Dr. Sean Conley, President Trump’s physician, provided an update Saturday on the president’s condition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the president spent the night after he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. He said the president was fever-free, but sidestepped several questions about whether Mr. Trump had received oxygen treatment.
“This morning, the president is doing very well,” Conley told reporters. He also said Mr. Trump is “just 72 hours into the diagnosis now,” creating confusion about when the president found out he had COVID-19. The president met in person with officials in Minnesota on Wednesday and appeared at a fundraiser at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday.
Conley said later in the conference that the president had “repeated testing” on Thursday afternoon, which did not clarify the timeline for his infection.
“Thursday afternoon, following the news of close contact, is when we repeated testing,” Conley said. He avoided answering questions about when the president had last tested negative for the virus, and when he had been infected.
A White House official later told CBS News that Conley meant that this was the third day of Mr. Trump’s diagnosis, not that he had been diagnosed 72 hours ago.
Conley also said that he was “extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” and added that “the president has been fever-free for over 24 hours.”
Conley said he did not want to put a “hard date” for when Mr. Trump would be discharged. Conley said that Mr. Trump was not receiving oxygen treatment on Saturday. He also repeatedly avoided questions about whether the president was treated with supplemental oxygen prior to Saturday, before finally saying he was not on oxygen on Thursday and had not been treated with oxygen when the president was at Walter Reed on Friday. However, he did not say whether the president had been treated with oxygen on Friday at the White House.
Conley declined to disclose the president’s temperature when he had a fever, but said the president had been feverish from Thursday into Friday.
Dr. Sean Dooley, another member of the president’s medical team, said the president “is in exceptionally good spirits,” adding that the president told him “I feel like I could walk out of here today.”
However, a source familiar with the president’s health told reporters on Saturday that Mr. Trump’s vitals were “very concerning.”
“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” the source said.
Conley said Friday night that Mr. Trump was “doing very well” and did not require supplemental oxygen.
“He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy. He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably,” Conley said. Remdesivir has shortened the recovery time for some patients with the virus.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that Mr. Trump had “mild symptoms” and was being transferred to Walter Reed “out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts.” White House sources said Mr. Trump had a low-grade fever.
Mr. Trump tweeted an update from the hospital, where he will be spending the next few days “Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!” he wrote late Friday.