Donald Trump’s doctors said Sunday he was given a steroid and put on oxygen as they treated him for COVID-19, but White House Physician Sean Conley said the president could be discharged from Walter Reed as early as Monday.
The president’s top doctor also explained during his briefing Sunday afternoon that there was some confusion over Trump’s condition because Chief of Staff Mark Meadow’s comments were misrepresented.
‘The Chief and I work side-by-side,’ Conley said of Meadows. ‘And I think his statement was misconstrued.’
‘What he meant was that 24 hours ago, when he and I were checking on the president, that there was that momentary episode of a high fever. And that temporary drop in the saturation, which prompted us to act expediently to move him up here,’ he said of the president’s swift movement from the White House to Walter Reed on Friday.
‘Fortunately that was a very transient, limited episode,’ he continued in a briefing with some press outside the hospital center. ‘A couple hours later he was back up, mild again. I’m not going to speculate what that limited episode was about so early in the course. But he’s doing well.
Conley, a Navy Commander and physician to the president, revealed during the briefing that Trump was treated with the steroid dexamethasone after a drop in oxygen levels on Saturday.
‘Over the course of his illness, the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. We debated the reasons for this and whether we’d even intervene. As a determination of the team, based predominantly on the timeline for the diagnosis, that we initiate dexamethasone,’ Conley said.
The physician then detailed the timeline of Trump’s treatment and the decision Friday to move him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just hours after the president announced that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus.
Donald Trump’s doctors revealed Sunday that they treated the president with a steroid and put him on oxygen Saturday
Physician to the President Dr. Sean Conley, a Navy Commander, explained during the briefing Sunday that there was some confusion over Trump’s condition because Chief of Staff Mark Meadow’s comments were ‘misconstrued’
‘Thursday night into Friday morning when I left the bedside, the president was doing well with only mild symptoms and his oxygen was in the high 90’s. Late Friday morning when I returned to the bedside, president had a high fever and his oxygen level was transiently dipping below 94 per cent,’ Conley said.
‘Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness,’ he continued. ‘I recommended the president try some supplemental oxygen.’
Conley said Trump was ‘very adamant that he didn’t need it. Was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it.’
He said after a minute of oxygen, Trump’s levels were back up above 95 per cent – but said that he kept the president’s on the measure for about an hour.
Conley explained that the president’s oxygen level did not dip into the 80’s and reiterated that he was up and about shortly after the ‘transient’ episode.
Meadows received backlash Saturday after it appeared his comments on Trump’s condition contradicted others’ assessments, including the president’s.
‘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. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,’ Meadows told reporters.
Meadows’ comments came just after a White House team of doctors said that Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House.
One doctor said Trump told them, ‘I feel like I could walk out of here today.’
The new comments from the president’s medical team comes as Trump’s campaign advisers Stephen Miller and Steve Cortes claimed Sunday the president is eager to get back to campaigning even after Conley said Saturday he is not yet ‘out of the woods.’
Miller, the campaign’s senior adviser, said he spoke to Trump recently and said the president told him ‘he’s going to defeat this virus… and our campaign is going to defeat this virus.’
‘Once he gets out of the hospital, he’s ready to get back to the campaign trail,’ Miller told NBC’s Chuck Todd during an interview on ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday morning. ‘He sounded pretty energetic.’
‘But he said something else that I thought that was important too,’ Miller said, ‘and that was to be careful, and that was to remind folks to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, make sure that if you can’t socially distance, distance to wear a mask. And I thought that was a pretty important message to send and a reminder to the rest of the country.’
Cortes, another senior campaign adviser, reiterated the president’s fitness during an interview with Chris Wallace on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
‘He’s doing well,’ Cortes attested.
Senior Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said Sunday that the president is ‘ready to get back to the campaign trail’
Fellow senior campaign adviser Steve Cortes (right) told Fox News’ Chris Wallace (left): ‘He was as upbeat and assertive as he’s ever been’ and claimed: ‘This president is going to recover’
The comments come the morning after White House Physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, said in a briefing Trump is ‘not yet out of the woods’
‘We spoke to the president yesterday, we meaning senior campaign staff,’ Cortes said. ‘He was as upbeat and assertive as he’s ever been.’
He added: ‘This president is going to recover, we are highly confident of that.’
Trump announced overnight Thursday via Twitter that he and first lady Melania tested positive for coronavirus as the two took a test following the revelation that Counselor to the President Hope Hicks received a positive diagnosis hours earlier.
Trump’s chief doctor, Navy Commander Sean Conley, along with other doctors gave an update on the president’s condition during a briefing Saturday.
‘While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic,’ Conley said, adding that Trump moved around his medical suite without difficulty as he conducted business.
The White House physician also said that Trump had been exhibiting ‘clinical indications’ of coronavirus as early as Thursday afternoon.
There are conflicting reports and statements on whether the president has needed supplemental oxygen at any point since arriving at Walter Reed Friday or how high his fever has reached.
Trump provided his own account of his medical condition on Saturday evening, releasing a video of him working from the presidential suite at the hospital in a white button down with no tie and the first button undone.
He said in the video that he is feeling better and will ‘be back soon.’
Trump released a video with him working from the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed Saturday where he said he will ‘be back soon’
‘I spoke with the President yesterday afternoon and he’s in very good spirits,’ Miller said. ‘Both Bill Stepien, the campaign manager, and I spent about a half hour on the phone with the president and going through all the updates on what’s going on with the campaign.’
Miller also said he believes the campaign, White House and medical team are just taking ‘very precautionary’ steps toward ensuring the president’s health.
It appears the two ‘spreader’ events could have been when Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court at the White House last Saturday and during his rally Wednesday in Minnesota.
Hicks, who traveled with the president to the rally this week, tested positive for coronavirus hours after the event – where she was in close proximity to the president and several of his White House and campaign staffer.
Several individuals who participated in Trump’s debate prep last week, including former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, tested positive for coronavirus.
Miller told ABC News’ ‘This Week’ on Sunday morning that he tested negative on Friday – as well as Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also participated in debate preparations.