Shutterstock Donald Trump
Physicians working closely with President Donald Trump during his bout with COVID-19 said he is doing well amid “frequent ups and downs” of his treatment.
On Sunday morning, doctors told reporters during a press conference that Trump, 74, could potentially be discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and back in the White House tomorrow if he continues to improve.
“He has been up and around. Our plan today is to have him eat and drink, be up out of bed,” said Dr. Brian Garibaldi. “[If] he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is to plan for discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House, where he can continue his treatment course.”
Dr. Sean Dooley said the president “continues to improve” and has been without a fever since Friday morning, adding that Trump is “not complaining of shortness of breath” and is walking around his medical quarters in the hospital “without limitation or disability.”
Addressing whether the president has been placed on supplemental oxygen during his treatment, Dr. Sean Conley said Trump had “two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation,” which “certainly never” dropped to the low-80 percentile.
“We debated the reasons for this, and whether we’d even intervene,” said Conley of the two episodes. “It was a determination of the team based on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiate dexamethasone.”
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid typically given to patients with severe COVID-19 cases.
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Joyce N Boghosian/AP/Shutterstock Donald Trump
Then, Conley, who confirmed the president had received supplemental oxygen while at the White House on Friday morning, was asked why the medical staff had been cagey about the use of oxygen in previous statements. “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction and in doing so it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true,” he said, sharing that he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, his course of illness has had.”
Also addressing the mixed messages given by him and chief of staff Mark Meadows, Conley said Meadow’s Saturday statement about the president’s “very concerning” vitals was “misconstrued” and that Meadows was referring to Trump’s report before he was admitted to the hospital.
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Dr. Conley on reluctance to disclose the president had been administered oxygen: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude…I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction.” pic.twitter.com/BEdaj8iB24
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 4, 2020
The health update comes hours after Trump posted a video message Saturday on social media, in which he said that he “wasn’t feeling so well” when he went to the Walter Reed Medical Center but has since improved. The night before, he tweeted, “Going well, I think!”
Conley told reporters on Saturday that Trump was “72 hours into the diagnosis,” meaning the president would have received his positive test result on Wednesday morning. Trump, who publicly revealed his coronavirus diagnosis in a tweet on early Friday morning, had traveled to Minnesota for a campaign rally on Wednesday night without a mask and then went to New Jersey on Thursday.
Shortly after the briefing, Conley made a clarification on his briefing statements. “This morning while summarizing the President’s health, I incorrectly used the term ‘seventy-two hours’ instead of ‘day three’ and ‘forty-eight hours’ instead of ‘day two’ with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy,” read Conley’s statement obtained by PEOPLE. “The President was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st and had received Regeron’s [sic] antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd.”
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On Saturday, Trump’s doctors said they plan to continue carrying out a five-day treatment plan of Remdesivir.
It remains unclear how Trump and First Lady Melania Trump got sick, although a number of lawmakers and advisors he has recently come into contact with have since tested positive.
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