An attempt by President Donald Trump’s doctor to reassure the public about Trump’s condition following his infection with Covid-19 only created widespread confusion and concerns about transparency on Saturday, as a source familiar with the President’s health told reporters that the next 48 hours will be critical in determining how he fares.
“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 source told White House pool reporters after the briefing from his doctors.
Moments earlier on Saturday morning, the President’s physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, had offered an upbeat assessment of the President’s condition stating that he was feeling well, that he had been “fever-free” for 24 hours and that his symptoms — which included an “extremely mild cough,” nasal congestion and fatigue — “are resolving and improving.” Conley was evasive about when and if Trump had received supplemental oxygen, saying, “He is not on oxygen.”
But a source close to the White House said Trump has received supplemental oxygen since his illness began. Trump “definitely has had oxygen,” the source said, adding that it was on Friday.
The New York Times first reported the oxygen development. CNN reported on Friday the President was having a hard time breathing.
The rosy briefing from doctors, which contradicts other information emerging about the President’s condition, came the morning after Trump was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a move that plunged the country into a deepening crisis as the circle of current and former aides to the President testing positive rapidly widened.
Conley said during the briefing — which occurred shortly before noon Saturday at Walter Reed — that the President was diagnosed with the coronavirus 72 hours earlier. He later released a statement midday on Saturday saying that he misspoke during the briefing and meant to say it was “Day Three” of Trump’s diagnosis — and that the President was diagnosed Thursday night.
Trump revealed his diagnosis around 1 a.m. ET Friday on Twitter.
Conley offered scant and insufficient details about the President’s vital signs. He acknowledged that the President had a fever at one point, but refused to say what it was. A