The president made the comment during a nearly five minute-long video shared via Twitter on Wednesday, as the U.S.'s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 211,000. Trump acknowledged his recent stay at Walter Reed Medical Center, claiming the hospitalization wasn't necessary, but was encouraged as a precautionary measure.
"I got back a day ago from Walter Reed Medical Center. I spent four days there, and didn't have to," he said. "I could've stayed at the White House, but the doctors said, 'Because you're president, let's do it.' I said, 'Fine. You tell me what to do, I'm going to listen.'"
Trump then touted the benefits of the therapeutic drugs he received while at Walter Reed. He specifically mentioned the experimental antibody cocktail by Regeneron, a pharmaceutical company led by Trump's acquaintance Dr. Leonard Schleifer.
"Within a short period of time, they gave me Regeneron. Some other things too, but I think this was the key ..." he said. "I feel great. I feel like, perfect," Trump said. "So, I think this was a blessing from god, that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise. I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said let me take it, it was my suggestion. I said, let me take it, and it was incredible the way it worked, incredible... And I think if I didn't catch it, we'd be looking at that like a number of other drugs. But it really did a fantastic job. I want to get for you what I got. And I'm going to make it free, you're not going to pay for it."
Toward the end of the video, Trump issued another threat toward China, which he has consistently blamed for the pandemic.
"It wasn't your fault that this happened. It was China's fault, and China is going to pay a big price [for] what they've done to this country. This was China's fault. And just remember that."
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT! pic.twitter.com/uhLIcknAjT— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Although Trump denies culpability, a number of experts have continued to criticize his handling of the health crisis, claiming his inaction and efforts to downplay the disease's severity contributed to the country's high death toll.
On Wednesday, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine shared an editorial in which they highlighted the U.S.'s coronavirus failures and called on the nation to replace the current leadership.
"The response of our nation’s leaders has been consistently inadequate. The federal government has largely abandoned disease control to the states. Governors have varied in their responses, not so much by party as by competence," the editorial read. "But whatever their competence, governors do not have the tools that Washington controls. Instead of using those tools, the federal government has undermined them ... Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed 'opinion leaders' and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.
"... Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment. Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent."
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