President Donald Trump said early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus. (Oct. 2)
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s condition after receiving a diagnosis of coronavirus was “very concerning” over the past day, a source with knowledge of the president’s status said – offering a more sober assessment than the one provided publicly by the president’s physician on Saturday.
“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” said a source familiar with the president’s health. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
The assessment was more sober than the rosy prognosis offered Saturday by Trump’s physician.
Trump is “doing very well,” the president’s physician, Sean Conley, told reporters at Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday hours after he was taken to the hospital after experiencing fever, congestion and other symptoms from COVID-19.
“This morning, the president is doing very well,” Conley told reporters, adding that he was “extremely happy” with the president’s progress so far.
Doctors said the president had been fever free for over 24 hours and was not on oxygen Saturday but did not answer several questions about whether he had been at any point previously. Trump’s medical team denied a report Friday that the president was having trouble breathing.
“He’s not on oxygen right now,” Conley said, adding that Trump had an oxygen saturation level of 96%, within the normal range for a healthy person.
Doctors monitor oxygen in blood as an indicator of whether there’s low oxygen levels, one of the problems that occurs with COVID-19.
Conley said the president developed a fever Thursday and said that doctors were continuing to evaluate when he could return to the White House. Asked why, specifically, he had been transferred to Walter Reed, Conley indicated it was out of an abundance of caution.
“Because he’s the president of the United States,” Conley said.
Trump, 74, remained at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday after he and first lady Melania Trump announced early Friday they had tested positive for COVID-19. White House officials, who initially described the president’s case as mild, later said he was experiencing symptoms such as fatigue and fever.
President Donald Trump walks off Marine One while arriving at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 2, 2020. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, AFP via Getty Images)
Soon after Trump arrived at the hospital, the White House released a memo from Conley indicating the president was starting remdesivir therapy. Conley said at that time that Trump was “doing very well” and was “resting comfortably.”
Trump also received a single 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail as a precautionary measure, according to Conley. The antibody cocktail is being studied in four late-stage clinical trials and its safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority, the company said on its page.
The White House has provided some information of the president’s condition, including memos from Conley. However, many of the details were unclear late Friday, including the full extent of his symptoms, which test was used to confirm his case and specifically why he was moved to the hospital rather than recovering at the White House.
More: Woodrow Wilson downplayed the 1918 flu pandemic. Then, he got violently sick.
Trump himself has remained uncharacteristically out of view since announcing the diagnosis and White House officials sought to convey a sense of business-as-usual throughout the day Friday. On Saturday, officials announced that Trump had signed two resolutions appointing citizen regents to the board of the Smithsonian Institution.
After remaining silent on Twitter for much of Friday, he posted a message at 11:30 p.m. EST saying that things were “going welI, I think!”
Contributing: Courtney Subramanian
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