on the steroid dexamethasone or any other medications that could be masking his symptoms.

In a taped video message made by the White House and released Wednesday evening, Trump talked about his stay at Walter Reed and said he is feeling much better. He said he would work to ensure the experimental combination of drugs he was administered — including a high dose of an experimental antibody cocktail from the drugmaker Regeneron — was made available at no cost to other Americans.

“It was like, unbelievable,” he said of the Regeneron cocktail. “I felt good immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”

Trump has ties to the drugmaker. He and Regeneron CEO Dr. Leonard Schleifer are acquainted: The CEO has been a member at Trump's golf club in Westchester, New York, and his company also received $450 million in government funding in July as part of the President's Operation Warp Speed plan to quickly develop a vaccine and other treatments for Covid-19.

A US Marine stands watch outside the West Wing doors, signifying that the President was in the Oval Office. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
In a taped video message made by the White House, Trump talks about his stay at Walter Reed. CNN is not able to independently verify when the video was made. (The White House)

Tuesday, October 6

The President was isolating in the White House residence, where temporary office facilities were set up adjacent to the building’s basement medical suite. Doctors were continuing to monitor his vital signs, and he was expected to receive an intravenous dose of the antiviral remdesivir on Tuesday night.

At least three additional staff members, including senior adviser Stephen Miller, were revealed to have tested positive on Tuesday. The atmosphere inside the White House was described by one official as "chaotic," largely because many people were working remotely and the President was calling the shots. The West Wing remained largely vacant.

Alyssa Farah, White House director of strategic communications, speaks during a TV interview outside the White House. Farah said Trump is "improving dramatically and quickly, but listen, we understand he's not out of the woods." White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies also tested positive for coronavirus. (Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Monday, October 5

Trump returned to the White House after spending three nights at Walter Reed.

"Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations — and most importantly, his clinical status — support the President's safe return home, where he'll be surrounded by world-class medical care," White House physician Sean Conley said.

Conley said it had been more than 72 hours since Trump’s last fever, and he said Trump’s oxygen levels and breathing “are all normal.” He confirmed that Trump needed supplemental oxygen twice.

Trump tweeted that he was “feeling really good” as he announced he would be leaving the hospital.

“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he said. “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

It was a remarkable attempt to convert his still-ongoing disease into a show of strength, even as it underscored his longstanding practice of denying the pandemic's severity and downplaying its risks.

Despite his doctors saying he is “not out of the woods yet,” Trump takes off his face mask for a photo op after returning to the White House. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Marine One carries Trump back to the White House. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
A member of the White House cleaning staff disinfects the press briefing room on the evening of Trump’s return. (Erin Scott/Reuters)
Trump walks out of Walter Reed to return to the White House. (Evan Vucci/AP)
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley, center, arrives with other doctors to brief reporters on the President’s condition. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Sunday, October 4

In the midst of his treatment, Trump briefly left the hospital with his security detail so he could ride past supporters cheering him on outside.

From the back of his SUV, Trump waved to his supporters through the window while wearing a mask.

Also on Sunday, Conley held a briefing that raised more questions than answers about the President's condition.

The White House physician failed to answer basic questions about the President's condition, and he admitted that in his news conference Saturday he had omitted alarming drops in the President's oxygen levels. Conley said it was because he wanted to "reflect the upbeat attitude" that the team and the President had about his condition.

Conley said the President was “doing really well” and responding to treatment.

Trump waves to supporters from the back of his SUV. A Secret Service agent in the front row is wearing a full medical gown, a respirator mask and a face shield. (Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images)
Young Trump supporters hold up signs wishing the President well. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Trump praises the staff at Walter Reed in a video and then says he will be going outside to thank his supporters. (The White House)
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks to the media outside the White House. She later tested positive for coronavirus. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
In a photo released by the White House, Trump participates in a phone call with members of his staff while staying at Walter Reed. (Tia Dufour/The White House)
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, center, listens as Dr. Sean Conley briefs reporters outside Walter Reed. Meadows is now widely known inside the White House to be the unnamed source who spoke to reporters Saturday and offered a more dire assessment than Conley had given shortly before. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Saturday, October 3

In a video message from Walter Reed, Trump said he was "starting to feel good" and that he was receiving therapeutics he said are like "miracles coming down from God."

Conley told the media that the President had been "fever-free" for 24 hours and that his symptoms — which included an "extremely mild cough," nasal congestion and fatigue — "are resolving and improving."

A memo from Conley late Saturday said Trump has "made substantial progress since diagnosis" but "is not yet out of the woods.”

Trump provides an update on his health from Walter Reed. (The White House)
Daniela Taomorina prays with fellow Trump supporters during a rally in Staten Island, New York. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
This photo, released by the White House, shows Trump inside the presidential suite at Walter Reed. (Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House)
Trump signs papers at Walter Reed in this White House handout photo. (Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House)
Conley is followed by a team of doctors for a briefing outside Walter Reed. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Friday, October 2

Trump emerged from the White House at 6:16 p.m. ET for his first public appearance since his diagnosis was announced. He walked under his own power to his waiting helicopter, which took him to Walter Reed.

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,” he said. “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.”

Trump departs Marine One upon arrival at Walter Reed. (Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux)
Secret Service agents stand on the South Lawn of the White House as Trump is flown to Walter Reed. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
Trump posted this short message to Twitter to announce that he would be going to Walter Reed. (The White House)
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, third from left, waits with others as Trump prepares to leave the White House. (Alex Brandon/AP)


  • Photo Editors: Bernadette Tuazon, Brett Roegiers, Will Lanzoni, Kyle Almond
  • Design and Development: Sean O’Key