Top US Republican lawmaker Steve Scalise remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot this week but has improved, his surgeon said Friday as he expressed optimism about the legislator's prospects for recovery.
"The congressman's status remains critical", Dr Jack Sava, the director of trauma at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, told reporters. When he arrived at the hospital, however, he was in a state of shock. Although "infection is a significant risk", the physician said, "an excellent recovery is a good possibility". He ultimately was transferred to the intensive care unit, where doctors began to control his bleeding. Scalise will undergo more operations. "Five people were wounded in the assault, including a member of House Leadership -- my good friend, Steve Scalise", Trump said in his weekly web and radio address to the nation.
Scalise, 51, is among four people shot by a gunman at a House Republican baseball practice Wednesday in the Washington suburbs.
Law enforcement officials identified the shooter as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, who later died from injuries sustained during a shootout with police on the scene.
Scalise probably has hundreds of bullet fragments in his body, and doctors don't plan to remove them because usually there is more risk than benefit in doing so, Sava said.
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Speaking in Miami on Friday, Trump said Scalise "took a bullet for all of us". The president's meaning was not entirely clear, but Trump went on to say that "Because of him and the tremendous pain and suffering he's now enduring - and he's having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought - our country will perhaps become closer, more unified, so important".
They also released photos of guns similar to the 9mm handgun and 7.62-caliber rifle used in the attack, which officials have said were purchased legally.
The offices of both senators - Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth - turned over the emails to Capitol Police and declined to divulge specifics about their content.
Hodgkinson had a history of posting angry messages against Mr Trump and other Republicans on social media. Lobbyist Matt Mika was shot multiple times and critically injured and remained hospitalized.