A team of doctors and other medical staff held a press conference Saturday morning to provide an update on the president’s health as he’s being treated at the hospital for Covid-19.
From outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland around 8:30 a.m., Dr. Sean P. Conley took the lead in speaking to reporters, who pressed him for details he was not very generous in giving. Conley did say Donald Trump was 72 hours into his diagnosis and had been fever-free for “over 24 hours.”
Conley would not specify the temperature Trump reached during his fever or the exact date and time of Trump’s diagnosis, which was not announced publicly until late Thursday night.
The 72-hour timeline would mathematically put the time of his diagnosis closer to Wednesday morning.
Trump has had a packed schedule this past week that included several events with substantial exposure potential, including the Tuesday night debate against former Vice President Joe Biden, a private fundraiser and public rally Wednesday in Minnesota and another fundraising event held Thursday at the president’s Bedminster resort in New Jersey.
It was announced earlier Thursday that his close advisor Hope Hicks, who traveled with Trump both Tuesday and Wednesday, was also diagnosed with Covid-19. Since the president’s diagnosis announcement Thursday, several other people — spanning from Trump staff, press and Republican senators — have also now tested positive.
“Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now — the first week of Covid and in particular, day 7 to 10, are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress he has made.”
According to Conley, the president Thursday had a mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue. The doctor reported that those symptoms are “resolving and improving.”
Reporters continually tried to pin Conley down on whether Trump has received any supplemental oxygen in the course of treatment, but the doctor would only say “he’s not on oxygen right now … he’s not needed any this morning today at all” and that his last saturation reading was “about 96 percent.”
Dr. Sean Dooley, a Walter Reed pulmonologist, said Trump is “receiving standard, multidisciplinary care” and is monitored very closely for complications from either the illness or medications he’s being given.
Dooley said the president’s heart, kidney and liver functions are normal, also reiterating:
“The president this morning is not on oxygen.”
Dooley said Trump is not having any walking or breathing issues and is in “exceptionally good spirits.”
Dr. Brian Garibaldi provided specifics on therapies Trump has and is undergoing, saying:
“About 48 hours ago, the president received a special antibody therapy directed against the coronavirus and we’re working very closely with the companies who monitor him in terms of that outcome. Yesterday evening, he received his first dose of IV Remdesivir and our plan is to continue a five-day treatment course for Remdesivir.”
“(T)he big plan for today, since he’s in such great spirits and doing well, is to encourage him to eat, to drink, to stay hydrated, to be up out of bed and to be working and doing the things he needs to do to get well.”
Conley said the medical team is “cautiously optimistic.”
He is not being treated with hydroxychloroquine, Conley said.
Trump last tweeted Saturday morning, saying he is “feeling well.”
Trump was transported via Marine One to Walter Reed Friday evening around 6:30 p.m. EST. Asked why Trump would be hospitalized if his health was not seriously compromised, Conley said:
“Because he’s the president.”
Conley said he recommended the president be brought to Walter Reed based on consultation with a large group of medical staff and as a “precautionary measure to provide state of the art monitoring and any care that he may need.”
The first lady, who has also tested positive, remains in recovery at the White House.