President Trump received mostly the same treatment as anyone would get for COVID-19, except for one experimental drug and the speed of his care.
The severity of COVID-19 symptoms suffered by President Donald Trump after contracting the coronavirus was worse than was publicly acknowledged and the president was nearly put on a ventilator, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Citing four sources familiar with Trump’s condition in October, the Times said Trump’s blood oxygen percentage level had dipped into the 80s; low 90s is considered a sign of severe infection. Trump’s lungs were also inflamed and contained “infiltrates” such as bacteria or fluid, which were also troubling signs, according to the Times.
Though the White House said at the time that Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center “out of an abundance of caution” and several officials presented a relatively rosy assessment of his condition. Others, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, acknowledged his bout with the illness was quite serious.
Meadows said at the time that he was “very concerned” when the president developed a fever and he told Fox News Trump’s blood oxygen level had “dropped rapidly” hours after testing positive for the coronavirus. Other aides at the time said Trump was in bad shape when he went to the hospital, saying he was having trouble breathing and could require a ventilator. Some of those aides feared for Trump’s life.
Anatomy of a White House response: Timeline of what officials said about Trump’s COVID-19 battle
Trump had a fever and was twice given oxygen as well as an antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the steroid dexamethasone and the antiviral drug remdesivir.
Sean Conley, the president’s physician, had downplayed the severity of Trump’s condition. When asked if X-rays of Trump’s lungs had revealed anything, Conley told reporters they were “expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern.” And Conley was reluctant to share specifics about Trump’s blood oxygen levels, saying that while it had dropped to 93%, it never got to the “low 80s.”
By the third day of Trump’s hospitalization, Conley conceded that he had been trying to “reflect the upbeat attitude” of the president toward his condition.
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