Mainstream media claim that reports about Donald Trump's health following his COVID-19 diagnosis have been conflicting and are raising alarm among the American public over a "lack of transparency" coming from the White House.
Even though POTUS continues to keep everyone updated on his condition via Twitter, the president's personal physician Dr Sean Conley admitted during a Sunday press conference that he initially tried to "reflect an upbeat attitude" about Trump's course of illness by not disclosing some difficulties he had faced in the last couple of days.
"[I] didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true. The fact of the matter is that he's doing really well", the physician said.
As the medical team said that Trump was doing "really well" and may be discharged from the Walter Reed National hospital on Monday if his condition continues improving, here is what is known so far about the president’s state of health:
- On Friday morning, the president experienced a "high fever" and oxygen saturation level below 94%. The level of blood oxygen is a key thing to monitor among COVID-19 patients, with readings between 95% and 100% considered normal.
- Conley recommended supplemental oxygen to be administered to the president, however, the physician said, Trump was "fairly adamant that he didn't need it". The doctors still went on with the procedure, which raised Trump’s saturation levels back to over 95% after about a minute "on two litres" on oxygen.
- Later on Friday, the president was transferred to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre for further monitoring. He was prescribed a five-day course of the antiviral drug remdesivir, also known in the US as Veklury, as well as famotidine, melatonin, vitamin D, zinc, and aspirin.
- The president was also given a shot of the antibody cocktail REGN-COV2, an experimental drug developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
- On Saturday, Trump experienced another "transient" drop in oxygen levels to 93% and was given the steroid dexamethasone in response. According to the guidelines from the Infectious Disease Society of America, this common steroid is usually given in severe COVID-19 cases and is not recommended to be used in the early course of the illness in order not to harm the body's ability to fight the virus on its own.
- On Sunday, Trump's oxygen levels were as high as 98% and he did not have fever, his doctors said. Commenting on any possible damage to the president's lungs, which is usually shown in scans, Conley said that the findings provided by the screening were as "expected", without elaborating any further.
- Pulmonary critical care specialist Dr Brian Garibaldi also revealed that the president has now completed his second dose of remdesivir, his liver and kidney functions were "normal" and that no side effects from the treatment have been detected so far. "Our plan for today is to have him eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible, to be mobile", Dr Garibaldi said on Sunday.
- The medical team said that the US commander-in-chief may be discharged from the hospital as soon as Monday to continue his treatment at the White House.