BETHESDA, Md. (AP) – President Donald Trump was given supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday hours after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and before being flown to a military hospital.
A person familiar with Trump’s condition confirmed that Trump was given oxygen at the White House after the president’s physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley dodged the question at a press conference Saturday. Conley said Trump has not been given oxygen on Thursday or since he was a patient at Walter Reed Medical Center.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The previous AP story follows below.
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) ̵
Even the sunniest briefing from Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley and other doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center raised more questions than he answered, including whether the President had ever requested supplemental oxygen and exactly when he fell ill.
According to one who knew about Trump’s condition, some of Trump’s vital signs in the past 24 hours were “very concerning”. The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of care.
Conley had said Trump had been fever-free for 24 hours as he updated the nation on the president’s condition from Walter Reed on Saturday afternoon. Trump was admitted on Friday after testing positive for the coronavirus and undergoing treatment.
While Conley said the president is not currently on oxygen, he refused to say if the president had ever been on oxygen, despite repeated questions.
“Thursday no oxygen. None at this time. And yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he wasn’t on oxygen, ”he said. He said Trump’s symptoms, including cough and nasal congestion, “are now clearing up and improving.”
“He’s in a great mood,” said another doctor, Sean Dooley.
The administration has been consistently less than transparent about the president’s health as the virus has spread inside the White House. The aides refused to share basic health information about the president, including a complete account of his symptoms, what tests he performed and the results. The first word that a close aide of Trump was infected came from the media, not the White House.
In a memo released just before midnight, Conley reported that Trump had been treated in the hospital with remdesivir, an antiviral drug, after taking another investigational drug at the White House. He added that Trump “is doing very well” and “does not require supplemental oxygen”.
The White House said Trump would have to stay in the hospital for “a few days” out of plenty of caution and would continue to work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to fulfill his official duties. In addition to accessibility to tests and equipment, the decision was made, at least in part, with the knowledge that moving it later, if it took a turn for the worse, could send a worrying signal.