NEW YORK, Oct 04 (APP):US President Donald Trump’s doctors said Sunday his condition was improving and he could be discharged from a hospital near Washington as soon as Monday but that his oxygen levels have dipped twice and that he received supplemental oxygen Friday.
The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, in a live press briefing Sunday at Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, said he was trying to “reflect the upbeat attitude” of the president and his medical team when he declined to share Saturday that Trump was placed on oxygen the day before.
Dr. Conley was pressed Sunday on why his rosy picture of the president’s health was contradicted moments later by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who expressed that the medical team was very concerned with the president’s health Friday morning when he experienced a drop in his blood oxygen levels and had a high fever.
On Sunday, Dr. Conley said the president’s vital signs are stable, he isn’t experiencing shortness of breath and hasn’t had a fever since Friday. But they said his condition was more serious Friday before he was transported to the hospital.
He said the president experienced two drops in oxygen levels. In the first, late Friday morning, Trump’s oxygen saturation dropped below 94%, and he received oxygen for about an hour. He experienced a high fever at the time, Dr. Conley said, but he didn’t specify what his temperature was.
The president’s oxygen level also dropped on Saturday, his physicians said, adding that he had been treated with the steroid dexamethasone.
Dr. Conley declined to elaborate on what the doctors’ examinations of the president’s lungs had found.
Asked why he didn’t offer these details about the president’s condition at a briefing Saturday, Dr. Conley said: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, that the president, through this course of illness, has had. I didn’t want to give any information that would steer the course of illness in another direction and in doing so it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”
Trump was taken to Walter Reed hospital Friday after a positive Covid-19 diagnosis. Since then, his advisers have offered mixed signals about his condition, seeking to reassure the public, but also saying he was “not yet out of the woods.”
The president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said late Saturday on Fox News that Trump was improving after suffering from a fever and rapidly dropping blood oxygen levels on Friday.
In a memo released Saturday evening, Dr. Conley, said the president “remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen,” adding that “while not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic.”
Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis cast doubt over his ability to confirm a new Supreme Court nominee, further scrambled the presidential campaign with just 30 days until Election Day in November and generated fresh anxiety about the virus that has claimed about 209,000 American lives. White House officials and the president’s allies maintained that Trump continues to conduct his presidential duties, despite his illness.
Trump addressed the public in a four-minute video posted to Twitter on Saturday, saying he was feeling much better and added that he wants to recover quickly so he can finish the presidential campaign. The president said he had no choice but to be out in public during the pandemic, explaining that he was willing to take the risk of contracting the coronavirus to continue leading the country. “I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs,” he said.
White House aides said Trump was continuing to work. “I spoke with the President. President Trump is fully engaged and fully in charge,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in an email.
White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that the administration isn’t taking steps to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence. “No, that’s not something that’s on the table at this point,” he said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” He added later, “I’m not going to address hypotheticals, but we have plans for everything.”