October 5, 2020

Trump Hospitalized

“President Donald Trump said from his hospital room on Saturday that he felt ‘much better’ but the next few days will be ‘the real test’ of his treatment for COVID-19… A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning that Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House

“Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, telling them, ‘The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.’ Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altered his tone hours later, telling Reuters that Trump was doing ‘very well’ and that ‘doctors are very pleased with his vital signs.’” Reuters

“[Dr. Sean] Conley repeatedly refused to say whether the president ever needed supplemental oxygen… But according to a person familiar with Trump’s condition, Trump was administered oxygen at the White House on Friday morning… [Conley also] initially suggested that Trump was 72 hours into the diagnosis — which would mean that he was confirmed infected Wednesday. Conley later clarified that Trump was administered an accurate test for the virus on Thursday afternoon.” AP News

Both sides call for greater transparency:

“Some matters may need to be kept from the public for reasons of personal privacy, but then make that clear. That cannot include such basic issues as the status of Mr. Trump’s disease, the seriousness of his symptoms, and the details of his treatment regimen… Americans want to know the truth about the President’s health, which bears on current governance and the election in a month. The White House needs to reassure Americans not with happy talk but with daily medical briefings that are candid and complete.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at George Washington University and longtime cardiologist for former Vice President Dick Cheney, states, “We've seen the President's physician omit key elements… [on Saturday] why did the President's physician not tell the public that the President was on steroids, that they had ministered dexamethasone to him?… Why did the President's physician not describe that his chest CT showed changes?”
Paul LeBlanc, CNN

“Let’s face it. No matter how charitable you want to be toward the President’s team on this issue, the medical staff that was sent out to make an official statement have turned this situation into a tempest. Their initial description of the timeline sounded both typical and professional. As of Saturday morning, they said we were 72 hours into the diagnosis and 48 hours into the Regeneron therapy. Then, when everyone immediately freaked out, they were sent back out to say that actually, they meant ‘day three and day two.’ So 72 hours became 36 hours (shifting from potentially Wednesday afternoon to late Thursday night) and 48 hours became… 24 hours?…

“Add to that the way Conley kept trying to dodge the question of whether or not the President received supplemental oxygen. He kept saying no, but qualifying the answer by including specific days and times. This wasn’t a question that required any sort of interpretation or nuance. It was a binary choice. Either the patient did or didn’t receive oxygen at some point. By choosing to parse his words in that way, Conley came off sounding like a politician rather than a doctor, and a pretty poor politician at that. None of this exactly [instills] confidence.”
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

“One might have hoped that Conley, having been roundly criticized for his evasiveness after his first briefing, would be more forthright at his second, on Sunday. Instead, he dodged again. When asked if Trump had received a second round of supplementary oxygen, he pleaded ignorance: ‘I’d have to check with the nursing staff,’ he said… Conley [also] indicated that the President’s [CT] scans have shown ‘expected findings,’ but it wasn’t clear what this meant; notably, he did not say the imaging was normal.”
Dhruv Khullar, New Yorker

“Asked why he had ducked questions Saturday, [Conley] said he was trying to ‘reflect the upbeat attitude’ of the medical team. At another point, in response to an inquiry about whether Trump is in a negative-pressure room, Conley replied that he was ‘not going to get into the specifics’ of the president's care. Really? Then why bother with these briefings? The point ought to be to deliver honest, factual information about the president's condition and prognosis, not rosy scenarios. The public can handle the truth; a lack of transparency only feeds anxiety and conspiracy theories.”
Editorial Board, USA Today

“We have no reason not to believe Conley when he says he misspoke. But these are serious contradictions that not only undermine the credibility of the White House, but shake the confidence of the American public. Like him or not, Trump is our president. He is the leader of this nation, and if his health is in danger, we ought to know. But right now, no one knows who or what to believe.”
Kaylee McGhee, Washington Examiner

There are major questions raised about the timeline of the president’s diagnosis. Conley reported that Trump developed a fever Thursday. Fever is usually a later sign that follows other symptoms of covid-19. Conley said Trump had other symptoms, such as cough, congestion and feeling run-down. When did the first of these symptoms start?…

“The president and White House officials are said to have daily tests. These are the rapid, less accurate tests. Presumably, Trump had a positive rapid test that came back within minutes, then his doctors conducted a confirmatory test with a more accurate test that took hours to provide results. So when was the first positive test? The public needs to know: Was the president still continuing his activities after that initial positive test?”
Leana S. Wen, Washington Post

“For a hospital patient, the president appeared to be in good spirits and something akin to his old self in the video released Saturday night. He’s got the best doctors, with every tool, treatment, and medicine available. But he’s still a 74-year-old man who’s fighting off a virus that is particularly dangerous to men his age. Some coronavirus patients make a full and relatively quick recovery; some are still dealing with shortness of breath or other symptoms after the virus leaves their systems. Get well soon, Mr. President. The country and world have been through enough this year.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review

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