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Trump experienced oxygen drops Friday and Saturday, but he could be discharged Monday, doctor says

  • President Trump experienced two drops in his oxygen levels over the course of his coronavirus illness but has improved and may be discharged as soon as Monday, Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said. 
  • The president has been administered dexamethasone, a steroid that treats inflammation in Covid-19 patients and has been shown to help patients with severe or critical Covid-19. 
  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA chief in the Trump administration, told CNBC’s Shepard Smith that he’s more concerned now about the president’s condition than he was before the Sunday briefing, citing the president’s dexamethasone treatment.  



a man wearing a suit and tie: White House physician Sean Conley answers questions surrounded by other doctors, during an update on the condition of US President Donald Trump, on October 4, 2020, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.


© Provided by CNBC
White House physician Sean Conley answers questions surrounded by other doctors, during an update on the condition of US President Donald Trump, on October 4, 2020, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

President Donald Trump experienced two drops in his oxygen levels over the course of his coronavirus illness but has improved and may be discharged as soon as Monday, Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said Sunday. 

“The president has continued to improve,” Conley told reporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump is being treated. “As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course.”

However, Conley also disclosed that the 74-year-old Trump had been administered dexamethasone, a steroid that is usually given to patients with serious cases of Covid-19. Because it is generally not used in mild or moderate Covid-19 cases. several medical experts expressed greater concerns about the president’s condition.

“If they are going to discharge him tomorrow, that would mean he is virus negative. I don’t think that’s possible,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration under Trump.

Trump also completed a second dose of remdesivir on Saturday. 

The president’s doctors did not disclose the exact timing of Trump’s drop in oxygen levels or whether his lung scans showed damage from the disease. 

Conley said Trump was doing well Thursday night into Friday morning and was only experiencing mild symptoms with his blood oxygen levels in the high 90s. 

Conley said that by late Friday morning the president was running a high fever and his oxygen saturation levels had dipped below 94%. Healthy adults generally have blood oxygen levels of 95% or higher. 

“Given these developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness,” Conley said. 

Trump was then given supplemental oxygen and “after about a minute” his levels were back above 95%. The president was on supplemental oxygen for about an hour Friday, Conley said. 

On Saturday, Trump’s oxygen saturation dipped to about 93%, the doctor said. It’s unclear if he was given oxygen on Saturday. The doctors monitored Trump and his oxygen levels went back up. The president’s blood oxygen level is currently at 98%, Conley said Sunday.

Still, doctors said Trump could be discharged as early as Monday to continue his treatment at the White House. The president has entered his third day in the hospital on Sunday after contracting

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Left undisturbed, the new coronavirus can survive many hours on human skin, a new study has found. To avoid possibly infecting healthy volunteers, researchers conducted lab experiments using cadaver skin that would otherwise have been used for skin grafts. While influenza A virus survived less than two hours on human skin, the novel coronavirus survived for more than nine hours. Both were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends using alcohol-based hand rubs with 60% to 95% alcohol or thoroughly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Studies have shown that COVID-19 transmission largely occurs via aerosols and droplets. Still, the authors of the new study conclude in a report published on Saturday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, “Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections.” (https://bit.ly/34vrdlm)

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A common sleep disorder appears to put COVID-19 patients at higher risk for critical illness, a new study finds. Using Finnish national databases, researchers found that while the rates of infection with the new coronavirus were the same for people with and without obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), among people who did become infected, those with OSA had a five-fold higher risk of hospitalization. When people with OSA are asleep, their breathing stops briefly and then restarts, often multiple times during the night. OSA is associated with health problems like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, but was linked with a higher risk

Trump experienced oxygen drops, could be discharged Monday, doctor says

White House physician Sean Conley answers questions surrounded by other doctors, during an update on the condition of US President Donald Trump, on October 4, 2020, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump experienced two drops in his oxygen levels over the course of his coronavirus illness but has improved and may be discharged as soon as Monday, Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said on Sunday. 

“The president has continued to improve,” Conley told reporters outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump is being treated. “As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course.”

However, the doctors disclosed that Trump had been administered a steroid that is usually given to patients with serious cases of Covid-19. This led several medical experts to express greater concerns about the president’s condition.

“If they are going to discharge him tomorrow, that would mean he is virus negative. I don’t think that’s possible,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration under Trump.

The president’s doctors did not disclose the exact timing of Trump’s drop in oxygen levels or whether his lung scans showed damage from the disease. 

Conley said Trump was doing well Thursday night into Friday morning and was only experiencing mild symptoms with his blood oxygen levels in the high 90s. 

Conley said that by late Friday morning the president was running a high fever and his oxygen saturation levels had dipped below 94%. Healthy adults generally have blood oxygen levels of 95% or higher. 

“Given these developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness,” Conley said. 

Trump was then given supplemental oxygen and “after about a minute” his levels were back above 95%. The president was on supplemental oxygen for about an hour Friday, Conley said. 

On Saturday, Trump’s oxygen saturation dipped to about 93%, the doctor said. It’s unclear if he was given oxygen on Saturday. The doctors monitored Trump and his oxygen levels went back up. The president’s blood oxygen level is currently at 98%, Conley said.

Conley also said that the president has been administered dexamethasone, a steroid that treats inflammation in Covid-19 patients and has been shown to help patients with severe or critical illness. However, it is generally not used in mild or moderate Covid-19 cases. Trump also completed a second dose of remdesivir on Saturday. 

Still, doctors said Trump could be discharged as early as Monday to continue his treatment at the White House. The president has entered his third day in the hospital on Sunday after contracting the virus last week.

Dr. Sean Dooley, a pulmonologist at Walter Reed, said the president has been without a fever since Friday morning with favorable vital signs and no shortness of breath or any other significant respiratory symptoms.

The Sunday briefing comes a day after a presentation from the doctors that sowed confusion and concern over the president’s condition and raised

Donald Trump’s Dexamethasone Treatment Is Recommended Only for Patients on Oxygen, Ventilators

Dexamethasone, the steroid physicians administered to President Donald Trump as part of his COVID-19 treatment this weekend, is only recommended for coronavirus patients who are mechanically ventilated or require supplemental oxygen, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines.



text: A box of dexamethasone tablets is pictured at a pharmacy in Cardiff, United Kingdom, on June 16 in this photo illustration. On Sunday, White House physician Sean Conley said President Donald Trump received the steroid drug as part of his COVID-19 treatment this weekend.


© Matthew Horwood/Getty
A box of dexamethasone tablets is pictured at a pharmacy in Cardiff, United Kingdom, on June 16 in this photo illustration. On Sunday, White House physician Sean Conley said President Donald Trump received the steroid drug as part of his COVID-19 treatment this weekend.

The agency’s recommendations about dexamethasone appear alongside a wider set of guidelines regarding the effectiveness of corticosteroids in treating COVID-19 patients. Its guidance relies on findings included in a preliminary report from a large clinical trial that evaluated the effects of dexamethasone in more than 2,100 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19.

The report indicated dexamethasone lowered mortality rates in hospitalized patients who required supplemental oxygen upon admission, and concluded that administering the drug to those patients, and those who require ventilation, was ultimately beneficial. It recommended against using the treatment for COVID-19 patients who do not require supplemental oxygen.

News of Trump’s latest treatment, which White House physician Sean Conley confirmed on Sunday, fueled public suspicions about the president’s condition and whether his administration is being honest about it. Trump first announced he and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning. While an initial statement from Conley suggested both Trumps would carry out their quarantine and recovery at the White House, the president was later admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to receive more consistent care.

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Several updates from Conley on Friday and Saturday emphasized Trump was doing well, and the president said the same himself in a video message shared to Twitter Saturday afternoon. However, questions were raised when Conley confirmed that the president’s medical team chose to initiate treatment using antiviral drug Remdesivir upon Trump’s hospital admission. Remdesivir is not formally authorized for widespread use as a COVID-19 treatment by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), although it was approved for emergency use in hospitalized patients.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive updates from administration officials regarding Trump’s health, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News his colleagues were “real concerned” about the president’s condition on Friday during an interview the following night. “He had a fever, and his blood oxygen level dropped rapidly,” Meadows shared Saturday evening, adding that Trump showed signs of “unbelievable improvement” since then. He noted the next 48 hours would be critical in terms of the president’s care.

Conley provided more details about Trump’s health status and medical treatment during a news briefing on Sunday. The physician said Walter Reed medical staff administered supplemental oxygen to the president after he was admitted. He also acknowledged that in a Saturday press conference he omitted information about Trump taking oxygen Friday at the

high fever, drops in oxygen, doctors say

President Donald Trump has suffered high fever and his oxygen levels have fallen at least twice as he has battled Covid-19, his doctors said Sunday.



Donald Trump sitting at a table in a kitchen: President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.


© Joyce N. Boghosian/White House
President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.

Following two briefings from Trump’s doctors over the weekend, more details about the course of his Covid-19 illness are emerging — but some questions still remain.

Friday

Since Trump announced his Covid-19 diagnosis on Twitter early Friday morning, his illness has had frequent “ups and downs,” White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.

On Thursday night and into early Friday morning, Conley said, the President “was doing well with only mild symptoms” and his oxygen level was in the high 90s — but then late Friday morning, “the President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” Conley said. A normal blood oxygen saturation level is 95% or higher.

The President initially was “fairly adamant that he didn’t need” oxygen. “He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it,” Conley said.

However, the President was given oxygen.

“And after about a minute on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour maybe, and was off and gone,” Conley said.

Later that Friday, Conley added, the President was out of bed, moving around the White House residence and had only mild symptoms.

On Friday afternoon, Conley said in a White House letter that Trump received a monoclonal antibody cocktail — an investigational immune system treatment from the biotechnology company Regeneron — and had taken zinc, vitamin D, the heartburn drug famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.

Some small studies have indicated famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid AC, might help improve recovery from Covid-19 but it wasn’t clear if that’s why Trump took it.

On Friday evening, the President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for evaluation and monitoring. Before leaving for the hospital, Trump recorded a video message announcing that he was being transported.

The President has remained without fever since Friday morning, Dr. Sean Dooley, one of Trump’s physicians, said during Sunday’s briefing. Doctors have not said whether they have given him fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Trump’s oxygen level transiently dipped again on Saturday.

Saturday

“Yesterday there was another episode where it dropped down to about 93%,” Conley said on Sunday. “We watched it and it returned back up.”

Trump’s physicians decided to give him the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone, which has been shown to help patients with Covid-19 and is typically given to patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilation.

In the United States, dexamethasone has been used to treat some Covid-19 patients since early on in the pandemic —