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Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis and reactions


President Donald Trump leaves the White House for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 2. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, where he has spent the past few days following the announcement of his coronavirus diagnosis early Friday. 

If you’re just joining us, here’s a recap of the latest developments:

Trump could be discharged later today: Dr. Brian Garibaldi, who is part of Trump’s medical team, said the President could be discharged from Walter Reed medical center as early as Monday. Trump completed a second dose of remdesivir on Saturday and “today he feels well,” Garibaldi said on Sunday, adding that if the President “continues to look and feel as well as he does” they hoped to discharge him as early as Monday to continue his treatment at the White House.

Photo op: Trump left the Walter Reed medical center with his security detail on Sunday so he could ride in an SUV past supporters cheering him on outside the hospital. The White House claims “appropriate precautions” were taken but attending physician at Walter Reed Dr. James Phillips criticized the move as something which could endanger lives of Secret Service agents who accompanied the President, saying “the irresponsibility is astounding.”

Two drops in oxygen levels: On Sunday, Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley said the President experienced “two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation.” On Friday morning, Trump “had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” Conley said. He added that Trump was given supplemental oxygen. Then on Saturday, the President had a second episode of his oxygen level dropping, “down to about 93%,” Conley said.

Dexamethasone: After his oxygen level transiently dipped, Trump was given the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone on Saturday, Conley said. Dexamethasone is a widely available steroid drug and is typically given to patients on supplemental oxygen or needing ventilation. “We decided that in this case the potential benefits early on in the course probably outweighed the risks,” Conley said.

Mixed messaging: But Conley has come under fire for making confusing and misleading comments — including one he later walked back — about the President’s condition. On Sunday, Conley defended the decision to not disclose that the President was administered oxygen by saying he wanted to “reflect the upbeat attitude of the team.”

Other developments to note:

  • Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 on Sunday.
  • Attorney General William Barr will self-quarantine “for now” but is expected to return to work this week, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.
  • Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, tested negative for Covid-19 on Sunday.
  • Trump has no events on his schedule for Monday as he continues to be hospitalized.
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany would not reveal the number of West Wing staffers who have tested positive for Covid-19, citing privacy concerns — despite White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah saying earlier they would do.
  • At least seven people attending the White House festivities honoring Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26, in the Rose Garden have tested positive for Covid-19. They include the President and first lady, University of Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins, former counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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