Trump’s Vitals Called Concerning Despite Doctor’s Upbeat Report

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Donald Trump’s doctor gave an upbeat account of the president’s fight against Covid-19 on Saturday that was almost immediately contradicted by the disclosure from a person familiar with the matter that Trump’s vital signs were very concerning over the past 24 hours.

The next 48 hours will be critical, the person said, noting that Trump isn’t yet on a clear path to recovery.

Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, told reporters Saturday that is “extremely happy” with the president’s progress and that he was experiencing “mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue” on Thursday but “all of which are resolving and improving.”

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But while Conley said that Trump has been fever-free for more than 24 hours. the physician declined to directly answer several questions about the president’s health, including how high his fever was on Thursday or whether he has ever been on supplemental oxygen to help him breathe.

Conley also created some confusion by putting the timeline of the president’s diagnosis at 72 hours -- which would be longer than publicly announced. A White House official later said the doctor meant it was the third day, since Trump was diagnosed on Thursday night.

Trump praised the doctors and nurses at Walter Reed on Saturday. “With their help, I am feeling well!” he tweeted.

Conley said Trump has not experienced trouble breathing. His blood-oxygen saturation level is about 96% and Trump is not currently on supplemental oxygen, Conley said. He said Trump had not needed oxygen on Thursday or on Friday after he was brought to the hospital, but did not say specifically if the president was administered oxygen on Friday while he was still at the White House.

White House officials have pushed back against reporting that Trump is “hospitalized,” and Conley said he’s “a patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.”

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LIVE: President Trump is “doing very well” according to his doctor. He's receiving #Remdesivir therapy to fight #Covid19. What does this mean? @madisonmills22 talks to @jordanfabian for the latest on...

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The doctor declined to say when the president last received a negative coronavirus test and also declined to say how Trump was infected, calling the question “irrelevant” to his care.

Trump is only the most prominent case in what has become an outbreak of coronavirus among top Republican leaders in Washington. Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel have both tested positive.

Asked about Trump’s risk factors for Covid-19, Conley said: “He’s 74, he’s male and he’s slightly overweight. Other than that, he’s very healthy.”

Three Republican senators have said they also tested positive this week: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah. Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and former top aide Kellyanne Conway said on Twitter late Friday that she, too, had contracted the virus.

Trump traveled to New Jersey on Thursday for a fundraiser after learning that a close aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for coronavirus infection. CDC guidelines call for people who are in close contact with infected people to quarantine themselves for 14 days and practice social distancing at all times.

Conley said that he had made the call for Trump to go to Walter Reed, despite evidently mild symptoms, “because he’s the president of the United States.”

Some of the infected Republicans, including Lee, Tillis and Conway, attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House where Trump announced he would nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Though the event was held outdoors in the White House Rose Garden, there were few public health precautions.

More than 150 people sat side-by-side in the audience. Almost no one wore masks. Lee was seen hugging other guests. And the Washington Post reported Saturday that many of the guests participated in crowded indoor receptions as well.

Trump’s Treatments

Trump entered the hospital Friday evening after announcing earlier in the day he had been diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Doctors have administered a pair of advanced treatments to the president: an experimental “antibody cocktail” made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that doesn’t yet have FDA approval and Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Remdesivir, which is authorized for use in hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Trump posted a video on Twitter Friday as he arrived at the hospital. “I think I’m doing very well but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said.

It was the first Americans had heard from their president since 12:54 a.m. that morning, when he announced he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus. The first lady remains at the White House, where she’s resting with mild symptoms of the disease, her office said Saturday.

— With assistance by Justin Sink

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