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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.
A moment later, an official familiar with the president’s condition voiced concern and said Mr Trump was not yet on a clear path to recovery.
In exactly one month, Trump will face Joe Biden in the presidential election.
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 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington DC for several days. Dr. Conley said he was “cautiously optimistic” but couldn’t give a schedule for his release.
However, the doctors’ assessment was disproved by an official who said some of his vital signs in the past 24 hours were “very worrying” and the next 48 hours were critical. The officer is a credible source who usually informs reporters.
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 the 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 amazing … 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.
Dr. Conley also said that some of the president’s symptoms, including a light cough and a blocked nose, are “now disappearing and getting better,” adding, “At this point, the team and I are extremely pleased with the progress the president has made has made.”
Donald Trump was last seen publicly on Friday when he arrived at the military hospital
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 for Covid-19 and is in isolation in the White House, is “great,” said Dr. Conley.
More questions than answers
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 said President Trump was diagnosed “72 hours ago” – that would be Wednesday morning. That was before the president traveled to Minnesota for a rally that evening, before flying to New Jersey for a fundraiser on Thursday, and more than 36 hours before the president revealed his coronavirus diagnosis to the world in a nightly tweet.
The timeline is further tarnished by the revelation that the president received antiviral treatment sometime on Thursday – even before his announcement.
Dr. Conley tried to paint a positive picture of the president’s current health, despite not knowing if Mr Trump had ever been given oxygen to aid his breathing. And then, just minutes after the press conference closed, a White House official adopted a completely different tone and told the assembled press, “The president’s vital signs for the past 24 hours have been very worrying.”
The White House and the President’s medical team have some statements to make. They have since said the doctors spelled wrong, but that probably won’t dispel concerns that the president knowingly put more people at risk by traveling than he knew he could have Covid-19.
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 Saturday 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 who were present suffer from the virus. Chris Christie, a campaign advisor, last reported a positive result.
- What is the risk to Donald Trump’s health?
- Who he met and who tested positive
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.
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. Before being flown to the military hospital, he waved and gave reporters a thumbs up, but said nothing before getting into his helicopter.