White House doctor admits, a day late, president was given oxygen COVID treatment

By John L. Dorman

White House physician Sean Conley admitted at a Sunday briefing that President Trump was given supplemental oxygen on Saturday, which he declined to acknowledge at yesterday's briefing.

"I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness, has had," he said. "I didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so, came off as if we were trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true. He is doing really well and...if everything continues to go well, we're going to start discharge plans back to the White House."

This revelation would support statements made by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows the day before, on Saturday, regarding Trump's condition as he battles the coronavirus.

Meadows said that Trump experienced a "very concerning" period on Friday when his blood oxygen level dropped and he developed a high fever, and faced a "critical" 48-hour period at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center, according to The Associated Press. He also said that Trump was "not on a clear path yet to a full recovery."

At one point, Trump's oxygen levels dropped to 93%, according to the doctors, below the 95% figure that is cited as the lower limit for normal blood-oxygen saturation.

When asked about Trump's lung condition after performing scans, Conley declined to provide an answer.

Late Saturday, Conley said that the medical team overseeing Trump was "cautiously optimistic" but that the President was "not yet out of the woods."

Dr. Brian Garibaldi said Trump also received a second dose of the antiviral drug remdesivir, along with a dose of dexamethasone.

Garibaldi said that Trump is "up and well" and that the medical team wanted him to remain active on Sunday.

Earlier this year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to the hospital 10 days after he had contracted the coronavirus. He started off with mild symptoms early in his diagnosis, but they soon became severe enough that he was admitted to an intensive-care unit at St Thomas' Hospital in London, where he stayed for several days. While The Times of London reported that Johnson was given oxygen to help him breathe, a spokesperson emphatically denied the report and insisted that his symptoms were "mild," worrying aides who were unsure of his condition.

Trump has been at Walter Reed since Friday after he and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they had contracted the coronavirus, and the medical team said that he could be discharged as early as Monday if his condition warrants a release.