A brief press conference at Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday sought to provide answers, but may only have raised more questions about President Trump’s clinical status since his COVID-19 diagnosis.
The main point of contention between White House physician Sean Conley, DO, and reporters was if the president ever received supplemental oxygen. Conley said the president’s last oxygen saturation level was 96 and the president “was not on any oxygen right now and has not needed any this morning, today at all.”
“All indicators are he’ll remain off oxygen going forward,” he said.
When reporters pressed, Conley gave a hard no to supplemental oxygen on Thursday and Saturday, and said, “yesterday with the team while we were all there, he was not on oxygen.”
However, an AP source explicitly stated the president was administered supplemental oxygen on Friday before going to the hospital. CBS News reporter Sarah Cook also said via Twitter that a source familiar with the president’s health described the president’s vitals over the last 24 hours as “very concerning” and “the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care.”
Reporter Maggie Haberman of the New York Times added that two sources close to the president told her that his “blood oxygen levels dropped yesterday.”
Conley described President Trump’s symptoms on Thursday as “mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue,” and discussed his clinical course “72 hours into his diagnosis,” meaning since his positive test on Thursday night.
But when asked when the president’s last negative test for COVID-19 was, Conley said, “I’m not going to get into testing going back.”
He noted the president has been fever-free for 24 hours, having had a fever on “Thursday and Friday morning,” though he would not specify how high the fever had been. Conley also said the president had been receiving daily ultrasounds and daily lab work.
One of Trump’s treating physicians, Brian Garibaldi, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, elaborated on the president’s course of treatment, saying the president received “special antibody therapy” 48 hours ago, and is currently on a 5-day course of remdesivir.
Sean Dooley, MD, of Walter Reed Medical Center, said the president’s cardiac function, kidney function and liver function are all normal.
The president’s heart rate is in the 70s-80s and blood pressure is “where it’s historically been” at 110-120 systolic. Conley added, “his cholesterol is great, his blood pressure is great, he’s not on any medication for that.”
Conley said days 7-10 are when doctors get “concerned about the inflammatory phase” of the disease, and said they will be evaluating President Trump’s condition daily.
When asked if President Trump received any steroids, Conley did not answer.
ssociate editor, MedPage Today.an a
Image credit: Shutterstock.com