President Donald Trump’s medical team on Sunday gave a positive outlook on his health following his coronavirus diagnosis, saying he could be released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to return to the White House as early as Monday.
The doctors described two incidents of drops in Trump’s oxygen saturation – the latest on Saturday morning, which prompted the doctors to put the president on dexamethasone, a widely available steroid that has been shown to reduce death in severe COVID-19 cases. Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, did not know if Trump was given supplemental oxygen at that time, and he did not say how low the president’s oxygen levels dropped.
The doctor disclosed that Trump was put on supplemental oxygen on Friday following a high fever and his first drop in oxygen levels, despite Trump being “fairly adamant” that he did not need it, according to the doctors. He remained on oxygen for about an hour, Conley said.
Conley did not say if the president’s CT scans or X-rays have shown any damage to his lungs.
“There’s some expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern,” he said.
When asked why he didn’t reveal that Trump was previously on supplemental oxygen during a press conference on Saturday, Conely said: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over 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, came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”
Conely also tried to explain the differing statements between him and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who reportedly told pool reporters on Saturday that the president’s condition had been “very concerning.”
“The chief and I work side by side, and I think his statement was misconstrued,” Conely said, adding that Friday’s episode was “limited.”
The president also completed his second dose of remdesivir Saturday evening. His doctors plan to continue him on a five-day course on the drug.
“Today he feels well. He’s been up and around. Our plan for today is to have him to eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible, to be mobile,” Dr. Brian Garibaldi said. “And if he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course.”
Trump was transported to the medical center early Friday evening.
The president is expected to receive a national security briefing later Sunday from national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.