US President Donald Trump has continued to improve and could be discharged from a hospital where he is being treated with Covid-19 as early as Monday, his doctors say.
Dr Sean Conley said Mr Trump’s oxygen level dropped for a second time on Saturday and he was started on a steroid called dexamethasone.
He also said Mr Trump had been given supplementary oxygen.
On Saturday night, Mr Trump said the next few days would be the “real test”.
In the four-minute video on Twitter, Mr Trump, dressed in a suit jacket and shirt with no tie, thanked the doctors and nurses at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center close to Washington DC.
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well, I’m much better now,” he said, later adding: “Over the next period of a few days I guess that’s the real test. We’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.”
Mr Trump’s message came hours after conflicting remarks about his health, with the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying his condition had been “very concerning”, contradicting an earlier upbeat assessment given by the president’s doctors.
But on Sunday, Dr Conley sought to clarify the statements, saying: “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in and in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”
Dexamethasone is shown in studies to improve survival for patients in hospital with severe Covid-19. Steroids calm down inflammation and the immune system, which is why they are already used in conditions like arthritis and asthma, as well as in some severe infections.
The drugs are not thought to be helpful in the early stages of a coronavirus infection. But as the disease develops, the immune system can go into overdrive, damaging the lungs and other organs – it is this stage that steroids are thought to help with.
The president’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis, which he made public in a tweet early on Friday, has upended his election campaign. He faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden on 3 November.
A number of people around the president have tested positive, including First Lady Melania Trump. Many of them attended a crowded White House event last weekend on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court judge. It is being scrutinised as a possible “super-spreader event”.