President Trump has entered his fourth day hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He could be discharged as early as today, according to his doctors, after a weekend of mixed messages from Trump’s team about his health status following his COVID-19 diagnosis last week.
On Saturday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reportedly told staff Trump’s vitals were “very concerning” and that “We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.” However, President Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, painted a much rosier picture of the president’s recovery, even as doctors shared that his oxygen levels dropped twice and that he had been on steroids that are usually reserved for critically ill patients. On Sunday, Conley acknowledged he misled reporters one day earlier about Trump being given oxygen.
Dr. Sean Conley: “So, I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”
Trump’s medical records show he received the powerful steroid dexamethasone along with the antiviral remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that’s still in clinical trials. Doctors say President Trump may be the first person ever to receive all three drugs at once, and there is no data about the safety or efficacy of using the drugs in concert. Throughout the weekend, Trump tweeted out three video messages from his presidential suite at Walter Reed hospital.
President Donald Trump: “I came here, wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back.”
On Sunday, Trump broke his quarantine by briefly leaving the hospital to take a short drive for a photo op to wave at supporters. Trump appeared to wear just a cloth mask inside the hermetically sealed vehicle, putting the Secret Service agents who accompanied him at risk of infection.
Meanwhile, the number of prominent Republicans to get infected keeps growing. The list now includes first lady Melania Trump, Senators Mike Lee, Thom Tillis and Ron Johnson, Trump adviser Hope Hicks, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has been hospitalized. Trump’s personal assistant, Nicholas Luna, has also tested positive. Many of those infected attended ceremonies on September 26 at the White House for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Three journalists who cover the White House also have COVID-19. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the White House will no longer reveal the number or names of staffers who test positive for the coronavirus.