White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says he is “optimistic” President Donald Trump will be discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday and return to the White House.
Meadows said the president’s health improved overnight and he is ready to get back “to a normal working schedule.”
“Spoke to the president this morning,” Meadows said Monday morning in a statement to Fox News. “He continued to improve overnight and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule.” Meadows added that Trump “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.”
“We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today, with his medical professionals making that determination later today,” he said.
On Sunday, Trump ventured out of the hospital in a motorcade to salute cheering supporters, which the media blasted but Trump’s own doctors said was fine. White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump’s trip outside the hospital “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do,” adding that personal protective equipment was used to protect those around the president, including Secret Service agents.
Doctors treating Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, said Sunday that the president did in fact receive supplemental oxygen on Friday, the day after he was diagnosed.
The doctors, who had dodged the question on Saturday, repeatedly saying that Trump was not currently on oxygen, said the president’s blood oxygen level dropped suddenly on Friday, raising alarm.
“Late Friday morning, when I returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever, and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters Sunday.
Conley said he recommended the president take supplemental oxygen, which he did for about an hour on Friday. The doctor said Trump experienced two episodes of “transient drops” in his oxygen levels since his diagnosis Thursday evening. The second episode occurred Saturday morning, and that led to doctors treating Trump with dexamethasone, which relieves inflammation in various parts of the body.
“In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support,” the New England Journal of Medicine reported in July.
The president had a “high fever” on Friday and again on Saturday, but his blood oxygen level currently stands at 98%, Trump’s medical team said. “The president has continued to improve,” Conley said.
While Trump’s doctors on Saturday presented a rosy picture of his condition, Meadows later told reporters, “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.”
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