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The latest: President Donald Trump returns to White House

President discharged from hospital

WASHINGTON – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s health after his COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization, and infections of close aides and others (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted a new video taped after he returned to the White House in which he tells the American public not to be afraid of COVID-19, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S. and more than a million worldwide.

In message that is sure to infuriate medical doctors trying to keep the country safe, Trump says he has “learned so much” about the virus he contracted. And he says: “Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives.”

Trump was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center by a team of some of the country’s best doctors and he received an experimental drug not readily available to the public.

Nonetheless, he told his followers who do not have access to the same level of care that they had little to fear.

“Don’t be afraid of it,” he said. “You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines.”

Trump also again defended his decision to continue traveling and holding events before he got sick, saying he “knew there’s danger to it, but I had to it. I stood out front. I led.”

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7 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he feels “good” as he arrives back at the White House after three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was being treated for COVID-19.

Marine One landed at the White House just before 7 p.m. Monday just as the sun was setting.

He then walked upstairs to the South Portico balcony, took off his mask and stuffed it in his pocket, and flashed a double thumbs-up to the cameras. He saluted as he watched the helicopter lift back off. He walked into the White House without putting his mask back on.

Trump’s doctors said he would continue his recovery from the White House, where he will be cared for 24/7 by a team of doctors and nurses. His doctor says he's still contagious.

Trump walked out the golden front doors of Walter Reed earlier Monday and offered a thumbs-up and fist bump before he stepped into an SUV that carried him to the helicopter. Lights had been set up to illuminate the scene for cameras.

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6:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump pumped his fist as he departed a military hospital after a three-day stay for the coronavirus.

A masked Trump walked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening toward a waiting SUV that carried him to Marine One for the short flight back to the White House. He said, “Thank you very much,” to the assembled reporters.

Even before he walked out the doors, he tweeted that he'd be back on the campaign trail soon.

The 74-year-old Trump was expected to continue his recovery at the White House, where he will be cared for around-the-clock by a team of doctors and nurses. He announced his coronavirus diagnosis early Friday.

His doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, told reporters earlier Monday that Trump remains contagious.

His return comes as the White House is still learning the extent of the outbreak that has sickened over a dozen close contacts of the president over the last week.

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5:20 p.m.

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he's regained his sense of taste and smell after testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Tillis tweeted Monday: “I feel great." He says that although he’s no longer exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus, he will continue to self-isolate.

Tillis is among several people who tested positive for the virus days after attending the Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on Sept. 26. Others who came down with the coronavirus include President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

Tillis was wearing a mask during the outside ceremony and has supported mask use. A New York Times photo taken inside the White House showed a maskless Tillis speaking to Barrett.

Tillis is in a tight race for reelection in November. He has temporarily halted in-person campaigning, and several campaign staff went into quarantine.

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4:40 p.m.

Washington, D.C., officials say the White House has rebuffed their offers to assist with contact tracing after President Donald Trump and several others who attended a Rose Garden event to introduce the new Supreme Court nominee tested positive for COVID-19.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser says a D.C. health department representative who reached out to the White House “had a very cursory conversation that we don’t consider a substantial contact from the public health side.”

Washington’s local virus regulations don’t apply on federal property, and the White House has hosted multiple gatherings that exceeded the local 50-person limit, and many participants didn’t wear masks.

The Sept. 26 ceremony announcing Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is now regarded as a potential infection nexus.

The White House says it is doing contact tracing, and “appropriate notifications and recommendations are being made.”

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is planning to return to the White House on Monday evening, but doctors couldn’t say when he’ll no longer be contagious for the coronavirus or when he’d be able to travel again.

The president’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday afternoon that Trump is not out of the woods yet, but that there is no care at the hospital that the president cannot get at the White House.

Typically, COVID-19 patients don’t have tests when they leave the hospital. Doctors says Trump will be given advanced testing that is not readily available to determine when no more viable virus is present.

Trump announced his coronavirus diagnosis early Friday and spent three days in the hospital.

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3:45 p.m.

An infectious-disease specialist says he's working with President Donald Trump’s medical team on infection control strategies so that the president can return to the White House.

Dr. Jason Blaylock said Monday that he's working closely with local laboratories to obtain advanced diagnostic testing that would inform the White House medical team about Trump’s ability to transmit the virus to others.

The president says he's leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening after a three-day stay for the coronavirus. On Sunday evening, Trump took a ride in an SUV driven by Secret Service agents to show his appreciation to supporters camped outside the hospital.

The president’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, says he was not concerned about the president going back to the White House on Monday. He says the first five days of illness is when people are most likely to shed the virus. Trump announced his coronavirus diagnosis early Friday.

Conley says, “We’re going to do whatever it takes for the president to safely conduct business" within the White House.

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3:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s health team is again refusing to disclose the findings of his lung scans as they update the public on his condition.

Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, said Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that he’s “just not at liberty to discuss” the findings.

Trump has been hospitalized at Walter Reed since Friday evening after he contracted the coronavirus.

COVID-19 can cause serious lung damage, including pneumonia, that can be visible in scans.

Conley was also evasive over the weekend. He said there were “some expected findings” in Trump’s scans, but he declined to say what those findings were. He said there was “nothing of any major clinical concern.”

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3:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s medical team says the president “may not entirely be out of the woods yet” as he heads back home to the White House.

Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, delivered an update on the president's health Monday. Earlier, Trump tweeted that he would be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening after a three-day hospitalization with the coronavirus.

He says Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet” but he and the team “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.”

Doctors say that he will continue to receive his treatments from the White House.

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2:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he's leaving the hospital Monday evening after a three-day stay to treat symptoms of COVID-19.

The president tweeted: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

The virus has killed nearly 210,000 Americans.

Trump has been treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Friday afternoon.

Trump’s return comes as the White House is still learning of the scale of the apparent outbreak on the complex last week. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for the coronavirus Monday morning.

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2:35 p.m.

A Christian pastor who attended the Rose Garden event where President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Greg Laurie of the California-based Harvest Christian Fellowship megachurch says he was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and was quarantining after experiencing symptoms such as fatigue and fever.

Laurie said in a Facebook video that he hopes “we could not politicize something like this and show compassion” to those affected. The prominent evangelical also participated in a prayer march on the National Mall that featured Vice President Mike Pence as a prominent guest. The march was held the same day as the Rose Garden event.

Another conservative evangelical leader who was present at the Rose Garden event, Texas-based megachurch pastor Jack Graham, told his congregants on Sunday that “I don’t have COVID” and that he is “ridiculously healthy, let’s just put it that way.” However, Graham did not address whether he had received a negative test result, and a church spokesperson did not comment further on the matter.

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s doctor will be delivering an update on the president’s condition later Monday afternoon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Trump is undergoing treatment for a fourth day for COVID-19.

It has been more than 24 hours since Trump’s physicians last provided an update on his condition, though White House aides said Trump was hopeful to be discharged as soon as Monday afternoon.

Trump sent a number of all-caps tweets Monday morning encouraging supporters to vote, with just weeks until Election Day. But he hasn’t yet appeared in photos or videos released by the White House on Monday.

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1:45 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says that President Donald Trump’s fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club hours before he announced he had contracted the coronavirus was wrong and “put lives at risk.”

Murphy on Monday called the trip the “wrong decision at every level” and said it should have been canceled.

The state is trying to keep tabs on the 206 attendees and 19 workers in an effort to thwart a potential outbreak stemming from the large gathering Thursday, which included an indoor roundtable with the president and photo opportunities.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere says the president didn’t have any contact with donors or staff that would be considered close, based on the CDC guidelines of longer than 15 minutes and within 6 feet (1.8 meters).

But Dr. Rich Roberts, a pharmaceutical executive from New Jersey who made a video describing the event, said he sat a seat away from Trump during the indoor roundtable that lasted 45 minutes.

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11:30 a.m.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says she has tested positive for COVID-19. This comes days after President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

McEnany says in a statement that she tested positive Monday morning and is experiencing no symptoms at this time. She spoke briefly with reporters Sunday evening, but says that no members of the White House press corps spent enough time around her to be considered close contacts.

She says that she is beginning the quarantine process and “will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”

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11:20 a.m.

White House officials maintain that President Donald Trump continues to work from the hospital as he battles COVID-19. The White House says the president signed two permits for cross-border petroleum pipeline projects over the weekend, while at his presidential hospital suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Trump signed the permits -- for projects running between Montana and Canada, and Texas and Mexico -- on Saturday, on his first full day at the military hospital.

Trump has boasted of helping to make the U.S. “energy dominant” and has wide campaign support in the oil and gas industry. He has put an emphasis on pushing through oil and gas pipeline projects throughout his administration, including issuing executive orders and seeking to streamline regulations to override objections from states, tribes or others in the path of the pipelines.

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8:50 a.m.

White House officials say President Donald Trump is anxious to be released from the hospital as early as Monday, after three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he's being treated for COVID-19.

“This is an important day as the president continues to improve and is ready to get back to a normal work schedule,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Monday.

Meadows says the determination on whether Trump would leave the hospital won’t be made until later in the day after the president is evaluated by his medical team.

His doctors revealed on Sunday that Trump’s blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick.