Trump docs say president is doing effectively, others categorical concern
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Media signatureThe doctors who care for the US president say they are “cautiously optimistic, but he is fine”.
US President Donald Trump is doing “very well” in the hospital after his Covid 19 diagnosis, his doctors say, but their report is controversial.
Dr. Sean Conley said the president hadn’t been given supplemental oxygen for the time being and had been fever free for 24 hours.
Moments later, the White House chief of staff expressed concern about the president’s condition and said he was not yet on a clear path to recovery.
In the presidential election on November 3, Trump will face Joe Biden.
The positive diagnosis, released by the president in a tweet early Friday, has turned his campaign on its head and also cast doubts about his attempt to get a new Supreme Court judge ruled before election day.
The President is expected to stay “a few days” at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington DC, according to the White House. Dr. Conley said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Mr. Trump’s condition but could not provide a schedule for his release.
The doctors’ assessment was refuted by White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who told reporters that the president’s vital signs had been “very worrying” for the past 24 hours and the next 48 hours were critical.
The 74-year-old president, a man and someone classified as obese, belongs to a higher risk category for Covid-19. So far, he has been treated with an experimental drug cocktail injection and an antiviral drug remdesivir.
The president later wrote on Twitter: “Doctors, nurses, and everyone at the great Walter Reed Medical Center and others from equally incredible institutions who have joined them are incredible … With your help, I’m fine!”
What else did the doctors say?
At a press conference on Saturday morning, Dr. To tell Conley if the president had ever been given oxygen, despite being questioned repeatedly. “Nobody at this moment and yesterday with the team while we were all here was out of oxygen,” he said.
Shortly thereafter, several U.S. media outlets reported that doctors gave the President supplemental oxygen in the White House on Friday before deciding to transfer him to Walter Reed. It wasn’t clear if he was having difficulty breathing and needed it.
Donald Trump was last seen publicly on Friday when he arrived at the military hospital
Dr. Conley said some of the president’s symptoms, including a light cough and nasal congestion, had “now subsided and getting better,” adding, “At this point, the team and I are extremely pleased with the progress the president has made . “
There was also some confusion after he said the team was “72 hours” in the president’s positive diagnosis. If confirmed, it suggests that Mr Trump attended two major campaign events, possibly because he knew he was infected.
Later in a statement released by the White House, Dr. Conley realized he was going to say “day three” instead of 72 hours and said the president was first diagnosed with Covid-19 on Thursday evening.
First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive and isolated in the White House, was “great,” said Dr. Conley.
Sean Dooley, another doctor on the team treating the president, described Mr Trump as “exceptionally good humor” after previously saying, “I feel like I could get out of here today.”
Instead of clarity, more confusion
One could imagine that the purpose of the White House medical team’s press conference was to reassure the public that the president is fine and that the best medical experts in the country are in control of the situation. Instead, they created more confusion.
Sean Conley initially said Mr. Trump was diagnosed “72 hours ago” – that would be Wednesday morning. That was before the president traveled to Minnesota for a campaign rally, before flying to New Jersey for a fundraiser Thursday, and more than 36 hours before the president revealed his coronavirus diagnosis.
The timeline was further tarnished by the revelation that the president had received antiviral treatment 48 hours ago – even before it was announced. All of this required a short walk back through the White House. It is only the last time in the Trump presidency that the White House communications bureau has had to provide clarification or cleanup.
Now, however, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Dr. Conley also tried to paint a positive picture of the president’s current health. Then, just a few minutes later, Mark Meadows took on a completely different tone.
It is important for the White House to communicate clearly with the American people – and with the world at large, where allies and adversaries are closely monitoring the situation in the US. This is not just a health problem for the president, but a security problem for the entire nation.
Who else around the president has tested positive?
Dr. Conley didn’t respond to questions about when and where he believed Mr Trump was infected. A crowded rose garden event last weekend when the president officially announced his nomination for the conservative Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is in focus.
Apart from the president and the first lady, it has now been confirmed that six other people have the virus. On Saturday, campaign advisor and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie was the last to report positive results.
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Media signaturePresident Trump is seven days before his Covid-positive test
Other people who have tested positive for Mr Trump include close aide Hope Hicks – believed to be the first to show symptoms – campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House aide Kellyanne Conway.
Meanwhile, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would postpone its work in full session until October 19, but that work on the Judiciary Committee – which will review Judge Barrett’s nomination – will continue.
Later on Saturday the senator said in a tweet that he had received a call with the president that “sounded good and says he feels good”.
- Who he met and who tested positive
- What is the risk to Donald Trump’s health?
Mr Trump remains responsible. Vice President Mike Pence, who would be constitutionally transferred to power by the President if he got too sick to do his job, received negative marks.
The president was last seen in public on Friday evening. Before being flown to the military hospital, he waved and gave reporters a thumbs up, but said nothing before getting into his helicopter.