"The congressman's status remains critical," Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center said.

Top US Republican lawmaker Steve Scalise the number three House Republican, was shot along with three other people early Wednesday when a lone gunman, angry about President Donald Trump, attacked a group of Republican lawmakers as they practiced for a congressional charity baseball game.

"We are encouraged in the improvement in his condition in the last 36 hours. We have controlled his internal bleeding and his vital signs have stabilized," Sava added.

"I feel a lot more optimistic than I did two or three days ago."

But Scalise still faces multiple surgeries, a prolonged hospital stay and a lengthy recovery, Sava stressed.

The game went ahead as scheduled Thursday, in an emotional display of bipartisan unity. Trump addressed the players by video message, hailing Scalise's courage.

The president spoke about the 51-year-old from Louisiana again Friday during a speech in Miami.

Scalise has remained under sedation, although doctors have lightened the medication at times so that the congressman can communicate with relatives.