Donald Trump has claimed an experimental treatment he was given at Walter Reed National Medical Center for coronavirus amounts to a “cure” for Covid-19.

In a video filmed outside the Oval Office and posted to social media on Wednesday evening, the president said of Regeneron: “To me, it wasn’t therapeutic, it just made me better… I call that a cure”. He described his contracting the disease as “a blessing from God” and said he was working to get the drug approved and made available to the American public for free.

That came as vice president Mike Pence defended the White House’s pandemic response in a debate with his Democratic counterpart, Kamala Harris, who described Trump’s stewardship through the pandemic as “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country”.