President Trump could return to the White House as early as Monday, the President’s doctors say


President Trump may return to the White House as early as Monday, as suggested by his doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, who is consulting on the president’s medical treatment, said, “If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course.” According to White House aides, the president continues to work from the Medical Center. In an email sent by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, “I spoke with the President. President Trump is fully engaged and fully in charge.” Robert O’Brien, the White House National Security Adviser, said Sunday that the administration isn’t taking steps to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence under the 25th Amendment. On “Face The Nation,” a CBS News Program, O’Brien says, “No that’s not something that’s on the table at this point.” He continues later, “I’m not going to address hypotheticals, but we have plans for everything.”

Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, however, reported information contradicting the initial reported improvement of the President’s illness. He revealed that the president had been administered a dose of a steroid called Dexamethasone, and had experienced two drops in his oxygen saturation levels. This steroid, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is only recommended for patients who require supplemental oxygen, and it does not appear to help less severely ill patients (CBS News). This implies that President Trump may have experienced or is experiencing more severe symptoms of COVID-19. 

Conley reported that President Trump had received supplemental oxygen on Friday before he was brought to the Walter Reed hospital. This move was provoked by Conley’s concern for the “rapid progression” of his symptoms. On top of the steroid, the President is receiving Remde Sivir, a drug which has been shown to help fight the coronavirus (CDC). According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potential benefits for the drug’s use outweigh any potential risks. The FDA also reports a median 10 day recovery time for groups using Remdesivir as opposed to a median 15 day recovery time for the placebo group. President Trump also received a dose of an experimental antibody combination by Regeneron. This experimental treatment is still in clinical trials. 

The president is at a higher risk of complications due to his age and weight (KRON4). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 reported COVID-19 related deaths in the US are adults above the age of 65, making the President, who is 74, within this at-risk age-group. The CDC also reports that having obesity increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above, and the president’s height and weight according to Sean Conley is 6’3” and 244 pounds, placing the president’s BMI at roughly 30.5, classifying him as obese.

On Sunday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb had an interview with “Face the Nation” in which he speculated that third-generation infections may appear in the following days. “I’ve talked to a number of officials who were at that event on Saturday… [concerning] one of the potential places where the introduction was made… they haven’t been called yet by contact tracers, so that’s concerning,” says Gottlieb. The debate prep on Tuesday is a source of potential third-generation spread, as typically contagiousness is at its peak 24 hours before the onset of symptoms. 



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