Melania Trump didn’t visit husband to avoid exposing Secret Service and medical staff to COVID-19

Doctors and infectious disease experts were highly critical of President Trump’s decision to get driven in a hermetically sealed SUV around Walter Reed Medical Center to wave to supporters while he is contagious with COVID-19, endangering his Secret Service detail, photographed wearing the wrong type of personal protective equipment. The Secret Service has noticed.

Somebody at the White House had considered the safety of Secret Service agents. On Saturday, a White House official told NBC News’ Peter Alexander that first lady Melania Trump would not leave her isolation in the White House residence to visit her husband because “she has COVID” and “that would expose the agents who would drive her there and the medical staff who would walk her up to him.”

The White House defended what spokesman Judd Deere called Trump’s “short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside.” Deere told Axios‘ Alayna Treene, the White House pool reporter on duty, that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.” Deere did not, Treene note, “answer additional questions, such as whether the drive-by happened at the president’s request.”

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Trump’s medical team briefing reveals things are worse than we knew

Here’s what we learned from the latest briefing.

Trump given steroid, a worrying sign

As a determination of the team based predominantly on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiate dexamethasone. – White House physician Dr. Sean Conley

Dexamethasone – a safe, inexpensive steroid that has been around for decades – is generally reserved for patients with severe or critical Covid-19 cases.

The National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization both recommend the drug for patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilators, based on a large clinical trial that found it reduced the risk of death. But both guidelines warn the drug could harm people who don’t require oxygen therapy or a ventilator, and should not be used for such patients. Trump’s doctors said Sunday that he has received oxygen therapy twice for limited periods. They also said he’s run a fever.

The decision to give Trump dexamethasone shows that “he’s actually having effects on his lungs from the virus,” said Abraar Karan, an internal medicine doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Trump continues antiviral treatment that can shorten length of illness

The president yesterday evening completed his second dose of remdesivir. He’s tolerated that infusion well. – Dr. Brian Garibaldi

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug made by Gilead Sciences originally developed to fight Ebola. Trump’s doctors said Friday that he had begun the standard-five day course of infusions of the drug.

Remdesivir has been shown to speed recovery, but it’s not clear if it actually reduces the risk of death. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use in hospitalized patients.

Trump’s oxygen levels have dipped to concerning levels

Late Friday morning, when I returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94 percent. Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness. I recommended the president we try supplemental oxygen, see how he would respond. He was fairly adamant that he didn’t need it. He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever and that was about it. And after about a minute, on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95 percent. He stayed on that for about an hour, maybe, and was off and gone. – Dr. Conley

Another oddity of Covid-19: some patients’ oxygen levels fall, but they don’t have trouble breathing. That’s why doctors watch blood oxygen levels.

The president’s physicians gave him oxygen after his level dropped below 94 percent — a key threshold for Covid-19 patients. Dipping below that level signals that a patient’s case is moderate or severe, with the exact diagnosis depending on other vital signs, according to the CDC.

“Once you drop below 94 percent, by definition you have severe Covid,” said Carlos del Rio, an infectious-disease expert at Emory University.

What do Trump’s lung scans actually show?

What did the X-rays and CT scans show? Are there signs of pneumonia? Are there signs

Israels shutdown and their medical system is collapsing….

…The new lockdown imposes stay-at-home orders on all Israel, allowing citizens to distance themselves from their residences by about half a mile if they need essentials such as food or medicine…

…Israel’s hospital system is overwhelmed and on a fast track to collapse, according to the nation’s top experts responsible for COVID-19 patients.

At an extraordinary press conference, Dr. Avishai Elis, the secretary of the Israel’s Internal Medicine Association, warned the public of an imminent disaster and the “tragic implications” of the paralysis which has taken hold of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government regarding the nation’s hospitals….

…For every coronavirus ward opening up, she noted, a non-coronavirus ward closes. There are not enough doctors to operate both. Patients who would otherwise receive top-notch care were being discharged early and “in the coming months hospitals will be forced to make unimaginable choices,” she said.

The Health Ministry announced on Thursday that due to shortages, it is experimenting with the reuse of PPE for medical staff in hospital COVID wards.

Hospital directors were also incensed by the Health Ministry’s refusal to provide doctors with flu shots from the first batch that arrived in Israel— advising them to wait till November—and by the ministry’s lack of transparency regarding contagion.

Dr. Tamy Shohat, a professor of preventive medicine and epidemiology at Tel Aviv University’s medical school, described her failed efforts, during the first wave to obtain raw data collected by Israeli authorities. “Today,” she said, “the situation is so desperate. We had 9,000 positive cases today. Where did they test? In which neighborhoods? Only among the ultra-Orthodox? Among people exposed to someone with COVID-19? All Israel? It is impossible to understand anything from this.”….

…On Sept. 22, Hebrew University professor Yinon Ashkenazy warned the authorities that Israel would cross the red line of 800 acute COVID-19 patients by the end of the week, meaning all the nation’s hospitals would be at full capacity.

His prediction was borne out. On Thursday, Israel had 812 COVID-19 patients in critical care, with the figures mounting….

….Following the effective handling of the pandemic’s first wave, its resurgence came a short two months after the government shambolically reopened schools, lifted constraints on massive public gatherings, and Netanyahu urged Israelis: “Enjoy yourselves. Have a beer.”…

…..On Thursday, for the first time in Israeli history, the army announced that military medical personnel will treat civilians in two coronavirus wards it will open at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.

Rambam, the largest hospital in Israel’s north, is among the best-prepared medical centers. Last week, in anticipation of the oncoming onslaught, it opened its Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital for the first time since it was built, in 2014, originally with the aim of protecting patients from incoming Hezbollah missiles located in nearby Southern Lebanon.

Hidden 54 feet underground, the bomb-proof bunker has 770 beds, including 170 adapted to patients on ventilators, and is now Israel’s largest dedicated coronavirus treatment center….

For Trump, the Only Medical News Is Good Medical News

The White House said at the time that Mr. Trump was simply undergoing a series of “quick exam and labs” as part of his annual physical exam because he was anticipating a “very busy 2020.” Mr. Trump never completed that physical.

Much like the release of a president’s tax returns, releasing the results of an annual physical is a custom, not a legal requirement. (The White House physician’s responsibilities, meanwhile, are to the patient, not the public.) Presidents are not required to tell the public anything about their annual physical exam, or the status or history of their health, although all modern presidents since Richard M. Nixon have chosen to give out some information.

Dr. Conley’s predecessor in the job, Dr. Jackson, had served under the past three presidents. But Dr. Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral who is now a Republican candidate for Congress in Texas and endorsed by the president, seemed particularly eager to please Mr. Trump.

At a news conference in January 2018, Dr. Jackson said that Mr. Trump was in great health, citing his “incredible genes,” and his assessment that he had done “exceedingly well” on a cognitive test and was “mentally very, very sharp.” He also said that if Mr. Trump had adhered to a better diet over the past 20 years, he “could have lived to 200.”

It was also not clear whether Dr. Jackson fudged the president’s height — he said Mr. Trump was 6 feet 3 inches, when his driver’s license lists him as 6 feet 2 inches. Either way, his body mass index would have defined him as obese.

White House doctors have also refused to provide a full accounting of why the first lady, Melania Trump, visited Walter Reed in 2018 for what they described as a routine embolization procedure “to treat a benign kidney condition.” Her five-day hospital stay for a procedure that is typically completed in one was never accounted for.

The inaccurate and misleading briefing from the White House physician on Saturday was a disappointment to some administration officials, who had pushed for Dr. Conley to take over as the public face of the current news cycle, hoping he would be seen as a more credible source than Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary.

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American Medical Association petitions Supreme Court to review Title X ‘gag order’

Oct. 1 (UPI) — The American Medical Association led a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to review a Trump administration revised rule banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions.

The petition, filed alongside the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, calls on the court to weigh conflicting decisions in a pair of appeals courts regarding the so-called “gag rule” earlier this year.

Under the revised rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2019, the government said it would require “clear financial and physical separation” between Title X-compliant facilities and those that provide abortions or abortion referrals.

“The AMA strongly believes that our nation’s highest court must step in to remove government overreach and interference in the patient-physician relationship. Restricting the information that physicians can provide to their Title X patients blocks honest, informed conversations about health care options — an unconscionable violation that is essentially a gag rule,” AMA President Susan Bailey said in a statement.

In February, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rule, stating that it allows family clinics to mention abortion, but not to refer or encourage it, and that it was a “reasonable interpretation” of federal law and was not “arbitrary and capricious,” as challengers including Planned Parenthood had argued.

However, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of the federal rule in Maryland earlier this month, saying the Trump administration’s rule revision “failed to recognize and address the ethical concerns of literally every major medical organization in the country.”

“The petitioners argue that until the Ninth CIrcuit’s erroneous decision is corrected, the administration’s gag rule is harming patient care and causing physicians and other health care professionals to violate ethical obligations by preventing Title X clinics from providing full information to patients about all of their reproductive care options,” AMA said.

The petition also comes as the Senate prepares to confirm President Donald Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, shifting the court’s makeup to a 6-3 conservative majority following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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The Cost of Medical Bias When You’re Sick, Black, and Female

This is Race and Medicine, a series dedicated to unearthing the uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening truth about racism in healthcare. By highlighting the experiences of Black people and honoring their health journeys, we look to a future where medical racism is a thing of the past.


Being a doctor is a unique role. It involves knowing some of the most intimate things about a person, but not really knowing them as a person at all.

The patient’s job is to be transparent about their health, and the doctor’s job is to listen objectively to symptoms and fears to choose the most logical diagnosis. 

Racial bias in the medical field disrupts the trust needed for this relationship to function. 

A biased doctor might disbelieve symptoms or their severity and misdiagnose a condition.

A patient may come to mistrust the doctor, not attend appointments, not follow instructions, or stop sharing key information because history tells them they aren’t taken seriously. 

Reducing bias is critical to eliminating health disparities, especially for Black women.

My run-in with bias

Several years ago, I experienced medical bias when I started having headaches multiple times per week. I had had migraine before, but this was different. 

I felt like I was dragging my body through heavy resistance, like encountering an undertow. I was losing weight. No matter how much water I drank, I was always thirsty and rushing to the bathroom around the clock. 

It seemed I could never eat enough to feel full. When I tried to avoid overeating, I became fatigued, my vision blurred, and I had so much trouble focusing it was hard to drive.

My primary care physician (PCP) cut me off when I tried to explain.

She congratulated me for losing weight and said I just needed to let my brain adjust to food deprivation. When I explained I wasn’t dieting, she sent me to a headache specialist. 

The headache specialist prescribed a medication that didn’t help. I knew they weren’t migraine headaches, but no one listened, even as my fatigue and disorientation increased. 

Once, I even had trouble finding my own house.

By my sixth visit, the symptoms were massively disrupting my life. I wondered if I had type 2 diabetes because of family history. My symptoms seemed to match. 

I knew of a test called HbA1c that provides a snapshot of blood sugar levels. I insisted on being tested. My doctor said she would order labs based on my demographics. 

I thought I was finally getting somewhere — but when the receptionist at the lab printed the list of tests, HbA1c wasn’t present. Instead, it was tests for common STDs. 

I was humiliated, overwhelmed, and no closer to having answers. In the parking lot, I broke down and cried. 

Subtle racism

When Black people share instances of racism, it’s often disregarded as playing the ‘race card’ or as an isolated incident. It’s much more difficult to explain subtle racism than it is to explain blatant acts like burning crosses and

Investors Extracted $400 Million From a Hospital Chain That Sometimes Couldn’t Pay for Medical Supplies or Gas for Ambulances

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

In the decade since Leonard Green & Partners, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles, bought control of a hospital company named Prospect Medical Holdings for $205 million, the owners have done handsomely.

Leonard Green extracted $400 million in dividends and fees for itself and investors in its fund — not from profits, but by loading up the company with debt. Prospect CEO Sam Lee, who owns about 20% of the chain, made $128 million while expanding the company from five hospitals in California to 17 across the country. A second executive with an ownership stake took home $94 million.

The deal hasn’t worked out quite as well for Prospect’s patients, many of whom have low incomes. (The company says it receives 80% of its revenues from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.) At the company’s flagship Los Angeles hospital, persistent elevator breakdowns sometimes require emergency room nurses to wheel patients on gurneys across a public street as a security guard attempts to halt traffic. Paramedics for Prospect’s hospital near Philadelphia told ProPublica that they’ve repeatedly gone to fuel up their ambulances only to come away empty at the pump: Their hospital-supplied gas cards were rejected because Prospect hadn’t paid its bill. A similar penury afflicts medical supplies. “Say we need 4×4 sponges, dressing for a patient, IV fluids,” said Leslie Heygood, a veteran registered nurse at one of Prospect’s Pennsylvania hospitals, “we might not have it on the shelf because it’s on ‘credit hold’ because they haven’t paid their creditors.”

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In March, Prospect’s New Jersey hospital made national headlines as the chief workplace of the first U.S. emergency room doctor to die of COVID-19. Before his death, the physician told a friend he’d become sick after being forced to reuse a single mask for four days. At a Prospect hospital in Rhode Island, a locked ward for elderly psychiatric patients had to be evacuated and sanitized after poor infection control spread COVID-19 to 19 of its 21 residents; six of them died. The virus sickened a half-dozen members of the hospital’s housekeeping staff, which had been given limited personal protective equipment. The head of the department died.

The litany goes on. Various Prospect facilities in California have had bedbugs in patient rooms, rampant water leaks from the ceilings and what one hospital manager acknowledged to a state inspector “looks like feces” on the wall. A company consultant in one of its Rhode Island hospitals discovered dirty, corroded and cracked surgical instruments in the operating room.

These aren’t mere anecdotes or anomalies. All but one of Prospect’s hospitals rank below average in the federal government’s annual quality-of-care assessments, with just one or two stars out of five, placing them in

Detroit Medical Center drops plans for sports medicine institute near Little Caesars Arena

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Detroit Medical Center has announced it “will not move forward with plans” to join a $70 million development near Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Olympia Development of Michigan and DMC announced the 20-year agreement to build and operate an innovative, state-of-the-art 50,000-square-foot sports medicine facility adjacent to Little Caesars Arena 2 back in June 2018.

The $70 million building would replace a former surface parking lot at Sproat Street and will bring four floors of Class A office space and 17,000 square feet of street-level retail to The District Detroit, according to officials.

Read the full statement below:

The last several months have brought about unprecedented change for the health care industry. Stay-at-home orders and restrictions prohibiting elective procedures caused hospitals everywhere to reevaluate their core services.

The Detroit Medical Center is committed to ensuring full preparedness for both the pandemic and the ongoing needs of our local community’s health care needs.

After careful consideration, we have made the decision to focus on our core mission and the DMC will not move forward with plans to lease space for a sports medicine institute. Our decision allows us to reallocate resources appropriately in this changing environment.

We appreciate the efforts of Olympia Development of Michigan and value our relationship with the organization. We have come to this decision in cooperation with them and we appreciate their support for the DMC’s core mission.

The DMC will continue to provide outstanding medical care and training for athletes in its existing facilities. Services are provided at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s outpatient therapy sites across the region and the DMC Sports Performance clinic site in Pontiac in addition to the extensive array of orthopedic care options available through the DMC network.

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DONY supply COVID face mask, PPE medical coverall to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Malaysia

DONY Launches Full Line of Personal Protective Equipment: The DONY Mask, The DONY Disposable Surgical Protective Coverall, and The DONY Medical Isolation Gown Suit – Full Protection From Head to Toe.

Dony Factory

The company is supplying globally, the majority of Dony's customers are in the following 15 countries: Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Macao, France, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Singapore, UK, UAE and Australia.
The company is supplying globally, the majority of Dony’s customers are in the following 15 countries: Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Macao, France, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Singapore, UK, UAE and Australia.
The company is supplying globally, the majority of Dony’s customers are in the following 15 countries: Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Macao, France, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Singapore, UK, UAE and Australia. 

Dony Compression Suit

DONY Launches Full Line of Personal Protective Equipment: The DONY Mask, The DONY Disposable Surgical Protective Coverall, and The DONY Medical Isolation Gown Suit - Full Protection From Head to Toe.
DONY Launches Full Line of Personal Protective Equipment: The DONY Mask, The DONY Disposable Surgical Protective Coverall, and The DONY Medical Isolation Gown Suit – Full Protection From Head to Toe.
DONY Launches Full Line of Personal Protective Equipment: The DONY Mask, The DONY Disposable Surgical Protective Coverall, and The DONY Medical Isolation Gown Suit – Full Protection From Head to Toe.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, the Vietnamese manufacturer DONY GARMENT is proud to announce the launch of a full line of high-quality personal protective equipment. Companies across the globe have stepped up to provide the products and services needed for the world to continue fighting, and DONY is proud to be part of that effort, with the introduction of disposable medical protective coveralls clothing, premium reusable face mask, and disposable surgical sterile isolation gown suit.

The DONY Mask:

The DONY Mask provides the highest level of COVID-19 protection, reusable up to sixty times, with a bacterial filtration efficiency of over 99%. And that’s not all:

  • – UV Protection of up to 99.95%

  • – Sterilized prior to packaging

  • – Perfect Water Resistance

  • – Air Resistance greater than requirements across Europe

  • – Elasticity over 2x higher than usual masks

The DONY Mask is certified by organizations across the world, including the United States FDA, the French Armed Forces, the Australian Department of Health, and more. As a result, you can rest easy knowing you are providing the highest quality protection to your organization. DONY products even have a 100% money-back guarantee!

The time is right for a better kind of face mask, says DONY [CEO] Henry Pham. And Viet Nam is the right country to provide it.

In the past, the world turned to China when it needed massive quantities of consumer products,” notes Pham. “The COVID-19 pandemic changed that a bit and the ongoing trade war between China and the US have inhibited Chinese production of PPE even more.

“Other countries have been catching up to China’s manufacturing capacity: we can now produce nearly a quarter-million DONY Masks a day when needed. We do it with a degree of precision and quality control that larger Chinese manufacturers can’t match, and with the same low overhead, government support, and access to global shipping channels that China is known for.

The

Michael Porter of Harvard Business School has Joined the Board of Directors of ExThera Medical Corporation

Michael Porter, Ph.D., has joined the board of directors of ExThera Medical Corporation, a privately held medical technology company focused on the therapeutic reduction of drug-resistant pathogens and sepsis mediators in whole blood. ExThera’s Seraph® 100 Microbind® Affinity Blood Filter (Seraph 100) has a CE Mark in Europe for the treatment of a wide range of bloodstream infections. In the USA Seraph 100 has Emergency Use Authorization from FDA, where it is being used successfully in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, many of whom are critically ill.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200929005367/en/

Michael Porter (Photo: Business Wire)

Professor Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, is recognized as a leading authority on competitive strategy, the competitiveness and economic development of nations and regions, and the application of competition and strategy principles to address social problems such as health care, the environment, and creating economic opportunity by increasing corporate social impact. Harvard University and Harvard Business School jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness dedicated to furthering Professor Porter’s research. In addition, he has founded several non-profit organizations including the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), focused on revitalizing distressed economic urban communities, and the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurements (ICHOM), the leader in developing patient centered health outcomes by medical condition, today encompassing 33 conditions affecting a substantial part of the disease burden.

“Dr. Porter’s global expertise in the strategic development of commercial organizations, his work on transformation of healthcare, and his relationships with numerous health systems and delivery organizations, will provide a new and welcomed perspective to ExThera as we expand the markets for our novel blood filter,” said Bob Ward NAE President and Chairman of the Board. “Michael will provide world class guidance as a strategic advisor to the Company. We are excited to welcome him to the Board as we begin a period of significant growth.”

Professor Porter holds a Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Princeton University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a Master’s degree in Business Administration with high distinction from Harvard Business School where he was a George F. Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University. He has also been awarded numerous honorary doctorates from universities around the world. He is a member of the Princeton University Board of Trustees, and the author of 20 books and over 150 articles. Professor Porter also co-chairs the editorial board for New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, a leading journal for new approaches to health care delivery.

Professor Porter commented on joining the ExThera board, “I am truly excited about ExThera Medical’s business potential, and I am honored to be affiliated with this life saving company at a time when medical innovation is more important than ever. ExThera Medical is a leading innovator in health technology and treating some of the most challenging and life-threatening medical conditions of our time.”

About the Seraph®