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What We Know And What We Don't About Trump's COVID Illness

In this image from video, President Donald Trump drives past supporters gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. Trump was admitted to the hospital after contracting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Phillip Crowther)

In this image from video, President Donald Trump drives past supporters gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. Trump was admitted to the hospital after contracting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Phillip Crowther)

President Donald Trump's release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and return to the White House make one thing blindingly clear: He is eager to get his battle with COVID-19 behind him, as a reelection campaign clouded by the pandemic draws to a close.

President Donald Trump’s release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and return to the White House make one thing blindingly clear: He is eager to get his battle with COVID-19 behind him, as a reelection campaign clouded by the pandemic draws to a close.

Little else about the president’s illness was certain, though. Trumps doctors and aides were withholding key information on just how sick the president was, what risks lie ahead for Trump under progression of the illness and under treatment by a novel combination of powerful medications, and whether the White Houses aides, security guards, cooks, cleaners and servers from infection by the still-contagious president.

What we know, and what we dont know:

WHAT WE KNOW

Trump made clear he is eager to put his three-night stay at Walter Reed behind him, and to play down a pandemic that has killed more than 209,000 Americans. Feeling really good! he tweeted. Dont be afraid of Covid.

Disclosures over the weekend that the presidents blood oxygen levels had dropped below normal levels at least twice, and that he was receiving steroid treatment typically used in more serious cases, suggested the president was enduring more than a mild case of COVID-19.

Doctors say that Trump will continue to receive his treatments from the White House. Trump on Friday began a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients. He received a single dose Friday of an experimental drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that supplies antibodies to help the immune system fight the virus.

Trumps also received treatment with the steroid dexamethasone. It has only been proven to help in more serious cases. Among concerns with its use steroids can tamp down the bodys own ability to fight off infection.

Trump’s doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Monday that Trump may not entirely be out of the woods yet but he and the team agree that all our evaluations and, most importantly, his clinical status support the presidents safe return home, where hell be surrounded by world-class medical care.

Conley said the president could resume his normal schedule once there is no evidence of live virus still present.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those with mild to moderate symptoms and it’s not clear if the president’s case falls within that range should isolate for at least 10 days.

Back at the White House, the ranks grew Monday of infected people in the presidents circle. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she had tested positive for the virus Monday and was entering quarantine.

The White House says it is doing contact tracing for people who have been at White House events and with Trump and that appropriate notifications and recommendations are being made.

Stephanie Grisham, the spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, said all precautions are being taken to safeguard those serving the ailing Trumps in the White Houses residential quarters, in consultation with the White Houses medical unit.

WHAT WE DONT KNOW

We dont know how sick Trump got. We don’t know how sick Trump is now.

Conley in daily news briefings at Walter Reed has detailed vital signs like temperature and blood pressure when they are normal, but repeatedly refused to give information that would indicate how serious the presidents respiratory troubles may have been, in particular.

Conley also has failed to explain why Trump is receiving treatment typically reserved for difficult COVID-19 cases.

Trumps doctors said Monday the president had refused to waive patient-doctor confidentiality to allow them to discuss the results of his lung scans. COVID-19 can cause significant damage to lungs. Scans reveal signs of pneumonia and other problems.

With treatment still evolving in the pandemic, Trumps doctors concede they themselves dont know everything about the interplay of the medications he is taking. Were in a bit of uncharted territory, Conley said.

Conley also refused to detail when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19. That’s important for contact tracing of those he might have been in close contact after that time.

The White House also is withholding details on what steps it is taking to stop the spread of the outbreak underway in Trumps circle. More than a dozen aides, lawmakers and political figures around Trump have confirmed positive tests in recent days.

Officials arent saying what measures are being adopted to protect the health of White House staffers from aides and secretaries to cleaners and valets around Trump as the infectious president returns home.

And its not known if Trump who long mocked people wearing masks has committed to abide by any precautions. Trump on Sunday insisted on a drive outside Walter Reed to wave to supporters, heightening risk of infection for those guarding and driving him.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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