President Donald Trump’s health has been in the headlines amid his recent coronavirus diagnosis. White House doctors have said they’re “optimistic” about Trump returning to the White House on Monday, but no official plans have been announced yet.
What we know and what we don’t know:
WHAT WE KNOW: TRUMP’S MEDICAL CONDITION
Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, said Trump was given a steroid dexamethasone after his blood oxygen level had dropped suddenly twice in recent days, but he “has continued to improve” since then. Conley said Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as early as Monday.
Conley said Trump had a “high fever” and a blood oxygen level below 94% on Friday and during “another episode” on Saturday.
When Conley was asked whether Trump’s blood oxygen level had dropped below 90%, he said: “We don’t have any recordings here on that.” The level currently stands at 98%, 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.
Trump’s team said Sunday that Trump received oxygen at the White House on Friday. They were not clear on whether he received any Saturday.
The additional details emerged after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Saturday said some of Trump’s vital signs were “very concerning” Friday. That disclosure contradicted a rosy assessment Trump’s doctors had initially provided.
Along with a steroid, Trump has been treated with two experimental drugs, doctors said.
On Friday, Trump was given a single dose of a drug that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. is testing to supply antibodies to help his immune system fight the virus. Trump also has taken two doses of a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients.
Trump’s team said Sunday that Trump is “up and around” and doing well — apparently so well that the president took an impromptu ride in a motorcade Sunday afternoon to wave to supporters outside the hospital. Officials said if things continue to go well, Trump will be able to return to the White House on Monday to continue his treatment.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: TRUMP’S LONGTERM MEDICAL CONDITION
Trump’s medical team would answer some questions, such as the specific timing of the president’s dip in oxygen and the impact of the disease on his lungs.
Asked repeatedly about what lung scan tests found and whether there have been any signs of pneumonia or other damage, Conley responded: “We’re tracking all of that. There’s some expected findings but nothing of any major clinical concern.”
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Conley also hasn’t specified where Trump is in the “disease course” of COVID-19. Days seven to 10 typically are a time of higher concern, he said.
As far as the drive-by greeting to supporters, CDC guidelines say that, in general, moving a patient with COVID-19 outside his room should be limited to “medically essential purposes.” The outing suggests to the common observer Trump’s condition is not perilous.
WHAT WE KNOW: WHEN TRUMP FELL ILL
Trump started showing symptoms by Thursday, a full day before the White House announced his initial “mild symptoms.”
Conley said Trump showed some common signs of COVID-19 on Thursday — a mild cough, stuffy nose, and fatigue. The president tested positive later that evening, the doctor said.
WHAT DON’T KNOW: HOW TRUMP WAS INFECTED
It’s not clear, but attention is focusing on a White House event Sept. 26 introducing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Trump gathered more than 150 people in the Rose Garden, where they mingled, hugged, and shook hands — overwhelmingly without masks. Photos also show several indoor receptions, where Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, her family, senators, and others gathered in the close quarters in the White House.
Among those who attended who have now tested positive: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, the president of the University of Notre Dame, and at least two Republican lawmakers — Utah Sen. Mike Lee and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis.
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There’s no way to know for sure if the Rose Garden event was where Trump — who didn’t wear a mask on stage — was exposed. The president had a full week of official and campaign events before his hospitalization Friday.
A third Republican senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, announced his positive test Saturday, and he had not attended Barrett’s nomination kickoff.
The administration says a White House medical team is tracing contacts.
The Associated Press contributed to this article