Donald Trump has called it a “blessing from God” that he got coronavirus – a disease that has killed more 211,000 Americans this year.
“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it,” the president said of Covid-19 in a video message outside the White House on Wednesday.
He added that his use of the medication from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals had allowed him to experience first-hand how effective it could be.
Trump tested positive for Covid-19 last Thursday and spent three days hospitalised at Walter Reed medical centre before returning to the White House on Monday.
The US leads the world with over 7.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 211,000 dead so far.
The president also said he was feeling “great — I feel, like, perfect” and touted his recovery: “For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good, a short 24 hours later, I was feeling great.”
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT! pic.twitter.com/uhLIcknAjT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Trump received top-notch medical care for free, including experimental treatments — something out of reach for most Americans.
His video message followed White House assurances that the 74-year-old president was back at the Oval Office on Wednesday, getting briefed about economic stimulus talks and Hurricane Delta, just two days after his discharge from hospital.
Trump has received several forms of treatment, including a polyclonal antibody cocktail from pharmaceutical company Regeneron. He celebrated this treatment as “the key” — though in the video, Trump said, “they gave me Regeneron”, apparently believing that to be the name of the drug, as opposed to the company that produces it.
“To me it wasn’t therapeutic, it just made me better, OK, I call that a cure,” he said. There is currently no cure for coronavirus.
The president has repeatedly downplayed the threat of coronavirus since it began to spread in the US in the spring. Since he himself got coronavirus, he’s continued to do so, tweeting on Monday: “Don’t be afraid of Covid.”
Coronavirus is highly infectious and Trump and over two dozen others surrounding him have tested positive for the virus in recent days after flouting public health guidance by not wearing masks or social distancing. Among those affected by the White House’s Covid-19 outbreak are press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and at least three members of her staff, three Republican senators, and Trump adviser Stephen Miller. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie remains hospitalized four days after he revealed he tested positive.
Trump is pressing forward with next week’s debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, despite not knowing if he’ll still be contagious by then.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.