COVID-19 patient in chief President Donald Trump remains hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where a White House official said the next couple of days ahead are critical for him.
“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 White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
This is in stark contrast to this morning’s comments from one of his team of doctors at Walter Reed, Dr. Sean Conley, his White House physician, who said, “This morning, the president is doing very well.”
Conley said Trump was not receiving oxygen today, and Dr. Sean N. Dooley said his organs were functioning normally. Conley said Trump would remain hospitalized for a few days as a precaution. COVID-19 symptoms and severity can change quickly.
Trump received a dose of the experimental antibody cocktail made by Regeneron to lessen the viral load and severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
“Yesterday he received his first dose of IV remdesivir and our plan is to continue the five-day treatment course ,” Dr. Brian Garibaldi said. Remdesivir reportedly makes the coronavirus harder to replicate itself.
“Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of COVID in a particular day, seven to 10 of the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness,” Conley said. “Thursday, he had a mild cough and some nasal congestion with fatigue, all of which are resolved and improving.”
While Trump posted his COVID-19 announcement at 1 a.m. in the wee-hours of Friday morning (Oct. 2), that “72 hours” comment from his doctor sparked speculation that Trump could have known about his COVID-19 diagnosis as early as Wednesday and continued to go to events in Minnesota and New Jersey, work around and have contact with others, possibly causing further spread of the highly contagious and potentially deadly disease.
Later, the White House secretary released a memo reportedly from Conley with a retraction, stating he “incorrectly used the term ’72 hours’ instead of ‘Day three.’”
Saturday evening, a new videotaped message from Trump at the hospital was posted to his Twitter account. He was dressed in a white, button down shirt (no tie) and blue jacket, seated at a table and flanked by flags. Trump described the therapeutics as “miracles coming down from God” and thanked medical professionals and everyone for their concern, saying he and his wife were doing well.
“I’m starting to feel good. You don’t know – over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test. So, we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said.
On Friday, it was reported that Trump had experienced a low-grade fever, congestion and fatigue. He reportedly received supplemental oxygen at the White House before he was flown by Marine 1 helicopter to the hospital Friday evening.
At least eight people in Trump’s circle, including two Republican senators Thom Tillis and Mike Lee; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (who checked himself into a hospital today as a precaution), top aide Hope Hicks, former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame and his wife Melania Trump have also tested positive for COVID-19. Many of them attended the Sept. 26 Rose Garden announcement of Trump’s pick to replace Supreme Court Justice the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg with conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Most who attended did not wear face masks and did not socially distance at the gathering, leading to growing speculation that it may have been a COVID-19 super spreader event.
Vice President Mike Pence, who also attended that ceremony, said he and his wife have tested negative for COVID-19.
Upon hearing of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis on the news, presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, as well as vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have tested negative for COVID-19. Biden and Trump were on the debate stage on Tuesday, just three days before Trump announced he had COVID-19. Biden plans to retest on Sunday.
Harris is set to debate Pence this coming Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Their camps have agreed to have 12-feet of social distance between the candidates.