Daily Observer (Jamaica)

Doc­tors: Trump’s blood oxy­gen level dropped twice re­cently

- Health · U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Donald Trump · Bethesda, MD · United States of America · White House · Sean Conley · Walter Reed · U.S. government · Joe Biden · Wilmington, DE · Delaware · Mark Meadows · Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. · Gilead Sciences · Melania Trump · Symone Sanders

BETHESDA, USA (AP) — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s blood oxy­gen level dropped sud­denly twice in re­cent days but he “has con­tin­ued to im­prove” since then, the White House physi­cian said Sun­day, adding a new layer of con­fu­sion to the pres­i­dent’s fight with COVID-19 even while sug­gest­ing he could be dis­charged from the hos­pi­tal as early as Mon­day.

Trump’s doc­tors, speak­ing on the steps of the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal where he was be­ing treated for a third-con­sec­u­tive day, again re­fused to an­swer key ques­tions about his con­di­tion, in­clud­ing the tim­ing of the pres­i­dent’s sec­ond dip in oxy­gen, which they ne­glected to men­tion in mul­ti­ple state­ments the day be­fore, or whether lung scans showed any dam­age.

Pressed about the con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion he and the White House re­leased the pre­vi­ous day, Navy Com­man­der Dr Sean Con­ley ac­knowl­edged that he had tried to present a rosy de­scrip­tion of the pres­i­dent’s con­di­tion.

“I was try­ing to re­flect the up­beat at­ti­tude of the team, that the pres­i­dent, that his course of ill­ness has had. Didn’t want to give any in­for­ma­tion that might steer the course of ill­ness in an­other di­rec­tion,” Con­ley said. “And in do­ing so, came off like we’re try­ing to hide some­thing, which wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily true. The fact of the mat­ter is that he’s do­ing re­ally well.”

The brief­ing lasted just 10 minutes.

Be­fore walk­ing away, Con­ley said the pres­i­dent had a “high fever” and a blood oxy­gen level be­low 94 per cent on Fri­day and dur­ing “an­other episode” on Satur­day. He was eva­sive when asked whether Trump’s level had dropped be­low 90 per cent: “We don’t have any record­ings here on that.”

The level cur­rently stands at 98 per cent, Trump’s med­i­cal team said.

Blood oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion is a key health marker for COVID-19 pa­tients. A nor­mal read­ing is be­tween 95 and 100. A drop be­low 90 is con­cern­ing. Peo­ple with the virus some­times do not re­alise their oxy­gen lev­els are low.

Trump of­fered his own as­sess­ment of his sta­tus the night be­fore in a video from his hos­pi­tal suite, say­ing he was be­gin­ning to feel bet­ter and hoped to “be back soon”. And he was back on so­cial me­dia early Sun­day morn­ing, shar­ing a video of flag-wav­ing sup­port­ers, most not wear­ing masks, gath­ered out­side Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

The chang­ing, and at times con­tra­dic­tory, ac­counts from the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion high­lighted a cred­i­bil­ity cri­sis for the White House at a cru­cial moment, with the pres­i­dent’s health and the na­tion’s lead­er­ship on the line. More­over, the pres­i­dent’s health rep­re­sents a na­tional se­cu­rity is­sue of para­mount im­por­tance not only to the func­tions of the US Gov­ern­ment but also to coun­tries around the world, friendly and oth­er­wise.

Trump’s Demo­cratic chal­lenger, Joe Bi­den, pulled his at­tack ads off the air dur­ing Trump’s hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion, and on Sun­day, he dis­patched senior aides to de­liver a largely friendly mes­sage.

“We are sin­cerely hop­ing that the pres­i­dent makes a very quick re­cov­ery, and we can see him back out on the cam­paign trail very soon,” Bi­den ad­viser Sy­mone San­ders said on CNN’S State of the Union.

She added: “This is a glar­ing re­minder that the virus is real.”

Bi­den was at home in Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware, on Sun­day with no plans for in-per­son cam­paign­ing or other pub­lic ap­pear­ances. Hav­ing al­ready tested neg­a­tive, he is ex­pected to re­lease the re­sults of a new coro­n­avirus test later in the day, and the cam­paign has pledged to dis­close those re­sults and all other fu­ture test re­sults for the 77-year-old can­di­date.

On Satur­day, White House chief of staff Mark Mead­ows told re­porters out­side the hos­pi­tal, “We’re still not on a clear path yet to a full re­cov­ery.” In an up­date Satur­day night, Trump’s chief doc­tor ex­pressed cau­tious op­ti­mism but added that the pres­i­dent was “not yet out of the woods”.

On Sun­day, Con­ley’s as­sess­ment was more pos­i­tive, even while he ac­knowl­edged for the first time a sec­ond sud­den drop in Trump’s blood oxy­gen level on Satur­day.

An­other mem­ber of the pres­i­dent’s med­i­cal team, Dr Brian Garibaldi, said Trump on Sun­day “has been up and around” and “feels well”.

“Our plan for to­day is to have him eat and drink, to be up out of bed as much as pos­si­ble, to be mo­bile,” Garibaldi said. “And 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.”

Mean­while, Trump’s han­dling of the pan­demic and his own health faced new scru­tiny.

More than 209,000 Amer­i­cans have been killed by the virus, by far the high­est num­ber of con­firmed fa­tal­i­ties in the word. In all, nearly 7.4 mil­lion peo­ple have been in­fected in the United States, and few have ac­cess to the kind of around-the-clock at­ten­tion and ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ments as Trump.

The doc­tors re­vealed that Trump was given a dose of the steroid dex­am­etha­sone af­ter the drop in oxy­gen lev­els on Satur­day.

That was in ad­di­tion to the sin­gle dose he was given Fri­day of an ex­per­i­men­tal drug from Re­gen­eron Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. that sup­plies an­ti­bod­ies to help the im­mune sys­tem fight the virus. Trump on Fri­day also be­gan a five-day course of remde­sivir, a Gilead Sciences drug cur­rently used for mod­er­ately and se­verely ill pa­tients. The drugs work in dif­fer­ent ways — the an­ti­bod­ies help the im­mune sys­tem rid the body of virus, and remde­sivir curbs the virus’ abil­ity to mul­ti­ply.

Trump is 74 years old and clin­i­cally obese, putting him at higher risk of se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

First lady Me­la­nia Trump re­mained at the White House to re­cover from her own bout with the virus.

Trump’s Ad­min­is­tra­tion has been less than trans­par­ent with the pub­lic through­out the pan­demic, both about the pres­i­dent’s health and the virus’s spread in­side the White House. The first word that a close aide to Trump had been in­fected came from the me­dia, not the White House. And aides have re­peat­edly de­clined to share ba­sic health in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a full ac­count­ing of the pres­i­dent’s symp­toms, what tests he’s un­der­taken and the re­sults.

 ?? (Photos: AP) ?? Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ar­rives at Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­ter, in Bethesda, Mary­land, on Fri­day.
(Photos: AP) Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ar­rives at Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­ter, in Bethesda, Mary­land, on Fri­day.
 ??  ?? Dr Sean Con­ley, physi­cian to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, briefs re­porters at Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda, Mary­land, on Sun­day.
Dr Sean Con­ley, physi­cian to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, briefs re­porters at Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda, Mary­land, on Sun­day.

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