Trump Says He Is Off Medication for Coronavirus in First On-Camera Interview Since Hospitalization

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump

Donald Trump opened up about his hospitalization and coronavirus symptoms during his first on-camera interview on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday.

While billed as on virtual on-camera “medical evaluation” by Dr. Marc Siegel, the president, 74, instead answered questions about his time in the hospital and how he is feeling now.

Trump, who was hospitalized for three days after he announced he tested positive for the virus, said that he’s feeling “really good” and has been off medication for eight hours.

Admitting that he didn’t feel very “vital” upon his hospitalization last Friday, Trump said his symptoms included a sore throat and lack of energy.

“I didn’t have a problem with breathing… I had none of that,” Trump told Siegel over a video call from New York.

However, doctors were concerned after a CT scan revealed some congestion on his lungs but “with each day it got better,” according to the president.

Now, Trump said that his treatment has concluded and he will be tested again for COVID-19 tomorrow.

“I think really nothing,” he said when Siegel asked what medications he was currently taking. “We pretty much finished and now we’ll see how things go.”

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“I have been retested and I know I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free,” Trump said, adding that he will be tested again “probably tomorrow… it’s really at a level now that’s great to see it disappear.”

Trump said that he would be willing to donate his convalescent plasma, which can contain COVID-19 antibodies, now that he’s had the virus.

The president, who had been criticized previously for not acknowledging the plight of the sick or the families who have lost loved ones to the deadly virus, finally expressed concern for those impacted saying he has “incredible love and respect for the families that have suffered so badly” during the pandemic.

SAUL LOEB/Getty Images President Donald Trump leaves Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday.

Siegel is a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health who specializes in influenza but has like the president made a number of false assertions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Trump, 74, and Siegel, 64, have claimed the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine is effective against the coronavirus, while medical studies show it’s not.

Siegel also called health officials at the World Health Organization “a bunch of alarmists” in March, while saying “there’s no reason to believe it’s actually more problematic or deadly than influenza.”

In reality, COVID-19 has killed some 210,000 people so far, more people in the U.S. than the last five flu seasons combined, data shows.

ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump waves to onlookers during a brief trip outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.

Downplaying the novel coronavirus compared to the seasonal flu is a favorite talking point of the president, even after his own illness. After returning to the White House on Monday night, he told people in a video message to not be “afraid” of the coronavirus.

“I get it. I understand it. It’s a very interesting thing,” Trump said, after he took off his mask to pose for photos and walked back inside the White House while still infectious.

RELATED: Chris Christie Still Hospitalized with Coronavirus 6 Days After Saying He Was Infected: Reports

On Tuesday, he tweeted that “we have learned to live with it [the flu], just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

Meanwhile, the White House is grappling its own outbreak in the last two weeks, as more than two dozen people who were around Trump have since tested positive themselves, according to The New York Times.

Among those infected are White House residence staff, some of Trump’s top aides and allies and First Lady Melania Trump, who has said she is recovering at home.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump’s doctors at Walter Reed hospital

Since he spent the weekend at Walter Reed hospital under the care of doctors, Trump has said he’s “feeling great” and called his infection a “blessing from God.”

Trump is scheduled to return to in-person campaigning on Saturday with an outdoor speech at the White House.

National and state polls show Trump trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as he has for months, according to the Times.

Voters have consistently said the pandemic is a key issue ahead of the Nov. 3 election — something Biden has campaigned on, laying blame with Trump’s much-criticized strategy, while the president says the fault is with China.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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