Timeline of President Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis, Oxygen Treatment Clarification Stirs Some Controversy Saturday and Sunday

Walter Reed Medical Center Street View in October 2019 (©2020 Google Maps)
Walter Reed Medical Center Street View in October 2019 (©2020 Google Maps).

President Donald Trump remains at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with COVID-19, and there are questions about the timeline of his diagnosis. CBS News’ Natalie Brand reports.

Far left reports claimed there must be more to the report provided by Dr. Sean Conley, because the president’s physician provided bewildering answers to questions about whether supplemental oxygen was used as a treatment. While Dr. Conley’s answers were not precise, conspiracists postulated that something much more serious must be going on with President Trump’s health, even though the medical team said they were very pleased with his health progress Friday and Saturday.

❝ He’s an evil genius and I raise the possibility of him lying about having COVID-19 to prepare us and counteract his game. He knows being sick tends to gain one sympathy. He’s not above weaponizing this.❞

— Michael Moore

Although President Donald Trump appeared gaunt and pale, he provided energetic, forward-looking and positive video updates over the weekend, saying he looked forward to getting back to work. People close to the president said he was already back to work in the hospital wing designed to allow the Executive Branch to function while a president is admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center. Photos of Trump using a Sharpie signing papers were critiqued by the left. Critics on Twitter claimed he was signing blank pieces of paper in a mock executive action. Left wing activist and filmmaker Michael Moore even speculated that Trump’s COVID-19 infection is possibly a hoax, posting on Facebook on Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7:02 a.m., “We must always remain skeptical when it comes to Trump. He may have it. But it’s also possible he’s lying. That’s just a fact.” Moore, of course, has blurred the difference between a fact and a postulation, or he has the definitions of fact and a postulation mixed up in his mind. The possibility that Trump is lying about his illness isn’t a ‘fact’ it’s a ‘postulation’ — an example of lazy language by Moore. Again, a “may or may not” scenario is not a fact, it’s a postulation.

Trump and his defenders have claimed the mainstream media has told lies about him since the day he announced his election.

On Sunday, Dr Conley said President Trump experienced two transient drops in oxygen saturation below 94 percent, and subsequently he was given supplemental oxygen and dexamethasone. Thursday night into Friday morning his oxygen was in the high 90s. Late Friday morning when Dr. Sean Conley returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94 percent. Dr. Conley was concerned with possible rapid progression of the illness. Supplemental oxygen was recommended. President Trump was fairly adamant that he didn’t need it. After a minute of oxygen at 2 Liters/minute the oxygen saturation rose over 95 percent. He stayed on oxygen for about an hour and then the oxygen treatment was discontinued. Later in the day Friday, President Trump was moving about with only slight symptoms, but the medical team decided to transfer the president to Walter Reed Medical Center for more thorough evaluation and monitoring. On Saturday, President Trump’s oxygen saturation level dropped transiently to 93 percent with no feeling of shortness of breath. Dr. Conley said the president is maxing out his spirometry tests (over 2500 ml each time).

Question to Dr. Conley: “Why were you so reluctant until today to disclose that the president had been administered oxygen?”

Dr. Conley’s Answer: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction.”

Dr. Sean Dooley said that President Trump has remained without fever since Friday morning. His vital signs are stable, and he remains on room air, and is not complaining of any respiratory symptoms.

President Trump received his second dose of Remdesivir, has not had any side effects, and has tolerated Remdesivir doses well, according to Dr Brian Garibaldi. Heart and liver function remain normal. Dexamethasone was initiated and will continue for the time being. Dr. Brian Garibaldi said that President Trump may possibly be released from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, October 5, 2020.

Dexamethasone is a glucocorticoid (a class of corticosteroids, which are a class of steroid hormones) that may modulate inflammation-mediated lung injury and thereby reduce progression to respiratory failure and death. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 17, 2020, results were published that among patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization, but not among those receiving no respiratory support.

Walter Reed news conference on President Trump, Sunday morning October 4, 2020 (C-SPAN video).

Long authors list: RECOVERY Collaborative Group, Horby P, Lim WS, Emberson JR, Mafham M, Bell JL, Linsell L, Staplin N, Brightling C, Ustianowski A, Elmahi E, Prudon B, Green C, Felton T, Chadwick D, Rege K, Fegan C, Chappell LC, Faust SN, Jaki T, Jeffery K, Montgomery A, Rowan K, Juszczak E, Baillie JK, Haynes R, Landray MJ. Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19 – Preliminary Report. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jul 17:NEJMoa2021436. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2021436. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32678530; PMCID: PMC7383595.

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