What we know, and what we don’t, about Trump’s diagnosis
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some answers emerged Saturday on President Donald Trump’s condition as he battles the coronavirus, but Trump’s medical team withheld some key information in their first full, televised update.
Here’s what we know and what we don’t know:
WHAT WE KNOW: TRUMP’S MEDICAL CONDITION
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said some of Trump’s vital signs were “very concerning” Friday and that the next 48 hours would be critical in his care.
That was a much more cautious assessment than Trump’s doctors gave. Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley said at a briefing outside a military hospital that Trump had been fever-free for 24 hours and that his symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, “are now resolving and improving.”
Conley revealed that Trump began exhibiting “clinical indications” of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, earlier than previously known.
Trump has been treated with two experimental drugs, given through an IV, that have shown some promise against COVID-19, 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. That night, he began a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients.
Trump also received supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a person familiar with the president’s condition person revealed Saturday. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: TRUMP’S MEDICAL CONDITION
Trump’s medical team dodged questions seeking specifics about the president’s condition, raising questions about whether the White House and his medical team were providing a full and factual account of the president’s health.
Conley repeatedly refused to answer whether the president had needed supplemental oxygen at any point.
Asked for the president’s vital signs, Conley failed to provide any of Trump’s temperature readings. Those could indicate the seriousness of the president’s condition, a measurement the public didn’t get as Trump spent his first full day at Walter Reed.
Conley added that doctors aren’t sure where Trump is in the “disease course” of COVID-19. Days seven to 10 typically are a time of higher concern, he said.
WHAT WE KNOW: WHEN TRUMP FELL ILL
Trump started showing symptoms by Thursday, a full day before the White House announced what were initially called “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 that afternoon, the doctor said.
The timeline matters as an indication of how transparent Trump, his staffers and doctors are being about the president’s health and whether Trump should have known he may have been spreading the virus as he mingled with campaign donors, staffers and others Thursday.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: WHEN TRUMP FELL ILL
Conley declined to say when Trump had last been tested before Thursday’s test confirmed COVID-19.
WHAT WE 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.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: HOW TRUMP WAS INFECTED
There’s no way to know for sure if the Rose Garden event was where Trump — who typically shuns a mask and has kept holding big public gatherings during the pandemic — 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.