The White House is preparing for President Donald Trump to potentially return within hours after his condition continued to “improve overnight”.
Mr Trump has spent several days at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre following his shock coronavirus diagnosis.
But despite conflicting reports and growing concerns regarding his condition, White House chief of staff has claimed to be “optimistic” the President could leave the hospital on Monday US time.
During an interview on Fox & Friends, Mr Meadows said he was “optimistic” after personally speaking with Mr Trump this morning.
“He continued to improve overnight and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule,” Mr Meadows said, adding that Mr Trump “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress”.
“We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today, with his medical professionals making that determination later today,” he said.
“His treatment has been remarkable. His strength has been incredible.”
Mr Meadows also defended the President’s controversial decision to briefly leave hospital for a drive-by thank you for supporters who had gathered outside his hospital in a show of support.
The spur-of-the-moment act has been widely condemned by medical experts who claim it may have put those who shared the motorcade with the President at risk – but Mr Meadows said protocols were followed.
“We came here on Marine One, the US Secret Service agent that is with him has been with him, and yet we took additional precautions with PPE and others to make sure they were protected,” he said.
“A number of folks are trying to make a big deal about that when I know myself and Secret Service details are with him everyday and want him to return to the White House as expeditiously as possible.”
He added that the president “is going to defeat this virus”.
“This is an enemy that we will defeat and we will do that together,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to CNN, sources close to Mr Trump claim the President was pushing to return to the White House on Sunday, with one saying “he is done with the hospital” while a second source said Mr Trump was worried his hospitalisation “makes him look weak”.
Mr Meadows’ comments come amid growing concerns over Mr Trump’s health, after his medical team revealed two huge clues that he may be sicker than widely believed.
During Sunday’s briefing, White House physician Dr Sean Conley revealed the President’s blood oxygen level dropped twice in the two days following his COVID-19 diagnosis, with the incidents needing medical intervention.
And Dr Conley also announced that Mr Trump had been prescribed dexamethasone – a strong steroid usually reserved for only the sickest coronavirus patients, as it can actually harm those with less severe cases and suppress the immune system.
However, the President has been prolific on Twitter during his hospital stay – firing off an incredible 18 tweets in just one hour on Monday morning US time – indicating his condition might be improving.