Source: Joseph Curl
Doctors treating President Trump, who has tested positive for COVID-19, said on Sunday that the president did in fact receive supplemental oxygen on Friday, the day after he was diagnosed.
The doctors, who had dodged the question on Saturday — repeatedly saying that Trump was not currently on oxygen — said the president’s blood oxygen level dropped suddenly on Friday, raising alarm.
“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,” White House physician Sean Conley told reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
Conley said he recommended the president take supplemental oxygen, which he did for about an hour on Friday. The doctor said Trump experienced two episodes of “transient drops” in his oxygen levels since his diagnosis Thursday evening. The second episode occurred Saturday morning, and that led to doctors treating Trump with dexamethasone, which relieves inflammation in various parts of the body.
“In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support,” the New England Journal of Medicine reported in July.
The president had a “high fever” on Friday and again on Saturday, but his blood oxygen level currently stands at 98%, Trump’s medical team said. “The president has continued to improve,” Conley said.
While Trump’s doctors on Saturday presented a rosy picture of his condition, his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, later told reporters, “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.”
Conley was evasive when repeatedly asked by reporters on Saturday about whether the president ever needed supplemental oxygen. “Thursday no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” Conley said.
The doctor also raised questions when he said on Saturday that Trump was 72 hours into the diagnosis, which would mean that he tested positive on Wednesday. Conley later clarified that Trump was administered an accurate test for the virus on Thursday afternoon, the Associated Press reported.
The White House has said Trump is expected to stay at the hospital for “a few days” and he is working from a presidential suite there. The White House on Saturday night released photos that showed Trump working while being confined to Walter Reed Medical Center.
Ben Williamson, White House senior communications adviser, tweeted out one of the photographs of Trump, writing: “The guy’s a machine. @realDonaldTrump getting work in at Walter Reed.”
Judd Deere, deputy assistant to the president, shared another photograph on Twitter, writing: “The man never stops working!”