Conflicting Reports on President’s Health–Chief of Staff Says “Next 48 Hours Critical”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told White House reporters on Saturday said that President Donald Trump had experienced a “very concerning” period on Friday and that the next 48 hours will be “critical” for his treatment.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the Chief of Staff said, “We’re still not on a clear path yet to a full recovery.”

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This statement, however, seems to be at odds with the more optimistic assessment provided by the White House physician, Sean Conley, who sounded quite different than Chief of Staff Meadows at a press conference earlier on Saturday. Conley told the reporters the President was feeling well and in good spirits.

Meanwhile, amid questions over whether the President has received oxygen–Conley said Trump wasn’t currently in need of supplemental oxygen. He seemed to evade a direct answer as to whether the President had needed oxygen at any point during his COVID-19 treatment.

Indeed, after the press conference, several publications, including The New York Times and The Associated Press, reported that President Trump had required supplemental oxygen in the White House on Friday before he was transported by helicopter to the Maryland hospital.

On Friday morning, shortly after 1 a.m., the 74-year old Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Later that day, the President was transported to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a White House statement. The First Lady is recovering in isolation at home in the White House.

On Friday, the President was given a single dose of a drug Regeneron. It is an experimental therapy, still being tested, that supply antibodies to the immune system in order to help pro-actively fight the virus. Later on Friday, the President began a five-day course of Remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients.

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