How Sick Is Trump? White House Offers Conflicting Messages.

Topline

After President Trump’s physician painted a rosy picture of the president “doing great” since being admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center Friday for the coronavirus—saying the president had been fever-free for 24 hours and not on supplemental oxygen—the White House almost immediately released a cautionary statement saying he was still “not on a clear path to recovery.”

Key Facts

After Trump doctor Sean Conley’s optimistic report on the president’s heath, the White House issued a statement to reporters attributed to “a source familiar with the president’s health” that said that “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.”

Doctors said Trump was given Regeneron “48 hours ago” and that his initial diagnosis was 72 hours ago, meaning the President could have been have had the coronavirus since Wednesday afternoon and only told the American public late Thursday night—but hours later walked this back, saying his diagnosis came Thursday.

On Wednesday Trump flew to Minnesota with Hope Hicks and other senior staff to attend a fundraiser at a private residence in Minneapolis and a campaign rally in Duluth, and on Thursday, after Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus, Trump attended a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey – he reportedly rarely wore a mask during these trips, despite his diagnosis.

Conley had also announced the president had begun Remdesivir therapy in addition to Regeneron, zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.

Conley insisted Trump wasn’t on supplemental oxygen and hadn’t been since being admitted to Walter Reed, but wouldn’t say if Trump ever needed oxygen— according to the Associated Press, Trump was given oxygen at the White House before being taken to the hospital, and Remdesivir is best used for hospitalized patients on supplemental oxygen, according to the National Institutes of Health.

After it was revealed Trump was given oxygen before being flown to Walter Reed Friday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Trump went through a “very concerning time” on Friday and confirmed that the next 48 hours were crucial to President’s recovery.

Key Background

Trump announced he had coronavirus on Twitter early Friday morning after advisor Hope Hicks tested positive on Thursday. On Friday, less than 24 hours after announcing his diagnosis, he was flown by helicopter to Walter Reed following reports of mild Covid-19 symptoms, fatigue and a fever. After testing positive for the coronavirus Trump was given 8 grams of Regeneron’s experimental polyclonal antibody treatment as a “precautionary measure.” The antibody drug, which hasn’t been approved by federal regulators, was provided after a “compassionate use request” was submitted to the company by the President’s doctors.

Tangent

Meadows was caught on camera briefing pool reporters “off the record” just as the press briefing ended, suggesting he was the White House source who issued the anonymous statement on the President’s health.

Crucial Quote

Despite Meadows telling reporters Trump was not yet on a “clear path to recovery,” after the press conference, the White House Chief of Staff told Reuters Saturday afternoon the President was doing “very well,” adding that they’d “met on multiple occasions” throughout the day and that “doctors are pleased with his vital signs.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also commented on the President’s health, saying Trump sounded well and said he’s “feeling good” while the two spoke on the phone. McConnell said the two discussed confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, fighting the pandemic and the economy.

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus