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After taking drug discovered at UAB, Trump to return to White House from hospital — ‘I feel better than I did 20 years ago’

President Donald J. Trump has announced that he plans to depart Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and return to the White House at 5:30 p.m. CT on Monday.

Trump in a tweet on Monday at 1:37 p.m. CT said he was feeling “really good” and praised the “great” Walter Reed hospital in Maryland, where he has been since Friday evening.

“We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge,” Trump wrote. “I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) reacted to the news in a tweet of his own, as did other Alabama elected officials and candidates.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Saturday told reporters, “The President’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

The president over the weekend released multiple video updates that outlined his condition was continuing to improve.

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley on Monday afternoon advised, “Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I 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 24/7.”

The Monday announcement came after Trump took three doses of remdesivir, among other drugs and therapeutics. He is set to take a fourth dose before returning to the White House, and a fifth and final dose could follow as soon as Tuesday.

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that showed promising results for treating the novel coronavirus in a much-discussed clinical trial conducted in the spring and early summer. After this trial, White House health advisor and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci proclaimed to the nation that remdesivir “will be the standard of care” moving forward for coronavirus-positive inpatients. He called the trial results “quite good news.”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) was a participating clinical site in the now-famous study and administered the drug to participating patients. However, UAB’s involvement goes significantly farther.

As reported by Yellowhammer News in February, a drug discovery program housed at UAB led to the development of remdesivir. This discovery came from a public-private partnership that also included Birmingham-based Southern Research and the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, which is now producing the drug.

The drug discovery was funded by a federal grant awarded to the Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center at UAB after U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) became chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.

RELATED: NIH funded more than $325 million in UAB research last year

Trump on Friday also took a single dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail. This is still an experimental drug cocktail that has not yet been approved by the FDA, even for emergency use. The company, however, can grant its use on a “compassionate” basis. UAB is currently recruiting candidates for an ongoing human clinical trial of this Regeneron cocktail.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn